Schedule and Room Assignments

Classes meet on Wednesdays and Fridays in Oakton, VA. Filter by subject or grade below.

Quarter beginning March 20, 2019

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Wednesday Classes (Click here for Friday Classes)

9:00
9:30
10:00
10:30
11:00
11:30
12:00
12:30
1:00
1:30
2:00
2:30
3:00
3:30
4:00
4:30
5:00
Room 4

Nonfiction Seminar: The 21st Century Essay & Its Role in Media Nonfiction Seminar: The 21st Century Essay & Its Role in Media - Sometimes form follows function, and this course focuses on how the classic essay transposes in today s technology. Students will examine the role of nonfiction in our emerging century as they explore how new media, with its rapid and fluid access to information influences writing, reading, and viewing. Shifting from the personal essay to other forms of sharing what you know blogs, posts, reviews, TED Talks, for example students will analyze how form is shaped by purpose, audience, time, space and other elements. As they continue to search for examples of strong narrative voice and good storytelling in our survey new media, students will work to discern fact from opinion, observation from inference vetting information for accuracy, truth, bias, credibility, documentation and reliable sources. They will become more critical, discriminating readers, who are better able to separate the realms of fiction and nonfiction. It s hard to do these days. Course content will come from appropriate online sources--blogs, websites, social media, podcasts as well as from traditional publications--newspapers, magazines, television, radio. We will listen, view and read material by modern essayists such as Marilynne Robinson, Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris, Sloan Crosley, Neil deGrass Tyson, Anna Quindlan, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Malcolm Gladwell, Jason Weiser and others who influence what we think, read, consume and do.
The student should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week on writing homework, research, or reading for this class. The class will meet twice a week with Wednesdays introducing writing concepts and literature for the the week and Friday serving as a writing lab designed to revise and refine drafts. Students will be expected to keep a journal and a portfolio to organize their writings and class handouts.

12:00 pm-12:55 pm

11th-12th

Room 5

Building Blocks of American Lit: A Trio of American Genres Building Blocks of American Lit: A Trio of American Genres - We leave behind our studies of British literature and cross the Atlantic into America. American literature is closely aligned with advances in printing technology and the railroad industry. In order to explore a new land in person and in print, fledgling Americans built an empire of magazines, newspapers and journals. These publications fostered the development of essays, poetry, and short stories as the beginnings of American Literature.
The first part of this course will focus on essay as among the first American genre. Our struggle for independence from England required putting thoughts and opinions into words in writing and in speeches. We will look at the development of the essay from Revolutionary times to now.
As part of an independent study, students will work in partnerships or small groups to discover additional writers and essays on topics of personal interest. Through this research, students will see that essayists draw on their personal lives, yet find a way to focus their experiences on public matters and connect to the interests, concerns and events of their society.
Broadening the concept of an essay beyond the five paragraph construction, students will discover that essays exist not just in academia, but everywhere in daily life: op-ed pieces in newspapers, letters, speeches, blogs, columns. They will also learn that the best essays do not follow a formula, but are a creative and unique reflection of a writer s voice, mind and passions.
The second portion of this course will focus on the genre of the short story. Short stories emerged from fresh young writers who created a body of literature to chronicle the settlement and development of a new country its land, its people and its economy.
Short stories provide a wonderful opportunity to explore themes, and this course will introduce American writers chronologically and by the themes of their works. We will begin with America s Puritan roots and Nathaniel Hawthorne, then move to the pioneering of the Midwest with Mark Twain and Willa Cather. We ll explore modern social class through the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Katherine Anne Porter. And we ll blast off into the universe with the stories of Ray Bradbury. As part of an independent/partner study, students will be given the mission of discovering additional stories and writers and reinventing another thematic grouping. Through this regrouping, students will see that themes defy time, place, gender, and social class and truly reflect the diverse America our country is. Students will examine the ways writers create narrative conflicts and develop characters. Students will identify and analyze pivotal scenes.
America had just begun to develop a sense of culture and the beginnings of a literary society when The Civil War broke out, bringing a halt to entertainment and reading for enjoyment. The sense of pathos that developed during this time for soldiers, slaves, one half of the country against the other highlighted a need for written expression that touched emotions. Poetry emerged, and writers like Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson and Julia Ward Howe used stanzas to capture the feelings of a nation. We will move from these voices to those of the Harlem Renaissance and the mid 20th century to explore how poetry has always been at the forefront of American Literature.
Emphasis in this class will be on critiquing literature, forming a thesis statement, keeping a reading response journal, writing literary commentary, and citing examples to defend position. Literary criticism is higher-level writing necessary for a student to transition from a casual writer to an academic and ultimately college-level writer. Criticism follows an analytical structure that parallels how scientists approach problem-solving by selecting an area of study, developing a thesis or theory, and then supporting it with evidence. The student should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week on writing homework, investigation, or reading for this class. The class will meet twice a week with Wednesdays introducing the concepts and vocabulary of the literature and authors, and Fridays serving as a writing lab to explore the mechanics of writing criticism.

