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English 12 - Senior English Seminar
Syllabus and Expectations

Mrs. Womble
Thomas Dale HS – Room 205A

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Course Overview:
The purpose of this course is to make you not just a better student but to transform you into a productive whole person who can read anything, write anything effectively, and express your thoughts in large and small group settings.
Whether you plan to continue your education, join the military, or enter the work force, I hope to better prepare you for work and life in general.

Daily Expectations:
So, on a daily basis, this class will operate a little like a job, where you get paid in points for everything you do and you will be expected to be productive for your
90-minute shift. Do your job, and you will pass the class. Do your job well, and you will do well in this class.

Follow these successful work habits to earn 25 daily points:

1. Be here… on time. (5 points/day)
You should come to this class every day because every time you show up and sit in a chair, you get attendance points. And if you’re here, you will probably learn something. It’s important to be on time every day when you have a career.
  • If you are tardy (not in your seat reading at the bell), you will lose 2 “attendance points.”
  • Excused absences do not count against you, but they don’t help you either.

2. Be polite and respectful to everyone. (5 points/day)
In real life people have to be nice and polite in public, even when they don’t always feel like it. In a nutshell, use the manners you learned at home and in kindergarten. Here’s what I expect:
.....a. Be kinder than you need to be… especially to me, and most especially to everyone else in this class. No one ALWAYS wants to be here, so if you are grumpy or ticked off, well, get over it, because we all feel that way sometimes,
.....and your bad attitude will not make any of us feel any better. If your behavior ever gets you dismissed from class, you will get a ZERO for that day’s points.
.....b. Stay alert. If your head is on your desk, you get a big, fat, ZERO for respect points because that is disrespectful to me and to your classmates who are participating in class discussion.
.....(Sleeping will also affect your productivity points.)
..... c. You will see a power point that details the behavior I expect in class.

3. Be prepared for work. (5 points/day)
Have everything you need for class when you need it. People in real life with real jobs have to come to work prepared; you should too.
  • Supplies are listed in this packet.
  • Borrowing what you need from others is not being prepared. You will lose preparation points if I see you borrowing from others.

4. Do your work when you are supposed to. (10 points/day)
Very often, because of the nature of the class set up, you will be working independently or in groups. YOU MUST BE PRODUCTIVE DURING THIS WORK TIME. You are being paid to work here, so you will work here. Remember, school is your JOB while you’re here. When you have a job, it will never be okay to put your head down when you finish the last task; you will be expected to find something else to do that is PRODUCTIVE.

During reading time and whenever you finish your other work ahead of time, you will READ the novel you have selected. You can choose anything you’d like to read, but reading is not optional.
  • If you are not doing what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it, you will lose productivity points.

5. Complete ALL assignments to the BEST of your ability. (points vary by assignment)

Complete means: Done, and demonstrates 100% of your effort and abilities.
Complete means: You didn’t just meet my expectations; you tried to exceed them.

I may send you back to keep working on some assignments, until they are COMPLETE because sometimes there is time for you to do something again to do it better. Sometimes at school and at work, there is not time for a do-over, though. And sometimes work has a definite deadline that cannot be missed. Be grateful and take advantage of a second chance, but don’t expect it because that’s not real life.

Content Overview:
In this World Literature class, the literature will be self-selected by students. Students will read one book after another and will be reading a novel in class throughout the year.
  • Ongoing teacher/student conferences will ensure students are engaged and challenged in their reading selection. Together we will keep a log of your reading.
  • Students may select contemporary novels, classic literature, memoirs, and non-fiction from my classroom library (but my books cannot leave my room), from home, from the school library, or from their e-reader. But they must have books with them every day.
  • Students will keep track of their reading with a quarterly Text Table and will be asked to share their reading with the class throughout the year.
  • Students must complete at least one novel each nine-week term, and they will complete a major term project as assigned.
In addition to reading books, students will read and discuss an “Article of the Month”—magazine, newspaper, web, and/or video clips or talks about a person or topic relevant to student’s lives.
We will also be discussing and researching several classic and contemporary selections by watching the movie versions.
In addition to reading, students will be expected to participate in conversations with classmates about their reading. Participation in those conversations must be appropriate and civilized at all times so that all students can express their thoughts and help each other understand the questions and issues found in their literature. Participation in these small-group discussions is key to success in this course.
  • Teacher will model and facilitate book talks and discussion and will monitor group conversations.
In order to more fully explore topics and issues found in their reading, students will also express themselves frequently in writing in personal journals and in several formal and informal written assignments. At least one formal assignment will be revised and rewritten each nine-week term.
  • Writing will focus on analysis, reflection, persuasion, and research.
  • Writing will focus on authentic assessments such as letters, researched reports, blogging, creative book talks, and researched presentations

Since students are expected to maintain proper writing conventions in all written assignments, we will review common errors in mechanics, usage, and grammar with a personal MUG book of Standard English rules and practice. We will also have an ongoing discussion about language and speaking for orderly and appropriate group discussions.

Finally, we will be studying SAT vocabulary words using a vocabulary workbook that reinforces meaning, part of speech, usage, and derivation.

Course Content Detailed:
First Semester— The WORLD of Possibilities
Term 1:
  • Literature
    • Reading Timeline to reflect on past reading experiences
    • Book Passes and Someday Reading List
    • Start first self-selected novel and Reading Log
      • At least one book should be completed by the end of October
    • Connections Project – collaborate to find a connection with classmates’ books
    • Weekly conversations with classmates to discuss issues characters are dealing with in novels
    • Watch Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables
      • discuss redemption
      • research related topics to present to the class

  • Writing
    • Journal writing
    • Reflections on reading; analysis of characters and conflict; persuasive reactions
    • College Research Report
      • Review research skills, citation of sources, and MLA
      • Analyze data to draw a conclusion about school’s compatibility with student’s needs
      • Present findings to the class in a brief power point
  • Vocabulary
    • Units 1-2 in Power Plus SAT Vocab Book
      • Practice will comprise using words in sentences, writing sentences, and writing creatively with words. A quiz on each unit will follow.
  • “Article of the Month”—Steve Jobs
    • Note-taking practice, group conversations, persuasive or personal writing

Term 2:
  • Literature
    • First Text Table (due first week to show first term’s reading)
    • Continue reading self-selected novels
      • A total of at least two books should be completed by the end of January
    • Give a brief Book Talk by creating a better cover for the book you read
    • Connections Project—collaborate to find a specific connection with two classmates’ books
    • Weekly conversations with classmates to discuss issues characters are dealing with in novels
    • Watch Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac
      • compare/contrast with Roxanne
      • discuss life’s obstacles
  • Mechanics, Usage, and Grammar
    • Review common errors in spelling/usage, punctuation, sentence structure, and agreement

Term 2 continued…
  • Writing
    • Journal writing and blogging on
    • Personal, persuasive, and analytical reflections on reading
    • Expand, Edit and Revise one writing assignment by the end of the semester
  • Vocabulary
    • Units 3-5 in Power Plus SAT Vocab Book
      • Practice will comprise using words in sentences, writing sentences, and writing creatively with words. A quiz on each unit will follow.
  • Mechanics, Usage, and Grammar
    • Review common errors in spelling/usage, punctuation, sentence structure, and agreement
  • “Article of the Month”--TBD
    • Note-taking practice, group conversations, persuasive or personal writing

Second Semester— The WORLD We Live in
Term 3:
  • Literature
    • Second Text Table (due first week to show second term’s reading)
      • Student should now see a connection between novels and start to develop a theme for the text set.
    • Read selected chapters from The Things They Carried to introduce memoirs (Feb)
    • Select and read a memoir of student’s choice (March)
      • A total of at least three books should be completed by the end of March
    • Weekly conversations with classmates to discuss issues characters are dealing with in novels
    • Watch Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and discuss
  • Writing
    • Personal, analytical, and persuasive reflections on reading in The Things They Carried
    • Research allusions found in The Things They Carried
      • Review evaluation of reliable sources and available library databases
    • Journal writing and blogging on
    • Research specific topic related to the problem/issue discussed in memoir
      • Continue emphasis of proper citation of sources, evaluate reliability of web sources, and investigate better academic sources on Google Scholar
      • Turn in rough draft to paper that will combine research, analysis, and persuasion
  • Vocabulary
    • Units 6 -7 in Power Plus SAT Vocab Book
      • Practice will comprise using words in sentences, writing sentences, and writing creatively with words. A quiz on each unit will follow.
  • “Article of the Month”—Randy Pausch’s last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University
    • Write a letter to next year’s Freshman Class to share high school experiences, regrets, and lessons learned

Term 4
  • Literature
    • Third Text Table (due mid-May to show second and third terms’ reading)
      • Student should now see a connection between novels and refine the theme for the text set.
    • Continue to read self-selected novels
      • A total of at least four books should be completed by the end of May
    • Weekly conversations with classmates to discuss issues characters are dealing with in novels
    • Watch Dead Poets Society
      • discuss individual connections to characters

  • Writing
    • Combine research of issue in memoir with analysis of character’s conflict and writer’s personal connection to propose a practical and relevant solution that could be carried out by student
      • Students will turn in a paper in mid-April and then present their paper to the class using an audio/visual and effective presentation skills
    • Students will write a letter to a former teacher to share their appreciation
    • Students will choose a final project from the following:
      • Collaborate with a partner to create a PSA for next year’s freshmen (follow-up to letter)
      • Create a digital book talk to summarize all books read over the year and to show the connection among those books (follow up to final Text Table)
      • Revise and resubmit research paper
  • “Article of the Month”--TBD
    • Group conversations; persuasive or personal writing

Class Routine:
Students should be in their seats reading when the tardy bell rings.
  • Please stow backpacks under your desk and take care of all personal needs before the bell rings. Have supplies out and ready for the day’s work.
LIf you are not in your seat, then you are tardy and will have to report to the tardy table and/or lose attendance points.
L If you are not reading, you will lose productivity points.

