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.

Featured Bloggers Make Cycle 5: Lisa, Maritza, Yorleidi, Caitlin, Josue, Jamie, & Salina

Featured Bloggers Make Cycle 5: Lisa, Maritza, Yorleidi, Caitlin, Josue, Jamie, & Salina

Lisa Valdez

This week was packed with so much information, yet most of it was extremely valuable for us, as future teachers. In Chapter 6 of About the Authors, many of us expressed how overwhelming the concept of lesson planning seems, as we haven’t had much experience with it. I appreciated the idea of breaking down the lessons into “mini-lessons” where we fine-tune student’s work in depth. One idea for successful lesson planning was shared by Adriana Cea, who described the method used by a teacher she knew who did not mind lesson planning as much as the other teachers. The reason for her lack of stress? She stayed organized, and stored her most successful lesson plans each year in a filing cabinet where they were easily accessed for modification to fit new standards. This is a great tip for future teachers to keep in mind, right from the start. I also think that notes kept on how to improve the not so successful plans would help avoid similar pitfalls, especially since they could be made while the “lessons learned” for the teachers were still fresh in their minds. Taking a model from this chapter, working on improving our lesson planning in “mini-lessons” throughout the year could help teachers with the overall process planning as well.

In Chapter 6, I noticed that many of us, myself included, were impressed by the way Forrest was able to change his skepticism about his ability to write poetry into a new passion – a way for him, as a “lover of facts and information” to share his amazing observations and vivid descriptions of the birds it was obvious that he had spent some time watching in nature. What a change from his NBA poem the year before! This perfectly illustrated one of the major points of this chapter – that students incorporate and build upon the units of study for long afterwards. Brianna Carlucci’s meme perfectly captured this point from the chapter, specifically, a unit of study is never really over; we need to push through with projects sometimes, even when we think we aren’t capable of them. Her meme also captured Forrest’s reluctance to write poetry, even though he apparently learned to enjoy it, and turned out to be very good at it.

From Appendix F, I liked the concept of helping students to find ways to illustrate and capture something — an image, a feeling — from their writing, and let the reader feel that through their work. I really like the idea of small-group study of illustration techniques in the mentor texts, as others often view things differently than we do, and can point out things we might have missed. Many of us were inspired by the idea of reading a picture book without showing students the illustrations, and many different approaches took root from this suggestion. Veronica Oregel’s idea to “apply this in a mini lesson to get children to understand the meaning of words. We can show them how crucial specific words can change a meaning of a story” was somewhat different than the one that came to mind for me, but is just so true. I could see her approach prompting discussions about different results and how the illustrations might change along with the words. Rayn Buford had another good point: “I would want my activities throughout the week to be revolved around how there can be a story happening in pictures that isn’t necessarily happening in the words.” This is another great way to study a picture book that had not occurred to me – studying the pictures to “guess” the story without the words.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Jane Gilrain’s article, “From Home to Hip-Hop: Teaching Writing Through Painting, Performance, and Poetry.” I especially love how the progress of the children, and the effect of the artwork and expression on their work was illustrated through side-by-side comparisons, allowing us to see for ourselves the impact the teaching method has had on the children. They were free to express themselves, including making their monsters female in order to empower girls, if they chose, or to let hidden feelings out. Especially touching to me were the stories of Miguel, separated from and longing for his father in Puerto Rico, and the little girl from the Emotional Support Unit whose father had died a year prior and who had never spoken about it, even to her mother. Her poem “Journey” and the results of her pre-and post-program evaluations speak volumes. She has found a safe and therapeutic outlet in which to express her pent-up grief. Kelly Cabico perfectly describes my feelings in reading this article: “This article hit me right in my ooey gooey heart. Seriously, I was teary eyed from about the halfway point through to the very end. I love that these children were learning about writing in a unique and dynamic way, but I loved most that they were connecting with their work in a way that was therapeutic; that it gave them characters to identify with and helped them outwardly process things they hadn’t been able to prior. That’s some powerful stuff!” Very powerful stuff, indeed.