1:00 pm-1:55 pm

9th-10th

Room 10

Smart Start: Thinking Fun for Young Learners Smart Start: Thinking Fun for Young Learners - Stretch your child's brain with this metacognitive class! In Smart Start, children will sharpen their critical and creative thinking skills to become more independent and effective learners. Using in-class readings of high quality literature, children will be introduced to a broad range of thinking strategies such as de Bono's Thinking Hats, SCAMPER, and FFOE (Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration). Through facilitated discussion and community inquiry, children will learn to ask their own questions and raise issues for discussion, explore and develop their own ideas and theories, and give creative reasons. Each week, students will complete engaging activities that require them to apply what they have learned. For example, the class might consider, What happens when Max returns to Where the Wild Things Are the next day? Next year? How about 10 years from now? (Green Hat Thinking). They may expand to discuss what would happen if another character from literature, like Curious George or Cinderella, visited Where the Wild Things Are? (SCAMPER approach "C" for combining two things that do not normally go together). Young learners will have fun on this engaging, creative class which will boost their ability to use higher order thinking skills, predict outcomes, and solve problems! New stories and activities are introduced each week and not repeated from previous sessions. Students must be able to think independently, work collaboratively, and enjoy a good challenge. Emerging readers and writers can be accommodated.

11:00 am-11:55 am

K-2nd

Traditional Tales Retold: A Tale Dark and Grimm Traditional Tales Retold: A Tale Dark and Grimm - Follow twins Hansel and Gretel out of the cake house and through the forest as they stumble into eight other classic, Grimm-inspired fairy tales on a journey to find their way to home and happiness where they, along with their readers, learn that children are the true heroes in their own adventures. On their quest, the siblings will encounter trials and trickery against beasts, witches, warlocks, and even a dragon in this Newberry Award-winning and New York Times best-selling book. Find out how author Adam Gidwitz channels the tales of the Brothers Grimm in this popular middle school fiction. Why do myths, legends, and fairy tales inspire countless retellings and reinvention? Traverse the globe while exploring the world of traditional tales in this class. Each quarter, students will read a full-length novel based on myths or fairy tales while simultaneously exploring the source material that inspired the author. In addition, students will analyze the culture and geography that generated the traditional tales and the hero cycle. Students will have the opportunity to synthesize all they have learned through a project shared on the last day of class. This class will be run as a book group with students being asked to read sections each week and return prepared to discuss. Students are welcome to read the works via recorded audio books if preferred. Topics in this year s class series include: Norse Mythology- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (first quarter); Egyptian Mythology- Tut: The Story of my Egyptian Immortal Life by P.J. Hoover (second quarter); Japanese Folklore- Momotaro: Xander and the Island of Lost Monsters by Margaret Dilloway (third quarter); and European Fairy Tales- A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (fourth quarter).

