Middle School Success Course

Middle School Success Course

Providing incoming middle school students with skills for the next level of school

This eight-week course will meet twice per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7p ET.


Students will learn to be more independent through taking responsibility for their schedule and study habits. Lessons focus on study skills, note-taking skills, communication skills, time-management, and goal setting.

This course meets twice per week to ensure students have ample opportunity to learn skills, apply those skills, and reflect on integrating them into their lives throughout the course. Homework will focus on building good habits, such as time management and better study skills.

“Deanna works with my son to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind his academic struggles, then collaborates with him to develop and instill a plan for success, often going above and beyond to teach him new, unique methods for learning. If you’re seeking a truly engaged, personalized approach to supporting your child’s educational practice, seek the support of Deanna — she’s a gem of an academic guide for both my son and me.” —Alexandra M., 6th grade parent


Unit 1: Introduction and Growth Mindset
  • Growth mindset and flow
Unit 2: Time Management
  • Using a planner
  • Scheduling work time
  • Setting goals
Unit 3: Study Skills
  • Study habits and methods
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Note-taking strategies
  • Reading habits and strategies
Unit 4: Communication Skills
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
Unit 5: Presentations
  • Presentation skills
  • Course wrap-up

Additional Information

Class Size

8 students maximum


Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7p ET
First class: 7/11
Last class: 8/31


$25 registration fee for new students
$1,120 for 16 classes
Early Bird Registration: 20% off for those who enroll by April 30.


Deanna Heikkinen has been privately teaching writing as well as history, literature, and art history to students grades 2-12 for over five years. She holds a doctorate degree in education as well as degrees in history, anthropology, and art history, and she was previously a tenured professor at Los Angeles Valley College. Whether teaching elementary schoolers or college students, Deanna uses the greatest works of literature and history from the West to enrich her writing courses and broaden her students’ knowledge. Deanna is an IEW Registered Instructor.

Deanna holds a doctorate degree in education, a master’s degree in history, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in anthropology with an archaeology focus, and a bachelor’s degree in art history. In addition, Deanna has completed IEW’s “Teaching Writing: Structure and Style” teacher training program.

>Required Materials
  • 1-inch, three-ring binder
  • Weekly planner with dates including summer months
  • School textbook with chapter headings and topic headings
  • A printer for materials distributed electronically throughout the summer
  • Optional: Highlighters, pens, pencils, colored pens, or pencils

Homework assignments will vary but should not take more than one to two hours to complete each week. They will include worksheets and reflection exercises as well as a short paper and presentation.

>Technology Requirements

Google Classroom. Students must have either their own email address or access to a parent’s email address.

Zoom. Students can follow Zoom’s hardware and software guidelines to prepare their environment.

Printer. Students should know how to scan and submit their work, and they should have access to a printer.


There are no pre-requisites to enroll in this course.

>Missed Class Policy

Click here.

Note: The minimum enrollment required for this course is four (4) students. Rose Writing Center reserves the right to cancel this course in the event that fewer than four students enroll. Students enrolled in a canceled course will be duly notified and may choose to either receive a full refund or transfer to another course by Rose Writing Center.

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