Four Aspects Of Language Arts Development Essay

Writing:  Creative Components
Second Semester

Based on The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) by Andrew Pudewa, this course focuses on developing effective sentence structures and word choices.  Students will use models to help develop their writing skills.  This is a high intensity course; the students will learn new creative elements and are required to use them in each of their writing projects. Because of this, a student’s writing may seem awkward for a time. Once the requirements are removed, the student will have the tools to write concisely and beautifully, with the ability to use the varying sentence structures naturally. Students will learn to write key word outlines, summaries from notes, style enhancements, sentence openers, paragraphs, stories, and a report.  Students can further develop these skills in Writing: Stylistic Development.

Tutor:Heidi Kuiper
Length: One semester
Level: 7th-9th grades
Prerequisite: “Grammar Essentials” or equivalent course
Homework: approximately 2-4 hours per week, depending on the student’s abilities
Text: None
Students need to bring:  loose-leaf paper, pencil, highlighter
Class Tuition:  See the registration form for current prices.  Tuition will cover the cost of supplies.
Writing:  Essays & College Prep 
Second Semester

Description:  Heading into PSEO or graduating and moving on to a college degree?  Writing skills are essential in higher-education and are often a source of anxiety.  In this class, you will learn about the kinds of writing and thinking college professors will expect of you and have a chance to improve your writing in an encouraging, yet sufficiently challenging, environment.  
Working on a research paper, a persuasive essay, a literary analysis essay, and several smaller assignments, we will address skills in forming a strong thesis statement, analyzing information, applying logic that is sound and appropriate, organizing your thoughts clearly, writing strong opening and closing paragraphs, developing excellent writing style, gathering solid supporting evidence, and avoiding costly errors. 
The purpose of the essays is to guide the students through every step of a complete college writing assignment, including instruction and practice in note-taking, narrowing a topic, and using books and web sources for their research and documentation. The research paper will be the primary assignment for the semester, and every aspect of the research paper process will be covered in detail.  Students will select their basic research topic in collaboration with their primary teaching parent, and they will be encouraged to select a topic that is integrated into another subject they are studying. In addition to these longer writing assignments, students will also learn and practice techniques for tackling short essay questions on in-class college exams with success.  
The skills covered in this class will prepare each student for the variety of writing assignments they will encounter in college. This class may be repeated if more practice on preparing for college level work is desired!
Tutor:  Mary Mueller
Length:  1 semester
Level:  10th -12th grades
Prerequisite:   “Writing: Structure & Organization” and “Writing: Stylistic Development” or equivalent coursework at home.
Homework:  approximately 3-5 hours per week, depending on the student’s abilities & desire to excel in their projects.
Text:   Optional Not Required -  MLA Handbook 8th Edition (It must be the all new 8th edition!!!)
Students need to bring:  loose-leaf paper, pen or pencil
Class Tuition:  See the registration form for current prices.  
Writing:  Format Writing
 Second Semester

Description:    This class is the first step into formal structured writing which continues next semester with Writing: Structure and Organization. We will begin Format Writing by focusing on paragraphs. Students will learn how to write various types of paragraphs using a prescribed structure that most students find quite freeing. They will write from their experiences and also practice writing from research.  After lots of practice with paragraphs, students will move on to write a personal narrative essay and a five-paragraph essay. Students will also practice brainstorming and outlining. The mechanics of writing will be covered in a light grammar book called Painless Grammar.
Tutor:  Judi Davidson
Length: One semester
Level: 8th - 10th grades                                         
Prerequisite:  Grammar Essentials or equivalent coursework at home.
Homework:  approximately 2 hours per week.
Text:  Painless Grammar (Included in the supply fee and will be purchased by the tutor)
Class Tuition: See the registration form for current prices.  Tuition will cover the cost of supplies.
Writing:   Grammar Essentials
 First Semester

  The purpose of this course is to understand the grammatical concepts necessary to write well.  Students will focus on building stronger, more descriptive, and accurate sentences.  They will learn to recognize common errors in sentence writing such as run-ons and fragments.  This course will include instruction in the parts of speech, sentence structure, types of sentences, phrases, clauses, punctuation, basic diagramming, and editing skills. Students will use a variety of methods to help them grasp the abstract nature of grammar.   A great follow up to this class is Writing: Creative Components or Format Writing.
Tutor: Heidi Kuiper
Length: One Semester
Level: 7th – 9th grades
Prerequisite: None
Homework: approximately 2-4 hours per week, depending on the student’s abilities.
Text: None
Class Tuition: See the registration form for current prices. Tuition will cover the cost of supplies.
​Writing: Structure & Organization
 First Semester

​Description:    This class is a continuation of formal structured writing begun last semester in Format Writing which established a foundation of paragraph structure. Writing: Structure & Organization will focus on the organizational principles of essays essential for successful high school and college writing. A study of some 3,000 final examination papers of freshman in three universities showed that 93% of the “A” papers had five paragraphs in the basic format that will be taught in this class. We will cover the structure of some of the different types of essays  that high school and college classes require   (including college entrance exam essay tests), how to expand this structure into longer essays, and how to use resources effectively and ethically.
Tutor:  Judi Davidson
Length: One Semester
Level: 9th - 12th grades                                                   
Prerequisite:    "Format Writing" or tutor approval .     
Homework:  approximately 2-4 hours per week.
Text: Included in supply fee and will be purchased by the tutor.
Class Tuition:  See the registration form for current prices.  Tuition will cover the cost of supplies.
​Writing: Stylistic Development 
First Semester

Description:  Based on  The  Institute for Excellence in Writing  (IEW) by Andrew Pudewa, this course  focuses on developing more mature and effective sentence structures and word  choices. Students will review the tools introduced in “Writing: Creative  Components” for the first three weeks  and then move on to building new skills.  Stylistic Techniques such as  strong verbs, quality adjectives, vivid adverbs, adverbial and noun clauses, along with a variety of Sentence Openers will be developed and mastered to greatly enhance students’ writings. 

