|Start / End Dates||January 17-April 16, 2022|
|Class Size||3-10 Learners|
|Single Session||$125 Per Student|
Hope Jahren’s award-winning memoir Lab Girl is equal parts biography and biology. Through a close, fascinating look at the lives of plants, Jahren weaves beautiful and poignant metaphors about her own life as a scientist with bipolar disorder.
We’ll read the book with reading guides to help closely examine how Jahren’s ideas come together on the page.
We’ll also be writing four, multi draft papers to practice academic writing skills.
Gain Key Academic Writing Foundations
Students will learn foundational academic writing skills including brainstorming, organization, revision, formatting, and proofreading.
Guided Class Flexibility
This is a guided class, which means there are no live meetings, but there is student-teacher interaction and weekly due dates for assignments. This format works well for students who don’t enjoy live, on-camera sessions or who have unpredictable weekly schedules.
Students can interact with the instructor and each other via our class Discord channel.
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 working on class materials.
Class opens on January 17 and closes on April 16, 2022.
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.
Guided Class Format
A guided class offers individual feedback from the instructor and weekly due dates for accountability. It does not, however, require live, on-camera meetings.
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 Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (ISBN: 978-1-101-87372-4) (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)
- Discord (free account — can be installed on phones or computers)
- 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
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.Teacher: 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.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.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.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.
DarceyTeacher: 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!
KarenTeacher: 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 EarlyTeacher: 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.
AnonymousTeacher: 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 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 classes are where the love of learning happens.
AnonymousTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
It’s great to see thought-provoking books chosen and to have my son experience such an inclusive environment.