I was also especially impressed with the “Allegory of the Troubled Kingdom,” as the children’s reactions to the visiting artist reminded me of the reactions of the students to writing workshop in Lisa’s classroom in our professional book. When they are encouraged to get out of their plastic seats and move around the classroom, their learning truly begins, and like the students in this article, they also begin writing. Sean Gamer had a very good take on why we should get these kids out of their desks: “A teacher can have outdoor classes for part of the day and let students do painting and reading outside. The significance behind the way I think this way is that every time a student walks by the spot they painted a picture of a flower or some outdoor project they will remember why they were outside instead of being cooped up in the classroom.” Along these lines as well, Caitlin M’s Yoda Meme made me laugh, as I found myself reading it in his voice! It also accurately captured the feeling of what happens in writing workshop, as well as when using multi-modal methods as described in Gilrain’s article.

There were so many great makes this week, I wish that I could highlight each and every one of them. It was so hard to only choose a few, but I will definitely be taking some notes from the great ideas this week for use in my future classroom. Some of the more memorable makes this week for me included Shelby Baccala’s professional website, which was very well done. I love that she highlighted not only her experiences in English 333, but also her volunteer work, and her teaching philosophy, which I absolutely agree with: “The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”

Some of the makes this week revisited mentor texts or projects that we had done before, and I loved Christina Barbaccia’s Storyjumper book, “The Bronson Collection.” In this amazing little book, she has captured not only sweet images of her gorgeous furbaby that capture just how much he is loved, but I can also see the inspiration from some of our other makes in there, especially the pages in which Bronson is advertising his “Yellow Lab Security Co.” and the comparison between his thoughts on dinnertime, and the human perspective, which reflect Make 4’s compelling arguments. I can also see the influence from Make Cycle 2 in the recipe for “Bronson Blondies.”  Great job!

This week had so many new skills to practice, and stretched my tech brain, but I really enjoyed learning to make memes, and I was inspired to start a personal webpage for my make, something that I have long planned on doing but never got around to doing. While the page I have managed to create so far is far from what I have envisioned, it can only improve as my sorely-lacking web publishing skills improve. It is a start, and for that I am grateful!

Author Bio: My name is Lisa Valdez, and I am a junior at CSU Chico, having transferred from Santa Rosa Junior College with an AA Transfer degree in History. I am an RN, but am no longer able to work due to an injury, and now have the opportunity to work toward the teaching career that I discovered I loved doing while developing school health programs through the hospital’s wellness center. I am pursuing a double major in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and plan on obtaining a teaching credential with the goal of being able to teach in whichever school needs me in my small rural area. I live with my husband Joe in McArthur, California, and have a farm where we raise Scottish Highland Cattle, dairy goats, pigs, and poultry, who are guarded by our very large Spanish Mastiffs. I do volunteer work for local veteran’s organizations, as well as working with several animal rescue groups, as well as cat rescue and livestock rescue during the local wildfires. My hobbies include knitting and yarn-crafts, dying fabric and yarn, and making homemade cheese and preserves from our farm products. I am a grandmother of four, three boys and a girl, ages 4 months to 9 years, and enjoy spending time with them and taking trips to Tahoe and Disneyland with them as often as I can. They are remarkably tech-savvy and we face-time frequently. We also send snapchat videos to each other — the babies really love the cute filters on snapchat! The profile picture above is my husband and I on my 50th birthday, cutting up for the camera and having fun at the Dungeons of San Francisco, such a fun outing!

Maritza Caceres

Welcome to Make Cycle 5.

