Honors Syllabus - Cherokee County Schools

9th Grade Honors Literature
2012 – 2013 Course Syllabus
Dr. John Bradford
Teacher Credentials
Doctorate in English Education, Kennesaw State University
Specialist in Education, Kennesaw State University
Masters in Professional Writing, Kennesaw State University
Masters in Education, North Georgia and College State University
Bachelor of Science in Journalism, University of Florida
National Certified Journalism Educator
Course Description
Ninth Grade Honors Literature is a survey class covering contemporary fiction, poetry, classical
literature, world and American Literature, literary criticism, narrative film, informational essays,
nonfiction and argumentative/persuasive writing. In addition to introducing high school freshmen to
more challenging texts, students will begin to synthesize the main themes of each literary work and how
it is a reflection on our current society, the society in which it was written, and the relevancy each work
has in our lives today. This will be achieved in part by reading and discussing informational literature in
conjunction with a main work of literature and writing essays and research papers that support the
ideas and concepts discussed in class.
In the first semester, the tentative main bodies of literature to be studied are Of Mice and Men, The
Blind Side, Night, and Fahrenheit 451. Subsequently in the second semester, the tentative list will
include The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet and A Separate Peace. A major research paper will be assigned at
the end of the year. A variety of short stories, information pieces, essays or poetry will also be read in
conjunction with each main work that reinforce the ideas, concepts and morals posed by each work.
The assumption is made that when students enroll in an honors literature class, they have a passion for
reading, writing or both. Therefore, this class will require a commitment to work outside of normal
classroom time. Honors Literature is an anthology class designed to challenge students’ reading and
writing skills, so students will accelerate at a faster pace. Success will depend largely on how much time
a student is willing to give to this class.
Freshmen Test Date
End-of-the Course Tests: May 2013
The EOCT counts as 20% of the students’ final grade in the second semester, and the in-class grade
comprises 80% of the final grade. In the first semester, 100% of the final grade comes from the in-class
Literature and Language Arts: Experiencing Literature
Language Essentials: Grammar and Writing
Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, keep up with assigned reading assignments,
maintain a separate journal on the course’s main them—compassion--and produce work that is
representative of honor’s quality. Students will be required to read a minimum of three (3) classroom
novels outside of class and be assessed separately on each novel. Students will also study grammar and
mechanics, and be guided to a more scholarly way of writing. In addition, we will work on a number of
projects that involve the new digital literacy and the impact it is making on the printed word.
Grading System
Homework, Daily Work, Class Participation
Submission of Late Work
If you fail to meet a deadline for a major assignment (essay or project), your grade will reflect a 10-point
deduction for each day it is late.
Grade Recovery
Students will be allowed to recover one major assessment (test, essay, or project) each nine weeks.
Students must have completed all the assignments prior to the assessment.
Absence Policy
Students and parents are reminded that if a student has ten (10) or more unexcused absences each
semester, they will be required to submit an official appeal to the attendance office in order to receive
credit for the class.
The English Department will administer tests during the 1st and 3rd quarters on Wednesdays and Fridays
and during the 2nd and 4th quarters on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
1. 2-inch binder
2. Loose leaf notebook paper (college rule)
3. #2 pencils
4. Blue/black pens
5. Flash drive for computer
6. A folder to keep a reflection journal in that will be kept in class
A Note on the Flash Drive!
Throughout the year the class will be working on various projects that require a computer or laptop.
Students will need to save this work on a personal drive because, as we all know, the system may go
down and not save correctly on the server. This is always frustrating and happens at the worst possible
time. That is why we cannot stress the importance of backing up your own work on a flash drive. Failure
to do so and/or failure of the school system to properly save or back up your work will not constitute an
excuse for late or missing work. It is very important that students and parents understand this and take
every precaution to minimize this from happening.
Classroom Policies
1. Tardy – any student not in class with the required materials when the bell rings will be marked
for an unexcused tardy. This includes students who come to class first and then leave and are
not back by the time the bell rings for whatever reason. This year students will be allowed to
carry book bags, so there is no excuse for being late. A student will be marked for an excused
tardy if he or she has a signed pass with them when they come to class from an administrator,
teacher or counselor. When a student accumulates four (4) unexcused tardies, he or she will be
sent to an administrator who will automatically assign him or her Saturday school.
2. Be Prepared – As stated above, students must be in class with the required classroom materials
when the bell rings. If a student forgets a book/assignment or other required material and must
go to his or her locker in order to complete the day’s assignment, he or she will be marked
tardy. If a student has an excused tardy but comes to class unprepared and must leave again, he
or she will be marked for an unexcused tardy. Each student is issued a textbook or book at the
beginning of the year. Sharing such materials is disruptive, so students will not be allowed to
share classroom materials.
3. IPods – Students will be allowed to listen to their iPods whenever the class is engaged in silent
reading or other individual activity that does not require group and/or class participation. At no
time will students be allowed to share iPods with one another. In addition, it is forbidden to
listen to an iPod during a test or other formal assessment as well as classroom or group
discussion sessions. Any student caught listening to such a device during an assessment will be
given a zero for cheating. If students repeatedly violate this policy, this privilege will be
4. Electronic Devices – It is unlawful and a violation of a student and teacher’s civil rights to record
a classroom without their permission. Therefore, use of electronic recording devices is
prohibited at all times and will be confiscated if a student is caught using one during class.
5. Food and Drink – Food and drink will be allowed in class with the following provisions. Students
are not allowed to be late to class because they stopped by the vending machines nor will they
be allowed to go the vending machines during class (see Tardy Policy above). If students leave a
mess (i.e. dropping food on the floor and not picking it up, not taking trash to the trash can at
the door), this privilege will be suspended. If students are distracted by eating or drinking while
class is being conducted, this privilege will be suspended. And if students pass food around to
one another, this privilege will be suspended. Classroom disruptions because of this food policy
will not be tolerated, so students are advised to be respectful of this policy if they want the
privilege to continue.
6. Texting will not be allowed period. Texting during classroom discussions and lectures is
considered disrespectful and insubordinate. Any student caught texting during class will have
their device confiscated. Repeat offenders will be sent to an administrator for insubordination.
Students are expected to give their undivided attention to all classroom presentations,
discussions and lectures.
7. Respect – As a literature class, we will often discuss varying ideas and opinions about the
literature we are studying. Some of these ideas may conflict with those of your peers or family.
Regardless, students are expected to be courteous and respectful to all students and teachers
during classroom or group discussions. This includes classroom presentations. Students are
expected to be attentive, polite and respectful during all discussions.
Academic Honesty
Students are expected to exhibit honesty and good character in all aspects of school. There is a zero
tolerance policy for cheating and plagiarism in this class. According to the MLA Handbook, 5th ed., ED
Joseph Gibaldi, plagiarism comes from the Latin word “plagiarius,” meaning kidnapper, and refers to the
use of someone else’s ideas or written expressions without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism
constitutes “intellectual theft,” (Gibaldi 30). Consult the necessary materials for research, but do not fail
to give credit where credit is due. You will learn appropriate MLA documentation from software
program called “EasyBib.” A grade of zero (0) and possible disciplinary action may ensue of a student’s
work is plagiarized.
Help Sessions
I will be available for extra help at scheduled times. Please see me if you need to come in from extra
help or to work on an assignment. My door is always open to you if you are in need of assistance. I am
looking forward to working with each of you this school year. Go Grizzlies!
The best way to stay in touch with me is through my email address below:
[email protected]
Signature of Understanding
I have read and understand the requirements and rules for 9th Grade Honors Literature. I will keep this
syllabus in front of my notebook for future reference.
Student Signature
Class Period
Parent Signature
Best Contact Number
Please print this syllabus and return the Signature of Understanding to me by Friday, August 7.