Welcome to English 10
Ms. Kamrass – New Paltz High School
voice mail: 256-4175, extension 69527
(preferred) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
After school I can be found in room 170
Objectives of English 10:
This year is an important one: you’re one step closer to graduation, college, and careers. With that in mind, we’ll work to enhance your analysis of literature (both fiction and nonfiction), quality of writing, and help you understand how both are vital outside the English classroom.
In particular, we’ll read longer texts and enhance them with others that connect them to recent events and current topics. Writing assignments will explore both literature and personal topics with an emphasis on clarity.
Keeping in mind the advantages and difficulties of the digital age, we’ll complete several research projects. These are designed to build on your knowledge from English 9: we’ll complete a variety that emphasize finding reliable sources, documenting them properly (MLA) while synthesizing facts with analysis.
We'll also focus on process writing--writing in drafts, completing peer reviews, and rewriting--so that you are comfortable making mistakes, and also skillfull in polishing a work that clearly communicates your ideas with flair.
Additionally, we will explore the NYS Regents Exam in English Language Arts. Not only is this your final exam, but it also highlights a variety of useful skills. Most of you will take the PSATs this year, so we practice for the SATs too.
Most importantly, I look forward to working with all of you—you are what make this job enjoyable. Please share your good and bad news. In particular, if you are facing difficulties that affect you in school, please let me know: a quick conversation or an e-mail helps everyone involved.
- A three-ringed binder – or a 3-5-subject notebook with folders for each section – divided into the following sections –
- weekly sheets, course outline and other handouts (vocabulary)
- writing (this section will also be used for journals)
- Pens (black or dark blue ink only, and no pencils for work that you submit, please)
- A two-pocket folder
- Highlighters and Post It notes (optional)
- Access to home computer and printer, or make sure you schedule time to use the library before and after school
Quarterly Grades are point-based:
- Formal writing assignments 50-100 points
- tests and projects 50-100 points
- quizzes 5-50 points
- homework 5-10 points
- participation 5-10 points (based on certain activities or assignments, discussions, etc.)
The NYS ELA Regents counts as your final exam (1/5 of your final average for the class)
We will read several of the following: Macbeth and Oedipus (required)
A variety of poems for our poetry unit A Raisin in the Sun
The Things They Carried To Kill a Mockingbird
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Lovely Bones
- see me --or email me -- if you are having difficulties with the assignments, or with life
- support your classmates.
- listen and remain quiet when others are speaking in class.
- complete your own work, even if you work with other people.
- submit homework at the beginning of class
- make up quizzes and tests within a week so that I can distribute the graded copies to your classmates in a timely manner (make ups given only if you’re absent on the day an exam is given).
- keep phones in your bags during class.
Policies: All of these are designed, of course, so that everyone has the best opportunity to learn. They should help you complete your work to the best of your abilities.
- LATE TO CLASS: Your body needs to be inside the classroom before the bell rings. If you are late three times in a quarter, you will stay after school with me. If you are late more than three times, you will stay after for each time you are late.
- ABSENCE AND WORK: If you are absent, homework assignments are due when you return to class (even the assignment for that day). You will also be required to take any quizzes or tests given the day you return. This is especially true if you are on a field trip. The weekly sheets will help you. See me if you were absent several days in a row.
- LATE WORK: Assignments are due in class on their due dates – have them printed before you reach the classroom. If I receive them during or after class, they are subject to point deductions as noted on the late paper policy. Do not ask me for a pass to the library to print out your paper the day that it is due.
- COMPUTER or TECHNOLOGY EXCUSES: Technology often makes things easier, until it won't work. Count on these glitches. I do not accept computer excuses for late papers. You’re too smart to let technology get the best of you: save on your hard drive every few minutes. Make sure you have enough ink in your printer. You should also e-mail copies to yourself as a further safeguard. Remember that you can use computers and printers in one of the high school computer labs, or the library (which is open before and after school).
- PAPER REWRITES: You are allowed to rewrite papers in order to earn a higher grade. These are due by the given deadline each quarter. These rewrites must be stapled to the original paper and the rubric that I’ve marked. You need to make the corrections and additions as noted on the paper and rubric. If your writing has improved, the new grade replaces the original.
- CELL PHONES need to stay in your bags unless they are part of a lesson.