The agenda for the rest of the class period will be projected on the screen. Most days will look something like this:
  • Read (30-40 minutes)
  • Journal, write, or have a group conversation about reading (15-20 minutes)
  • Vocabulary, extended writing or group assignment, Article of the Month, or world literature movie (15-30 minutes)

I will stop class several minutes before the bell to give you time to pack up and to put away your novel. L Do not pack up while I am still talking.

Restroom & Water Breaks: Try to use your time between classes to go to the restroom.
  • For unexpected needs during class, you will be given 3 passes per semester. Unused passes will convert to extra credit points in Jan. and in June!
  • You may bring me your pass to sign and leave one-at-a-time as long as you do not interrupt me and as long as we are not taking a test or quiz.
  • Keep your passes in your binder. You must have a pass to go to go the restroom or to get water.

Class Supplies:
Students should come to class with all required books and supplies every day to receive all preparation points.

You will need the following supplies for my class:
  • TWO composition books: one for a reading journal (Fodder Journal) and one for grammar (MUG Book)
  • Blue or black pensfor all writing assignments and for classwork, note-taking, etc.
    • You will lose points if you use other colors for graded work or if you use a pencil for essays (MLA format)
    • Highlighters for editing classmates’ work
    • Pencils for classwork, note-taking, etc. and for scantron tests
    • Loose-leaf paper for graded assignments (no torn-out paper for graded work)
    • Vocabulary Workbook to study SAT vocab (cash or check for $10 due asap)
    • Index cards with lines
    • Glue sticks
    • Computer jump drive (1g is plenty for high school, but get whatever you can afford)
    • AND any other school supplies that make you happy!

Homework: You will not have homework every night, but when it is assigned, every student is expected to turn in homework on time at the beginning of class .
  • Assignments will be announced in class for you to copy into your planner. Assignments may also be posted on Edline, but rely on your planner first.
  • Homework cannot be turned in late (unless you are absent the day it is due).

Late Work:
All work is expected to be turned in on time. If you cannot turn in a long-term assignment (essays, projects, etc.) on time, then I still want you to do the work and turn it in. However, you will receive only partial credit as follows:
  • One school day late = 20% deducted from the earned grade
  • Two school days late = 30% deducted from the earned grade
  • Three school days or more = additional 10% deducted per day late
LHomework can never be turned in late. I may place restrictions on other assignments (like projects) as well, but I will let you know in advance.

Absences & Make-Up Work:
If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed and to make up that work during Enrichment Period or after school.
  • You may need to catch up on reading, to get notes from a classmate, or make up a quiz. Let me know if you need help…
Students with an excused absence may make up work for full credit as follows:
  • Homework ---Due the day that you return
  • Tests & Quizzes --- Make up within 6 calendar days of your absence
  • Projects, Papers & Presentations --- Due the day that you return

Sometimes there is a good reason to make an exception to these dates. PLEASE ALWAYS let me in advance if something is going on that would prevent you from getting work done on time. I can work with you if I know ahead of time; otherwise, it’s too late.

I will expect you to know my rules and expectations for my class.

September 4, 2012

Parents and Guardians,
I have reviewed my syllabus and expectations for English 12 in detail with my classes. Please take a moment to review this Syllabus and Expectations as well so that we can work together to help your child have a successful senior year of English.
I have also explained to my students that I will remind them of my expectations throughout this first month. After that, I will remind them after school during detention-- you will be notified in writing if your student gets detention. After two detentions, I will involve an administrator.
Since English 12 is required for graduation, I would like for us to keep in touch throughout the year so that there are no end-of-year surprises.
  • I HIGHLY encourage you to use Edline on a regular basis to get updates on what we are doing in class, to view assignments and homework, and to see grades. You have 24/7 access to my gradebook, and I update Edline at least every two weeks. Please make sure that your Edline account is activated, and if your account has never been activated, I can help get you started.
  • I also use Edline to send emails to all parents and students about big upcoming assignments. Again, please make sure your account is activated.
  • And finally, I am requesting contact information from you so that I can send personal emails to let you know if I am concerned, or pleased, with something going on in class. I will assume that you are seeing grades on Edline, but as a courtesy, I will also send an email or a letter or call you at the end of the term if your child is failing.
    • If it is all possible to reach you by email, please provide that address. I can reach you almost immediately via email, and most questions and concerns can be handled very effectively that way.
    • If a phone call is needed or more appropriate, please be patient as it may take us more time to reach each other.

Thanks! I look forward to working with you and your child for a great FINAL year at Thomas Dale High School.

Both you and your child should sign this sheet, and then return it to me no later than September 10/14. It will be counted as a homework grade. Also, if you e-mail me by September 14, your child will receive 10 extra credit points (please include student’s name and class period in the subject line).

I have read Mrs. Womble’s Syllabus and Expectations for English 12.

Student’s Signature

Parents’ Signature:

More information requested on back…

Parent/Guardian Information
(to be completed by parent/guardian only – please print clearly)

Student’s Name _

Parent or Guardian to call 1st--
Daytime phone #
Home phone # _
Best email address _
Home Address: _

Parent or Guardian to call next-- _
Daytime phone #_
Home phone #
Best email address _

Student email address
Student’s cell phone #

Teacher’s name
Student’s 1st period: Room # ___

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