Honors English 9
Ms. Jeannie Chufo
p: 858.350.0253 x4128
online class: Google Classroom
online grades: https://parent.sduhsd.net/
“Life is a series of collisions with the future.” – Jose Ortega y Gasset
Welcome to Honors English 9. Jose Ortega y Gasset’s quotation speaks to the locus of our studies this year as we explore the individual in conflict with society. Using a combination of poetry, plays, novels and epics, we shall examine the character’s “collisions” with the body politic and uncover the difficult space between this vast “body” of influence and his/her identity. As we uncover some of these tensions in our texts, you may identify with the characters as you carve out your own identity amidst a maelstrom of influences here in high school.
Along with our analysis of literature, we will delve into grammar, parts of speech, journaling, style imitation, essay writing and note-taking. This class is designed to help you with many organizational strategies not only for your academic career but also for life. You may be overwhelmed at first as we move through several topics during each class. Feel confident that in time you will acclimate. Keep in mind, daily planners (low or high tech) can be a life-saver as we move from topic to topic and you move from class to class. Also, your homework will be posted online for your convenience; my website or the online class is a great place to check that you are “up to speed” on class assignments.
As you read the following course expectations, remember that I am committed to your success. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. From home, you may find it helpful to reach me via e-mail. When you do e-mail me, don’t forget to sign your name. It’s hard to tell who needs help if his/her e-mail is something like email@example.com. ; )
You will be required to carefully read all assigned texts, texts of your choice and to complete daily homework assignments. You will also work on essay writing, multimedia projects and maintaining an organized notebook.
Reading and what not: You should be prepared to read and annotate 20 -25 pages of literature in preparation for each class period. Class time will be dedicated to discussion of readings as well as guidance and preparation of individual and group projects. Quizzes, timed writings, and major essays will also be expected. Additionally, you will be coached to develop goal-setting, time management, and interdisciplinary skills.
Outside Reading Books, Silent Sustained Reading, “Free” Reading: The best way to improve your reading and speaking vocabulary is by reading. Hence, I will support “free reading” during the course of our studies. It is your responsibility to find books that are age appropriate, parent approved, and interesting for you to read in class. A free reading book must be brought to class each day. You will be required to keep track of your reading, to set goals for yourself, and to continue to challenge yourself to explore other genres if you are one who tends to fixate in one specific area of interest. The purpose of “free reading” is to continue to hone your reading and vocabulary skills without having to annotate and analyze. It is the moment where we swap books, share ideas and promote authors. Every year I read books that have been recommended to me by students and vice versa. We are a community of learners in the classroom and most students find this free reading time one of the highlights of their day—really!
Annotating or tracking within a text: Students tend to cringe when I say that annotating is a helpful skill for analyzing texts and, for that matter, life (more commentary later). Realistically you should expect to annotate all texts we read for analysis in class. (There will be opportunities, as I have mentioned above, for pleasure reading in class and this will give you an opportunity to practice the art of what I call “beach reading.”) In any case, you should know that annotating is good for the academic soul as long as you take it in stride and follow along with the support and help of your classmates. To understand a dense text, you may have to read, re-read, look up words, and circle moments that don’t make sense, go get another cup of cocoa and read again. My point is: reading is a challenge and, it should be to reap the great reward of understanding and finding meaning. The notion is to “mine the darkness: see the path you leave behind” (A . Young). It is not enough to understand the basic plot. We are really seeking to understand the meaning of the text and how we might reflect upon our own place in the world. Annotating also makes sense if the endpoint of each literary work is to write responses about what we read. You will find it much more rewarding when you have “tracked your own meaning” in the text along the way rather than be told: “Okay class, we will all look to uncover the meaning behind Holden Caulfield’s red hunting cap.” How painfully dull for the teacher and the student. Forty writings on the same topic are certain to bring me to tears and you to climb the walls of your bedroom as you attempt to write something insightful. So instead, annotations should liberate you to find the meaning on your own. You will be required to “mine the darkness” and to come up with something of your interest to write about.
Texts may include but are not limited to the following: Antigone, Medea, Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Black Boy, The Bean Trees, The Odyssey, A Separate Peace and various short stories and poems.
Vocabulary Building &Words of the Day: As part of our vocabulary building throughout the term, you will find words posted on the board each day. You are required to keep track of these words in your notebook. These words are cumulative, meaning that you will be required to know each word, its part of speech, and how to use each word appropriately right up to the end of the course. Creating flashcards with definitions, etymology, and correct usage in a sentence is effective in mastering vocabulary. This practice will be your personal responsibility.