12:00 pm-12:55 pm

5th-7th

Masterworks: Literature Roundtable Masterworks: Literature Roundtable - This is a year-long class that is in-progress. Mid-term enrollment may be possible by contacting Compass to discuss placement.
Masterworks is a collegiate-level literature analysis and discussion class for advanced high school English students. Written works will be selected for their contribution to world literature or their influence on society. In the first half of the course, students will read and discuss literature focusing on tales of voyage, revenge, comedy and tragedy from the ancients through 1800, such as Homer s The Odyssey , Swift s Gulliver s Travels , and selections from Shakespeare. Students should expect to see a number of writers of the Western canon before transitioning to Medieval and Renaissance authors, and continuing with the Age of Enlightenment.
During the second half of the course, the class will explore modern works, beginning with the 1800s Romantic Period, and progress to the present. Readings will include pieces from a diverse group of writers, from Faulkner to Hurston, T.S. Eliot to Coelho, Morrison and Orwell, to non-Western writers. Along the way the class will discuss the rise of journalism, popular media, music, and the role of both technology and globalism in the study of literature. Works from other eras and authors will be added as time and interest permit.
For this course, students should be active, engaged, advanced readers who come to class prepared to participate in intellectual discussion. Students should expect to read up to 100 pages per week. Students are also expected to take the lead in weekly class discussions by sharing their reflections/ reactions to the readings, drawing conclusions/ comparisons with other works, and investigating scholarly articles or other writings on the theme, genre, or by the assigned author. The course instructor will serve as a facilitator-moderator and will use Socratic discussion to further the class s analysis of the literature. A goal in the class is to encourage students to think critically about what they are reading and to help them identify patterns and divergences in material that will give them a framework for anything they read in the future. Students will be expected to write one paper per semester and give one oral presentation to demonstrate understanding and interpretation of materials.

3:30 pm-4:55 pm

11th-12th

Atrium B

Writers Workshop: Writing Children's Books Writers Workshop: Writing Children's Books - Students will plan, write, illustrate, and publish their own children s picture books. Initially, students will review illustrated children s books to gain an understanding of the creative process and the elements that help make a children s book successful. Using graphic organizers to brainstorm ideas for the character, setting, and conflict of their own stories, students will work on story ideas, then pitch their stories to their peers and use peer feedback as they develop their stories. Students will create storyboards to plan the relationship between the illustrations and text. Finally, students will learn about a variety of methods to bind their books in an attractive manner and present their books to their peers.The Writers Workshop gives students in grades 5-6 the skills they need for writing, reading, listening, and speaking that come from practicing by putting pen to paper. Sharing drafts and in-progess works enhances the understanding of language structure, encourages revision, and improves editing in story writing. Each quarter, students will review samples of literature and write about popular themes using the story elements of that theme. Imagination and creativity come easily to most young writers, but acquiring technical skills is also important. Each quarter, students will focus on specific skills. The skills are a part of their Writer s Tool Kit that includes understanding parts and kinds of sentences, plurals, possessives, and punctuation. Learning how to use a dictionary and a thesaurus, as well as practical, higher, middle school level skills such as summarizing, outlining, note taking, writing a book report, or citing sources are included throughout the four sessions. Topics in this year's Writers' Workshop series include: Time Travel, Fantasy or Science Fiction? (first quarter); Learn to Research, Life in a Castle (second quarter); Journalism (third quarter); and Writing Children's Books (fourth quarter).

