Featured videos: language, literacy, writing

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
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
September 27, 2021 September 28, 2021 September 29, 2021 September 30, 2021 October 1, 2021 October 2, 2021 October 3, 2021
October 4, 2021 October 5, 2021 October 6, 2021 October 7, 2021 October 8, 2021 October 9, 2021 October 10, 2021
October 11, 2021 October 12, 2021 October 13, 2021 October 14, 2021 October 15, 2021 October 16, 2021 October 17, 2021
October 18, 2021 October 19, 2021 October 20, 2021 October 21, 2021 October 22, 2021 October 23, 2021 October 24, 2021
October 25, 2021 October 26, 2021 October 27, 2021 October 28, 2021 October 29, 2021 October 30, 2021 October 31, 2021


Assignments at a Glance:

Our work together this semester will focus on how to support writers. We’ll do this through internships, reading in the field of composition and literacy studies, and by reading student writing.

  • First things:
    • Join two platforms (Perusall and Currents Community). See instructions below.
    • Choose internship in survey link below (I emailed y’all previously so you may have already completed this survey; thank you!)
  • Routine assignments
    • Weekly fieldnotes (Sundays) & response to partners (Thursdays)
    • Annotations & Quote Gathering  (Thursdays)
    • Rotating pairs weekly: Amplifying first-year writing project
  • One time Assignments:
    • Being Tutored Essay (Sunday, Oct 4; schedule a tutoring appt by Sept 25)
    • What I know so far… paper (Nov 8 & Dec 4)
    • Resource Gathering: Support for Writers (Nov 9-20)
    • Final’s Week: Reflection

First up: join two platforms:

  1. Perusall (where we’ll read together)
    • Go to perusall.com, click Login, and then either log in using your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account, or create an account using your email address and password.
    • Select I am a student and enter our course code JAXON-WJS9Q.
  2. Currents Community (where we’ll write together)

*IMPORTANT: you must be logged into your Chico State portal/google drive to join our community. Our Currents Community is only open to people in the Chico State domain.

image of Chico State webpage

screen shot of our Currents Community

      • Look for Join button on the left and join.

We’ll do most of our writing and sharing here this semester. You’ll notice that I’ve created a category for each person, so you have your own area in our community to gather your fieldnotes and other writing. NOTE: You can set your preferences for receiving updates from Currents by clicking on the three small dots in the upper left corner. You can tell Currents not to send you an email every time someone posts (this is great as the instructor, but could be annoying as a student). Here is a 20 sec video to show you how to set notifications.

  • Choose your Internship:

Choose a first and second choice that works best with your schedule by completing the survey here.

Routine Assignments

Work with Reading: Annotations & Quote Gathering (20%)


Annotations: Throughout the semester, we’ll comment on readings together in a platform called Perusall. In a nutshell, we are working like I work with colleagues when we read together: we are reading and sharing comments collaboratively. Some readings you’ll have more to say than others, but I hope you see the comments as a generous act for our community: you can pose a question, link to something an idea reminds you of, try to summarize a challenging sentence or section, define a term, etc. I also really appreciate when we respond to other people’s comments, perhaps engaging in a dialogue or trying to answer someone’s question. I created a short video below (for my literacy studies class, but exactly the same thing we’ll be doing with different readings). Hopefully the video helps explain what we’re doing with Perusall. To join Perusall, see instructions above.

Quote Gathering: After annotating/commenting in Perusall, select a memorable passage or two from the reading. Copy and paste this quote(s)/passage(s) into your Currents area. Then, write, type, or draw your response to what you read (in any length or form) OR write at least two discussion questions/conversation starters. Upload a picture of your drawing or write out your thoughts or questions under your quotes. Our goal is to keep track of the ideas you are reading, noticing patterns of ideas you may be drawn to as you complete the readings. Keeping track of the quotes and your initial thoughts will also help a lot when you go to write the What I Know So Far paper. To join Currents, see instructions above. Quick walkthrough to show you how to post in our Currents Community:

Weekly fieldnotes & response to partners (25%)

Sundays & Thursdays

photo of fieldnotesPart of your work in our 4 unit class is an internship where you’ll work alongside an experienced mentor in our first-year writing program. One helpful way to learn from this experience is to gather data via fieldnotes; the fieldnotes can support purposeful reflections on what we’re learning. We’ll use the notes you gather as part of larger assignments as well. 

