Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here is the Syllabus

Mr. Ross 4-104 407-482-6300, ext. 4104

1. We will complete a survey of American literature that will take us from early settlers through modernist writers. At the end of each literary period (settlers, transcendentalists, Harlem Renaissance, etc.), there will be a test. Some tests will be essay tests, some will be multiple choice, some will be creative writing. Unfortunately, the due dates for these assignments cannot be assigned in advance because they will be determined by our individual progress as a class. Percentages are below (3).

2. This is a service learning classroom. Service learning is an innovative new approach to teaching that uses community service as a cornerstone of the lesson. You are required to do community service as part of this class. All students must complete one hour of community service.

3. Your grades will be broken up into the following percentages: 10% vocab, 10% participation, 20% projects, 20% class-work, 20% essays/tests, 10% homework, 10% reading.

4. You will read at least four books and have one report due each nine weeks. This report is called a Literary Analysis. It is only one page long, double-spaced. It will tell me how any book you read has something to do with the community service you have decided to do. You can read ANY book—it doesn't have to be about your community service. Use your creativity and ingenuity to find the connection between seemingly unrelated topics. For the report, I take one point off for each mistake, no matter how small. I take ten points off if you go even one word over one page. A is excellent, B is good, C is average, D is poor, F is failing. Completing an assignment without anything wrong does not earn you an A. Completion is average; A is for excellent. Furthermore, this is the grade I assign BEFORE I take points off for mistakes. Due dates are on the back of this sheet.

5. I do not assign much homework as I believe that practice of our concepts should be guided by me in class. I do have several assignments, though, that you will need to work on at home. The dates are on the back. Please check the dates for the major projects.

6. I am always available for help during lunch. At busier times (before a large assignment, end of the term, etc.), you may want to make an appointment. Students should not be in the building during lunch unless they are getting academic help. Personal problems should be directed to the guidance department.

7. Honors assignments must be typed. You are getting an entire letter grade higher for this class. The media center is available for computer use during lunch and before/after school. There are computer labs at this school. Many students also go to the public library or friends' houses. These are all free options. "Typed Assignments" is a requirement for which there will be no exceptions.

Each of these should be answered and checked off by the corresponding date. This is your responsibility. You must see it checked off after I have read and graded it in front of you. Each response should be one sentence to one paragraph.

September 1: What do you care about?
October 1: Who does it affect?
November 1: What's being done about it?
December 1: What can you do about it?
January 1: What have you done about it?
February 1: Why should other people care?
March 1: How can you make them care?
April 1: What will you tell other people about your service?
May 1: How do you pledge to get involved in the future?

Four creative projects:

Write a freeverse poem (focusing on line break, grammatical statements)
Write a short story
Creative Three
Creative Four

One oral presentation: 3-5 minutes

Two research papers: 1-2 page essays in MLA Format: A) What's wrong with the world (using research); B) How can we fix the world?

Four literary analyses (two weeks before the end of each grading term 10/15, 01/06, 3/11, 5/27); one page, typed, double spaced, MLA.

If we do not meet on a due date, which is likely, assignments are due the next class meeting.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lesson Plan Notification

Okay, so we're not flying through stuff--that's good! But we're a little behind. So far, all odd classes are about halfway through the day one (8/25) lesson. We'll be a half-day behind then. But we may take another whole day to get that half caught up, so we'll be a whole day behind then. At least it will be neat and clean that way.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day

Met some great kids today. Can't wait to start the year!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

paperless syllabus? Totally.

I was wondering how to do this--and then it came to me--POST IT THE BLOG! So that's what I'm going to do. The syllabus will be posted by Monday night for the reading of students, parents/guardians, other teachers, and everyone else in the whole world.

By the way, if students can find ANY grammatical errors on my blog, I'll give them a Homework Pass. Just respond to the post where you find it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Paperless Teaching

Today we did our syllabus for the first day of the paperless classroom. Last year my syllabus was 4 pages long, and this year it's half a page. I'll have probably 150 kids (?), so that's 75 pages. That's a lot of paper. How could I cut down on syllabuses? Please post ideas!!!