Videos for Teaching Inspiration

Reading together

Perusall logoWe’ll use Perusall to annotate and read together. You can find Perusall in the left-hand navigation in Canvas.

Designing Together

I look forward to designing educational spaces and activities together.



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.

ENGL 534: Literature/Language/Composition (aka English Education Capstone)
Spring 2024
Mondays & Wednesdays 4:00-5:15pm

decorativeDr. Kim Jaxon, Professor of English (Composition & Literacy)
Office hours: Wednesdays 1:00-2:00 and by appointment. Email me and we can meet in person or via Zoom at a time that is convenient to you.
Email:  (best way to reach me)
Email for sharing Google Docs:

Course Description

Welcome to English 534! I look forward to thinking about all things teaching and learning with you. Here’s a quick overview of the course:

  • Class Population: This is the capstone course for students in the English Education option of the English Major. My assumption is that your career plan is to teach English in a middle or high school, and the course’s materials, activities, and assignments are designed with that assumption in mind. If that is not your career plan, I’ll offer options for other educational contexts, but we will spend the semester thinking about teaching.
  • Purpose: The course’s title indicates its curricular mandate: to help you craft a meaningful negotiation of the competing and complementary subdisciplines of English. In your college career, you have been privileged to experience separate courses devoted to literature, academic writing, linguistics, literacy, and creative writing, among others. As an English teacher, you will lose the luxury of these classes’ specificity, and will instead need to provide your students with a coherent experience of all of these aspects of English (along with the fundamentals of reading, speaking, and listening) within single English classes. English 534 provides you with opportunities to see the landscape of English as a synthesized single discipline, and to take steps toward becoming a member of the professional community of English educators.
  • Design: This incarnation of English 534 is subtitled “Making English.” I use the term “making” since we will design, craft, undo, and remix all the things we know about the teaching and learning in English. We will continually play with digital practices too as a way to support the teaching and learning of English.
  • Structure: As the capstone course in your major, this class is attempting to prepare you for a career as an educator. When you become a teacher, you will make myriad decisions each day, and those decisions will need to come from your own knowledge, experience, and judgment. Those decisions may also be challenging, overwhelming, and exhausting. The structure of the course is designed to give you experience making these kinds of professional choices in a safe environment. To that end, the primary assignments are focused on designing curriculum for middle- and high-school English classes or out of school educational settings, and in the process of designing those materials you will have the chance to understand the complex decision-making educators face on a daily basis.


We’ll read some texts together and some in small teams. I purchased class sets of the Young Adult novels, and other texts are available digitally in a site we’ll use called Perusall. We will purchase one text that we agree on together to use for the basis for some of our assignments (and since this text will most likely be a familiar book, you might already own it).

Shared book: we’ll choose together from the approved Chico High list

Book Clubs: New YA Novel (Your choice in trios)

Book in a Box texts (Kim will provide):

Assignments (full descriptions on the Assignments page)

  • Projects: 100 points (30% of grade)
    • Unit Plan (75 points)
    • Reflection (25 points)
  • Presentations & Collaboration:  100 points (30% of grade)
    • Leading class sessions (trying out lesson plans) (teams) (40 points)
    • Writing Assignment swap (60 points)
  • Doing Things Together: 130 points (Readings, Discussions, Annotations) (40% of grade)
    • Reading & Discussions (1o@10 points/100 points)
    • Book in a Box (25 points)
  • Total: 325 points

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

Participation (please read)

I am not a fan of attendance policies. They are uninviting and too much like school for me. Over 20+ years of teaching, I’ve tried out every possible configuration, including no policy at all.  Since we meet twice per week, and this course is closer to a graduate level class, you can miss no more than four class sessions. No questions asked. Any more and I fear you’ll feel out of the loop and our community. After four, you need to retake the course next spring. Our job as a class: create an environment where you want to be here and missing is simply due to some life going on… And, of course, please don’t come to class if you are ill. We’ll figure it out.

Data Ethics

A note about data ethics: I take the privacy and security of student data seriously. Here is a helpful link to information about Google’s privacy policies since we’ll often use google docs to share assignments. You can find links to manage your activity and stay informed about the way Google uses your information. Link to Canvas’ privacy policy here and to Chico State’s Policy for the Use of Digital Technologies in Teaching and Learning here.

Uses of AI such as ChatGPT: As a literacy scholar who thinks deeply about digital literacies, I recognize there are a variety of AI programs available to assist in creating text, images, audio, and video. I’m equally interested, fascinated, and scared of the possibilities of AI.  AI is asking us to consider a pretty basic question: what is writing for? During our class, we will use AI tools, but I’d like to consider carefully how, when, and for what purpose we use them. Please take notice that many faculty see the use of AI outside of permission for its use as a violation of Chico State’s Integrity Policy and its use may result in you being reported to the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities.  And always, if you use AI, you should give attribution using language along these lines: “The student generated this assignment in part with [enter tool used here. i.e. ChatGPT]. Upon generating an initial draft or outline of ideas, the student reviewed, edited, and revised the work to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this assignment.”

As we figure out the uses of AI, please do not use without permission in your classes, including ours. I look forward to our conversations around AI.

(Portions of this policy are modified from Chico State’s Office of Faculty Development’s AI policy language)

Student Resources

Meeting Basic Needs

*Start here: You can find campus resources–food, housing, academic support information, safety–on the Student Resources site.

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 Wildcat Basic Needs Program. Furthermore, please notify the professor if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable her to provide any resources that she may possess.

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, please 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 (530-898-6345) or Safe Place (530-898-3030).  Information about campus reporting obligations and other Title IX related resources are available here: