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English 12 -- Real-World Literature
Syllabus and Expectations

Mrs. Womble
Thomas Dale HS – Room 205A


Contact me at:
ellen_womble@ccpsnet.net

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.

Comment 1: CCPS1]This statement summarizes the main goal of Capstone English and CCRI
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

Comment 2: (CCPS 2)While these expectations are not specific to CCRI, they do compare the expectations of the class to the expectations of a future employer (career readiness).
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:
    1. 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.
    2. Stay alert. If your head is on your desk, you get a big, fat, honking ZERO for respect points because that is disrespectful to me and to your classmates who are participating in class discussion.
(Sleeping could also affect your points for #4 and 5.)
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)

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 they cannot ever leave), 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.
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 semester.
  • 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

Comment 3 Again this section summarizes in greater detail the goals of Capstone and the CCRI Performance Expectations.
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Comment 4: CCRI 13 and Capstone goals for self-selected reading that is engaging and for reading a variety of texts
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Comment 5: CCRI 16 and 40-48
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Comment 6: CCRI 7-10 and 12 and 49-51
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Comment 7: CCRI 16-18, 44-45, and 49-51 and the Capstone goals for productive student-student collaboration and conversation
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Comment 8: CCRI 22-39
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Comment 9: CCRI 22,35, 36
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Comment 10: CCRI 1-6
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

  • 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 1-3 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”
    • 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
  • Writing
    • Journal writing
    • Personal, persuasive, and analytical reflections on reading
    • Expand, Edit and Revise one writing assignment by the end of the semester
  • Vocabulary
    • Units 4 -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”
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 our novels
  • 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
    • Blog about reading of memoir on class’s kidblog.org site
    • Research specific topic related to the problem/issue discussed in memoir
      • Continue emphasis of proper citation of sources
  • Vocabulary
    • Units 5 and 6 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”
    • Note-taking practice, group conversations, persuasive or personal writing

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
  • 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 also evaluate classmates’ presentations and oral speaking skills
    • Students will write a letter to a former teacher to share their appreciation
    • Students will write a letter next year’s freshmen to share their experience.
    • 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”
Group conversations; persuasive or personal writing

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Comment 11: CCRI 49-51
Comment 12: Capstone goal of student-student conversation and collaboration
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Comment 13: CCRI 32
Comment 14: CCRI 24, 25,27, 31
Comment 15:CCRI 22-31 and 37-39

Comment 16: CCRI 38-39
Comment 17: CCRI 17
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Comment 18:CCRI 40-43 and 40-43
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Comment 19: CCRI 1-6
Comment 20: CCRI 7-12, 31, 38, and 39. This past year we started with articles about Steve Jobs, a graduation speech by Jobs, and an article on calligraphy because his auditing of a calligraphy class influenced his selection and creation of fonts for Macs. Students practiced note-taking and then summarizing from those notes, and then they created a Works Cited page.
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Comment 21: CCRI 40-43
Comment 22: CCRI 49-51
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Comment 23: CCRI 33-37
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Comment 24: CCRI 7-12, 22-39 and 49-51. This past year we read two web articles and a newpaper article about the advantages and disadvantages of over-praising children. Students wrote a persuasive essay taking a stand on this position and supporting it with the articles. Many students later chose to edit, revise, and resubmit these essays at the end of the semester. Later in the term we watched a Saturday Night Live sketch parodying the Jeremy Lin craze and then read articles about Jeremy Lin and racism. They had conversations in small groups to answer the question “Who is it okay to make fun of?”
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Comment 25: CCRI 7, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17
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Comment 26:CCRI 18, 18, 20, 21
Comment 27:CCRI 32
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Comment 28: CCRI 38-39
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Comment 29: CCRI 7-12, 26, 33, and 37. This past year we watched Randy Pausch’s lecture at Carnegie Mellon University that became the basis for his book The Last Lecture. Afterwards we talked about how his last lecture before his death related to the end of this important stage of their life. Students reflected on their own life lessons and wrote letters to next year’s freshman class.
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Comment 30: CCRI 13-16
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Comment 31: CCRI 17, 18, 22-29, 31, 34-39
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Comment 32: CCRI 40-48
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Comment 33: CCRI 49-51
Comment 34: In addition to the blog and the letters to freshmen, this is an authentic assessment that students will share with an audience.
Comment 35: Depending on the student’s choice, this final project may satisfy critical reading, composing, revision/editing, documentation, speaking, listening, and collaboration. They are all authentic assessments, however, that will have them engaged, either independently or collaboratively, in a project of their choosing
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Comment 36:
My plan for this month’s article is to have them listen to graduation speeches and then to have them write a speech for their own Class of 2012.
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 like this:
  • Read (30-45 minutes)
  • Journal, write, or have a group conversation (15-30 minutes)
  • Vocabulary, extended writing or group assignment, or language practice (15-30 minutes)