English Language Arts 10 (2012-13 Syllabus)
Mr. Hartzer/ Communication and Media Arts High School
The purpose of this course is to help students continue building skills related to language and its usage. While the emphasis is on literature, we will practice with a variety of reading, writing, and speaking exercises. These reflect the four areas of standards identified as the Common Core:
- Reading. Students will explore how effective communicators craft text, going beyond a simple understanding of individual words to a deeper level of reading. Students will identify key concepts, discuss how themes evolve over the course of a text, explore how the writer’s context impacts their themes, and analyze the use of patterns within texts to communicate. Where appropriate, students will also develop personal arguments for or against the messages of the text, as well as critiquing the credibility and biases of texts.
- Writing. Working off their exploration of the materials we read, students will explore how to use these strategies in their own written works. Students will use personal narratives and creative writing exercises to reinforce their understanding, as well as more critical essays designed to build objective critiques.
- Speaking/Listening. Students will engage in a variety of exercises designed to hone oral communication skills, such as one-on-one and group collaboration and whole-class presentations. These presentations will also provide an opportunity for students to incorporate multimedia technologies, a key skill in today’s workforce. Students will practice listening as well as speaking.
- Conventions. While the emphasis of English Language Arts education at the High School level is increasingly on being able to interact with written and spoken texts on a broader level, it is still important that students continue to hone their understanding of language conventions. Just as the clothing we wear at home is not appropriate for school or work settings, we also have to make sure to use grammar, word choice, and punctuation that is appropriate for the setting we’re in.
Most of the primary readings for this course will come out of McDougal Littell’s Literature and Holt’s African American Literature. There will also be some assigned novels, to be announced later.
Each day, students will be expected to bring:
- The appropriate reading material
- A notebook or sufficient loose leaf paper
- A folder or binder for class notes
- A folder for portfolio materials
- Blue or black ink pens
Students will be provided with a dictionary for in-class usage.
Grading will be based on classroom participation, daily assignments, longer projects, tests and quizzes, SSR participation, and a final semester project. The following scales will be used:
- Classroom participation, daily assignments, and SSR logs will receive a ✓+, ✓, or ✓-.
- Tests and quizzes will be graded based on percent correct.
- Longer projects, SSR letters, and the final project will use a 4-point rubric provided with the assignment.
The student’s final grade will be based on overall total performance:
- 25% participation and daily assignments
- 15% SSR logs and letters
- 25% tests and quizzes
- 25% longer projects
- 10% final project
The teacher reserves the right to adjust this weighting in particular cases at his sole discretion.
All students are expected to follow all rules and guidelines of CMA and DPS, pertaining to uniforms, tardiness, detention, bullying, cell phones, and other actions. This classroom has three basic policies:
- Be present. Being physically present but sleeping, zoning out, chatting with friends, and so forth, does a disservice to both yourself and to whoever currently has the floor.
- Be courteous. Treat whoever is speaking with respect. Raise your hand before speaking.
- Be engaged. What you put into a class is directly related to what you get out of it.
Special note on bullying:
CMA, DPS, and the state of Michigan all have strong positions against bullying. This simply cannot be stressed enough. If I see bullying, I will take action. If you are feeling bullied, please bring it to me or another adult. There is no place for bullying of any sort in civil, mature society. I feel it is crucial that all classrooms be safe places for each student to learn, explore, and develop.
Plagiarism is the act of taking the creative product of another person and presenting it as if it were your own. If you quote someone else, you must provide proper citation: This is an act of respect for that person, for your readers, and for yourself. I will provide more details in a separate document.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. The minimal repercussion for plagiarism will be that no credit will be given for the plagiarized assignment. Multiple or egregious cases of plagiarism may result in disciplinary action and a failing grade in the class. If you are not sure if a particular act constitutes plagiarism, please discuss it with me before turning in a questionable assignment.