This 32 week, live online creative writing class for elementary and middle school students is based on Debra Bell’s Writers in Residence, Volume 1. Beginning writers learn to “keep their readers reading!” That’s the number one goal of writing. Through creative, low-stress, personally meaningful writing assignments, students will discover and develop their own voices on paper, while engaging their readers from beginning to end.
Based on Debra Bell’s curriculum, Writers in Residence Volume 1, Apprentice, students learn to build strong, descriptive sentences and clear, focused paragraphs, constructing them into interesting and informative 5-paragraph essays and fantastical short stories. The variety of writing assignments and genres are what make this course so rewarding for the students. They can start this course never having written more than a paragraph and will finish this course having written creative stories, an essay, and biographies.
Our weekly online class meetings will serve as a writers’ group, where budding writers will learn and grow in their writing skills through lively group discussions, virtual skill-builders, and thematic games. Our writers’ group meetings also develop students’ presentation and public speaking skills, as writers are encouraged (never forced) to share their work with one another in this positive, encouraging, and safe environment.
Assignments are posted weekly on our course page, with daily reading/writing homework given (approximate homework time is 30-45 minutes per day). A weekly writing assignment is due the day before our next class meeting.
Homework is given each week after class, with assignments to be turned in the evening before the next class. Students can expect feedback on their work by Friday evening, the week it is turned in (Monday, for larger assignments). Final grades are based on class participation, weekly homework assignments, and major projects. I will send out a mid-year evaluation and end of year evaluation with additional parent communication as needed.
A highly recommended but optional add-on to this class has been created to assist students with writing, grammar, and vocabulary skills. To participate in this extra learning opportunity, students need to register separately. See Language Arts Lab CC1 for details and to register.
Who should enroll?
This class is geared towards middle school and junior high students, struggling writers, or older writers with little to no formal writing instruction/training. It is a perfect fit for creative and/or artistic students, or students who have previously struggled with a strictly formulaic writing program.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Students will receive specific feedback on their work the Friday following each class meeting. While students will not receive letter grades for their writing assignments, each weekly assignment is marked as complete or incomplete, and given a numbered score provided on a reviewer’s rubric for each final draft of projects for your records. Parents can elect for their student to receive a letter grade or certificate of achievement at the end of the course.
As your student’s writing coach, I will provide individualized instruction and guidance, as well as targeted feedback on each stage of the writing assignments to ensure that assignments are completed to mastery for each student’s individual skill level. Emphasis on all writing will be on the strengths and weaknesses of each student’s work, encouraging personal progress and growth, with the final result being a strong writing portfolio which demonstrates excellent composition achievement for the year.
I will confirm registration with parents and provide a welcome email. All parents are welcome to join us in Canvas as observers and I will respond to parents promptly via email or Canvas message.