(general information and grading procedures)
Overall Student Performance Rubric
(rubric used for determining overall grades)
#General Course Policies
I believe the classroom is a place for learning and exploration, and that too many rules hinder those activities. Because of this belief, I have only one rule (but it’s a broad one…)
Although only two simple words, this rule encompasses a lot. I expect you to be respectful in your actions and words, and to respect me, but more importantly, respect your fellow classmates. This is my only rule--please follow it!
Note:All school rules also apply in class, and any violation of those rules will be addressed in accordance with the discipline procedures outlined in your student handbook.
I expect each person to contribute positively to the classroom environment. Positive participation is defined as:
-contributing to a positive classroom atmosphere
-asking appropriate questions
-adding depth to discussions
-actively listening to the contributions of others
-arriving to class on time, ready to work
-refraining from side conversations and long bathroom breaks
-engaging thoughtfully in the work for the day
Each of you will be regularly evaluated on your classroom participation through self and teacher evaluations. Effective classroom participation and a positive attitude toward learning are an important part of your overall grade!
Plagiarism is the act of passing off as your own the words or ideas of others without crediting the source. This includes, but is not limited to:taking passages directly from texts without using quotations; cutting and pasting from the internet without quotes or citations; paraphrasing another’s ideas without citing the source; purchasing or downloading complete or partially complete papers and attaching your name to them; copying homework. We will adhere strictly to the Academic Integrity policy outlined in your student handbook.
You will need to purchase:
~a folder, notebook or binder of your choice to keep handouts and assignments organized and take occasional notes. You are expected to bring paper and your folder or binder to class every day, along with a writing implement and whatever texts we are working on. Though we will do much of our work in electronic environments, some assignments will still come to you on paper, and we will take some notes and do some writing by hand.
Deadlines are a fact of life in almost all professions, so learning to budget your time in order to meet them is an important skill. You are expected to turn in all work on time, and will be penalized for handing in late assignments. However, because I believe in the importance of all the work we will do together, I will accept late work. Penalties for late work will vary according the length of time passed and the situation.
I recognize that you all have busy lives, and sometimes you simply cannot meet deadlines. If for some reason you can’t turn in work on time, BE PROACTIVE! Come and see me before the due date and we’ll work something out.
Most course assignments will be given and completed via SCoodle, the district's course management system. We have a laptop cart in our classroom, and each student will be assigned a laptop for use during class time. If you have limited access to computers at home, please communicate this to Ms. Rito. The high school has a computer loan program that allows students to check out computers for overnight use, and there is a laptop cart in the Cafeteria during the day for student use. If you are concerned about being able to keep up with electronic assignments, please let me know as soon as possible.
In order to assure that learning is the focus of evaluation, your grade is a combination of points earned for the work that you do and holistic evaluation. Each assignment will have a value of 5 points for each day of work (this may be adjusted as necessary).
In addition to assignments, your overall performance in class will be evaluated holistically, taking into account not only the quality of your individual work,but also your attitude towards learning, participation, growth and response to feedback. To foster growth in learners and response to feedback, students are permitted to revise any writing assignment indefinitely. See the attached rubric for the overall evaluation of student performance—the elements on the rubric will make up 25 points of your overall marking period grade.
Overview of the Year
Now that we’ve established some ground rules, it’s time to get down to the exciting stuff…what we’ll be learning this year! The theme for 9th grade English is “Coming of Age,” so many of the texts we’ll read will deal with growing up, fitting in, friends and family, love and taking a stand. In addition, we will have a class theme, Journeys, which will guide us as we read and respond to texts and work to improve literacy skills. We’ll explore the following questions: What kinds of journeys do people take?What do the journeys we take tell us about who we are and the world we live in?How do our journeys shape who we become and how we impact others? How do they change our perspective on our world and/or the people in it? What do we takeaway from our journeys? Leave behind? Pack carefully? Stuff in? Using our own assumptions and ideas, various literary theories and the guiding questions above, we’ll explore some of the following texts.
Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
The Once and Future King, T.H. White
A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
This Boy’s Life, Tobias Wolff
Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
The Odyssey, Homer
A Separate Peace, John Knowles
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
The House on Mango Street, Sandra
The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
Black Ice, Lorrene Cary
*The entire Choice Novel List for the ninth grade is too extensive to reproduce here. See SCASD English website for more details.
In addition to exploring as many of these texts as we can, we’ll be writing a variety of creative and analytical papers, and focusing on the use of grammar to improve writing style and voice. Also, we’ll read and write some poetry and do some exploration of short stories.
I hope this has given you a clearer idea of our direction for the year. Don’t forget to review the attached rubric and discuss this information with your parents. Please feel free to talk with me about any questions or problems you have (or anticipate having.) I’m looking forward to a great year!
#Overall Student Performance Rubric
Characteristics of an "A" student:
• Participates actively and positively in class activities and classroom discussion, making in-depth and on-topic comments
• Evidences consistent preparation for class
• Displays a consistent effort and on-going improvement in use of language and understanding of literature
• Completes every assignment on time, going above and beyond minimum requirements to reap the maximum benefits
• Writes with a high level of skill both technically and stylistically
• Demonstrates a high degree of understanding and thoughtful response to literature and concepts studied
• Actively pursues learning opportunities and is open to feedback
Characteristics of a "B" student:
• Frequently participates positively in class activities and discussions, staying focused and on-topic most of the time
• Evidences regular participation for class
• Displays effort and improvement in use of language and understanding of literature
• Completes all assignments on time, attempting to go beyond the minimum to make the assignment meaningful and worthwhile
• Writes with an average level of skill and produces technically sound work
• Demonstrates understanding and thoughtful response to literature and concepts studied
• Open to feedback and responds to learning opportunities
Characteristics of a "C" student:
• Occasionally participates in class activities and discussion
• Evidences incomplete, sporadic or inferior preparation for class and assignment completion
• Displays minimal effort and improvement in use of language and understanding of literature
• Approaches assignments with minimal effort focusing on completion, not learning
• Writes with an average level of skill, some technical problems
• Demonstrates minimal understanding or thoughtfulness about literature and concepts studied
• Does not consider feedback or take advantage of learning opportunities
A "D" or "E" student fails to take responsibility for own learning, does not display a positive attitude or effort, and is consistently poor in all of the above categories.
Overall Student Performance Rubric pdf