Freshmen Syllabus

Course Description

English 9
Mrs. O’Donnell
Room PA 30 ~ 751-3548

My Philosophy:  Let’s have fun!  We will work hard to improve reading and writing skills, to develop trusting relationships, to set goals and reach them.  There is no reason we can’t enjoy ourselves in the process, celebrating small victories along the way.

Course Objectives:  (1 credit)
This course focuses on writing, speaking, reading, and analysis of literature. Emphasizing the writing process, students will apply a 6 Traits methodology with special emphasis on explanatory, argumentative, descriptive, and research writing. Students will analyze both formal and informal verbal and nonverbal messages and will participate in class discussions and formal presentations. Every student will read and study short stories, poetry, Shakespeare, and at least two novels. Vocabulary development and comprehension skills will be stressed and works will be analyzed for style and use of literary elements.

Course Content:
Communication Skills/Speeches        Descriptive writing        
Research Writing                               Personal Narrative/Creative
Explanatory Writing                          Short Stories
Poetry                                               Vocab/Grammar

Required Materials: 
* Each student must have a class binder, preferably something with rings or pockets inside.
* notebook paper and writing utensils
* student planner

Grading Procedures & Assignment Expectations

100 - 93      A                 92 - 90        A-
89 - 88        B+               87 - 83        B                 82 - 80        B-
79 - 78        C+               77 - 73        C                 72 - 70        C-
69 - 68        D+               67 - 63        D                 62 - 60        D-
59-49          F

Team Achieve agrees that no assignment will receive less than a 49%, with the exception of daily planners and math homework.

Quizzes may be given - students will be notified of a quiz’s value at the time it is given.

Cheating:  There is no reason to cheat, ever!  I have a zero tolerance policy- no exceptions.  Cheating will result in an automatic “F” and a call to your parents.  If you are caught more than once, you will receive an “F” for the semester. 
Late Assignments:  All assignments are due on time.  I wholeheartedly support your involvement in school activities. They are a big part of a positive high school experience.  Remember, though, that if you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what was missed and make up the work. 

Extra Credit:  Extra credit may sometimes be available. 
Extra Help:  I am available both before and after school for additional help or questions. Don’t assume I won’t listen, help, care… I am here for you, but I can’t help if you won’t let me.

Behavior Musts:

BE ON TIME - Always be in class and seated when the bell rings or you will be considered tardy.  You get 3 free tardies per semester. After that it’s a lunch detention.  

BE PREPARED - Come to class prepared - books, pens, notebooks, and any due assignments. 

BE RESPECTFUL - to yourself, to those around you, to me…
Any behavior that I consider to be offensive or inappropriate, either to myself or to someone else, will result in a disciplinary report.

BE RESPONSIBLE – for your work, for your words, for your actions, for your future

BE A LISTENER – Don’t talk while I or your classmates “have the floor”. Listen.

BE A FRIEND! – Need I say more?

Discipline Plan

I will always be fair, firm, and consistent. Students will be warned verbally if behavior is disrupting the class.  If problems persist they will be documented. If I feel action is warranted, I will begin with a lunch detention or after school detention with me in my classroom.  If that proves unsuccessful, I will send a disciplinary report to the office.  Parents will be notified any time discipline becomes a chronic problem or if an offense is severe (cheating, defiance, etc...).  I have zero tolerance for any type of harassment or disrespectful behavior. Should such behavior occur, I will write an immediate disciplinary report and notify parents.

…The Good News Is…
I will also reward positive behaviors with postcards sent home to parents.  Impress me, and be rewarded.

School is important.  Make it a priority and have fun doing it.  Your level of success and enjoyment depends upon you – each day is a new opportunity.  Your day will go the way the corners of your mouth turn, so… sit back, relax, and think fun!

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