Course Description/Overview/Welcome Statement
Welcome to English Language Arts! In English we will be honing our writing skills and reading several novels, short stories, and selections of poetry. We will be working on strengthening our writing and reading skills through practice. We will have daily writing assignments and reading exercises, weekly grammar and vocabulary practice, and occasional projects and papers.
Some of the objectives of this class are for students to develop reading and writing strategies including:
- Developing analytical, comprehension, and interpretive reading skills for both literary and informational texts
- Create organized, developed, and focused writing with supporting evidence to persuade, inform, and/or explain complex ideas, concepts, and information relating to a particular topic.
- Conduct research projects to answer a question or solve a problem and demonstrate understanding of the subject.
- Initiate and participate in a range of collaborative discussions (from one-on-one level to class discussion level) on topics, texts, and issues building on one another’s ideas as well as creating and presenting their own ideas clearly and persuasively.
- Demonstrate command of the English language through language conventions such as with writing, speaking, vocabulary, and grammar.
Grades will be based on the percentage of the points earned out of the points possible on the assignments, quizzes, projects, and tests given each Hex. Typically, assignments, projects, and quizzes account for about 70% of the grade and tests for the other 30%.
93-100% = A 80-82% = B- 67-69% = D+
90-92% = A- 77-79% = C+ 63-66% = D
87-89% = B+ 73-76% = C 60-62% = D-
83-86% = B 70-72% = C- Below 60% = F
Students and Parents are encouraged to regularly check grades on “Power School.” Grades will be updated on “Power School” about once each week, usually every Friday. Students are encouraged to keep assignments as they are graded and returned. These assignments serve as proof of completion in case an error is made in grading or recording scores. These assignments will occasionally be useful later in the year as we revisit some past topics or themes.
Assessment of Progress
This class will be divided into units of study based on the skill or literary piece we will be studying. A typical unit will take up roughly 3-4 weeks of class. There will be a final test or project held for each unit to measure how well each student has grasped the material. Along with the unit tests, there will usually be some type of project or presentation to go along with most units of study. Projects or presentations will typically be introduced early on in the unit, and students will be given ample time and opportunity to work on and finish them inside and outside of class. Assignments and quizzes will be given regularly (daily to weekly) to keep track of student progress.
- 3 ring binder
- notebook paper
- composition notebook
- writing utensil
Assignments, Late work, and exams
Assignments are given daily. Assignments are typically finished in class, but if the student requires extra time, it is expected to be finished as homework. Late assignments will not be accepted after one week from the due date. A late assignment will automatically lose 20% off from its original amount. If a student misses a day in class, it is his or her responsibility to find out what they missed and to get any missing assignments they need to make up. We will determine the due date for makeup work and the late policy will apply if the assignment isn’t in by its due date. Exams will be completed in class. If a student is absent when an exam is given, he or she will need to make arrangements to take the exam.
Attendance and participation
The Independence High School attendance policy will be enforced in this classroom. Refer to the attendance policy on the School website for additional information. Students are expected to participate in class. This includes participating in class discussions, group projects, and activities. Students will receive participation points for each day in class. Students may lose participation points for sleeping in class, talking out of turn, being disruptive, refusing to participate, etc.
Students are responsible for the actions they take and the behavior they use in the classroom. Inappropriate language will result in consequences: warning, conference with teacher, call home, conference with administration, and possible suspension. The same consequence can also be applied to cheating, lying, stealing, disrespect, damage to school property, etc.
All district and school rules apply in this classroom. The rules are:
- Be respectful of others and other’s property, as well as yourself.
- Be prepared. Come on time and ready to learn and work.
- Be a self-advocate. Ask for help when you need it.
- Be a team player.
- Dream big and expect success!
Technology, Movies, and Movie Clips
Media will be used on a daily basis to enhance understanding and support the topics we are exploring. I preview all media that is shown to ensure it’s conducive and appropriate to a safe learning environment. R rated movies or movie clips will not be shown. PG-13 movies and movie clips may be shown occasionally. If there is any concern with this, please contact me.
Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments
Units of study:
- Reminder: Each unit will include a final unit test, project, paper, or presentation. Expectations for projects, papers, and/or presentations will be introduced early on in the unit.
- Time ranges below are estimates and are subject to change.
- Students will receive ample notification for large assignments, tests, and projects.
Hex 1: Annotation and Paragraph Writing: August 15 – September 26
Hex 2: Stage Play Study: September 27 – November 9
Hex 3: Argument Writing Strategies: November 12 – January 11
Hex 4: Novel Study: January 14 – February 2
Hex 5: Wishtree Novel Study February 25 – April 12
Hex 6: Narrative Writing, Poetry, and Short Stories April 15 – May 24
Progress Reports and Report Cards
Report cards are issued at the end of each Hex (typically 6 weeks). When a Hex ends, student grades are recorded and any credits they’ve earned for passing classes are awarded. Grades are then reset, and the new Hex begins. Again, you are encouraged to regularly check student progress on Power School.
Connecting Home to School
Feel free to contact me by email, by phone, or in person if you have any questions or concerns about grades, student behavior, or my class in general. While contacting me in person and by phone is welcomed, email is the best way to contact me. I check my email multiple times a day and will respond as soon as possible (usually the same day but for sure in less than 24 hours).
Please sign below and return this sheet.
I have read and understand LeGrand Hovey’s English Language Arts syllabus. By signing this disclosure document I agree and understand the expectations for this classroom.
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