From Student to Teacher

From Student to Teacher

It’s been 16 days since classes have ended. 10 days since my last final for my degree. And  8 days since I started solo teaching. That’s right you read that correctly, 2 days after I wrote my final exam I started teaching. Thankfully I didn’t jump head first in by myself right away and got to  shadow the sub for a couple days. That was a relief.

I adore the school I am working with! It is one of neighbouring towns around where I went to school and I even played basketball with them during my grade 12. They were like my school away from school. My mom went to this school and I still have cousins growing up there. I only teach one of them and it is only a tiny bit awkward (ha!).

I teach predominately grade 5 and 6 with a little grade 7 and 8 ELA and some RTI. I honestly love teaching middle years. I know I specialized in high school mathematics and physical education, but the more I work with the middle years grade the more I think they are a right fit for me.

So here it is a quick update from the adventures of Ms. Nyhus. I wish I could promise that I would blog regularly but we all know that won’t happen because I have way to much work to be doing.  I am procrastinating at the moment. This does make me rethink my plans for the future, but I am more than happy to take this challenge head  on! I hope you enjoyed my short post and cheers to the weekend!


We’re done!

We’re done!

Hey everyone, here it is my summary of learning for ECMP455. Now if you’re debating about watching it I would recommend at least watching the first 3 minutes for one sole reason. I sing. I created a song and I am unbelievably proud of it because I am the least creative person every so you know click below and enjoy. The last 4 minutes is me just rambling so that is less important.  Enjoy!

The Learning of Others

The Learning of Others

Here we are counting down the final days of University (if you’re a 4th year) or just finishing the semester.  In this class, we were expected to help contribute to the learning of others. In this post, I will be summarizing my interactions with my fellow 455 and 355. I’ll try to make this entertaining as possible and break it up with lots of pictures/tweets.

Our Tasks:

1. Commenting on classmates’ blogs

This first one I struggled with in the beginning. I felt at times I didn’t have anything to say and I wanted to leave a “good” comment. I didn’t want it to feel insincere but to make the writer think. I do feel like I was able to accomplish this.  On Lydia McLeod’s post, Supporting Diversity in the Classroom I commented this.

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I also commented on Brett Loeppky’s blog post, Control Your Children People My Goodness.

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I want to highlight these two comments because I honestly think they were the best ones I made all semester. Brett actually shared my comment on Google+ because she wasn’t sure how to answer it. I think they are my best because I believe I made both writers think about what I was asking.

2. Writing posts in response to blog posts that you’ve read 

I pinged a couple classmates throughout the semester because I felt that they had valid points on their blog that I didn’t want to regurgitate. My post, Mental Health is not a JOKE! however was a response (kind of) to Matthew Lothian’s blog post, Do You Care About Politics. It was kind of a response because something in his post inspired me to write my own about politics.

3. Modeling the process of giving constructive feedback by commenting on ECMP355 blogs

The best constructive feedback I believe I gave was on Ashton Mills blog post, Pushing Past the Need for Perfection. She had posted some pictures of her doing yoga for her learning project and I noticed something she could do to help in a pose she was having difficulty with.

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4. Interacting with others (both students in the course and others) on Twitter by answering questions and contributing to conversations.

This tweet I sent out was an article that I thought was interesting and relatable to class. I had several classmates comment on how it was really useful to them!

I also created this picture so that people could see the comments they made since many were asking how to view it. Too bad you can only see 2 – 3 weeks back….

5. Participating in education-related Twitter chats

#ecmpchat, #saskedchat, #STARSchat, #saskedchat (again) and #STARSchat (again too). So I believe these are all the twitter chats I participated in during this semester. These are insane. So fast paced you need to stay focused in order to keep up.

This was one of my most popular tweets during a twitter chat.

6. Interacting with others on Google Plus by answering others’ questions

My most recent interaction was with Nikki Keller on Google+. She was asking about how to view comments she made on other peoples blog.
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The one on the left is what I posted and the one on the right is me trying to help through words (didn’t work so well)

7. Creating screencasts to help classmates with a particular skill

I showed Tori how to find her stats.

I showed Kylie how to upload PDF’s to google drive and then get a shareable link.

So there we go this is my semester crammed into a blog post. If you want to see EVERYTHING i did check out my Log Book. It doesn’t have any pictures or links but I do describe everything I did. I hope you enjoyed my journey through ECMP and another step to becoming a teacher.