  1. What are the activities (what are students invited to do in the workshop session)? Who participates? How is the time structured? 
    • You might keep track of things like turns of talk: how many students talk? When they do talk, what do they talk about? Do they have questions about the assignments, questions about college more generally, talk about ideas from readings or ideas from the course? 
  2. What is the language of the workshop? What’s the new lexicon you’re learning? i.e: how writing assignments are named, how writing is talked about, how drafts are talked about: what about this context is familiar and what is new to you? 

For the first 8 weeks, each Sunday, you’ll share your notes in our Currents Community. You can upload a photo of handwritten notes (we do need to be able to read the notes, so keep that in mind) or link to an ongoing Google Doc where you keep notes, or paste notes into the Currents post from a Google or Word doc you’re keeping. 

You’ll also have a partner: you’ll comment on each other’s notes by Thursday, noticing what is similar and different across the workshop sessions. You’ll compare your notes for broader insights. 

Lumi & Tabitha

Isaiah & Caleb

Matthew & Hannah S

Ceaira & Paytyn

Alaina & Hannah May

One pro-tip: when I keep fieldnotes, I make two columns. One column is for what I am observing; the other column is for my thoughts and interpretations. This helps me to focus on just what is happening without combining those “facts” with what I think about what is happening. My commentary stays separate from what I notice in the class session. 

Amplifying first-year writing 5%

various due dates

image of blue ribbon with text: cried but did the thing anywayEach week, we will read and select writing from students in English 130 to celebrate and amplify (with student permission). Faculty in English 130 will share writing from one of their students with us; in rotating pairs, you’ll read and select their work to highlight. You’ll be responsible for two of the rotations. We’ll decide together the best platform for sharing their writing: Instagram? Twitter? Google Site? Something else? Two goals: for you to see the kind of writing students are capable of doing in their courses and for students ideas to be seen, heard, and celebrated.

One Time Assignments:

Being Tutored Essay 15% 

Week 6: Oct 4 (schedule tutoring appointment by Sept 25 to leave yourself time to write)

This assignment is designed to prompt some interaction and learning between you and a veteran tutor. 

Schedule an appointment in the SLC writing center with a peer consultant (virtual appointment). To make this authentic, bring an actual writing assignment or task you’re currently working on. It may be at any stage of the writing process, but it must be genuine: a paper you’re revising for a scholarship or grant, a project you think would be a great writing sample for grad school, a draft portfolio of favorite work, or an assignment for a class you’re currently working on.  Anything could work so long as it’s a paper (or other written project) that you genuinely want to revise in some way, or perhaps have some questions about.

Afterwards, write a 2-3 page reflection about your experience: What did you learn or think about as a result of working together with a writing tutor?  What strategies did you think s/he used to advance your conversation?  How did the session feel like or unlike a classroom, workshop, or other educational space?  How was work distributed across your time together: who did what?  What kinds of teaching occurred, and what kinds of learning–or would you describe your work together using different labels?

Develop your analysis by making connections to 1-2 assigned readings from the course that we’ve read so far. Use the readings to explicate your experiences. 

 Conclude by exploring in what ways this experience might inform your tutoring or mentoring practices going forward.  (And share what you write with the tutor you work with.)

(assignment modified from Dr. Chris Fosen)

This is What I Know So Far…paper 20% 

Draft due Nov 8; Revision due Dec 4

meme from Game of thrones: you know nothing Jon SnowThe purpose of this paper is to take a moment to synthesize what we’ve read and talked about to date in the class. The general prompt: What have you learned so far about the teaching of writing and supporting writers from the readings and your internships? As far as a picture in my head for these papers: I would expect that you’ll summarize and quote from at least three of the readings, maybe more. I would also expect that you’ll reflect on what you’re learning from your internship. Where it makes sense, it would be great if the readings help you to understand your internships. Even though you’re working with our readings, quoting from those sources, you could have an informal tone in this draft. I would see this as exploratory in nature…truly sitting with hmmmm, what do I know about supporting writers so far? I would use this paper to write your way to clarity; in other words, try out summarizing some of the readings that interested you as a way to figure out what you think. The drafts tend to be 4-6 pages.

Share with peer and Kim in Google Doc: kjaxon@mail.csuchico.edu

Examples from previous semester:



Resource gathering: support for writers 10%

various due dates Nov 9-20

We’ll take what we’re learning from internships, work with student writing, and our reading to curate resources for first-year writers in our program. Most likely, we’ll do this in a shared Google Doc that we crowdsource/curate together. We’ll imagine the best way to share these resources with students and faculty.

Reflection 5%
Final’s week

 You’ll end by reflecting on your work in the course overall. We’ll develop this assignment and criteria together.