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.

Category: weekly update

Make Cycle 7: Revise & Reflect is posted

Make Cycle 7: Revise & Reflect is posted

Hi all,

Love seeing the response to your writing assignments coming in from your partners. Great job on this assignment everyone!  Reflection due tonight (Sunday) on this assignment sequence.

Our LAST MAKE CYCLE is posted! 😉 You’ll respond to the last chapters of About the Authors and revise one of your previous Makes, ending with a Reflection & Manifesto assignment. I look forward to reading them.

And I am grateful that you are going into the teaching profession; we are lucky to have you.

You might appreciate seeing the news report on the work we did yesterday with teachers who are impacted by the fire. Yesterday was very emotional, but also incredibly rewarding as we start the long process of rebuilding…

Just do the next right thing

Just do the next right thing

Hi everyone,

I hardly know where to start really. I made a video just to make the reconnecting a bit easier perhaps.

I’ll start by saying I hope everyone is safe and your families are safe. For those of you who live in the area, we know that everything has changed. I am overwhelmed by both the seemingly endless need but also the incredible generosity we are experiencing. So many of my friends have lost everything, but they are the same people showing up to volunteer everywhere. Please please feel free to reach out with anything you might need moving forward. I can always connect people to resources.

We are going to just jump back in to the ideas in our class and I hope that will actually be comforting. I continue to play with due dates, so here’s where we stand. *NOTE: all of this information is on our website on the Make Cycle 6 page:

  • By tomorrow night (Nov 26), you should have the two assessment prompts (one on Chapter 7/Appendix G and one on Common Core) completed. I’m also fine with accepting these two prompts (you can even combine the prompts into one, longer response) anytime this week if needed.
  • AND, your writing assignment for your partner is due tomorrow night too (Nov 26). Please make sure to check share settings if sharing a Google Slide or Docs. Set to “anyone with link can view” to be sure we can see your assignment.
  • The response to your partner’s assignment is due Friday, Nov 30. I moved this back a bit to give you more time. See assignment description about posting.
  • Reflection on these series of assignments due Sunday, Dec 2 (this is the same).

Here are some links you might find comforting, interesting, helpful:

  • Link to my dear friend and colleague, Sarah Pape’s, Op-Ed in the New York Times about the Paradise fire. Link HERE
  • Link to another friend’s blog about the fire and our work as teachers. LINK HERE
  • Link to Chico State’s FAQ’s for students regarding the fire and resources. LINK here
  • Link to Facebook group supporting teachers impacted by the fire. Link HERE

Look forward to our continuing work. Take good care


Updates: Week 11

Updates: Week 11

Hi everyone!

Lots of information below…please read carefully. 😉

–I just sent grade updates up through last night’s Make. Thank you for the creative approaches to the multimodal make! I really enjoyed looking through all the games, memes, and websites this morning! I know making a website can be challenging: I appreciate giving it an attempt. Also, I shared this link with a couple of students, but you might like these StoryCubes for your classes (or your family): LINK HERE. I have a few of them and they make creating stories really playful.

–Make Cycle 6 is now live: LINK HERE. In this next cycle, you’ll be taking what you’ve learned and creating a writing activity for a partner in our class. This is a THREE week cycle, so we’ll start it before Thanksgiving break and then finish when we return. As I mention in the assignment, you should address your activity to your partner and keep in touch with them for any issues. AND, I actually made a new video to check in with this assignment (see below and other places on the site too).

Find your partner below for Make Cycle 6:

  • Susana and Estafani
  • Sophia and Mackenzie H
  • Krystal B and Krystle D
  • Marc and Laurence
  • Rebecca and Krystina H
  • Ruthann and Kathryn
  • Alyssa and Bailey
  • Megan and Kaylin
  • Natalie and Amanda
  • Julia and Leslie
  • Donovan and Keith
  • Bertha and Tessa
  • Miriam and Giselle
  • Kendall and McKenzie Z
  • Madison and Catherine
  • Olivia and Daniela

–For fun, and in the fall spirit, I came across this great set of resources for teaching about Halloween and Day of the Dead: Link HERE And this weekend, I was part of a featured conversation about feedback on student writing. You can listen to the short radio broadcast HERE if you’re interested. 😉

PLEASE VOTE tomorrow! Public education needs you to be involved and vote!
Happy Monday!

