Make Cycles

Our course is organized by “make cycles,” a term I borrow from Connected Learning. You can find the 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.

Month: October 2017

Make Cycle 4 Featured Bloggers: Ismael, Jaycee, Michelle, Mayte, & Samantha

Make Cycle 4 Featured Bloggers: Ismael, Jaycee, Michelle, Mayte, & Samantha

photo of IsmaelIsmael Munoz

We should all feel proud now that we are half way through the semester and becoming more knowledgeable and ready to become future teachers. I really enjoyed reading chapters 4 and 5 and Appendix E from About the Authors as it gave lots of great information that can help future teachers understand a child’s writing process better. In chapter 4, the authors talk how to help students find ideas that will help them with their writing projects: this is also where we’ll expect students to begin in their book writing. Children can write just about anything from everyday life events such as families, pets, friends, play time, and school. As a student starts writing their ideas in the story book, it’s important to TALK and ask questions about where they got their ideas for the book they’re making and the ideas behind it. By talking, we encourage all students to share their thoughts and ideas with their peers and this might also help other students who are struggling find their own ideas through the class discussion.

One of the ideas I really liked was on page 63 as it talks about ways to help struggling students to get started; it says: “When a student is struggling to get started with something, we might encourage her to walk about the room and see what other children are working on in their books. This often helps get ideas going for writers.” I found this to be very true as I seen many times a student who doesn’t know how to get started in their writing projects, but if they see some of their classmate’s work, it might spark an idea. It’s important as teacher to always encourage and motivate our students that way they can become successful in writing their story books. In chapter 5, Wood Ray talks about mini lessons and the importance of having students feel like “professional authors.”

“Remember that one of the first things we help young writers realize is that they make books, too. We staple the paper together so it looks like a book because right the start we want them to think of themselves as people who make books.”

By having a student feel like a professional author, this will motivate them more and encourage them to try their best when it comes to their writing abilities. I liked the idea of doing a “walk-through”: this will have the entire class participating and sharing their ideas about the book that is been discussed. By asking question such as “What do you notice about how this is written?” “What do you notice about the picture?” has students really analyzing each page that is been presented by teacher. I also thought it was very helpful that the teacher kept a chart in the classroom to record all the main things that were discussed during the “walk-through.” This will also help student visually see what other have said, as well as compare their ideas with those of their classmates. I loved how the chapter ended by saying “Our words matter, maybe more than we’ll ever know. And in mini lessons, where we do so much of the talking, we try our best to choose words both carefully and purposefully, knowing how much our talk supports the work of the young writers in the room.”

When responding to our mentor texts I chose to focus on The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywelt and Oliver Jeffers. This story was very interesting and unique in the way that each crayon shared their point of view on why and how they were being used. I liked how the story started by saying: “One day in class, Duncan went to take out his crayons and found a stack of letters with his name on them.” Each crayon writes a letter to Duncan, voicing out their concern or opinion about the way a particular color is been used. Some of the elements I see in the story is the way each crayons shows its emotions differently but go through the same process of writing a letter. I liked how each single crayon shared their silly stories in a fun way that will keep the reader entertain and wonder, what will the next crayon complain about. This story can really relate to kids who always grab their favorite colors and ignore the ones they don’t like. I enjoyed the way the story ended by saying “Poor Duncan just wanted to color…and of course he wanted his crayons to be happy. And that gave him an idea.” By listening to all the letters written by the crayons Duncan decided to use ALL of them and make everyone happy, a win win for everyone. This story can effectively encourage students to be more open minded when grabbing their crayons, and more importantly, is a great model for argumentative writing.

Finally, in our Compelling Arguments “Make” we had many different options to choose from. I chose to create posters with the help of The goal of creating the posters was to attempt to convince the people who see them to act, think, or behave in a particular way.

