Make Cycles

Our course is organized by two week “make cycles,” a term I borrow from Connected Learning. 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.

Featured Curators Make Cycle 2: McKenzie, Suzy, Miriam, Giselle, Daniela, & Keith

Featured Curators Make Cycle 2: McKenzie, Suzy, Miriam, Giselle, Daniela, & Keith

McKenzie Zwetsloot

I felt that this second Make Cycle went very well! In Make Cycle Two, we started off with responding to a text we had to read. In week one, we read About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleaveland, and watched a TED talk by Mac Barnett. After reading Chapter One of About the Authors and looking into students’ writing and how they come up with answers, I feel like I understand more how children think about writing. One of the things that I learned while reading this chapter is, to get kids to write more, is to tell them that they are writing a book. When children are required to make a book, they know that there is writing on every page and sometimes a picture on every page. I liked reading the story about Maggie and Larke. You can tell that these girls set out to create big work because their book is going to be a series. They created pages and pages of what Maggie and Larke like to do together such as dinner and dance, what kind of things they like such as the sun and the moon, and how much they like each other.

Next, we watched the TED talk by Mac Barnett. I really enjoyed watching this TED talk, even my fiancé loved it! The talk was about how to get kids to enjoy reading and to take their reading to the next level. I loved listening about how little kids like Nico read Barnett’s book about having a whale as a pet and were able to actually get engaged with the book and have a “pet” whale of their own. It was so cute to listen to Nico’s voice messages to his pet whale and how often he would call to check up on him. I think that it is important for teachers to encourage their students to read in order to keep their imaginations flowing and allowing them to be excited about the world. Mac Barnett’s message was to find a balance between fiction and reality and always allow their students to find an escape to a magical world with reading.

We were also required to glance at a slide deck that consisted of many different ideas that we could use for writing. There were questions like, “Things that annoy me, Thing I want to learn more about, Things I like to do, Things I fear” etc. We were supposed to write for 2 minutes on each topic and then we would have 14 starter ideas!

During week 2, we started with watching/ reading two books. The first one was The Dot by Peter H Reynolds. The beginning started out with a little girl who thought that she was no good at drawing. The teacher told her to draw a dot and sign her name at the bottom. The next day, her painting was hung up on the wall above her teacher’s desk. I really liked this part of the book because what the teacher did was really inspire the little girl that her drawing could be whatever she wanted it to be and she knew that her teacher supported and loved her drawing even though it was just a dot. Next, the little girl decides that she can draw better dots than that and proves to herself and others that you can do whatever your heart pleases. The teacher was a major motivator for this child. The teacher inspired the little girl to believing that she could paint. The ending was really sweet because the little girl’s paintings were everywhere for an art show. A little boy came up to the little girl and said “I wish I were as good of a painter as you, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler!” The little girl gives the boy a paper and pencil and tells him to draw a line. The outcome is a very squiggly line and the little girl says sign it! The boy is very excited and proud.

The next story was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. This book was about a little boy who woke up in the worst mood and continued to have unfortunate events that made his day even worse. I thought that at the end something good would finally come of his day but the story ended with him sleeping with no pillow and his pet cat sleeping with his brother instead of him. Both of these stories were so cute and I was happy to read and respond to both of them.

Finally, at the end of the week, we all created our Make 2. We used StoryJumper as a way to share our story inspired by this week’s work. I really enjoyed reading Megan Gatzka’s story called “The Not so Good Very Bad Day.” This story book was very relatable because like Alexander’s Not so Good Very Bad Day, Megan left this playful note explaining what had happened during her day: “I recently had a terrible day, which thankfully doesn’t happen often. I did not include the driver who was in front of me on my way back to work who sprayed his windshield wiper fluid all over my nice clean car. I am so lucky to have friends I work with to brighten my day or I probably would have gone to jail. Enjoy!” Megan’s story was great because it was something that we can all relate to. Sometimes we just have terrible days and have to just remember that tomorrow is a new day! 

I also loved reading Miriam Rodriguez’s story called “Not Enough Time.” This clever story was so well done! It was about a little girl who was on summer vacation and couldn’t decide what she would do with her time. She decided to make a list  and it ended up taking a lot of her time. At the end she just decided to sleep, sleep, and sleep. I love this story because it is also so relatable. I feel like we always have such high expectations of summer vacation and always just end up sleeping for the majority of it. I loved this make! 

Overall, these last past 2 weeks have been great and I feel as though I am learning new tricks everyday that I could use in the classroom. I love reading what other people post and getting ideas from my peers. We all work so hard in this class and I am happy to see what is to come in the upcoming weeks!

