Make Cycles

Our course is organized by two week “make cycles,” a term I borrow from Connected Learning. We will read, discuss, and make things based on the children’s books we’re reading. You can find the “weekly work” for each cycle in the drop down menu above.

Google+ Community

We will share most of our work in a Google+ Community. We can upload images, respond to each other’s ideas, and share links and artifacts here.



The course is organized around a series of “make cycles.” These cycles will allow us to develop routines: discussing reading, creating/doing things with the reading, and sharing reading. Within each cycle, we will pose questions and make an artifact that represents the ideas in our books.

  1. Make Cycle 1: Fairy Tales (Kim provides links to reading)
  2. Make Cycle 2: Series Books (Series of Unfortunate Events, Origami Yoda Series, King & Kayla, OR Keena Ford)
  3. Make Cycle 3: Chapter Books (George, Hello Universe, The War That Saved My Life, Out of My Mind, OR Front Desk)
  4. Make Cycle 4: Free Verse Children’s Novels (The Crossover, Inside Out & Back Again, Enchanted Air, OR Brown Girl Dreaming)
  5. Make Cycle 5: Graphic Novels (Smile, El Deafo, The Best We Could DoOR Pashmina)
  6. Make Cycle 6: Young Adult (YA) Novels (Eleanor & Park, Pride, Harbor Me, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, OR We Are Okay)
  7. Make Cycle 7: Remix & Reflection (Battle Bunny-Kim will provide link)

We will end the course by writing a reflection and manifesto about our beliefs related to the teaching of reading.

Here are the assignment descriptions. More detailed information can be found in our “weekly work” pages. I’ll also post videos too on occasion on those weekly work pages that I hope helps situate the work. 

Discussion Prompts (~20@10 pts each; 200 points) 

Most weeks, I will pose a couple of prompts connected to the reading we are doing. You’ll write a response and share the response in our Google+ Community. Note: I will have a subheading on the left hand side of our Google+ space to help keep our posts organized. The responses will typically be due on Tuesdays and Sundays. You’ll also respond to your peer’s posts each time; post one, then respond to one. How-to video that explains how to post HERE 

Picture Book Resource (15 points)

I will randomly assign you a picture book author. Find books by that author in CSUC children’s book collection, Butte County Library, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. You can even find most of the books through the author’s website or look for the books being read through youtube videos

Resource: Create a resource for us (a Google Slideshow, a Prezi, a website, a video of you talking about the author and reading from some of the books, a lesson plan) that we could refer to as a resource in our future classroom. HERE IS a LINK to an example from last semester from Kellie.

No matter the format you choose, your resource should include the following parts in whatever order makes sense to you:

  • Show us book titles, author info, awards, interviews or videos with the author
  • Give us a feel for the books (link to a video of one of the books being read or you reading from the books or links to sample pages from the publisher or the author website)
  • Explore how we might use the book or books to anchor a class plan or activity. How could we use the book(s)? Find resources for lesson plans (be sure to give credit to where you found the lesson plan and say why you like it) OR share an activity that you create with the book as the anchor. 

You’ll share your resource in our Google+ Community under the Picture Book subheading. You can complete this assignment anytime before March 29.  

—>HERE IS THE LINK, which shows you the picture book author you’ve been assigned. All authors are Caldecott winners.


“Makes”: Sharing Artifacts Based on Our Readings (6@15 pts: 90 points)

We will end each make cycle by creating an artifact that represents the ideas in your book choice for that cycle. You will have a lot of choice here in how you decide to share your book. You can create a visual map or a piece of art, a book trailer or short film, write a song, write fanfiction…lots of possible ways to share.

You will also write a brief artist’s/writer’s statement explaining what you were attempting to do with this make: how did you approach this artifact? what worked? what did not work out as planned?

Due on alternating Sunday nights in our Google+ community. You can upload an image of your artifact, share a link, share a video, etc.

The points for the makes are made up of two components: a) the make itself (10pts); and b) the discussion of the process (5pts).

Here are some great examples from a previous semester.  Another example HERE.

Reflection and Manifesto (25 points)

We’ll end the semester with a teaching reading manifesto and a reflection on what we’ve learned about the teaching of reading in our course.

You’ll start this paper by reflecting on your work in the class. Read through your discussion posts, think about our Reading in the Wild conversations, your artifacts, your participation on Goodreads–what have you learned about teaching reading, about your own reading habits, about students’ reading practices? What is challenging about teaching reading, what is surprising, what do you look forward to?

Then, turn to the creation of a bulleted list…your personal manifesto about teaching reading. Think of it as a “This I Believe About the Teaching of Reading…” Here’s an example from one of my colleagues as it relates to writing: “Things We Know For Sure About the Teaching of Writing…”

You’ll share this with me in a Google Doc. Here are some examples from previous semesters: