Weekly Video Updates

Make Cycles

Our course is organized by two week “make cycles,” a term I borrow from Connected Learning. We will read, discuss, and write based on the mentor texts we’re reading. You can find the weekly tasks for each cycle in the drop down menu above.

Google+ Community

We will share most of our work in a Google+ Community. We will upload images, respond to each other’s ideas, and share links and “makes” here. Peter Kittle’s class will be joining us too.

Month: September 2017

Featured Bloggers: Tamara, Grace, Sophie, Elizabeth, and Jake

Featured Bloggers: Tamara, Grace, Sophie, Elizabeth, and Jake

image of Tamara and her familyWhat an exciting couple of weeks we’ve had here in our Google + community! English 333 students really stepped it up a notch and showed us what they are made of! In week one of our second make cycle we read chapter one plus two studies in our book About the Authors, watched a hilarious and inspirational TED talk from Mac Barnett, and then followed them up with one post about our readings, and one post about writing ideas and Barnett’s talk. Some amazing stories were then created by our fellow students.

One of the main ideas in our readings that resonated with me was about how to help instill in a child the ability to read like a writer and to think of themselves as people who make books. While reading chapter one, a passage stuck out to me like no other:

“thinking of themselves as people who make books is the starting point for students learning to read like writers, the most important habit of mind for writing they will develop all year. Reading like a writer means that when you read, you think about more than just what a text is about, its meaning. When you read like a writer, you also notice and think about how a text is written, because you write yourself and you just notice things like that” (Wood Ray)

This passage helped me realize that if we nurture this idea in children at an early age and continue it on throughout their schooling, then we as teachers are likely to help our students grow into readers and writers that do more than just read and write, but analyze and comprehend on a higher level. The text we read were truly exceptional readings.

The next week was filled with such an incredible variety of stories and idea inspiring texts. Reading The Dot, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, really inspired so many students to make some incredible stories of their own! There were so many excellent stories made by my fellow classmates that I found it hard to narrow it down to just three. But I did my best!

I’d like to start off with Caleb Johnson’s “Tap Tap Tap,” a story of Matty, a young blind boy. Though he had stated it was unfinished, I felt as if what he had written was so wonderfully done. He made you feel as if you were walking right next to Matty, understanding his struggles, his insecurities, his hopes.

“Tap Tap Tap, Matthew walked down the street to school. He liked to walk, just to prove he could…Tap Tap Tap, it was a while before he made it to school. Once he was inside he counted the doorways with his hand. One, two, three, four, his classroom was the fifth one on the right, Ms. Chedwick’s Fifth Grade class.”

The story continues as Matty is urged by his favorite teacher to go and try out for the Academic Decathlon. I think deep down, his teacher knew the struggles he must be going through and thought that this opportunity could really help him branch out and get to know others, and himself. The ending was my favorite part. I felt myself smiling and my heart felt so warm as I read the last two sentences, and that’s how I knew Caleb was going to be my first feature: “That night at dinner Matthew’s dad asked him what happened at school that day. ‘I think I made my first friend,’ Matthew said, and he smiled.” You get the sense throughout the entire story and really toward the end, that it must be really hard for this child to make friends. Being different can be really hard on young children when it comes to the friend-department. The way Caleb made his character come to life was amazing. If you haven’t read it yet, go do it! Trust me.

Moving on, I’d like to praise Amanda Greene on her take of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick’s photo “Just Dessert.” She brought to life an incredible precursor to the classic Cinderella fairy tale. I loved how she tied in this tale to her story, which just so happens to be a subject I had just written about in our professor’s other English class! Amanda ends her story with: “She knew this pumpkin would help her do something great one day, but for today she tucked it away in her magical room filled with enchanted objects.” The ending was great, truly great! She left it open for more should she choose to continue writing on it, but as it is, it is such an incredible set up for the carriage scene in Cinderella. Great job, Amanda, really great job!

The last story I chose to highlight was a great little child’s story called “What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?” by Mackenna Gott.

Book titled 'What do I want to be when I Grow up'Made on StoryJumper

It starts out with a teacher asking her students to think that night about what they want to be when they grow up, and when they come to school the next day, to share with the class. Simple, right? Not so much for little Chloe. She spends her night bumbling over ideas of who she will be when she grows up. A policewoman, a sailor, a doctor? Not for her. Maybe a ballerina, or a rockstar, who knows, maybe a knight! Nope, not for her either. She sleeps on it and comes to such a powerful conclusion when her teacher calls on her to share. Chloe says something that I found to be powerful, she tells her teacher, “I am going to be me when I grow up. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be when I grow up. But I know whatever I choose will be right for me.” Boom. Right there. THIS is what it’s all about: empowering children through stories like this. She knows that she could grow up to be any one of these if she puts her mind to it. But right now, that’s not what she is going to do, and that’s okay! Deciding so early on just didn’t seem right to her, but she knows that when she does choose, it will be what SHE wants, not her parents, or her teacher, or her friends, but her. Her choice. I remember finishing Mackenna’s book and with a nod said, “right on!” I love that her story actually had me vocalize my appreciation. I spend most my days tapping at a computer, my nose in a book, with all my thoughts bouncing around silently in my mind. And when something actually moves me to break my silence (silence is so rare for me having three boys), you know it’s good! Absolutely amazing, Mackenna.

Though there were many great makes out there, these were the ones that touched something within me. If you haven’t read their makes, please, I implore you to do so! This was such a great make cycle and I am so honored to have read all of your stories and posts! Great job everyone!

Author Bio: Tamara is a Liberal Studies online major at CSU Chico. She loves kids (obviously, she has three!) and cannot wait to teach them in the elementary level. She went back to school after a seven year break when she started and grew her family and is in her final semester of her Junior year. After graduating from CSU Chico, she will pursue her credential/masters program through CSU Fullerton closer to her home. In her spare time (wait, what’s spare time?) she is a wife, a mother, a student, a soccer and baseball coach, a disney employee, a classroom volunteer, and a budding writer. Her life is busy, but her life is full.


picture of GraceNow that the introductions are out of the way and we have gotten a grasp on the format of this class, this week was about diving into the material. We started this week out by reading the first chapter in our book About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleaveland. Reading this chapter seemed to be enjoyable by all. It’s so exciting and also nerve racking to begin to see what your teaching career will really be like and what you can do to make it successful. This first chapter was primarily about how children begin to write stories, and in what ways. It also gives examples about how a teacher can encourage creativity and what activities support doing so. The class expressed a lot of excitement towards the text and how well written it is. There was also a lot of excitement about becoming teachers and using these strategies in a classroom, but some nerves were also expressed.

