AP  Literature  &  Composition   Dr.


  “The  Treachery  of  Images”  by  René  Magritte  (1928-­‐29)  

AP English Summer Contract Dr. Preston 2013-2014

AP Literature & Composition
David Preston, Instructor, Righetti High School

Course Description
AP English 4 provides a college-equivalent learning experience in literature & composition. Participation in this course is purely voluntary. For these reasons, seniors who enroll in this course are expected to do a great deal of independent reading and writing, and every student who takes this course is expected to take—and pass—the AP Literature & Composition exam. Success will require initiative, responsibility and discipline. Enrolling in AP English 4 signifies your commitment to meet the course requirements, beginning with the summer reading assignment and concluding with the AP Exam in May 2014.

Summer Reading
During the first week of school we will have an essay exam and Socratic seminars that focus on the themes and techniques demonstrated in the summer reading. In order to prepare, students are required to read and take notes on the following three works: • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen • Essays of Michel de Montaigne by Michel de Montaigne Students are expected to take active reading notes. This means writing as you read. Your notes should support your understanding of the following: 1) elements of literature (plot, characters, theme, e.g.); 2) writing tools and techniques (diction, syntax, foreshadowing, indirect characterization, e.g.); and 3) major themes and ideas from the books. In addition to these three categories, you may also take notes on any vocabulary, concepts, writing styles/strategies that you have questions about, or ideas in the text with which you strongly agree/disagree. This last category will be especially important in reading Montaigne, the inventor of the essay.

More Information
There will be a peer-to-peer lunchtime orientation in May. For more specific information about the course, or to arrange a class visit, please see Dr. Preston in Room 608 or email him directly at dpreston.learning@gmail.com.

    2013-­‐2014     INTRODUCTORY  MEMO       AP  English  4         TO:     FROM:       RE:       As  different  as  world  cultures  and  heritages  are,  they  all  share  one  story  in  common.     This  story  involves  a  call  to  adventure.  A  young  protagonist  is  captivated  by  a   question  or  a  challenge  and  leaves  safety  behind  to  explore  a  new  land  or  idea.     Along  the  way  he  or  she  is  confronted  with  obstacles,  helped  by  a  mentor,  and   confused  by  issues  of  learning  and  faith.    Ultimately  he  or  she  becomes   knowledgeable  and  returns  home  from  the  journey  transformed,  as  a  hero.         Today  is  the  day  you  begin  to  become  a  hero.         This  document  serves  the  following  three  purposes:  1)  To  introduce  myself  to  you,   2)  To  welcome  you  to  my  class,  and  3)  To  ensure  you  understand  what  it  will  take  to   be  successful.           YOUR  OPPORTUNITY  TO  BE  A  HERO   Dr.  Preston     Righetti  H.S.  Students  in  Dr.  Preston’s  Classes  

Education  has  been  a  big  part  of  my  life.    After  graduating  from  high  school  in  Los   Angeles  I  attended  UCLA,  where  I  earned  a  Bachelor’s  Degree  in  Communication   Studies,  a  Master’s  Degree  in  Teacher  Education,  and  a  Doctor  of  Philosophy  Degree   in  Educational  Policy  and  Management.    I  first  taught  at  the  Venice  Alternative   Education  &  Work  Center  in  1992,  and  at  many  other  schools  since.    For  ten  years  I   taught  at  the  UCLA  Graduate  School  of  Education  and  in  the  Business  &  Management   Extension  programs  at  UCLA.    In  1996  I  started  a  management  consulting  practice   and  I  advised  companies  about  how  to  train  and  lead  their  employees  to  achieve   challenging  goals.    Several  years  ago  I  decided  to  return  to  teaching  full-­‐time.    I   taught  at  the  fourth  largest  high  school  in  the  country  for  two  years  in  Los  Angeles,   and  came  to  Righetti  in  the  fall  of  2006.     My  class  and  my  approach  to  teaching  are  designed  for  one  goal:  your  success.    I   believe  that  as  students  we  learn  best  when  we  are  challenged,  when  we  are   encouraged,  and  when  we  are  given  an  opportunity  to  think  about  complex  ideas  in   a  place  where  we  can  concentrate  and  expand  our  minds.     The  quality  of  a  person's  life  is  in  direct  proportion  to  their   commitment  to  excellence,  regardless  of  their  chosen  field  of     endeavor.   -­‐  Vince  Lombardi    


