Seminar English classes
LaPorte High School has two classes available for students rising above in their English classes.
The Freshmen Seminar English class at LaPorte High School gives selected freshmen the chance to push themselves on a more challenging level.
The class for freshmen is a more complex class for those who are academically advanced. Students are chosen to be in the class based on their test scores from the previous years. After taking the ISTEP+ test, those with the top scores are placed in the advanced class.
Students selected for the Seminar English class remain in the same class all year. Though the hour that they have the class may change each trimester, they stay with the same students until the school year is over.
Not only do Freshmen Seminar English students stay with the same students all year, but they stay with the same teacher as well. Mr. Miller has been the Seminar teacher for several years now.
“My favorite thing about Mr. Miller’s class is the freedom to choose topics for our essays. We typically get to choose (from a few options) what we want to write about. I hope my time in his class will increase my knowledge of classic literature and my ability to write papers more thoroughly,” Jill Maudlin, Seminar student, said.
Students in the class are given work that challenges them to think and work at a higher level. Most are willing to work harder and give more effort in order to succeed in the class.
“It is a class for high achieving students who will do a variety of different activities to hopefully improve reading, writing, and possibly other skills,” Miller said.
Students who work hard and are successful in the Freshmen Seminar English class are able to advance to the Sophomore Seminar English class with Mrs. Cooper.
The Sophomore Seminar English class is nearly the same as the freshmen class. Students continue working at high levels and remain with the same students as the previous year. Cooper also teaches the class for the full school year.
“I get to know the students much better. Really, there is nothing I don’t like about it,” Cooper said.
Both classes help the students to become successful, and they push them to do all that they are capable of. The advanced classes require the students to be more responsible, and students learn that it is important to stay organized and stay on top of their assignments.
“We read and write more, and we tend to concentrate on more in-depth aspects. Looking at texts at a more critical angle is a focus, too,” Cooper said.
The honors classes go over many grammar lessons and students learn more about reading and writing. Many novels are also read by the Seminar students. As freshmen, students read stories such as Fahrenheit 451 and Romeo and Juliet. Sophomores read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Secret Life of Bees and others. All stories that are read in Miller’s and Cooper’s classes are intended to get the students to think deeper into what is happening. For some stories, projects are assigned in order to see what the student has taken away from reading it.
“I loved the projects, and I enjoyed many of the books we read. I also really liked the group discussions over Fahrenheit 451 in Mr. Miller’s class,” Lilly Dowty, junior, and former Freshmen/Sophomore Seminar English student, said.
As many students, teachers, and parents would agree, the honors classes at LPHS are a great experience and help excelling students to further their education at a more rigorous level. With the encouragement from the teachers and the hard work of the students, their English education can only improve.