Honors american literature course expectations

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Mrs. Reid Room 226 2011 – 2012 School Year

Textbook: Elements of Literature: Literature of the United States. Third Edition. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston: 2003.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (paperback edition)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (paperback edition)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott card (paperback edition)

Course Description: This one-year course surveys the literary growth from the founding of the country to the present time. The class traces the historical, political, and cultural development of America as reflected in its literature. The skills of critical thinking, reading, listening, writing, researching and speaking will be developed. This course will fulfill one of the four English credits required for graduation.
Required Materials: You will need college-ruled 8 ½ X 11 inch paper, either loose-leaf or in a spiral notebook, and I will give you a separate journal that must be brought to class daily, along with writing implements.
Course Objectives:

  1. To develop a broad knowledge of the American literary heritage.

  2. To recognize the origins and development of American literature as a product of the political, social, and religious environment of the American people.

  3. To recognize specific contributions of American culture and history to literature.

  4. To understand forms and types of American poetry.

  5. To recognize writing styles in fiction and nonfiction.

  6. To expand vocabulary through literature.

  7. To develop techniques of literary critique and evaluation.

  8. To reinforce the steps in the writing process.

  9. To expand reading, writing, speaking, researching and listening skills.

  10. To write objectively and subjectively, using the reader’s own experience, in response to selected literature.

  11. To strengthen higher-level thinking skills through student writing and discussion of literature.

  12. To respond with tolerance and respect to ideas and writings of others.

  13. To develop an understanding of good character and ethics by responding to a wide variety of written oral communication.

Homework: Students should plan on homework four days each week. The development of strong critical reading and writing skills is the result of frequent practice in reading and writing. Consistent effort by students to read, reflect, analyze, and synthesize by writing about the literature or to follow through with homework assignments and projects is essential for gaining proficiency and establishing the habits necessary in college courses and business endeavors. Students should plan on writing a major paper and reading more than one novel outside of class each quarter.

Plagiarism and Cheating: Cheating and plagiarism present serious forms of academic dishonesty. In a college setting, plagiarism results in an “F” for the course and/or expulsion from that institution, so it follows that if high school is preparing students for college and for the job market, in high school students are expected to have learned to turn in only their own work. If a student is caught cheating, there will be a “0” on the assignment, a referral to the Dean of Students, and a “U” in citizenship on the report card. A second offense includes all of the above, plus escalating consequences, which may culminate in a loss of credit. See the Honor Code for particulars.
Late Papers: Papers not turned in on time by students without an excused absence will not be accepted for full credit. In the case of an absence, students have three days per day missed to make up work, or at least to arrange a time with me to do so if it was a test or quiz that was missed. For absences due to school-sponsored activities such as athletic or Student Council events, please note the following: if an assignment is due the day of the absence and the student had prior knowledge of that due date, he/she must make sure the work is turned in that day. (If you are leaving before school starts, drop off the assignment before you leave if it is due that day.) If an assignment is given on the day of the absence, students will be aware of this by checking the assignments posted on the board or on the computer through Parentlink and should have the work ready to turn in on the due date. The week’s assignments are listed on the board every Monday and discussed in class.
All work assigned-- whether homework, essays, projects, etc.—is due on the announced date at the beginning of the class. Work turned in past this time will receive reduced credit. If an assignment has been handed back to students, it is too late to turn in that assignment.
Semester Grade Determination:
1st Quarter Grade: 45%

2nd Quarter Grade: 45%

Semester Exam: 10% ( this is currently under discussion and may change)
Letter Grade Criteria:

A –90% - 100% D – 60% - 69%

B – 80% - 89% F – 0% - 59%

C – 70% - 79%

Outside Reading Requirement: As Honors American Literature students at BCHS, you are required to complete a minimum of 600 pages from outside reading per quarter. You may choose from over 3000 titles in our school library, for which computer tests are taken in the school library by notifying the librarian before taking the test; however, you may not select a book for which a movie exists. Outside Reading is worth 150 points, which can either raise or lower your grade by more than a letter grade depending on the number of points possible that quarter, so it is important that you be constantly working toward these quarterly goals. The reading of outside materials facilitates development of vocabulary, stylistic techniques, imagination, and the generation of new ideas. Talk to me if you want to read a book not part of the Reading Counts program. I will work with you. The three paperback books we will read together during the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters will also count toward your 600 pages.
Gum: There is a No Gum rule in the classroom. Chewing gum tends to end up on the carpet or stuck under the desks (yuk!) and is therefore not permitted in the room. Breath mints??

Cell Phones

Although cellular phones are now permitted to be used before and after school and during lunch by students, all cell phones must be kept completely out of sight and out of use in the classroom, otherwise they will be confiscated by the instructor. That would be me! I can’t count the number of phones I have had to confiscate. Please don’t make me do it!! There will be occasional activities where I will ask you to use you cell phone if you have access to the internet. Obviously, at those times, the cell phone is an acceptable tool.

Consequences for Rules Violations:

1st Offense: Verbal Warning

2nd and 3rd Offense: Focus Redirection Room

4th Offense: Referral to the Dean of Students.

If something serious in class takes place, a referral to the dean would be initiated without going through the above steps first.

Attendance and Tardies

In accordance with CCSD regulations, students who exceed 10 unexcused absences in this class in one semester will lose credit for the semester. You need to be in class!! If you are more than 30 minutes late, you are considered absent by CCSD guidelines. Please be in your seat when the bell rings. If you arrive in class late, you must arrive with a signed tardy pass to enter.

Film Permission Slip:

Occasionally there will be a film or portion of a film viewed in connection with a work, theme, or set of ideas we are studying. Guidelines for the Clark County School District dictate that no films rated PG-13 or worse may be shown under any circumstances, and films rated PG must have signed permission from parents. Any film I may show exceeds these guidelines; I am very conservative, showing films in class only when they relate directly to course content. Examples of films I may show include The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and Raisin in the Sun. I may show short film clips which document an author’s life, such as that of Zora Neale Hurston and Walt Whitman and which meet school district guidelines.

Please print, sign and date the last page, affirming that you have read, understood, and accepted these expectancies, and then return it to me. Students, please keep a copy of course expectancies and put it in your notebook for future reference.

Usually just before Thanksgiving break we finish reading The Scarlet Letter and need parents for three days to serve on a jury during 4th period. The students will be attorneys or witnesses and work very hard to prove the case that their character, either Prynne, Dimmsdale, or Chillingsworth, is the least guilty and that the other two characters are much more to blame (sinful) for what took place. You do not need to have read the novel, you just listen in the “court room” and decide which team makes the best case. If you think you might have time to participate during 4th period, please sign and add a phone number where I may reach you in November. Thanks!!

1.____________________________________________________________________________I may have time to participate as a jury member. Call me in November –parent (print) + phone #

2. As a teacher, I believe that parents are the most important influence on a student. Therefore, I would like to notify parents when large assignments are due so that you can double check with your student(s) to make certain the student(s) are prepared. If you would like me to do this, please fill in your email address.


3. We have read and reviewed Mrs. Reid’s course expectancies for Honors American Literature and approved the film permission slip.

______________________________ ________________________________

Student Name (print) Parent Signature

______________________________ _________________________________

Date Date



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