Learning Strategies Seminar—Required for all students in the Traditional Track: Students will explore the “science” behind learning—from how our brain processes information to why factors such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, and learning differences affect how we learn. The course will reveal the “art” of learning by integrating a variety of learning strategies that can improve each student’s ability to learn, including the use of technology. The course will also cover such important areas as perception, attention, emotion, memory, and motivation, as well as how we communicate what we learn through speech and writing.
This class orients students to elements of goal setting, organization of time, materials, project planning, strategic learning, self-advocacy, and meta-cognition through a highly interactive, hands-on curriculum. Students are encouraged to consider their own learning styles and diagnoses as they study brain-based research about learning. The use of technology will be discussed, and the skills of active reading, note-taking, test taking, and summary writing will be introduced. Students will practice these skills and make an oral presentation focusing on their individual learning profiles.
College Living and Academic Strategies—Required for all students in the Social Pragmatics Track: This course will help to prepare students for the demands of living on a college campus and attending college classes. There will be four prongs to this course: interpersonal communications, emotional well-being, physical well-being, and study skills. Throughout the three weeks, students will work toward creating a portfolio for college success.
Students will consider their own learning styles and diagnoses and determine their strengths and areas for improvement. Once these strengths and areas for improvement are identified, students will use this information to consider long-term goals. Students will engage in discussions and projects about becoming socially involved, tactics for success with academics, and more. During the last week of the course, students will complete their portfolios and present them to the class.
Writing Classes—Students will select one course from the options listed below:
Research and Writing: For students who are comfortable with the basics of writing, this course introduces students to the requirements and expectations of college-level writing. Students will learn how to structure and develop essays for college, including how to write research papers with in-text citations and lists of sources. Research & Writing will focus on active reading and on opportunities to research and write the research essay. Students will write two or more essays. The first essay will be a description of and reflection on one or more personal adventures of special significance. The second essay will concentrate on an investigation and analysis of a journey of historical importance.
Building Confidence as Writers: For many people, producing writing on a deadline is a challenge. This course is designed for students who find it difficult to generate effective writing in an academic setting in spite of their honest efforts to do so. By focusing on structure, process, and self-understanding, students can develop strategies and approaches to increase their success. High interest topics and assignments are designed to engage students and to encourage them to find meaningful connections to their writing.
Writing the Effective Essay: Writing that is clear, honest, concise, and persuasive is a general requirement for academic success at the college level, and it is what colleges look for in application essays. Students will be introduced to the goals and structures of personal and persuasive writing and will work to develop a personalized and strategic approach to their own writing process. Using prompts typically found on college applications, students will write an essay that can be used as a model for their own college application essay.
Providing students with opportunities to apply what they are learning in more conventional academic offerings. Course content is intentionally varied. These courses are true electives, and students are encouraged to enroll in a course that may not ordinarily be available in a typical high school curriculum.
General Elective courses include:
High School Math: Algebra II Preparation
High School Math: Pre-Calculus Preparation
Sports & Culture
Technology for Learning
Vermont Field Biology
Students who choose this elective should bring a digital camera with a minimum resolution of five megapixels. Preferably, but not essential, the camera should also have the ability to control shutter speed and aperture. This introductory course in digital photography is designed for students with limited or no experience in the art of photography. Through instructor demonstration and field experiences, students will learn to master the skills of basic camera operation, digital processing, and print development.
Drawing: This course is an introductory course in drawing, but will also provide continued instruction for seasoned mark makers. Emphasis is on strategies, methods, and techniques for translating three-dimensional form and space onto a two-dimensional surface using the language of line, value, and the illusion of depth and texture. Mark making and its expressive and descriptive qualities will be examined.
High School Math: Algebra II Preparation: This course is intended for higher level math students preparing to take Algebra II this fall. Specific content includes the study of algebraic functions, their graphs, and trigonometric basics. Building on a strong foundation of mathematical knowledge, this class is designed to develop students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills, helping them to prepare for Algebra II.
High School Math: Pre-Calculus Preparation: This course is intended for higher level math students preparing to take pre-calculus this fall. Students will review and be introduced to the concepts necessary for a smooth transition into pre-calculus.
Sports and Culture: Are you interested in sports in America? In this course, we will look at the role sports play in our society. Using materials from a variety of sources, students will examine the relationships sports have to individuals and social organizations. The course will cover current issues in sports, such as the nature of competition, performance enhancement, violence, gender issues, and multi-million dollar contracts.
Technology for Learning (Assistive Technology): Do you wonder how you can use technology to help you become a better student? Have you ever been told you should try Dragon or Kurzweil, but haven’t known where to begin? Are reading and spelling challenging for you? In this course, you will learn about three of the assistive technologies used at Landmark College: Kurzweil 3000 (text-to-speech), Inspiration (concept/mind-mapping), and Dragon NaturallySpeaking (speech-to-text). Additionally, we will present other technology options, including OneNote and many free options such as Readability, WebNotes, StudyBlue flashcards, Wunderlist, LeechBlock, and ToDoList. You will learn through a process of classroom discussion and activities, small-group interaction, hands-on training, homework assignments, and a final evaluation. This course will present you with a solid foundation for pursuing AT upon returning to your high school or going on to college.
Theater: Students in the theater elective will experience play-making through improvisation. Students will learn how to harness their artistic voices and turn their ideas and opinions into performance that makes a statement! The students will work as an acting company functioning in various roles, such as actor, writer, or stage hand. We will be working with theater games from the beginning of the course. As a group we will define areas of interest to explore and create scenarios and characters to work with. We will add and refine material for our play, which will culminate in a public performance at the end of the program.
Vermont Field Biology: Learn about local wildlife, plants, and ecosystems, along with other basic concepts of ecology. Take field trips to local areas, such as streams, rivers, wetlands, mountains, and meadows to study ecosystems and to practice scientific observation. Students will keep a field notebook, do a simple a field project, and will be expected to hike over varying terrain. Weather permitting, students will observe a biologist in the field netting and banding wild birds.
Academic Prep is offered four evenings each week. This provides a structured time for students to review the class work of the day and/or prepare the work required for the next day or for ongoing class projects. Students are able to work alone, in groups, or in a supervised setting. Academic Prep is also a time for students to gain expertise in the use of Assistive Technology. All Academic Prep locations feature desktop or laptop computers for student use.