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To: All my students

From: Mr. Sánchez


Subject: Classroom Procedures for 2009-2010

Four Guarantees
1. I will never give you busy work.
2. You will learn things to use and remember for a lifetime.
3. I will never intentionally embarrass you.
4. You will have unusual things to do.

Respect— Obvious, but important


The poster “All I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten” comes to mind when I think of the
word respect. This basic human principle of respecting others, and in turn expecting others to
respect you, is crucial to making the classroom (and the world for that matter) a healthy and
encouraging place to live. Therefore, this simple, yet profound truth of respect is the
foundation for my classroom. Please know you will always receive it from me, and I will expect
the same from you.

A gentle reminder: when in doubt, always treat someone with kindness. In high school your
schedule is usually not the same as anyone else’s, and consequently you may only see
someone for one period in the day. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to know what has gone
on in each of our lives in the last 24 hours, so please give each other a break and treat
someone with kindness. It is so easy to use words to demean someone, but it takes great
character to fill another person with joy and acceptance.

Writing
Be prepared to do lots of writing. Along with reading, writing is an essential skill that you will
use for the rest of your life. Writing is a higher-level thinking skill and is extremely difficult to
master. I will provide you will all of the tools that you need to be a successful writer and I will
do my best help through whatever difficulties you may have.

This is not a skill that comes together in an evening—it takes time! Before the final paper is
turned in, it will go through several stages of revision, by me and/or your peer (and hopefully
always by yourself too)! It is also through writing that we will encounter and learn grammar to
enhance your writing. In my class, writing will appear in all different forms, from journal
entries, response questions, and creative writing, to formal papers with research components.

Attendance—Be here.
A 45-minute class is a long time to miss. Because we do so many things in one class period,
and there are so many wonderful activities that work well as a group, but not on an individual
basis, everything cannot be recreated for you if you miss a class. Therefore, it is essential that
you be in class. It doesn’t happen often, but if you happen to be tardy, I have a simple policy.
The first tardy is a grace period; the second you will receive a verbal warning from me, and
the third will be a detention. Please note that this policy is only for unexcused tardiness; if you
have a pass a special notified permit, of course you will not be penalized.

Homework
Expect to see a variety of homework, from reading to writing to creating art or eaves-
dropping on someone’s conversation and recording it. I will include a reading schedule with
dates for all kind of novels. Major writing assignments will always come with a schedule and
you will be allowed lots of opportunities for revisions before the final paper is due. I will always
request that the final paper be typed. That’s for the book analysis.

Make-up work (for excused absences only)


Since we are on a tight schedule, you are well aware of the advantages and the disadvantages
of not seeing each other everyday. Therefore, if you miss my class, and return to school the
next day, it is your responsibility to find me on the in-between day and ask for your
missed assignments and check the class log. I will allow you the number of class days you
missed to make up your work. (If you miss one class day, I will ask you to return your missing
work the following day, even if you do not have me in class that day.) Major tests and
quizzes you will need to talk to me after class to make up. If you have been gone for a couple
of days and a major project or test is due the day you return and it has been assigned well
in advance of your absence, I will expect you to come prepared to take the test or turn in
the project. Of course there are always extenuating circumstances and they will be considered
on an individual basis. If there is some legitimate need for you to have an extension on a
paper or project, please come and talk to me before the day of the assignment and I will be
happy to consider it.

Late work
In a perfect world there is no such thing, but alas…here we are. I will be quite honest with
you: late work is one of my biggest pet peeves. Other than excused absences, I will take late
work for points off for the first day it is late (not the first day you see me next) and it will be
marked down points off for each day that it is late. After the fifth day, the assignment WILL
NOT BE ACCEPTED ANY LONGER. The assignment will receive a zero. Do not get yourself into
this situation. Please.

Supplies
You will need to have the following items with you every day:
• Blue or a black pen and a pencil and an eraser.
• A three-ring binder with college-ruled paper and tab dividers or a notebook split in three
sections.
The dividers should be marked as follows:
• Exercises and compositions
• Vocabulary builder
• Grammar builder
Grading
I grade on a total point system. For each month there are roughly 100 points to be broken up
among tests, quizzes, papers and homework assignments. Each assignment is given a
different point value based on its magnitude and depth. While these percentages might vary
slightly, each Written test is worth 30%, the Oral Exam 10%, homework 20%, participation
20%, Behavior or Conduct 10 % and attendance10 %. Please know it is my duty to be a fair
and objective grader. If you ever have a question about a grade, I will be happy to clarify it
for you after class has ended.

Evaluation Scale

90-100 level work—successfully meets the necessary requirements, and usually goes beyond,
with clarity, proficiency, polish, depth of thought, complexity, and is near error free.
80-89 level work—solidly meets the necessary requirements with clarity, proficiency, some
depth of work, polish and a few errors.
60-79 level work—completes the necessary requirements with some proficiency, is somewhat
clear, but may contain some errors and demonstrates little depth of thought.
50-59 level work—does not meet all of the requirements for an assignment, may be off-track
or difficult to follow, and contains many errors.
Below 50 level work—does not meet the requirements for the assignment.

My door is always open to you and your parents. Please ask for help when you need it. I will
always make the time for you. Do not hesitate to contact me whenever you need me.

Affectionately,

Mr. Sánchez