I thought all the Makes were awesome but here are some of my favorites:

Grace Taylor did a great job in her Make. She got inspired by the story The Day the Crayons Quit. In her Make, the Ugly Duckling is writing a letter to the Fair Godmother asking for help because he feels uncomfortable in the way he looks. The Fairy Godmother writes back ensuring the duckling that he has qualities that surpass looks and his kindness to others will take him far. I love the statement she uses: “A bright mind and a kind heart are much more important than good looks.”

The second Make I enjoyed was created by Karla Arroyo. Karla created posters that informed the public about earthquakes and advice on what to do when one strikes. I think this Make is very helpful for us to know, especially since we live in a state known for earthquakes. Kids need to also be aware of the dangers of earthquakes and understand what procedures to take. Karla states, “As future teachers we must be prepared for natural disasters like Earthquakes, Floods, and Fires.”

The the third and final Make I enjoyed reading was by Jillian Wright. She created a book that talked about the importance of taking care of some of our organs and body parts such as our brain, stomach, liver, and feet. The story informs us how alcohol can affect those organs in a very negative way and convinces the reader of making better choices when going out for drinks. She was inspired by the Crayon Book to format her own story. I loved how she used animated pictures to keep the reader engaged in the story. I thought it was very humorous when the brain tries to convince the reader not to drink by saying “Just remember, I, the control freak mind, will be back in the morning with vengeance as I make you recount every detail of even mild stupidity.” I thought it was a very informative, yet fun story to read.

Book titled '“No, we DON’T want to go out tonight':'Read this free book made on StoryJumper

Author Bio: Ismael was born and raised in Salinas, Ca and graduated this past May from Hartnell Community College where he received his Associates Degree. He transferred to Chico State as a junior this fall where he is working toward his bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. Ismael currently works full time with special needs children, as well as the extended school program. He loves knowing he can make a difference in a student’s life and looks forward to becoming an elementary teacher soon.

photo of JayceeJaycee Singleton  

I think that this Make was a success for everyone. For this Make we were asked to create a compelling argument text which could be done in many different ways. I saw a lot of posters, which were amazing and a few other different presentations.  The main point to get a cross to the reader was to argue a particular topic in either a letter, poster, write up, or a few other ways. Each one that I read was outstanding, and while many of us did made posters, they were very powerful. A few people chose topics that have been on everyone’s mind lately and I thought the way they were shown through the images were great.  

For the first week of this Make Cycle, we read and discussed chapters 4 and 5 and appendix E in About the Authors. I thought these topics that we covered were important for our future teachers to know. I found them to be very helpful and it pushed us forward in how to teach children the importance of reading and writing. Most of us talked about how we enjoyed and would use these skills, particularly the use of writer’s workshop, in teaching. When children write stories, their revisions are the most important. It gives them the chance to look back at what they have written and a chance to critique it. It is also a great time for the teacher to sit one on one with the student to talk about their thinking process and how they may want to change and correct spelling or wording. Also, that starting to write is always the hardest for the children (and us!). Finding that perfect topic to write on will get them started and sometimes all they need are some hints and they come up with their own plot. This is all shown in these two chapters and the appendix examples of how these are implemented in real writing from children. I very much enjoyed reading the post from Bailey Nicole. She talks in great detail about these topics. For example, she points out the “Planning for a Draft” section. She mentions that book says “most children go straight from having an idea, to announcing that have it, to beginning the first page.” This is what we talked about being that first barrier for young writers to get across.  

For the next part of our Make Cycle, we read four mentor texts that all did a great job in demonstrating compelling arguments. We read, Click, Clack Moo Cows That Type, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, The Day the Crayons Quit, and I Wanna New Room. Someone I would like to point out is Grace Taylor. She discusses the story of Click, Clack Moo and how each side of the argument could be great to discuss, the cows versus the farmers. She gives the idea to split your future class up and have each side argue from the side of the cows and then the farmer. This would be such an effective activity for children to participate in.  

Lastly, I enjoyed our Makes most of all. Each one portrayed a topic that could be argued and many of us chose ones that we are currently discussing in our government and communities. For instance, Rafael Sevilla made three great posters. He went for the topic of “immigration, equality, racism, freedom of expression.”  This was great because it is a huge controversial subject going on right now. My favorite poster from Rafael was the poster of Kapernick kneeling down during the National Anthem. This was a big issue going on, but it really should not have been because it has been going on for years.  Rafael's social justice poster

Compelling arguments are great for children to engage in because they get exposed to both sides of the stories. They see different points of views and or they can be differently seen by everyone.  Many of us related to projects and activities we could use in a classroom and or already have used it before. It is helpful to see how these have played out with our own personal stories. It is a great practice in the teaching of these compelling arguments. I would like to comment on Tamara Ligon, who showed her son’s classroom, which she is involved in. She was able to show what we were talking about in class and reading about, in a more personal way. This was an excellent thing to add to her discussion post.  

Overall, this was a great Make Cycle and I want everyone to know they did a great job. Keep up the great work!

Author Bio: Jaycee is 19 years old and is the Chico State Class of 2020. She will graduate early with her certificate in Liberal Studies to go on and become an Elementary School Teacher. She currently lives in Chico, working at Starbucks and is a full time student. For fun, she plays tennis and works in an After School Program. She cannot wait for the exciting adventure in teaching that awaits her.

photo of MichelleMichelle Rodriguez

We started off week 7 with the continuation of chapter 4 and 5 from the book About the Authors along with the appendix E. The following is a summary of weeks 7’s reading and some interesting things I found.

Time after time in the chapters I have seen that doing writing workshop goes on even outside of the classroom such as the student Cauley, who was thinking about his book the night before, mentioned in the beginning of chapter 4. I enjoy reading about how meaningful the writing workshops are for the students.

I like the idea of not giving students a set of rules or even give them steps, but instead, giving them paper and writing tools and asking them to make something with writing. Later on, when students have started writing, we start refining their writing. The important thing is to get them started on writing. Some students might need help getting started. The book suggests to help student who are struggling to get started by encouraging them to walk around the classroom, look through their folder, or even hold a conference with them to get them inspired for their next book.

Another thing I liked was to give or even have the students make a little notebook they can always carry to jot down ideas as they go on about their day because ideas don’t always come when they are sitting down to write. When we are guiding the students in mini lessons, we want to show them how to write envisioning their books. When reading other author’s books, we want to point out things they could use themselves in their books. Chapter 5 talks about great ways of teaching and introducing new techniques into the students’ toolbox as does appendix E

During week 8 we read the mentor texts and worked on Make Cycle 4, compelling arguments. I think Make 4 allowed a lot of freedom to be able to talk about real issues that are going on today and really matter to us. Many peers were able to share and bring awareness to issues they are passionate about. There was a variety of topics given importance to; for example, driving under the influence, fire and earthquake safety, bullying, sea life, law enforcement, and many other important topics. One that really stood out to me was Kristin Fondersmith’s print, which brought awareness to veganism. Kristin shared great reasons and statistics on why being a vegan is a good idea. The reason why this flyer stood out to me was because I myself have started my journey to eating and leading a healthier lifestyle.

Another make that stood out to me was Kaylee Dashiell’s about ocean life. I loved her make because I love the ocean and I of course want to do anything I can to keeping it clean for its inhabitants and for other future generations to enjoy as well. Kaylee shared things we can all do to create a safer environment for all sea creatures.

Author Bio: Michelle is in her fourth year of college, first year at CSU, as a transfer student. She looks towards being an elementary school teacher. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and being creative.

Mayte Rendon

During the past two weeks with these posts and this week’s make, it was very interesting and went by pretty fast. I do honestly enjoy making them because it is pretty fun and I get to learn more about future teachers. I really liked how we started off by introducing each other to the whole class and communicating with each other.

