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    Honors English 9

    Mrs. Holzer
    E-mail: holzerm@madisonnjps.org
    Webpage: MHS website→Teachers→Holzer→Honors English 9
    Office Location: E42

    Tutorials: Period 5 A, C, and D days, available during lunch and after school

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    Course Description

     

    Honors English 9 is the first in a sequence of four college-bound honors courses, including the opportunity for Advanced Placement courses in both junior and senior year. Honors students are challenged in every aspect of language arts: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They are required to read difficult works of literature and informational texts, develop a higher level of thinking skills, expand their vocabulary, improve their grammar and use of language, deliver both formal and informal speeches, and learn to write in a variety of forms including narrative, argumentative, and explanatory, with periodic emphasis on prewriting, organizing, and revising. The course covers a variety of genres, including short story, poetry, drama, informational text, and the novel, from diverse cultures such as American, South American, British, African, Indian, and Asian. Since all language and reading requirements will consistently range beyond those in other ninth grade courses, strong motivation, independent study, responsibility in meeting deadlines, and ability to read and digest challenging works are keys to success in this course.
     
    The course focuses on four universal themes: Innocence and Experience, Coming of Age and Identity, Choices, and Stereotypes and Gender Bias. Through personal reflection, small-group, and whole-class discussion, formal compositions, and assessments using multiple modalities, students process the content through the lens of each unit’s theme.
     
    Since all language and reading requirements will consistently range beyond those in other ninth grade courses, strong motivation, independent study, responsibility in meeting deadlines, and ability to read and digest challenging works are keys to success in this course. Students recommended for placement in Honors English 9 should demonstrate superior performance in language skills in class performance and on standardized tests, as well as self-motivation and strong study skills.
     
     Texts
     
    • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
    • Homer, The Odyssey
    • Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle
    • John Steinbeck, The Pearl
    • Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
    • Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
    • William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet 

    • Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 

    • Adeline Yen Mah, Chinese Cinderella 

    • Firoozeh Dumas, Funny in Farsi

    • Jack Gantos,  Hole in My Life

    • Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican

    • Various selections of short fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and informational text
     
     •Choice novels and independent reading books



    Required materials
     
    • Binder: You must maintain a three ring binder and bring it to class with you each day.  It should have loose-leaf paper and dividers for your notes, handouts, completed assignments, vocabulary, etc.
    • Reader and Writer's Journal (composition or one-subject spiral notebook)
    • Chromebook:  Charged each day
     
     
    Classroom Expectations
     

    • Be ON TIME. You will need a late pass if you are late. Please sit and begin the DO NOW.
    • Be PREPARED with homework and all necessary materials in hand when the bell rings. If you do not have the homework on the day it is due, you will not be able to participate fully in the day’s lesson. NO CREDIT IS GIVEN FOR LATE HOMEWORK.
    • PARTICIPATE actively in all class discussions, and take notes during lectures, discussion, and as you read.
    • SHOW RESPECT: Offer thoughtful ideas and opinions and be respectful of the ideas and opinions of others. Please listen attentively to all ideas and opinions, even if they differ from your own.
    • SUBMIT all assignments ON TIME, and be proactive in getting caught up when you are absent per the Late Work & Make-up Policy.
    • DO YOUR BEST AT YOUR OWN WORK: Academic dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated. Please review the MHS Honor Code for information on academic integrity. Plagiarism and cheating will result in a zero with no opportunity for resubmission, along with consequences outlined in the Student Handbook.
    • READ, READ, READ: Reading is key to your success in this course and to your enjoyment of it. English class will be FUN if you read and come to class prepared to delve into the great literature that awaits you this year.

    *All school rules outlined in the Student Handbook are in effect in this class.
     
     
     

    Expectations for use of Technology in Class:

     

    We will have many opportunities to use technology and our personal smartphones/tablets in class, BUT we must do so responsibly.  Therefore, students are expected to adhere to the following guidelines.  Failure to follow these guidelines will lead to the loss of technology privileges in class, or the confiscation of personal devices:

    • Students will only use cell phones or personal laptops/tablets to work on assignments in  class with the teacher’s permission.
    • Students may not play games or watch movies unrelated to class assignments AT ANY POINT DURING CLASS.
    • Students are NEVER to charge their phones or Chromebooks during class.
    • Students may not check social media, text, or make phone calls during class.
    • Students will not maltreat the technology.
    • Students will place phones in specified location in the beginning of class EVERY DAY.
    • If a student is caught using the Chromebook for anything other than the assignment, student will automatically lose credit for that particular assignment.
     
