Featured videos: language, literacy, writing

Reading Together

Perusall logoWe’ll use Perusall to annotate and read together. Link here to Perusall. Instructions for joining on the Assignments page.

Calendar: link here



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 Perusall. See instructions below.
    • Choose internship: we’ll sort this out together week 1.
  • Routine assignments
    • Weekly fieldnotes (Mondays before class) & response to partners (Mondays in class)
    • Annotations & Quote Gathering  (various Mondays & Wednesdays)
  • One time Assignments:
    • Being Tutored Essay (March 11; schedule a tutoring appt by March 2)
    • Analysis of fieldnotes paper (full draft March 28; April 3)
    • What I know so far… paper (full draft April 25; May 2)
    • Final’s Week: Reflection

photo of a clockLINK TO CALENDAR

First up: join Perusall and Internships

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-YYM4V

Choose your Internship

  • We’ll talk about this week 1. But overall, your choices:
    • English 131: Thursdays, 2:00-2:50 in Arts 111
    • English 131, Thursdays, 3:00-3:50 in Arts 111
    • English 131, Fridays, 11:00-11:50 in Arts 111
    • Writing Center intern in the Student Learning Center (one-on-one tutoring): time TBA

Routine Assignments

Work with Reading: Annotations & Quote Gathering (~10@10 points= 100)

Mondays and/or Wednesdays

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. Then, write a response to what you read (a paragraph or two) OR write at least two discussion questions/conversation starters. Share on our Google Slides (I’ll share link to slides on our calendar). 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.

Weekly fieldnotes & response to partners (5@15 points–10 for notes; 5 for responding to partner–75 points)

Mondays before and during class for 5 weeks

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 few weeks, before class on Mondays, you’ll share your notes in a google doc. You can upload a photo of handwritten notes into a google folder (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. We’ll create a shared Google Folder for access to our notes.

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

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. 

One Time Assignments

Being Tutored Essay 30 points

Weeks 5-7:  (schedule tutoring appointment by March 2 to leave yourself time to write). Due March 11

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 or in person appointment; your choice). 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)

Analysis of fieldnotes paper

Memo due March 21; Draft due March 28; Revision due April 4

The main goal for this paper is to support the work of data analysis: a chance to read your fieldnotes with an analytical eye, pull out interesting threads from the data, and share your findings with others.

We’ll start by keeping robust fieldnotes for 5 weeks this semester. We’ll respond to each other’s notes and compare what we’re learning about support for writers. As we work with our notes, we’ll try to identify patterns in and across our data.

March 21: Memo due. Highlight interesting portions from your data with your interpretation. This can be messy: you might copy and paste a few places in your data that work with a similar concept (for example, noticing how a mentor works with assignment descriptions or the kinds of questions students ask: are there any patterns in your notes?). You might annotate a day or two from your notes, noting class readings that might help unpack or shed light on what you noticed.

March 28 (draft); April 4 (revision). The paper itself should:

  • Provide context for the data you’ve selected. Does the time of the semester seem to matter, for example? Are you focusing on a groups’ interactions or a student or a mentor?
  • Share portions from your fieldnotes and your interpretation.
  • Use readings from our class to support your analysis.

We’ll look at models together. And, most of our readings function as models too.

This is What I Know So Far…paper 50 points

Draft due April 25; Revision due May 2

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 internship? 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:



Reflection 15 points
Final’s week

We’ll end the course by reflecting on our work overall. We’ll develop this assignment and criteria together. We might decide to create a resource for freshmen or for mentors; we might create “tutoring writing: the game”; we might give Ignite talks…we can decide together.