Plagiarism: For you to learn your best, it's essential that you complete your own work. Plagiarism is when you take someone else’s work and submit it to me as if the work is comprised of your original thought(s). This, of course means that you may not take written work from the Internet, or even sections of other written work, and hand it in as your finished paper or project. However, you will learn how to use good information from other sources, but with the correct academic format that you will continue to use in college (Modern Language Association – MLA). Note you may not use something written by a classmate, EVEN IF YOU WORK TOGETHER YOUR ANSWERS SHOULD BE ORIGINAL. If your work is copied you and the other party will get a zero (0) for that assignment.
Class Participation –
Again, these are here to help you understand what will make learning easier for you and everyone else in the classroom. Pay close attention to the descriptions: you may complete all of your work and behave in an exemplary manner, but if you don’t participate in discussion, you may not earn full credit for participation. Similarly, if you spend a good deal of time talking to the person next to you, expect point deductions.
Highest scores: follows all rules and procedures in an exemplary manner; asks relevant questions in class discussions; shares personal opinions when pertinent; willing to take intellectual risks by formulating thoughts out loud; consistently takes part in/leads relevant discussions; takes on leadership roles by helping peers and teacher; encourages others to engage in, enjoy, and see the value in learning and participating. Consistently completes class work, and frequently takes leadership roles in group work. Is always prepared with materials (books, notebooks, assignment packs, etc.).
Above-average scores: follows class rules and procedures; focuses and engages in all tasks; completes all tasks; answers questions thoughtfully in class discussions; engages in relevant discussions; promotes a positive classroom atmosphere; demonstrates courtesy to classroom members. Completes class work and is an active member in group work. Is mostly prepared with materials (books, notebooks, assignment packs, etc.).
Average scores: follows some class rules and procedures; engages in a minimal amount of work; tasks often incomplete [or show little effort]; generally requires supervision; often distracted or engaged in other tasks; resistant to work; a distraction to others; makes inappropriate connections to topics. Sometimes forgets needed materials (books, notebooks, assignment packs, etc.).
Below average scores: consistently unprepared for class; needs repeated requests to engage in work; does little to no work; distracts others; chronic lateness to class; fails to follow even the basic rules and procedures of class; requires constant supervision; has received a referral; brings tension and confusion to the classroom atmosphere. Often forgets needed materials (books, notebooks, assignment packs, etc.).
Late Work and Other Policies
These rules are here to help you so that you don’t fall behind with the demands of your high school workload. They help keep you organized so that you can complete better work and learn.
*Please e-mail me if you have any confusion or need an extension. Learning to advocate for yourself is another great lesson. Parents, if you know of any problems, please let me know.
The following outlines the late paper and project policy developed by English teachers at the high school. All assignments are due in class on the date given. Papers and projects submitted after that time are subject to late points. All school days count – if we meet on A days and you submit it on the next day (a B day), 10 points are deducted. If you submit a paper on the next day that we meet for class, 20 points are deducted.
1 day late = -10% deduction
2 days late = -20% deduction
3 days late = -30% deduction
4 days late = -40% deduction
5 days late = -50% deduction
Work submitted on the due date, but after class is also subject to point deductions.
Some other clarifications about assignments and late points:
General homework assignments – assignments that are not essays and papers – are subject to different rules. They are due at the start of each class as many lessons are based on these assignments. If you do not have homework assignments at the start of class, there is an immediate 50% deduction. It is essential that you are prepared; the lesson won’t work without your prepared, written homework.
Field trips are not absences. If you miss class because of a field trip and an assignment is due that day, come to the classroom and submit it in the class collection drawer. Otherwise, it is subject to late points.
Additionally, I do not accept computer excuses for late papers or projects. Have several backup plans for when something goes wrong: This is a great life lesson!
Work needs to be submitted in dark blue or black ink. There are so many reasons why this is necessary, the foremost being legibility. Give me another half an hour and I can explain the other reasons.
Please contact me if you have questions via email at email@example.com, or voice mail at 256-4175 ext. 69527.
Please sign and detach this bottom portion and return to Ms. Kamrass to show that you have read and understand this policy, and the course outline.
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parent/guardian name (print) parent/guardian name (sign) date
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student name (print) student name (sign) date