Author Bio: My name is McKenzie Zwetsloot and I am a senior at Chico. I love to travel and adventure to new places. I am originally from the Bay Area but moved to Chico 2 years ago. I am graduating in a year and hopefully joining the credential program at CSU East Bay summer 2019. I am passionate about helping others and working hard. I can’t wait to become a teacher!


Susana Arredondo

Make Cycle 2 was all about purposeful storytelling, the power of a story, how we can create ideas for our own storytelling, and we are still getting to know one each other through the stories and ideas we bring to our google + community.

At the start of this make cycle we were introduced to our book About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray; we focused on chapter one, which gave us some tips and tricks to do in our own future classrooms. We learned about the importance of writing workshops and how excited some students get when teachers hand them a stack of blank paper and we ask them to “staple the paper together, now make a book.” Children love the idea of projects and building things so let’s allow them to explore and come up with their own story.  

In our book, we were asked as future teachers if we noticed anything about the examples written by prior students. Catherine Navarro wrote,

After reading About the Authors and studying Josh, Maggie, and Lurke’s writing I noticed that they understand what a book is. They also know what a book cover should look like and who the book cover should give credit to (writer and illustrator). It was also interesting how they created a story that made sense and had a story plot. Some words were missed spelled, but one could still understand what they were trying to say. Also, John’s punctuation was obviously there, and he was capitalizing his words in the beginning of the sentence and the title. What surprised me the most about young writers was their ability to create a story that are well organized.”

Most of us seemed very surprised at how much the students knew when it came to create a book; we also agreed that students really enjoy and should get the opportunity to explore the art of making stuff.

Later that week we watched Mac Barnett’s TED talk video. This video had us questioning if fiction or reality should be taught to students. In Amanda Sanders response I really like that she said, “It was inspiring to hear him talk about the necessity to dance on the line of fiction and reality.” I also really liked what Laurence Gammell said in his response,

“What I took away from the Mac Barnett Ted Talk was, how to be creative with students are young children. If we can intrigue their minds then we can have a creative effect on the way they think, perceive things or imagine a storyline of a book. This transfers to the classroom because as teachers we have the ability to make our own rooms as fun and playful possible.”

Followed by this video we made our own list of topics and ideas for future writing prompts. I like how we had time to come up with our own list of ideas. Reading some of the list made me add to my very own list. These lists are important because they help us brainstorm and these topics mean something special to each and every one of us.

Week two of Make Cycle 2 we got to read several stories and reflect on what we took from those readings. We read The Dot, Alexander Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and Mysteries of Harris Burdick. I noticed a majority of the class really enjoyed The Dot. I liked what Bertha Gallardo said, “The Dot by Peter Reynolds you see that by the teacher framing the first little dot, it created a story and many other great paintings. This shows that as teachers we can inspire our students to create something out of something that they might not think is as significant.” My personal favorite part about The Dot was when the teacher had Vashti sign the piece of artwork she had just completed. The teacher did a great job at making her student believe even a single dot was something to celebrate.

For the final part of Make Cycle 2 we created our own make. For this make I saw many more classmates using StoryJumper, which I find very easy to use but personally I am not a huge fan of the illustration; next time I will try to add more photos I have or find different pictures online rather than the clip art or photos provided by StoryJumper. I really enjoyed all the stories I read: good job everyone! I’m sharing Giselle Serna’s who created a book called “Dear Wiggly Tooth” because everyone can easily relate. I think students would enjoy this book and I think she did a really good job!

Keep up the good work English 333!

Author Bio: My name is Susana Alexis Arredondo but I like to be called Suzy. I am from Live Oak, CA and this is my second semester at Chico State. I am furthering my studies in Liberal Arts. I ended up going to Chico State because it is very close, but far enough from home. I graduated from Live Oak High School and Yuba College. I have associates in Social and Behavioral Sciences. My interests include painting, listening to music, traveling, hiking, watching movies and playing with my nieces and nephews.


Miriam Rodriguez Delgadillo

Make Cycle 2 went very well. In the beginning, we were able to start reading our book called About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray and Lisa B. Cleveland. In the first chapter we saw examples of a student’s work. One of the students used as an example, Josh, showed us how much in detailed he set up his pictures and how well he organized his story. A lot of my classmates were in shock that his work was seen as proficient work, since he had a lot of misspelled words. The author then explained to us that even if some of the words were misspelled that his sight words were written correctly and that is what matters. Natalie Gomes says,

One point that really stood out to me was ‘The key to believing in out students’ ability to do really big work in our writing workshops is to remember they will do it like five- and six- and seven year olds. It will look and sound like five- and six- and seven year olds wrote it. If we can accept this, then they can do it, whatever it may be.’ I really liked this part because I think it is true, teachers need to realize the appropriate level these students should be at and accept that their work isn’t going to be the same as a 10 or 11-year-old. I think that the student needs the teachers support all the way or they won’t succeed.”