Rebecca Spears’ Meme

On week one of this make cycle, the class read Chapter Six from About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleaveland. We had to write our take from the chapter. My take in Chapter Six was that behind the mini lessons there are big concepts, which are units of study. Those concepts are based on the process and product studies of writing a story. The process studies are the way the author creates the book such as revision and editing. While product studies are the traits found in the book such as the genre of the book. In the unit study, the teacher is able to go into detail to explain the concepts. There are various ways to determine the concepts to teach kids about writing. For example, the teacher can use the state and local curriculum. They can focus on the basic punctuation, capitalization, spelling and complete sentences. It can be part of the process studies. Also, teachers can envision the kind of writer they want their student to become in the future. The second part of the assignment was to create memes based on ideas from the textbook. We used imgflip site to create the memes. Memes are a widely used in today’s society. It is a modern style to use writing. The class did an amazing job coming up with unique and funny memes.

On week two of this cycle, the class read the article “From Homer to Hip-Hop: Teaching Writing through Painting, Performance, and Poetry”; we had to write our take on the article as well. My take on the article, by Jane Gilrain, used multimodal composing to tell her class’s writing experience with art. She begins with a letter that lets reader know what to expect of the article. She explains that she would be giving examples of her student’s work with art, poetry, and drama. Then she writes a poem for the reader to join her in the journey she experienced with her students through art. Gilrain mentions that she obtains the idea of the letter format from Billy Collins and the poem from Robert Frost. Afterwards, Gilrain created a fairy tale story about the situation that made the project possible to occur in her classroom. When I finished reading the three multimodal approaches of Gilrain, I thought about the information I learned in About the Authors. Gilrain is reading like a writer. She found writing mentors to create her article. She uses different writing formats to intrigue readers. After Gilrain introduces the topic in three different ways, she moves on by giving examples of her student’s work. For example, there is photography of Miguel acting as the son of Odysseus. He is performing the vocabulary word yearn. Overall the class did well in conveying their thoughts about the article and having discussions with classmates. Students uplift each other through our chats.

Below are Salina Rodriguez and Jillian’s comments on Jamie Xayachack article reflection:

Salina Rodriguez commented, “Jamie, I really enjoyed your reflection of the article. By realizing that as teachers we can refrain from the stuff structure that has been implemented for so long is a hopeful way to look into our future. I have always had a sense of worry in knowing that my classroom will be one that makes positive impacts on students not realizing how many ways I can make learning more hands on. I love that you mention that art is what shapes the world around us, even a student who does not thing they are good at drawing can find relaxation in painting or expressing their thoughts in a way other than writing. I have always heard that teachers learn from their students and I think this is where I will be learning from my students, for ways to present curriculum that students will enjoy. Great post!”

Jillian Pearson stated, “Hi Jamie, great reflection! I truly think that by implementing art, performance and poetry it really does open students up to the opportunity to make connections with the material being taught as well as with their peers. Students can have a better chance of expressing themselves or showing their knowledge if they’re given a more of a variety to do so.”

On Sunday, students posted their creations. We used multimodal texts for our projects and showed the skills we’ve learned in class. There were many awesome creations.

Let’s start with the first book “Guide to Picking the Right One” by Grace Pablos. The book was about selecting the right family member for certain activities. She would ask a question about a certain situation that only one of her family members could help her. Under the question, she had a picture of the family member that was perfect for that job. On the following page, she gave the name of the person and reason they were right for that job and she had a list of their qualities. I could tell that she took a lot of time creating her book. She wrote the book pages with black pen. While for the title, she used markers. The title page is colorful with different colors of flowers with a yellow sun and blue clouds. Also, she used sky blue and pink construction paper and envelopes for the pages. Grace did a great job incorporating multimodal composing in her book.  

The second book is “Marathon Motivation Book” by Emily Sall. The book inspires pace runners to run a marathon. In the book there are six note cards with stages of running a marathon: the stages are start, mile 6, mile 13, mile 19, mile 23, and mile 26.2. When the runner completes the mile listed in the book, they read the note card to encourage them to keep running. Also, the notecard includes tips to remember during the race. At the end of the book, it includes pages with topics that the runner can write about their experiences. The pages of the book are note cards and they are glued to purple, blue, or orange construction paper. The reader can take out the note cards from the book because they are inside envelopes. The notes cards writing and title are written on with a black pen. It is a neat way to read a book with note cards.

