“My daughter absolutely loves her
writing class with Risa! Not only has the
quality of her ideas for writing improved, she has
found what I consider to be the most important thing -
a true LOVE for writing. This is all due to the warm, safe, creative and fun environment that Risa provides in her class. I highly recommend this class for any and every child no matter what their skill level is. They can surely benefit from spending time with Risa.”
A. GROUP CLASSES
(All Groups Capped at Six Students)
Focused on formal
structure, paragraph formation & essay organization
Focused on helping
students work their ideas into cohesive pieces
B. PRIVATE CLASSES
Private school & College application essays
C. LITERATURE CIRCLES
Great books provide basis for class discussion & writing projects
“Risa runs her writers' workshop with a rare
“I’m just really grateful that
your class is something she looks
forward to instead of the usual digging
in of the heels and refusals!!! THANK YOU! I think your new name is The Fourth-Grade-Writing-Whisperer."
Power Paragraph by Daniel (6th grade)
Student is comparing himself to a cat in this paragraph. Sentences are color-coded to signify their various roles. Topic and Concluding sentences are green. Supporting setences are yellow, and elaboration sentences are red. Strategy adapted from Maureen E. Auman's "Step up to Writing" program.
The Hetz Cure
(By Marley 3rd grade)
This year in Africa, two elephants learned how to talk. The scientists were nervous, however, because the elephants were using inappropriate language!
Dr. Flowers said, “How did they learn how to talk… like that?”
Dr. Hart said, “ I don’t know. I just heard it too! Darn you elephants!”
The two animal scientists took the elephants on a train. This is how they did it. They put a trail of peanuts to the train and the elephants went one-by-one peanut onto the train with the scientists, back to the lab to learn more.
They tried to fix them, but they just couldn’t. They said no bad words themselves, hoping the elephants would copy their behavior. Then they gave them blueberry-flavored medicine and gave them a bath.
Dr. Flowers said, “We may not be able to fix them.” So they took the elephants to another scientist, the famous Dr. Stars and their last chance. Her laboratory was nice and big. It was also very fancy and had a gold bathtub. She wore a diamond coat, a crystal shirt , diamond pants and crystal shoes.
Dr. Stars said, “There may be one cure you haven’t tried yet, called Hetz.“ When she said the word Hetz, the elephants shrieked, “No way, you blankety-blank-blank!” Hetz was a medicine smoothy drink made out of flowers and candy hearts crunched up and put into a syringe.
The other scientists held the two elephants still using thick rope and distracted them by reading stories to them. Finally, Dr. Stars gave the elephants the Hetz treatment, against their will and with lots of cursing. When she was done, they were cured.
After it was over, the elephants said, “Brrrrrr,” a very appropriate word for elephants.
CARmageddon: A Haiku
By Ella (4th grade)
Like a storm cloud in a box
Please open right NOW!
By Nina (7th grade)
LORDE: TEEN POP STAR
Ella Yelich O'Connor, also known as Lorde, has had an amazing career so far. Ella is sixteen, and she is one of the most popular singers in the world right now. Most sixteen year olds aren't known all over the world. Ella's song "Royals" recently blew Miley Cyrus' song "We Can't Stop" off of the number one spot on the charts. While Miley Cyrus, a 20 year old pop singer, has also had a great career, Lorde's music is more popular than Miley's. Lorde even turned down Katy Perry's offer to be her opening act, recently. Ella Yelich O'Connor has a pretty sweet life for a teenager.
Azzah's (4th Grade) final persuasive paragraph draft, after many revisions. Revision is the main event in writing. Students (or parents) should type up their first drafts, to make revisioning easier.
Persuasive writing puts students in touch with what they believe, independent of others' opinions. Jason (7th grade) puts forth some convincing reasons to approve of
the weekday sleepover.
Character Study by Eijah (4th grade)
Practice with Quotation marks - I always invite students to draw or sketch characters, scenes, settings, etc. as it can help them access
Conversation by Donovan (4th grade)