Designed for middle school and early high school students, students develop critical reading, thinking, and writing skills through regular online or face-to-face sessions with an Academic Success Coach. Many curricula focus on the development of skills in isolation; however, this course connects reading, writing, and discussion within a safe and encouraging platform to learn, listen, think critically, write, and debate.

In this course, students will:

  • Read & interact with coherent text selections that align with their current levels: Studies show that students become better reader, become more engaged, and develop a sense of expertise about a subject when they are exposed to a coherent curriculum (Guthrie et al., 2004). Students  will dive deeply into a topic, novel, or theme from diverse works that are relevant to their development or learning levels (Calkins et al., 2012).
  • Have a safe place to unpack the passages and go deeper into their own understanding through discussions: Students will be able to better question, sort through, and articulate their thoughts and opinions without the fear of “getting the wrong answer.” This process strengthens students’ critical thinking and their ability to listen and engage in meaningful discussions with those who have differing views and experiences.
  • Choose a meaningful writing task based on the discussions: Students will get a chance to reflect in writing by sorting through the discussions and debates in class. This process gives students with options and framework for their writing, while allowing freedom of thought, opinions, and expressions. Furthermore, students’ writing become more personal and more accessible to them.
  • Grow in their critical understanding and writing: Students will give and receive meaningful feedbacks (as opposed to “receiving a grade”) based on rubric and discussion for student-driven improvements. They will also be guided through good writing processes focused on constant improvements as opposed to getting to a finished product – an approach that lowers the fears and barriers of writing for students.

Our goal is for our students to become more equipped for self-directed reading, writing, and learning.

Length of Program

  • 2 x 50-minute class per week (7-7:50pm, Mondays & Wednesdays – Central Time)
  • 1 cycle = 4 weeks; 4 cycles in one semester
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