English Class

Welcome to the home of the Vanstars!🌟🌟🌟

Hi! I’m Mrs. Van, your friendly neighborhood English teacher.

Mrs. Van’s English class began as a result of the virus-that-must-not-be-named, and it continues as a free, live-streamed class that meets once a month.

Upcoming Class: Friday, May 14, 2021

We will be discussing Roald Dahl’s short story Lamb to the Slaughter.

open book with title mrs van's english class

How to Join In Mrs. Van’s English Class 🌟

  • The class is for grades 4 – 12. For grades 4 – 6, it is appropriate for high-ability students. Hey, no shade. I’m a GT specialist, so…
  • The class livestreams once a month on Friday evenings at 7pm Central. The date changes due to calendar issues (like Thanksgiving), so notices are sent out ahead of time to alert you to class.
  • The class streams live on YouTube. To participate, simply go to the YouTube channel, and it will be live. I strongly suggest subscribing to the channel & clicking that bell (like all the YouTubers tell you) because you’ll get a notification when class is starting.
  • I also strongly suggest subscribing to the email class “roll.” When you subscribe, you’ll get emails with everything you need to stay up-to-date with class information and goodness. Did I mention you might wish to subscribe to the email list?
  • Classes are recorded, and recordings are available after the livestream.
  • Class topics are either a short story, a novel, or a general Language Arts topic. See below for information on the different classes, and scroll down for more FAQs.
  • No sign up is required. Simply show up at the channel when class is starting, and it will be there for you!

Short Story Class 🌟

The short story class is where it all began. Visit the Short Story page to see all of the stories listed in order and get links to watch the classes.

Novel Studies 🌟

Sometimes we do novel studies, reading a novel over the course of a month. They’ve been terrific reads (most students had not read either of them before this!), and I think you’ll like them, too.

You can read more about the novels and link to the classes here.

open book with title novel studies

Language Arts 🌟

Sometimes I do a random class on some aspect of language arts, just for fun.

If you like English class or you know you could benefit from learning more (so you can fall in love with it like me), check out the information on that here.

open book with title language arts

FAQs 🌟

Do I have to attend every class to participate?

Nope. We don’t take attendance. Participate when it works for you or interests you. If we’re doing a novel study, it makes sense to do them all, but for the short story or language arts classes, feel free to pick and choose. Of course, you will love them and not want to miss ever.

How long do classes last?

About an hour. Some are longer, but they’re usually right around an hour.

Do I have to participate in the chat?

Nope. That’s totally optional. I do ask questions during the class, and I use the chat to respond to student comments, so if you want me to know your sparkly thoughts, you’ll need to share them in the chat.

Do I have to watch the previous classes to catch up before watching new ones?

No. If you have time and inclination, I’d suggest watching a few of them to get in the groove of how it works and to “meet” some of the other students. You also need to know the hashtag thing we’ve got going on. Well, you don’t *need* to know, but it’s fun.

Do I earn credit for the class?

You get to learn & grow & have a great time. We don’t grant any kind of course credit. Sometimes, college students use the class for observation hours, and I do fill out those forms for them.

How did the class get started?

Well, that’s a very interesting story. You can read all about it (and see pictures of me taken by a Pulitzer-prize winning photographer) here or watch this video about it.

What’s with the hashtags?

Your guess is as good as mine. It started and took on a life of its own. Now we’ve got dozens of ’em, and they’re a thing. No pressure. It’s fun. There aren’t tests or anything. We need a t-shirt that says, “It’s a Vanstar thing.”