SANTA MONICA HIGH SCHOOL
WHO ARE WE?
S House A House M House
Amy Chapman Jennifer Pust Lauren Fairchild
Jenna Gasparino Michael Surrago Christina Nation
LaSonja Roberts Berkeley Blatz Megan Walker
Tisha Reichle Terry Anderson John Harris
O House H House I House
Amy Beeman-Solano Ruth Magnuson Randy Denis
Maria Stevens Russell Rowton Nathan Fulcher
Stephanie Dew Kitaro Webb Gilda De La Cruz
James Altuner Pete Barraza
WHAT DO WE TEACH?
§ READING SKILLS
§ WRITING SKILLS
§ TYPES OF WRITING
§ CREATIVE WRITING
§ LINKS TO OTHER SUBJECTS
§ LINKS TO THE REAL WORLD
A few samples:
How to use Latin roots to figure out new word
How to “mark up” a text.
How to recognize and interpret a metaphor.
How to detect irony.
• Balance between old and new, between the
“canon” and the multicultural, between men and
• Balance between fiction and non-fiction
• Outside Reading programs
• Summer Reading
“A book is a ‘classic’
not because it’s old,
but because it’s always new.”
A few samples:
• Using ink, full name, correctly capitalized title.
• Varying the length and structure of sentences.
• Using graceful transitions between ideas and
• Providing specific evidence and examples
TYPES OF WRITING
• ESSAYS ABOUT LITERATURE
• AUTO/BIOGRAPHICAL NARRATIVE
• PERSUASIVE ESSAYS
• RESEARCH ESSAYS
• RESEARCH/PERSUASIVE ESSAYS
• S.A.T.-STYLE ESSAYS
• READING LOGS
• OTHER “WRITING-TO-LEARN”
9TH -12TH GRADE SEQUENCE OF RESEARCH AND
DOCUMENTATION SKILLS BEGINS NEXT YEAR
The object of this addition to our curriculum is
to prepare our students for one of the most
common kinds of college writing.
• Class lessons & discussions
• Reports, projects, recitations, readings
• Socratic seminars
• LINKED TO LITERATURE
LINKS TO OTHER SUBJECTS
9th grade - English and Freshman Seminar
10th grade – English and World History
11th grade – English and American History
12th grade – English and Philosophy, Psychology,
Sociology, History, Cultural Studies, Sports
LINKS TO THE REAL WORLD
• Assemblies – e.g., Downbeat 720
• Nights at the theater & other field trips
• Correspondence with other parts of the U.S.
and other countries, like Russia
• The California Lit field trip to Steinbeck
• Every day in every class of every English
WHAT ARE THE
COURSE OFFERINGS IN ENGLISH
9TH GRADE College Prep English Honors English
10TH GRADE College Prep English Honors English
11TH GRADE College Prep English Advanced Placement
English Language and
12TH GRADE Senior English Electives: Advanced Placement
-African American Literature English Literature and
-Bible as Literature / Existentialism Composition
-Folktales and Mythology
and upcoming . . .
-Asian American Literature
. . . and maybe more!
Should my child
take college prep
or honors/ ap?
Yes, it’s our policy:
In all senior English classes, both
elective and AP, there’s a unit on
writing the college personal
statement, completed in early fall
before application deadlines.
When’s the exit
exam, and how do
students for the
The Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is next
Tuesday and Wednesday, March 17
and 18. Tenth-grade teachers have
state-prepared books to use with their
classes to help prepare students. In
addition, our regular 9th and 10th
grade curriculum is geared to the
standards that are tested by the Exit
How does the
HELP WITH ENGLISH WORK
• ELD sequence
• Tutorial blocks
• Freshman Seminar blocks
• After-school tutoring programs
• House intervention programs
• Individual teacher attention outside of class
• CAHSEE prep
Are you stuffy old
down with the
Indeed we are! . . .
Elmo / Laptop / Projector
Homework & handouts on-line
What books should
I get my child to
WHATEVER WILL ACTUALLY GET READ!
Any book your child WILL actually read is a good book to get into
their hands. If your child will read classics or other high-quality
books, great! But don’t insist on quality if it discourages reading!
Make reading fun, easy, and perhaps practical. Some often
overlooked categories that appeal to high school students are:
GRAPHIC NOVELS (COMIC-BOOK STYLE)
BOOKS OF QUOTES OR OTHER “SMALL BITES”
SHORT AND SHORT SHORT STORIES
BOOKS WITH MOVIE TIE-INS
CELEBRITY BIOGRAPHIES – SPORTS, MUSIC, TV/MOVIES
POETRY OR NOVEL-IN-VERSE
FICTION BOOKS THAT ARE “BELOW STUDENT’S LEVEL”