Freshmen Honors Standards

CLASS SYLLABUS  A mighty maze! But not without a plan.

The syllabus is a calendar of the daily requirements for each quarter of English.  This site has been designed to emphasize instructional material represented by the syllabus.  The most useful tool of communication that I provide for you is the course syllabus.  Each quarter for the academic year is represented by a syllabus.  The assignments, along with links of explanation, are provided for you.  Thus I am committed to maintain the due dates expressed throughout the syllabus.  At times impositions upon the school day may require an adjustment in the presentation of the instruction.  In such cases I will do my best to adjust the syllabus.  Realize that the syllabus is a map for following the curriculum path, thus this compass should provide student and parent alike with a helpful means of commanding the course once a level of familiarity is established.  Dates, as you will observe are not represented, as the school calendar is frequently readjusted due to uncontrolled circumstances.  Each day represented on the syllabus follows the previous day’s instruction.  The numbers in parenthesis, often displayed to the right on the syllabus, represent the value of the assignment.  I hope that you will find the syllabus as useful as its designer intends for it to be.  Information appearing in blue provides the student with the requirements for an assignment.  Additional information/links are often included in order to provide the learner with further support.

WHAT IS AN HONORS STUDENT?  You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.

What is an Honors student? Video

Any definition for honor that you find begins with some combination of the following virtues:  honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions.  Just as Winston Churchill expressed, “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope,” I adamantly encourage you to establish an earnest foundation of values.  Honesty is essential in any meaningful relationship.  You and I share a vital exchange if I am going to assist you in your prosperity.  Trust that I will do whatever I can in order to promote your well-being.  I will always understand the best in you just as I will reveal to you when I perceive that you are not providing an honest effort.  Fairness is always demanded by individuals, yet fairness is often compromised within a group of individuals with conflicting interests.  We will challenge each other to be just and you must trust that I will treat you fairly according to the group expectations as well as your individual well-being.  Integrity means soundness of moral character.  I am extremely interested in working with you to assist you in your effort to chisel out a character that you and your conscience can coexist with–when one betrays the other you are no longer honest with yourself.  For me, you are enrolled in this course to pursue and promote the virtues that have been discussed.  You should also possess an eagerness to learn, a healthy appetite for literature and the ability to distinguish yourself from other learners in an English curriculum.

VIDEO:  Ninth Grade Honors English Standards continued

GOVERNANCE                   He is  fooled–that master of deceit.

You are expected to conduct yourself like the intelligent young adult that you are.  Your pursuit of a heightened understanding of English is guided by a respect for others.  Hard work is a far more appealing attribute than an excuse.   Armed with an earnest curiosity, you should demand from me and this course knowledge that will enable you to continue to fulfill your potential.  All classroom management expectations are guided by this fundamental philosophy.  However, if you require a literal interpretation:  get to class on time, leave only for an emergency, speak only when you have some meaningful insight to offer the class and do not eat or drink in the classroom.  Water is permitted.  Cell phones must be kept in your backpack as well as with the volume off.

STANDARD ENGLISH DEPARTMENT POLICIES      Without order there is chaos.

LATE WORK POLICY– Any paper that is turned in late will receive a maximum grade of 50%.  If a student misses a class he/she is still responsible for getting homework and/or class work and submitting that work on time.  If a student misses a class due to an absence, the assignment must be turned in the next school day in order to receive full credit.  If a student misses a class due to a field trip, all work is due as assigned.
PLAGIARISM– The work of another that is misrepresented as your own will be given a zero.  A conference including the student, instructor, parent(s) and administrator may be necessary as well.

          All assessment is a perpetual work in progress.

You will often hear me express that your concern for your grade is best replaced with your desire to learn.  I have endured in this profession because I value your learning.  Your grade, however, is the focus of your ability to determine if you are learning according to the instructor’s design.  The assignments are broken into categories according to the English department’s learning standards.  The categories and their values follow:

Reading- 40%
Writing- 30%
Language- 20%
Speaking/Listening- 10%

The syllabus reflects, by abbreviation to the right of the identified assignment, the value of the assessment.

Language activities include vocabulary, grammar practices as well as other technical language usage exercises.  

Reading activities are regarded as the most meaningful assignments in the English curriculum.  Reading assignments are most often comprised of chapter reading responsibilities, reading quizzes and tests as well as novel exams.  On most quizzes, you are allowed to use notes/annotations that you have compiled over the reading and/or class discussion.

Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel
Oedipus the King by Sophlecles 
The Odyssey by Homer
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Independent book selected by parent/guardian approved by student
Kadish for Zelig by Solly Ganor
Ring of Time by E.B. White
A Child’s Christmas in Whales by Dylan Thomas
The Mickey Mantle Koan by David James Duncan
Sending Grandma to the Ovens by Colin Cohen
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
Death of a Moth by Virginia Woolf
Death of a Moth by Annie Dillard
Of the Death of the First Born by W.E.B. Dubois
Advice to Youth by Mark Twain
I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. 
We May Be Brothers After All by Chief Si’ahl (Seattle)
Thinking as a Hobby by William Golding
What Life Means to Me by Jack London
Short Stories:
The Ledge by Lawrence Sargent Hall
The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
The Stone Boy by Gina Berriault
All the People Were Mean  by Lucy Caldwell
A&P by John Updike
Everything that Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor
Death in the Woods by Sherwood Anderson
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut
The Laughing Man by J.D. Salinger
The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence
The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Writing assignments will be submitted to turnitin.  Turnitin is a digital recording application that is designed to assist students with improving their writing as well as scanning for plagiarism issues.  Generally, students will have until midnight of the due date to submit writing assignments on time. 

Speaking/Listening activities are assessed largely during class time.  The learner’s ability to comprehend, analyze, synthesize and evaluate as well as her/his willingness to listen to instruction comprise the foundation that this aspect of the student’s grade is based on.

STUDENT FACILITATION       I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.

Educational studies have confirmed that the best way to learn is to teach.  The most exciting learning for me is when students lead informed discussions.  Students are encouraged to lead informed discussions relevant to a menu of instructional content offered throughout the year.  The student-led lesson is assessed based on your ability to involve the other students in class, the relevance of the lesson to the instructional objective (see the teacher), the quality of time and the use of supportive instructional material (charts, pictures, hand-outs, keynote presentation, etc…)