Day 8 #DS106 Challenge – Dream it…Write it Assignment

Today’s assignment was to write about a dream, whether it be a recurring dream or a dream I had recently. You can find the assignment here! I thought this was an interesting assignment because  I don’t often remember my dreams so I thought the challenge would be interesting!

The Backstory:

Like I said, I don’t often remember my dreams so I don’t know if I even had a dream last night, but I do recall a dream I had a couple nights ago. American Horror Story is one of my favorite televisions shows and I have recently been rewatching season 3 co-titled Coven. The season is about a coven of witches who are in danger of dying off since they are hunted or do not acknowledge their powers. The coven supreme is in a feud with the voodoo queen, both in hopes of saving their crew of witches.  I feel the need to give you the backstory on the TV show since my dream is related! I have been trying for months to get my best friend to watch it because I absolutely love it!

The Dream:

I vaguely remember my dream, but it involves my best friend and me as a witch and a warlock. We were participating in the seven wonders alongside the other girls in hopes of becoming the next supreme. That is really all I remember from the dream!

It’s incredible that we have dreams and rarely remember them.


Digital Literacy Class Reflection

Initial Reaction:

When I initially signed up for this course I thought it was just another reading class that used technology! It was on my required course material, and really thinking about it now, I never really read the course description because it was required anyways!  I soon found of that this class required much more than just reading on the internet. It was a creative class which required me to research, create, and share. Being a noncreative person, I was scared of this class but have learned to love it and look forward to it every week. I had no expectations coming into this class other than lots of reading and although we do quite a lot of reading, there is much more that goes into it!

What I’ve learned:


First and foremost, let’s talk about the blog! I had always wanted to start a blog but never got around to it! Now, I run a blog for this class and I still love every single time I log in to write a new post. I might even keep updating my blog after the semester ends! There are also the little things we’ve learned, such as RSS feeds, embedding tweets and videos, citing pictures, and hyperlinks.


I had been introduced to Twitter as a powerful resource before, but never in the way this class has taught me. I knew Twitter was great for research and has many great articles, but the true magic comes in the form of PLN (personal learning networks). I was able to build a network where I can interact with co-experts in the many fields of education that interest me! I was introduced to the magic of twitter chats, where many experts participate and share ideas from around the globe! Twitter is a wonderful, interactive resource that will continue to be helpful in my future as an educator.

TED Talks:

TED talks are something I was already familiar with and love to watch. However, through this class, I was introduced to their use in the classroom and in life! They can be used to spark creativity in students or inspire students. There are many wonderful TED talks available on the web.

The Small Creative Challenges:

Throughout the semester we’ve embarked on small creative challenges. These include the six-word memoir, the five card Flickr story, the online 2.0 tools and most recently #ds106. Although #dg106 is not as small as it requires 30 consecutive days of creates!

Hardships and Moving Forward:

The hardest module I believe was the approaches to learning! It wasn’t difficult it just took more time and planning than I am used to! I did extensive research and planned preplanned/wrote my blog post before putting it up! I didn’t want to make a mistake on something so important. Moving forward in the semester, I would like to learn more about using digital literacy with students and online safety. Once you put something on the internet, it’s there forever and I want to know the best and most effective way to relay this information to students as they grow up in the digital age! I’m also hoping for more creative projects!



New Game Plan! – ILP 5

What was that sign again?

Relearning sign langue has proved to be much harder than I anticipated! I personally feel like I am not advancing the way I should be and am not making the most of this learning opportunity! I decided its time for me to change things and really start getting the hang of ASL. For starters, I feel like I am not retaining any of the vocabulary words I go through each week! Sure I look at them and practice them for a couple hours, but forget them soon after! This has got to change. This week, I went to do my unit exam and was met with a bunch of signs I had forgotten! I was very upset with myself and decided I need to slow down…again!


If you recall a couple blog post ago, I decided to restart my lessons as I was speeding through them in hopes of getting ahead! I, somehow, reverted back to speeding through the lessons instead of taking my time! I am glad I caught myself because I know I am not learning that way. However, just recognizing and acknowledging my mistake was not enough last time since I continued to make that mistake. So here we go again! I am going to restart my lessons! However, this time around I will not be moving onto the next unit until I have mastered the previous one! This will take some planning, but I’m hoping it will help improve my learning.