In  teaching  thousands  of  students  over  the  years  I  have  learned  that  there  are  four   practices  that  make  everyone’s  learning  easier  and  more  effective.    To  support  the   goal  of  your  success,  I  ask  for  your  commitment  to  the  following  four  practices  in   addition  to  Righetti’s  general  standards  of  conduct.    You  can  remember  these  as   Preston’s  Four  P’s:     • • • • Students  will  be  PROMPT   Students  will  come  to  class  PREPARED   Students  will  be  POLITE   Students  will  be  PRODUCTIVE  


Each  day  you  come  to  class  you—the  hero—must  make  choices.    I  strongly  believe   that  individuals  have  the  right  and  the  obligation  to  choose  their  own  paths  in  life,  

and  that  high  school  students  are  old  enough  to  begin  making  informed  choices.     Each  choice  we  make  has  a  consequence.    If  you  are  a  driver  who  runs  a  red  light,   you  risk  getting  a  ticket  or  getting  hit  by  another  car.    I  strongly  encourage  students   in  my  classes  to  understand  and  follow  the  path  to  success.  Those  who  do  will   become  more  knowledgeable  and  experience  the  pride  and  satisfaction  of  a  job  well   done.    Those  who  choose  not  to  will  suffer  the  usual  “horribles”—warnings,  poorer   grades,  less  interesting  work,  and,  if  necessary,  conferences  with  parents/guardians   and/or  administrators.    In  my  class  you  will  choose  your  own  path  and  your  choices   will  be  visible  to  everyone  else  in  the  network.    In  fact,  I  will  never  “give”  you  a   grade—your  scores  and  evaluations  will  be  mere  reflections  of  the  understanding   and  skill  you  demonstrate.     I  expect  a  very  successful  experience  for  us  and  I  am  excited  about  being  your   teacher.    The  students  I’ve  met  so  far  have  been  intelligent,  friendly  people  who   seem  enthusiastic  about  learning.    I  will  go  over  classroom  procedures  with  you   verbally  so  that  you  can  take  your  own  notes  about  how  to  organize  yourself  for   success.    In  the  meantime,  please  sign  one  copy  of  this  document—and  ask  your   parent/guardian  to  sign  it  as  well—and  return  it  to  me  in  class  on  the  first  day  of   school.    (*You  may  hack  the  assignment  by  signing,  scanning,  and  sending  as  a  .pdf   attached  to  an  email.)    This  will  be  your  first  graded  assignment.    Please  keep  a  copy   for  easy  reference.    I  will  share  a  copy  and  a  list  of  my  students  on  the  course  blog  so   that  everyone  has  the  same  information  and  understands  each  other’s  choices.     Understanding  language  and  literature  has  never  been  more  exciting  or  important.     Not  only  can  a  story  unlock  your  imagination  and  take  you  to  different  times  and   places,  it  can  help  you  comprehend  the  world  around  us  right  now.    Everywhere  you   turn  there  are  messages  that  use  language  and  tools  from  literature  to  influence  you,   from  television  commercials  to  politicians  to  shopping  center  signs.    As  you  begin  to   perceive  the  strategies  that  people  use  in  their  communication,  you  will  become   more  skilled  and  you  will  look  at  the  world  in  a  brand  new  way.    This  is  your   opportunity  to  become  the  hero  in  your  own  education  and  your  own  life  story.    Let   the  journey  begin!  

English 4(AP)
2011-2012 Course Syllabus
Instructor's Name: Dr. Preston Phone Number: 937-2051 ext. 2608 E-mail address: dpreston@smjuhsd.org; dpreston.learning@gmail.com

COURSE MATERIALS:  Selected novels, short stories, poems, articles & graffiti  1” binder with dividers/white, college-rule paper (used for English only!)  Spiral notebook or composition book  Black or blue pens  Highlighter (optional) Students are required to bring the materials listed on this syllabus everyday to class. Textbooks must be covered. Textbook and materials checks will occur during the week. These checks will be reflected in the student's homework grades.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides university-equivalent instruction in preparation for the Advanced Placement Literature & Composition Exam. Students should expect daily homework. Students will be keeping a journal, expanding their vocabularies, reading literature, taking notes on lectures, writing papers, presenting to the class and participating in groups. There will be multiple assessments during each six-week grading period. A comprehensive final will be administered at the end of each semester. In addition to our study of world literature, students will also explore goalsetting and career opportunities. GRADING POLICIES: Homework assignments, in-class assignments, projects, quizzes, exams, and class participation will be the basis for the final grade. Each six-week grade will be calculated independently of the others. For the twelve-week progress report, the first six-week grade and the second six-week grades