From Heartache to Legacy

From Heartache to Legacy

The other night we had the unbelievable opportunity to listen to Carol Todd. She is an amazing speaker who is extremely passionate about what she talks about. Carol Todd is an educator at Amanda Todd Legacy, where she educates parents and teachers about internet safety, mental health awareness and cyberbullying after the death of her daughter, Amanda Todd. Amanda Todd was a 15-year-old girl who took her own life after years of bullying, harassment and sextortion.

If you’ve never heard of Amanda, I would advise you to check out her video below to fully understand.

This video, her video, went viral following her suicide. Amanda dealt with bullying and sextortion, online and in school for 2 years. She was a princess snowflake, as her mom called her who dreamt about singing. After her death, Carol took it upon herself to help educate others on the importance of a child’s digital identity.

Upon hearing about what was happening in class I was very intrigued. I was curious, what would she say? Carol had every right to be angry or upset. Honestly, I expected her to be. I was blown away by how she could turn something so negative into a positive, educational way. If you get a chance to watch her TedTalk on April 16th, you won’t be disappointed.

I would love to be able to summarize her talk but for me, it would be nearly impossible. Kerrie Craske does a fantastic job of that. I would recommend checking out her posts on this talk. For me, I want to focus on to two important pieces of advice Carol gave to the class.

The first one:

When a kid turns 16, you don’t just give them the keys to the car without teaching them how to drive. So why do we hand children an iPad, tablet or cell phone without teaching them how to use it?

*cue explosion noises because my mind is blown* This simple idea is revolutionary and I would have never thought of it. I don’t remember ever getting lessons on it. I mean I wasn’t allowed on any social media site until I was in like grade 10 so maybe that why I didn’t get a lesson. But as you can see More Than Half of Children Use Social Media by the Age of 10. So why are we not educating them? We need to start educating children on the dangers of the internet and how to properly use it. has interesting activities to teach students ways to use the internet. They have some for k-2, 3-5 and middle & high school. We have to, both parents and educators to start teaching our students, computers are all around us and it will be better when people know how to use online space safely and appropriately.

The second biggest takeaway from the night:

Every single person in this word is unique. Beautiful. Fragile. Alone we can melt and disappear from the world. But together we form a snowball; strong and forceful. We can break just about anything. Carol talks about empathy, and the ability to actually just listen to somebody. Everyone needs someone who they can trust. Parents and teachers are the two most influential people in children’s lives (excluding friends), we must be open to listening to them. Carol deals with trolls in a remarkably classy way.

She is has one classmate says:

I know as a future educator the importance of teaching students to bring each other up instead of tearing each other down will be important both in person and online. I hope to educate the youth the importance of having a good digital identity.

What are ways we can incorporate digital identity in the classroom? What kinds of conversations must we have in order for there to be a change in the world? What were the biggest things you took away from the class? 

Code or Not to Code, That is the Question

Code or Not to Code, That is the Question featuring the Hour of Code is an online website where students anyone can learn to code. I know in high school one of our assignments for our computer class was to create a website that had to have pictures in certain places and words with certain fonts, sizes, etc. Now it had some coding but honestly, I can’t remember it. I do remember being really frustrated when something didn’t work and I couldn’t find that mistake. But the Hour of Code is something else. It is a fun and engaging way for anyone to learn to code. I think it is generally geared to younger students but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy doing one.

This first video is on level 2 of the artist level. One thing I really like was how the levels progressed from one to the other. I didn’t get discouraged right away it something didn’t go right and there was a lot of trial and error as you can see below.

After a couple levels, it got tedious having to repeat the same steps over and over again. Thankfully they introduced a repeat button. I also like how they gave hints if you got stuck at points.

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Screenshot from One of the hints I received prior to starting the level. See the math involved?

On the last level of my Hour of Code, you got to basically do whatever you wanted. I decided to make a heart. It definitely took a lot of trial and error to make but it turned out awesome (or so I think)

So why were we talking about coding in our class the other night? Well because coding is becoming more popular now in schools. British Columbia will be including coding in the curriculum. Jeff Booth, CEO of Vancouver’s BuildDirect Technologies Inc. is quoted in the article saying;

Computer science skills … are increasinly critical as technology is where all future job growth lies. There is already a war for talent in technology that has companies like ours searching the world for the best engineers … It’s very possible that computer coding and other technology skills may become as critical as reading and writing.

