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.

Updates & Reminders Day 7 (Jan 10)

Updates & Reminders Day 7 (Jan 10)

Howdy everyone,

My “morning” updates are turning into early afternoon updates… so many things to do! I’m currently working on a Spencer grant–so I can secure some funds to study the influence of artifacts (like your Makes) on the way people learn in a discipline–doing some grant reporting, updating a website, and prepping three classes for spring. Fun stuff.

Grade update for yesterday’s post and Make were just sent. If you notice that you received a 22/25 on your Make, it’s because there wasn’t enough in the reflection portion. For me, hearing about your process is just as interesting as the product. The reflection is also the place where you can think about writerly decisions: how did the platform or genre shape your choices? Why that theme or that font or that color choice? Why that repeating line? The more you think about your goals and intentions as a writer, the better you’ll get at helping little kids do that too. I put some examples again below from Ayla, Shelbi, Adriana, and Sheenna who did some nice work with the reflection portion. I should see more than “the platform was great and I enjoyed this.”

Make sure you’re responding to a peer each time…we are always missing a few comments each time from a few people. Leave yourself time to engage with the ideas of your peers; again, giving feedback is challenging and this is a place to try out giving feedback to writing. When possible, find one that has not been commented on (I realize this is more challenging when you’re posting early). Appreciate your comments a lot.

Most likely, I won’t do a grade update again until sometime Monday. I’m traveling to Atlanta for a National Writing Project meeting on Sunday, so email response might be just a tiny bit slower (same day for sure, but maybe not same hour).

When I read that we were doing an expository make on almost anything we were interested in, succulents came to my mind right away. I freaking love succulents, you guys. More so, I love growing succulents, so I thought that would be a good base to start with. I wanted it to be simple, while still providing all of the necessary information needed at the same time. Like the dragonfly book, I wrote this in the form of a children’s book with lots of pictures (all my own), and basic language. I wanted to add a couple of interesting facts as well. I also wanted to have the story be more focused on the reader, by aiming the title at them and referencing to them throughout the book (like the dragonfly book). I think I had a hard time coming up with an ending that didn’t feel too abrupt, but I knew that I wanted to have the first and last page be very similar by restating the question. I enjoyed making this! –Ayla

I wrote about stars following the poem I wrote last week about stars. I originally wanted to relate it back to a child with dreams while looking at the stars, but once I started writing it, it became something else. In each image, I included the technique of having one repeating theme. It is very small, but it is a galaxy on every page with an image. I found after looking at the book when I finished that it might be a little to plain and factual for a young child. If I did it over again, I would focus more on the fictional character and her dreams with some facts about stars instead of the other way around. –Shelbi

I decided to write about the stages the butterflies go through, although most of it was first hand experience I also had to do some research for timelines and names. This can definitely be modified but I used Are You a Dragonfly? as inspiration by seeing how they used discussed the different stages while still having it in terms that could be understood by children. Also, side note I did in fact get to house and watch ten little caterpillars grow into butterflies and it is so cool and I think it would be a great idea to incorporate as a little side activity to teach the students about the stages of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar could even be used as a supplementary text to introduce the idea to children! –Adriana

For my make this time, I just more or less tried to mirror the same idea that was presented to us within “Are you a dragon fly?” I tried to present factual information using a repetitive phrase. I asked a question within the book hoping to draw the readers in a little bit. I wrote the book with the ages of about k-5th in mind. Ironically, when my older daughter realized I was making a book about sloths, she told me that she too was researching sloths at school for her own project and that she had chosen sloths on her own. We had never even conversed about this and yet we somehow chose the same exact mammal even having been given an open prompt. I thought that was memorable! I did try to make some of the pages a little fun and light hearted. I really don’t feel confident about this make. I struggled with it more than I had expected. However, I was able to learn more things about sloths than I had ever known before this project. I personally love animal facts! –Sheenna

I am loving the winter session. There is something about only focusing on one class that is just heavenly. I’m wondering if you’re having the same experience? Maybe we should do 3 week courses over 16 weeks: you could do 4-5 classes in a semester, but only have to give your attention to one class at a time. Faculty would never go for it, but it has me thinking…

Happy Thursday!


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