The New Game Plan!

Planning for this was hard, but I think it will be worth it! My work schedule is pretty much the same every day so it was easy to plan around it! My hour lunchtime from work is the perfect time to do some studying and practicing! It is a time when I am alone and in a quiet environment! I also discovered it is easier to divide the words into smaller sections rather than trying to learn them all at once! Depending on a number of words each unit is how many I will study and master each day! That way instead of trying to master the lesson in a day or two it is a whole week project. I am planning to master a unit a week! A goal I believe to be very achievable.

This week was a learning lesson about myself as a learner more than about ASL. As much as I tried I was getting frustrated because I could not remember the signs from the previous weeks! I knew frustration would not get me anywhere so I decided to device a new plan to hopefully help me retain the information better!

Day 3 #ds106 Challenge – Write an Alphabet Story

Today’s assignment was to write a story using the alphabet. I used a random word generator to get me started and went from there. It was actually incredibly difficult to try and make sense of the story. I still feel that what I ended up with still makes no sense, but I tried. I also found it hard to find words that relate to my theme for the ending letters but I got there in the end!

My story follows:

Agony was what Jim felt

Because the plane he was aboard had crashed.

Control center stopped receiving alerts from this plane.

Damaged was the right wing

Engine, a tragic mistake made by mechanics.

Failure of the engine caused the pilot to lose control.
Gravity took control.

Hitting the ground at 600 mph,
Injuries were inevitable.

Judging by the wreckage, the first responders assumed there were no survivors.

Knowing how to deal with tragedy is not easy.

Lifeless laid the bodies of many.

Married, Jim was on his way to get married.

Nurses on standby at the local hospital waiting for survivors.

Operating rooms are cleared for emergency surgeries.

Parents eagerly wait to hear any news about their children on the flight.

Questions are asked, how many dead? Alive?

Resources start to run low as

Survivors are transported and treated.

Tired are the doctors who are working endlessly to save lives. Jim felt

Unlucky that his plane crashed when he would be married in a couple days. The

Vows he wrote would be destroyed.

Why is this happening me to me? Jim thought.

X-rays show Jim’s legs and arms were crushed. Jim

Yelled as doctors tried to sedate him.

Zombified were dead airplane passengers. Here starts the zombie apocalypse.

Day One – #ds106 What’s In Your Gullet? Assignment

Today starts my 30-day #ds106 assignment challenge. For my first assignment, I decided to do a photo assignment as it is the simplest and want to ease my way into it. I decided to click the randomize button a couple times and did the last assignment I landed on. My assignment was to take a picture of the last three drinks I had today and write a brief description of my day and why I had those drinks.

Here is my assignment create:

PHOTO CC – By: Angel Vazquez

My day started around 7 am because that was when I was due to show up to work. Before work, I always drink a cup of coffee to wake me up for the day! That cup of coffee is not pictured as it was not in the 3 most recent drinks I had. By the way, starting off your day with a free cup of coffee is always great. Thank you to the kind stranger, I will be sure to pay it forward! Pictured above in the right-hand corner is a bottle of water. I had a bottle of water during my break at work. I am still getting over a cold and have been drinking lots of water! I was by myself when I drank the water since I was just on my break from work.

My next tweet in the front center was a Mexican soda called Sidral. It is an apple drink and I love it! I drank this out of a plastic blue cup as I was having very late lunch at 3 with my mother and two nieces. For lunch, I had a Mexican dish prepared by my mother called Tinga. I went ahead and linked the recipe in case any of you ever want to give it a shot. The food was delicious and it is always nice to have lunch with my family. I also really love Mexican food!

The last drink, pictured in the upper left-hand corner, is a venti iced white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. Yet another coffee drink! I picked this up around 5:30 when I was on my way to pick up my sister from Volleyball practice. This is my favorite and go-to drink from Starbucks and virtually anywhere that sells them. Since I was picking up my sister, I had also bought her a drink. We drank them as we jammed out to music in the car and drove home. Yes! I am an avid coffee drinker, in case you were wondering and No, drinking coffee this late does not keep me awake all night! I must be immune to caffeine at this point!