But Australia, Britain and Nova Scotia have already beat B.C. to the punch to include coding in the curriculum. There are many resources to efficiently teach coding in schools with very valid reasons to do so.  Coding in the Classroom is a great resource that brings anything coding related together.

8 Reason Why Kids Should Learn to Code is an awesome blog post with fantastic reasons to code.

Learning to code teaches you a number of life lessons

  • Learning from mistakes is vital
  • You shouldn’t fear mistakes of failure
  • Success is a scribbly line
  • Persistence pays off
  • Teamwork is important

Computer science forces you to take responsible risks and engage you in the problem solving process of trail and error…

I mean I experienced 4/5 reasonings listed under number 1. Trial and error where my pals throughout.


You can check out and interactive infographic at, Infographic: Where a STEM Education Can Take You. And another inforgraphic on STEM facts on Women & Girls below.

Graphics from

Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without hearing the other side of this. Please Don’t Learn to Code is another interesting blog post. One thing that really caught my eye was at the end of the post;

Please don’t advocate learning to code just for the sake of learning how to code. Or worse, because of the fat paychecks. Instead, I humbly suggest that we spend our time learning how to …

  • Research voraciously, and understand how the things around us work at a basic level.
  • Communicate effectively with other human beings.

Another article Should We Really Try to Teach Everyone to Code is similar to the one before. These articles are not saying “we shouldn’t code because 1, 2, and 3” but are saying that we shouldn’t teach code for the sake of teaching code. We should teach these students how to express logic visually, working with other, letting go of the fear of failing and much, much more. Teach the students the benefits of coding and not just coding themselves.

What are your thoughts on coding? Is it some fade that will be considered useless like cursive writing? Or is it something more? Should be force students to learn to code? Or should we allow them to explore it on their own? Should it be mandatory? Or an elective? 

Hey, Let’s Creep on Them!

Hey, Let’s Creep on Them!

If you’ve never said you’re going to creep on someone, kudos to you. I will be the first person to admit that I have crept on individuals that I don’t know, I mean how else will I know whether or not my best friends new boyfriend is good enough. I am what you would call a cybersleuth, (I mean it sounds better than a creeper) Cybersleuthing is defined as

A person who does any kind of detective work using the internet.

Now when I creep cybersleuth, I usually do it in the private of my home or with close friends you know so nobody knows how weird I am (and that’s out the window now) because it’s weird being around someone when they creep on you. I know. From experience. Ms.  Shalayne McDermit asked at the end of her post Cybersleuthing if anyone has ever experienced it. So instead of posting a really long comment, let me tell you a story.

During internship, I was coaching rookie girls volleyball. The girls I was coaching were also my students that I was teaching so they got to know me inside and outside the classroom. I would like to think I was professional during both times (definitely dressed down during volleyball but nothing extreme) We were coming home from districts which was held in Lampman late one night and, of course, the four girls that were in the same vehicle as me were being like grades 8.  All of them were on their phones (I pretty sure they were SnapChatting back and forth) taking pictures, sending texts to their teammates in other vehicles. You know typical stuff.

At one point I take out my phone because they “needed” to know how many SnapChat trophies I had (5 by the way) what I didn’t realize is that you have to swipe down exposing my SnapCode. If you use SnapChat you know that you can add friends by scanning their SnapCode (if you don’t know how to check it out here) So as I go to check my trophies one of the girls had her phone over my shoulder (without me knowing) ready to scan my SnapCode. THANKFULLY, I soon realized what was going to happen and closed my app.  But what I didn’t expect was “let’s google Ms. Nyhus!”


Photo Credit: messiole via Compfight cc

I am so unbelievably happy that I have been lectured repeatedly by my parents and professors that I need to be careful about what I put online. I mean not everyone does. Check out 9 suspected criminals who got themselves caught via social media. I did find out that my Tumblr and Twitter were connected, which I didn’t really want so that was good. They found my blog  which resulted in;

“Ms. Nyhus, you have a blog?!”
“Yes, it was for class.”
“I’m going to read it.”
“Okay find out all the interesting things I do.”
“Never mind, it doesn’t look that fun…” I would like to say that my blog has improved a lot since that November night.

