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#1 ByGrace3

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 08:07 AM

My dd is taking this class this year and is really enjoying it. I am seeing an improvement in her writing, but I am having to help her some with her assignments. Not much, and I see her improving and me being less involved as time goes on...I know some of the classes are workshop model and some not-- is there a way to find out which is which? I listened in to part of this weeks class for the first time and was curious as to which she is in and what the main differences are.


My dd is loving the class and says she is learning a lot from other kids and improving that way, but I haven't seen much feedback on her assignments....

I'm just trying to understand the process a little better. She has asked to take the next class next year and I would like to be sure I know what I am signing her up for and why. Are certain teachers utilizing the workshop model and that is how you choose a class? By teacher?

Also, I am curious if you have a child in this class, are you involved at all? I go over the assignment with dd to make sure she understands what she is doing, and help to be sure her process is organized. I read over it and make super superficial corrections (like if she spelled a word wrong or a grammar concept I know she has been taught I remind her of it). I am not sure if I should be completely hands off? She is improving and loves the class. I am just curious about the different set ups.
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#2 EmilyGF

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 11:57 AM

I have a kiddo in EW1 who isn't a natural writer.

 

I do work with him on his assignment. Mainly I through it writing question marks ("Don't get it... don't get that either") and he works on it until it is logical. That is, I don't give him wording ideas, I just tell him when things are awkward and then he fixes it. So I'm involved the day before the assignment is due. That's it.

 

He did have another writing assignment lately, a research paper in math, and it was really awkward to read, so I made him scrap what he had written and told him, "Write a list of things you want to cover like you do for EW and put them in an order that makes sense." It was much better after that so I know he is learning and can transfer the knowledge if he is encouraged to.

 

I would like more homework, frankly, but I am glad that he enjoys it and is making progress.

Emily


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#3 redsquirrel

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 03:08 PM

My dd is taking this class this year and is really enjoying it. I am seeing an improvement in her writing, but I am having to help her some with her assignments. Not much, and I see her improving and me being less involved as time goes on...I know some of the classes are workshop model and some not-- is there a way to find out which is which? I listened in to part of this weeks class for the first time and was curious as to which she is in and what the main differences are.


My dd is loving the class and says she is learning a lot from other kids and improving that way, but I haven't seen much feedback on her assignments....

I'm just trying to understand the process a little better. She has asked to take the next class next year and I would like to be sure I know what I am signing her up for and why. Are certain teachers utilizing the workshop model and that is how you choose a class? By teacher?

Also, I am curious if you have a child in this class, are you involved at all? I go over the assignment with dd to make sure she understands what she is doing, and help to be sure her process is organized. I read over it and make super superficial corrections (like if she spelled a word wrong or a grammar concept I know she has been taught I remind her of it). I am not sure if I should be completely hands off? She is improving and loves the class. I am just curious about the different set ups.

 

 

My son took expo 1 last year as a 5th grader and is in expo 2 this year.

 

If your child's class is a workshop model you will know because they take turns every class or so reading their assignments outloud and then getting feedback directly from their peers. The teacher should lead the discussion and help the students frame their feedback so that it is useful and not redundant etc.  If you read the statement from the teachers it usually says how she or he approaches teaching.  You find that out when you are registering for a class when you are picking your day and time, where it says "view instructors, class times and register"
 

On this page you can see the instructor for each section of the class

 

https://wtma.orbund....ageType=0&id=66

 

Once you see the names of the instructors you can look under the drop down menu of "about us" and click on 'Instructors". On the instructors page you can see a brief statement by each teacher about how they approach the class. It will usually mention there if the teacher uses the workshop method. Some make it clear that they don't and tend to focus more on lecture, others say they sometimes utilize the workshop method etc.  Or, you could always ask the instructor directly.

 

http://www.wtmacademy.com/instructors/

 

 

I have already been through WWS 1-3 with  my older boy, only there was no online class. I own the instructor's guide and I find it invaluable. I learned the hard way with my older boy to stay involved in WWS.   Even with my younger son taking the class online I use the instructor's book every week.  It is so, so helpful.  And, yes, I am very involved. I go over the instructions with him to make sure he understands exactly what he has to do, I will highlight parts that need special attention. I always go over his work before he hands it in and check it against what the assignment required, to make sure he has actually followed the instructions... cause sometimes he doesn't.  And I always look at the grading rubric in the instructor's guide to make sure he has completed the assignment properly. 