Lastly, I found interesting the book “Having A Little Sister” by Cyrill Somera. In her book, she describes some flaws of having a younger sister. At the end of the day those problems don’t matter: she will forever have a friend. She uses moving memes that go along with the topic she is writing about in her book. The title page has a green stripe going through her name and it seems she used the same font for all the pages. 

Great makes all around.

Author Bio: My name is Maritza Caceres. I am the sixth out eight children. When I had graduated from high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in school. My family encouraged me to continue my education. Therefore, I attended a community college. While I was attending community college, I got a job as a tutor. After I graduated college, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. Now I am attending CSUChico and my goal is to become a teacher.

Yorleidi Langarica 

Make Cycle 5 has certainly been a very interesting one and a hard one in my opinion. Over the past 2 weeks we have focused on trying to understand multimodal texts because we have to start getting ready as future teachers. We have to be able to know how to do them and in what type of environment we can use them. I think that it is a great tool to use in the classroom especially for students who are visual learners. The first discussion was about chapter 6 and appendix F; the best part about this assignment was creating my own meme about study units. This chapter really made me think and appreciate the work teachers must put in for their students. I think that the smaller the grade level the more time it takes to learn something new, which means more mini lessons to be planned! Yay. One thing that really caught my attention was when the author wrote: “If they are not organized over time under an umbrella of a bigger topic of interest to people who write, the our whole-class teaching can have a very hit and miss- feel to it.”  This, without question, is something every teacher must have in mind because we can teach, but will the students learn? Will they remember it later? We need to teach with a purpose, which is getting our students excited over learning new material that they’ll remember late on in life.

By Tuesday April 3, we read an article from Language Arts called “ From Homer to Hip-Hop: Teaching Writing Through Painting, Performance and poetry.” This article was all about multimodal composing; it used different types and explained them although some were confusing. It didn’t focus on one thing at a time. I had to read it a couple of times to understand what was going on especially in the beginning. I think that the part that got to me the most was about the little girl and how much she missed her father. It was as if I could feel her pain through her words. This was and will be a hard moment in her life but art did save her. She found a way to express her emotions without speaking a word of it. She expressed it with art. This is what art is all about, seeing and believing what nobody else does. Being creative and expressing what we feel in another way.

We then turned in our final make for this cycle. We had to use examples of multimodal texts to discuss or show our progress and understanding. This make was about showing our skills and how well we understand what multimodal is and how useful they can be. Here are some of my peers best work:

Book titled 'The Bronson Collection'
By Christina Barbaccia

I really liked this make because she used her dog as an example of multimodal text. Her text were very well represented and funny. She used last weeks reading of Language Arts as inspiration as you can see by the variety of text like art and poetry. My favorite part was the Bronson Blondies recipe because she had to use “only 1 teaspoon of ferociousness.”

I also really liked Emily Sall’s make (see above) because you could tell she had fun making it and it was a form of inspiration towards others. I feel like this make was more based of the article we read because the text in this case the book which made her feel better, it motivated her. My favorite thing about this make is that she actually created it by herself and showed us the creativity and passion she possess.

What caught my attention in Madison Honegger’s make was the fact that it was based of the mentor texts “always a bridesmaid” and “ The Story of Every Mom’s Typical Day.” What I really liked about it was that it could relate to anyone living in a dorm. It is the funny things in life that you remember the most. The best meme was when the fire alarm went off because it is hilarious that this situation could happen just because someone forgot to add water to their noodles.

Author Bio: I am 20 years old and it is my second year at Chico State. I was born in Jalisco, Mexico but moved to California when I was 7. I currently live in Corning, CA with my family. I have 3 brothers and am the only girl. I want to become a 2nd grade teacher.