As the key to good writing, organizational skills of planning and note-taking will be stressed and developed!  Students will be encouraged to begin to personalize their style of organization to suit their unique personalities!   Grammar is seamlessly included as students master the dress-ups and sentence openers, and particular grammar and punctuation issues will be addressed as needed. 

Using  a variety of fun  activities  to  learn to  write well, students will analyze select pieces of  excellent prose and then imitate it with  their own writing by following specific instructions and checklists given in  class.  They will then learn more tools through  several genres of writing,  including poems, reports, a  narrative  story, and an essay crafted by  mimicking a personal essay written by Helen Keller.   By using fun, relaxed  narrative writing, students are freed from the pressures of structured writing  to focus on the style and flow of writing, including learning how to  think like a writer and finding his own writing  voice.  This class may be repeated if more practice on these skills is desired! 
Tutor:  Mary Mueller
Length: One Semester
Level: 8th – 10th grades         
Prerequisite: “Writing: Creative Components” or tutor approval                               
Homework:    approximately 2-4 hours per week, depending on the student’s abilities and desire to excel in their projects.
Text: None
Students need to bring: loose-leaf paper, pencil
Class Tuition:  See the registration form for current prices.  Tuition will cover the cost of supplies.

Broad goals for the language arts curriculum focus on increasing children’s skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It is neither possible nor advisable to totally separate the learning of one skill from the learning of another; however, at times you will focus more on one area of language arts than another. These four broad goals are outlined in the following sections.

Goal 1: Listening

Children will develop the ability to listen in order to make sense of their environment. In order for children to learn, they need to take information in and process it. Listening to and comprehending information is an essential step in acquiring knowledge (Cassell, 2004; Jalongo, 1996). Listening is not a natural, innate ability. Instead, it is learned through the guidance and teaching of parents, teachers, and other people in young children’s environment (Kupetz & Twiest, 2000). Strategies such as a hand signal or environmental cues such as turning the lights off to signal total quiet are helpful in alerting the children that it is time to stop what they are doing and listen.

Teaching children to listen to other children and to adults will increase the opportunities to learn language as well as new ideas. It is also one of the hardest skills to teach young children, who are often very busy initiating activities and expressing themselves and who are not as interested in listening to those around them.

Goal 2: Speaking

In order to learn language, children need opportunities to talk and be heard (Dickinson & Snow, 1987). Effective adult-child dialogue includes an adult who listens as the child speaks, asks questions that encourage the child to say more, and expands and elaborates on what the child has said. Samantha shows her teacher a picture that she drew. Instead of responding with a typical praise of “That’s nice” or “What a good job you did,” Mrs. Bands stops what she is doing, kneels down at eye level with Samantha, and says, “Tell me about this picture that you drew.” Samantha has the opportunity to describe and explain her drawing.

Children need to learn that the manner in which they speak depends on the situation. Informal speech is appropriate with friends and family, but more precise speech is appropriate for school and other places outside the home. When children want to communicate their ideas, they need to speak in ways that others can understand and hear.

Goal 3: Reading

Although formal reading instruction typically begins in first grade, kindergarteners develop many skills that prepare them to learn to read. Children whose daily routines and activities provide them with “reading opportunities” will begin to identify environmental print (West & Egley, 1998). Names on bedroom doors, on cubbies in school, and on backpacks provide multiple and distinct opportunities for children to recognize their names. With repeated exposure to a predictable book, three-, four-, and five-year-olds can “read” stories. Mrs. Bands has read The Three Billy Goats Gruff to her class multiple times over the last three weeks. With their expert knowledge of the book, her class can anticipate when the goats are walking over the bridge and chime in with a chorus of “Trip, Trap, Trip, Trap.”

An environment that is rich in books and print helps children begin to discern the meaning of print (Vacca & Vacca, 2003). What seems like scribbling on a page begins to develop meaning as children begin to understand that print communicates a message (Sulzby, 1992). Children learn to recognize letters and words and eventually become aware of the relationship of sounds to letters and words (Bowman, 2002). Some kindergarteners effortlessly “crack the code” and begin to identify and sound out words with continued exposure to print. For other kindergarteners, reading will take more effort and require more formal instruction in first and second grade.

Goal 4: Writing

Children will learn to write in an increasingly complex and precise manner to communicate their ideas, request things, document their activities, and provide pleasure and amusement. To foster this development, three-, four-, and five-year-olds need experiences that encourage them to make marks on paper and write. Children begin writing by scribbling and drawing pictures. As their knowledge of print increases, letters are formed, and the collection of nonsense letters comes closer to phonetic spellings (Sulzby & Teale, 1985). The first discovery is often their own names, and they become fascinated with the results, as did four-year-old Tommy, who spent an entire afternoon crafting the “T” and “O” in his name when he discovered that “Tommy” was how his name was written.

From these beginnings, children begin to learn the often difficult but exciting task of putting their words and thoughts on paper. They eventually learn that there are different purposes for writing and that the style of writing changes with the purpose.

Excerpt from Early Education: Three, Four, and Five Year Olds Go to School, by C. Seefeldt, B.A. Wasik, 2006 edition, p. 226-228.

© ______ 2006, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission.  All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.

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