Course Syllabus

COMPOSITION: FALL 2021 JOIN CLASS-future leopard 72

Period 2: Class code: woygy

Period 4: Class code: cjkef

Google Classroom:

Period 2 and 4:

Room 013

Office hours are Monday and Friday, 3:00to 4:00 p.m by appointment.  Google Meets and invites will be set up upon request. 

Course Guidelines: 

Composition is a prerequisite to English II, which ends with the English II End-of-Course Final Exam in June 2022. All tenth-grade classes will read nonfiction and fiction pieces from the literature around the world along with U.S. seminal texts (e.g. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech, King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," President Lincoln’s "The Gettysburg Address," Washington's Farewell Address) to prepare and practice for the EOC. Composition class will focus heavily on writing skills (grammar in preparation for the ACT and SAT, writing coherently, editing and revising, researching and organizing information).

In addition, the student will: 

  • Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text and determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text; 
  • Read and comprehend literary nonfiction; 
  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of a topic or a text; 
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to convey ideas and information clearly and effectively; 
  • Conduct short research projects to answer a question or solve a problem, while integrating information into the text, avoiding plagiarism, and following a standard format for citation; Participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade ten topics, texts, and issues; 
  • Demonstrate command of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking; 
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing; 
  • Write and edit work so that it conforms to the guidelines of MLA style; 
  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases; 
  • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language and nuances in words. 

Materials: The supplies are basic but I do find it necessary to keep your work organized and remain productive. 


  • A three-ring binder (with a folder or additional folders) with dividers
  • Loose-leaf paper (does not have to be college-ruled)
  • Pens (black, blue, and red {to identify errors} are best)
  • Index cards
  • Composition notebook
  • Pencils/Highlighters

We will be drafting, brainstorming, proofing, and reading so having paper, a writing tool, and a place to store your items is vital to your success. Of course, you will still need to come with a charged Chromebook. Please let me know if you have any concerns.

Classroom Rules and Expectations


    1. Come to class prepared and on time
    2. Stay focused, on task, participate
    3. Respect teacher, classroom, classmates
    4. No food, beverages (except for water), or chewing gum
  1. Obey all school policies

1st offense:  Warning

2nd offense: Teacher-Student Conference

3rd offense: Telephone/Email to parents/guardians

4th offense:  Administrative referral

Course Outline:

  • Grammar, punctuation, and usage for writing and ACT prep (identifying the parts of speech, sentence parts, clauses, sentence types; editing for commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes; subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and pronoun usage)
  • The expository writing process (6+1 traits in writing, extended definition, cause-and-effect, problem-solution)
  • The research writing process (locating and evaluating resources, annotating, annotated bibliography, in-text citations, mini-research paper)
  • Literature: World Literature short stories, poetry, novels to include Night, Latin American, Magic Realism, and Asian literature
  • Vocabulary development will be included in reading activities

Organization for Success: 

Each student should have a three-ring binder. Divide as follows: 

-- Literature -- Writing --Grammar    -- Vocabulary 

It is encouraged that students invest in a daily planner whether it be electronic or tangible. These agenda-type planners help keep pace with homework assignments, approaching due dates, and other information. Homework and due dates will be posted daily on Canvas.  

We will use composition books (no spiral!) for writing practices, taking class notes, and storing other assignments. It is imperative that you have one! These will be collected bi-weekly for a cursory check and classwork grade. Practices may be peer-evaluated; the teacher will be looking for completion of both the practice and peer evaluations. Weekly writing & vocabulary/grammar quizzes (usually Fridays) often focus on the writing skills out of your composition book that we practiced throughout the week. 

