Sunday, October 27, 2013

Easy Essay class at Bridgeway Academy {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

Bridgeway Logo photo bridgewayacademylogo_zps8c2d62cc.jpg

I think everyone has at least one teacher that stands out for one reason or another. Time and time again, my husband and I think back on our high school senior English teacher. Our whole class was planning on coasting through our last year of English classes, and then Mrs. Westbrook arrived. She was determined to make us think, and perhaps more importantly, to teach us how to write. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth involved in completing her assignments that year. Now, many years later, we recognize how her high expectations molded the effective composition skills that served us well throughout our college years. Addison recently had a similar experience with her Easy Essay course from Bridgeway Academy.

The Easy Essay course typically meets for nine weeks of lessons with an online lecture/discussion class held for one 90 minutes session each week. For review purposes, Addison (and other Schoolhouse Review Crew students) attended a slightly-abridged class taught by Kimberly Kulp that met an hour per week for eight weeks. She had no technical problems with logging in, hearing the teacher, or participating in the class sessions. Addison enjoyed the online interaction in the class, but we both found that the email conversations about her written homework assignments were not as effective as working with a teacher face-to-face. Addison often did not understand the points Mrs. Kulp was making in her brief essay corrections, and more importantly, Addison struggled to figure out (in a practical sense) how to improve her writing.

The Easy Essay course worked through the essay writing in a step-by-step process, starting with a discussion of essay types, moving through writing good thesis statements, to eventually writing complete essays. The first homework assignments were rather easy, but they increased in difficulty fairly quickly. I thought Addison was a fairly good writer, but Mrs. Kulp challenged her to organize her thoughts into well-formed essays. I will admit that some of the assignments involved more than just a few tears as Addison tried to figure out both what she would write about and how to meet Mrs. Kulp's expectations for the assignment.

I attended one of the online class sessions so that I could help Addison understand what she was doing wrong in her previous week's assignment. I was quite impressed with the online interaction in the class. As the students worked on writing topics sentences and short paragraphs, I noticed how Mrs. Kulp geared her instruction to each student's individual level. She helped one student make sure that all the sentences in the paragraph related to the same topic, and she helped Addison see how her paragraph would be better if it included more concrete details.

Addison's path through the Easy Essay class was sometimes marked with wailing and gnashing of teeth that reminded me of my own high school composition class. Along the way, though, she's learned to be a much more effective writer than she was prior to the class. Not only that, she has proven to herself that she can write well-developed essays. A few weeks ago, she struggled to write a paragraph that she though Mrs. Kulp would deem "good enough." For this week's homework, she wrote a solid paragraph in less than an hour. That's remarkable progress in my book, and I'm now confident that she has a solid foundation of writing skills to build on throughout the rest of her high school years.

High School Learning Lab classes (including Easy Essay) cost $275 each. Registration for the next session closes on December 30th. If your student is enrolled in Bridgeway Academy, it's worth a half-credit (high school level). You can find out more about Bridgeway's complete online high school options here.


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1 comment:

  1. It is really good nowadays because students and teachers can get engage through online and discuss this kind of matter. It's really useful and helpful for them so that they can be able to practice their skills and learn new skills that could make their writings more better. Also, essay writing services reviews can help you out in reviewing your writings and conclude some other ways on how to make it more better.



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