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.

Make Cycle 7: Revise & Reflect

Make Cycle 7: Revise & Reflect

Weeks 14-15 + Finals: Revise & Reflect

“…our goal is not better books. Our goal is better writers”

–Wood Ray & Cleaveland

We’ll spend the final weeks revising and reflecting on the ideas for teaching writing. My goal: I hope you leave this course with a reflection and manifesto that you can return to when you have your own classroom. As you begin prep for your first year of teaching, I hope you will re-read your reflection and think about what matters to you in the teaching of writing and go on to create assignments and activities for your students with that foundation. If you haven’t already, I would also suggest that you create some way to curate all the resources you are gathering (perhaps by subject area). You might create a Google Folder where you keep notes, links, readings, etc that you want to return to as you plan for your classroom.

For my own teaching writing manifesto: it matters that students control their writing as much as possible. Students should make more of the decisions about what and how to compose than I do for them. Writers should decide what goes into their texts. I want students to know that their ideas matter and that their own goals for writing should drive their choices about audience, structure, genres, and distribution. I want students to play with a variety of forms and platforms so they can make informed choices: from microblogs like Twitter to long form essays to multimodal compositions. These forms are not better or worse: they serve different goals for writing. And I want them to see writing as both challenging and playful. Most importantly, I want students to know that writing does things in the world and they can use writing to impact their world.

In this last make cycle, we’ll think about revision using one of your previous makes and we’ll use the ideas from About the Authors to support the revision work.  You all have an amazing body of work you’ve created this semester to refer to as you write your reflection. I might get started this week by reviewing all your posts and your makes. (*Note: if you click on your name in G+ from any of your posts, you should be able to see all your posts in one page.) Take some notes about things that stand out to you as you re-read all your work for English 333. The notes will help you write the reflection.

I am grateful for all your work this semester. It has been a joy to read your writing.

In a nutshell:

  • By Friday, May 4: two prompts for Chapter 8 and Appendix K.
  • By Friday, May 11: Revise one of your previous makes and explain what you revised and why.
  • By Tuesday, May 15: Reflection & Manifesto due in shared Google Doc

April 30-May 4

Two part prompt due by Friday, May 4: About the Authors Chapter 8 (139-153) and Appendix K (221-231) …and May the 4th be with you…

  1. In chapter 8, the authors talk about ideas for conferencing with students. I can remember being in a 1st grade classroom a few years ago where I watched in awe as 7 year olds came up to the teacher and said things like “I’m ready for my ideas conference,” “I’m reading for my revision conference,” or “I’m ready for my editing conference.” I was struck by how articulate these young writers were: they could communicate easily about where they were in the writing process and what they needed to move forward. 
    • What do you notice about the author’s approach for conferencing? What might you want to try out? You could also talk about overall take-aways from this book. What do you want to remember when you create your writing plans? You could think of this as a draft that you can use for portions of your reflection assignment.
  2. In appendix K, the authors have great suggestions about how to approach revision with children. Notice how they think about extending a text with smaller kids, cutting and polishing in another grade level, and rewriting once writers have a more sophisticated understanding of revision. I’d like you to use the ideas in Appendix K to inform your choice about which of your makes you want to revise and how you want to revise it. Explain to us which “make” you are going to revise and how you think you’ll revise it; then tell us how the chapter helped to inform that decision. (Your revised make will then be due next Friday, May 11).

Post in G+ under Make Cycle 7: Chapter 8 & K

May 7-11

By Friday, May 11:

Revise one of your makes from any of the make cycles. You can add to a story, rewrite portions of a make, cut and polish, etc. Whatever you decide to revise, this revision should make significant changes to the original. You’ll then share the new link (perhaps a revised Storyjumper link if you revised one of your stories), paste the revised text, or upload the new image for this post. Make sure you tell us what you revised from the original and why.

Post in G+ under Make Cycle 7: Revised Make

Final’s Week: Manifesto on Teaching Writing due by Tuesday, May 15

Manifesto on Teaching Writing

20 points for revised make (assignment above due May 11); 30 points for Reflection & Manifesto. 50 points total

*IMPORTANT: this assignment will be shared in a Google Doc with me and not posted in G+. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE note that my email is different for google sharing:

This is the culminating assignment for the class. You will write a manifesto that describes your beliefs about the teaching of writing, and articulates your intentions as a future teacher to implement those beliefs. In it, you will also use and discuss one revised, remixed, or otherwise refined project from the class’s Make Cycles to exemplify your ideas about writing and writing pedagogy.

One way to approach this assignment would be to start by writing a reflection about your work in the class: what ideas resonated with you? What do you want to remember from the readings (About the Authors, articles, mentor texts)? What did you learn about yourself as a writer? What are you proud of and what was a struggle? Use the readings and your previous work to support your reflection.

Then, you should explain how your revised “make” represents what matters to you about teaching writing. How is your revised make a representation of what you believe about the teaching of writing? For example, does your revised make reflect your beliefs about choice in what to write about? Does it reflect your beliefs about the importance of mentor texts or revision?

Finally, create a bulleted list–your manifesto–things you believe about the teaching of writing. Your list can be as long or as short of you see fit.

Here are examples from last semester’s course in case they’ll helpful:

Grace’s reflection & manifesto

Kaia’s reflection & manifesto

Rafael’s reflection & manifesto

So, in a nutshell, this final assignment should do three things, but the order above is only a suggestion. You can include these three things in any order that makes sense to you:

  • Reflect on your work in the course: the readings, the mentor texts, your writing, etc. What ideas, texts, work stands out to you that you’d like to remember? (Expect this to be 2-4 paragraphs)
  • Use your revised make project as a way to reflect on what matters to you about the teaching of writing. How is your revised make a representation of your beliefs about teaching writing? (Expect this to be 2-3 paragraphs)
  • Create a bulleted list: your manifesto about teaching writing. *Note: you could start this assignment with the bulleted list and then use the reflection and your make to explain the ideas from your manifesto. The manifesto does not need to come last (but it might take writing the reflection to be able to create the list–you can always then move your manifesto to the top if that makes more sense to you).

Instructions for sharing a Google Doc.

  1. Go to:
  2. On left, click on Google Drive login
  3. May ask you to log in with Chico State portal ID/password
  4. Click on “New”: Choose Google Doc from the drop down menu under New. You’ll now have a blank google doc.
  5. Name file in upper left corner (click where it says “Untitled”). Use last name in title and perhaps Reflection. For example: Munoz_Reflection_Engl333
  6. Click Share in upper right and share with me: Set it so I can comment or edit, not just view.  I’ll get an email saying it is shared with me.

Again IMPORTANT. This assignment will be shared in a Google Doc with me and not posted in G+. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE NOTE my email for sharing in google: