Course of Study

The design of this course coincides with the California Common Core Standards.  The standards “help ensure that students gain adequate exposure to a range of texts and tasks,” “read increasingly complex texts,” “gain adequate mastery of range of writing skills and applications,” and “gain adequate mastery of range of communication skills and applications.”  In addition, “students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.”  I aim to meet (and hopefully exceed) college and career readiness expectations based on these standards.  For a complete list of standards defined per grade level, please visit the following website:

For all classes, I will require students to read and write constantly.  Students will enhance their reading and writing skills through examining course texts, class discussions based on critical thinking related to course texts, periodic class debates on current events both directly and indirectly related to course texts, and through further research related to course texts and concepts taught within my classroom.  Throughout our studies, I will use a multi-media, multi-cultural, cross-curricular approach to the English language.  Students will also learn to make meaningful connections to literature with other tools such as computers, drama, speech, and art.  Students will have many opportunities to excel.  Critical thinking, rhetoric, and community involvement are key components of my class.  The development of research skills and use and evaluation of credible sources will be heavily emphasized.  MLA format is required; students will become familiar with and master the Modern Language Association’s guidelines for writing, citation and works cited.

I require that students familiarize themselves with the world around them by reading a credible daily newspaper, respected periodical, or appropriate website or blog.  This will teach students how to be an informed citizen.  We will hold frequent class debates to encourage discussion, raise interests, and practice communication applications.  Persuasive quick-writes or essays may also occur after debates.

My classes are project-based: reading and writing projects and vocabulary study will serve as homework.  This homework will be instrumental in learning the skills and concepts necessary for success.  Project information will be posted on my website.  Special emphasis will be placed upon argument, research, analysis, and synthesis of materials.

Course Expectations and Rules:
All expectations and rules are in addition to the school rules, so please follow school rules at all times.

  • Students must be in their assigned seat and ready to learn when the bell rings.  There will be consequences for those who are not.
  • On many days, there will be a written or visual prompt displayed at the front of the class.  I expect all students to spend the first five (5) minutes of class responding with a quick-write.
  • Tardy students will receive detention.
  • Always bring your books, paper, a pencil, and a pen to class.
  • Students may eat and drink in class as long as they clean up.
  • Please respect the teacher, your peers, and yourself.  Behave with maturity.
  • Students will not talk when the teacher is talking or when another students is talking.
  • Cell phones, iPods, iPads, and other electronic devices are not allowed and will be confiscated.
  • Students may use the restroom during class, but must obtain a pass from the teacher or the T/A.
  • The last five (5) minutes of class is for clean-up.  Please return all supplies and books to their proper place, place desks back in their proper order, and throw away any trash from food or drinks.
  • The bell does not excuse you from class, I do.  Please stay in your seats until I excuse you from class.