The Elementary STEAM Book Club offers hands-on, engaging ways for young readers to interact with chapter books.
|Class Type||Monthly Book Club|
|Start / End Dates||April 18-May 20, 2022; Live Session May 18 at 4pm Eastern|
|Class Size||5-100 Learners|
|Enrollment||$15 Per Student|
About this Book
Song for a Whale is about a lonely whale named Blue 55 whose song is so unique that none of the other whales seem to understand him. When Iris, who is a hearing impaired 12 year old girl, learns about Blue 55, she feels pulled to connect with him and uses her knowledge of technology and radios to create a song that she hopes he will understand.
Book Club Overview
Want hands-on STEAM activities connected to exciting and interesting chapter books? These Book Clubs are just the thing to get families reading together and having fun exploring exciting topics like architecture, bioacoustics, and botany!
During each of our STEAM Book Club units, we will read one middle grades fiction novel. Families are encouraged to read aloud together, but independent readers may read on their own if they prefer.
Participate in weekly discussions and STEAM-inspired activities to keep your learners engaged in the reading process. Learners are also offered three reflection prompts for a final project, which they are invited to share in our live meeting at the end of each book club unit.
During every stage, learners are encouraged not only to complete the weekly assignments and monthly projects, but also to share and discuss their thoughts and completed work with their peers through our Google Classroom.
The amount of time really varies by student and how much they want to participate. Those who want to do all activities and projects leading up to the live meeting could easily spend 3-4 hours a week on the class.
Assignments Posted Weekly
Weekly assignments are posted Monday mornings at approximately 8am Eastern time. Reflection project prompts are posted on the first day of each unit and learners are invited to share their projects in the live zoom meeting at the end of the unit.
Live Sessions Meet on Zoom
We’ll meet live on Wednesday, May 18 at 4pm Eastern/3pm Central/2pm Mountain/1pm Pacific
I select middle grades fiction books that are interesting, diverse, and explore STEAM-related topics. As these are middle grades books, they may explore topics that some young readers haven’t encountered in literature before.
If you have sensitive readers or listeners in your family, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns about our books.
To participate successfully in class, learners will need the following:
- a copy of the book
- access to a printer
- general school supplies (paper, pencil, erasers, scissors, etc).
- Google account
- Zoom account
There are also a few specialty supplies for STEAM activities that are announced at the start of each week, but they are generally household items that are easily found or substituted if you do not have them on hand.
Sydney Miller Milbert
Sydney Miller Milbert has a background in the fine arts and graduated with degrees in fashion design and marketing. Changing paths after graduation, she worked for an international education technology company in content production and community building, where she developed an interest in project-based and collaborative learning for school-aged learners.
We have thoroughly enjoyed ancient history with Sam Matalone Cook and would love to continue following the history courses under her instruction. Michelle’s writing workshop was a welcomed addition to our semester and the ease of adding on a quick workshop to the semester was appreciated. I do wish that I could take classes, too. The great selection makes me jealous; Fairy Tales and Feminism would be so incredible to join in and to learn with Sam! And the LGBTQ+ history and US courses! Blair’s enthusiasm for science comes across strongly and is encouraging for the young learners. So many great classes- so little time.
Sheila and Elisa
So many great classes- so little time.
My Zoom-averse daughter looked forward to the weekly online meetings. Michelle does such a wonderful job at speaking with young people and guiding discussions. My daughter was motivated to work hard on her assignments and has asked to take another class from Michelle. E.F.P.
Michelle does such a wonderful job at speaking with young people and guiding discussionsTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I really appreciated your enthusiasm, support, and kind words in your video feedback messages to him. That goes a long way! [Learner] is going to a brick and mortar school next year for the first time since fourth grade. We submitted the two papers he wrote in your class to the high school he applied to go to next year, and they recommended he start in Advanced English! Woohoo! Jill G.
We submitted the two papers he wrote in your class to the high school he applied to go to next year, and they recommended he start in Advanced English!Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
The video lectures were clear and packed full of helpful and important writing lessons. The video and written feedback was clearly personalized, very detailed, and extremely beneficial for my learner. Michelle truly demonstrates compassion and expertise in her classes! Kristi R.
Michelle truly demonstrates compassion and expertise in her classes!Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I only wish we had found Michelle sooner! I’ve been homeschooling my son off and on for years. Writing is very challenging for him and it is so difficult to take feedback from a parent. I have begged so many of his teachers to please offer direct, concise, written feedback and give him the opportunity to revise. I knew this would be the only way he could improve. This class was everything I’ve been asking for for years…..except I didn’t have to ask! It is designed this way and it worked brilliantly! My son gets to attend an adventure school in the fall, but if we homeschool the following year, the first thing I will do is sign him up for whatever Michelle is teaching. E.F.P.
I only wish we had found Michelle sooner!Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I really appreciate how organized the class was, how clear the expectations and guidelines were and how professional and encouraging the feedback delivery was. Darcey
I really appreciate how organized the class wasTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I just want to take a few minutes to send a huge thank you for the way you deliver (have delivered) feedback to [Learner]. He tends to put a lot of pressure on himself and doesn’t often take feedback or constructive criticism well. You have managed to give him a boost of confidence and an opportunity to look inward to appreciate feedback from others. I’m so glad we found you! This experience is exactly what I hoped for in our homeschooling journey! Karen
I’m so glad we found you! This experience is exactly what I hoped for in our homeschooling journey!Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
He was so invigorated and excited after today’s meeting. It awakens something in him he craves and can only get from discussions like the one today. Bevin Early
He was so invigorated and excited after today’s meeting.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I especially enjoyed the final project for this class, which was something I had never tried before, using creative writing as a way to debate philosophy and contrasting view points. It was quite a bit challenging, ultimately leaving me satisfied with the ending result.
I used creative writing as a way to debate philosophy and contrasting view pointsTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
For us, this is “authentic learning.” We discussed how community college classes and other virtual online high school classes might be accredited and “weigh” a lot in terms of grades and credits, but SEA Online Classes is where her mind and creativity are challenged and inspired. I’d like to emphasize the part about creativity. She felt invited to engage creatively. SEA Online classes are where the love of learning happens.