Samantha Prosser commented about being a bit intimidated by how well the teacher could identify features of her students writing. She said, “Though I was intimidated by this, I feel that this class will help me to feel more confident in doing close reading in children’s work.”

A lot of students pointed out how even though the sample stories written by children in our textbooks had many spelling errors, they were still able to decipher the meaning of the word. I found it really incredible how even though a child doesn’t always know the exact spelling of a word, they have the confidence to spell it out and give it their best shot. All in all, everyone seemed eager to have this book as our textbook this semester, and excited to find out what Chapter 2 holds.

The next thing that we did was brainstorm our own lists to begin thinking of ideas for stories. We looked over some google slides, and each had a category such as “things you fear” or “things that you love.” We gave ourselves about two minutes and wrote down everything that came to mind under that category. This strategy worked great! Definitely something that would be useful when in a classroom and attempting to get creativity flowing among students. We each shared a couple lists with the class that we felt the most connected to. Among our class, the most popular lists chosen were “Things that are important to me” and “Things everyone should do before they die.” I feel that these being the most popular lists is not surprising because they are both very positive, and are a happy thing to think about. Lists such as “Things I fear” and “Things that annoy me” were less popular, probably due to them being less pleasant things to think about. Alice Mylod-Vargas was a fan of the activity and wrote: “I believe that by doing this type of brainstorming your improving your writing by just letting yourself write whatever comes in mind, even if it sounds like it doesn’t make sense. As you keep adding to your ideas your writing gets better each time.”

We also watched a TED Talk this week by Mac Barnett. Barnett is an author who explains what writing to children means to him and what elements go into good writing. He explains the idea of “ wonder” and how important it is to be whole-heartedly dedicated to a story you are telling and believing every word. This is what gets children excited about stories, and begins to grow their love of writing. He also shares that he wrote a story about a whale, and he continues this story into the real world by creating a telephone line with whale noises on it that children can call. And they do. The class really seemed to love both the list making activity and the TED talk.

We read four stories this week. The first one The Dot, by Peter Reynolds, was about a little girl whose teacher proved to her that she was a good artist, despite her previous beliefs. The next story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Voirst, was about a young boy whose day was just getting worse and worse, and nothing seemed to be going right for him. These two stories were writing from a child’s point of view, making them relatable to children, and also quite humorous. They were very well written and used elements such as repetition to get their point across. We next read a story entitled “Moving Vines” written by Ashley, a 4th grader. This story was quite interesting to read knowing it came from the mind of a elementary school student. Following her train of thought was fascinating and she did a great job of capturing the audience’s attention. And the final piece we looked at was a book called The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, by Chris Van Allsburg. This book was a collection of different pictures all with usual events occurring. They each had one line on the back followed by “…”. This book is an excellent way to prompt creative story writing, and is a book I had many teachers use in my own elementary school experience. Michelle Rodriguez noticed an interesting feature among the stories and wrote: “Some features of these texts that resonated with me was that all the stories started with a small idea and ran with it. The book The Dot is all about a dot; they took a small idea adding a moral and making a whole book on it.” Sophie Tisdale also commented on the structure of these stories, but rather on the repetition of it: “I think this is a good way to work with writing in children’s books because repetition makes the overall message easier to understand.”

Finally this week, we got the chance to write our very own stories! This was such a fun project to have and it was so exciting to get this opportunity after all of the example stories we have read. We could write about anything! We could also use our previously mentioned lists to get ideas. We could also portray our stories in the way of our choice. We could use the Storyjumper website, use a google doc, write the story out, or any other way of our choosing! Our class really succeeded in doing this make. The stories shared this week were so interesting and well written with so much creativity. I personally used my “fear” list and wrote a story entitled “The Worst Nightmare Ever.” Alice Mylod-Vargas wrote a stand out story this week. painting of mother catching a childHer story was inspired by a painting that her grandmother had bought her daughters, and her mother had bought her. She used this family token to write her own story! A line that really stood out was

“Nia took a deep breath in, and looked into her mother’s teary eyes knowing the strong bond they will always have. Then, they embraced in a tight long hug, looking out into the distance at the top of the hill with all the colorful leaves, wondering what their future holds.”

This line had beautiful detail to it, and painted a lovely image that really brought her story to life. Also, you could really see Alice’s passion and dedication to the assignment this week.

Elizabeth Salazar also wrote a beautiful story about her own personal life. She wrote the story “My Bad Baby Brother” and also introduced the class to the Storyjumper website.

Book titled 'My Bad Baby Brother'Made on StoryJumper

This story really stood out because she used a clear structure, had strong sentences, and also created a very relatable story. Her story would appeal to children because if they had little siblings, they would be able to relate to it. All in all, it was a very successful week and we got some great work done!

Author Bio: Grace Taylor is a sophomore and a Liberal Studies major. She is from Santa Cruz, California and has lived in Chico a little over a year. She hopes to one day teach second grade. She speaks Spanish fluently and is on the Chico State Dance Team!


picture of SophieOver the past two weeks, we have accomplished some amazing work as a group. We read and discussed the beginning of the assigned course book, About the Authors: Writing Workshop With Our Youngest Writers, created lists to better our imagination for writing children’s books and read a few additional readings/watched a Ted Talk, which in return helped stir ideas for our own makes at the end of the second week of our “make cycle.”

For me, the class book’s assigned reading was the most powerful and helpful tool from this section. After fully emerging myself into the first chapter, I became even more excited about becoming an elementary school teacher. I think Katie Wood Ray has a very open-ended mind about working with students and helping them learn. This is important to me because I have similar beliefs in allowing children to learn without setting limitations. To make more sense of this, I think we can all recall being taught to write a certain way in grade school. For instance, I was taught the basic five paragraph essay:
– Into
– Body Paragraph #1
– Body Paragraph #2
– Body Paragraph #3
– Conclusion

When in reality, essays can be written in many different forms and still get a message across to the reader in a proficient way. In comparison to Ray’s teachings, I think she is more about giving children the freedom to write in whichever way they believe works. This allows children to grow and form their own opinions and ideas. For me, this was my biggest take-a-way and something that I 100% agree with. (*Note from Dr. Jaxon: Sophie makes such a great point here. For a thoughtful critique of the 5 paragraph essay, I recommend reading Mark Wiley’s “The Popularity of Formulaic Writing (And Why We Need to Resist)“)

In addition to going over how to efficiently allow children to write in a classroom setting, we also had some preparation for our own writing. We did this by creating several lists on different topics like things that are important to us or things that are special to us. We made upwards of about ten to fifteen different lists and chose two to three of our most popular and talked about them a little bit. The lists I chose to share were as follows…

Things I Care About/Things That Are Important To Me:
– My family/friends
– My religion/faith
– My health
– My family/friends health
– My animals
– Coffee
– Children’s education
– My job
– My personal feelings/stability
– Staying active

AND

Things That Are My Favorite:
– Grilled cheese and tomato soup
– Country music
– Going to concerts/events
– Nicholas Sparks books
– Elf (the movie)
– Crisp Lake Tahoe air
– Disneyland
– Being in any given place with my loved ones
– My Nana’s cookies/ice cream cakes
– The sound of crashing waves

The reason I chose these two lists from all the others is because these things are what I am passionate about and things are most important to me. They help make up who I am and give me insight on what I could write about in a children’s story or even a basic writing assignment.

Overall, I think my FAVORITE assignment so far in this course is the children’s books we got to create. Before taking this course, I would have never imagined being able to be creative enough to write a children’s book. However, with the help of each homework assignment and video we watched, I was able to do it and so were YOU, my peers. I was amazed by all the effort and work we put together in these things. I enjoyed each and every single one I read. The two that caught my eye right away were “My Bad Baby Brother” by Elizabeth Salazar (see above in Grace’s reflection) and “Tardy Turtle Finds A Friend” by Shannon Lane.

Book titled 'Tardy Turtle Finds a Friend'Made on StoryJumper

Lane’s short story told a tale of a turtle who felt lonely as can be. He then went out to venture and look for someone to be his friend. He stumbles upon many different animals including a dog, a couple cows, fish, birds, racoons, ducks and even bunnies. However, he still felt like he didn’t fit in with them. After awhile, he started to feel discouraged so he moped home when all the sudden he bumped into another turtle. He found his friend! I enjoyed this book SO much!! I think Lane’s use of vocabulary and imagery would easily relate to children. She used pictures on every page that showed the Turtle’s journey. Personally, I think this really made the story come to life.

On the other hand, Salazar’s children’s book was just as relatable. Her short story tells a cute tale of a young sibling (I am assuming an older brother) who is introduced to his baby brother for the first time. The older sibling is faced with a little jealousy and feeling left behind within the first few days because all he wanted was his parents attention, but they had to take care of the newborn. Soon his feelings of jealousy turned into resentment and wishing he never had a baby brother. He even tried getting his parents to take the baby back to the hospital! However, after the older brother visited with family, he realized that having a younger brother isn’t so bad. He found that since he is older, he will be able to take charge, be a “boss” and show his younger brother what to do while growing up. I loved reading this book because I think it can relate to many children too. I assume being an only child for a few years is awesome! They get ALL their parent’s attention and love. However, I imagine being told that the family is going to have another child would be hard to hear. This book brings out a wonderful and cute lesson to families who are adding on another kid and would be good to read to those kiddos who are soon to be big siblings. In all, I really enjoyed reading through everyone’s stories – they were AWESOME!! I am so excited to see what the rest of the semester will bring.

Author Bio: Sophie Tisdale is a brand new student to CSU, Chico. She started her first two years of school at a community college in her hometown near Sacramento, California. Her goal is to graduate from Chico State with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies to become an elementary school teacher.


picture of ElizabethThe purpose of this recent two week make cycle was to learn all about storytelling. We began by reading chapter 1 from About the Authors, “Writing Workshop: A Happy Place Where We Make Stuff” (p. 1-22). After reading chapter 1 and the A and B units of study, I have gained a better understanding of the writing process especially for young students. The writing workshop is an activity that a teacher does in her classroom. She gives her students blank stapled paper that resembles a book. She then asks the children to write stories. Sure there are a lot of spelling errors and missing punctuations, but there stories were all incredible.

Along with the textbook reading we also had mentor texts to read. They were really helpful in making that connection to storytelling. The mentor texts included were: The Dot, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. All of these stories can resonate with any reader. I loved how the stories were all from a child’s perspective. The authors all had their own style but they had a lot of similarities such as: positive/negative attitudes, children’s point of view, and repetition. If you are a future teacher, I highly recommend any of these stories for read alouds.

Lastly, for this week’s make cycle Professor Jaxon gave all of us freedom to write a story about whatever we wanted to. She assisted us with the writing process by having us fill out lists that she provided such as things to do before you die or things that scare you. There was also few restrictions on how we shared our stories. My classmates created some incredible stories. Many which were inspired from the mentor texts and personal experiences. It was difficult to narrow it down to a few because they were all so great.

The first story is, “My Good Day,” by Ismael Munoz. This story is about an adorable little boy that despite all of the negative things that occur throughout the day, he choses to focus on the positive. Ismael stated that he was inspired by Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I did notice he used repetition as well as having a child’s point of view. The issues that arose through the character’s day are definitely relatable for any child. He did a great job writing his story.

The next story I’d like to highlight is, “Talbot the Terrible Troll,” by Kaia Enstrom. In Kaia’s story the character is a mean troll that refuses to be nice. I loved the story and the use of alliteration. Just as the book, The Dot, Kaia decided to end her story with a happy ending. I also liked how she was inspired from her own heritage to write this unique story.

This was a fun and engaging make cycle! I really enjoyed learning all about storytelling. It has really opened my mind to the writing process and how I will go about teaching it to my future students. I will remember to strive for progress and not perfection. I will also remember that writing should be fun and I should not limit the writing topics but instead give my future students free choice: they might just be the next J.K. Rowling!

Author Bio: Elizabeth Salazar is happily married with two amazing boys. She resides in Yuba City where she was born and raised. She’s a Liberal Arts major and hopes to become a primary grade teacher. She currently works for an after school program as a para educator.


picture of JakeI thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Make 2 Cycle, as well as having the opportunity to read over the Makes of my fellow classmates. One of my favorite aspects was they way people drew inspiration for their stories. Some used personal experiences, while others used images to build a creative tale. It can be difficult writing out a story and even a little nerve-wracking.  I think the course material provided for the Make 2 Cycle such as, Mac Barnett’s TED Talk, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, The Dot, and the images of Harris Burdock helped to get people to produce some very creative posts. There were so many awesome stories that I got to read over, and here are a few that I wanted to share:

The first is by Leslie Franco

SO much to hate

I hate Monday’s and the sounding alarm that jerks you awake from sunny, sheep, filled pastured dreams.

