The predominant focus of this class is to prepare the students in furthering their education at the post-high school level and to ultimately prepare them for the job market by enhancing their written and spoken communication skills, and their listening and reading comprehension skills as well. To achieve this goal, the class will be centered among the following learning activities.
We will cover at least one (hopefully two) drama with students’ learning appropriate vocabulary and literary terminology. The students will utilize interpretive reading skills. Possible dramas include Our Town, The Crucible, A Raisin in the Sun.
The class will also read, discuss, and analyze at least six different novels which include Shane, Of Mice and Men, Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, The Grapes of Wrath, …. I’m searching for other appropriate novels. Please pass along any suggestions, remembering the author must be American.
This class will also place an emphasis on composition, starting with the basic sentence structure and proceeding through the paragraph and the essay. The grammar component will be based on each class’s level, which will be determined by the overall quality of the students’ compositions. Grammar exercises will be fairly limited.
The predominant number of reading assignments will come from Prentice Hall’s American Literature. In this book we will read various short stories and poems, beginning with the Colonial Period. The book is huge and ambitious in its scope. Therefore, class will be fast-paced. We will complete independent reading assignments, apply literary terminology, compare and contrast, learn appropriate vocabulary…and even create original text! Most days there will be a mini-lecture to begin class, learning terms or discussing concepts prior to application.
Additionally, students will be assigned creative projects, especially for supplemental texts. Please see my grading policy for more information on creative projects and extra credit.
Our specific vocabulary units will be taken from the text Vocabulary for Achievement. Words will be introduced on Monday; quizzes will be on Friday.
To aid in the development of spoken communication skills, the students will also have the opportunity to complete mini-speeches or present individual and group work. Before panicking, however, let me tell my reader that most of my students enjoy my speech assignments and even ask if we can do another one, especially my speech with a visual aid… very popular with the kids!
To prepare us for the Keystone tests, we will be working on Study Island. Students will be given plenty of advanced notification (over a week) to complete these exercises, so they will be due on the due date, regardless of a student’s absence on the day we work on them in class. It’s best for students to work ahead whenever possible.
Also, because I would like students to select their own reading materials, we will be completing an AR component. I am requiring 15 points for my honors’ students, and this will be 10% of their grade. Up to three extra points can be used as extra credit. Extra credit will be denied to students who are missing regular, assigned work at my discretion. These AR deadlines are on the community portal and on a poster in my room. Texts we’ve read as assigned classwork may not be read for additional AR points, and I do not round points up. I take the lowest whole number for points.
Don’t forget that my sole purpose for being here is to help students succeed. Let me know of any concerns that I can help relieve!