11:00 am-11:55 am

5th-6th



 

Friday Classes (Click here to jump back up to Wednesday classes)

9:00
9:30
10:00
10:30
11:00
11:30
12:00
12:30
1:00
1:30
2:00
2:30
3:00
3:30
4:00
4:30
5:00
Room 4

Debate-Able: Debate for Teens Debate-Able: Debate for Teens - Desmond Tutu once said, Don't raise your voice, improve your argument." Do you have what it takes to strategically win an argument? We live in a world where you will be challenged to think for yourself, defend opinions, and question conventions in society. Learn how to respond with evidence and enthusiasm when your opinion is challenged in this fun and interactive class!
Effective debate is a life skill that incorporates logic, communication, and public speaking skills. Being able to debate helps teens improve reasoning, conflict resolution, and confidence. In this class, students will learn the fundamentals of debate including persuasive appeals, a brief history of debate, and different styles of debate.
Desmond Tutu once said, Don't raise your voice, improve your argument." Do you have what it takes to strategically win an argument? We live in a world where you will be challenged to think for yourself, defend opinions, and question conventions in society. Learn how to respond with evidence and enthusiasm when your opinion is challenged in this fun and interactive class!
Effective debate is a life skill that incorporates logic, communication, and public speaking skills. Being able to debate helps teens improve reasoning, conflict resolution, and confidence. In this class, students will learn the fundamentals of debate including persuasive appeals, a brief history of debate, and different styles of debate.
Over the semester, students will learn how to prepare and deliver three types of argument: The traditional, prepared, on-on-one, Lincoln-Douglas style debate; a researched and practiced Public Policy debate on a current topic affecting the country or community; and the off-the-cuff, think-on-your-feet Extemporaneous style debate in which students are paired to argue a specified topic with limited preparation time. Each week, students will practice giving brief impromptu speeches, delivering prepared presentations, and debating classmates.
Debaters will learn how to structure an argument, build their evidence, and best practices for researching a topic. Students will learn techniques for quoting sources, presenting statistics, acknowledging opposing views, and incorporating visual aids in debate. The class will also practice stylistic elements of public speaking such as using transitional words, timing, gestures, and eye contact. In this class, students will learn how to really listen to their opponent and how to craft a rebuttal. At the same time, debaters will be taught to read their audience, hold their attention, and establish credibility. Students will practice evaluating classmates and giving, receiving, and incorporating constructive feedback. For purposes of a high school transcript, homeschool families might chose to count this class as a component, or partial credit, in communication.

11:00 am-11:55 am

9th-12th

Nonfiction Seminar: The 21st Century Essay & Its Role in Media Nonfiction Seminar: The 21st Century Essay & Its Role in Media - Sometimes form follows function, and this course focuses on how the classic essay transposes in today s technology. Students will examine the role of nonfiction in our emerging century as they explore how new media, with its rapid and fluid access to information influences writing, reading, and viewing. Shifting from the personal essay to other forms of sharing what you know blogs, posts, reviews, TED Talks, for example students will analyze how form is shaped by purpose, audience, time, space and other elements. As they continue to search for examples of strong narrative voice and good storytelling in our survey new media, students will work to discern fact from opinion, observation from inference vetting information for accuracy, truth, bias, credibility, documentation and reliable sources. They will become more critical, discriminating readers, who are better able to separate the realms of fiction and nonfiction. It s hard to do these days. Course content will come from appropriate online sources--blogs, websites, social media, podcasts as well as from traditional publications--newspapers, magazines, television, radio. We will listen, view and read material by modern essayists such as Marilynne Robinson, Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris, Sloan Crosley, Neil deGrass Tyson, Anna Quindlan, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Malcolm Gladwell, Jason Weiser and others who influence what we think, read, consume and do.
The student should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week on writing homework, research, or reading for this class. The class will meet twice a week with Wednesdays introducing writing concepts and literature for the the week and Friday serving as a writing lab designed to revise and refine drafts. Students will be expected to keep a journal and a portfolio to organize their writings and class handouts.