The Technology for our class:
Woohoo. We will use technology in various this year. Here are a few of our options:
Remind101: This is a texting tool that I will introduce to you. It allows me to text you changes or updates in our daily plan. You cannot respond to my text, but it does allow you to get the most current information from me. Hurray!
My website: http://chufo.org: This year I am trying something new. I will be posting my information about all classes on my website to make access to your homework easier. Everything else, handouts and readings, will be in our cyber class on Blackboard, but homework will be a one-stop-shop. Hopefully you will find this much easier to navigate.
Our online class: For your additional learning pleasure you will have access to an online component of your class. All students will be given a user name and password to access the cyber version of what we do in the classroom. Homework assignments, grades, discussion questions, readings, and notes will be posted in your online class to help you in your studies throughout the year. To access your online class, please go to: http://sduhsd.blackboard.com
Don’t worry. You will be given specific instructions on how to navigate the course and use it throughout the year.
Your phone, your laptop, your iPad: All of these tools will be welcome in my class but please note that using them for anything other than the power of good will mean tragedy for your technology. If I find that you are unable to moderate your use of technology in class (we will speak more specifically about this in class) then I may collect it and have your parents pick it up at their earliest convenience.
One last note about technology: Speak to me if you have any questions or concerns about having access to your online class. Cyberspace is a wonderful place for additional class help, but it can be frustrating if you don’t have easy access to the web from home. Please address any issues you have at the beginning of the semester so that we can work something out that will work for both of us.
This course requires one’s commitment and attention therefore your presence is critical to your success. When you sit down in class the first week, ask for the names, e-mails, and phone numbers of the people around you. It is your responsibility to find out what work you have missed if you are absent or delayed from attending any part of this class. You may always speak to me OUTSIDE of class for clarification on missed assignments. Or, you may e-mail me to find out what you missed. But, it is preferred that you check your online class for homework postings before you speak to me.
Not only is it important that you show up, but also that you are a productive and supportive member of this class. Part of your grade is based on your contribution. This also means that I will not tolerate any “put downs” in class. We are here to share our ideas and to feel safe. The chemistry and energy of the class is very important to me. I guard your ideas and want you to always feel welcome to share them.
Just as I will respect your time and give you as much information as I can for your academic success at Canyon Crest Academy, I will ask you to respect my time. I find that success begins with proper time management and organization. As a result, I implement a rule in my classes that requires you to do so. All written assignments are due at the beginning of the period and no late work is accepted. If a student is absent, it is his or her responsibility to get the work assigned and information covered during his or her absence. If you have an excused absence, you have one day for each day you are absent to complete assignments. If your absence is unexcused, you will receive a “0” for assignments that were done in class or were due the day you were absent.
The Very Rare Extra Credit Opportunity (Did I emphasize rare?):
Occasional extra credit opportunities will be given throughout the course of the school year. These opportunities are teacher initiated and no student suggestions will be entertained.
The following is the district’s definition of plagiarism. Canyon Crest Academy supports the district and for that matter all learning institutions in valuing academic integrity in one’s work.
Plagiarism: Any intentional representation of another's ideas, words, or work as one's own. Plagiarism includes the misuse of published material, electronic material, and/or the work of other students. The original writer who intentionally shares his/her paper for another to copy, without the permission of the teacher, is also engaged in plagiarism.
By signing this syllabus you acknowledge that the work you produce in your class will be your own ideas and words.
Your grades will be posted online (Aeries) for your convenience. It is your responsibility to keep track of your grades and to communicate with me if you have questions or concerns. The points in this class are based on a running total. I do round up. For example, 89.4 is NOT an A-, however, an 89.5 is. Please note that the grading scale is as follows:
90 –100= A; 80 – 89= B; 70 – 79 = C; 60 – 69 = D; below 59= F
Suggested supplies: A three-section notebook, journal, pens, pencils, post-it-notes.
1. Be prompt and prepared (You should be in your seat when the bell rings and ready to work with all necessary materials. Note: new school-wide attendance policy).
2. Be participatory (In a respectful fashion; we are to support each other)
3. Be polite (Only one person at a time may speak. Cell phones may be confiscated if they pose to be a distraction in the classroom.)
4. Be discrete about drinking water in class. No gum.
5. Wait to be dismissed by the instructor. The bell does not dismiss the class.
I look forward to a successful year with you. If you need additional help or need to talk, I am available after school by appointment or via e-mail. We will work together to make this a productive and exciting first year!
- Ms. C