You will work in a variety of configurations in this class. You’ll have a group based on the book you choose for the Book Club, another based on the Article Group you choose, one for the Ignite Talk & Maker Night, and you’ll sometimes be working through a reading as a team.

For this reason, I cannot emphasize enough how much you will need to be clued in to the work of the course and the readings. The work we are doing is challenging. You’ll need each other to sort through your ideas; you’ll be no help if you have not read or participated in the writing. And seriously, missing even ONE class session is really a bad idea this semester. Thank you for your support.


Discussion Questions
Post to a shared Google Doc
Due Dates: an hour before class most weeks
5@5pts each; 25pts total (CR/NC)

Most weeks, you will post a passage you like, a quote, and a couple of questions that can guide our discussions. We will post in a shared Google Doc based on your teams. Kim will share the links to the Google Docs. This is informal work: a way for us to share in the inquiry work of the course. Due an hour before class on Tuesdays.

Literacy Narrative
Google Doc shared with
Due: Monday, Sept 11
15pts (CR/NC)

Our goal with this assignment is to gather literacy narratives from our family and/or friends and then use these stories to compare to the reading we are doing together. This link provides some guiding questions you can use, but think of this work more as a conversation with someone about their memories and ideas related to reading and writing.

Start by asking a family member or friend if you can talk to them about reading and writing. The best interviews are with someone who is older. If you have a grandparent you can talk to or a parent, an aunt, then that is ideal. (As a class data set, it would be better if we could avoid having a bunch of interviews only with roommates; it would be better to have a broader data set.)

For the interview, they could either answer questions over Facebook or email, you could record a Skype conversation, or take notes while you talk to them face to face or on the phone. Try to capture as much as you can exactly what they say.

*Write up the conversation/answers and share with me in a Google Doc. Should be 1-2 pages. Be sure to share with Share by midnight Monday, Sept 11.

**Once you’ve shared the document with me, choose a passage or interesting quote(s) from your interview…just a few sentences from your interviewee to share with the class. We’ll post these in our notes/discussion questions for the week of Sept 12.

Example Literacy Narrative Bronte

Example Literacy Narrative Abby

Example Literacy Narrative Catherine


Featured Bloggers
Due: various due dates
20pts (CR/NC)

Students will work in pairs/trios to write a blog at the end of most weeks. We can use the insights from these blogs for our final reflections at the end of the course.

The blog will summarize the reading we have been doing in that week, reflect on the ideas we’ve discussed, highlight take aways we want to remember from our work, ask questions, and feature some of the ideas from peers. Bloggers will keep notes during the week to support this curation and reflection work. We will write these in Google Docs and then Kim will edit and post to our course website.

Blogs are due to Kim by Sundays following your assigned week.

Here’s an example that could be useful.

Book Club
Due: various due dates, but have book in hand by Sept 19
20pts (CR/NC)

In groups, you’ll read ONE of the following:

Choose and order Book Club text asap—let Kim know which book by adding your name under the book here.

*I expect you’ll order the book online, check out a library copy, or request through inter-library loan. The books are all around $30.00 and it’s the only text you need to buy for the class.

Your book club group will create an artifact to share in class during our class on Oct 101. You will have a lot of choice here in how your group decides to share your book. You can create an activity for people to participate in, create a visual map, a book trailer (using our iPads and iMovie) or short film, post a review on Goodreads, give an Ignite talk…lots of possible ways to share.

Example Book Club trailers from last semester can be found here
and here are some great examples from previous semesters in my 341 class.

We’ll view the artifacts in a gallery walk on Oct 10.

Article Teams
Lead Workshop: Oct 31 or Nov 7

During week 7, you will sign up for an article study group that interests you (hip-hop & literacy, gaming & literacy, adolescent literacy, make/hack/play literacies). I will post articles on the area of interest you select to get you started. On week 8, you will meet with your group in class; you’ll come having read through the articles I helped you gather. At this meeting, your group will participate in conversations using the assigned articles as a base, but then feel free to branch out into articles and research that you find on your own as well (including multi modal/video/visual texts).

We will have in-class meetings with your group where you will design a final learning experience for our class, using multi-media, based on your area of study. You must engage us in active learning—we have to be doing something. No serial lectures. Workshops will take place on Oct 31 or Nov 7.  Each group will have 60-75 minutes to facilitate and conduct a learning activity for the class.

Ignite & Maker Night Event
Final Exam time

We decided to combine ideas for our reflection work: paper, project OR Ignite talk (see below)

You’ll work in teams to bring the ideas we’ve considered in class to life. Collaboratively, you’ll create an Ignite Talk or coordinate a “make.”

Here’s a video highlighting a previous semester’s Ignite & Maker Night

Here are some examples from the Ignite Site.

More examples: Rafi Santos Ignite Talk, Kim JaxonPeter Kittle and Jane McGonigal

Here are some links about the Maker movement:

We’ll negotiate the parameters of this assignment together.

Final Exam time
25 pts

Option 1: Reflective Essay

Think of this reflection as a kind of manifesto, answering “this is what I believe about literacy learning and teaching…at this moment.” I invite you to write about your work in the course: what have you done well, what have you learned, how have your ideas related to literacy changed throughout this course? If you are a future teacher, what can you use in your future classroom and what kinds of questions do you still have about literacy? Support your ideas by using what you have learned from the course readings, discussions, and assignments.

Option 2: Ignite Talk

You can work individually or in pairs or trios to bring the ideas we’ve considered in class to life in an Ignite Talk. An Ignite talk is 5 minutes with 20 slides that auto advance every 15 seconds.

Here are some examples from the Ignite Site.

More examples: Rafi Santos Ignite TalkKim JaxonPeter Kittle and Jane McGonigal

Option 3: Multimodal Reflection

For this assignment, you control the product, process, materials, and distribution. You’ll include a short reflection about what your purpose is, goals, and what worked and what didn’t. Overall: your product should reflect what you’ve learned about literacy.



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