1 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 grade. Textbook Literature and Language Arts: Experiencing Literature Language Essentials: Grammar and Writing 2 Requirements 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 Quizzes Tests Projects/Writing 10% 20% 30% 40% 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. Tests 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. Supplies 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. 3 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 suspended. 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 4 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] 5 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 _________________________________ _____________________ Email _____________________ Please print this syllabus and return the Signature of Understanding to me by Friday, August 7.