Grade Level: 9 Credit Available: 1.0 Pre-Requisite: None

GPSD Course Syllabus

Course Title: Basic Freshmen English

Grade Level: 9 Credit Available: 1.0 Pre-Requisite: None

Teacher Contact Information:

Name: Rachelle Watson Room Number: 234

Email Address: Phone Number: 541-474-5710 ext. 10172

District Webpage:

Please visit my teacher webpage for additional course information – go to the district homepage, select school, staff webpage, and find my name. Email is the best way to contact me.

Grades will be issued at the end of the first and second semester. Progress reports will be mailed home at the end of 6 and 12 weeks. Parents and students are encouraged to follow progress on Power School. Visit the district webpage to learn more about how to access your account.

Course Overview: This course emphasizes English skills such as writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary building, and reading and understanding of literature. It includes study of the novel, short story, poetry, drama, non-fiction, and speaking skills. This is a full-year sequential course. As a basic strand, this course will include additional scaffolds and support as needed.

Course Standards:

Reading: Read, comprehend, and analyze literature and informative texts, including a variety of novels, essays, plays, poetry, and nonfiction.

Writing: Write to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Language: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English and usage.

Listening/Speaking: Participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions and presentations.

*See detailed course standards on my class website.

District Grading Scales:

Letter Grades / Definition
A / Mastery
B / Approaching Mastery
C / Proficient
F / Not Proficient

*See detailed standards on my class website.

Grading Scale:

100-90%-A 89-80%-B 79-70%-C 69-60%-F

Grading Criteria and Categories:

Grades will be entered into one of two categories:

Summative: 70% of Grade (weighted)
There will be from three to five assessments per semester. These represent the final product of a unit. / Formative: 30% of Grade (weighted)
These are designed as practice to prepare and demonstrate your learning. These assignments will be graded and feedback will be given. You may turn in these assignments up until assessment it’s connected to is completed or until the hard deadline reached. Once that time has passed the formative assignments will no longer be accepted and a zero will be earned.
Example Summative Assessments:
·  Tests
·  Essays
·  Projects
·  Discussions
·  Speeches/Presentations
·  Other / Example Formative Assignments:
·  Chapter Question Sections
·  Knowledge building activities
·  Handouts
·  Class discussion responses
·  Note taking activities
·  Video responses
·  Vocabulary activities
·  Socratic Seminars (may be summative)
·  Chapter quizzes
·  Journals
·  Interactive notebooks
·  Other

Late or Missing Work: There is no busy work in this class. Every assignment has a purpose. Therefore it is vital that you complete all assignments in order to help build pathways to information in your brain. While it benefits you the most to have your work done on time, late work will be accepted up until the assessment it’s connected to has been taken or originally due. There may also be hard deadlines for some assignments. Pay attention to deadlines! No late work will be accepted after the hard deadline. All eligible assignments must be in one week prior to the end of the semester. The most important thing about late or missing work is communication. Please speak to me if you have extenuating circumstances.

Reassessment: The goal of this class is for you to become proficient! We will work hard every day to make it so. Students will be given at least one opportunity to retake summative assessments they fail in order to demonstrate proficiency, provided that students are making adequate progress toward proficiency. Students who wish to retake or rewrite a summative assessment must make arrangements with the teacher and must be completed by the due date established by the teacher. These opportunities are subject to the teacher’s discretion. Students are also expected to work with the teacher during intervention time before a reassessment is provided. Retakes of formative assessments will not be offered.

In order to be eligible to retake an assessment, there will be required preparation and practice. If students wish to retake an assessment they have already passed, they will be required to do the preparation and practice, as well.

The highest assessment grade will be entered in the gradebook.

Required Texts and Other Supplies/Fees:

·  Writing utensils – blue or black ink pens, or pencils

·  Highlighters (2 different colors preferred)

·  1 spiral notebook dedicated specifically to this class for their interactive notebook – it needs to be sturdy and preferable not a composition notebook.

o  You may also want a section in your three ring binder for miscellaneous assignments.

