Monthly Archives: November 2013

Catching Fire…Caught the world on FIRE

So Catching Fire the second movie in the Hunger Games franchise raked in a whopping $161 million dollars this weekend.  WOW!!!

I am trilled that a book series turned movie franchise generates this kind of fan base.  So I am even more thrilled when students are emailing me over the weekend and telling me

“Dear Mrs. S

You have to see Catching Fire!  It was wonderful. Please see it this weekend so we can talk about it on Monday.”

or

“Ms. S

This was the best movie ever! So much better than Hunger Games.”

or

“Hi Ms. S

Catching fire was great. And I still think Peeta is cuter.”

These are just some of the emails I received over the weekend.  And even if some of the people who are seeing the movies have never read the book, I’m ok with that…because 9 out of 10 have and that makes me smile.

So to answer the emails…

I will be seeing the movie, just before Thanksgiving. I am waiting until Friday.

I hope it is as good as the first movie because they did a great job with that.

Both Gale and Peeta are cute…but Gale is a tad cuter. Just my opinion.

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Filed under Books, Movie

The Ups and Downs of the Social Media

Teachers have seen how social media can hurt the student body. In fact we are trained on what to look for, how to speak to the students about it, learn about the district and school’s policies for acceptable usage; so I feel we are learning everything we can possibly know.  I know it changes everyday, but we are trying to keep up with it the best we can.  I read an article yesterday, and I wanted to share but was busy so I am sorry I am late to the party with it, but it really seems to sum up nicely how social media is being used.   Yes we are aware of all of the negative issues that social media can bring (cyberbullying being the main issue), but social media is also a way to bring out the positive.  I will not do the article justice so I will just let you decide for yourself.  But basically, social media can provide an outlet for students to express their opinions, reach out and stand up for those who might need a voice or cheerleader, showcase themselves in a positive light.  These are all issues that are highlight the positive aspects of social media.  Just remember, for every cyberbullying case and celebrity butt shot, there is a teenager out there fighting for a cause and supporting those around them.

Please take a look at the article.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/21/living/social-media-positives-teens-parents/index.html?iref=storysearch

 

 

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Filed under PodCasts, Social Networking, Technology, Video

Animated Presentations

Face it, some times the delivery of lessons can be boring.  I know I have seen students drift off from time to time.  And besides from me jumping up and down or dancing around like a lunatic, some lessons just fall flat.   Now if we feel this way, imagine how the students feel.  We know that the more vibrate a presentation is, the more positive reaction you will get from the viewers.  And what is more vibrate than a cartoon?

You heard me right. Cartoon presentations.  PowToon is an online presentation site that allows you to create animated videos and presentations to help you engage your audience in a dynamic way.  The site requires no prior knowledge of animation, and they provide the user with all of the tips and tricks needed to create an expressive, one-of-a -kind presentation.  Once a presentation is created you can export the video to Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. This is a free site, however, you are limited to how much you are capable of creating.  There are options for a monthly payment or a yearly one, that provides you with longer recording time,  more options for character and accessories. I recommend this site to anyone looking to beef up their presentations.

http://www.powtoon.com/

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Filed under Cartoons, Presentation, Technology, Twitter

One Choice Will Define You

So I have finished reading the final installment of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.  And I am taking this moment to give me thoughts.  I am not going to give anything away, or at least I will try not to, but I will give my honest opinion.

index[1] Allegiant was surprising.  Surprising in the fact that though I was able to see where the author was taking our main characters, I was still surprised by the outcome.  It was a well written story (not like some series I have read or should I say tried to read), but it was one that forced me to go back and reread some parts to make sure I read it right.  I understand why the author did what she did, but it doesn’t mean that I am by any means thrilled.  All in all though Ms. Roth developed a cast of characters that faced down their demons and emerged wiser and stronger.  I commend her on creating a world that both teens and adults were able to get lost in.

 

So now, with that being said, here are some other books I am looking forward to reading some have come out, others will be out soon.

9781594746123_p0_v4_s260x420Second book in the series

 

 

 

 

9781250030955_p0_v4_s114x166I have heard a lot of good things about this one

 

 

 

 

9780547813370_p0_v1_s114x166 I read the first three books in this series last year during Hurricane Sandy. Not the best time to read about the world losing power and suffering through nothing being able to get food, water, or communicate with the outside world. Especially since that it what I was experiencing personally.

 

 

9780670012091_p0_v1_s114x166I love her writing

 

 

 

 

9780312642976_p0_v1_s260x420I can’t keep this series on my shelves. My students (and myself) love it.

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Filed under Books, Reading, Reviews

The Beauty of the Graphic Novel

I have stated before that I am a fan of the graphic novel.  I do. I love them. They are so much fun.  I discovered many amazing artists and writers when I worked in publishing but it was when I got to visit the Comic Con in San Diego a few years back that really made me a fan.  They just have that element that novels don’t.  Now I know people are probably saying, “That element is that they have pictures. Duh!”  I know they have pictures, but it was those pictures represent to the narrative of the story that really helps drive my love of the medium.  Don’t get me wrong I love standard novels as well. In fact I am usually at any given time reading three or more at a time.  But how the standard novel relies on describing every detail in order for you to develop the image in your mind, the graphic novel is able to use in beautiful fashion drawings to help convey what they want to story to tell.  And in many times, words just don’t do it justice. A picture can say so much more.

And let me tell you, I can’t keep graphic novels on my shelves.  My students crowd around the shelves and fight over who gets to read what, and why one series is better than the other.  As soon as one comes in, it is immediately finding its way into another student’s hands.  I am thinking I have to order multiple copies of each graphic novel. Even the nonfiction ones.   I highly recommend anyone to take a look graphic novels, they are an interesting way to experience a story.  To help here are some of my favorites:

1) Blankets by Craig Thompson

2) Maus by Art Speigelman

3) Smile by Rania Telgemeir

4) Americus by MK Reed

5) Feynman by Jim Ottaviani

6) Bone series by Jeff Smith

7) Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

8) Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi

9) The Storm in the Barn

10) Y: The Last Man series by Brian Vaughan

11) American Splendor series by Harvey Pekar

12) The Lives of Sacco & Vanzetti by Rick Geary

13) Relish

14) Laika by Nick Abadzis

15) The Imposters Daughter by Laurie Sandell

16) Are you my Mother? and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

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Filed under Books, Cartoons, Graphic Novels, Reading