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AP Class Reviews

Honors English Language Arts taught by Jody Best

by Students and Parents

My Favorite English Class! posted by Sophia Schack on May 16 2020 at 02:20:22

Of all the English classes that I have ever taken, this one is by far my favorite. Although this class is completely online, Mrs. Best makes sure it is very active, complete with group projects, and giving supportive feedback on others' work. This makes it a very welcoming and supportive environment and helps the students learn from one another. In addition, I learned so much not only about writing, but also how to format a business letter, write a formal research paper, grammar, punctuation, and exploring creativity in my writing. This English class was so educational and fun, and I felt like I got to know the other students in the class. Mrs. Best always assigned us creative assignments, which always had some meaning behind it, and wasn't just busywork. I feel as though I grew so much as a writer, and I know for certain that Mrs. Best has prepared me very well for future English Classes. I would without a doubt recommend this class to anyone seeking a fulfilling, fun, and educational class, who isn’t afraid of being tasked with challenging assignments and loves getting engaged in lively discussions, ideas, and literature.


The "Best" English Class Around posted by Zoe Coleman on May 15 2020 at 23:33:10


Honors English and Language Arts has been a whirlwind of fun for me. From the moment I joined, I knew this year would be incredibly exciting. Although this class is online, there is a big bubbly atmosphere that is created every time I log onto the website due to the other enthusiastic students and my exceptional teacher, Mrs. Best. Throughout the year, I have progressed considerably not only with my writing and grammar but my confidence and my love for English as well. Of course, there is always that one assignment throughout the year that you’re dreading or hate, but surprisingly that never happened in this class. Every assignment I got was creative, unique, and challenging (in a good way), and because of that, I tried my best and I worked hard. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and that is exactly what Mrs. Best has shown throughout the year. I hope my words will help to inspire others to sign up for this class and have a great time!

 


The Best English Class Ever! posted by Julia Hocker on May 15 2020 at 20:44:10

Of all the English classes I have taken, Mrs. Best's Honors English Language Arts class is my favorite. I am proud to say that I am one of Mrs. Best's HELA scholars! The assignments were both challenging and enjoyable; they pushed me to improve my writing while also strengthening my love of English. The vocabulary assignments – although challenging at times – deepened my understanding of words and etymology. The assigned reading was also remarkably deep and engaging. I especially enjoyed the assignments we did based on the novels, poems, and short stories we read. Instead of merely writing a literary analysis, each student created a newspaper based on Dante's Inferno, complete with a weather report and editorial. I know I will remember the fiery novel more because of the newspaper I wrote. To do well in HELA, students need to be willing to spend a fair amount of time on class assignments.  Any thorough, studious, and hard-working student would enjoy Mrs. Best's class.


Five Stars For the Best Literature Course I've Taken! posted by Sarah Rondeau on May 15 2020 at 19:34:39

Before taking Mrs. Best's Literature class, I enjoyed writing but lacked the skill and confidence to share my work with others.  With a grace and patience that startles me to this day, Mrs. Best encouraged me to post my work on the class page.  As the year wore on, I gained a confidence I didn't know was possible; along the way, Mrs. Best imparted knowledge of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Edger Allen Poe, and other famous writers.  Learning about the great authors of history made me realize there is no wrong way to write. 

Throughout the year I have enjoyed many assignments, but the blackout poetry and digital word art projects were my favorite.  Blackout poetry is a unique combination of another writer's thoughts and your own -- a concept I found fascinating.  Additionally, I had never used a digital art program before this class, so I was excited to try a new art form.  The program Mrs. Best allowed us to use was simple and engaging. I may end up trying more digital word art in the future do to the experience. 

Diligent students of varying writing levels would enjoy this amazing course, but I would recommend that students be at least sophomores to apply.  Whatever you decide, at least take a look at this amazing class and wonderful teacher.

 

 


Honors English Language Arts posted by Maya Phillips on May 15 2020 at 14:40:43

After dedicating about 4-6 hours a week to this course, I feel my writing skills have definitely improved.  The class's Shakespearian and Elizabethan essays and sonnets were especially fun and educational to write.  Being able to read other students' submissions was also very useful, as I learned from their ideas and gained insight into other aspects of our topic.  I also enjoyed our reading assignments and definitely gained new favorite authors and playwrights.  Overall, I think I gained a lot from taking this class, and I am excited to transfer the knowledge and skills learned from it in my AP and other classes next year.  