What is ds106?

ds106 is an online course open to all who choose to participate. When I initially started looking into it I was both confused and intrigued. I had never heard of ds106 before, but it seemed extremely popular and had been going on for quite a while. It combines digital storytelling with the openness for the creator to express themselves however they choose! There are 5 types of creates (audio, video, writing, drawing, photography) that we are required to do for this course, but there are multiple others that are available in the explore website (visual, audio, coding, web, writing, animated gif, design, video, fanfic, 3D printed). You have the option of a random assignment based on the create you choose, or you can do the daily create. There are multiple directions you could take it this activity and multiple ways you can incorporate it into your life and school.

PHOTO CC – By: Daniel Lin

What I find particularly awesome about this website is the ability to choose random assignments based on the create you choose to do. That way, people who are more comfortable taking pictures, rather than writing, have that option. You are also given the freedom to take the assignment in any direction you choose. If your assignment is to photograph your favorite place on earth and create a collage, how do you do that if that place is not immediately accessible?  You get creative! You might find objects that remind you of that place and make a collage, or you might take the easy approach and use previous pictures! it is ultimately up to the creator. I love that ds106 gives creators the creative freedom to explore the multiple aspects of their creative life. I, myself, think I am not very creative, but I know this will push me out of my comfort zone and try new things. I’m excited to get started with the 30-day ds106 challenge. I have enjoyed seeing the creations of others on the website.

I think ds106 is an excellent idea for bellwork activities in class. The majority of them do not take very much time and allow students to start class time with their creative juices flowing. Especially as a future English teacher, I think the writing assignments would be perfect. Students can keep a writing journal where they write down their creation for the daily create. I can even allow them to choose a different create assignment ever so often to whatever they are more comfortable with. This is how I would incorporate ds106 into my classroom to spark creativity.


Inquiry-Based Learning

What is Inquiry-Based Learning?

Inquiry-based learning is where students are in charge of their own learning and are given the opportunity to ask burning questions they’ve always wondered about. However, inquiry-based learning should spark the curiosity of students and allow students the opportunity to ask questions they are interested in exploring further. According to Edutopia’s “What the Heck is Inquiry-based Learning“, inquiry-based learning is important because it allows students to take lead in their education. Students should ask questions they are curious about to ensure full motivation for research.

Here is a video explaining Inquiry-based Learning:

How does Inquiry-Based Learning Look?

A classroom using inquiry-based learning does not look much different than your typical classroom. According to Edutopia’s article “What does a 21st-century classroom look like“,  students should be encouraged to look something up if they become curious, especially in a 1:1 school.  Students are allowed more freedom to do research and discuss. An inquiry-based classroom may be a little noisier than your typical classroom as the students are often discussing and collaborating to get a full sense of the information. In an inquiry-based classroom, students are often seen developing questions to help guide their learning and research. Students are also seen collaborating to bring together their ideas and develop a unique way of showcasing their learning to the rest of the class.

The layout of the classroom is also traditional. However, Kristine Scharaldi, in the article “How to Set the Stage for Inquiry-Based Learning“, discusses bringing in objects related to the material in order to spark the curiosity of students. She also recommends allowing students to bring their own objects to make connections between their learning and their lives. The great use of technology is also discussed and important in an inquiry-based classroom.  Scharaldi’s article most importantly discussed the importance of a safe classroom climate. Every student should feel comfortable enough to ask questions in an inquiry-based classroom. Like I have stated before, the majority of a students time in an inquiry-based classroom is spent asking questions, researching, and discussing. A teacher should help students make connections between all the information.

Here is an example of a classroom using inquiry-based learning:

Why choose Inquiry-Based Learning?

Inquiry-based learning helps students have a sense of control. They are inquiring and researching to find answers for the things they are interested in. Students are in charge of their learning. Inquiry-based learning increases motivation and interest while exploring the passions and talents of students. Some advantages of IBL include high student engagement as they are actively thinking and working and students developing as critical thinkers. However, inquiry-based learning also has disadvantages, which include time constraints and the fear of judgment for incorrect information or outcome.

Inquiry-based learning is a complex teaching strategy that requires effort from both students and teachers. I have found various experts who are actively using and discussing inquiry-based learning. You can follow them here:

Learning in Room 122
Magdalena Front
Tim Bonello
52 Weeks of Guided Inquiry