Miss Lorraine 101
Private Tutoring and Small Classes 
  since 1994

 Class Descriptions
Creative Writing -- Jumpstart

 This class is for students, typically junior high school level and above, who want or need to improve their writing skills.  If you have a child who is more apt to stare at a blank piece of paper for twenty minutes than write something on it – this is the class you want.  Student who enjoy writing will be encouraged to experiment further and to work on pieces above and beyond class requirements, with assignments designed to strengthen weaknesses in their writing.

The objective of this class is to encourage students to write freely, to have fun with it, and to play with ideas as they discover their own "voice", in a light-hearted, non-threatening environment.  For students who already enjoy creative writing, this class is an opportunity to share their work with peers, receive personal feedback, and take on new challenges as the class explores a variety of writing styles, themes, and genres.  

Students will learn:

*  The elements of vivid description
*  How to hook their audience
*  How to construct memorable characters
*  How to build suspense 
*  How to write natural dialogue

Students will be writing in class and encouraged (but not required) to orally share what they have written.  Students are also encouraged to write at home.  I suggest four ten-minute free-writes a week as well as the weekly assignment.  Students are welcome to share their original works with the class and may submit them to me for personal feedback, along with their other work.   

It should be remembered that one of the purposes of this class is to encourage the hesitant writer.  While I will make note of spelling, capitalization, and grammatical errors, and may suggest ways in which a student can improve their technical writing skills, I will not do so to the point where it detracts from the enthusiasm of putting forth ideas on paper.  This class is best suited to junior high school and high school students.

       *  Class size is limited to eight students          
       *  Class meets for one 1 and 1/2 hour session per week
       *  Cost is $12.50 per session, paid six weeks in advance

Note:  In my experience, each group tends to take on a character of its own.  I try to accommodate particular interests that arise within any given group and to allow their interests and enthusiasm to help shape the direction of the class.  

One such class was not so thrilled with poetry – but enamored of fantasy fiction.  So, along with the skills listed above, we have studied the elements of a good “fight”scene, various ways to depict transitions through portals, and how to introduce a flashback or a daydream. 
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   Current class offerings are listed on the right.   
Beginning American Sign Language 

Class consists of vocabulary building and basic sentence structure.   Practicing at home will be required to keep up with this course.  Weekly tests are given.   Finger dexterity and willingness to practice and study at home are the criterion for this class. 

         Class size is limited to eight students
*   Class meets for one 1 and 1/2-hour per week, for 10 weeks.  
   Class is 12.50per student per week, paid six weeks in advance
*   Required text:  A Basic Course in A.S.L.

Note:  ASL  fulfills foreign language requirements for high school credit..  I offer an extended 26-week class for home-school students considering this option.  Grades will be provided.  (Home-school students considering ASL class for foreign language high school credit should see below.)
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In this class a student's knowledge of tone and style as developed through creative writing becomes a real asset.  Developing a  "hook"  in creative writing for a broad audience is now modified for a specific audience--the college admissions board.  This audience reads a thousand essays in a few short months, each responding to the same essay question.  Standing out, without being outlandish, is the goal.  Students will learn to refine their creative writing skills into clever observations, analogies, and comparisons.   
       The essay questions are drawn from actual college admission and scholarship applications, as well as the SAT prep book.  Essays will be started in class and often need to be finished at home.  Students will be editing and revising their work based on feedback.   This class is graded.
      *  Class size is limited 
*  Class meets for one 1 and 1/2 hours per week                      return to top 
Creative Writing -- First Steps

This class is for students, typically grades 3-6, who know how to write a complete sentence.  They should have knowledge of basic punctuation and capitalization, and be familiar with nouns, verbs and adjectives.  This is not to say they have mastered these concepts - just that they are familiar with them.  It is especially recommended for young students who "hate" writing or find it boring. 

The goal of this class is to show the students that writing can be fun.  The purpose is to move them from simple sentences to more complex sentences through the inclusion of adjectives and adverbs, and to gently reinforce the idea that things like spelling and punctuation matter - if they want their ideas to be understood.

This is the first step in creative writing: transforming a sentence that "tells" the reader something, into a sentence that "shows" the reader something.  To keep class lively and fun,
I use sentence starters involving giraffes in bikinis, dandelions that are allergic to pollen, and chipmunks that roar like lions.  I appeal to the student's sense of humor in order to spark the imagination.  Due to the age targeted, I am tempted to subtitle this class "Let the Silliness Begin".  

There is typically one handout, and a creative assignment to be completed each week 
for homework.  If, by the end of the eight-week class, the students are excitedly sharing what they've written with friends and family -- I've done my job.   

      *   Class meets for 1.5 hours per week  
      *   Cost is $12.50 per session, paid six weeks in advance                  

       This class will delve into academic essay writing in response to op-ed pieces, speeches, articles on historic events and television advertising.    

       Advertising uses the same basic appeals to pitch their products as some essayists use to pitch their opinions and ideas.  Through a of study of television advertising, students quickly learn to identify shallow and superficial appeals to status, social acceptance, sympathy, pity, fear, elitism, and celebrity endorsement -- as opposed to sound reasoning.

      Op-ed pieces will introduce humorous, satirical, and ironic elements to essay writing. Historic articles such as the Federalist and Anti-federalist Papers, will be used for comparison pieces, and opinion essays.  

       The goal is for students to develop analytical thinking skills as they begin actively looking for emotional appeals, fallacious arguments, bias, and omissions in what they see, read, hear and, ultimately, in what they write themselves.   

       Students will write essays in response to advertisements, Op-eds, opinion essays, and articles that recount historic events.  In doing so they will write essays that inform, assert, compare and contrast, persuade, argue, and entertain.  This class is graded.

*  Class size is limited  
*  Class meets for 1 and 1/2 hours session per week
*  Cost is $15.00 per student per week, paid six weeks in advance
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Academic Essays 
Working the Personal Essay
SAT Prep

 Test, assess, fill in the gaps, repeat...

The key to the SAT's is being prepared.  Aside from having a well-rounded knowledge of English and Mathematics it is also necessary to understand the scoring system and becoming comfortable with the time constraints.  Students need to have a plan of attack and the confidence to implement their plan. 
 Becoming familiar with the test is essential, especially for homeschoolers who seldom sit with 30 other students and perform with the clock ticking.  This class is designed to accomplish these goal.  Student will need a copy of the 24th Edition of Barron's SAT Prep book, and an approved SAT calculator for class.
Class will begin with a full length diagnostic test - and end with a full length exit test.   

      Classes are available in the summer and typically span 10 weeks.  
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Classic Literature & Literary Analysis

This course is specifically designed to prepare a student for college level literature courses, in which they will be expected to analyze increasingly complex and subtle works of literature.   

Students will learn the requisite vocabulary and literary elements used to discuss literature including:  

 -  author's pertinent biographical information
  -  historical relevance of the novel
  -  forms of narration 
  -  arch types, and character development
  -  theme, symbolism, irony,  foreshadowing
  -  climax, anti-climax, denouement 
  -  setting, tone, voice and register

This class requires 25-30 pages of reading per week, as well as writing, and rewriting an analysis for each book read.  It is designed with the college bound student in mind.     

 - class size is limited
         -  class is 1 and 1/2 hours per week.
         -  cost is $15.00 per student per week, paid six weeks in advance
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Private Tutoring

Any of the classes listed can be tutored privately, ($30.00 per hour) or semi-privately ($20.00 per hour p/p)  Tutoring is available in Mathematics including Pre-Algebra, Algebra I,  Algebra II, and Geometry. and in the Barton Reading and Spelling Program for students with dyslexia.  Rates may be adjusted (to accommodate for prep time) for students with specific needs that fall outside the parameters of the courses listed above.
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I currently tutor six students who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, and use the same intensive program with two others to address spelling issues.  It takes time and commitment - but it works!!  I love this program!  

Some of the comments I've received recently:

 -- For the first time he started working out the words for himself while we were reading - that is huge!
  --  Her speech therapist is thrilled with the progress and wants to coordinate with you.  (6 weeks from beginning).
  --   The teacher just told me he was the best reader in class (student in Barton level 6, grade 4).
   -- The teacher asked me if I put her on medication - I told her no, I got her some tutoring!
   --  I really see a difference in her spelling. 

For more information on Barton tutoring, the program, support groups for parents with children diagnosed with dyslexia, or just for an ear:    Email me.
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   Online Tutoring

 I have the webcam up and running, and am now using Facetime as well.  For anyone interested in this format - please drop me an email.   The beauty of working online is that we can customize the session to your student's particular needs.   

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email me
Barton's Reading and Spelling



An introduction to essays, this class will introduce the five paragraph essay, (though students with a developed creative flair will be encouraged to go beyond this standard). 

 Essay topics will be drawn from SAT Prep prompts and questions.  Students will be taught to approach essays using brainstorming techniques, how to limit the scope of their response, and how to efficiently organize their thoughts in a logical progression.  

      All students will receive personal feedback.  One timed essays will be given during the class, emulating the SAT's. 

         - class size is limited
         - class is 1 hour per week.
         - cost is $15.00 per student per week, paid six weeks in advance

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This page was last updated: December 29, 2020
"Come to the edge," he said.
They said, "We are afraid."
"Come to the edge," he said.
 They came.                  
 He pushed them 
. . . and they flew.                                                 
                                            Guillaume Apollinaire
Creative Writing ~ English Composition

      English Composition classes for younger students include vocabulary building, paragraph building, basic essays, book reports and a report on their favorite author. (For grades 6 & 7) 

Older students will be writing in a variety of essay formats, and writing literary anlyses.  Each class will continue a creative writing element, literature: poetry, short stories and full length books.  Subject matter is modified dependent upon the targeted age group.  Class runs throughout the "school" year and is graded  (For grades 8 & 9)

       I do coordinate with parents about the books to be read and ask the students for suggestions as well.   There are vocabulary tests weekly, typically drawn from current reading.  

Both levels will contain a strong creative writing element!   

Class meets once a week for 1 and 1/2 hours.    
Cost is $15.00 per week, paid six weeks in advance.   
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Public Speaking

This class is offered to students 12 years old and up.  In class each student will deliver a variety of speeches for a variety of purposes and situations including: Introduction, demonstration, impromptu, celebratory toasts, persuasion, and information.  The class will conclude with interview skills and preparation.

Instruction will include the importance of body language and projecting confidence, eye contact, vocal projection and articulation, audience appropriate delivery, and social etiquette.  Interviewing skills will include the handshake, appropriate dress, and likely questions that may arise during job and college interviews.

*   Class meets for 1 and 1/2 hours per week
*   Cost is $15.00 per session, paid six weeks in advance.
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Creative Writing Workshop
 (ages 13 and up).  

       This class is for enthusiastic creative writers.  Students should be of an age and maturity level that they can mix with high school seniors.   Weekly assignments are designed to challenge the students to stretch their writing abilities and their imaginations!  They will share their work with the group while learning how to give and receive feedback from others. 

      Students will be challenged to explore a variety of genres, as they develop their own "voice" as an author.  They will work to improve, scene description, character growth, dialog, and plot lines.   
       Samples from other student can be found on the "Students" page

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High School English

The focus of this class will be essays: character, compare and contrast, direct response, opinion, personal, and S.A.T. prompt essays.   Poetry, short stories and classic literature, vocabulary building, and literary analysis, are part of this complete English course. 

In this class students will challenged to delve deeper into their reading as well as their own thinking.  They will be expected to evaluate what they read and analyze an author's intent, using the text to support their assertions.  They will learn how to assert their own opinions with clarity and authority as they develop an academic tone, with the added goal of not losing creativity in the process.

        Class runs throughout the "school" year. 
        Cost is $15.00 per class (paid in six week installments in advance). 
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Barton Reading and Spelling Program

I could not hope to present this program better than the founder of the 
program herself.  If you suspect your child has dyslexia learn more about it here:  http://www.bartonreading.com/dyslexiaSymptomsSolutions_Part01.html

I have been tutoring using the Barton Program for three years.  As my time is split between Attleboro and Dartmouth, I am currently only able to offer two sessions per week tutoring Barton's in one location or the other.  Two sessions per week is the minimum recommended contact.  Due to this, I  give practice sheets for homework so the students can reinforce what we've learned together and so that they can continue making progress on the days we do not meet.

As with any Orton-Gillingham Program, this program takes time but it produces life changing results!  

 English 7/8

This is a comprehensive, graded (optional) English course for those working on a 7th or 8th grade level. 

For Grammar, we will be working through English: 2600 by Blumenthal, (provided) as a class. 

There will be weekly vocabulary tests (15 words per week). 

Vocabulary will be drawn from reading assignments, which will include short stories, poems, and classic novels. We'll be writing character essays, and literary analyses over the course of the year.  

We will be reviewing of the five-paragraph essay, and compose informative, and persuasive essays. One of which will be presented orally to the class.  There will be a few timed essays generated from SAT prompts, to give the students a feel for what is coming down the road. 

Cost is 15.00 per week, paid in advance in six week installments.  Class size is limited and a deposit for the first six weeks is required to reserve a seat.  

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Creating a Math Mentality 

        For this class I am looking for 4-8 middle school-aged students who “hate” Math -- kids who are behind -- kids who are resistant -- kids who just “don’t get it” and don’t want to!! 

        When a student has this attitude, they set themselves up for failure. This class is for those students!  In this class I intend to pull out all the stops, and use some of the techniques I do in the creative writing class. There will be an online element to be completed at home and a math puzzle for them to figure out each week. I’m targeting perseverance among other Core Curriculum guidelines for Mathematics. Rewards will be given to those who solve the puzzle (so if your child is gluten intolerant -- I’m going to need a good gluten free chocolate chip recipe!!)

        In class, we will be hands on exploring the what and why behind the numbers.  Cost is $$15.00 per class paid six weeks in advance. Students will need a calculator and three-ringed binder for class, and internet access at home.                  
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Fall 2020 - Spring 2021
Contact Us
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(Online --  for now...)

High School English
Tuesdays 11:00 - 12:30
(currently full)
Creative Writing First Steps
Wednesdays 11:00 - 12:30
approx.  ages 8-12  
Starting Jan. 6th, 2021
(students can still join)
Mathematics (up to Calculus)
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Math Tutoring