bRAINMAKER currently offers math classes, clubs, and tutoring only. However, we are pleased to have the opportunity to coordinate our schedules and share our facilities with several affiliated humanities instructors. Please note: Each of the classes & programs below is run independently, so each has its own registration process.
Foundations of Upper-Level Language Arts
Grades 7-9 (note: ages 12 and up, but older students welcome)
Cost: $350 per semester, plus a non-refundable $75 deposit to hold your student’s place in class
Class Maximum: 12 students
Booklist: TBA early summer
This 32 week class is a survey approach to the foundational skills necessary for effective upper-level reading, writing, thinking, and speaking. In the literature component, students will read a memoir, a medley of short stories, works from Greek mythology, and a Shakespearean play. Students will write in a variety of formal and informal styles throughout the year. A grammar segment will help students read and write with more awareness, clarity, and control.
Distinct parts of the year will focus on different literary genres while building specific skill sets:
1st and 2nd Quarters: Short Stories/Poetry/Grammar We’ll kick the year off with a variety of classic short stories and poetry. These shorter pieces are a great way to engage students while teaching the basic components of active reading and literary analysis. Students will reflect upon the pieces in writing and through class discussions. We’ll also spend the first half of the year with a weekly segment reviewing (or introducing) the basics of traditional grammar and sentence structures.
3rd Quarter: Greek Mythology
Students will learn about the fascinating world of Greek mythology and classical allusions through stories and art. We’ll read a bunch of Greek myths, a more accessible version of Homer’s Iliad, and excerpts from the more demanding text. The project in this section will help them learn basic research, presentation, and documentation skills. Students will be encouraged to participate in the National Mythology Exam administered each spring. Our course readings will partially prepare them to sit for this exam.
4th Quarter: Shakespeare/Romeo and Juliet
We’ll read Romeo & Juliet together and talk about Shakespeare, Elizabethan theater, the terminology of plays, figurative language, and strategies to read demanding texts. I imagine some sonnets will slip in there too.
Summer assignment: Students will read an autobiography or memoir of their choice over the summer (I will provide a list of suggestions and instructions in early summer).
Please visit my professional blog to register.
I've been teaching, tutoring, and testing in a variety of educational settings professionally for over 25 years. I consider myself an enthusiastic and caring teacher who sets high expectations for both my students and myself. You’ll find more information about me including a list of classes I’ve taught on my professional blog.
My Teaching Style
I believe students learn the most when they approach subjects from multiple angles. I like to keep students engaged during class and at home through a mix of lecture, discussion, note taking, individual and group projects, student presentations, and audio/visual learning. I will encourage them to write, discuss, present, draw, document, word process, and create slides.