Language & Composition – Class Syllabus, 2013-2014

INSTRUCTOR: Mr. Darragh ROOM: 228 EMAIL: rdarragh@northbranfordschools.org WEBSITE: rdarragh.weebly.com --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students in Language & Composition will use various methods to approach and complete specific writing activities. Emphasis is on improving the writing process and product through reading and analyzing multiple exemplars. Students will work towards improving sentence, paragraph, and essay development, as well as proofreading and revision skills. Students will also engage in multiple practice activities in preparation for the SATs.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Essential Questions o How does a writer find his/her own voice? o How do audience, purpose, and topic influence a writer’s tone, language, and style? o Why is it important for a person to read well in order to write well? o Why is it important to demonstrate a mastery of standard written English? o How is the art of writing an integral component of our human existence?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------General Course Requirements  Students will produce a minimum of three publishable written texts  Students are required to submit major writing assignments to Turnitin.com  Students will need access to the internet and Mr. Darragh’s website in order to complete blog writing assignments, take the SAT Online quizzes, and submit assignments to Turnitin.com  Students will complete SAT diagnostic tests, online practice quizzes, and vocabulary assignments in preparation for the SAT test  Students will produce a minimum of one oral or visual text  Students will read one independent reading selection  Students will incorporate technology into various projects throughout the year

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------REQUIRED MATERIALS AND TEXTS: o Multi-subject notebook or binder with pocket folders o Pens, pencils, highlighters o Flash drive

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TURNITIN.COM: Turnitin.com will be a VITAL part of our classroom experience. You will be required to submit most of your writing assignments, either from home or at school. I will use Turnitin.com to read your drafts and write/record comments that you will then access on Turnitin.com before writing and submitting final copies of your essays. Therefore, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you are able to access Turnitin.com! If you used Turnitin.com last year, you will sign in with your same username and password, and then you must REGISTER for MY CLASS: Class ID = ______________ Class Password = _____________ If you are new to Turnitin.com, you need a valid, working email address to register for the site. See me if you need help.

COURSE CONTENT: UNIT 1: Grammar  This unit focuses on students learning to identify and correct the most common grammar errors with regard to punctuation, sentence structure, verb tense, and word choice.  Class activities and performance tasks include worksheets, quizzes, tests, SAT diagnostic tests, SAT online quizzes, SAT-style essay, proofreading, and revision. UNIT 2: The Definition Essay  In this unit, students will learn to identify and utilize the different techniques of “definition”.  Class activities and performance tasks include reading and analyzing essays, informal in-class writing assignments, group projects, quizzes, tests, Socratic seminars, and writing a formal definition essay. UNIT 3: Rhetorical Analysis  In this unit, students will learn to identify and utilize the different techniques of “rhetoric” and “rhetorical analysis”.  Class activities and performance tasks include reading and analyzing essays, informal in-class writing assignments, group projects, quizzes, tests, Socratic seminars, writing a rhetorical analysis essay, and writing/presenting a rhetorical argument (speech). UNIT 4: The Personal Essay  In this unit, students will learn to identify and utilize the different techniques of writing a personal narrative essay. Students will also read a nonfiction narrative text for outside reading.  Class activities and performance tasks include reading and analyzing essays, informal in-class writing assignments, journaling, blogging, group discussions, creative writing exercises, and writing a formal personal narrative essay.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IF YOU MISS A CLASS: 1. If I am in my room at school, check the Language & Comp folder for a current list of assignments. Then, find needed worksheets in the bottom tray underneath the folder. 2. Talk to and/or email Mr. Darragh to find out about any notes you may have missed, and when your missed work will be due. 3. Any work that was due on the day you missed MUST be turned in on the day you RETURN to school (even if we don’t meet as a class) in order to receive full credit! ****It is up to YOU to be responsible for finding out what you missed if you were absent!!!!**** --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------GRADING POLICY: Grades are calculated each marking period based on categories: CATEGORY 1: Participation, Classwork, and Homework = 25% of your grade CATEGORY 2: Formative and Summative Assessments = 75% of your grade Point Values for each assignment will fall in the following ranges:  Homework, classwork, participation 5-15 points each  Formative assessments, quizzes 20-50 points each  Tests, formal essays, major projects 60-100 points each CLASSROOM RULES:  NO PERSONAL CELL PHONE USE DURING CLASS! If I hear your phone, or see you using it for personal purposes, I will deduct behavior points for every infraction as well as ask you to surrender your phone to me.

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Display proper behavior and respect. Disruptions, profanity, or insubordination will receive punishment as per our Student Handbook guidelines. Food is NOT allowed in the room. You may bring a bottle of WATER to the class. During discussion, respect each other’s’ comments, opinions, and ideas. You must read, sign, and follow the school’s Plagiarism policy. See your student handbook for disciplinary measures with regard to plagiarism. All other general guidelines outlined in the Student Handbook apply at all times. Conferences – see me to make an appointment for before, during, or after school. Follow school dress code rules in the classroom. Attendance/ Tardy Policy (Please reference in the Student Handbook) 6 allowable absences (half-year course that meets every other day). More than ten minutes tardy to school/class result in a class cut; 3 cuts in the same class will result in a loss of credit. Two unexcused tardies (10 minutes or less) to class shall constitute one absence).

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Your attendance and promptness to class are required. Failure to attend class and be on time will negatively impact your grade!

I have read the aforementioned course requirements for Language and Composition. I agree to fulfill all course requirements to the best of my ability. In addition, I will dedicate myself to being the best student I can be. Your name (print)______________________________________ Signed: ______________________________________________ Date_____________________________________ Parent’s (print) name_____________________________ Signed: ____________________________________date_________________