Let’s write! Writing is one of the core skills students need when they are planning to attend college. In fact, most colleges in the US require all students to take a freshman writing seminar (even when they are already great writers). Great writers say it takes practice to become a writer. Anyone can learn to write well; they just must practice writing every day.

In this Essay Writing course, we will practice the art and skill of writing. We will explore many types of writing including journaling, blogs, a personal essay (the college application essay), argument (persuasive), analysis, and research writing. Students will develop skills in planning what to write, writing the first draft, revising and editing peer writing as well as their own, and then completing the final copy.

This class is for high school students who would like to become better writers. They will be expected to write every day. Each week they will have writing assignments to be completed throughout the week. They will contribute to a course Wiki on UHS Online, participate in a class discussion forum (also on UHS Online), and respond to writing prompts. Students will also be asked to read and respond to essays, letters, and speeches written by great writers, world leaders, and orators (historical and current).

1 hr, Wednesdays, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Master the basics of word use, sentence structure, and punctuation utilizing the exercises in the brilliant Grammar textbook, The Least You Should Know About English. We use the simple approach offered in this workbook to strengthen students’ writing skills in preparation for college essay writing and beyond. All the foundational knowledge required for college-ready writing is briefly covered in this year-long course. It may sound intimidating, but we break down the rules of grammar and writing into easily digestible lessons that gradually build a foundation of skills that leave the students wondering why so many people struggle with punctuation and grammar when it is really quite simple.

The High School Grammar class moves significantly faster than Middle School Grammar and includes essay writing. If your student is under 14 years old, place them in Middle School Grammar. If your student is 14 years old, but not ready to tackle essay writing for college preparation, also consider placing them in Middle School Grammar.

1 hr, Wednesdays, 10:00am - 11:00am

In this year-long high school literature class we will take human migration to the United States and around the world as an overall theme for the year. Migration is a part of our human existence; for thousands of years, individuals and groups have, voluntarily or forcibly, moved far from their home of origin. Increasingly, people are telling their stories of migration through a variety of literary vehicles. 

Our readings will include works of fiction and non-fiction chosen for their connection to the theme as well as for the quality and style of the author’s writing. Students will annotate and analyze novels, non-fiction books and poetry, and will read a range of supporting materials. They will learn about how the authors of our selected works use rhetorical devices, imagistic language, and diction to communicate their stories, ideas, and emotions. They will then try their hand at writing their own poetry, literary essays, research papers, and stories of migration from their own (or a friend/relative/acquaintance) personal history.

The materials we will study (subject to change) are as follows:

* The House on Mango Street -- Sandra Cisneros
* The Joy Luck Club -- Amy Tan

1 hr, Mondays, 11:00am - 12:00pm


Spanish II is designed for high school students who have had some form of formal Spanish instruction and who want to have fun while improving their Spanish skills. While there is a heavy emphasis on conversation (my goal is to conduct many, if not most, classes in Spanish), students  learn how to conjugate verbs in present and past tenses, use pronouns correctly, increase their knowledge of vocabulary, be able to write a 1-2 page report on a topic of interest to them.

Students work collaboratively to practice their conversational skills and to research and orally present a project – in Spanish, but using whatever media they choose -- reflecting an aspect of culture (e.g., food, dance, music, literature, history, art, crafts) of a Spanish-speaking community. Field trips are a distinct possibility, and I am investigating online programs that facilitate practice at home. To the extent possible, I differentiate assignments according to ability level.

Native Spanish speakers are welcome; if you have not studied Spanish formally, please contact me prior to the beginning of the term so we can work together on the best way to proceed.

1 hour, Wednesday, 2:30pm - 3:30pm & 1 hr, Fridays, 1:30pm - 2:30pm