english 9 syllabus revised scheel 2012 2013

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					                                                                          English 9
                                                                 Ironwood Ridge High School

                                     Instructor:                 Rebecca Scheel
                                     Room Number:                A253
                                     Telephone Number:           (520) 407-4183
                                     Email:                      rscheel@amphi.com

About Me: I love teaching and I love learning. Despite the fact that I’ve taught Romeo and Juliet (and
short stories and poems and novels and essays and other plays) to thousands of students over the past
twenty-some years, I still love the joy and challenge of helping students understand and appreciate
language! Welcome to English 9!

Contacting Me:
2475 W. Naranja Drive
Room A253.
Tucson, AZ 85742
Email: rscheel@amphi.com
Phone: (520) 407-4183

Students: I always have time to meet with you – you need only to ask! I am available before and after
school, during conference periods and by appointment. I want you to have a fantastic year; my door is
always open to you.

Parents: I am happy to speak with parents about any questions or concerns. Please feel free to contact me
by email (my preferred method) or phone as noted above at any time and I promise to contact you
promptly (within 24 hours, typically).

Course Description:
To ensure students’ satisfactory foundation in basic language arts skills, this course concentrates on
grammar and usage, spelling, vocabulary development, sentence and paragraph structure, and the use of
the library. Reading instruction includes an intensive study of the elements of fiction in short stories,
dramas, and novels. This course focuses on the specific performance objectives articulated by Arizona
State Department of Education (available upon request or by visiting http://www.ade.state.az.us/standards/language-
arts/default.asp .) The course material will be presented in scaffolded instructional sequences specifically
designed to achieve mastery of the Arizona Language Arts Content Standards. This mastery will help
enable your success during standardized testing (SAT’s, AIMS, etc.) and later in college.

Further, in this course, students will focus upon critical thinking and self-discovery by engaging in the
curious art of asking and responding to questions. Students will refine their own unique voice in the
inquiry and writing process.

Course Overview:
First Semester
                Anthology: Literature and Integrated Studies
                       * Varrious short stories, poetry, and excerpts from The Odyssey
                       ** We’ll focus on the elements of literature: plot structure, setting,
                       characterization, theme, point of view, irony, figurative language, imagery,
                       allusion, genres, dialog, theme, and symbolism.

                  Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
                  House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros

                  Writer’s Inc.
                  Personal narrative (Vignette Project), five-paragraph essays, and literary analysis

               Vocabulary for the High School Student
               Chapter 1, along with Vocabulary from the Literature Book & Academic Vocabulary

              Parts of speech, parts of a sentence, sentence types, conventions

        Independent Reading Project
               You will bring your independent novel to class sometimes to read, but mostly you will be
               doing your reading independently. We suggest that you allow about 2-3 hours per week,
               outside of class, to read your novel. This is your ongoing HOMEWORK in English

                  You will have some guidelines for your independent novels each quarter, but the first
                  quarter’s novel is your choice (w/ teacher approval and parent permission).

Second Semester
               Romeo and Juliet
               Novel: Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

                  Writer’s Inc.
                  Various Five-paragraph essays, including AIMS prep essay and literary analysis

               Vocabulary for the High School Student: Chapters 2 and 3

              Parts of speech, parts of a sentence, sentence types, conventions

        Independent Reading
               A Novel Each Quarter (3rd Quarter is Sci-Fi and 4th Quarter is Biography or Non-Fiction)

Assessment and Grading:
Percentage           Letter Grade
90 – 100         =         A
80 – 89          =         B
70 – 79          =         C
60 – 69          =         D
59 and Below     =         F

*Rounding – Grades are calculated to a tenth of a percentage point (ex: 98.3%). Grades with 0.5% or
higher are rounded to the next percentage point. This means that an 89.5% becomes a 90% and therefore
an A grade, but an 89.4% remains a B.

