Readers in Residence–Sleuth

From: $73.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 4th–6th

Live Class:  Wed 12:00–1:00 p.m. ET

Dates: Aug 25–Apr 29

Price: $499

Instructor: Kristen Roy

See Reviews of Instructor Kristen Roy


Course Description

Teaching students how to give voice to their experiences and ideas through the written word, while understanding the writer’s craft has been program author Debra Bell’s life work. Based around volume 1 of her Readers in Residence, Sleuth curriculum, this class will serve as a literature circle and guided study group for your students, with the added benefit of being part of a community of readers, sharing quality literature and fun projects! This course provides the unique features of 1-on-1 instruction from a “Resident Language Artist” offering professional writing/reading coach guidance, facilitated group discussions, and an audience where students can share and celebrate their weekly work and unit projects, or wrestle with new or difficult concepts in a collaborative environment.

Led by a professional writer/editor as their writing coach/literature guide, this class provides students with a community setting for developing and practicing new comprehension skills, discussing literature, and utilizing expanded vocabulary learning, in creative and interactive ways. The course instructor provides guidance and classroom support in understanding the author’s craft and literary elements, and equips students to become analytical readers, critical thinkers, creative writers with rich vocabulary, and excellent peer reviewers. This class, (geared toward middle-grade students who are able to write and read fluently with little struggle, or older novice or reluctant writers/readers), will focus on maturing students in both skill and confidence.

Course objectives:

  • Studying six books in three genres of narrative fiction, with weekly group discussions.
  • Becoming an active, critical reader who studies the author’s choices and intentions in writing, through close analysis of the author’s craftsmanship in each select book.
  • Engaging in class discussions around analytical reading assignments, alongside fun, interactive, and engaging skill builders.
  • Fun, small-group activities to reinforce weekly learning. Increasing reading comprehension, as well as new vocabulary.
  • Recognizing the overarching patterns of a story through character development, plot, and theme, while inspecting an author’s style and voice; and learning to read for inference, connotation, and figurative meaning.
  • Guided help demonstrating their learning through fun-tastic unit projects and personal book reviews.
  • Sharing the joy of reading and discussing the same books with friends made all over the country!

Evaluation and Feedback

While students will not receive official letter grades for their assignments, as your student’s literature guide, I will provide instruction and guidance, as well as targeted feedback on each phase of all assignments, helping students through the process of evaluation utilizing the rubrics in each text. Emphasis on all assignments will be on developing the individual’s strengths, and improving weaknesses of each student work, encouraging personal progress and overall growth in the language arts.


I will give feedback on every written assignment. I will grade assignments within one week of their due date. When students or parents email me with questions I answer within 24 hours.

Required Texts

Course Materials:

Readers in Residence, Volume 1,  Sleuth

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia McLachlan

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo





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Instructor Bio

Kristen K. Roy

Kristen is a Colorado native.  She earned her teaching degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Northern Colorado.  Kristen has been a homeschooling mom for over 16 years and is now a proud grandma as well. She has enjoyed teaching in both public and private school settings. For the last decade she has been teaching at her homeschool co-op and started teaching online this last year and loves helping students grow in their natural abilities to write. Teaching students how to analyze literature and poetry as well as create their own poetry, research papers, essays, short stories and analytical papers is one of her passions. She also enjoys riding bikes, meeting with friends and having family gatherings!

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