I Created A Comic Strip!

I had so much fun doing this week’s assignments! I have always been a fan of graphic novels and comic books. Mostly because I grew up with three brothers, but also because my dad collects comics. My parent’s room has thousands of comic books in it and so I was always pretty much around them growing up. Approaching this assignment gave me a lot of joy as we also used comic strips in high school a lot in my English class. I remember doing stips about Beowulf and til this day my interest towards Beowulf only grows stronger as the graphic materials we used for this unit I will always remember. It also made me more intrigued towards the subject matter which is always helpful inside of the classroom. When I started researching material for this project, I noticed just how many comic strips websites and apps that there are. While I was in high school I used the website Pixton.com and this website was really handy! I couldn’t get it to work with my old account, I believe you have to have an activation code but I do remember how quick and easy it was to use. I did get to take a look at the old strips that I made which was helpful, I just couldn’t get the website to work right for me this time.

For this week’s assignment, I used apps on my iPhone. These apps were “Comic Strip” and “Captions” from the iPhone webstore. These tools were very easy to use as most of my pictures that I wanted to use were on my phone so that made it easier as well. I did have to use a combination of the two because one didn’t have avatars that you could use and the other made you pay for extra letters in the dialogue boxes. I did make this assignment a little bit more difficult than I could have but I really like the end results. I got to use contemporary photos which are visually pleasing and also change the colors of the avatar’s hair and clothes. They may be little adjustments but they make all the difference in the end. I like the simplicity in these comic strips. We can take something that is a huge independent learning project and reduce it into just a couple of dialogue bubbles. I enjoy having to condense information and manipulate it to a certain medium that I am not too familiar with. Expanding my knowledge on new technological tools is also a huge advantage for me!



Comic Strip Comicify iPhone App

Captions iPhone App


Book Discussion: The Golden Compass

I finished the book “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman. This was a very interesting book to say the least! It is set in this world where everyone has a daemon within themselves. These deamons are like the character’s inner beings or psyches if you will. Everyone in the story has one and as the person is growing through adolescent, their inner deamon will shift until they have reached the end of puberty. This aspect of the story really added a lot of conflict within everything else that was going on in the plot. There is always this cognitive implication within the story that all the characters have to deal with and I think that played into the theme of inner struggle and everyone being different in their own way. A difference that nobody can really see but start to show the more time with a person, a lot like other emotional implications that everyone struggles with.


Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

This story is centered around a 12-year-old, ambitious character named Lyra Belacqua who is ultimately looking for her lost friend, Roger Parslow and her uncle, Lord Asriel. Lyra has a deamon that she refers to as Pantalaimon, which I thought was a very creative name at that, especially to describe such a headstrong and unique deamon that Lyra has within her. Lyra begins the story as an orphan who is taken care of by the community of scholars at a college in Oxford named Jordan College. A different spin I didn’t see coming when thinking of Lyra being an orphan and how it is usually some dumpy foster care but this aspect was out of the ordinary for sure. Spoilers ahead! Lyra is adopted by a wealthier woman named Mrs. Coulter. Lyra is given a truth device that is called an alethiometer that helps Lyra find out who Mrs. Coulter really is. She works as the head of a group called the Gobblers who run experiments on children to try and separate their deamons from their actual consciousness. This is very risky business, and as soon as Lyra finds out about it, she leaves Mrs. Coulter’s house and flees to find help from a group called the Gyptians. These are the family members and parents of the children that the Gobblers have taken, Roger being one of them.

Spoilers Ahead! As Lyra and the Gyptians try to find the missing children, they go into a town searching for a building ran by the Gobblers called Bolvangar. Amongst the search, the team finds a child who has been experimented on and left to die; the point where they all realized how brutal these experimentations are and just how much all the danger the children are in. All of a sudden, the team is swarmed by hunters who have been trailing them, ultimately taking Lyra captive in the Bolvangar location. Here Lyra shows some smart reactions to her problems and starts using her knowledge to the best of her advantage to escape from the Gobblers. In all, very exciting read! Glad I picked this book this week.

Community of Readers in the Classroom

This week in my Adolescent Literature class we researched the topic of creating students who find joy in reading and how to teach students that reading will help them with their education. It is always a struggle to keep adolescents focussed, especially within an English classroom. Establishing motivation in the classroom alleviates some of the unfocused stress that comes along with some students. The passage “Raising Students Who Want to Read” by Phyllis S. Hunter talks about the concept of using different forms of motivation in the classroom like extrinsic to intrinsic motivation types. This passage gives the example that, “When students are motivated to read because they enjoy reading and think reading is valuable, we call that intrinsic motivation. When they’re motivated by outside factors, like rewards or deadlines, we call that extrinsic motivation.” (Hunter) These distinctions are helpful to make because we can better use them in the classroom if we know the differences between them.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The next article that I read was, “Curing the Reading Germ” by Jim Bailey. This article opened my eyes up to some steps I can do as a future teacher to better help my students become more dependent readers. As a future English teacher, I try to prioritize reading as much as a can. I am unfortunately kind of a slow reader so the process is extended for me but it does not affect the values that I put upon reading itself. This article explained how this teacher approached a classroom that did not necessarily like reading. She said that she started “recovery” with the books, “The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller and The Reading Zone by Nancie Atwell.”  I really enjoyed how this teacher gave specific examples of books and how it played out in the classroom. This teacher explained how she wanted to create a community of readers and tried her best to take us on her journey of doing this. In all, very helpful research this week!


Hunter, P. (n.d.). Raising Students Who Want To Read. Retrieved from extension://cbnaodkpfinfiipjblikofhlhlcickei/src/pdfviewer/web/viewer.htmlfile=http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/authors/pdfs/Raising_Students.pdf

Bailey, J. (2015, February 8). Curing the Reading GERM. Retrieved from https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/curing-the-reading-germ-by-jim-bailey/

Podcasts / The House of #EdTech

What an interesting topic of discussion this week! Podcasts are becoming such a popular resource for all different kinds of people around the world. There really are podcasts about such a vast array of information that it is hard not to find something that is intriguing. The dictionary definition of podcasts is, “a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.” When trying to approach how I would define a podcast all I could think of was an audio file that you could mostly just stream and download. This definition really expanded what I should be thinking about in regards to my overall understandings of what constitutes as a podcast. Letting me further dive into what kind of podcasts there are and how I can manipulate them to my advantage.


Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

I have never used podcasts as much as I think I should. I am more of a music or movie type of person but I do know a lot of people who listen to podcasts a lot. They mainly use them to expand their knowledge on a particular subject or just to excite curiosity. The website that I mainly researched this week was The House of #Edtech Podcast site. This website has so many different resources and categories in it its crazy! I really enjoy podcasts when I am able to listen to them because since it is spoken language, a portion of it is unscripted which makes room for different personalities and humor to be displayed. One of the podcasts that I listened to over the week is called, “#TryPod 2018 – HoET105”  This was a podcast that had a combination of four different House of Edtech streams and it was voted on which ones were the “best” out of the hundred streams that they have produced thus far. Each of the streams gave a recommendation of what educational tech tool to use and how it can be used in the classroom.

One of these tools that were discussed comes from the discussion name, “The Cost of Free.” This part of the stream talked about how teachers have to pay for a lot of access to technology inside the classroom like programs and apps. The program that was being talked about is called “Padlet” and it helps students collaborate with other students on an online sharing space. It is like a sheet of paper that allows different things to be uploaded and shared. This podcast talked about how Padlet used to be free but since they needed upgrades and wanted to expand their program, they started charging people to use it. There must be an upgraded charge in order for these things to happen and this podcast does a good job explaining why we should not be mad with this decision rather prioritize what we actually need in the classroom and budget for it. In all, this website is really great with giving educators the chance to expand their technological choices and how to be smart about it all. Thanks for reading! 


The House of Edtech Podcasts. (2018, March 11). #TryPod 2018 – HoET105 – Christopher J. Nesi | House of #EdTech. Retrieved from http://chrisnesi.com/trypod-2018-hoet105

Padlet. (n.d.). Padlet is the easiest way to create and collaborate in the world. Retrieved from https://padlet.com/

House of #EdTech. (n.d.). Christopher J. Nesi | House of #EdTech – Helping You Integrate Technology. Retrieved from http://chrisnesi.com/

Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines

This past week I read the book “An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green. I honestly don’t think I can tire from reading his books. This book’s plot is something that I haven’t really ever read before as it seems kind of exaggerated but in a really interesting way. The protagonist is named Collin Singleton who has a definite thing for women named Katherine; hence the name of the book comes into play. Collin has a long history of also getting dumped by these Katherines, and the 19th one is the one that really got to him. Collin starts to get really depressed, but luckily his friend Hassan is there to try and help clean him up both physically and mentally. Hassan comes up with a creative idea to take a road trip to help Collin get his mind off of things. I have to agree that it is a pretty good idea!

Spoilers ahead! Now Colin isn’t just an ordinary teenage boy, he knows more than 10 languages, and is pretty much all around brilliant when it comes to school work and such. A lot of the internal conflict within this story stems from Colin not knowing what to do with his brains. He feels like he should be manipulating his intelligence more than he is, so he becomes obsessed with finding the “mathematical” equation to love and relationships. He calls this theory the “Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability” which I thought was pretty cleaver. This is where the plot started to shift more with its depth and started creating like a “mission” for the characters which was fun to read along with.

Spoilers ahead! This story has a lot of different relationships that start to progress and create massive amounts of conflict and reason for the book to keep moving with. The two boys end up staying in a town called Gunshot, Tennessee. Here they meet a girl named Lindsey who Colin starts to fall for, but just his luck, is dating another guy with the same name as him. What’re the odds?! Colin starts to get emotionally healthier as he starts becoming closer to Linsey and her family. The ending of this book was really subtle as it just kind of displays this scene where Colin, Hassan, and Linsey drive off into the sunset with no destination, rather the feeling of freedom. The symbolic ending of the story being that the storm will pass and it will all be okay in the end. In all, really enjoyable read! Super glad I read it over this semester.

Mindful Use of Technology

It is hard to say that any of us don’t rely on technology because in all reality technology consumes a very large portion of our societies daily activities. We wake up with our alarms ringing off of our phones that lay next to us in our sleep, the first thing we do after we turn off the alarm is look at the different notifications. I do think that it is important to stay in the loop on information and daily occurrences but it does, to a point, become distracting. A lot of technology use is distracting but I think that is why we are so addicted to all of it. We get to go on our phones and forget our own lives for a couple of minutes and focus on someone else’s that we see scrolling through our newsfeed. We can go places that we aren’t familiar with through technological connections and relationships and I think that is one of the many causing reasons for such a high percentage of people who are dependant on their technological devices.


Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

We should use our devices in ways that benefit ourselves and our own lives rather than dreaming of others lives that we scroll through. We should use technology to network with other people who resonate with our own beliefs and motives in order to further progress ourselves and our futures. It is easy to get distracted with technology and this is definitely something I am guilty of. I am so grateful for this course and others that I am taking this semester as they are really educating me to use technology for the best rather than an escape from reality. The idea of disconnecting from my devices is really impractical as I am always doing homework on my computer but I could go several days without my phone. I have realized how much drama my phone holds and letting that information cloud my thinking is something I really hate when I am doing school work.

It is really interesting reading about schools who also take part in disconnecting and how they got such beneficial feedback from the students and their learning habits. The article, “What Happens When Teens Try to Disconnect From Tech For Three Days” by Katrina Schwartz explains that students felt more creative and that they learned to use their time more valuable than they did while using their devices. This definitely gives me hope as a teacher as I will advocate for disconnect time, especially in the classroom. In all, I really enjoyed researching this subject this week! Thanks for reading.


Schwartz, K. (2015, March 12). What Happens When Teens Try to Disconnect From Tech For Three Days. Retrieved from https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/39528/turned-off-how-teens-respond-to-a-no-tech-challenge

Independant Learning Project

This past week I researched different hair care material that I was able to find and buy myself to try out. I want to do things that will help strengthen my hair but also enabling my hair to grow faster at the same time. It is hard finding hair care product when I live and go to school in such a small town like Chadron but this made things a little bit more interesting! I decided to research a couple of different hair care products that are available at Walmart and reviews as to why they were “the best.” The first one I came across was a heat protectant spray that also had different moisture additives that help with the strengthening of hair strands. The product that I researched was Lottabody Love Me 5-in-1 Miracle Styling Hair Creme. This product helps add a sense of shine to your hair as well which is always appreciated, especially with longer hair. I can’t wait to compare this product with the heat protectant spray that I use now which is TRESemme’s thermal spray. This spray seems effective but does not have all the different contributors that the Lottabody’s spray has like different coconut and shea oils that also act as protectants from heat which is always a beneficial aspect to any hair care treatment.


Photo by George Gvasalia on Unsplash

I went onto research“The Mane Choice” hair care line that is sold at Walmart as well. This line sells a set of hair care products that have 5 different pieces in it. It comes with a hair mask which is really beneficial for the hair as it strengthens and restores hair more than just a gel or spray does because you have to leave it in your hair and then wash it out. The next item in this set is growth oil which involves several different oils and nutrients that it infusing in the hair strands themselves. The next item is a styling gel which I am sort of wary about because as a woman with long hair, I don’t style it down often but I could use this gel to lay down the fly-aways that I have around my face. This will also help with the frizziness or static that occurs with long hair. This gel also has biotin in it which helps with hair growth as well. The next is a hair “dressing” which I haven’t really heard of but it gives the hair shine and luster which is always appreciated. The last item in this kit is “growth stimulating edge control.” This will be very beneficial to use as it will help the baby hairs around my face grow so they aren’t so short and don’t stick out as much. In all, I am so excited to use all these products! I will update with all my results soon. Thanks for reading.


The Mane Choice 5-piece Hair Care Set – Walmart.com. (2017, July 23). Retrieved from https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Mane-Choice-5-piece-Hair-Care-Set/681869617