What did it mean to gain information before you could just get it with the swipe of a finger (or by asking a smart device)? The power of Google has transformed the world.

We'll be reading Google It: A History of Google by Anna Crowley Redding. This book looks at the history of Google, how it began, and what it has become.

Along the way, we'll be using our discussions, papers, and supplemental materials to talk about the nature of truth and knowledge and what it means to be a responsible consumer of information. 

Gain Key Academic Writing Foundations

Students will learn foundational academic writing skills including thesis statements, topic sentences, paragraph focus, and transitions. They will practice these skills through themed writing assignments based on the book.

Guided Class Flexibility 

This is a guided class, which means there are no live meetings, but there is student-teacher interaction and weekly due dates for assignments. This format works well for students who don’t enjoy live, on-camera sessions or who have unpredictable weekly schedules. 

Students can interact with the instructor and each other via our class discussion board.

Practice Writing as a Process

  • Most importantly, students will compose two multi-draft papers with individual video feedback on rough drafts and the opportunity to revise a final draft.

Class Details

Age Range: 11-13

Class Size: 3-10 Learners


March 18-May 12, 2024 with no live meetings

Time Commitment

Most learners can expect to spend 3-5 hours per week working on class materials. 

Assignments Open Each Week

In order to allow for learners and their families to have the flexibility they need, assignments open by Monday of each week and are due by the following Sunday. Learners can complete work at whatever time works best for them throughout the week.


To participate successfully in class, learners will need the following:

  • A copy of Google It: A History of Google by Anna Crowley Redding (ISBN 978-1250148223) (used copies are fine; borrowed/library copies are acceptable but it’s preferable for learners to have their own copy so they can take notes in it)
  • Microphone and camera for in-class participation
  • PDF Reader
  • Learners will submit work through Google Drive (a Google (Gmail) account can be acquired for free)

This course is closed for enrollment.

Meet Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason

Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason is the founder of Dayla Learning. She has a PhD in rhetoric and composition, a passion for helping students find their writing voice, and two homeschooling children of her own.

Michelle has taught in a wide variety of settings including six years as a full-time college professor. She has been teaching virtual and in-person homeschool writing and humanities classes for more than five years.

Michelle believes in meeting students where they are and — as any of her previous students will tell you — believes deeply that there is no such thing as a bad rough draft!

Is this the right fit for my learner?

Skills Needed

Learners will be most successful in this class if they have the following skills/experiences: 

  • The ability to read at a 5th/6th grade level and answer questions about what they've read. (It's okay to have struggles with vocabulary or connecting ideas. We'll be going over strategies!)
  • Basic understanding of writing in terms of what makes a complete sentence, how to craft a paragraph of related sentences, and how to move through ideas in a logical order. (It's okay to struggle with fully developing ideas or having trouble putting all writing knowledge together into a complete draft. That's what we're working on!) 

Skills Gained

The class is set up so that students choose which writing prompts they’d like to complete for both of the two primary assignments. This means that students of varying ability levels and familiarity with academic writing conventions can find an assignment appropriate for their level.

All students will learn about the following:

  • Developing reading comprehension and note-taking strategies
  • Finding their own writing process
  • Working on a complete draft in stages that focus on revision
  • Reflecting on what works to build strong writing habits

Depending on which assignments they choose to complete, students will focus specifically on the following:

  • Focusing paragraphs
  • Summarizing outside sources in their own writing
  • Analyzing outside sources
  • Finding similarities when making comparisons
  • Conducting independent research to find credible sources
  • Incorporating sources into writing with appropriate citations

Common Core Standards Alignment

For those who are using Common Core standards, this course meets the following: 

All Learners:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.1, 7.1, and 8.1 (citing textual evidence)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.2, 7.2, and 8.2 (identifying central ideas)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.3, 7.3, and 8.3 (analyzing details in informational texts)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.4, 7.4, and 8.4 (determining word meaning in context)

Depending on Paper Prompt Chosen:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1, 7.1, and 8.1 (write arguments with reason and evidence)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2, 7.2, and 8.2 (write informative texts to examine a topic)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3, 7.3, and 8.3 (write narratives with details)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.4, 7.4, and 8.4 (write appropriately to audience)
  • CCS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.5, 7.5, and 8.5 (plan, revise, edit and rewrite)
  • CCS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7, 7.7, and 8.7 (conduct short research projects)
  • CCS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.8, 7.8, and 8.8 (gather information from credible sources)
  • CCS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.9, 7.9, and 8.9 (draw textual evidence to support analysis and research)
  • CCS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.10, 7.10, and 8.10 (write routinely over extended time frames)

Upon successful completion of class, instructor provides detailed exit letter suitable for inclusion in portfolio. Families may request numerical grade at beginning of class for a detailed course grade summary, but it is optional. 

Individual Support

All students will receive individualized video feedback on all rough drafts that specifically addresses their rough draft submissions.

My teaching philosophy very much focuses on starting with students’ strengths to build confidence and using them to work on improvements over time.

Feedback is tailored to each student’s individual needs and goals. I also encourage a lot of self-reflection and provide opportunities for students to directly communicate their challenges so that facing them with strategies becomes a normal part of the writing process.

This course is closed for enrollment.