Make Cycles

infographic of make cyclesYou can find our current Make Cycles in the drop down menu and on the Make Cycles page.


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Welcome everyone!

ENGL 333: Advanced Composition for Future Teachers
Fall 2020: Section 72
Dr. Kim Jaxon

picture of Kim's officeOffice: like everyone right now…in my home. 😉
Office hours: I check email all the time, so feel free to email. If we can’t resolve something over email, then we can find a time that works for you to chat via Zoom.
Email for sharing Google Docs:
Twitter: @drjaxon

We acknowledge and are mindful that CSU, Chico stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people of this area, and we recognize the Mechoopda and their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that once sustained the Mechoopda people for centuries.

Course Description

At its most fundamental level, argue our textbook’s authors Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleaveland, writing is making. People in general, but children especially, like making things–whether with legos, or crayons, or play-doh, or even words. In this class, we will be thinking about writing (and the teaching of writing) as a way of making things with language. Just like making anything, writing can be challenging, exciting, fun, terrifying, frustrating, infuriating, and joyful–sometimes all at the same time. But, the more we make things with words, the more we do the things that writers regularly do, the more we identify ourselves as writers, the better we get at writing or the better we get at seeking resources for our writing challenges. And the better we are at doing something (like writing), and the more we identify as writers ourselves, the better we will be at teaching others to write. With that in mind, we will be making a lot of things with words this semester, with an eye to helping you think of yourself as a writer who can help your students become writers themselves.

California’s school teachers across all grade levels are required to teach students to write narrative, informational, and persuasive texts, and to help students become cognizant of the processes they go through as they compose. Our course will be structured around a series of Make Cycles that will help us understand our own uses of narration, exposition, and argumentation, and become more metacognitive about our own writing processes. Each Make Cycle will be a 2-week period during which we will read and talk about ideas related to writing and teaching writing, and then make text-rich projects in a number of forms and genres, for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Texts and Materials

Other info

  • This course does not use Blackboard. Instead, we will use our course website and a Google’s Currents Community to share our work. I believe that students, especially future teachers,  should be working with digital platforms that are available in the world and in the schools you’ll work in. I promise to support you as we figure out all things digital. 
    • Data Ethics: Here is a helpful link to information about Google’s privacy policies. You can find links to manage your activity and stay informed about the way Google uses your information. The Currents Community is private within the Chico State domain and is not accessible to people outside our Chico State community. I do not track user information on my WordPress site and you will not need to log in to use.
  • The best method to contact me is through my email, I will make my best effort to respond to all communications within 24 hours.

Course Goals

  • You will practice various composing processes.
  • You will learn to recognize writer’s craft choices in the texts you read and write.
  • You will practice producing readable and interesting texts that reflect the conventions of academic and emerging genres.
  • You will read about current theories and practices in writing instruction.
  • You will learn the Common Core State Standards for the teaching of writing in elementary schools, and understand effective teaching strategies that will help your future students meet those standards.
  • We will endeavor to make writing playful and purposeful.

Your Grade (see Assignments page for full descriptions)

  • Discussions (12@10 points: 120 points total)
    • Response to peer (10@5: 50 points)
  • Mentor Texts (5@10: 50 points)
  • Make Cycle Projects (5@25 points; 125 points total)
  • Make Cycle 6 Make (50 points)
  • Picture Book Resource (15 points)
  • Manifesto on Teaching Writing (40 points)

Total: 450

(Grade: 95-100%=A, 90-94%=A-, 85-89%=B+, 80-84%=B, etc)

Campus Support & Resources

Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live is urged to contact the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry. Furthermore, please notify me if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable me to provide any resources that I may possess. You can find many, many campus resources HERE too. Please reach out: I am here to help.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Please also contact Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) as they are the designated department responsible for approving and coordinating reasonable accommodations and services for students with disabilities. ARC will help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide you further assistance with requesting and arranging accommodations.

Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting

As a Chico State professor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment for Chico State students.  It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible.  However, I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct with the University.

Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting the Counseling and Wellness Center (898-6345) or Safe Place (898-3030).  Information about campus reporting obligations and other Title IX related resources are available here:


Information and support for Dreamers and allies (created by Dr. Hannah Burdette in ILLC)