Writing the Chicago Way – Writers Craft with Ms. Poulton

Blyth Yorkville is excited to offer Writer’s Craft in Term 4 (EWC4C). “Little Red Schoolhouse” the illustrious writing program developed at the University of Chicago will be our platform. LRS, taught to all first-year students at that university (and many others),  addresses clear writing, with the reader’s perspective in mind. Most readers intuitively spot the difference between good and bad writing. Drawing on these intuitions, Little Red Schoolhouse defines principles of writing clearly that students then apply to their own work. Grammar and diction are included in the curriculum, but students focus on developing powerful strategies of persuasion.

Ms. Poulton, Blyth Academy YorkvilleStudents will learn to build powerful arguments by anticipating questions readers ask:

  1. What do you want me to do or think?
  2. Why should I do or think that?
  3. How do I know that what you say is true?
  4. What about this other idea, fact, or conclusion?
  5. Why should I accept that your reasons support your claim?

(NB: this course was modified in accordance with Ministry requirements by Mr. de P at a former school)

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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