Make it with Unsplash for FREE

Hello my readers, Black photo iconDuring week #3 of the “#blogging101” course, Michelle W. shared Unsplash; a very great site including lots of FREE images. According to its team, “All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking for any permission.”

I just wanted to share it with you all. The images are of a high resolution taking from so creative angles. One can use it adding his or her touches with the help of photo editors like PicMonkey.

For inspiration, check out this link. You will find lots of creative ideas. Please, enjoy! 🙂

As a teacher, I will download some catchy images with clear messages and use them as a warm-up or an ice-breaking activity with my students. Just to refresh their schemata and bring life into my classes.

Here is an example:

I ask them to look at the images below, and then tell me what comes to their minds answering the questions I provide them.

What is behind the green door?

Retrieved on July 23, 2015

What is this boy waiting for?

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How can you help this family?

I just prepare myself for the next school year! I have to fill my bag with so many creative ideas to reach my students’ expectations. 🙂

Getting a step forward with my brand …

Day Fourteen’s task during the “#blogging101” course is to:
Extend your brand with one of the following: a custom site icon, a custom image widget, or a fan page.

Brand rubber stamp. Part of a series of business concepts.

Retrieved on July 23, 2015

I just want to thank Blogging U. for letting me know about “branding” and how to extend it through a variety of ways. First,  I love the idea of having my own site icon. It is also called Blavatar; a term that combines both Blog and Avatar. This is simply because “It is not just a logo, but it is a guarantee. When readers see something associated with my brand, they know what to expect.”

The instructions to upload this blog icon are so easy-to-follow. To save your time, here is a tutorial created by WordPress.com team. You can do it in a minute if you have your own icon already made.

For me, I spent the whole morning working on that blavatar. After trying out many tools to create icons, I decided to use Microsoft PowerPoint program as it is clean and user-friendly. I just played with the shapes, fonts, colors, …etc. And, I came up with 4 icons. Actually, I need your help to choose the best one for my blog.

Which one

Why letter e …?

Since I talk about my e-dventures as a teacher and other e-things that I learn and share with others, I select the letter ‘e” adding my human touch; I mean my big smile.

Please, vote for the one you like the most:

Thanks for voting and helping me!
🙂

A new e-dventure, not for me …

Day Thirteen’s task of the “#blogging101” course is to:
Pick a blogging event from the Community Event Listings, and participate in the next round.

It isn’t fun anymore! Yes, the title of my blog says, “… nonstop …”, but I frankly got bored. I just love trying new different things and activities to promote my creativity. It is not just blogging! Maybe I come back to reflect on my experiences once or twice a week. This doesn’t mean I don’t like to blog. I just want to take some rest …..

For this task, I checked out the event listings and took some time browsing and reading about the available opportunities. Then, I found something that I didn’t expect.There was an event that suits my students. Actually, it would be a great chance for them to improve their writing skills and get their voices heard. Here is something about it:

Teens tell their storyTitle: Teens Tell Their Story
Event Organizers: Sherinaspeaks
and A Little Daydreamer
When: Starts on July 22nd, 2015
Goal:
“It is a weekly prompts-based project created by two teen bloggers with a goal of creating an online space for teenagers to share their thoughts on issues that affect them.”
For more details, click here.

Last semester, I involved my students in a blogging experience in which they wrote and shared their stories in groups and individually for 2 months. It was a great success, but I made it private so students can feel more secure while posting and commenting to each other. This event is a little bit different as students will write for an authentic open audience. It is not an easy job, I know because this needs a more thorough focus on both content and form.

Let’s see if they can take part in this new e-dventure!
🙂

From another eye …

Day Twelve’s task of the “#blogging101” course is to:
Read six posts written in response to the same prompt, and leave comments on at least two of them.

Image Search was my daily post’s writing prompt that inspired me in the previous assignment. I decided to click around arbitrarily and see how it can take me. Quickly I chose 6 posts based on their catchy titles. How creative those bloggers were! They did the task so beautifully. In this post, I will talk about 3 of them.

leap into the future

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Leap into your Future” was the title of the first post I read. Both the picture and the message were inspiring. In my previous post, I wrote a bout “Tomorrow” and what we can do to get things done. This author posted a similar idea that was about “Future” encouraging the audience to be more focused and disciplined to get the success one wants:

Leap into your future if you want to get anything done, it can take a long time to build bridges to get to the success you want. You have to be very focused and disciplined proceed with perseverance.Take the leap.

Retrieved on July 21, 2015

Retrieved on July 21, 2015

The picture of the second post was so catchy. A lot of doors were there. Paula wrote about the changes we have in our lives. I love her words so much:

I pray for grace to go with this flow of changes, to ride the waves. I feel the urge to lighten my load of things and prepare for movement into the unknown.

So many doors are closing.
I need to believe in other doors opening.

