Sunday, September 6, 2009

Course Syllabus

Course Description

English 10 refines the language arts skills of reading, literary analysis, writing, vocabulary development, research, critical thinking, speaking, listening, visual literacy, and digital literacy. Some selections align with the World History sophomore course so that students can make interdisciplinary connections. Selections include both Western and non-Western texts that reflect diversity in race, gender, age, economics and geography. In addition, students will contribute to a class blog to create an online learning community that extends classroom discussions.

Regular instruction in vocabulary will use both explicit lessons and vocabulary specific to the literature being studied in class. Vocabulary words have been chosen that appear on an SAT Vocabulary study list.

Intensive writing instruction will help students develop thinking skills and a personal voice. Students will write one formal, typed assessment each quarter for a total of four formal assessments per year. Essay assignments throughout the year will include multiple modes such as narrative, persuasion, and critical analysis. Grammar and usage review will include explicit lessons, but focus on using correct conventions in writing. Writing instruction and assessment will use the Six Traits of writing, rubrics and exemplars. Students will write a major research paper during third quarter.

Major Texts in Each Unit

Identity and the Journey as a Universal Ritual:

The Namesake
The Road
The Odyssey
O, Brother Where Art Thou?

Ethical Dilemmas: Individual vs. Society:

All My Sons
A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Much Ado About Nothing

Cultures Collide:

Nectar in a Sieve
Things Fall Apart
The Mission
Bride and Prejudice


• Choice Unit: In the Time of the Butterflies, Slaughterhouse 5 or The Weight of All Things
Rabbit Proof Fence

Ongoing areas of study:

• Visual and Digital Literacies
• Poetry
• Vocabulary
• Writing, grammar, usage, and mechanics
• Reading Comprehension and Analysis

Literature Selection at EHS

1. Literature that is studied and read as part of a course has "been sited for excellence by an independent source (for example it has won literary awards, received positive reviews by independent book reviewers and/or recommendations from professional organizations, etc.) and/or the author has been sited for excellence by an independent source.

2. Students should read and analyze a variety of literature in print, auditory and visual texts including fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction; literature should be both classic and contemporary and cover a variety of diversity topics including race, gender, age, economics, and geography.

3. In grades 9-12 literature studied moves from young adult literature to adult works of fiction and non-fiction.

My Beliefs

• I believe in a safe working environment for all of my students.
• I believe in the power of texts to help people understand the world and the human condition.
• I believe that I have a responsibility to prepare you for the real world to work and think on a critical, analytical level in a media-infused 21st century.
• I believe that through English 10 you will learn to write more fluently, read more deeply, question more critically, and empathize more compassionately.
• I believe that student engagement is the critical element in learning and achievement.
• I believe in nurturing a respectful, working relationship with each student that also recognizes the passions and interests of my students.
• I believe in social justice and educational reform.
• I believe in all of you!!!

My Expectations of Students

Work: Show up for class—physically and mentally. Your fellow students and I need you here. Your primary purpose is to participate in your learning and to produce work that contributes to the good of our class community. As Michael Hartoonian, scholar of education and public policy, says, “Work that we do to improve our personal circumstances always affects others. If we do good work, that good radiates to others. Of course, poor or bad work also radiates to others, causing a general decline in the wealth of the community.” Knowledge, which you gain through work, is key to successful citizenship in a multicultural world. To this end, expect homework each night and prepare to speak in class each day.

Respect: At all times, be respectful of scholarship, of yourself, of each other, and of me. We are in this together.

Belong: Foster community by taking care of each other, being ready for anything, and appreciating the differences that each person brings to class.


Grades are figured according to the following scale based on cumulative point totals:

100-93% A
92-90% A-
89-87% B+
86-83% B
82-80% B-
79-77% C+
76-73% C
72-70% C-
69-67% D+
66-63% D
62-60% D-
59-0% F

Academic Integrity

Consider that your character and good name cannot be easily reclaimed once you make the decision to cheat. If you do decide to cheat or plagiarize in any portion of the academic work for the course, you will earn a zero for the assignment and may be referred to administration for disciplinary action. Do not compromise your integrity by cheating. Please pay attention to penalties for scholastic and academic dishonesty outlined on page 18 of the student handbook, and be aware that cheating is both the giving and the receiving of answers on a test or assignment.

English 10 Policies

Major papers: Major papers will be accepted within a 3-5 day amnesty window of the due date. While the size of the opening of the amnesty window will remain at my discretion, I will alert you to the dates when major papers are assigned. This should give you ample time to complete the paper on time and resolve any technical or personal issues that may arise. As long as your paper is handed in within the window, it is considered "on time" and will be graded without penalty. Papers are graded in the order that they were handed in. If you hand in your paper one day after the time frame window has closed, 25% will be taken off of your final score, resulting in a C being the highest possible grade that you could earn on that paper. If you hand in the paper any time after that, 50% will be taken off of your final score. All major papers will be worth 100 points. If you are absent on the closing due date, the paper needs to be emailed to me that day by 8:30 a.m. as an attachment if it is to be graded without penalty. Additionally, you must plan to hand in a hard copy of your paper upon your return to school.

Daily work: Research indicates that assigning homework, providing timely feedback, and obtaining assessment of student learning are important in enhancing the teaching-learning process. The purpose of homework is to either prepare you for the following day’s lesson, or to enhance and practice the skills learned in the previous lesson. This purpose is lost if the homework is not completed on time. For this reason, late homework will not be accepted. However, two times per quarter an extra credit assignment will be given that extends a student's learning, and students may complete that new learning assignment to make-up for lost daily points.

Tests: If you are absent the day of a major test, you will need to attend the make-up test session that I schedule. Make-up tests are comprised of short answer questions, while the regular test will have a variety of question types, including multiple choice. Retesting is not allowed. Be prepared for tests the first time.

Reading Check Quizzes: Occasionally, you may need to complete a quiz on the previous night’s reading assignment. Quizzes may be unannounced. If you are absent and miss a reading check quiz, you will need to complete questions on the reading instead of taking a make-up quiz. Completing the questions will excuse you from the missing test, but will not be worth points.

The Notebook: All students will be expected to maintain a classroom composition notebook that includes comprehensive classroom notes, journal entries, daily assignments, vocab lists, etc. The notebook will also have a detailed table of contents. The individual pages of the notebook will be checked at random during class every two weeks. After an absence, it is your responsibility to check with a trusted classmate and to copy down the notes that you missed within two days of returning to school.

Mice and New Carpet

There are mice in the building, and they move into any classroom where food or sugary drinks reside. In addition, we have brand new carpet, which is awesome, but hasn't happened since 1990. We don’t want mice, and we don’t want to ruin our new carpet. To that end, water ONLY (no additives) is allowed in this room. Please use reusable water bottles as there is only paper recycling in this room. Go GREEN!!!


Please have the following supplies in class by Thursday, September 10:

In Your Backpack each day . . .

  • a single subject notebook that is used exclusively for English 10
  • a pen, pencil, and highlighter
  • a planner or some way to keep track of assignments and tests
  • index cards if you like making vocabulary flashcards
Please bring two of the bulleted items below to leave in Room 271 for common use . . .

  • box of facial tissue
  • bottle of hand sanitizer
  • container of disinfecting wipes
  • package of loose leaf paper
  • a package of construction paper
  • a pack of printer paper
  • package of four glue sticks
  • adult size scissors
  • packs of markers
  • package of 24 pencils
Remember all supplies are due on Thursday, September 10 when I will check them off for daily work points.

Keeping in Touch
If you have any questions or feel as though you need additional help throughout the semester, please ask! I am available most days before and after school in my classroom. Please call or email with any questions or concerns. I’m looking forward to sharing a productive and enjoyable year together! I believe in you!!!

Ms. Jackie Roehl
Room 271

No comments:

Post a Comment