I also believe that when they searched Google Images they found a picture of a girl in lingerie, but it wasn’t me I swear. Googling my own name I am so happy to find that my blog and Twitter account are my first websites that show up, which I consider being my most professional accounts. My Facebook isn’t even on the first page (YAY! because who goes past page 1 on google) and I never did find a link to my Instagram (double YAY!) But that didn’t stop my students, I had multiple requests to follow me on Instagram, which was followed up with a “not until you graduate”.  How they found me? I am not quite sure but I think it was, if you can follow, they had a friend whose older sibling was friend with my longer sister who follows me. Whew!

I mean these 12-year-olds have almost as good detective skills as Katia Hildebrandt does. Almost. I am still unbelievably impressed by Katia in The Curious Case of Srkj Rife, “Victim”-Turned-Harasser.  The amount of information she found within an hour is crazy. The power of the internet is insane.

This kind of reminds me of the TV show Person of Interest. If you haven’t heard of it before, I would recommend going and watching it. Basically, it is about a computer that is watching your every move. It spits out relevant and irrelevant numbers (SIN numbers), the relevant go to the government and basically, it says that person is probably going to commit a terrorist attack. The irrelevant numbers are thrown away as they are either a victim or perpetrator of a violent crime until Harold Finch takes control and with the help from John Reese, they help stop criminals or save victims. Finch’s cybersluething would, sorry to say, put Katia’s stalking to shame. If you were comparing. Check out the opening sequence below.

Victim or perpretrator, if your numbers up we’ll find you.

Thoughts? Have you ever crept on someone before? Have you ever been crept on that you know of? Do you think jobs/businesses do it more often than not? As teachers why do you think we have to be so careful? Are we more careful than other professions? Why or why not?

Mental Health is Not a JOKE!

Mental Health is Not a JOKE!

I’m on a role two blog post in one week! Go me! After having a rough start this week, I was inspired by Mr. Matthew Lothian blog post about Youth in Politics. I would definitely recommend going and checking out his blog post. I commend him and his school during internship about the political debate they held in their riding (Cypress Hills-Grassland) where they got all four political candidates to come to the school for the evening. But this isn’t what sparked my interest. It was actually what he quoted from U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders that made me decide to write a blog post instead of a comment. Now if anyone has been following the American Election or have been on any sort of social media site in the last couple of months of months you would know that as Mr. Lothian put oh so nicely,

The constant jarring and insults being thrown back and forth among the GOP candidates has been disgraceful. [It} …  resembles something that you may commonly see on a playground  amongst children.  Name calling, jokes on each other’s appearances, and inappropriate sexual genitalia innuendo digs.

At one point in a GOP debate, a “CNN’s closed captioner [was so] fed up with tonight’s GOP debate and doesn’t care who knows it” when they captioned this:

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Watch this hilarious video that someone created of their yelling match.

See when I first heard that Donald Trump was running for the election, I honestly thought it was a joke. Like a serious joke. But now it’s terrifying. One of our professors, Katia Hildebrandt wrote a blog post about why “Trump isn’t funny anymore. So why are we still silent?” She makes some great points and you should go read it. Honestly, as you can see from the video above Trump does NOTHING but talk over others. Obviously, when that happens you don’t get to hear both sides. He is also a sexist, racist (threats and making crowd members raise right hand) But I am getting off track, if you want to read more of Trumps horrible things, check out Katia post.
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What I want to talk about is Bernie Sanders.  Earlier this month in a debate Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton were discussing the GOP. Hilary has some negative comments and Bernie decides to respond with:

“You know, we are, if elected president, going to invest a lot of money into mental health, and when you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in that.”

It’s supposed to be a joke. I get it. Sort of. But I don’t find it funny. And neither did Twitter. Shortly after the debate, Bernie got some heat from Tweeters about how mental health is not a joke.

You can check out these articles here and here for more tweets.  There has been so much work with ending the stigma around mental health and to call the behaviour of GOP candidates is unbelievable rude, cruel and downright unacceptable. #BellLetsTalk is an awesome organization that helps to end the stigma around mental health. Even in our own community, we were able to come together and raise awareness. Check out our storify story here.

I personally think that Bernie Sanders comment was unnecessary. You not only took a stab the GOP candidates you also took a stab at every single person who is suffering from a mental illness, their family, and friends.

What are your thoughts on Bernie Sanders comment? Did he go to far or should every accept a joke?  I would love to hear all of your thoughts.