Week 7 update

Week 7 update

Hi everyone,

The Makes for Engaging Expositions are looking great (due tonight, Oct 7)! You have some adorable ABC books on the G+ community…great fall themes too. I continue to appreciate the work you are all doing in thinking about the teaching of writing and taking some risks with your own writing.

finally have the blogs up from our featured Curators for Make Cycle 2. So many of you are featured in their blogsso be sure to check it out on our site: LINK HERE. Thank you McKenzie, Suzy, Miriam, Giselle, Daniela, and Keith for highlighting all the great work with storytelling from your peers.  Up next week for Make Cycle 3 featured curators are Alyssa Dettloff, Kendall Eagleton, Estefani Galarza, Bertha Gallardo, and Laurence Gammell. I sent you all an email earlier, so be sure to look that over and let me know if you have questions. (Remember everyone: you can find your assigned Make Cycle for the featured curator assignment on the Assignments page. One time only assignment.)

I sent a grade update a few days ago to your Wildcat mail; I’ll send another in about a week. Thank you for continuing to give feedback to your peers; building a writing community is really important to the work we’re doing as future educators. Remember to respond to someone each time when you post your own response. 😉

Make Cycle 4 (Compelling Arguments) is now live: Link HERE. You’ll probably be happy to see that I slowed the pace down just a bit this week so everyone can take a breath (you’ve been working so hard in this class; thank you!): your next response is due in a week (Oct 14), so no Wednesday response this week. Slightly more reading, but one less response. I do expect you’ll write a meaty response by next Sunday since you’re working with a couple of chapters–4 & 5 plus Appendix E–from About the Authors.

Happy Sunday!


Week 5 Updates

Week 5 Updates

Hello nice people of English 333,

Makes are looking great! Remember if you’re using Storyjumper to share from the “Share” button; we should see a thumbnail (book cover typically) if the link shares correctly. Also, a few were flagged as spam and I needed to approve those, which I just did, so we should be all set. I’ll keep watching for others. Storytelling makes are due tonight (9/23). Please remember to tell us about your process AND comment on a peer’s story once you share. Love your comments to each other; thank you!

Make Cycle 3 is now posted. Link on our site and HERE. We are moving to informational/expository texts and reading more in About the Authors. You all did such great work with chapter 1 and noticing kids’ writing! I have one pretty creepy mentor text this make cycle too (during week 6) because it’s October. 😉 Edward Gorey’s The Gashleycrumb Tinies should remind you a lot of Tim Burton and hopefully you can get through the dark humor…not intended for little kids! But no fear, I paired that mentor text with a sweet book about Dragonflies so not everything is creepy.

I’ll get grade updates for Make Cycle 2 done in the next day or so. Really appreciate your work!

Our featured curators for this cycle are Giselle, Daniela, Suzy, Mckenzie, Keith, and Miriam. They will be highlighting the ideas and your makes for Make Cycle 2. Friendly reminder to the 6 of you that you’ll share your featured curator assignment with me by Tuesday. Thanks again to the Make Cycle 1 team!

Appreciate all of you and the work you are doing.

Grade Updates Sent

Grade Updates Sent

From my email to y’all:

Moments ago, you should have received an individual email with a grade update. You’ll get one of these every week or so and certainly at the end of a cycle. Some things to note:

  • I tend to give full credit for all work. So, if you have less than full points it means you either missed part of the prompt (easy to tell if you have 1/2 the points) or it’s really short and does not have enough depth (something like a 7/10 or 8/10). Look at the examples on our website (under Example Student Work page) to get a sense of expectations. Or look around at others on our G+ and notice that people write some long and gloriously thorough posts (thank you!). A couple of points will not hurt your overall grade and I would expect to see your posts get better and better, so no worries.
  • If you received a 15/20 on your Make, you simply missed the process part (telling us why you approached the make the way you did, your process, any issues, etc.). You can add that now if you want and I’ll update your grade. Just let me know when it’s added (email me). I have two examples of the process below from Krystina and Madison (thank you!) if you want some good examples of this part.
  • Note that at this moment, 5 points looks like it kills your grade, but it’s because it’s 40/45 total (so a B+). Total points for the class when we’re all done is 325. 320/325 is an A. Missing a couple of things will be okay, but more than that really starts to effect your grade. And missing a Make assignment is brutal…don’t miss those 20 points every 2 weeks. 😉
  • I really can’t take late work. Every time my classes blog or write posts I have 98 assignments to read…so 98 on Wednesdays and 98 on Sundays…close to 200 posts per week. I love love love reading these, so that’s not the issue, but keeping track of late ones or updates is just no fun. You’ll need to get things in on time. thank you!

Okay, that’s enough of the grade details for now. You are writing beautiful responses to the ideas in class so far. I am so grateful for the clearly hard work you put into your posts and your first makes!

Finally, one pro-tip: if you are getting a ton of G+ notifications, you can change the notification settings by clicking on the dots, then Preferences, then Community Notifications.

THANKS FOR CLICKING ON THE EMAIL LINK! We ended up with 26/34 people, so much better than our original 13!

