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Currents Community

We will our work in a Currents Community to share our fieldnotes, respond to others’ ideas, and discuss readings. *Remember to log in to your Chico State Google first; once logged in, click link here.


October 2021
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Author: kjaxon

Hello nice people of English 431!

THE LAST SERIES OF EVENTS IS LIVE! Not sure why I’m yelling, but YAY!

Link here to all the information (with video too).

Friendly reminders: the mentor applications are due this Friday and please post updates on your workshops (even if it’s brief so I know you’re attending).

I hope you find this plan playful. Appreciate you all!

Before Break…

Before Break…

Hello 431 crew,

Thank you for the thoughtful drafts for the What I Know So Far papers. I did a quick read this morning; they look great. Appreciate you all so much and all the work you’re doing for your classes under crap conditions.

Please read the rest of this email carefully. It has four parts. 😉

  1. Peer Feedback: As I mentioned in a previous email, I’d also like you to give feedback to each other this week (by Friday, (11/20) or Saturday (11/21) would be great). Here’s what I’m thinking:
    • Share your draft with your partner (see below). Everyone’s emails are in the email thread (where I originally sent this on 11/17) for sharing via Google Docs. Make sure the share settings for me and your partner are for “comments” and not just view only. Communicate with each other via email if necessary to coordinate draft sharing.
    • As you give feedback, notice places in their drafts where they might build on an idea (examples from internships you’d like to see added or a good place to add something from one of the readings). You can also engage with the ideas, offering up your experiences or your suggestions from the readings, etc. I would see this feedback as a conversation between colleagues.
    • Tell them things they are doing well with the draft. Give them 1-2 ideas for revision: what idea might they explore further? What questions does their draft raise for you that you’d like to see explored?
    • I see this feedback as collegial and an opportunity for professional practice for giving feedback.
  2. The Hiring Memo: the Spring mentor application is now ready to go. The application deadline is Fri, Dec 4. From Dr. Sparks: “With two Jumbo sections being offered, there are also opportunities for well-prepared students to lead more than one workshop.” You have an option on the form to indicate if you are interested in leading more than one workshop.
  3. Student Evaluations: could you take a moment this week and complete the SETs for your classes? It really helps us all out since we need evaluations for our tenure files. The SET deadline is Friday and we are seeing very low completion rates, which makes us nervous for faculty who need to address student feedback for their files. We need your input; thank you in advance!
  4. Your workshops are meeting this week. Per usual, leave an update in our currents community, then I hope you truly do get a break next week.

Partners for peer feedback:

  • Lumi & Tabitha
  • Matthew & Hannah S
  • Isaiah & Caleb
  • Paytyn feedback to Hannah May; Hannah May give feedback to Ceaira; Ceaira give feedback to Paytyn. 😉 So, Paytyn, share your draft with Hannah May; Hannah share your draft with Ceaira; Ceaira share your draft with Paytyn.

When we return, we’ll work on some gaming things that I hope will be playful. The English Department is designing a game for students to play, tentatively titled “the Game’s Afoot.” We’ll be thinking about how to turn concepts from this class into gaming ideas. We’ll play together and reflect on the ideas. I’ll try to make it not suck. 😉 We’ll use this as our reflection assignment and our resource gathering assignment combined, so we head into the end of the semester with some low stakes and playful plans.

In a nutshell:

  • Peer feedback by Saturday morning (11/21)
  • Complete the hiring form/memo by Dec 4
  • Complete your SETs this week
  • Attend the workshop this week and leave a brief update

Hang in there! And thank you again! And omg, it’s raining! I might cry…

Weeks 5 & 6 are live

Weeks 5 & 6 are live

Hello team!

I hope your windows are open for this break in the air! Open windows are feeding my soul right now.

Please go to this link for the plans for the next two weeks or see the Do The Thing drop down menu above (Weeks 5 & 6). Important additions to our reading and fieldnotes this time: an optional Zoom meeting for Sept 28 AND an assignment that is due Oct 4, which requires some planning. All the info on the Weeks 5 & 6 page.

I love reading your fieldnotes and seeing the quotes and ideas you cull from the readings. Thank you!

Happy blursday!

Week 4: responding to fieldnotes

Week 4: responding to fieldnotes

Hello everyone,

Just a quick note about partners and fieldnotes. You are doing such a great job with tracing your workshop sessions, which I know is not easy when you’re also trying to be a productive participant. Seriously great work with these notes. As you give feedback to each other, I’m hoping you can start noticing more what is similar or different between the two sessions: how the workshop gets started or how it ends (are their differences or similarities between the mentor approaches?); how Zoom is used; what the mentor decides to spend the most time with; how many students talk. Are there structures that seem more useful than others for supporting writers? How might you keep track of that for your future teaching designs?

I might also look this week at the writing the students in your workshop are producing by going into their Currents community. Link here or on the front of Dr. Sparks course page if that doesn’t work. You can see your workshop number and mentor name in the categories on the left. This will help you to see the student writing from the workshop you are interning in. You’ll gain more insights into how the students are taking up the writing tasks, which you could also include in your fieldnotes.

Here is the link to Dr. Sparks week 4 plan too in case it’s useful for getting situated for your workshop this week.

Thank you for all the work you continue to do in these *gestures wildly* “unprecedented times.”

Appreciate you all.


Week 3 updates and reminders

Week 3 updates and reminders

Hello nice people!

Really enjoyed reading your fieldnotes this morning; thank you for jumping in. You did a great job with this first set of notes and I know they’ll just get better and better. You might check out Ceaira and Lumi’s fieldnotes if you’re wondering about other ways of keeping track or what to notice. They both had a nice level of detail in their notes that you might find helpful as a model. Also, Tabitha and Lumi already gave each other feedback on their notes and they are a nice example for how to do that. Thank you! You can’t do any of this wrong…you’re learning how to collect data and comment on data; you are doing great. Things you might consider adding to your notes: time on tasks, names of students, and perhaps some way to keep track of any writing they do (like keep the link to any google docs handy for yourself). You might keep this question in mind this week as you’re deciding what to trace: how does the session support writing?

You can find the tasks for weeks 3 & 4 under the Do The Thing page in the drop down menu.

This week:
—Read and comment on Nelson article in Perusall
—Find quotes and add those quotes plus short reflection about the Nelson reading in Currents (under your name). Hannah May already added hers and it’s exactly what I was hoping for if you want an example. Check under her name in our Currents community. Thanks Hannah May. The point of this “quote gathering” each week is so you can trace the readings over time. We’ll be writing a paper later called “what I know so far..” and I hope that keeping track of the quotes will be helpful for that assignment.
—Respond to partner’s fieldnotes. Your partner list again:

Lumi and Tabitha
Isaiah and Caleb
Matthew and Hannah S
Ceaira and Paytyn
Alaina and Hannah May

Again, I appreciate how you participated with the workshops this week. You are already great mentors for the freshmen. Thanks everyone!