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Freshman English

Mrs. Lawler
General Description of the Course:
Every student must successfully complete this course. Students will learn and practice reading,
writing, critical thinking and speaking skills that will be the foundation for success in life. This
course is specially designed to meet the individual needs of students functioning at a variety of
skill levels. The goal is for every student to perform at or above grade level by the end of the
course. Because of this goal, it is an intense course that covers an immense amount focused on
improving reading skills through the explicit teaching of the 7 habits of proficient readers.
Students will also learn and practice writing through various activities and assignments. While
this class is a lot of work, it has proven to be effective in raising academic achievement and
confidence. English I is a course required for admittance to any college or post-secondary
Materials Needed:
Each student is responsible for their own: WRITING UTENSIL
I will provide all of the other materials students need to be successful including folders, papers,
books, notebooks, posters, etc.
Daily Academic Expectations:
Students will be expected to come to class on time and prepared everyday with course
materials ready to work. This means the student is expected to arrive to class alert and ready to
participate. Students will be expected to participate in activities and classroom discussions by
offering good constructive criticism without being rude or disrespectful to the teacher and fellow
classmates. Students will also be expected to put for their best effort with every assignment.
Daily Behavioral Expectations:
Be Respectful
Be Responsible
Be Reasonable
Students will help create a classroom contract. I expect each student to enter class with a
positive attitude, the energy to work and the respect for others in the room. I believe each
member of my classroom community has the right to learn. If at any time a student is
impeding the learning of others, disciplinary actions may be taken.
Homework Expectations:
Students will be given one article each week to read for homework, they will have the entire
week to read and respond to a prompt. Students may be required to finish classwork at home, any
homework will be collected at the start of class and must be turned in at that time.
Adapted from Theresa Mingus 2011

Reading Expectations:
Everyday students will be reading an independent reading book of their choice. Students will be
required to read and follow along with all class texts. These reading tasks will go toward the 25
Book Campaign implemented at Valley. One book is considered 125 pages. Students will track
the number of pages read each day and progress will be celebrated throughout the school year.
What to do if you miss a class:
Excused Absence: The missed work or an alternate assignment will be given to make up
for the lost instructional time.
Unexcused Absence: I reserve the right to decide if make-up work is acceptable for the
absence. This course involves participation with the group each day to understand the
lessons. It is something that cannot be reproduced and taken home in a packet. An
alternate assignment may be done in place of absences at teachers discretion.
Daily Work Habits:
1. Students arrive on-time to class, pick up their folders and get to their seats.
2. Students must report to their seats copy the learning target and begin working on
Independent Reading (IR) immediately after the bells rings.
3. Students must be prepared for class with a pencil and an open mind.
4. Participation grades will be given each day in class. Attitude, work effort, quality of
work and manners will fall under the participation/conduct category.
5. Students will work cooperatively in groups, when assignments require pairs, groups and
Writing Portfolio Expectations:
Writing Pieces expected, but will not be limited to the following:
Narrative- Based on essential question- pivotal event that has shaped
public or private identity.
I-Search paper-Students generate a question to research. Question could
be a genuine question of students own curiosity or a big question that
comes from Independent Reading or class text.
Argument piece- Could be a proposal for school-based service learning
project, or some kind of argument to support their school or belief.
Literary Analysis- Students develop a Constructed Response (CR): thesis,
supporting paragraphs, transitions and conclusion.
Resume-A snap shot of students education and work/activity history to
present to potential employers.
Required reading texts:
Texts to be covered, but will not be limited to the following:
The Absolutely True Diary of a
The Odyssey- Homer
Part Time Indian- Serman Alexie
A Mid-Summer Night Dream To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper
Adapted from Theresa Mingus 2011

Grading Procedures:
30%-Formative Assessments
This includes daily work that assesses a students understanding of standards given for the grading
period. Daily work/effort checks will be done to document student work, behavior and effort. There will
be a variety of ways to get credit.
50% Summative Assessments
This includes all proficiency exams, final exams, revised drafts of writing pieces, and any other
summative assessments that may be given. Standards-based grading is now being implemented across
the district to ensure students are mastering content as they progress through their education. Tests will
occasionally be given to sum up each unit/topic.
**District Common Assessments: At specific times during the year students are given a piece of
reading and are asked to answer multiple choice and constructed response questions to assess the topics
covered throughout the district. All students in this course at other schools take the same assessment and
scores are reported to the district. This allows us room for improvement in our instruction and
curriculum design.
20% Reflection & Participation: Students will have opportunity to earn points each day of the week;
copies of the Student Accountability Sheet are available upon request.
Grading Scale:
90-100 Above Standards
80-89 Meets Standards
75-79 Approaching Standards
70-74 Below Standards
below 70 Substantially Below Standards

Adapted from Theresa Mingus 2011