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English 2:   College and Career Readiness
Pluralism, Coming of Age, and the American Dream

 English 2 SyllabusBUHS Entrance

We will be exploring American literature in this course with a focus on American culture and some of the problems created by pluralism.  (The only exception being Macbeth.)We will also discuss the concept of the American Dream, ongoing power struggles in culture that affects choices made by individuals and groups within society.  All of this discussion will be linked to modern day issues.  

Additional Coursework:

Vocabulary/Word Parts:    You will be using the Vocabulary Power Plus for the New SAT series.  Vocabulary will be reviewed daily and you will have homework most nights.  There will be a weekly test on the list.  Later, you will also be given a list of common word parts and be shown how to use them to decode vocabulary.  Word parts are really cool as they allow you to define words without actually having to look them up if you know enough of them.

Grammar:  Grammar will be reviewed regularly based on writing needs.  At minimum, the expectation will be for you to know the basic parts of speech and the parts of a sentence.  Our vocabulary book will also allow you to explore grammar weekly.

Journals:  You can expect to be writing regularly in your journal on various topics.  You may also be asked to write about your independent reading books or other topics as a focus for class discussion. These journals can then be used later for writing ideas.

Writing:  You will work on writing in your journals, for homework, and as part of your classwork.  You may also develop specific multi-draft pieces for your portfolios or compose on-demand in-class essays to help you feel comfortable with your writing skills.  You will be exposed to various aspects of the writing process including brainstorming, outlining, drafting, editing, and revising strategies.  You will also become familiar with the John Collins Writing Program as we will cover various types of writing.

Independent Reading:  You will be expected to read outside of class during each quarter and keep an independent reading journal on specific topics reviewed in class that will lead up to a presentation on the book at the end of the quarter.  I want you to feel passionate about reading, so find a book you’ve always wanted to read and bring it in.  *You may not revisit an old read. There are so many wonderful books on the shelves that if you spent every minute reading you would never get to them all.  Keep going!

Assessment:  Your grade in this class will be based on meeting the criteria for homework, class work, and class participation.   I have a wide range of grading practices designed to help you—the learner—succeed. This includes tests, quizzes, projects, and smaller practice assignments.  This gives you opportunities to take risks and still do well in the class if one particular component is not a strength.

Course Expectations:

ACE Period (Academic Challenge and Excellence):  This is HUGE OPPORTUNITY for you to be proactive about school work.  Almost every Tuesday and Thursday you will have time in your schedule called “ACE Period” where you will be able to sign up with a teacher to get work done.  There are two ways to handle this:  (1) Do your homework ahead so you can free up time for other activities outside of school, or (2) you can meet with a teacher to make up work or get extra help so you don’t have to stay after school.  Let me know the day before and I’ll be happy to sign you up.  You may not, however, sign up the day of ACE.

Written Assignments:  All class work should be completed on time or a zero grade is given.   If there is a problem meeting a deadline, please discuss it before the deadline is missed.  Exceptions to a zero will be those of you who have: (1) made other arrangements prior to the due date, or (2) you have been absent for an extended period of time and have three days to make up the work.

All assignments will be typed or written neatly in blue or black ink on white paper only.  Do not use any other colors or the assignment will not be accepted.  If I can’t read your work it will be handed back or given a zero.

Please put your name, current date, block/period number and assignment name in the top left hand corner of all completed work.  This will help identify your work no matter where it is located. This is also consistent with the MLA format used school wide.

 Academic Dishonesty

Cheating:  It is expected that you will write using your own words unless you are asked to copy something specifically for an in-class assignment such as a poem we will be reading for analysis, etc.  Do not copy someone else’s work. Anyone caught being dishonest about their work will receive a zero grade and a referral will be sent to your house office.  This includes those of you who let others copy your work.  Both people will be held responsible for any copying taking place.  Give yourself and your peer a chance to figure it out on their own or plan better for due dates!