·  Glue stick (2)

·  Sticky notes

·  Colored Pencils (12 pack)

·  Textbooks and novels as needed (will be checked out from the school)

·  Suggestions: scissors, Kleenex, hand sanitizer

Class Policies:

It is my goal for you to grow your brains, specifically in reading and writing. Mastering the learning targets in English requires students to actively think about what they know and to relate that to new ideas to be learned. To be successful, students must:

1.  Be actively involved in class, ask questions, and contribute to discussions. Don't be shy. Enjoy class! We discuss a lot of interesting subjects; open your mind to learning new things!

2.  Be here. If you know ahead of time that you will be absent (example: sporting event, doctor’s appointment, vacation), it is your responsibility to get your work before you leave. If you are sick or have an unplanned absence, see me as soon as you get back to get your make-up work.

3.  Complete or attempt all formative and summative assignments. All assignments are designed to help you learn. They are not busy work.

4.  Ask for help and ask questions of fellow students, especially those in your group (when appropriate), and the teacher (when appropriate) when you are confused or don’t understand. Be you own advocate!

5.  Do your homework on time so that you are not slowing the class down by not being prepared.

6.  Prepare in advance for tests and quizzes and group learning activities like Socratic Seminars. Review notes, re-read material and study guides completed in class, find someone that you can verbally explain concepts to ahead of the test (if you can explain it well to someone, you know it).

7.  Do not distract self and/or other students from the opportunity to learn. For this classroom, that means water with a screw on lid only and no food.

8.  Follow the guidelines set by the school and the district student behavior code (dress code, tardy policy, cell phone policy, etc). Come to class on time and prepared with materials, including a spiral notebook interactive notebook (you can leave this in the classroom), blue or black pen, pencil and eraser.

9.  In group-work, use the 95 / 5 rule… (95% English / 5% social, only after the work is done!)

10.  Remember that cell phones and other electronic devices should be OFF & out of sight. If such devices are out or disrupt class by ringing, a referral will be written to the office.

11.  Be safe and follow all campus safety rules at all times.

12.  Be respectful to the teacher, fellow classmates, and any guests to our classroom (guest speakers, substitute teachers, student teachers, etc.) Swear words, racist, homophobic, anti-religious, or offensive language will not be accepted nor tolerated. There will be immediate consequences.

13.  Use the bathroom as you need but don’t abuse this liberty. Go to the restroom during the passing period. Don’t ask to use the restroom in the first ten or last ten minutes of class. Request permission from Ms. Watson at a good time to do so (not in the middle of a sentence). Sign in and out at the door and use the hall pass. Should bathroom breaks become an issue, individual contracts may be created.

Academic Support: Everyone learns differently, and everyone requires different things to be successful in their education. Please know that I try to consider this at every turn. You also must remember that equal is not always fair. I will work to reach each student where he/she is at, but you must reach out to me as well! This is not a “sit it and get it” class. Your active participation is required in order for your brain to grow. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and please do not hesitate to come in before school or during intervention times.

Important Note to Parents/Guardians:

Young teens in high school are quite busy but they still need your support and involvement. Research indicates that when parents and teachers work as partners, children are more successful in school. I welcome your calls and e-mails. (E-mails work best for me.) Let’s partner together this year to make this the best school year yet for your child!

Keep in mind, if you need to contact your student for an emergency or any other reason during the school day, outside of our lunch period, PLEASE call the school phone number (541) 474-5710 and your student will be contacted. Please do not call or text your student’s cell number during class because it causes disruption to both your and other students’ learning.


Please return the signed page only to Ms. Watson by Friday, September 15, 2017.

I have read this course syllabus and understand the content.

Student Name:______Period:

Student Signature: ______Date ______

Parent Name:______

Parent Signature: ______Date ______