 

WWS has been a fantastic resource for my kids, but it isn't easy. Especially with WWS 1 the learning curve is steep (or was for my kids) so I was much more involved. It was also the first time my younger son was responsible to anyone but me for an assignment. I wanted to stay involved to make sure I knew what was going on.  But this year I am less involved. He is older and familiar with the process, and he is a better writer. But, I still go over those instructions and check them against my instructor's guide to make sure I absolutely understand what is being asked of him and what the finished product is supposed to look like. And I still check his work against the assignment and the rubric before he hands it in. I also check his work as he goes along to make sure he doesn't get too far off track. Nothing is worse that finding out at the end that you were doing it all wrong.  Last week my son was feeling very discouraged by a particular assignment. It wasn't until I pointed out that it only had to be 150 words..not that big a deal..that he felt better. It said that several times in the assignment, but it wasn't getting into his head, lol. It took me seeing it in writing and pointing it out verbally that defused the situation.

 

 

 


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#4 Melissa B

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:38 PM

I have a dd in WWS 2 that was in WWS 1 last year. I am not really involved at all. I've never listened in during a class and the only papers I read are the mid-term and final papers. I point out grammatical errors on those papers, but do not give suggestions on content or know if they are following the rubric. Not to suggest I don't think it should be done, just that my daughter would prefer I not be involved. I assign her papers now and again at home and work on essay structure and content with her at that time.



#5 Professormom

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 06:54 PM

I have had my guys do Exp 1 & 2 with WTMA. I am not a workshop format fan at the middle school ages. Not everyone agrees, but I do not find feedback from middle schoolers to be useful, lol, even with teacher direction. I think at the high school level, it works better due to maturity of ideas, etc. So that is where I am coming from. We did both classes in more traditional format, and I thought they were well done. My guys learned plenty, and I saw a great deal of improvement. The only thing I really helped with was the revision process because I am a firm believer in teaching kids to go over a piece multiple times before it gets turned in :lol: Nothing is *done* on the first try in the world of writing. 

 

And the WWS books themselves are terrific.


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#6 hepatica

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 09:42 AM

DD2 is taking EW 1 this year as a 7th grader. She is a wonderful creative writer, but has struggled with expository writing (she also has a dyslexic type LD so the physical act of writing is difficult, her spelling is awful and her punctuation is hit and missm FYI). Her class is not workshop model. She really likes the teacher. They work through the WWS day 1, day 2 type assignments (outlining, narration, etc) during class time, and then do the day 4 type assignments for their weekly writing assignments. She gets good written feedback from the teacher on her weekly writing assignments. Sometimes I wish they would be graded a little more expeditiously (it can be a few weeks before she gets graded), but the feedback is good. I, too, think the workshop model is not helpful at this stage.

 

I don't listen to the classes. I do help her quite a bit in the editing of her assignments (this may be a function of her LD). I am essentially her rough draft teacher. I help her see where the errors are and give suggestions as to how to make the assignment more clear. I listen to her read the assignments aloud, so she can hear where she has omitted punctuation. I also sometimes help her talk through the organization (this is especially true with the scientific description where she really struggles - she is much better with narrative writing). We also have a rule that she cannot use certain words (big, very, large etc) so I point these out and she uses the thesaurus to find better alternatives (she enjoys this, her creative side). So, this is not a hands off process for us. 

 

I think the class has done wonders for her writing. The teacher is expecting a baby in the spring, and will have a substitute for a while, and I sincerely hope the sub follows the same format. I will continue with EW2 and hope to have her more and more independent with her revision and editing  by the time she reaches high school. I don't mind helping now because this is an area of difficulty for her, and because I think it is important to see what really goes into creating a excellent piece of writing. The hope is that if we go through this process enough, some of it will eventually sink in ......


Edited by hepatica, 27 December 2016 - 01:24 PM.

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#7 Roadrunner

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Posted 27 December 2016 - 01:06 PM

My DS is taking EW2 as a six grader. I am not involved in any way. I do check the feedback to make sure he is doing his work. He is doing really well in the class and loves the teacher. The feedback is minimal. The assignments are graded based on the rubric (you can see those if you own a teacher's manual), so if your kid hits all the points in the rubric, there will not be further suggestions. I hope I am making sense.
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#8 Mama2two

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 06:58 AM

Raodrunner, can I ask what teacher yous son has for EW2 that he likes so much?  My kids EW1 teacher is not coming back next year and need to pick a new teacher



#9 4pillars

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 09:11 PM

Bump.... I am trying to decide on a teacher for next year as well.

