• English 9 Course Outline
    Blocks 1a and 3a (co-teach with Ms. Bergstein)

    Ms. DePoala

    Voice Mail:  256-4175 ext 1689


    I'd like to welcome you to ninth grade English. I am excited to get to know all of you and we will explore ways to make that happen in the remote learning world.  Reading and writing is at the forefront of all English classes, but I consider our classroom community to be of equal importance. 

    My expectations for you as my student:

    1. You will take risks with your writing
    2. You will write and read A LOT!
    3. You will take ownership of what you write and read
    4. You will talk  A LOT about what you write and what you read
    5. You will take yourself seriously and work to your potential 
    6. You will try to accept that learning can be a messy process!!! 


    Reading Goals

    • Reading for pleasure 
    • Close reading – textual analysis (non-fiction, poetry, novels, plays)
    • Acknowledging and understanding the variety of texts such as texts that inform, express, analyze, inquire, or persuade. 
    • Understanding Rhetoric – analysis of purpose (ethos, pathos and logos)
    • Understanding WHY WE READ.
    • Self-evaluating – what do I like to read and why? What am I good at reading? Why do I struggle with certain types of texts?
    • Building a respectable base of knowledge (articles of the week will help with that)
    • Understanding that reading is complex and there is not always a clear cut answer to our inquiries. 

    Sustained Silent Reading - I am still waiting to hear about access to library books. 

    Many of you may already read for pleasure and many of you may not.  Reading books for fun often falls to the sidelines once school starts in the fall.  Your lives are filled with homework, after school activities, and fun with friends. The ssr program is a way to allow you to keep this part of your life alive and to keep you on the path towards being a life-long reader! We will be recreationally reading in class or on our asynchronous days. This is an essential part of the curriculum. There are no book reports, projects, mandatory number of pages, or quizzes for this. My main goal is that you are reading for pleasure!!!! 

    Writing Goals

    • Understanding why we write
    • Learning when, why and how to elaborate
    • Experimenting with all kinds of writing without repercussions
    • Practicing and formalizing many forms of writing 
    • Self-evaluating – what works for you? It’s not one size fits all
    • Revisiting grammar and punctuation rules

    The Writer’s Notebook – Third section of your binder

    As my student and as a thinker, I want you writing as much as possible.  You must step away from the idea that if it is not graded, it is not important. This is where the writer’s notebook is essential. I want you writing almost every day. A writer’s notebook is just a blank book. You will be filling it. It will not be a dialogue back and forth where you write something and hand it in to me and I tell you what I think.  I will only be reading about one quarter of what you write and your writing will be as private as you choose. This notebook is a place for you to write without worrying about your grade. This is where you will play around with writing, experiment with different styles and take risks. Often times (when I write), I will write an entire paragraph and cross out every sentence except one. Rather than feeling like all that writing was a waste of time, I see the one gem of a sentence I got out of all that work and realize it was worth it. The finished product is not the point of a writer’s notebook. The writer’s notebook can be your safe haven; it can be a home where you can begin to develop the habits of mind – seeing, thinking, expressing, and reacting to the world. 
    We will discuss how we will use the writer's notebook during remote learning. It will not be in a physical notebook, but rather you will have a folder in your documents to keep your writing. I will ALWAYS ask your permission to share it with me. 


    Inquiry learning Goals 

    Being a 21st century learner is quite a challenge. One of the most important skills you can develop before branching out into the world  is to become a self-directed, curious and resourceful learner. To do this, you must embrace:

      • risk taking
      • the MESSINESS of learning
      • time management 
      • creative problem solving 
      • self-direction
      • self-reflection

     What will we read?

    Short Stories: Multi cultural perspectives explored through two stories: "The American Embassy" by Chimmanda Ngozi Adichie and "Air Mail" by Ravi Mangla 
    Arthur Miller's The Crucible - we will read the first two acts and watch the remainder. During the reading of the play, we will examine forced confessions and study the Central Park Five. Cullminating in an argumentative essay 
    William Shakespeare's  Romeo and Juliet
    The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater -
    a true story examining gender, sexuality, race, and the criminal justice system. 
    Lord of the Flies 

    Extra Help: Please allow a week before I set regular office hours. I want to make sure ALL my students have access to live extra help. In the meantime, please e-mail me and we can work out individual times to have a one on one Google Meet, speak by phone, or just communicate via email. 

    Attendance:  Attendance for asynchronous days will be through Google Forms. I will walk you through the process. Asynchronous days will allow for more flexibility in your schedule. 

    My Web Page: It's nothing fancy, but I will post the basics of our lessons there as well. 


     A binder with paper. This binder that can be shared with other classes. We are still learning whether or not we will be able to provide you with paper copies of our materials. I can provide you with the option to print many of my assignments, but I do understand that printers don't always work and not everyone has a printer. 
    Notice, I don't require much! 

     Grading Writing: We will discuss this more in class. Your work will, of course, be graded. Revision is the heart of good writing. Please know that no grade is final when it comes to your writing. Revisions are optional. They require live conferences with me so we can discuss your piece. Over the years, I've found that my comments in the margins can only take you so far in the world of improvement. 

    As an educator, I welcome academic honesty and tenacity in a student’s work.  On the other hand, I abhor academic dishonesty (copying homework, cheating, plagiarism, using films and Cliff’s Notes while failing to read the original work).  This type of behavior has no place in high school, and it will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is the direct copying of a source. If a student chooses to plagiarize at any time during this course, disciplinary action will be taken and the assignment will be given a ZERO.  

    Web Page

    My web page: http://www.newpaltz.k12.ny.us/156220111411543330/site/default.asp

    Check the web page for handouts, weekly sheets, and important information for your course.


    English 9 Contract (we will discuss this contract over Google Meet and there will be a Form for this)
    One of the purposes of this course is to broaden a student’s understanding and appreciation of classic and contemporary literature.  Only in a community of trust can we help each other reach our academic goals. Some guidelines regarding the classroom will aid in our journey.  Please contact me with any questions or concerns.


    • Language is important.  Racist, sexist, homophobic, or other abusive language will not be tolerated.  
    • A respectful atmosphere is key to a learning atmosphere.  I respect my students as individuals, and I expect them to act accordingly.


    Certain paperwork requirements will remain the same throughout the course, and they include the following


    • If an assignment is handwritten, it must be completed in blue or black ink only.
    • All assignments must include a heading in MLA format with the student name, teacher, course, date, and assignment title in the upper left hand corner of the paper.
    • All handwritten assignments must be handed in on white loose-leaf paper, and word processed assignments must be in a standard font of 12 point size and in times new roman.
    • Students must hand work in on time to receive full credit:  points will be deducted for each day the assignment is late.  Assignments more than five days late will not be accepted unless there are extenuating circumstances.


    Any assignment not meeting the above criteria will be returned to the student. 
        Detach here and return the lower portion.




    By signing below, I acknowledge that I have read, understood, and agreed to adhere to the policies stated in Ms. DePoala’s English 9 syllabus and contract.


    student name (print)

    __________________________________ _______________

    Student’s signature date

    __________________________________ _______________

    Guardian’s signature date

Last Modified on September 6, 2021