Caitlin Micko

When reflecting on Make Cycle 5, the creation of those memes to go along with our textbook reading assignments were daunting to me. I am not going to lie, the thought of a meme puzzled me to no end! However, when I thought about what a meme can tell as a way of expression, it made the process a bit easier. By the conclusion of the assignment, I ended up loving the meme I made! I think memes are something I want to even incorporate in my future classroom.

I thought the overall theme of my meme ended up making much more sense than I thought I would have the ability to make. I am also pleased with my meme because it expresses an idea from About the Authors that has really stuck with me throughout this course. In About the Authors, Wood Ray and Cleaveland discuss how students learn by “making stuff” (Ray and Cleaveland, 6). I couldn’t express how much I agree with Ray and Cleaveland! I teach by the philosophy that students learn by creating and getting their hands dirty. So, the ideas in About the Authors resonates with me.

Throughout this course, About the Authors has inspired and challenged me about teaching. I love that it is about writing workshops and related topics, but many of the lessons and tips can be applied to teaching in general. I am so pleased that I bought this book (I usually rent textbooks) because I want to keep it as a reference guide and as inspiration for my entire teaching career. For this Cycle, the idea on page 108, where Ray and Cleaveland write, “We find the guidance to make this decision each year in a number of different places: Our vision for how we want students to be as writers at the end of the year….” I think this is an extremely important idea and an inspirational quote. I think it is logical, smart, and brilliant to think about where you want your students to be at the end of the year when lesson planning. I often think, ‘Is this lesson fulfilling a development need for my students and is it preparing them for x, y, and z in Kindergarten?” However, when getting lost in preparing a whole unit, I think the idea of asking oneself if it is setting up the students to be good writers, artists, mathematicians, and so on is important. I think it is important, also, to make sure they are prepared for the next grade level. However, I think what is also lost often is reminding oneself about how the lesson(s) is/are preparing the student for their general future.  

In connection with the readings for About the Authors, I enjoyed the exercise of thinking about lesson plans. I was intrigued to read more about different types of lessons from Cleaveland and Ray: When I read about units of study, I instantly thought of my preschoolers and one of their favorite books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. I have read this book to them a handful of times and one day we did an extension project that stemmed from the book. We took a poll to see who liked chocolate chip cookies, who liked sugar cookies, and who liked peanut butter cookies. Lastly, we counted up our categories and formed totals. The kids and I entitled it, “If You Give a Preschooler a Cookie.” After reading chapter six of About the Authors, I realized that I could take this small step that I took with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and extend that into a unit.

I feel that Numeroff’s story really focuses on the action of the story moving forward and pacing the story in a fast-pace sequencing sort of manner. I feel that the book really carries the reader through a beginning, middle, and an end that comes full circle. In younger grades, the idea of a story having a beginning, middle, and end is essential to beginning reading and writing. So, I think this would be a good focus for a writing unit for students with applying this as a mentor text. On page 105, Ray and Cleaveland, write that “an overview of the process of writing” is a “process studies”and I think it fits well with the pace and focus of Numeroff’s book. The “process of writing” could include making sure the students’ stories have beginnings, middles, and endings. Perhaps students could pick their own animals to star with a human character in their own stories. The students could employ Numeroff’s book as inspiration for a beginning, middle, and end to their stories as well as pacing and playing with sequencing like coming full circle.

By extending out this idea into a full week, I think it would be fun and impactful to read stories of a similar style. Luckily for us educators and for kids everywhere, Numeroff has written several different stories in the style of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. For example, the mini lesson on parts of a story could include studying If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Mouse a Muffin, If You Give a Dog a Donut, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and so on. There are a series of wonderful books that perfectly, in my opinion, show the flow and parts of a story clearly for younger readers. I think these books would be fantastic mentor texts for students to write their own stories focusing on and playing with sequencing and having a beginning, middle, and end in the story. I also think these books could work well for a “product studies” focus on “how to make illustrations work with text.” These stories all have fun illustrations that marry well with the stories they are paired with. I feel that the more I learn about these topics, the better I do at my current job and the more I will be prepared for my future job as a primary school teacher. In addition, I can better understand how students learn.

