A 12-week high school writing class themed around the nonfiction book Outliers. Writers read, write four multi-draft essays, and receive feedback as they revise.
|Start / End Dates
|September 12-December 11, 2022
|Tuesdays 3-3:45pm Eastern
|$325 Per Student*
|*Sliding Fee Pricing
What does it mean to be successful? What’s the relationship between failure and success? Do the stories we tell ourselves about success and hard work add up?
We’ll be exploring these ideas through Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book Outliers.
Along the way, we’ll practice foundational composition skills by writing four multi-draft essays in a variety of forms and topics.
Gain Key Academic Writing Foundations
Students will learn foundational academic writing skills including brainstorming, organization, revision, formatting, and proofreading.
Meet Live Weekly
This is a live class, which means we meet weekly to discuss the reading and explore writing tips. Learners can also interact with each other and the instructor between class meetings on our shared Discord channel.
Provided materials include reading guides and activities to help with vocabulary and comprehension as well as writing tips to apply to short, informal writing assignments and longer, multi-draft assignments.
Practice Writing as a Process
Most importantly, students will compose four multi-draft papers with individual video feedback on rough drafts and the opportunity to revise a final draft.
Most learners can expect to spend 4-6 hours per week (including the live meeting) working on class materials.
Class is from September 12-December 11, 2022 with live meetings each Tuesday from 3-3:45pm Eastern/2-2:45pm Central/1-1:45pm Mountain/12-12:45pm Pacific.
There will be a fall break from October 17-October 23 with no live meeting on Tuesday, October 18.
Learners who miss a live session for illness or schedule conflict will still have access to all the week’s materials and can reach out to the instructor with questions.
Assignments Open Each Week
In order to allow for learners and their families to have the flexibility they need, assignments open by Monday of each week and are due by the following Sunday. Learners can complete work at whatever time works best for them throughout the week.
Learners will be most successful in this class if they have the following skills/experiences:
- Previous writing experience (the ability to write 2-3 paragraphs on a single topic)
The ability to read at a 9/10th grade level by decoding unfamiliar words through context and making connections between ideas over multiple chapters
The class is set up so that students choose which writing prompts they’d like to complete for both of the two primary assignments. This means that students of varying ability levels and familiarity with academic writing conventions can find an assignment appropriate for their level.
Students will learn about the following:
- Developing reading comprehension and note-taking strategies
- Finding their own writing process
- Working on a complete draft in stages that focus on revision
- Reflecting on what works to build strong writing habits
- Development of a personal writing process
- Familiarity with strategies for the higher order concerns of writing (main idea, organization, development, and comprehension)
- Familiarity with strategies for the lower order concerns of writing (formatting, style, and mechanics)
- Synthesizing ideas from multiple sources and mediums
Common Core Standards Alignment
For those who are using Common Core standards, this course meets the following:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1, 9-10.2, 9-10.3, 9-10.4
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.1 A-E, 9-10.2 A-F, 9-10.3 A-E, 9-10.4, 9-10.5, 9-10.9 B, 9-10.10
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.1, 9-10.2, 9-10.3, 9-10.4, 9-10.5, 9-10.6
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1, 11-12.2, 11-12.3, 11-12.4
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1 A-E, 11-12.2 A-F, 11-12.3 A-E, 11-12.4, 11-12.5,
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.1, 11-12.2, 11-12.3, 11-12.4, 11-12.5, 11-12.6
Upon successful completion of class, instructor provides detailed exit letter suitable for inclusion in portfolio. Families may request numerical grade at beginning of class for a detailed course grade summary, but it is optional.
All students will receive individualized video feedback on all rough drafts that specifically addresses their rough draft submissions.
My teaching philosophy very much focuses on starting with students’ strengths to build confidence and using them to work on improvements over time.
Feedback is tailored to each student’s individual needs and goals. I also encourage a lot of self-reflection and provide opportunities for students to directly communicate their challenges so that facing them with strategies becomes a normal part of the writing process.
To participate successfully in class, learners will need the following:
- A copy of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (ISBN 978-0-316-01792-3) (used copies are fine; borrowed/library copies are acceptable but it’s preferable for learners to have their own copy so they can take notes in it)
- Microphone and camera for in-class participation
- PDF Reader
- Zoom (free account)
- Learners will submit work through Google Drive (a Google (Gmail) account can be acquired for free)
Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason
Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason has a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis on rhetoric and composition. She has more than a decade of teaching experience including six years of full-time college experience
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.