12:00 pm-12:55 pm

11th-12th

Room 5

Fabricating Fiction: Creating Journeys and Characters Fabricating Fiction: Creating Journeys and Characters - A journey is not as simple as a trip or a vacation. A journey changes you, makes you grow somehow or think differently, expands your horizons or hopes. In this course, middle school writers will explore the concept of The Journey in literature and create an original story around this concept.
With a focus on character development and the transformational powers of a journey, students will examine classic and modern journeys in myths and fairy tales (The Odyssey), children s literature (The Little Prince, Where the Wild Things Are), short stories and novels (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Incredible Journey, To Kill a Mockingbird).
Students will build complex characters who have strengths, weaknesses and flaws, then construct a physical or situational journey that presents challenges and opportunity for growth. Characters will fail and succeed and provide readers with both entertaining and inspirational stories. Some characters may even emerge as heroic. Genres will include fantasy, science fiction, adventure, historical fiction, supernatural. Students may develop a new story or choose to further expand or revise one created in a previous fiction course.
A portion of each class will be dedicated to sharing students' working drafts with collaboration and in-class feedback. Students will be expected to conduct some writing and reading at home each week. Literature selections will not be assigned in their entirety, but students may want to continue reading the complete work. The culmination of the students work will be a bound class literary magazine.

11:00 am-11:55 am

7th-8th

Building Blocks of American Lit: A Trio of American Genres Building Blocks of American Lit: A Trio of American Genres - We leave behind our studies of British literature and cross the Atlantic into America. American literature is closely aligned with advances in printing technology and the railroad industry. In order to explore a new land in person and in print, fledgling Americans built an empire of magazines, newspapers and journals. These publications fostered the development of essays, poetry, and short stories as the beginnings of American Literature.
The first part of this course will focus on essay as among the first American genre. Our struggle for independence from England required putting thoughts and opinions into words in writing and in speeches. We will look at the development of the essay from Revolutionary times to now.
As part of an independent study, students will work in partnerships or small groups to discover additional writers and essays on topics of personal interest. Through this research, students will see that essayists draw on their personal lives, yet find a way to focus their experiences on public matters and connect to the interests, concerns and events of their society.
Broadening the concept of an essay beyond the five paragraph construction, students will discover that essays exist not just in academia, but everywhere in daily life: op-ed pieces in newspapers, letters, speeches, blogs, columns. They will also learn that the best essays do not follow a formula, but are a creative and unique reflection of a writer s voice, mind and passions.
The second portion of this course will focus on the genre of the short story. Short stories emerged from fresh young writers who created a body of literature to chronicle the settlement and development of a new country its land, its people and its economy.
Short stories provide a wonderful opportunity to explore themes, and this course will introduce American writers chronologically and by the themes of their works. We will begin with America s Puritan roots and Nathaniel Hawthorne, then move to the pioneering of the Midwest with Mark Twain and Willa Cather. We ll explore modern social class through the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Katherine Anne Porter. And we ll blast off into the universe with the stories of Ray Bradbury. As part of an independent/partner study, students will be given the mission of discovering additional stories and writers and reinventing another thematic grouping. Through this regrouping, students will see that themes defy time, place, gender, and social class and truly reflect the diverse America our country is. Students will examine the ways writers create narrative conflicts and develop characters. Students will identify and analyze pivotal scenes.
America had just begun to develop a sense of culture and the beginnings of a literary society when The Civil War broke out, bringing a halt to entertainment and reading for enjoyment. The sense of pathos that developed during this time for soldiers, slaves, one half of the country against the other highlighted a need for written expression that touched emotions. Poetry emerged, and writers like Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson and Julia Ward Howe used stanzas to capture the feelings of a nation. We will move from these voices to those of the Harlem Renaissance and the mid 20th century to explore how poetry has always been at the forefront of American Literature.
Emphasis in this class will be on critiquing literature, forming a thesis statement, keeping a reading response journal, writing literary commentary, and citing examples to defend position. Literary criticism is higher-level writing necessary for a student to transition from a casual writer to an academic and ultimately college-level writer. Criticism follows an analytical structure that parallels how scientists approach problem-solving by selecting an area of study, developing a thesis or theory, and then supporting it with evidence. The student should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week on writing homework, investigation, or reading for this class. The class will meet twice a week with Wednesdays introducing the concepts and vocabulary of the literature and authors, and Fridays serving as a writing lab to explore the mechanics of writing criticism.

