How It Works: Literature Intersessions
2023-2024 Writing Sessions
Sept 25-Oct 13
Register Aug. 30-Sept 15
Dec 11-Jan 5
Register Sept 1-Oct 6
No assignments Christmas week
Feb 26-Mar 15
Register Feb 2-Feb 16
May 6-May 24
Register April 12-April 26
Students are required to have a free account with Canvas, a learning management system where our intersession courses are hosted. Students will be provided with instructions for account creation as well as an overview of how to use the system prior to the start of class.
Students are required to have their own copy of the course novel. Novels can be obtained through most libraries and bookstores.
Students are required to be able to read the class novel on a largely independent basis (though some help from a parent can be expected, especially in our introductory courses). While the byproduct of reading widely is improved vocabulary and reading comprehension, it is important to note that our intersession courses are designed to study literary techniques alongside the chosen novel, not provide direct instruction on reading fluency. Additional information about a novel's reading level can be found at the Scholastic website by searching for a title and scrolling down to "Product Details."
There are no class meetings for intersession courses. Instead, students view teacher-created videos each day, and communication occurs through assignment responses.
Daily scheduled class time at registration is a suggestion; assignments may be completed at any time.
Each day, students will access Canvas to view the day's posted assignments. Most days include an explanatory video, an assigned portion of the class novel, and a written response to the reading.
Weeks 1 and 2 are focused on reading the class novel and covering the course's literary terms. Students can expect short daily video introductions to each literary term and reading skill, and they should expect to use their texts to complete structured journal entries. Additionally, reading checks are interspersed throughout Weeks 1 and 2 to ensure that students are understanding the basic plot points of the class novel. Teachers choose one journal entry each week to edit and revise.
Week 3 is focused on completing the class novel and composing the final piece. For introductory courses, the final piece is a structured book review; for intermediate and advanced courses, students compose a literary analysis. All final compositions go through at least one round of revisions from the teacher.
It is the expectation that students complete intersession work each weekday, with no work assigned on the weekends. Assignments for the following day do not "unlock" until the previous day's assignments have been submitted. Due to the short three-week timeframe of the intersession courses, students will have a difficult time completing the session if they miss more than one day of work per week.
Teachers monitor student progress throughout each intersession and respond to questions throughout the week. Different than our regular writing sessions, student-teacher interaction occurs on a weekly (instead of daily) basis.
During Weeks 1 and 2, teachers choose one journal assignment to edit; this assignment will be returned to students on Fridays with revisions due on Monday. Teachers also monitor reading check responses and check in with students who seem to be having difficulty with the plot.
During Week 3, teachers continue to monitor reading check responses. Additionally, teachers are on-hand to help with the final written composition. Teachers will edit and revise all final written compositions; each course has a specified schedule of when these assignments are due and when revisions should be expected.
For our introductory and intermediary classes, most students complete their reading and associated work in about 30 minutes each day; our advanced courses may require an hour each day, though this varies with each individual student. Because our instruction is so individualized, students are appropriately challenged, so their time working on assignments is designed to feel well-spent.
A very key component to the intersession learning experience is the concept of completing assignments every day. By practicing this, students will learn to follow a schedule and meet deadlines, which serves them well in our regular writing sessions as well as in other learning environments. We encourage students to become increasingly self-sufficient in this life skill, as it is crucial for success in all grades throughout high school, college, and beyond.
As with our regular writing sessions, students are required to complete all written assignments with no help or editing from parents (beyond reviewing the directions for the assignment).
It is the parent's responsibility to review the novel prior to the start of the course to ensure the novel meets content expectations and their student's reading level; websites such as Common Sense Media, as well as Amazon book reviews are great places to start, and the Scholastic website has lots of information reading levels.
For our introductory courses, parents may choose to read the novel with students; an effective strategy for building reading comprehension and independence is to have the student read the novel aloud to parents with the parent available to help with unfamiliar words and phrases. Our literature sessions are built for understanding literary techniques, not increasing reading fluency. Please consider your child's reading level before enrolling in the course.
Intermediate and advanced courses are designed for the student to complete independent of parent help. As with our introductory courses, it is important for parents to consider their child's reading level before enrolling.
Grades and Credit
As with our regular writing sessions, students will cover a great deal of material during our three-week intersession. At the conclusion of the session, students receive a certificate of completion that will include the skills covered and dates for the session.
While we do not provide letter grade or percentages, we do provide feedback on student growth using in terms of developing skills, proficiency at course skills, and mastery of course skills.
Each of our intersession literature courses is designed to cover the Language Arts requirement for a three-week period. Each state and country has different requirements, but we suggest two writing courses along with at least one intersession literature course to round out a semester Language Arts credit.
Choosing the Right Course
Students may choose any available intersession course that is on the level of the regular-session writing course that they just completed. For example, a student who just completed Fundamentals 1 would be eligible for any Introductory intersession course; a student who just completed Narrative Writing would be eligible for our Intermediate courses.
Students new to the Home2Teach program (or students wishing to complete a higher level novel course) will need to submit a writing sample to complete registration.