One of the Best English Classes I Have Taken posted by Brice Niimi on May 15 2020 at 13:19:49

Over the course of this year my writing skills have improved greatly, all thanks to Ms. Best.  Her hands on teaching style ensures that each student's work is graded quickly and that they are given constructive feedback to further improve their writing.  Ms. Best includes fun and instructive exercises in her curriculum, making the class fun and educational.  Not only does she teach students how to improve their creative writing, but also their essay writing skills.  I would highly recommend this class for  students who are willing to put the time in to improve their writing skills.


Honors English Language Arts posted by Emily D'Silva on May 14 2020 at 20:14:02

The Honors English Language Arts class was both challenging and fun. I felt like I learned a lot, and that I am more interested in English than ever before thanks to this course. This course got me to read books that I might not have normally read before, and while I might not have enjoyed all of them, it was still good to read something challenging. The assignments varied each week so there was always something new to do. I probably spent about six to seven hours each week working on assignments. Some of the assignments were bigger than others so I tried to get the smaller ones out of the way, but it usually just meant that I procrastinated on the bigger ones :) There is no AP exam for this course, but if there was, I would definitely feel prepared for it. The class had a friendly environment with lots of feedback from the teacher, the TA’s, and other students. Overall, this was a great course, and I would recommend it to any student who would be willing to put in the effort.


The BEST Class - Blissful, Excellent, Sublime, Tear-less! posted by Sara Anees on May 13 2020 at 16:41:38

As someone who loves writing and reading, this class was still an amazing experience. This was my first year coming into the PAH academy, and I'd say this is a great starting point for newcomers! Not only does Mrs Best prepare you for future AP classes, but she also makes the class so much fun with art projects, interactive assignments, and enjoyable endeavors. Everything is super achievable for any student. I spent about four hours per week doing HELA work, and sometimes there were projects that required more time, but the time spent is very valuable, productive, and enjoyable! Every Sunday I would look forward to the assignment letter and chart! We read all kinds of books together at a productive pace and we were given assignments that (looking back) helped us understand the complex components of literature. And Mrs Best was there for support and a smile, every step of the way (especially when first starting the class as an intimidated freshman!)

I already love writing and reading, but Mrs Best definitely instilled that interest and love for the subject, broadened my horizons, and pushed me out of my comfort zone, which I will forever appreciate! I feel so ready and excited to go into AP English Language next year and show them what I've got! The truth about high school is that teachers make or break the experience. And I can wholeheartedly say Mrs Best is one of the sweetest and beneficial teachers and I'm immensely grateful to have been part of such a fantabulous class! (Yes, Mrs Best, I created that word. Please use it as a vocab word for the future HELA generations! ;) ) I can assure anyone who comes out of this class that you will exit, dramatically sniffing, wanting to stay forever, and with an everlasting love for literature.


Review Interview posted by William Zhang on May 12 2020 at 20:08:52

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I put about two to four hours of work into the course per week, given that the workload is rather large.
Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I found the final paper to be valuable, as it helped me realize where my boundaries of essay writing were. I also found writing original short stories was valuable, because the teacher helped me correct and give feedback on where I did wrong and how I can improve with my future stories.
Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes.
What sort of student would do well in this course?

A student who takes deadline pressure well and takes great notes!(Along with hard work)

 

Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Yes, as it helped me a lot.


Class Assignments posted by Elisabeth Byrd on May 12 2020 at 12:55:12

The class assignments HELA offered this year have been challenging and helpful! The class has grown me in my writing skills, ability to analyze literature, and given me a well-rounded comprehension of literary terms and techniques. Specifically, I have enjoyed assignments focusing on analyzing the literary techniques of poetry as well as articles used to develop an effective SAT Essay. In addition, HELA's research paper assignment also develops research skills and the ability to turn information into an argument requiring evidence, analysis, and knowledge of MLA formatting. HELA is a wonderful class, and I am very thankful for the knowledge I acquired through it! 