1:00 pm-1:55 pm

9th-10th

Compass Literarians: A Creative Writing & Literary Magazine Board Compass Literarians: A Creative Writing & Literary Magazine Board - This semester-long course is a home for students who love to write, who love to read writing, and who love to share writing with others. Writing is often a solitary act, but writers also need a community in which to grow. Mirroring the design of famous writing salons/groups like The Bloomsbury Group, The Algonquin Round Table, and The Inklings, this course fosters a Compass community that will encourage individual writers, promote literary collaboration and provide challenging feedback to boost creativity and artistic development.
Our first semester will focus on building a personal writing portfolio strengthening students' passions for genres and forms they re comfortable with as well as trying writing that is new to them. Using writing workshops to capitalize on what they already know and to encourage experimentation in unfamiliar areas, students can expect to grow as writers, editors and leaders in our Compass community.
Students will use their own work and the works of professional authors to understand what makes good writing, to improve technique, to experiment with new forms/genre and to understand the drafting, editing and publishing process.
Using the InkBlot Writers website that we built last year, students will have an internal and ongoing method for publishing. This portal will serve as both a place for students to explore their own fiction and nonfiction writing and to begin the process of creating online writing materials (columns, blogs, tutorials, videos, TED-type talks) for others.
Our second semester will focus on editing and publishing. Students in this course will select writings from their portfolios and prepare them to submit to contests, anthologies and publications beyond our Compass campus. While continuing to draft and explore their own personal writing, InkBlot students will assume editorial roles in the production of InkBlot, a beyond-our-classroom anthology. As editors, students will design and build an anthology, advertise the publication, solicit manuscripts and artwork, develop selection criteria, review/select/edit material, and learn the principles of layout and design. Embedded in this process are real-world experiences, and students will improve their communication and organization skills through goal-setting, time management, meeting deadlines, emailing, confirmations, proofreading, etc.
Students should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week out side of class on investigation, writing, or editing for this class. Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component, or partial, credit in English or language arts for purposes of a high school transcript.

2:00 pm-2:55 pm

8th-12th

Room 10

Shakespeare's Famous Re-Writes of English History: Julius Caesar Shakespeare's Famous Re-Writes of English History: Julius Caesar - Shakespeare s history plays* reflected and sometimes retold historical events and politics of the time. But did he rewrite history? This fun combination of acting, history, and English classes will focus on the history play* for which Shakespeare is credited with "writing the book" and defining the genre. Going far beyond entertainment, his history plays informed audiences, creating understanding, and possibly bias, about historical figures and events. Acting coach Tyler Herman will help students decode what was going on within and beyond one of Shakespeare s most produced history play, Julius Caesar. Did the Ides of March happen when Shakespeare said? Did Julius Caesar really say, "Et tu brute?" What does the assassination (a word Shakespeare coined) of Julius Caesar have to do with Renaissance England? The class will read and informally act out scenes from this play, try to decipher fact from interpretation, and ask why Shakespeare wrote what he did. Looking at some of the famous speeches and scenes in this play, the group will examine ambition, betrayal, intrigue, deception, and honor to give students an appreciation for the character portrayals that deliver effective dramatization. This engaging class will include acting exercises relating to status, dramatic action, motivation, objectives, and obstacles. Students will be guided through text analysis and will learn about the art of adaptation as they learn how to craft an effectively dramatic historical character. By the end of the course, students will have a conversational knowledge of some aspects of British and Roman history, and culture and politics during the English Renaissance. *History is one of the three main genres of Shakespearean theatre, also including comedy and tragedy. A history play is based on a historical narrative, and often set in Medieval or Early Modern times. History emerged as a distinct genre from tragedy in Renaissance England. The course fee includes the cost of selected scene copies. Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component, or partial, credit in English (British Literature) or Fine Arts (drama) for purposes of a high school transcript.

11:00 am-12:55 pm

8th-12th