The last two weeks, we read about ideas on how to teach kids to start writing. There were some pretty impressive “taken away” ideas that I liked personally. Some ideas were letting kids write about their favorite things and just keep writing about it and why they like it. Also, let the students walk around and talk to their classmates and use conversations to start thinking of ideas on what they can write. Playing some fun writing games would be a good idea too. Have kids go into teams and let them write on the board and have like a spelling bee challenge.

One of the peer’s argument that I liked is by Jessica Maldonado:

Every child would love to have their own room, and when Alex couldn’t have his own room, he made a very compelling argument, and compromises were made for everyone to be happy. In the story The Day the Crayons Quit, I was very amused.  It was very cute and different for the crayons to be writing letters to Duncan telling him that they were being overused or underused.

I chose these quotes because I agree with her post and also think it was cute how the writer put the characters suggestions/arguments into letters. I liked how she related these stories to her past and it is pretty cool that I can also relate to her by saying that I also wanted to have my own room when I was young and should have used my crayons evenly and not just mostly used my favorite ones all the time. Overall, our peers did some thoughtful work with arguments. 

Author Bio: Mayte is from Live Oak, California and came to Chico to attend Chico State to study and graduate with a bachelor’s degree to become an elementary teacher. This year is her third year attending the University.  

Samantha Prosser

This class has brought me so much inspiration and joy over the course of the last couple months. It is so inspiring to watch future educators write such amazing stories and ideas. This last make we talked a lot about the readings in chapter four and five of About the Authors. Both of these chapters had some great ideas and strategies to use in the classroom to help children with writing and their creative process.

One of my favorite ideas and statements in chapter 4 is the line that says:


“essentially the goal is for writers to find a process that helps them go from an idea to the best piece of finished writing they can possibly produce, not for them to jump through management hoops we’ve set up in the name of process.”

From chapter 5 I liked the idea of coming up with strategies. Wood Ray argues, “strategies offer students possibilities for how to go about doing something while they’re in the process of writing.” Teaching multiple different strategies to children to help them to process, understand, and succeed in writing is a tool that they will be able to carry through life.  I also really liked the idea of studying published writing with the children. Seeing “real” writing might help to inspire them and get them thinking about new ideas for their writing.

We also studied a variety of different stories. One of my favorite mentor texts was Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Heidi Vargas did an outstanding job of really showcasing the uniqueness of the story. She said, “instead of repeating the exact same phrase, the writer has the character use multiple ways to convince the audience to let him drive the bus.” I loved how this story was interactive with the children in the sense that it allowed the audience, or the children, to help the driver.

At the end of Make Cycle 4 we talked about and practiced writing compelling arguments. My favorite make from this section was one made by Jaycee Singleton. Her argument was about recycling. I think recycling is an easy and fun concept to add into your classroom!

Author Bio: Samantha is a 23 year old preschool teacher attending Chico State with the hopes of earning her BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Child Development. After obtaining her degree, she plans on attending the credential program and eventually becoming an elementary school teacher.

Make Cycle 3 Featured Bloggers: Stacie, MacKenna, Marissa, and Cori

Make Cycle 3 Featured Bloggers: Stacie, MacKenna, Marissa, and Cori

picture of StacieAs a group, we totally kicked it up a few notches with Make 3. We are really getting into the groove, and hitting our stride. This Make we worked on expository writings, and learned more of the process for Writing Workshops.

Chapter 2 from About the Authors gave a detailed, almost step-by-step on how to run your writing workshops. Katie Wood Ray explained that keeping the schedule uninterrupted until the routine is down is vital in the beginning. Centers are usually a huge part of Kinder and 1st grade, but centers don’t work for this type of workshop. Writing takes thought and planning, and trying to do that in 5-15 minute increments is stifling to the process. It doesn’t allow for the “rigorous teaching” that is part of their writing workshop. The author says they also miss out on the “support you feel when surrounded by a whole bunch of others who are learning to do the same thing you’re learning to do.” This encouraged me as I try to write with my kids when we have a writing lesson. They know how much I don’t love the process, so I think it makes us all work together knowing I am willing to try. The authors stressed that a “really, really important” thing in helping them to write is to show them many, many types of other writings that other kids have done. It is supposed to give them the idea that “hey, I think I could do something like that.”  Showing the students so many types of works also inspires them to realize how many stories they have inside of them; they are full of writing ideas. They just need a way to realize it. I think this is the part that matters as a future teacher. It’s teaching these kids that have something to say, and we can help them reach in and find a way to say them.