    Grading Policy
     
    Your grade in this course will be comprised of homework, classwork, participation, quizzes, tests, writing assignments, exams, and projects. The grades will be determined by adding up the total number of points earned and dividing it by the total number of points available. The total points possible will reflect the length and importance of an assignment; a pop quiz on last night's reading might be worth 10-20 points, whereas a long-term project or essay could be worth 100. Students are responsible for keeping track of their grades.
     

    Typical point values:
    • Homework and classwork: Point values range from 5 points to 30 or more depending on the length and scope of the assignment. NO CREDIT IS GIVEN FOR LATE HOMEWORK.
    • Quizzes: 10-50 points
    • Tests: 50-100 points
    • Essays: 50-100 points depending on the time allotted for the completion of the essay (timed in-class writing will be worth less points than essays written at home over an extended period)

    • Projects: 50-100 points
     
     
     
    Late Work & Make-up Policy
     
    MHS Language Arts Department Due Date, Late Work and Make-up Guide
    (The following policy is in effect as of September 2017)


    When an English teacher assigns a task, such as an essay, paper or project, the assignment must be turned in at the beginning of the class period on the day it is due. Any essay or project that is not submitted at the beginning of the class period on the day it is due is considered LATE. Late work may be accepted within three days of a given due date, but the work will receive a 20% grade penalty.

    Late work submitted more than three days after the due date will not be accepted for any credit and will receive a grade of zero. The department will consider 3:00 p.m. on the third day following the due date as the deadline for late work. This will hold true for weekends and breaks as well.

    No essay or project due dates are adjusted for absence; due dates are given well in advance. If absent, students should send in such work by the start time of the class period on the due date via email or with a reliable person who will bring the assignment to the teacher before the beginning of the class period on the day it is due. Teachers will accept work via email as “on time” provided the time stamp on the email is prior to the beginning of the class period on the due date and the file is accessible or the text is pasted directly into the body of the email. If a student fails to submit an essay or project via email or through a reliable person on the day that it is due this work is considered LATE and subject to the 20% grade penalty.

    College visitation days and unofficial vacation days are never excused absences.


    Suggestions for students to avoid the late penalty

    • Students should take textbooks and notebooks home each night. They should also select at least two class contacts whom they KNOW have good attendance and homework records, and phone those contacts the evening of the absence to check on class work and homework assignments.

    • In the event of extreme or unavoidable circumstances, teachers will handle each case individually. Any requests for due date extensions, however, must be presented to the teacher at least one day before the due date. Teachers are under no obligation to grant extensions, but each individual English teacher will exercise discretion in matters as they arise.

    • In all cases, communication between the student and teacher is absolutely essential; parental involvement is encouraged when reasons for a requested extension involve family or medical issues.

    • If a student experiences a printer malfunction or printer access problems, the student should email the work to the teacher before the class meets on the due date. Teachers will accept work via email as “on time” provided the time stamp on the email is prior to the beginning of the class period on the due date and the file is accessible or the text is pasted directly into the body of the email. Emailing work does not excuse students from providing a print copy, however, if the assignment requires printed work.
     
    • In the case of anticipated absences, students may elect to submit assignments in person to the teacher prior to the absence or submit assignments electronically on the due date, bearing in mind that the time stamp must be before the beginning of the class period on the due date and the file is accessible or the text is pasted directly into the body of the email. However, considering the potential for technology and internet connectivity issues, students are encouraged to submit work prior to anticipated absences.
     

    *Reminder: NO CREDIT IS GIVEN FOR LATE HOMEWORK.

     
     
    Essays
     

    All essays should be typed (12 point font, double spaced) in MLA format. Please print all typed work prior to class; you have access to the computers in the Media Center before and after school and during lunch. Students may be asked to submit their essays via GoogleDocs and to Turnitin at any time.


    Class Participation
     

    Students who participate are students that are listening and want to lend their opinions and questions to class discussion. Every student must make a positive contribution during each class session. This makes for a healthy trade of ideas and may have a definite impact on a borderline grade. Participation is a requirement for this course.

     
     
    Teacher Availability
     
    I am available after school and during lunch and tutorials: TBD.  Please feel free to contact me via e-mail with any questions or concerns.
     
     
     
    Words and ideas can change the world...What will your verse be?
    -spoken by Professor John Keating in Dead Poet's Society