I believe this is important to remember that kids are kids and focus on their strengths instead of weaknesses.

In this chapter it also mentioned the importance of having children write books. When they write the books they get to write about a topic they like, and they even get to draw pictures with their writing. This encourages writing; it helps them realize and see that writing is actually fun.

By Sunday we watched Mac Barnett’s Ted Talk. In his Ted talks he mentioned why it was so important for him to be an author because he gets to share his ideas with children. He then shared a great story on how a child named Niko  kept calling for about four years in regards to the whale book that Barnett had written. Barnett includes a telephone number in his book Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem so children can request and contact their own whale. He mentioned how important it is for children to be able to imagine. Then, we also went through a powerpoint where we made lists of things that came up in our minds when we saw the question in about two minutes. This was very fun since many created a list of things we enjoy, things that make us upset, dreams, etc. Marc Blair shared about who is important to him, after making the list.

Things I think every person should do before they die:

Find a real love. Find someone who you can enjoy things with. I never cared about being alone but I realized later the enjoyment of being with someone who cares for you unconditionally. It’s double the fun. I also think everyone should travel even though I have yet to do it. I one day hope to. I would love to travel and see various countries and experience their culture and history.

I think many, after writing the lists, were able to reflect about ourselves and our lives. We had stories to share after making their lists. I liked how after knowing who Marc loved he was then able to share his story with us, and explain why he cares so much about them, and what he does to show them how important they are to him. I think he shows a lot of emotions and honesty throughout his writing.

By Wednesday we watched three different texts: The Dot, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. I really enjoyed the book The Dot. It was about a girl who did not want to draw because she thought she was not good enough to draw. Her teacher then told her to try, and she then did a dot. The teacher then asked her to put her signature on it, and after that she wanted to improve and keep drawing. This showed how one teacher can help the confidence of a child to believe they can do it. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was about a boy who had an awful day. He kept getting in trouble for things that he did and not cause, for accidents, and so much more. This resonates to many children since they often see days as a “horrible day” because of small incidents. In the last book we read it was written by a student after seeing a picture, the student tried to create a story for the picture. This would be fun as a classroom essay because children can use their imagination to write their own stories, since everyone sees drawings/pictures differently.

Lastly, on Sunday we created our own story. We were to create a story that was like the books we had read, or from the list we had made. Many of my classmates used Storyjumper, slideshows, and others created their own books and loading it up by taking pictures. Kaylin Renfro wrote a story called “Sunshine & Rainbows” and she used Storyjumper.

In her story she talks about how you can have different perspectives everyday, whether it is positive or negative. I really liked her story because it had very great illustrations but it mentioned to try to be happy, and even if some days are not “good days” to try to make them as happy as any other day: it is your choice to change the perspective of it.

Overall, everyone had very great discussions for Make 2!

Author Bio: Miriam Rodriguez Delgadillo is a first generation student. This is her second year at Chico State; she is a transfer student from Yuba College. After being able to work with children at her job Mini Corps, she was able to realize she wants to be an elementary school teacher.


Giselle Serna

Leslie Phillips’ take on The Dot and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day in Make 2 was everything and more than I possibly could have ever wanted to know about how these two stories can help readers. I believe that she did a good job because she was able to denote what the differences were but also how they were similar. Leslie mentions that these stories both show students that you musn’t give up and that you have to keep going even when things don’t look so good. Leslie believes that motivation is key for students and these stories both help support that view.

I also enjoyed reading Kaylin Renfro’s point of view on Mac Barnetts’ Ted Talk because she brought to light a different point of view. She doesn’t believe that knowing the difference between truth and fiction is very important when you’re young. At first I had a completely opposite perspective on the subject but after hearing what she had to say I completely changed my mind. Kaylin states that “We all grow up too fast…” I completely agree with this because children today mature very quickly. Sometimes we wish they would stay smaller for more time. Kaylin thinks that the children who use their minds and imagination will be the ones who will change the world. I loved her point of view on this.

For my last entry, I decided to read Keith Oakes’ book “Luke Goes Fishing.” I chose this book because the cover caught my eye. It was super cute and looked like it took time and effort. I really enjoyed reading this book because it was very relatable. I think this book could teach children a lesson about throwing away their food. This story was also very fun to read and I wasn’t bored at all as I flipped through the pages. I would definitely incorporate this room into my classroom because it teaches children to be grateful for what they have.

These last weeks have taught me how to be more open minded and also less hard on myself. Although we were learning about children and how they face some negative moments, I found that I resonate with much of what was being said. This class has shows me how difficult children probably have it when they’re trying to write. There was moments when I am struggling for things to write and I can only imagine what a child would be feeling. These last two weeks have taught me much about how stories come to be,  the importance they carry sometimes, and the lessons they teach. I find it reassuring that subconsciously I was taught many of these lessons through books I encountered at a young age.