Honors English Language Arts posted by Kyra Moore on June 08 2019 at 01:04:11

My child does not like English, at least she did not until she took Mrs. Best's class.  A challenging, engaging, creative class that changed her whole outlook on her ability to write well, and offered an array of fun, intriguing, and original assignments and books that kept her engaged and excited about the class. Many assignments had an assortment of choices allowing for a variety of learning styles and personal interests, which I appreciated.  On avarage she spent between 5-8 hours a week on assignments.  I recommend this class for students who like to think and work outside of the box, it is definately not your typical read a book and write an essay "traditional" English class.

 


Mrs. Best's One of a Kind English Class posted by Rachel Hocker on May 21 2019 at 14:29:05

Mrs. Best’s English class was my favorite class this past year.  I’ve taken many different English classes, but none have been as engaging and enjoyable as HELA! The assignments were diverse which kept each week interesting. We covered the historical context of authors, literary devices, along with cool writing projects, poetry analysis, and composition, as well as literary analysis and self-selected independent work.  I’ve always struggled a bit with writing, but Mrs. Best made writing easier with her feedback and reviews. I feel well prepared for all of my future English courses and excited for more. I generally put in around 8 to 10 hours per week, but this depended on the workload on any given week. One of my favorite projects was our independent book project. We were allowed to choose an AP level book and create an in-depth report. I picked A Tale of Two Cities and created a video interview with Charles Darnay, the main character, which was a unique and unforgettable way of analyzing this piece of literature. Another aspect of the course I really enjoyed was the online community and daily interactions. I’ve never been in an online class where the students interact, so this was nice and over the course of the year I felt like I got to know all of my fellow classmates.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone who is willing to work hard and be creative.  If you think English isn’t your favorite subject, it will be by the end of the year!  


Mrs. Best has one of the best online English classes out there! posted by Cole Sand on May 18 2019 at 03:04:48

I am writing this on the last day of this class, and I am actually disappointed. Yes. I am disappointed that it is summer. What student would ever say that? The answer is any student who has taken Mrs. Best’s Honors English and Language Arts class.

Fun and engaging assignments kept me excited to look at the week’s assignment sheet that comes in every Sunday. What is really fun about this class is how the assignments vary each week. My favorite assignments were the First Friday Activity Board where we would play fun games on the first Friday of each month. One time, we all played 20 questions with a list of over a hundred books to choose from! Another time, we had an idiom contest where we had to search online for the best idioms.

Another great “project” we had to do was Postcrossing. For those who don’t know, Postcrossing is a website where, when you register, you are able to send postcards to one of their 765,000 members. It randomly gives you a person, and you write your postcard and send it (I’ve sent postcards to Germany, Finland, and even the Philippines!). Once the postcard gets to its destination, you will get a postcard from someone else. It was so fun receiving postcards from around the world!

Before taking this course, I DID NOT like language arts. However, this course has completely changed my mind. From writing poems to analyzing works by Shakespeare, I have developed a love for language arts; something that no other teacher besides Mrs. Best could have achieved.

I don’t know about other classes, but the class of 2018-2019 were the best online classmates I could have hoped for! They were supportive, fun, and it really felt like we all knew each other personally by the end of the class even though we never talked face to face. Also, we had multiple group assignments throughout the year. I was able to work with seven different classmates. Also, on Discussion Questions (DQ’s), everyone responded to each other’s post with good feedback and supportive comments. It was amazing to get to know each and every one of my classmates.

Students who believe they aren’t quite ready to take AP English should definitely take this class. If they work hard and DON’T PROCRASTINATE (I messed that up in the beginning of the year), they will succeed. Mrs. Best doesn’t overload her assignment sheet. She gives just enough to keep you busy each week. I spend around 7-10 hours a week with some weekend work when we had an essay. This might sound like a lot, but it flies by because the assignments are just so fun. I recommend this class to anyone reading this. If you are interested, fill out the application now. You won’t regret it.

