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What do you think of when you think of language arts?
Chances are, you fall on one side of a series of spectrums: you think of a teacher handing you a most-loved book or being forced to read novels with no understanding or care; you think of the joy of diving into your wildest ideas through writing or excruciating hand-cramps and hours in front of a blank computer screen; you think of the thrill of research and presentations or the horrifying pounding of your heart as you stand surrounded by your peers and your teacher evaluating your every syllable.
No matter where you land in these thoughts, Language Arts in high school provides many chances to expand, and hopefully leave a lasting, positive influence, on all of these experiences.
The skills learned through language arts are not only important independently, but they are also necessary for success in other areas of study, and in life beyond school; that may be one reason each of you will spend the next four years in an LA class!
Over these next four years, you will cover four areas of study: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. While each of these is a distinct, individual category, language arts isn’t just research papers and reading the classics; that is only the beginning.
Take reading for example: you have already been learning to read; now you are reading to learn. Language Arts will help you to think more critically, and even abstractly, about the information there are receiving in every aspect of your daily life. This type of critical thinking, coupled with communication during class discussion or in an essay, teaches valuable life skills you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
Expectations & Rules
As you enter class, store all your personal electronics, including cell phones. Even during times of approved electronic use, you are NEVER permitted to take photos/videos of others without explicit consent.
Every day, the class blog will be posted on the front board of the classroom; this is our daily agenda. Read the posted daily agenda & complete the entry task as you come into class each day.
If you miss class for any reason, you are responsible for gathering any missed assignments & information; you can find all daily agendas & documents by selecting your class from the main menu. We will also be using Google Classroom to access and complete assignments; you will be added to this at the start of the semester.
To make the most of our time together, I have one broad, but immeasurably important, rule for our class to be followed at all times:
Respect your learning & the learning of others.
Recognize & fulfill your role as a member of our learning community
Expect the best of yourself & others
Show appreciation for differences
Participate in the growth of our community
Empathize with others
Cooperate to make everyone feel accepted
Treat others as you would like to be treated
Listen & ask thought-provoking questions
Effectively articulate your thoughts & beliefs
Arrive at opinions through thorough research
Network to build positive relationships with peers & staff
Numerical grades will rarely appear on daily assignments other than final projects, quizzes, & tests. Most assignments will be graded on a holistic rubric system or a check system. Your final grade will be based on the percentage of graded assignments & mastery of course material at the end of the semester.
The grading categories you will see in Skyward are:
- Test & Quizzes 80%
These grading categories are intended to allow you time to practice & initially learn new skills through class assignments & then show your skills on any unit assessments. All course assessments correspond directly to required state standards in English Language Arts.
When viewing your grade on any tests or quizzes, you will see a 4-point standards-based score.
4- Advanced (85-100%)
3- Proficent (70-84%)
2- Basic (35-69%)
1- Below Basic (0-34%)
You will have an opportunity to show growth on all assessments. This often means your assessment scores will be replaced in the grade book as we move throughout the course; you will continue to see your previous scores to understand your growth, but they will be marked as "no count" & will not impact your final grade.
* Also note:
You can always work with me to show growth in your learning; therefore, I accept most late assignments for full credit. You may also redo any daily assignments & some quizzes to show additional learning.
(There may be 2-3 assignments to which this rule does not apply, & I will be sure to notify you of this when the assignment is given.)