Jessica Medrano summed up chapter 3 be saying,

“Chapter Three answered my question, how will I teach students the written language? By reading aloud, songs and games, demonstrations, and writing to support other work. These systems will become daily routines that we as future teachers will become comfortable teaching.”

Then, we moved onto our Mentor Texts. We read a cute little book about a dragonfly. The story was intriguing for kids, but it also gave lots of facts about the development of the dragonfly. Our second text was a rather macabre story with 26 ways a child could die, all in a witty A-Z style.

Now for the fun part, our expository texts…

book cover

Daisy Ronquillo wrote a lovely story about flowers from A-Z

She included great descriptions with beautiful photos. I enjoyed reading the book, and learning a bit more about flowers.

Shannon Lane added interesting educational tidbits to her Tardy Turtle book.

“The shell of a turtle is made up of 60 different bones all connected.” “Many, but not all, species of turtle can hide their head in their shell.”

I think these types of writing are wonderful for kids. A fun story, but with some education mixed in. People love to walk away with a quick and memorable fact.

Book titled 'Tardy Turtle Finds a Friend'//

And lastly, my absolute favorite, How to Strive…The Chico State version by Alexis Guerra. This quick read really did a great job of summarizing all things awesome about Chico State. I think it gives a great insight into people who may not know Chico, it gives locals something to bond over, and for someone like me (someone who left Chico 4 years ago, and misses it dearly) it gives them some great memories to ponder.

Author Bio: Stacie Beadel is a married, home schooling mom to 4. She will graduate in December, and head on to the Credential Program at National University. She hopes to one day work as an Educational Specialist at Inspire Charter School in Southern California.

picture of MarissaI loved chapter 2 from About the Authors because it was all about how to start children with the writing workshop. It brought a lot of things that I was wondering about to light. Katie Wood Ray went step-by-step into how to get children excited about writing and how it all worked. One thing that did puzzle me was I was wondering how she picked which kids to share during the share time. The kids were not allowed to talk to her during this time unless they were in conferences. One thing that I found very interesting was how she started off them by letting them choose what type of book they wanted to write. One of the books she said did not even have a space for words. I guess she was just hoping that they would slowly move up to writing sentences. This just really interested me because I would think that the whole point of this time was to write down a story. I guess with little kids they learn to draw a story first then are able to put words to it.  This matters as a future teacher because it is a different perspective one writing. With just drawing picture they are not learning writing skills, but in the end they are learning how to formulate a story so that way later they can actually write their stories with both pictures and words.

In chapter 3, the first part that I found important for future teaching is on page 38 where Wood Ray talked about the boy who thought that sea anemone was spelled with a k because they went over how to sound out words for spelling. It was also great that she did not correct the child. I think that as a teacher I am going to have a hard time not correcting every little spelling error but I need to remember that it is the content of the writing not that they spelled everything right. The child logic behind it to was great because he used the skills that he learned in class and actually applied them to his work. I also really enjoy how this chapter is all about how writing is in almost everything that we do in school. Another part that is interesting is the point about sings with the kids on page 46. I use to love songs as a kid in school because it made it a lot easier to remember things. I really want to be able to do this as a teacher because now a days there is so much more out there that way almost every lesson can have a song with it to remember.