Procedures and Guidelines for Classroom Decorum (Virtual Learning):

  • Assignments should be turned in prior to the scheduled start of class to be considered on time. Late assignments completed during class instruction time will be recorded as Late.
  • There will be one assignment to submit every weekday Monday through Thursday. These will be called “formative assessments” or “classwork/homework.” You will have a “test” every Friday on that week’s content (and past weeks); these will be called “summative assessments.”
  • Formative assessments will be graded on the following scale:
    • 90-100%: All work completed and no major issues with the standards.
    • 80-89%: All work completed but a singular issue exists with a standard.
    • 60-79%: All work completed but repetitive issues exist (previously identified). 
    • 0-50%: The assignment is incomplete.
  • Summative assessments will be graded on accuracy.
  • Videos of instruction may be posted but are not guaranteed daily.  If you miss a class lecture, it is important to communicate with me so we can get you caught up on missing lectures and assignments. 
  • I will use Canvas to post assignments and monitor work that has been turned in.  Class codes will be provided during the first week of class. 
  • When sending emails, please remember that you are submitting a professional means of communication. Be respectful, direct in your request/needs, and remember to use proper grammar and punctuation (After all, I am your English Language teacher).
  • Communicate technical difficulties to me before the end of the day at 3:00. I may be able to help you before we need to summon the help of Mr. Elliott.

Homework Policy 

Homework is generally assigned to complete work not completed in class or to practice a standard/objective the class is working towards. Late homework may not be accepted, as homework is usually discussed and checked the next school day (An exception would be for an excused absence from school or a request for an extension that is made in advance of the deadline). Homework may be checked for completion or it may be taken up and graded by the teacher. In Composition, it is likely that a student needs to finish a writing assignment at home in order to provide the student with the proper time to submit work that demonstrates a clear understanding of the assigned task. 

Absences/Make up work policy:

All make-up work is due upon the student’s return to class and after the will be posted on CANVAS. It is the student's responsibility to check CANVAS and ask the teacher if assistance is needed. Students are responsible for handing in due assignments when they return to class after the two (2) days to make up work for every one (1) day of absence as stated in the Students’ Handbook. Once that grace period has passed, late penalties will apply to the assignment (10% per day). Absences and not completing work are the biggest hindrance to a student’s success. Please be diligent in keeping pace with the course. 

*If a student is absent the day before a quiz/test/essay due date, he/she is not excused from the assignment.

Tardy Policy:

School policy states: Three (3) tardies make an absence.  There will be no excused tardies for the period following lunch. Students must be in the room when the bell rings to avoid being marked tardy. If tardy, you must have a note from a teacher or a tardy slip from a hall monitor to enter class. 

Late Work: 

Failure to turn in any assignment on the due date may result in a zero (0) on the assignment. If late work is accepted, ten (10) points will be deducted for every day that it is late. Students should not wait until a progress report to be concerned about making up work. Students will know days in advance of the due dates for larger assignments; ergo, do not procrastinate! 

Cheating/Plagiarism Policy:

I define cheating as knowingly giving or receiving answers for any assignment, regardless of its importance. This may include passing answers in or out of class, viewing or allowing other students to view answers/assignments during class, or any method used to copy and/or change answers. Plagiarism is defined as knowingly using content from another source without providing the proper accreditation and citation to that source. If caught cheating or plagiarizing, student(s) will receive a zero (0) for the assignment. Parameters for group assignments will be defined clearly; however, an independent assignment means it should be done independently! 

Bathroom Policy: 

Take care of bathroom needs before entering class. There is no using the bathroom during the first or last fifteen minutes of class - no exceptions! In case of the occasional emergency, ask to be excused during a transition in class that is not interrupting instruction. You must sign in and sign out when given permission to leave. If you know you frequently drink throughout the day, please bring a water bottle and fill it at the assigned fountain (currently only one fountain is available). 

CANVAS and Chromebooks: 

Students and parents need to reference CANVAS to view assignments, grades, and retrieve pertinent documents. Due dates and documents will be posted in CANVAS; many quizzes, tests, and essays will only be submitted through CANVAS. Students will also need to be familiar with their Google account. I will e-mail/message/post and share pertinent documents throughout the semester. Not using CANVAS is no longer an option! Students are expected to report any damages to their ChromeBook immediately to the teacher. 

Grading Scale:

Formative assessment (‘virtual class work’): 60%

Summative assessment ('test'): 40%

*Cumulative Teacher-Made Final Exam           20% of final grade (school exemption applies!)

All public schools use a ten-point grading scale: 

A = 100-90

B = 80-89

C = 70-79

D = 60-69

F = 59 or below

Please complete the Parent/Student Survey by clicking on the link below.

Parent/Student Survey

Course Summary:

Date Details Due