Author Bio: Hi, my name is Giselle and I’m 19 years old. I live in Corning, CA with my mom, dad, and little sister. I have three 2 lb chihuahuas named Martiano, Joey, and Dolly. I can play 5 instruments now as of last week. I am also participating in CAVE as a classroom aid. My dream to be a teacher began my senior year of high school and I’ve been on my journey through college for a year now.


Daniela Quintana

For Make Cycle 2, we worked on purposeful storytelling. For the first week of the make cycle we read chapter 1 in About the Authors. After reading Chapter 1, and the A & B Units of Study, I noticed several different things about the children’s writing. One of the things I noticed was that the children’s writing is big in the examples provide, but that it will change with time. Another thing I noticed was that the words are written out by how they are sounded out. Children can’t spell a lot but what is good is that they try their best by sounding it out. The children in the book’s examples were also using different punctuations like periods, exclamation marks, and question marks, which is sophisticated for 1st grade. One of the things that surprised me was how much a child can remember about an animal and how they can  write a book about it and even do illustrations. Or how they mention that they want to write a series about them being friends.

I’m excited and nervous to teach children writing because I want to see where their imagination takes them and see what they write about. I’m excited to see the children progress throughout the year. Making books like mentioned in the textbook will help a lot because we can keep track of how they are progressing throughout the year.

During the second week of make 2 we read The Dot, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. The Dot was a great story and a story we should all read to our future students. It shows that we should always believe in ourselves. It showed us you do not have to be talented to draw or paint. Anything is art. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day can relate to students because there are days that aren’t too good. Students have bad days. A bad day can be just not being able to play with a toy they want. It shows students that it is fine to have bad days and you can use this idea in conversations with students.

To end the make we had to create own book about an event in our lives. I enjoyed reading everyone’s stories, but one that I really enjoyed was Krystina Hockman’s story “Kitty’s Big Move.”

I enjoyed Kitty’s Big Move because it talked about Krystina’s move to Seattle, but it was from her kitty’s perspective. Another story I really enjoyed reading was “Not Enough Time” (see above) by Miriam Rodriguez Delgadillo. I really enjoyed this story because I was able to relate to it. She wants to do all these things, but couldn’t decide what decide what to do so she just decided to sleep. I liked how it was about Miriam’s life, but she decided it to do it from a little girl’s perspective. The other one I enjoyed was “Beenie the Green Worm” by Julia Kaplan. This was a very interesting book that teaches us that being different is alright. There is nothing wrong with being different than everyone else.

Author BioMy name is Daniela Quintana and I am 22 years old. I was born in Mexico, but have lived in Napa for 16 years. I graduated from the Napa Valley College in May 2017 and received my Associates in Psychology. After I graduated NVC, I transferred to Chico State and started in the Fall 2017. I enjoy working with children and have been working with them since 2014. I plan on receiving my bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and then receiving my teaching credential. I want to teach any grade from Kindergarten to second grade.


Keith Oakes

The first make that I really liked was Krystina Hockman’sKitty’s Big Move” (see above) and the reason I found this make so great was because of the illustrations. The story was lacking on the storytelling aspect of the book, but what the book excelled at was the illustrations that were added into every page. Each page really told the story of what was happening in the story and even if you were to take out all the words, I believe you could still follow along with the plot of the story. Krystina did a fantastic job conveying Kitty’s story arc of her move to Seattle.

I also appreciated Miriam Rodriguez Delgadillo’s “Not Enough Time.” Miriam created a very solid story with her make for week 2. She was able to balance a compelling story with that of illustrations that followed along with the story. Miriam uses repeating words to create a flow and continuity amongst the different sections of the book. Kids love repetitiveness and it helps them remember stories easier and I think this would be a good thing to remember once you become a teacher because stories that follow this formula tend to be successful. I was very impressed with Miriam’s make and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Finally, Julia Kaplan’sBennie the Green Worm” was perhaps my favorite storyjumper make from this week and that’s partly due to it being similar to The Ugly Duckling which is one of my favorite childhood books. Julia does a great job separating Bennie from the other worms by making his appearance different than the other worms as well as having his name start with a letter other than “W.” Julia has all the categories checked for a children’s book: moral lesson, rhyming, and a problem that the main character has that the reader can connect to. This is a story that I think teachers could use in their elementary school classrooms. 

Author Bio: I am in my final year here at Chico State. I currently live in the Central Valley and having the ability to take all my courses online is a tremendous advantage. When I’m not doing homework and reading, I’m spending my time working at an elementary school, golfing, and fishing any chance I get. Hopefully after finishing this year and getting my Bachelors in Liberal Studies, I will be able to start my teaching career as an intern while I work on my credential.
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