 



#10 ByGrace3

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 05:41 PM

I am still torn. This semester has not been great. So many missed classes. So many classes ended ridiculously early. Assignments are not posted in what I would consider a timely manner....I can't imagine this is standard practice for WTMA, but I paid so much for this course I am afraid to have a similar experience with a different teacher.
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#11 hepatica

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 05:49 PM

I am still torn. This semester has not been great. So many missed classes. So many classes ended ridiculously early. Assignments are not posted in what I would consider a timely manner....I can't imagine this is standard practice for WTMA, but I paid so much for this course I am afraid to have a similar experience with a different teacher.

 

This is unfortunate, and surprising to me since we had such a different experience in EW1. Jennifer Roudabush has been a fantastic instructor. She had a couple months out in the middle of the course for maternity leave and the transition to the substitute was seamless. Erica Schauer was the substitute and she was also an excellent instructor. My DD is enrolled in EW2 with Dr. Roudabush and French 1 with Erica Schauer next year. So I can at least recommend these two instructors. 



#12 WTMA Dean

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 05:54 PM

I am still torn. This semester has not been great. So many missed classes. So many classes ended ridiculously early. Assignments are not posted in what I would consider a timely manner....I can't imagine this is standard practice for WTMA, but I paid so much for this course I am afraid to have a similar experience with a different teacher.

 

We are so sorry to hear about your year, ByGrace3. This experience is not typical of WTMA. Please email us directly at [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script> to let us know what went wrong. Also, you can leave honest and anonymous feedback in the course evaluation. Course evaluations will be sent out on Friday, May 19 through your student's Blackboard course.

 

In the future, please contact us as soon as there is an issue and we will work to solve it immediately.

 

Warmly,

Dean Collier



#13 fourisenough

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 12:13 PM

This is unfortunate, and surprising to me since we had such a different experience in EW1. Jennifer Roudabush has been a fantastic instructor. She had a couple months out in the middle of the course for maternity leave and the transition to the substitute was seamless. Erica Schauer was the substitute and she was also an excellent instructor. My DD is enrolled in EW2 with Dr. Roudabush and French 1 with Erica Schauer next year. So I can at least recommend these two instructors.


Just to reassure others: this was not our experience either. Expo 2 with Dr. Roudabush (first semester), then with Dr. Edwards has been terrific. I'm so sorry to hear about the bad experience upthread.

#14 ByGrace3

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:01 PM

We are so sorry to hear about your year, ByGrace3. This experience is not typical of WTMA. Please email us directly at [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script> to let us know what went wrong. Also, you can leave honest and anonymous feedback in the course evaluation. Course evaluations will be sent out on Friday, May 19 through your student's Blackboard course.

In the future, please contact us as soon as there is an issue and we will work to solve it immediately.

Warmly,
Dean Collier


I assumed it was not typical. In fact, I posted earlier in the year on another thread asking for others' experiences because I could not imagine this was typical. I thought perhaps my expectations were off with it being our first live online course. Ultimately, I don't think that was the case.

I am not able to see the email address in the above post. I messaged someone from WTMA on here months ago, but did not get a reply. I recognize that private messaging on the forum is not the best form of communication. ;) I would be happy to email about our situation if given where to write. Thank you!
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#15 WTMA Dean

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:11 PM

I assumed it was not typical. In fact, I posted earlier in the year on another thread asking for others' experiences because I could not imagine this was typical. I thought perhaps my expectations were off with it being our first live online course. Ultimately, I don't think that was the case.

I am not able to see the email address in the above post. I messaged someone from WTMA on here months ago, but did not get a reply. I recognize that private messaging on the forum is not the best form of communication. ;) I would be happy to email about our situation if given where to write. Thank you!

Just to make sure you get the right email address - use the email found on the top left of our website: http://www.wtmacademy.com

 

We will make this right for you!



#16 Mama2two

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:52 PM

I think you may have had the same teacher my kids did for EW1this year. Although my kids enjoyed her I had a lot of the same concerns. Very different from last year's experience

#17 ByGrace3

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:54 PM

I think you may have had the same teacher my kids did for EW1this year. Although my kids enjoyed her I had a lot of the same concerns. Very different from last year's experience


My dd did like her. She was a good teacher...and I think perhaps extenuating life circumstances may have come into play...

#18 Mama2two

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:56 PM

Yes, definitely think we had the same teacher

#19 EmilyGF

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:45 AM

I think my son had the same teacher I had a different experience.

 

1. Instead of messaging on the forum, I emailed a higher up through the Well Trained Mind Academy and got a prompt reply. 
 

2. I was asked for specific details

 

3. I was given the option to change classes, but chose not to because my son did LIKE his teacher and was learning.

 

I do notice the teacher isn't coming back next year, so I expect the format and life circumstances made it a bad fit for her.

 

Emily


Edited by EmilyGF, 19 May 2017 - 10:47 AM.