In terms of the Makes for this Cycle, I want to start off by talking about Cori Hale’s wedding website. I think that this is a wonderful way to do this assignment because she is including both words and photos, which makes it multimodal. In addition, she also chose an assignment that lets the reader learn more about her on a personal level. By getting to see Cori’s website, I felt like I got to know her a bit more. Lastly, I felt that Cori’s work was well written and clear, which, when it comes to teaching, are always essential to effective lessons and classroom time.

Next, I want to discuss Rayn Buford’s Make for Cycle 5. I thought her memes presented ideas in such an informative way, but with such humor! I love when individuals take learning and make it humorous. I feel by making it humorous, one is much more likely to take it in and reflect on it because they are enjoying it. I think Rayn’s memes do just this! In addition, I love how Rayn included some personal reflection on how she viewed writing as a child and how she can teach differently than how she was taught as a child. For example, I particularly liked her discussion on how “….it is OK to focus on the depth our students are embracing instead of deadlines or the chapters that still remain….” I couldn’t agree more with Rayn and I think this is such a wonderful way to approach writing and education!

Lastly, I want to speak about Samone Burge’s write-up and meme. 

I was interested in Samone’s Make because she related it directly to the About the Author reading from Cycle 5. Since I found the ideas about lessons interesting in this Cycle, I was drawn to Samone’s work. I think Samone’s work perfectly represents the ideas presented in Cleaveland and Ray’s discussion on lessons and how to incorporate, as Samone puts it, “reading the writing of others.” I think her meme perfectly reflects the concepts written by both herself and Cleaveland and Ray. In addition, her meme, like Rayn’s memes, employ humor to be engaging and to drive the point home. 

I also think that Samone’s write-up that is paired with her meme is clearly written and concise. I think both attributes, as a teacher, are important to have. In addition, like Rayn, humor is always a good asset to have the classroom as well.

Author Bio: Hello to all! I want to start my biography off with some information about me: My name is Caitlin and I live in Anderson, California. I am currently a preschool teacher. I live for those moments where I see a concept click with a student or they talk through a process or question. I adore seeing their wheels turn and watching them grow in their academics and as little people! When I am not teaching preschoolers, I love spending time with my loved ones. My Monday night softball watching with my fiance, Kody, and our black lab, Beau, is the highlight of my week. I enjoy reading, writing, being outdoors, photography, watching baseball, traveling, cooking, and baking. I am also a student at Chico State University and am working towards my degree in Elementary Education.

Josue Nava 

I had a lot of fun working on projects during the 5th Make Cycle.  It’s not everyday you get to turn in a meme as part of an assignment.  The multimodal composing was definitely something new. It was so much information all at once.  I have to admit I was a bit lost when I began reading the article from Language Arts: I don’t know if I was expecting something other than what I was reading. After a short break I can back and read the article again and it made sense sort-of. I could tell apart all the sections, but I felt it was all thrown together; it felt like chaos on paper so to speak.  Apart from the way it was organized, the content was awesome. I feel like this may be a little too much for me to do my first year, but maybe the third year I’ll be ready for a multimodal form of teaching. The way it was organized was the most challenging thing for me because I like structure and organization and this article was far from it.  I don’t think I would want to teach this way.  I promise I will give it a chance –it may be the best thing I ever do– but for now, I’m going to stick to what I know.  I for sure don’t think I will be able to use this type of system for students in special education (SPED). I feel it may be a little too hard for them, but I would sure love to make a poster or flyer similar to this article in which I can show parents/guardian the student’s progress.  This multimodal approach taught me a new method, one in which it could help students think outside the box.