Citations:  Anyone consulting the Internet or any other source for information should be sure to cite those sources.  It is not acceptable to take information directly from another source and use it in your work without giving credit to that source.  If you are caught doing this, it is equivalent to plagiarism and a zero grade will be given for the assignment.  In addition, a referral will be sent to your house office.  As mentioned above, the school uses the MLA format for citations school wide, so you should be familiar with this format which will be reviewed in this class.

Attendance/ Tardiness:  Attending school is important to your success in this class.  If you do not show up you will have difficulty keeping up with the class so stay in communication with me.  You’ll miss class discussion that might be vital to understanding material.  If you are absent you have 3 school days to make up the assignments.  You really don’t want to let make-up work linger any longer, or it will hinder your progress.  After three days, the work will not be accepted because I will be moving on with the group. 

 If you miss class for any reason it is your job to contact a classmate to get the assignment, consult the website, or to see me before/after class—hence taking charge of your own education.  This includes assignments that are due while you are out.  If something big is going on, let me know ahead so we can make plans that work for both of us.  If you happen to be out when an assignment is due, I’m expecting you will hand it in upon returning to school or have it left in my mailbox if I am not available.

Class Cuts:  Anyone cutting class will not be permitted to make up any missed work as part of the BUHS policy. All assignments will be entered as a zero in the Power School grade book.  In addition, you will be expected to conference with me to discuss why you cut the course to avoid a pattern forming. 

Classroom Behavior:  The classroom should be a safe place for students to share and feel comfortable working together so be courteous.  Don’t be the hurricane in an otherwise calm sea. 

Cell phones:  Cell phones are not permitted in class.  If I see you using a cell phone, I will confiscate it. 

BUHS Core Values   

You cannot escape them! The expectations are posted in every classroom in the schoo!I doubt you’ll be able to escape the talk about the BUHS Core Values and the Common Core Standards.  Since you are ninth graders, you may or may not have heard of these initiatives, but the general idea is that everyone in the school is clear about what the expectations are for both behavior and academic issues.  Although the terminology may sound intimidating, the concepts are relatively easy to remember because they are things we try to do all the time.  Below are the four Core Values of our school.  How may they apply to this classroom?  Let’s take look.

Responsibility  Each of us shares a responsibility for creating the classroom environment where everyone is supported to learn and grow.  What this means is that we all need to be dependable and reliable when it comes to learning.  Can I count on you to do your homework?  Can your peers count on you to give an assignment your best?  Are you going to keep trying if you don’t get it the first or second time? (Believe it or not, most of what we learn comes from trial and error.)  Being responsible is doing your part to help all of us learn as a group whether it is doing your class work when you are supposed to, listening to someone else speak so you can consider their perspective, or helping someone by sharing your knowledge.

Respect  Some of you have probably have heard of the a guy named Confucius who developed an idea later dubbed “The Golden Rule.”  It goes like this:  “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”  

Relevance  Everyone likes to learn something they can use later, but the joy of learning is that you never know where these nuggets of information are going to come from or even where they are going to be needed in the future.  Educators have poured over the curriculum to make sure you have the opportunity to learn something important or significant.  Your job is to consider why this information is being passed on to you and where you can apply it to your life. How is something connected or very different?  Rise to the challenge.  If you don’t get it, see what your peers uncover that might be useful.

Community  -Com is a word part that means “with or together”.  Although we as a group may not always agree or even like each other at times, being able to work together or come together as a class is important to education.  You are not alone in trying to figure things out.  You may be just one part of a larger group, but the missing puzzle piece at times.  The whole is not complete without the part.  What do you contribute to the group?  Are you the laughter or the tears?  The solution seeker or the problem maker?  Having a close knit community is fun and rewarding when everyone is giving his or her best. 

 Additional Help

Knowing when you need help or guidance is important to learning.  If you need to see me for any reason, let me know so I can make plans to meet with you. I am currently available period 4 in room 203.  I can meet any time before or after school if you let me know ahead.  You can also email any questions you have if you aren't available any of the above times.  I’m usually in my room by 8:00 a.m.