Coach Interview: Stephanie Constantino

Write from the Heart has an amazing staff of coaches who work with the students.  All the coaches are degreed professionals passionate about working with homeschoolers.  Every coach does a lot more at Write from the Heart than grade papers, too—they’re available daily to help students, discuss homework, facilitate literature discussions, and encourage each student individually through the writing process.  Write from the Heart is an interactive class, and a big part of that is the wonderful coaches.  In this series, we hope that you can get to know our staff even better.

Coach Stephanie Mrs. Constantino has such a passion for teaching and writing, which makes her a wonderful coach! She started volunteering in classrooms when she was in high school and never lost her passion for it. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Austin Peay State University, and she worked in just about every kind of classroom out there, from special education to gifted programs, and from preschool kiddos to college students. However, her real passion is helping students gain mastery of the written word. Currently, she teaches the Poetry and Short Story workshops during our Summer Institute, as well as Intermediate Composition in our year-round program.

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Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 3)

Each year, Write from the Heart students enter a contest: The Scholastic Writing Contest. This isn’t your average contest, though; the stakes are high In fact, there are over 300,000 entries from across the U.S. every year. And, of those entries, only the top 10% receive some kind of recognition. Our students consistently place among these amazing writers, joining the ranks of previous Scholastic winners, like Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, and Truman Capote.

This year was no exception! In fact, Write from the Heart had more winners in the 2017 contest than ever before! 18 of our students received a total of 21 awards among them. Continue reading “Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 3)”

Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 2)

Each year, Write from the Heart students enter a contest: The Scholastic Writing Contest. This isn’t your average contest, though; the stakes are high In fact, there are over 300,000 entries from across the U.S. every year. And, of those entries, only the top 10% receive some kind of recognition. Our students consistently place among these amazing writers, joining the ranks of previous Scholastic winners, like Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, and Truman Capote.

This year was no exception! In fact, Write from the Heart had more winners in the 2017 contest than ever before! 18 of our students received a total of 21 awards among them.

Scholastic Art and Writing Contest Logo

Scholastic Silver Key Winners

Those earning a Silver Key earned something like a 2nd place award, meaning they were in the top 5% of the entries. Continue reading “Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 2)”

Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 1)

Each year, Write from the Heart students enter a contest: The Scholastic Writing Contest. This isn’t your average contest, though; the stakes are high In fact, there are over 330,000 entries from across the U.S. every year. And, of those entries, only the top 10% receive some kind of recognition. Our students consistently place among these amazing writers, joining the ranks of previous Scholastic winners, like Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, and Truman Capote.

Continue reading “Scholastic Writing Contest – Writer Spotlight (Part 1)”

Compound Sentences

And Their Arch Nemesis, the Comma Splice

Have you ever had such a great idea that you just couldn’t stop raving about it? The words come pouring out of your mouth, with your voice barely able to keep up with your brain. The excitement bubbles up, and you couldn’t stop the verbal outpour even if you wanted to. Yeah, that’s a good feeling. That’s kind of how compound sentences work. You’ve got this one sentence that’s so great, and you know what would make it even better? Yes! A second sentence!

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Determining an Audience for your Essay

What is an Audience?

An audience is anyone who will read your essay. A target audience is the person or group of people you’d like to read your essay.

Why do I Need to Determine an Audience for my Essay?

You might think to yourself, “Only my parents will read this,” or “My teacher will be the only one who ever looks at this.” Why should you care about identifying an audience? Whether or not you’ve consciously thought about it, you’ve always been speaking and writing for a specific group of people.

Think about this: would you talk the same way in an interview as you would in a text message? Do you speak to your teachers differently from how you’d talk to your siblings? Are you going to speak differently when giving a public speech from just chatting with a neighbor? Chances are, the answer is “yes.” But, what’s the difference?

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Expository Essay Thesis Builder

A thesis is perhaps the most important sentence in an entire essay. It introduces the topic, gives your stance, and briefly previews the main topics in an essay. Using the following checklist, you can create the perfect thesis every time:

  • Does it answer the question posed by the writing prompt?
  • Does it introduce your topic?
  • Does it preview your three main points?
  • Does the point preview match the order of the body paragraphs?
  • If you looked at it by itself (with no other writing around it), does it still make sense?

Be sure to ask yourself these questions as you write your thesis. Here is a guide to help you create a perfect thesis for your expository paper:

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Coach Interview: Jenny Cowan

Write from the Heart has an amazing staff of coaches who work with the students.  All the coaches are degreed professionals passionate about working with homeschoolers.  Coaches do a lot more at Write from the Heart than grade papers—they’re available daily to help students, discuss homework, facilitate literature discussions, and encourage each student individually through the writing process.  Write from the Heart is an interactive class, and a big part of that is the wonderful coaches.  In this series, we hope that you can get to know our staff even better.

Our next coach in the lineup is the wonderful Mrs. Jenny Cowan. Jenny graduated in 2007 from Cedarville University with a degree in English. In 2014, Jenny began her journey with Write from the Heart as an Intermediate Composition coach, working mostly with 7th and 8th graders. Jenny’s ambition led her to write the curriculum for the Thesis and Expository Essay course offered in our Summer Institute. She now teaches two sessions of this course every summer. Want to know how to write a knockout thesis? She’s your girl!

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Coach Interview: Katie Wolfe

Meet the Coaches Series

Write from the Heart has an amazing staff of coaches who work with the students.  All the coaches are degreed professionals passionate about working with homeschoolers.  Coaches do a lot more at Write from the Heart than grade papers—they are available daily to help students, discuss homework, facilitate literature discussions, and encourage each student individually through the writing process.  Write from the Heart is an interactive class, and a big part of that is the wonderful coaches.  In this series, we hope that you can get to know our staff even better.

First up is Katie Wolfe.  Katie was one of the first Write from the Heart (WFTH) coaches when the program began.  She worked for three years and then took some time off to have two beautiful little girls.  Now that they are school age, she is excited to be able to return to coaching.  This year will mark her second year since her hiatus.  She is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Masters of Education degree in Literacy with Reading Specialist Certification. She and her husband live in western PA with their two little girls and their dog. She also enjoys spending time with her family and serving in the Children’s Ministry at church.

Katie serves as the Basic Composition coach and enjoys working with 6th and 7th graders, especially ones who are reluctant writers. 

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Peer Interaction

The Missing Link in Online Education

You know what’s great about an online class?

The flexibility offered is next to none. There’s no specific time you’ve got to be in a classroom, and you won’t get in trouble for being tardy. Of course, there are due dates for some assignments, but let’s face it: with the sheer number of cute cat videos on YouTube, we need those deadlines to keep us on track.

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