Now to the nitty gritty of this cycle.  The best part: making my personal calling card.  My own website. I was so excited I emailed my sister and told her about it.  She was confused at first but then I explained why I had made it. She told me everything that needed to be fixed. Making a website is something I thought I would never do.  It was challenging since I thought to myself that this is something I will be using to communicate with parents and students in the future so why not start now.  As time goes, I will improve it and add better features so everyone can check it out. I will send you (Dr. Jaxon) a link to my website a few years from now so you can critique me and maybe give me a few pointers on what I can do to make my website user friendly and cool over all.  

Here are my favorite makes from my peers in make cycle 5:

The first one is by Rebecca Lee; I thought her design was so beautiful.  The website was well made and it had everything a teacher in training should have.  The second one I chose was by Salina Rodriguez; her website was really cool.  I like how simple it was but at the same time sophisticated. Well planned and designed. And last, I really liked Jamie Xayachack’s website too.  She was really clever and it was funny and the layout I thought was really cool.

Here is a screenshot and link to mine.

Author Bio: Josue is from Hamilton City, a small town 10 miles west of Chico. Before attending Chico State, he was at Butte College as a mechanical engineering transfer. While living with a family whose young boy wasn’t speaking yet, he went out of my way to work with him much like he had with his own son. A few weeks later the young boy spoke for the first time. Josue had discovered how much he loves working with kids. 

Jamie Xayachack

Top 3 Cycle 5 Makes

The makes that I gravitated towards most were the teacher portfolios of Jillian Pearson, Janette Herrera, and Sarah Roberts because I also chose to make one for this cycle. Sarah’s Make was enjoyable to look through as she had multiple blog posts that explain the reasons why she’s pursuing the career that she’s chosen. The layout that she chose for this multimodal make was simple and easy to navigate around.Jillian’s portfolio was filled with a variety of pages which were very interesting to scroll through. I like how she suggested a few websites that both students and educators could utilize. Janette’s portfolio also has a simple layout: her whole blog about Creating Writers was most compelling to read as her views of creating writers are like mine.

“Offer mini lessons each day before writing workshop and then let them go to work. To ensure that each student’s progress is being monitored you can have conferences during the workshop time and offer any assistance that is needed. Remember the most important thing here is create a classroom full of students who think of themselves as writers and this should be encouraged as much as possible.” – Janette Herrera

This whole paragraph resonates with me because I’m experimenting with this approach with my students this semester in having them be the curators of their own stories and handmade books. It’s so important for us future educators to assist students into thinking of themselves as writers because they are imaginative and fantasize about situations through made-up stories. That’s already a huge part of story-writing and the only part we really need to help them with is figuring out how to spell words and structure sentences.


Ultimately, Cycle 5’s article from Language Arts (see link in Lisa’s post above) made me realize how explorative one can be through teaching. It is possible to refrain from traditional and stiff structure in the classroom and Jane Gilrain made that point clear in the allegory, which was presented at the beginning of the article. Gilrain made me realize that it is quite difficult to break away from norms because society tends to adhere to what works or what has worked in the past and most fear change because it is usually accompanied by an onslaught of intuitive and complex ideas to be dealt with. Art is what shapes the world around us. Everything from the design of a car to ceramic mug has been through a creative process engineered by team of people. This article brought light to how students can learn through collaborative work with others so that they can articulate what they would like to say through various multimodal approaches. Through a multimodal approach to teaching, students can utilize their seemingly never-ending free-flow of energy by projecting it towards projects that require movement and drama. I would love to explore this approach through some theatrical work with the students that I have currently. They are all very invested in creating interesting and unique art projects with me and it would be such an awesome experience to have them hone into their skills in the arts by having them do some theater activities with a theater artist.