I hate traffic, when someone with a busier and much more fulfilled life than yours, needs to cut you off or run you off the road to get to their busier, more fulfilled life, two minutes earlier.

I hate not having 5 minutes alone with the bitter sweet smell of coffee and croissants.

I hate stubbing my toes and chipping last night’s perfectly done pedicure. Now having to walk with a throbbing fat pinkie toe.

I hate making sure my husband packed his lunch, then forgetting my own lunch, only to decay on the counter for the next 12 hours.

I hate showing up 5 minutes early only to see the meeting was cancelled and now you have 2 hours free, 2 hours away from your coffee, 2 hours away from your fluffy bed, and 2 hours without snacks.

I hate how the browser only has article after article of traumatizing news on their headlines.

I hate how when you don’t try to look decent you run into an old classmate.

I hate being unprepared and I hate preparing. I hate how all that I hate is in the morning. I hate that I hate, hate.

I love cool crisp mornings and my husbands “quiet” giant feet puttering around the house trying not to wake me.

I love calling my family and hearing their voices in the morning. I love eating last night’s dinner for breakfast and a croissant on the go.

I love getting a coffee for brunch and sitting under the trees, reading my new favorite fixer upper book.

I love seeing that the dollar is up just in time for our trip to Italy.

I love seeing the amount of volunteer work that gathered to help fellow Americans in the news article.

I love messaging my friends about the hilarious conversations we had over our pedicure date last night.

I love seeing a familiar face that reminds me of simpler times.

I love the smell of flowers as you pass them, the surprise of raindrops, and the laughter of strangers on their way to school.

I love receiving a thank you note

I love receiving a smile on the awkward elevator ride

I love when I realize there is so much more to be happy and grateful for than there is to hate.

I love when I don’t hate on hate so much.

When I first started reading this story, I thought it would be heading along the same lines as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  It had some very relatable and detailed descriptions of those “not so great moments” that we all face throughout the week at one point or another. As I continued reading, the story took a positive turn and referenced all the lovable moments in life. This brought a nice sense of balance to the poem. Something that stood out to me was how the author used some of the same topics in the poem with different emotional filters. For example: “I hate stubbing my toes and chipping last night’s perfectly done pedicure. Now having to walk with a throbbing fat pinkie toe” and “I love messaging my friends about the hilarious conversations we had over our pedicure date last night.” The pedicure is the common ground, but can be put under different emotional lenses.

Another story that caught my attention was:

“Another Place, Another Time” by Kristine Cowan

image of Harris Burdick bookFour children, all hurting from the effects of WWII, fathers gone to war, mothers constantly working. They all wondered why the world had to go through this, why it had to ruin their lives. The children just wanted to escape from life, with no other outlet, they turned to the power of their imagination.

“ Where should we go next?” asked Christopher.

“How about Europe?” suggested Lily.

So off they went, to Europe in their make-believe land, escaping the cruel world of reality. When all four children were done playing in their imaginary land, they discovered something quite strange, they were unable to return to reality. They were actually stuck in their imagination, with no way of escaping. Christopher, Lily, Joseph, and Drew, were completely puzzled and were starting to worry about how they were ever going to return home. They searched high and low for some sort of portal or way out, but they found nothing. The four children decided to split up into groups and search, Christopher and Lily were to go north, and Joseph and Drew to go south.

The children searched for hours, when finally, someone made a discovery.

“I think I found something!” Joseph exclaimed.

Drew ran over to Joseph and discovered him standing in front of a small cart with a sail, set up on a sort of train track going over a lake.

“Lily! Christopher! Come here, we found something!” Yelled Drew.

Christopher and Lily came running down the path.

“What is it?” Asked Lily.

“I’m not sure, but I believe it may take us where we need to go” Joseph said.

So off the four children went, riding down the track. If there was an answer, they would find it there.

I think that this story is a great example of how Harris Burdick’s pictures work to inspire creativity and help develop a narrative.  It is difficult to look at any of those photos and not have your mind automatically start trying to construct some kind of story or explanation as to the origin of the contents of the image. Sometimes creating a story out of thin air seems like a daunting task, because it can be difficult to find where to start and what to write about. Kristine used the picture “Another Place, Another Time” as a great jumping off point and was able to expand from there. Using the image as inspiration, lead to a nice expression of creativity. The use of dialogue was a nice choice because it made you feel more connected with the characters and their plight of being stuck in their own imaginations. The cliffhanger ending of the story gives off the same type of mystery that the image does.

Author Bio:  Jake Muck is the oldest of four siblings and a transfer student from Southern California. He is majoring in Liberal Arts and works as a manager for Vans at the Chico Mall. He has one year and a semester left at Chico State.  He is not entirely sure what he plans to do after graduation, but most signs are pointing towards joining the Airforce.

Weeks 5 & 6 Update

Weeks 5 & 6 Update

Howdy everyone,

Yay storytelling! Nice work people! Make sure you included a description of your process and why you made certain choices in your text in your post. I look forward to reading them all on Monday. The ones I have looked at are awesome. Writing stories is hard!

Make Cycle 3: Engaging Expositions is now up on our site. You can find the link here and from the “Make Cycles” drop down menu. (Make Cycle 1 has now been archived to the Make Cycle page).

As I mentioned yesterday, we’re reading chapters 2 & 3 and appendix C & D for next week. Then, moving to expository writing mentor texts and makes.

Featured blogs should be up by Tuesday highlighting your stories!

Thanks everyone for your efforts!

Kim

Week 4 Update

Week 4 Update

Oh my gosh: I loved loved loved reading your insights into the About the Authors chapter and the 1st grader’s writing! Sounds like you are enjoying the book as much as I do and your responses were so good! Seriously. So good.  Grade update was sent today (Monday, 9/11).

One thing that was interesting if you read through all of your posts is how many of you noticed spelling on first glance at Josh’s Mammoth story. Some of you talked about the impulse to correct all the spelling and how you realized that may not be the most helpful approach. I really appreciate how much you are all puzzling over that challenges of writing with little kids and noticing the interesting thinking they are doing. Josh is doing such interesting work with spelling and clearly is starting to understand that words are made up of patterns. You might find this article helpful for thinking about spelling specifically: we really do gain understanding over time. If the first thing a child sees on her writing is lots of corrections and red pen marks, she’ll stop writing so much. It’s all about picking the things to correct and knowing that over time you’ll see growth. But they must be writing for you to see growth, so the amount is important. It’s also about knowing which things to address in a mini-lesson with the whole class and which things to address with an individual student.