Students with a current grade of 69% or below are required to come to
tutoring during conference period for additional support. Grades will be
updated by Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. each week, so students will know
on Fridays if they must attend Conference Period the following week.
Reading will be assessed through:
1) Critical reading logs for each reading assignment
2) In class critical reading quizzes, reflections, and summary assignments
3) Student and teacher-led discussions of readings

Writing will be assessed through:
1) Journal writing, including text reflections, informal writing, and creative writing
2) Peer Activities
3) Revision assignments of take-home multi-draft essays
4) In-class formal (with some at home revision possible) writing assignments/essays

An Important Note about Writing Assessments:
To see true growth in writing skills, all students should write much more than is physically possible for
any teacher to grade. English classes at IRHS are very large, so our English teachers feel additional weight
on the already heavy burden of providing personalized feedback and assessing student work. Because of
this, our English department has agreed that while students will write often and in many different modes
for class, informal writing may be simply checked for completeness. Also, formal writing is often graded
against rubrics, which provide specific feedback within them. If you wish to have more individual
instruction on a piece of writing, you are encouraged to meet with me during conference periods. To
encourage and accommodate such conferences, all writing assignments may be revised during the
quarter in which they are assigned to improve both the product and the grade.

Special Projects will be assessed through:
Clear grading rubrics that identify the specific skills and levels of mastery will be applied to each
assignment and will be thoroughly discussed in advance with all students.

Grammar, vocabulary, and conventions will be assessed throughout the year as part of the writing

                                              Required Course Materials:

1. Student Planner. Because of this, all students will practice organizational skills that will be useful
throughout their academic career. Students are required to use a planner/organizer on a daily basis to keep
track of upcoming assignments. Students may use cell phones (or any other electronic device) with a
calendar feature during class meetings at the appropriate time (when we’re talking about due

2. A Binder for class. You may want to have just one folder per class, but some students like to use
folders for 2-3 classes. Just make sure that you keep blank paper (See #3) and any graded work in your
binder. This is crucial for learning and managing your grades.

3. More loose-leaf, college ruled paper than you probably have at the beginning of the year!
NOTE: I abhor spiral paper (it makes a mess and sticks to other pages);
this is my pet-peeve/#1 irritation, so please don’t use it in my class.

4. A Composition Book (NO Spiral Notebooks). This is only for English 9, so please do not share it with
other classes. It’s usually under a dollar if you buy it at a big box store in August.

5. Black/Blue Ink pen is preferred! Please no pink, orange or yellow ink because it is difficult to read. You
will spend your time, energy and effort to create excellent work but all of that is for naught if I am unable
to read it. Pencils are acceptable if the writing is dark and legible. Pen is preferred.

6. Required course texts available in the bookstore:
     Literature and Integrated Studies, Forms of Literature (Scott Foresman)
     Vocabulary for the High School Student (Levine)
     The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
     Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
     Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

Optional Course Materials:

1. I always recommend students have a copy of a collegiate dictionary and thesaurus at home, but
technology allows that these are now also available online.

2. One of the most useful and lifelong strategies a student can develop that assists in understanding
difficult texts is the ability to underline text, as well as write ideas, comments, and questions right in the
margins of a book! Students are required by IRHS to keep the issued texts in good condition which would
preclude the use of this strategy; however, the English Department would like to encourage the purchase
of personal copies of the novel from a local used or new bookstore so that students can experience this
strategy first hand. Bookman’s and overstock.com and Amazon.com are fantastic sources for these texts at
very little cost.

3. Highlighters and colored pencils, notecards (for studying vocab), and sticky notes.

Need help?

      I am available to help you individually before and after class, as

well as during conference period on block days. Additionally, tutoring

support is available and all students will have the opportunity to set up

individual conference meetings with me to devise strategies that will help

them succeed.

      Periodically, I will have afterschool tutoring time in the library.

Most of the time this tutoring will be occur in the week or so before your

Independent Reading Projects and major essays are due.

A grade of 69% or lower will result in mandated
assistance from me in the form of required
conference period meetings.

Class Rules:
3. BE Prepared to Make Mistakes; We All Learn from them!

Class Policies:

    1. Absences –It is the student’s responsibility CHECK EDMODO (check after 4 p.m. each day) to
       find information about the work missed in class. Most of the time it will be reading and some
       related work. Mrs. Scheel’s IRHS Webpage also houses info about Major Projects and Weekly
       Vocabulary. If you are absent for a Vocabulary Quiz (Fridays), you MUST complete that quiz by
       the following Thursday or it will be recorded as a ZERO.

    If you have an extended absence, you should call or e-mail to have work picked up for you at the
    office. In the case of an extended absence, see me about deadlines. All English teachers will enforce
    the policy of credit loss for excessive absences. (See IRHS web site for absence policy) Quiz and test
    make-ups will be held during conference period on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    2. Tardies – BE ON TIME or come with a pass.