Cycle 4 Reflection

Karen Kaufman Orloff expertly conveyed her point of views to her young audience by incorporating didactic, yet simple messages as well as other elements through her books I Wanna Iguana and I Wanna New Room. It’s apparent that Orloff chose to write in first person to let the audience have a better understanding of the personalities within the main character as well as other characters in the book. These books are informative, but the dialogues between characters are persuasive as the main character, Alex, attempts to persuade his parents through letters stating how grown up he is or how great his grades are in school. When children read these books, they are given ideas of persuasion to reciprocate their style of writing from when writing letters to whomever they may concern. These texts aim to convey two major points for children to begin understanding, which are compromising and problem-solving. Both stories lead to happy endings and children can see that through the arguments and information being relayed between Alex and his parents. The instances of bias constantly occur as viewpoints of a young boy and older perspectives (Alex’s parents) write letters to each other as they stay strong in their position of arguments.

Both books are vivid and illustrative with humorous drawing and scenes that easily captivate young eyes. The element of putting the texts in graphic paper was an excellent idea as it gives children an example of what a letter should look like and what a letter should contain. From a more mature perspective, the issues presented in the books may come off as trivial, however, children between the three to eight are dealing with these issues and these issues are so important for educators, parents, or guardians to acknowledge and guide children so that they can develop from them. Utilizing this book would help us in educating children of the importance in confronting personal conflicts and to understand the value in gaining new perspectives of things in life.

This make cycle was interesting to do and it was even more fun to look through other classmates work to see the variety of interpretations of this assignment. With that being said, this assignment also brought light into the fact that students all learn and interpret things differently. There must be a variety of ways for students to approach an assignment to create something to the best of their potential. I really liked how everyone used different sources to create what they made. Having a variety of choices also broadened everyone’s perspective on approaching the assignment.

Author Bio: Jamie Xayachack is a third-year Liberal Studies student at CSU Chico. She is currently working in the Enterprise Elementary School District as an ACE Aide, as well as a Classroom Aide. Having the opportunity to be surrounded by students and other educators at work all day has made her excitement and motivation to become an elementary school teacher grow more with each coming day. Jamie’s overseas volunteer experience as a McConnell SAILS Scholar in classrooms in Asia is what made her choose teaching as a career path she would like to venture on. A few hobbies of hers include hiking and playing Super Smash Bros with friends.

Salina Rodriguez

Erin Russo made a website for herself that I found exceptional.  She found not only different fonts and colors to write about herself in, but she also found pictures that made the reader of her website be able to picture her as a soon to be teacher.  There was just the right amount of color and font without making the website too busy or childish. While it is difficult to present yourself on paper, Erin made it seem flawless with her straight to the point examples of her road to being an educator.  Adding on a video by Carol Dweck to help back her teaching philosophy I found creative and powerful for her overall website.

Taylor Roberts Make 5 I found to be done exceptionally well because she challenged herself.  Taylor challenged herself to create a lesson plan and fulfill it herself. I found this to be extra special because it is not even something I am yet to challenge myself with, yet what better way to practice?  She took pictures of her actual work that included information about the sun and the moon along with drawings. I thought this was a really great way to practice mini lessons with students. This allows students to first be able to learn about the subject and then be able to present what was learned in the way they find most comfortable.  I like she started with basic topics because as teachers we can learn to grow as the topics and age of the student grows; however this was a really great way to practice a lesson plan along with mini lessons and have a physical example that can even be used in her future classroom.

Shelby Baccala’s Make 5 was the most impressive Make I could find.  The reason I found hers so impressive was because I felt that her website could be up and looking for hiring districts right now and she would certainly beat me out at any job.  Her way of presenting not just herself and her philosophies, but her way of presenting her experience with pictures to support her past made her website outstanding. Shelby used different colors, fonts, and pictures to keep whomever is reading about her interested and wanting to read on.  This website I see being done so well that she could use it tomorrow to apply for a job. Great job Shelby!

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