We also worked with mentor texts again this week to support our own ideas for expository writing. All these texts are informational texts about a certain subject. In the Dragonfly book it was all information to know about dragonflies and in the end it related the book back to the child reading the book. In “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” it was all about learning your ABC’s but in a different way. Some features that I noticed was that in both the dragonfly book and “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” they used rhyming to help move the book along. Unlike with the “Education Around the World” and “Writing,” these two were just informational posters that laid out what was happening. We could use these texts as models for our writing because this week we made an informational book about a subject. These are prime examples of what we could do and how to lay them out. Just like with the Dragonflies book, I could make an informational book about an animal or something and use the text as a template for my writing. The authors of these texts had to do research on their topics. In “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” there may have not been much research done on it but the author probably had to use a thesaurus for some of the words to figured out what rhymed with them. All they other texts had to have a lot of research done as to find the facts about their subjects. 

Here are some of my favorite makes from this week from my peers:

Kristine Cowan’s book “Are You an Elephant?” was great. It was just like the mentor text “Are You a Dragonfly?” She created this book for little kids that was all informational about an Elephant but was still exciting to read. I really liked her story because it wasn’t all about an elephant, she related it back to the child that would be reading the book.

Alice Mylod-Vargas made a book on the “ABC’s of Fall.” This book was very cute because it was a different way to learn your ABC’s, while also creating a colorful book that shows all the great things about fall. The mentor text that she used would be “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” were the author create a scary version of the ABC’s. Instead of scary ideas, Alice kept her story upbeat.

Finally, Jaycee Singleton made a great book about the “ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables.” I really liked her book because not only was it the ABC’s it was also about how each of these fruits or vegetables can help our body. It would be a very educational book for kids. The mentor text she used was also “The Gashlycrumb Tinies,” but she made it fun. 

Author Bio: Marissa Willits is from a small town in the mountains called Taylorsville, CA. She grew up there and went to the local junior college. She received he AA in Liberal Studies and transferred to Chico State in Fall of 2017 to get her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and become a elementary teacher. Marissa hopes to eventually receive her master’s degree.

picture of MackennaIt is amazing to see so many people able to make such beautiful works of art. It’s even more astonishing to have this amazing group of people write stories that are mostly facts and yet still very interesting. Some are funny, some are creepy, all are informative. These last two weeks we have read two amazing chapters. Chapter three from Katie Wood Ray really intrigued me in this make cycle reading. I was baffled by the idea it was putting forth: that kids as young as kindergarten could learn to write and make stories by pretending to write and copying the actions of their peers. This is before any formal introduction of letters. This means that before they learn what letter make what sound and how to make those letters they can start learning to write stories. After another classmate talked to me about how her grand-daughter pretends all the time and how it helps her learn, it finally started to make sense. Kids pretend to do things all the time; they imitate the actions they see on a daily basis and try to do the same. They are learning every time they do something.

For the second part of our make cycle we had to read the mentor texts, “Are You A Dragonfly?” by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries as well as “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” by Edward Gorey. “Are You A Dragonfly?” was a fascinating story that reads in first person. The moment you start reading it fully emerges you into it. Plus, it’s a very fun way to learn about dragonflies. “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” is an ABC book; however, it’s not your everyday ABC book. It’s dark and daunting. As an adult, I found the book to be very funny and intriguing, but as a possible children’s book I found it to be very inappropriate. Each letter it names a child or a Tiny and how they died.

For this make cycle this time, the class had to write expository writings. We could make them like Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries book or like Edward Gorey’s book. You could create them as an infographic or a video.

The first make that I fell in love with this week was Bianca DeRee’s book “ABC’s of Disney Characters.”

Book titled 'ABC'S of Disney Characters'//

This book was full of color that made every page and picture pop. Each page’s background matched the character, from C is for Cinderella being a very close match to Cinderella’s blue dress to T is for Tinker Bell in green matching her dress. On each page, there is a fact about the Disney character. This includes what movie they are from and who they are in the movie.