          Tardy 1-3 = Warning and student conference
          Tardy 4 = Phone Call home
          Tardy 5 = Office Referral (discipline file affected)
          Note that bell work starts and runs for the first five minutes of class. If you come too late to
          complete it, you will miss those points for that day.

    3. Late Work: I Have a NO LATE WORK POLICY!!!! This is for your own good. 

            on the due date, nor at the beginning, middle, or end of class on the due date, nor during lunch
            on the due date, nor after school on the due date, but, at minimum, the day before!!!) I am a
            flexible teacher who understands that life happens! IF YOU SPEAK TO ME ABOUT AN
            ASSIGNMENT BEFOREHAND, we may be able to work something out together and you can
            get full credit! You must advocate for yourself in my class; this is a useful skill in high school
            and beyond.

           Twice per semester you get a Free Pass or NQA (No Questions Asked pass) – an assignment
            MUST contain a sticker indicating NQA #1 or NQA #2; these will be distributed after class
            rosters have been finalized (late August). Most NQA assignments must be turned in the very
            next day, but some extensions can be given with a teacher conference.

           Major assignments, including the quarterly Independent Reading Projects, are NOT eligible for
            Free Pass redemption. They must be turned in ON THE DUE DATE or you will receive point
            deductions based on the turn in date.

       patiently in your seat until I have dismissed the class. Crucial things often occur in the last few

    moments of class, which you will miss if you are busy packing up your belongings. I promise that
    I will release the class in a timely way so that you will have more than enough time to arrive, on
    time, to your next class.

5. Cell Phones, I-Pods, and other Electronics. I know most of us have them and they can be great
   organizational tools. However, unless we are talking schedules and due dates, I expect that you
   keep them put away. If your cell phone becomes a distraction to you or others (including me),
   then I will take action to remove the distraction (i.e., confiscation of phone and/or call or email
   home or disciplinary action).

6. Arrive prepared. This includes taking care of your needs before class. Bathroom passes will be
   issued for the first quarter on an as-needed basis. The policy may change for the rest of the year –
   you must ask/indicate to me if you need to leave the room for any reason.

7. Plagiarism / Cheating
       a. Your original thoughts are always more creative, intelligent, and interesting than
           someone else’s! I want to know what *YOU* think!
       b. Cite your sources if you want to mention someone else’s ideas! It is easy and we will
             spend some time reviewing how this is best accomplished.
       c. If you’re having trouble with an assignment, come and talk with me. Please do not wait
             until the absolute last minute to have that conversation. I am here to help but,
             unfortunately, I have not yet developed any mind reading abilities.
       d. Plagiarism is theft, plain and simple. If you do it, you’ll get a phone call home, and a non-
           negotiable zero for the assignment. If you do it again, we will repeat the above procedure
           and you will receive an administrative referral. We will be using Turnitin.com and I will
           give you class time to set up your account within the first quarter.
       e. Cooperative work is fine, copying is not. Copying from someone else = plagiarism.
       f. While we will often work together in class to discuss ideas and upcoming
           projects/assignments, you may not split any assignment amongst your classmates without
           teacher approval. Collaboration is wonderful and encouraged. Direct copying of
           information is absolutely forbidden and constitutes cheating. While it may seem like an
           efficient thing to do, it is still considered cheating. Don’t be a sheep; think for yourself!

8. Develop and Use Your ‘School Appropriate’ Voice In All Assignments

    While students are always encouraged to be creative and find a personal voice in their writing, the
    English Department has found it necessary to set guidelines for appropriate content. The
    following subject matter is off limits, often illegal, and if found in a piece of work for class will
    result in a counseling and/or administrative referral:
                   Profanity
                   Sexual references and/or descriptions, real or imaginary
                   Drug/Alcohol/Gang references, real or imaginary
                   Slanderous references to other people
                   References to suicide
                   References to violence against one’s self or others.

9. FOOD/BEVERAGE Policy: You may always bring/have water, but food/snacks are by
   permission only. We don’t receive any special carpet cleaning service and I’ve had red drinks
   and soda spilled for the past several years.

TECHNOLOGY LETTER (also found online on my webpage, in the EDMODO section):


Dear Parents & Guardians,

I am pleased to inform you that my classes this year incorporate responsible use of technology, including web-
based educational tools. I hope that we all can agree that each student’s unique educational experience should
include responsible resource sharing, innovation and communication.

This year, students in my classes and you, their parents, will have access to course calendars, assignments, and
threaded discussions, all via Edmodo. Additionally, students may utilize wikis (e.g., wikispaces.com and/or
pbwikis.com) and other internet-based programs that enhance the quality of individualized and collaborative
projects and activities.

Please investigate the program at http://www.edmodo.com/ and contact me with any questions. Edmodo is
private and secured, requiring students to use their own password and username. Parents are encouraged to
access this site using their son or daughter's password and username once accounts have been set up. The site is
simple to use and I’m convinced that it will help everyone stay on track when it comes to assignments and due

The information highway is an incredibly exciting technology, but with access to this educational opportunity
also comes responsibility. We expect students to act in a respectful, responsible and legal manner on the
network, as they do in any school activity. Please refer to the student code of conduct for additional
information on IRHS’s Acceptable Use Policy.

Please discuss the Edmodo/Wiki/Blog Contract (on the reverse side of the syllabus Parent & Student Signature
Sheet) with your teenager and then have your son or daughter return the Technology Contract to me at school as
soon as possible. If you have questions, concerns, or comments, please contact me: My school phone number
is 407-4183 and my email is rscheel@amphi.com.


Rebecca Scheel

IRHS English Teacher

A Bit of Strategic Advice:

Communication is critical to your success in this class. This syllabus thus begins the ongoing
conversations that we (students, parents and me) will have as this year unfolds. You are required to review
this document with your parent or guardian by the date specified. Please, then sign it and return it to me. If
you have a printed copy, please file it in the back of your binder since we will be referring to it throughout
the year.

[This is the page that should be PRINTED & RETURNED by August 23rd]

Parent/Guardian and Student Signatures:

After reading this syllabus, please detach this page, complete it, and return it to me no later than
Monday, August 23, 2012. Your signature tells me that you’ve read and understand the policies and
procedures of my class. Thank you!

We have reviewed this syllabus:

       PRINTED Student Name

___________________________________                                                     _________
         Student Signature                                                                 Date

       PRINTED Parent/Guardian Name

___________________________________                                                     _________
       Parent/Guardian Signature                                                           Date

Parent Phone / Email Address: ________________________________________________________

Is this information on file with IRHS (via registration) ?   YES or   NO (circle)


Please Review and Sign the TECHNOLOGY CONTRACT on the
reverse side of this sheet>>>>>

                             Technology Contract
        Parents & Students, please read, sign, and return to Mrs. Scheel

1. Students using wiki/blog are expected to act safely by keeping personal information out of their posts. You
agree to not post or give out:
     Your last name or home address or any other specific location information
     Password
     User name or school name
     E-mail address or phone number

2. Students using Edmodo/wiki/blog agree to not share their user name or password with anyone besides their
teachers and parents. You agree to never log in as another student.

3. Students using wiki/blog are expected to treat wiki as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for
class is not appropriate for your posting. While we encourage you to engage in debate and conversation with
other students, we also expect that you will conduct yourself in a manner reflective of a representative of this
school. See the Acceptable Use Policy outlined in the Student Handbook.

4. Student Edmodo/wikis/blogs are to be a forum for student expression. However they are first and foremost a
tool for learning, and as such will sometimes be constrained by the various requirements and rules of classroom
teachers. Students will be posting solely on topics directed by classroom instruction. Failure to do so will
result in loss of lab time and credit for the assignment.

5. Student Edmodo/wikis/blogs are to be a vehicle for discussing and analyzing the literature read in class.
Responses should be respectful and helpful; if you receive a comment that is not respectful, tell teacher right
away. Do NOT respond to the comment.

6. Students using Edmodo/wikis/blogs take good care of the computers by not downloading or installing any
software without permission and not clicking on ads or competitions.

7. Students who do not abide by these terms will lose credit for the Edmodo assignment/wiki/blog and will be
subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including loss of assignment credit and/or referral.

I have read and understand these Edmodo/wiki/blogging terms and
conditions. I AGREE to uphold them.

Student’s signature: _____________________________ Printed name:_____________________________

Parent signature: ___________________________________ Date: _______________

I have read and understand these Edmodo/wiki/blogging terms and
conditions, but I DO NOT want my child to participate in these activities.
Parent signature: ___________________________________ Date: _______________

        Adapted from Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tolls for Classrooms by Will Richardson.


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