will be averaged together. For the final semester grade, all of the three six-week grades will be averaged. Grades are calculated using both letter grades and test scores. Students will have individual grade conferences in which they will participate in evaluating their performance and set goals for the future. Extra credit opportunities will be announced periodically in class. CHEATING POLICY:
Any type of cheating, either on tests/quizzes or plagiarism in papers, is unacceptable. ANY cheating will result in a grade of F for the entire semester.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: All daily work, homework, quizzes, tests, and standards assignments should be maintained in the binder and organized according to type of assignment. Any graded work that is not returned to the student will be kept in a portfolio in class, maintained by the teacher. Notes and information in the binder will be used throughout the semester and will be tested on the final exam. HOMEWORK & DAILY ASSIGNMENTS Homework assignments will be posted on the board in class and discussed with students. Daily assignments: Each day students will begin class by writing in their journals on a topic posted on the board. Students must have a spiral notebook or composition book for this purpose. In addition, students are required to choose outside reading novels, which they must bring to class each day. Students are encouraged to spend a minimum of 30 minutes each night reading. CLASSROOM GUIDELINES/RULES:  Respect the ideas and feelings of others. Respect is shown through the use of appropriate language, positive attitude, and use of good manners. Come to class on time and be prepared with all the required materials. Listen attentively and follow the teacher's directions the first time.  Keep our classroom free of food, gum, garbage and unsanctioned graffiti.  Do not disrupt the learning process by speaking at inappropriate times, eating, playing, fighting, putting on make-up, getting up during a lesson, etc.  Assignments are not accepted late. If a student cannot turn in an assignment due to an excused absence, the assignment is due upon

return. It is the student’s responsibility to get make-up work before or after class - NOT during instructional time.  If a student is absent the day prior to a posted test (as opposed to a pop quiz), the student is expected to take the test as scheduled. If a student is absent on the day of a quiz or posted test, that student will be expected to take the test or quiz immediately upon return to class.  Cell phones and other electronic devices are prohibited in class. Cell phone use will be considered cheating. If a cell phone is brought out during class for any reason it will be confiscated and returned at the discretion of the teacher. If a student violates the policy a second time, the cell phone will not be returned until a conference can be arranged with a parent and an assistant principal. SCHOOL RULES: Attendance/Tardy Policy - A student is tardy if he/she is not in his/her desk when the tardy bell BEGINS. If a student is walking into class as the bell rings, he/she is tardy. Please refer to the Parent Handbook for consequences and the school attendance policy. Major Discipline - Please refer to the 2011-2012 RHS Handbook. STANDARDS This course incorporates the California State Content Standards in English/Language Arts, which may be found online at the California Department of Education website – www.cde.gov/ci/reading.html Standards assignments are graded on a pass/fail basis. The skills and knowledge demonstrated in the final product are the only criteria for proficiency. Student effort is NOT part of the assessment criteria. This puts a great deal of responsibility on the individual student to take time to learn and study course materials.    

I  have  read  Dr.  Preston’s  “YOUR  OPPORTUNITY  TO  BE  A  HERO”  memo  and  the   course  syllabus.    I  hereby  understand  and  agree  to  the  terms  of  both  the  memo   and  the  syllabus.    I  understand  grading  policies,  the  role  of  standards,  and   student  responsibilities  for  this  course;  I  further  understand  and  agree  to  school   and  classroom  policies  and  I  accept  full  responsibility  for  the  consequences  of   my  actions.  I  hereby  commit  to  the  four  practices:  I  will  be  Prompt,  Prepared,   Polite  and  Productive,  and  I  will  be  successful  in  Dr.  Preston’s  class.       ________________________________________________________________________   Date             ________________________________________________________________________   Date             ❏     ❏             I  have  not  discussed  this  class  with  someone  important  to  me.   I  have  discussed  this  class  with  someone  important  to  me.   Parent/Guardian  Name       Parent/Guardian  Signature       Student  Name         Student  Signature  

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