Writing Foundations Level One generally serves students around the ages of 7th and 8th grade levels, but every student is unique in their writing journey, so your student’s age may vary. The course is designed for mastery of skills; therefore, many students take Level One for two years in a row. The materials and topics we use for fictional inspiration, report sources, essay topics, grammar lessons, and vocabulary growth change every year to allow for continued practice and review from a fresh perspective. No two years are ever the same!
Prerequisite: Student should be at least 12 years old.
Students with or without writing experience are welcome!
Level One is foundational for new writers, empowering for those who love to write, and essential for everyone in between.
We edit and score each student’s papers individually so each student receives the guidance needed to strengthen their writing. Parental oversight is expected, and parents should assist student as much as student desires.
Level Half may be considered for 7th-8th grade students who are not ready for the academic challenge of a high school class.
Fall Semester – 16 weeks (starting 2017)
Fables (6 weeks, focusing on brainstorming, outlining, drafting, and stylistic techniques in short stories)
Short reports (8 weeks, focusing on 1 paragraph reports from 1 source plus bibliography, parenthetical references, and attributions)
Short essays (2 weeks, focusing on developing and maintaining focus in 1 paragraph “From the Brain” assignments via brainstorming, outlining, drafting, and style)
Spring Semester – 16 weeks (starting 2018)
Short essays continued (4 weeks, focusing on developing and maintaining focus in 1 paragraph “From the Brain” assignments via brainstorming, outlining, drafting, and style)
The Basic Essay (7 weeks, focusing on organizing and weaving together a full 5-paragraph essay)
Timed essays (3 weeks overlapping The Basic Essay, focusing on drafting expository essays under a time limit)
Year-end reflections and video presentation (4 weeks)
WOWza PaLooZa Day (the last day of class where we play a vocabulary game and celebrate a great year)
Throughout the Entire Year
Outlining, drafting, and revising
Technology and desktop publishing skills
***Students should ALWAYS have their notebooks and notepaper/pens nearby during the webinar for the best advantage during classtime games.***
• 3-ring notebook for organizing and storing handouts
• 15 tabbed dividers
• Notepaper and pens/pencils for taking notes as needed
• Printer paper – LOTS
• Printer ink/toner
We STRONGLY recommend PRINTING drafts as well as handouts for more success!
Consider a printer that you can modify with a Continuous Ink System! We tweaked our old Cannon MX860 and haven’t had to buy ink for years!
• Hole puncher for adding handouts to notebook
• A consistent, high-capacity, broadband internet connection. An ethernet connection is preferable to wifi connection because webinars use a lot of bandwidth. For best access, make sure no one else in the home is using the internet for streaming music or videos at the same time. Due to limitations of the iPad/iPhone app, joining the webinar on an iPad/iPhone is not recommended as student participation in groups and other functions are not accessible through the app.
Writing Foundations has no control over participants’ webinar connection. Technical issues are the sole responsibility of the participant, but Ms. B. will do her best to help you troubleshoot!
• Some international customers may need a substantial VPN service to access webinars and recordings.
• An up-to-date web browser, Firefox, IE, etc.
• Up-to-date Flash Player (part of the browser)
• A word processing program that can highlight words in color, set margins to 1 inch all around, and save documents as PDFs. Ms. B. uses the free program Libre Office on her Mac.
• Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar app to view PDF documents that come from Ms. B. in emails.
• Ability to save documents, create PDFs, and open and save email attachments
• A document backup service such as Dropbox, iCloud, GoogleDrive, etc.
• A tablet, phone, or camera for making the end-of-the-year portfolio video. Most students use Adobe Spark to create their video, but any software/app that can make an mp4 is sufficient.
• Headphones or earbuds for better hearing and better ability to avoid surrounding family distractions.
• Headphones WITH a microphone included in the headset are helpful but NOT required. However, only students with such headphones may use their microphones during group activities (they filter out surrounding noises and only pick up the user’s voice). Using the default microphone on the computer (picks up all the sounds in the room including typing) is too noisy and distracting for group work. Microphones can often be tricky to use, so we don’t recommend them. We like to do our communicating through the chat/discussion box where we don’t care about spelling! (We do, however, care about spelling in the homework.)
• A printer for printing all the handouts that will make your student’s writing textbook throughout the year