Course Description/Overview/Welcome Statement
In this class, we will study literature, the writing process, argument, grammar, and vocabulary. We will practice different types of writing and read at least two novels/plays out loud in class. Students will also read books of their own choice during independent reading time, both in class and on their own time. We will partly be using a new textbook and curriculum in English classes this year that the district just purchased called My Perspectives by Pearson publishers. At the end of this class, students should be able to write coherent essays (mainly argumentative), read and understand complex texts, and further enjoy the process of reading and writing.
The learning expectations are based on the state core for English 11. For example,
–I can cite textual evidence to support a claim.
–I can determine the central ideas or themes of a text.
–I can determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text.
–I can write arguments to support claims.
–I can write narratives about real or imaged experiences.
–I can use the writing process to strengthen my writing.
Assessment of Progress
There will be pre-tests within the first two weeks of the school year to determine student levels. Then there will be tests at the end of each unit (usually at the end of each hex or term).
We will partly be using Pearson’s My Perspectives textbook for 11th grade. We will also read supplemental novels and magazine articles. Most of the articles will come from Upfront magazine or The Week magazine.
All school rules will be followed. The main class rules are BE RESPECTFUL and BE RESPONSIBLE. Food, drinks, cell phones, electronic devices, and notes to friends will be confiscated if seen. No gum is allowed. Each day students should come to class prepared with a pen/pencil and paper. Students can check out books from the teacher’s classroom library by signing a book out on the check-out clipboard. When the book is returned, the student must have the teacher sign off the book on the clipboard; otherwise, the student will be responsible for replacing or paying for the book if it goes missing. Cheating and plagiarism are, of course, not allowed; if a student is caught cheating or plagiarizing, district policy will be followed. Students will be assigned a class Chromebook (computer) to use in class, and these should only be used to complete class assignments. Goofing off on a Chromebook will result in the loss of the privilege to use one. No food or drink should be out when Chromebooks are being used.
Independence High School Classroom Expectations
Be respectful (of self, others, and property).
Be prepared. (Come on time. Be ready to learn. Bring appropriate supplies/homework.)
Be a self advocate. (Ask for help when needed. Be self-directed when possible.)
Be a team player.
Be a dreamer; expect success!
Assignments not finished in class are expected to be finished as homework. The majority of homework for this class will be reading of the student’s own choice. Each week students must electronically submit a reading log showing how much they have read for the week; 150 minutes a week is expected for full points. A written summary of what the student read that week will be required with the reading log.
Homework and other assignments handed in late will only be accepted within one week of the due date. The grade for late assignments will be reduced by 10% for each day late.
Students are expected to be in class on time every day. When students arrive in class after the tardy bell, they will be marked tardy. If a student is more than 10 minutes late, an unexcused absence will be marked. Students will lose daily participation points each time they are absent or tardy. It is the student’s responsibility to find out from the teacher what assignments were missed. Make-up work for excused absences must be turned in within 10 days of the date the student returns to school.
TRIMESTERS & HEXES:
This year the school is using three trimesters instead of the usual two semesters. Each trimester will be broken into two hexes. If students pass the first four hexes (first two trimesters), then they will be done with English 11 and could start taking English 12 during the last trimester of their junior year. This could allow them to graduate early. If students don’t pass the first four hexes, then they will have to re-take English 11 during trimester 3 to try and finish their English 11 credit. The ending dates of the hexes (when grades will be finalized) are shown below:
TRIMESTER 1: Hex 1 August 15 – September 22
Hex 2 September 25 – November 10
TRIMESTER 2: Hex 3 November 13 – January 12
Hex 4 January 16 – February 23
TRIMESTER 3: Hex 5 February 26 – April 13
Hex 6 April 16 – May 25
At the beginning of each hex (term in a trimester) each student is given 15 extra credit points as hall passes. Each time a student leaves class (to go to the bathroom, office, drinking fountain, etc.), five of the extra credit points are lost. Once a student has used up the 15 points, he will not be excused to leave class for the rest of the hex. Of course, to leave class the student must take the big, yellow school hall pass with him. Misuse of the hall pass sign and goofing off in the hall can result in the loss of all hall passes.
Twenty-five points a week will be given out for behavior/participation (5 points a day). This behavior grade is based on attendance, attitude shown in class, participation, language, and obedience to class/school rules. Because students are expected to come to class with a pen/pencil to write with, students will lose some of their behavior/participation points for the day if they do not bring a writing instrument and must borrow one from the teacher. Having a cell phone out in class (which is against school rules) will also cause a loss of points.
The weekly homework reading log is worth 15 points each week—10 points for the minutes read and 5 points for the written summary. (Students will lose points when it is turned in late, and it cannot be turned in more than a week late.) Extra credit is available on the reading log each week if a student reads more than 150 minutes that week. Students will also write in a class writing journal at the beginning of class several days each week. Students can earn five points each day (approximately 10-20 points per week) for their journal writing. This year journals will be done online with a GoogleDoc. Journals are graded at the end of journal time each day, and journals cannot be made up unless the student had an excused absence.
In addition, students are expected to read and finish at least one book of their choosing each hex (that has been approved by the teacher). When students finish their chosen book, they will have a book interview with the teacher in which they must orally report to the teacher about the book they read. This book interview is worth 100 points each term.
Assignments, tests, and quizzes make up the rest of the grade. Their point value varies.
Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments
–Reading logs are due each Friday. 150 minutes is needed for full points. Each week’s log is worth 15 points, but extra credit points can be earned.
–Students must do a book interview once each hex before the hex ends. This involves reading a book and then meeting with the teacher to discuss the book. This is worth 100 points each hex.
Progress Reports and Report Cards
All grades will be posted in PowerSchool. Most assignment grades are posted within 1-2 days.
Connecting Home to School
If you have questions, please e-mail the teacher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal Statement and other items (optional)
Time is given in class each day to complete assignments, so daily attendance and working in class each day are the best ways to assure a good grade. Regularly reading outside of class will also help.