 


Amazing, Outstanding, and Wonderful Course!!!!!! posted by Lilianna Hug on May 18 2019 at 02:14:53

I can say without doubt that Honors English Language Arts (HELA) was my absolute FAVORITE course this year. First, the assignments were creative, unique, enjoyable, and educational. Every Sunday, I eagerly awaited Mrs. Best’s weekly email and assignment chart, which was always full of fun facts and book recommendations in addition to class information. The assignments covered everything from choosing my “nom de plume” and writing about my “pen” to creating a newspaper from Hell (not as weird as it sounds) to working with partners to document the handkerchief in Othello.

Class interaction was really engaging as well. There were several team/partner projects, and the whole class participated in Discussion Questions (DQs). Some of my favorite DQs were the ones where each student had a different opinion; responses to DQs and responses to responses raised many excellent questions, ideas, and thoughts.

Mrs. Best is a WONDERFUL teacher. I’ve learned so much from this course, and I am confident that my English Language Arts skills have improved vastly. The lessons Mrs. Best created were very educational and thorough. Aside from lessons, the feedback on each and every assignment was INCREDIBLE. Mrs. Best provided specific, unique, and extensive suggestions and corrections on every assignment, whether it was a research paper or just a paragraph-long response.

In addition, this was a great introduction to AP classes. Before taking this class, I definitely wasn’t ready for an AP class - I wasn’t even sure if I was ready for this class. Now, I feel completely prepared for taking AP classes and I know that I can easily keep up with an online class. This was a perfect online course to start with and gave me a understand of how online course work and what might be required for an AP class.

In general, I spent about 7 - 8 hours a week on HELA. However, as opposed to needing to spend extra time, I found myself wanting to spend extra time on the assignments for HELA because they were so fun to complete. In conclusion, this was an AMAZING course. I know that my writing skills are much stronger as a result of this course, and I feel more confident in my online course skills as well. I would definitely recommend this course to EVERY homeschooler considering it. Believe me, it is well worth your time. You won’t regret it. ;)

 


The Best Honors English Class (Pun Intended) posted by Noah Mattingly on May 18 2019 at 01:04:31

Mrs. Best’s class was by far the best English course I’ve ever taken.  Prior to this class, I’ve never enjoyed English however, I thoroughly enjoyed this class.  Mrs. Best’s curriculum was, of course, educational, but it also made the education fun, which is not an adjective I ever thought I would use to describe an English class.  A huge part of the reason for how much I enjoyed this class was how much care and thought went in to every lesson;  in some lessons she would use my and the other students’ names in practice questions, and the responses to all the students assignments were always extremely detailed which greatly increased my skill as a writer.  In addition to being a phenomenal teacher, Mrs. Best is also a great person.  She was always kind to me and her other students, and never once said anything anyone did was just plain bad, even though I know for certain at least one or two assignments I presented were just that.  She always encouraged us and was understanding if we turned in an assignment late or if we had some other mishap.  In the class, we had many opportunities to communicate with other students, whether it was through group projects, discussing aspects of what we were currently reading, or giving advice on others’ assignments.  I found these interactions to be substantially beneficial to my learning.  I would highly recommend this class to anyone, especially those who feel they are not quite ready for AP classes.


Mrs. Best's BEST Language Arts Class posted by Evie Beall on May 17 2019 at 18:59:36

HELA was my favorite class this year, and I could not have asked for a better teacher!  We read books that I probably never would have read, including Dante’s Inferno.  That was a very tough book to read and really understand.  Reading the challenging literature really helped me get a grasp on what they meant deep down inside.

There was never too much work to do.  Mrs. Best did a wonderful job of administering every assignment.  I spent about 7-9 hours on average doing the HELA assignments.  However, there were definitely some that I had to spend more time on than others, such as a research paper on sixteenth century England. 

When I imagined English before I took this class, I thought it would be all essays.  HELA is the totally opposite.  We wrote a love letter, made a bookmark and even created our own newspaper. We also worked on vocabulary and spelling, which I learned was an important part of English.  Mrs. Best teaches in English with a constantly positive attitude!

HELA was challenging, but was never impossible.  After taking this class and gaining more knowledge, I feel like I enjoy English and Language Arts so much more.  I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants a challenge, and are willing to work hard and do their best!


Excellent Class posted by Zach Schmidt on May 17 2019 at 11:36:21

First and foremost, this is an excellent class. I hate English and writing, but Mrs. Best made it bearable, and at times, fun. This is was probably the most organized, planned, and well-thoughtout class I have ever taken. Mrs. Best is an examplary teacher. However, this class is not for the faint-of-heart. I put in anywhere from 5 to upwards of 10 hours per week. The amount of time will vary depending on the student. I generally put things off till the last minute, and my way of organizing is to just throw papers on my desk. Well-organized students will have an easier time, but unorganized students will survive. Mrs. Best requires that important documents be filed in a notebook and has quarterly notebook checks. Regardless of a student's organizational skills or love/hate of English and writing, they will prosper in this class if they are willing to work hard. I would recommend this to any interested students, although they must be prepared to work hard.


The Best English Class by Mrs. Best posted by Aspen Singh on May 15 2019 at 17:50:45

Mrs. Best’s Honors English Language Arts (or HELA) course is the most beneficial English class I have ever taken. We read many classic works of literature, and reading those tougher books, especially The Scarlet Letter, helped improve my comprehension skills. The discussion questions we did at the end of every week really helped me to think through the issues in the books.

Mrs. Best did a great job of distributing the workload throughout the school year so that one week does not contain too much work. On average I spent around 6-7 hours working on HELA. Some projects were more time-consuming, such as a research paper on Elizabethan-era England we wrote at the end of the year, but I found these projects to be very valuable.

The best part of HELA were the fun assignments we had throughout the year. We created newspapers, wrote bucket lists, and even did a mock Nobel Prize acceptance speech. In all honesty I never thought that these assignments would ever be part of an English class I took, but Mrs. Best teaches English in a fun and innovative way.

Overall, HELA has greatly increased my interest in English. I also feel that, after taking HELA, I am more prepared to take AP English Language or Literature. I would recommend this valuable class to everyone, as it will greatly enhance your knowledge of English.


Ten out of Ten, Would Take This Class Again posted by Avery Yue on May 15 2019 at 15:49:48

I really enjoyed this class, and not simply because it included books. I had done other English classes in the past and they were generally very boring. The assignments were menial and I was only dedicating around two hours per week to my work. Here, however, the assignments were fun and engaging and I ended up giving around five-six-seven hours of my day to HELA, depending on the amount or difficulty of the tasks.

In other English classes I had taken, the questions were boring and often concerned small, unimportant details in the book. In this class, the questions were more controversial. I got a chance to debate whether or not Chris McCandless was responsible for his own death, and why Curly's Wife never got a name. Of course, I'm a student who loves hashing it out in a respectful argument with someone, but even if a student didn't like debates, the questions would still be interesting and thought-provoking.

Aside from the debates, the other assignments were just as interesting. My favorite one by far (and the one that earned this class the "funnest" sticker in my mind) was a mission to write a fake love letter for Valentine's Day and leave it somewhere for someone to find. Being the dramatic comediest I am, I wrote the whole thing in pink and signed all the Is with hearts and found the whole prospect hilarious. I then eagerly showed the completed letter in all of its Valentine's Day glory to my friends, and they found it hilarious. I then shoved it into a book at the library and tip-toed away, giggling to myself. 

I would definitely recommend this class to another student. As a homeschooler who spends all my time typing on the computer, I will warn that it'll include a lot of handwriting. However, I know my handwriting has improved, and, to be honest, it's a welcome sacrifice.


Mrs. Best's HELA Class is Prodigious in Every Way! posted by Solara Santer on May 13 2019 at 15:57:05

Mrs. Best never failed to create an interesting, educational lesson; her assignments were interactive, exciting, and informative. Wheil the lessons were always fun and interesting, they also taught me many things about English, such as the correct way to use a semicolon and how to write a Shakespearean-worthy sonnet. This course definitely brought out my love for English and writing, and even my passion for literature, as we read many exquisite books, soties, and plays. Although this class is very much enjoyable, it is additionally challenging in just the right way; the type of challenging that accustoms to each student and allows them to show their full potential.

If you are thinking of enrolling in Mrs. Best's language Arts course, I highly reccommend it, and you will no doubt have a wonderful time learning and getting to know your classmates!


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