The second make that I really liked was Lisa Valdez’s “ABC’s of Farm Life.” Each page had an animal or an everyday chore of farm life that corresponded with a letter of the alphabet and an interesting and sometimes funny fact about that animal or everyday chore. On the next page was a picture of the animal. My favorite page was “B is for the Bronco whose body was too big.” The picture on the next page had me laughing. While reading her book, I also happened to learn a lot about farm life.

Book titled 'ABC's of Farm Life'//

The last make I want to draw attention to is by Ismael Munoz. He wrote a story called “Our Heart” this make is all about our heart. It gives you location of the heart, how big your heart is and how to find that out, as well as what the heart does and at the end gives some interesting facts about the heart. I really liked this book because it wasn’t an ABC book. Most of the makes were ABC books and finding one that wasn’t was intriguing in and of itself. 😉 

Book titled 'Our Heart'//

Author Bio: Mackenna Paige Gott is a transfer student from the College of the Siskiyou’s and this is her first year at CSU, Chico as a Junior. For the last two years, she ran an after-school program for ages K-8th grade through SCOE. She is now working for the BCOE as a college tutor in their after-school program. She hopes to get her teaching credential and teach any grade between 2nd -5th grade.  

picture of CoriExpository writing was interesting because we had the option of incorporating information into an existing story, creating an ABC book, a how to or anything else you could come up with. I really like how so many people took different approaches to creating ABC books: they are all so great! I really enjoyed Elizabeth’s, Alice’s, and Matthew’s ABC books because I felt that they were different from the normal ABC books I read to kids.

I really enjoyed how original Matthew’s idea was and I like that it has a serious topic but would still be informative and practical for kids learning their ABC’s.

Elizabeth’s story was very cute and creative. I like the vibrant colors she used throughout the book.

Book titled 'Dia De Los MuertosABC's'//

I think Alice’s book is so perfect for this time of year: it can be hard to teach kids about the seasons and here we can teach them about fall while utilizing the ABC’s. I think that most kids would enjoy these books because they spark interest in a specific topic so there is something for everyone to relate to.

I also liked Kaia’s how-to video on baking cookies. I can totally relate since I used to bake cookies with my mom all the time when I was little.

I thought Shannon also did a great job on her expository writing; this style is nice because it can stand alone as a story but has added elements to it. These expository texts are almost like two books with one cover, you get a story and then also facts about the topic of the story. It’s interesting to think about expository writing because there are a lot of them out there that we don’t think about being informative.

I would like to add that I love StoryJumper! The books turn out so cute, the site is very easy to navigate, and the visual makes all the difference in the world. This will be a tool that I will use in my classroom and share with colleagues. I really enjoy the product it creates!

Author Bio: Cori Hale just started her senior year here at Chico State. She is majoring in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Math. She is looking forward to graduating so that she can get into her own classroom and start teaching!

Weeks 7 & 8 Update

Weeks 7 & 8 Update

Make Cycle 4: Compelling Arguments is ready to go for weeks 7 & 8! We have one less response this next week since I am off to a conference. You’ll read a little more, but one fewer post in the first round of this make cycle.

As I said in the introduction to this cycle, we’ll be focusing on argument, but I don’t think any text can be found in some pure form: hard to find a text that is only narrative, only expository, only persuasive, only whatever. However, it can be useful to focus on some elements over others and do some intentional work in a genre. For that reason, we’ve focused on elements of writing also found in Common Core in order to help you think about how to teach a variety of approaches to writing. My hope, however, is that you recognize that while you might help students focus on an area that you also help them see how texts are typically made up of many elements (using a story to make an argument, for example). I’m also hoping we maintain our playful approach to teaching writing, so you’ll notice that our argumentative mentor texts include some great children’s books that you can use to talk about arguments with your students.

I’ll add a video here tomorrow (Monday) with some further ideas and explanation for this cycle. And featured blogs coming soon too! Thanks everyone for your continued fabulous work. Kim