Here’s the example process explanation for the makes:

From Madison:

I chose to write a poem about my middle name. I chose a poem since poems are usually my preference for expressing myself in writing. I prefer rhyming with light work, such as a poem about my name. If I’m writing something much deeper, I tend to not rhyme. It really depends on the tone of my poem, and how effective I feel rhyming will or will not be. Our names tend to define who we are, since there usually is meaning behind them. My middle name come from part of my dad’s name. Considering how close I am with my dad, I almost felt it was fitting to write about my middle name. My last name is important too, but I’m getting ready to get married, and my first and middle name are the two parts of my name that will not legally change in 4 months.

From Krystina:

For this week’s make, I decided to create a poem that incorporates the theme of names from our readings. Inspired by the theme of “name”, I opted to share some of my life and how my name has defined it (or how my life has defined my name!). Repetition is a great literary tool that, when used correctly, can teach the reader something new and leave more of an impact by emphasizing the author’s purpose. By repeating the same words and formatting from stanza to stanza, I hoped to create some rhythm. This rhythm and word selection should hopefully inspire the reader to understand the importance I place on spelling my name correctly as that was my goal with this poem.

Heading in to Week 3

Heading in to Week 3

Hello nice people of English 333!

Your makes are looking so so good! Thank you to so many of you who are trying out the Storyjumper site and some of you are writing such adorable poems; bravo. Friendly reminder that the makes are due tonight and remember to talk about the process when you share your make (who you decided to approach the assignment the way you did, what worked, what was challenging). Finally, make sure you are responding to at least one of your peers when you post. Thank you!

Make Cycle 2 is now up on the site; you can always find this under the Make Cycles tab. And link here. We’ll be looking more closely at storytelling and starting to read in our About the Authors book, which I think you’ll like a lot. The authors have so many amazing examples from kids. You have posts due Wednesday & Sunday, which will typically be the routine throughout the semester.

IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ—> I assigned people to the “Featured Curators” assignment for the semester. Please look for your name listed by a make cycle under the Featured Curators assignment. I am about to send an email to Marc, Krystina, Megan, Krystle, and Rebecca next hoping that you’ll be willing to go first! I’ll send further instructions in that email. Everyone should look over the assignment and watch for an email for me during your make cycle with more information. You can find lots of examples from last semester on our course website. Like this one. 

I’ll give more feedback tomorrow and Tuesday and plan to send your first grade update by Tuesday afternoon. I send grade updates to your Wildcat email and I’ll send everyone a head’s up that grades are sent so you can check your email.

Really grateful for the thinking you are doing already and the conversations you’re having with your peers.

This information was also sent to your email: please let me know that you’re reading the email updates by CLICKING HERETHANK YOU!

Week 11 Updates

Week 11 Updates

Hi everyone,

Grade Update: Moments ago you should have received a grade update that takes us through to tonight’s multimodal make. I left comments on the chapter 6 discussion and memes: you all have some great ideas for lessons in your responses that you could build upon for our next make cycle. I’m glad you are able to take so much away from these chapters. I highly recommend other books by Katy Wood Ray too: she has a whole book simply called The Writing Workshop: Working Through the Hard Parts. Many of you also mentioned the use of notebooks, so I wanted to point you toward a couple resources for using notebooks in your classrooms:

I hope you are keeping a Google Folder or something that works for you to save resources and ideas for your classrooms. 😉

Make Cycle 6 (Now With Partners): Our next make cycle is up on our course website–Make Cycle 6: Creating Writing Assignments. This is a three week make cycle since you will be creating your own writing assignments/activities and trying them out together. I have placed you with a partner: you will write an assignment for your partner to try, she/he will try it by writing the assignment and giving you feedback and visa versa. Your partners can be found on the Make Cycle 6 page and below. It will be crucial to complete work on time in this cycle so that you don’t hold up your partner; I have no doubt you’ll be respectful to each other. I also have a couple of examples for this make on the page as well.

Featured Curators for Make 5 (Maritza, Yorleidi, Caitlin, Josue, Salina, Lisa, and Jamie): your blogs are due to me by Tuesday, April 10 in a shared Google Doc. I’ll send a follow up email tomorrow after the makes come in tonight and you can also see the previous email I sent with information. You’ll also send me a bio and a photo for the blog. Thank you in advance!

Partners for the make for Make Cycle 6:

  • Kellie/Julie
  • Christina/Rebecca L
  • Chad/Lisa
  • Jamie/Brittany
  • Janette/Sandra
  • Erin/Jillian
  • Chelsea/Rebecca S
  • Rayn/Salina
  • Shelby/Samone
  • Ruben/Hannah
  • Sean/Dana
  • Jennifer/Rebecca B
  • Cheyenne/Maritza
  • Brianna/Alma
  • Adriana/Nancy
  • Karen/Caitlin
  • Raenni/Josue
  • Veronica/Yorleidi