I decided I didn’t need a new video this week since I talked in last week’s video about the two week Make 2 Cycle.

Up next: you’re reading mentor texts this week (The Dot, Alexander…, and Harris Burdick/”Moving Vines”) and thinking about their structures you might borrow for your stories. And writing stories! I gave some ideas in last week’s video.

Our featured curators for this cycle are Tamara, Elizabeth, Grace, Sophie, and Jake. They’ll be reading through our work and highlighting our cool ideas and stories (I sent you five an email yesterday with some info). If you have not yet read the featured blogs from last week, you should. Many of you were highlighted! Thanks again to Alice, Jessica, Rafael, Caleb, and Bailey!

Thanks everyone. This is a great group of humans in this class. Appreciate your work.

Featured Bloggers: Alice, Bailey, Rafael, Jessica, and Caleb

Featured Bloggers: Alice, Bailey, Rafael, Jessica, and Caleb

As I mentioned in this week’s video update, we are starting to introduce our “featured curators.” At the end of each two week Make Cycle, a handful of students will highlight and feature the amazing work of their peers. These bloggers will also summarize for us the ideas we have been working with in the course and our “take aways” for that particular Make Cycle. Generous thanks to Alice, Bailey, Rafael, Jessica, and Caleb who agreed to go first! So grateful for the work they did in reviewing all our makes! Enjoy their write ups below and thank you to everyone for providing such great makes and insights for the curators to work with.


I felt that this first Make Cycle went very well. We started off the week by introducing ourselves to our class in order to start to familiarize ourselves with one another. Along with this, we wrote about writing and what exactly we feel counts as writing. This gave us a more broad perspective on the many different things writing can count as.

By Friday of the first week, we read and responded to three different texts. The first text was a children’s book by Kobi Yamada called What Do You Do With An Idea? This was a story about a young boy who at first pushes his ideas away, but later begins to accept them and positively impacts others with his idea. The second text was an article by Andrea Lunsford called “Our Semi-Literate Youth? Not So Fast.” Lunsford explains in her article how this generation is able to use technology with social media in a positive way. The youth have developed a series of tools and are able to adapt and talk to their audience in the appropriate way. The third text was a TED talk by John McWhorter called “Txtng is Killing Language. JK!!” In this TED talk, McWhorter pushes the idea that texting has made youth able to talk to people with ease, or be formal when the time is right. He mentions the fact that the older generations were very formal, lacking the ease of talking that youth have mastered. These texts were all very similar because they made the reader acknowledge a different perspective that most had not taken into consideration. All my classmates had very detailed and well thought out responses. When reading over them, I found Sophie Tisdale’s points very interesting. She talked about how texting does not damage our ability to write formally because texting and writing are two different things. Then when talking about McWhorter’s TED talk she mentions how these “little screens” aren’t ruining us. She mentions the point McWhorter made, which was that each generation has used a different form of communication, and for us it is through our phones. I found both these points very insightful.

Week two, our first assignment was to look at three different forms of writing and find which lines we liked and why. Along with this, we noticed what style of writing and structure is used and the impact it makes in the text. The first text we looked at was the children’s book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. This short story was about a little mouse who went to school and was continually teased for her long name, Chrysanthemum. She didn’t like her name because kids teased her, but in the end her teacher reveals that her name is long too and all the kids want a long name. In the end, Chrysanthemum is proud of and loves her name more than anything. The second text we read was the poem “A girl named Jack” by Jacqueline Woodson. This poem was about two parents who disagree on what to name their child. In the end they come to a sort of compromise but mainly the wife had control of the child being named Jaqueline. The third text was “second daughter’s second day” also by Jacqueline Woodson, a poem about the injustices African Americans are faced with. The girl narrating explains all the powerful people who have stood up to these injustices and explains how she does not know exactly what the future holds for her and only time will tell. All three texts used italicized words in order to make certain parts stand out to the reader. This was a very subtle and powerful technique that made a big difference in their writing. Along with this, Jacqueline Woodson placed spaces in between lines as a way to change the subject or make certain lines stand out which was very powerful. I enjoyed reading Rafael Sevilla’s post when he read “second daughter’s second day.” He explains how the author was “capable of painting a picture using history to describe their personal history.” This made a big impact on the poem because people are able to relate given the background story.

Our last assignment of Make One was creating a poem or telling our story through Little Bird Tales. We were given the choice to write about our birth, our name, or our story in general. When reading through these posts, it was very exciting to see everyone write so passionately about who they are. Each took this assignment on a little differently and I loved all the outcomes. I enjoyed reading Grace Taylor’s poem. Here is an excerpt:

Augusts!
Mother said with pride.
Augusta if she’s a girl.
A name that enlists strength,
and power when it is called.

Grace?
Father threw out, hoping for the best.
Beautiful, mother exclaimed!
Simply beautiful.

She wrote about her name and the process her parents went through in naming their child. She included rhyming in some of her lines and then switched to short phrases that were very impactful. She ended with: “Or perhaps she would be where she is today. Perhaps our names don’t shape us at all. Or perhaps they are our destiny. Perhaps, they mean nothing at all.” This was a very thought provoking ending that left the reader thinking about the meaning of names. Grace did a nice job of incorporating the mentor text, Chrysanthemum, into her make.

Overall, Make Cycle 1 went very well and I am excited to see what is to come in the following weeks!

Author Bio: Alice Mylod Vargas is from the Bay Area but came to Chico to attend Chico State University last year in 2016. She loves and is passionate about working with children so she is planning on getting her bachelor’s degree Liberal Studies to become an elementary school teacher.


The articles and videos from these past two weeks have been both interesting and different from each other. Week one was focused on language and the different ways language can be used and changed. In the Ted talk we watched from John McWhorter, he states that a whole new language has developed out of texting. The articles from week one was about the differences in writing. The way people text and talk are similar, while the way people write is different, more professional and polished. How people write emails, essays, in their journals, on social media, and texts are all different.

Week two was focused on names and who people are so our class could get to know each other. In the book Chrysanthemum, one of our “mentor texts,” Chrysanthemum’s name is repeated over and over throughout the story. She loves her name, thinks it’s perfect, until the kids at her school make fun of her, making her hate it. In the end of the book her music teacher praises Chrysanthemum’s name and then she thinks it’s perfect again. In the poem, “A girl named Jack,” the mom and dad are at the hospital trying to think of a name for their baby girl. The father suggests Jack; with the name Jack, she will have to grow up strong and people will “look at her twice.” He says that the name was good enough for him, so why not for her? The poem, “second daughter’s second day” is all about how one individual can make a difference. Woodson writes about the many people who made a difference in the African American community. The author doesn’t know what person she will be like or how she’ll make a difference, but she knows that she will.

Week two also focused on literary devices. The book used repetition, and both poems used different sentence structures and formats to enhance what they were trying to say. Imagery and italics were also used to get the point across. I liked that for both weeks it was clear what the basic themes was, the videos and reading materials flowed together very well.

All the makes from my peers were so unique and interesting to read, I picked a few favorites below and provided some excerpts:

She was born into the world with curiosity

Grew up with a big
heart in a small city.

Little by little
she learned about the world’s trouble

Yet she remained
humbled and focused

So nothing could
burst her bubble.

By: Mayte Rendon

I chose this poem because of the use of rhyming, stanzas and personality. I loved everything about the first stanza, the line “born into the world with curiosity” really stood out to me. 

This poem by Heidi Vargas was also lovely:

I am from the sways of tall needles,

and the glistening
flows of clarity.

I am from hundred-year-old creaking boards,

and a room filled
with embers and flushed cheeks.

I am from dark iron releasing sizzles of sunrise,

and stuffed oak
peeking through old cracks.

I am from worn out knees and dusty shoes,

from winding trails
and tucked away lava.

I am from brown leather with funny faces

holding white
squares of cotton.

I am from happiness of a faraway place

now left untouched.

I chose this poem for the repetition and amazing imagery. Every line omits an image in your head, which really helps to imagine the place that is being described. 

And another:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Five-Years-Old

“A doctor!

A vet!

Maybe I’ll even fly a jet!!”

“I’ll cook, I’ll clean, I’ll do everything!

I can BE anything!!”

Nine-Years-Old

“An artist! A movie star! A singer!

Something famous.

I think THAT job would be quite outrageous.”

“Cheering fans, wonderful crowds.

That job would really make me wow!”

Fifteen-Years-Old

“What am I good at?

What are my qualities and traits?

There must be something,

my Mom and Dad tell me I’m great.”

“I’m not quite sure what I like

Or what i’ll be

But someday I will see.”

Twenty-Years-Old

“An elementary school teacher, of course!

That’s all I want to do in the work force.”

“I’ll guide thoughts

Share an abundance of laughs

and lead youth into something that lasts.”

“I’ll start each day with a smile on my face

Happily greeting eager learners

Knowing this is my joyful place.”

By: Sophie Tisdale

This poem was so much fun to read. You can easily imagine children at those ages saying those exact things. I loved the rhyming, which added to the playful tone. I like the format of this poem as well. I think the mentor text that inspired this poem was “A girl named Jack”; the format is similar but everything else from the poem is uniquely hers.  

Finally,

Jack of All Trades

I am a Jack of All
Trades

I am a little good
at everything

Like Running,
Jogging, Bike Riding

I am not too
bright, but I’m not a dunce

I can keep up and I
got an A+ once

I’ve been in shows,
and on the Track team

But never got more
than second place or the spot right next to the spotlight beam

I tried being in
ASB though I didn’t like it

I joined a club
once, just to try it.

I’ve ridden on
horses, and milked a cow

And I can sing
though I don’t know how.

I’ve gone up on
stage to give a warm up speech

And tried climbing
to places just a little far beyond my reach

I’ve gone boating,
swimming and diving

I might not be
great at anything but that doesn’t stop me from trying

I can tell some
jokes and I know one riddle

Why even my memoirs
would be called “Life in the Middle”

I’ve gone skiing
though it broke my arm

And people say I
have a moderate amount of charm

I played piano
once, though I wasn’t very good

And I made five
dollars selling lemonade in my neighborhood

I played baseball
and hit the ball as hard as I could

But it went foul
and it was no good

I’m not very good
at anything, but I’ve sure tried a lot

No matter how you
feel it’s always worth a shot

I’m perfectly
content the way I am you see

Because the best
person I can be, is me

By: Caleb Johnson

I loved that this poem had humor in it. I also loved that the rhymes were from start to finish. I enjoyed the imagery in this poem as well: I could imagine almost every line. 

Author Bio: Bailey Nicole Pickard is in her third year of college, and her first year at CSU, Chico as a transfer student. She looks forward to becoming a special education teacher or a kindergarten teacher, or perhaps both.


It is amazing to see so many students and the work(s) they produced and how they shape their makes. Whether it was made using Little Bird Tales or following a format taken from our mentor texts, or even just something different that came together for them, a lot of the works I read told stories, each with their own individual style. Personally, it is really cool seeing people post on a community and see their creativity and their interpretation of the assignment come to life. This is what I find most interesting: the sharing of ideas between all of us, without any regard or worry for what is written, then sharing in our community. When I wrote my Make, I aimed for the people who took time to read it to find something that stood out to them right away. The style was my own personal take on what I wanted the rest of our Google + community to know and embrace as they read my bars. As I read through the rest of my colleagues Makes, I started to embrace what they had posted, along with any pictures or audio that came along with it. The storytelling begins to take great shape, and this is only Make Cycle 1! I was really impressed by the works posted and a few of those I will highlight below.

Kristen? Kristina? Christine?
No one ever seemed to get it right

But I didn’t mind, I loved my name
Kristine Elizabeth

My dad was set on Kristine with a “K”
“So we’ll have the same initials!” he thought

And Elizabeth after my mom’s best friend
The perfect combination of names I had

Reminding me that I had a piece of my parents with me forever
Always grateful for the name they chose

The simplest form sometimes comes out the best. Kristine Cowan’s reflection on how she came to write her poem is great. She had never really written poetry before and started to write down lines that rhymed in an effort to tell us the story of her name and in her words “failed miserably.” Before long she realized keeping it simple and dropping the rhyming effort would be better for her. Her simple lines tell us how and why her name is important to her and how she will always have a piece of both her parents with her forever. Her “miserable failure” becomes her poem that makes you feel the love she has for her name and the greater love she has for her parents. 

But Won’t They Need Socialization?

Dance Classes, Baseball Practices, Tumbling Class, History Co-op, Enrichment Academy, Youth Group, Sunday School, Minecraft Hangouts, Season Passes to Disneyland, Stem Academy, Ecology Field Trips…I think they’ll be fine

But Won’t They Need a Credentialed Teacher?

Dad with a Bachelor’s in Science, Aunt Julie with a Master’s in Math, Grandpa Carl with all the mechanic’s knowledge, Granddad with a Master’s in Music AND Theology, Nana with a Master’s in Education, and a mom with a love of learning and an even fiercer love of the students…I think they’ll be fine

But Won’t They Miss Out?

Bullying, Foul Language, School Shootings, Drugs, Peer Pressure, Generic Learning, Overworked and Underpaid Teachers, Cafeteria Food, Rigid Schedules…I think they’ll be fine

But Won’t You Get Sick of Them?

Yes, Totally, Absolutely, Completely, Entirely, Unashamedly…I think I’ll be fine

Stacie Beadel’s technique of repetition is used so well in her poem about her family and the children being homeschooled. The facts she presents her work in a very pro vs. con style makes for an interesting read. I can tell that she is very passionate about her beliefs but is also open to a dialogue about the opposite of her beliefs and stands her ground on them. I can feel her children and their schooling are important to her and her family. The entire family is a blend of public education and her style–unapologetic, real, totally awesome–and I think I’ll be fine with that. I chose her work because it grabbed me right from the initial read and kept me long after I stopped reading it, thinking about the way she educates her children.

1994 a bright blue eyed baby girl was born
That baby girl was me, Sam

I was that little girl who grew up a tomboy
I was that little girl who grew up wanting to be just like my big brother

I grew up in a sports centered house
We played every sport you could think of, we were never inside

I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone, good and bad
I grew up living for those Friday night lights, Husky Pride

2012 I walked across that stage
I left my small town high school and went off to fullfill my dream of playing college ball

As I grew older I learned that there was more to life than just sports
I learned that I had a new dream

As I grow older I work everyday to achieve my new dream
My new dream is to one day make a positive change in the lives of children

I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone, good and bad.” This line is everything to me because I too grew up in a small town. I love the style Samantha Prosser uses in telling us about where she was born and where she is from and what it all means to her. I can relate growing up in a small town. It is almost like growing up in your own bubble and you either get out or you don’t. That’s where this piece captures me as a reader. She left to chase her dreams of playing softball and while she was away from that little bubble where “everyone knows everyone, good or bad” she decided her dream wasn’t what she wanted. That small town will judge you in whatever you do, so she had the pressure from there and decided her dream was to make a difference in a child’s life. Sometimes life is not what you pictured it would be and Samantha’s piece showed me that was her reality and all of our reality, and sometimes that is very much okay.

Not Knowing Is Hard

Not knowing is hard
Being born to young parents
A child knows no better

Moving around the city in the Bay Area
Seeing my mom alone
Not knowing is hard

What will happen?
Will I still be in the same school?
Will I have my same friends?
Not knowing is hard

Mom has a new beau
Falling in love with someone new
I’m only 5 years old
I have no clue
Sorrow has turned to joy
Joy has turned into a new Dad
What will the future bring?
Not knowing is hard

Moving from the Bay Area to
Northern California
How could they?
Why would they?
Not knowing is hard

Realizing a life here is good
New school, new friends
Maybe it’s not so bad after all

A little brother to play with
Our family seems complete
Will it stay like this forever?
Not knowing is hard

Mom and Dad divorcing
8 years have gone by
What did we do wrong?
Not knowing is hard

Living separately, but still seeing Dad
Feeling guilty, but still felt the love
Why is it so hard then?

Getting into trouble
Failures and struggles along the way
Everyone gave up on me
Why? I did not know any better
I grew up not expecting much
What was I to do?

Discovered I make my own future
New outlook on life
So, I always say
No matter what happens
Good or Bad
Be true to yourself
Go for your goals
Dream big dreams
Follow through

But still……I always think about
Will it work?
Will I succeed?
What if I make mistakes?
What if I fail?

And the beautiful thing
Is not knowing
And…..not knowing is hard

Sometimes you read something and all you can think about is walking a mile in that person’s shoes. Jessica Maldonado’s “Not Knowing Is Hard” piece is so vivid and descriptive but written in short stanzas. She takes us on a journey and keeps us captivated by the constant uncertainty in her life. It makes me really think about just how much harder some people have had it and how much they have done to get past those hard times. I could feel her emotion in her writing, something that is not easy to do, but I could feel it through the entire poem. Her hopes, her fears, her not knowing is evident and makes for an amazing piece of writing.

For being the first week, it was really nice to read a lot of different works from people from all walks of life. I feel like being in an open community on Google+ makes for a much better interaction between all of us as the semester goes on. Reading through everyone’s introduction posts, all the way to our first makes, let’s me know a little bit more about each and every one of the people in this class. You cannot beat human interaction: I believe it makes us better people and in turn will make us better educators. I look forward to continuing to see how everyone’s work turns out and progresses throughout the rest of the semester. I wish I could post something about everyone’s work, but I always get too wordy. Our class so far has put out great work, so keep up the great work!

Author Bio: Rafael Sevilla is a father of two amazing girls Aaliyah Renee and Sophia Raquel, and a future husband to his fiancé Sarah. He is currently finishing up his Bachelor in Social Science and begins his credentialing at Fresno State in Spring 2018. He will become a future educator in history and looks to change lives.


The first make I chose to highlight this week is from Jessica Gregor.  She made her make from the Little Bird Tales website, and did a fantastic job.  

Her tale was about how she came into this world.  With her mother being 8 months pregnant, she reads with enthusiasm about how her mother goes with her Aunt to Vegas for a final “hurrah” before the baby comes.  While in Vegas at the craps table, she goes into labor, the Aunt calls her Dad, and hours later Jessica is born.  The story seems simple enough, but the illustrations used really flow with the story.  Jessica did an amazing job using the Little Bird Tales website.  She read her story as if reading it to a group of small children and even made noises to bring it more to life, like when the phone rang she read “Ring, ring! Ring, ring.”  This was a perfect example of how a Little Bird Tale should be created in terms of introducing yourself to others.  Looking back on the last few weeks of the work we have done in class, I’d say that Jessica Gregor was able to use the mentor texts we had gone over and was able to utilize them into her own make.  For instance, the mentor text Chrysanthemum that we listened to had a soft, calming tone of voice where it was more inviting to listen to. Jessica had this same tone of voice used in her make, and the simplicity of it made it very understandable for any age.

Another exemplary make I would like to highlight is from Rafael Sevilla (one of our featured bloggers this week: see above). He chose to write a poem about his father who had passed two years ago.  It simply was amazing and brought tears to my eyes, as I just lost my own father a few months ago.  One of my favorite parts of Rafael’s poem is when he says: “It’s been almost two years since he passed. And I haven’t lost my mind without him. it’s a miracle. I get really sad thinking about my Dad. Thinking about all the memories and the best friend I ever had.” You can almost feel the deep connection that he felt with his father through his words.  It’s hard enough to lose somebody, but harder when it is someone that has such a deep connection like this when you don’t know how to move on or how to let go.  I commend Rafael on choosing to share such an intimate part of his life.  I feel that Rafael’s make comes from our mentor text “second daughter’s second day” because even though he writes about a sad tragedy that has happened in his life, it is also filled with hope and determination that he has “large shoes to fill.”  Just like in the mentor text, they were talking about the “what ifs?” and the “what will happen when….” this little girl who is only two days old will either grow up in an integrated world or a fight of segregation that will continue to be fought on. We never know what is going to happen; all we can do is do it and see the outcome.

The last make I would like to highlight is from Lisa Valdez.  She chose to do her make as a poem, and even though it is pretty long, it makes for a very interesting story of her growing up, her relationships, her children, and wanting to have the farm life.  Lisa did a lovely job with rhyming in such a long poem, that it must have taken a long time to work on.  I love that she basically goes through her whole life up until now, and she does it in such small, short sentences.  The one thing I loved about this poem is that you can actually picture everything while you are reading it.  One of my favorite stanzas that she writes :

She raised her kids and went to school
She thought nursing would be cool.
A working woman she would be
To help support her family.
For twenty years that’s what she did
Until her marriage hit the skids.
She and the kids moved far away.

She really takes a lot of her years and crams it down into a few words, which I think is amazing.  Her poem reminds me of our mentor text “A girl named Jack” because it is so detailed in such few words. In the mentor text, I could picture the mother and father arguing about what to name their baby girl, just as I could picture everything about Lisa’s poem.

Overall, I thought everyone put a lot of thought into their makes and I had a wonderful time going through them all. The ones I chose to write about really touched my heart, and in some way, I felt a connection to them.  I look forward to seeing what other projects and makes our classroom has to offer because there is a lot of talent here.

Author Bio: Jessica Maldonado currently works for Tehama County Department of Education as a preschool special needs assistant.  She transferred from Shasta College into her junior year at Chico State University.  She is working towards a multiple subject credential and would also like to obtain a special education credential as well.  She has been married for 15 years and has four daughters.  In her spare time she loves spending time with family, going to the movies, reading, and shopping with her girls.


It is always fascinating being a third party observer to someone’s thought process. Whether they think of things in a rigid technique and execution way, or they think in a more flowing and emotional manner. This week I observed people analyze our texts from both poles, neither one being correct in their means of analyzing, but simply thinking about it in a different way. That’s why I decided to celebrate the work done by Jake Muck and Tamara Ligon. In response to our mentor texts–Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes, “A girl named Jack” and “second daughter’s second day” from Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming— Jake dove into the technique of the pieces while Tamara made the stories her own by responding to the text using her personal experiences.

Jake’s analyses looks at the “rich vocabulary,” the use of repetition in the pieces, and how reading them felt. I especially liked how he pointed out the continued use of metaphor in the book Chrysanthemum in which the kids at school jeer at Chrysanthemum because she is named after a flower; instead of saying Chrysanthemum shrank into herself, the author chose to say Chrysanthemum wilted. This continues the metaphor that she is named after a flower, yes, but additionally it affirms that if you let bullies get to you, you will become what they say you are. A very important point to make. It was an aspect that I did not catch earlier until Jake pointed it out.

On the other side of the coin, Tamara pointed out that all the texts have to do with childhood identity. Noting that she had hated her name and had struggled with her identity in her past. Tamara goes through each piece writing on what resonated with her, and I especially enjoyed reading her analysis of “A girl named Jack.” She looked at the text from both the mother and father’s view on naming their daughter Jack.

All three of these texts have to do with a child’s identity, be it in a name, where they are from, or what they look like. In Chrysanthemum we see the little girl struggle with connecting and owning her name and ultimately who she is. A struggle I can relate to. I hated my name. Tamara, then Tammy, no one else had that name. Why couldn’t I be like the other girls with the names Amy, Stephanie, or Robyn? Why Tammy? It always seemed like everyone said it wrong or thought I said Jamie. For a while I wouldn’t even correct them, because I was sick of doing so, so I let strangers think my name was whatever they thought they had heard come out of my mouth. Here in this book she gets picked on at school for having a unique name, “she’s named after a flower!…lets pick her…let’s smell her.” Everyday a he comes home from school upset, wishing she had a different name. But her parents remind her that her name was perfect, “it was everything she is…absolutely perfect.”

Tamara’s views are engaging read and it was an honor reading her analysis.

The last piece from our first make that I would like to celebrate is Stacie Beadel’s poem, which also included above in Rafael’s curated list. Stacie’s piece is heartwarming, deep, thought provoking and delightful all in a few stanzas. The way she withholds the subject throughout the poem until the self-analysis is pure genius. It makes the whole text so much more powerful, reading it feels mysterious as she unfolds each aspect of her topic one at a time is just a brilliant move. I know there are more brilliant works out there that I did not mention, but I highly recommend checking out the ones mentioned here if you have not already.

Author Bio: Caleb Johnson is a second year student at Chico State in the Liberal Studies major hoping to teach early elementary school. The reasons for this career choice is that he “simply adores kids” and  appreciates the way they think and decipher the world around them.

Week 3 Update

Week 3 Update

Here is your weekly Friday update heading in to week 3 and Make Cycle 2! Thank you so much for the work you’ve done so far. Really enjoying reading your poems and seeing your Little Bird Tales! Please remember that your make is due tonight (Sept 1) for Make Cycle 1. And say something nice to another person! Peter Kittle’s class is sharing their makes too, so the Make Cycle 1 category on G+ is hopping.

I sent a link to your email yesterday asking you to please let me know if you have the About the Authors book. You have some work with the book this upcoming week.**Honestly, it’s freaking me out a bit that only half of you have clicked on this link. If you’re taking on an online class, you should really be checking email every day.

We are moving into two weeks of thinking about storytelling: why we tell stories, how we generate ideas for stories, and how we might write our own stories. You’ll see the Make Cycle 2 Page has been added in the drop down menu under Make Cycles.

Finally, I’ve archived the videos and the instructions for Make Cycle 1.

Hope you’re staying out of this heat and smoke for the labor day weekend! And thank you again for the incredibly thoughtful work you’re doing.