When we lose something that is dear to us, we takes a long time staring at this door although it is closed. We think that it may open again one day, instead of looking around for another door opening and starting a new adventure or finding a new beginning for a new life. Anyway, it is the human nature! Reading through the comments, I also found another inspiring quote shared by another fellow:

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” ― Helen Keller

The last piece of writing that I enjoyed reading came from Sukriti. She googled the word “Life” and got so touching picture that inspired her to write a poem not from her point of view as she said. This can be an invitation to read and reflect!

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Retrieved on July 21, 2015

Speechless! Her words are very expressive and colorful with deep meaning. Actually, she conveys what everyone of us feels when found after lost. I loved how she ends the journey with one’s self:

This is a place I call, elsewhere.
Where I reach every time I close my eyes.
It’s only me. Me and my trusty and quite rusty bench. With my thoughts.
It’s wonderful. 

Completing today’s task, I enjoyed reading about how to leap into my future, searching for opening doors always and never looking behind, and at last sitting with the self and trying to hear and feel by heart.

Blog posts I commented on:

Have you enjoyed reading them, too?
🙂

I’ll GET to it TOMORROW!

Day Eleven’s assignment during the “#blogging101” course is to:
Publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

I spent more than 2 hours “trying another prompt” to find something interesting with open options and enjoyable, too. Again and again, my visual style of learning played a big role while working on this post. The prompt that captured my eyes was:

Image Search:
Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

Have you noticed the amazing coincidence of No. 11? It is the assignment of Day 11 and according to my daily post’s writing prompt, I have to select “Picture No. 11.” I love such things that bring surprise. evoke thinking, and draw smiles on our faces because we just don’t expect them to happen. And this assignment is like a game in which I am going to play with words and pictures. Let’s have fun!

Back to my writing prompt, “Tomorrow” was the first word that came to my  mind. Hitting the search button, I found my eleventh picture so interesting and inspiring.

You know that there are some things that must wait for tomorrow. Maybe they are a little bit big to accomplish in a day or two or even in a month. Maybe it is our big dream that takes years. So always we keep saying, ” …. will get it tomorrow!” But, todo+listtomorrow comes and for many reasons we can’t finish what we promised ourselves to get it done. Have you tried to jot down a to-do-list everyday? Just small things that you have to do by the end of the day. And when you complete something, just check it. This will give you a sense of achievement and will encourage you to do more. For the task you can’t complete in yesterday’s list, TOMORROW is your day to start with.

Just start small and keep going.
Your big dream can’t come true unless you get started and take actions.
😉

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Image Search.”

Have a BLOG featured once a week!

Day Ten’s assignment during the “#blogging101” course is to:
Create a blogroll to share a few links you love.

I created a new link category and called it “Featured Blogs.” I’ll keep sharing one blog a week telling my audience why I chose it. Of course, my readers will be eager to know who will be the next.

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Which One?

My featured blog this week is “Impromptu Promptlings” by Calen Sariel.  Beside the title that’s linked to the blog’s URL, I added an image, and a short description to help my visitors get an idea about what they are going to read.

Why?

  • FeaturedThe author talks about a variety of topics, e.g., creative writing, poetry, fiction, quotes, books, insightful reflections, and more.
  • She is a prolific creative writer. You will notice that she always updates her blog daily more than once.
  • I love her interaction with the audience. One of her techniques to do so is leaving questions at the end of her posts to engage her readers and encourage them to talk about their experiences.
  • Always she responds to others’ comments and queries.
  • She follows her readers and leaves comments on their blogs building a bridge for connection and more discussion.

Let’s visit Calen’s blog and enjoy!
What do you think of this idea?
🙂

“It is the human connection,” said Mrs Pierson

Day Nine’s assignment during the “#blogging101” course is to:
Write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday

Her human touch that I felt when reading her warm, unforgettable post yesterday reminded me with an inspiring video which I watched two years ago about relationships. And, I never stop watching it since then.

Retrieved on July 16, 2015

Retrieved on July 16, 2015

In her TED Talk, Rita Pierson (May 2003) discussed the value of human connection and from the stage she sent a message to the educators to believe in their students and connect with them on a real, human, personal level. One day, one of her colleagues said to her, “They don’t pay me to like the kids. ” She responded, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” Whatever approaches and techniques teachers use to teach their subjects, they can’t succeed unless a relationship is built with students that I believe will last so long. To know more about what passionate teachers can do for their students, please click the picture below and enjoy Pierson’s talk:

Welcome back! To me as a teacher …

By heart I always teach my students not only English, but also how to be human. Apologizing, patting on the back, smiling, asking about their feelings, listening to their problems, telling them how proud I feel when they try and never give up, or even putting smiley faces on their homework are among many things that have a powerful impact on them. Believe me, doing these small things will make a difference in our students’ lives and will make them feel more secure, and self-confident when learning. They will be more positive and optimistic when dealing with challenges in their future careers.

Thank you letterI see the results at the end of each year when my students shower me with many Thank You letters, presents, flowers, or a call that I never expect, in addition to many other things that can be only felt, but not talked about. My students consider me as a good model to follow. They always imitate me; the way I speak, my body language, and even my smile. Simply, it is the human touch!

Resources: