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Jennifer Hou
(310) 725-5800 x 2203

Welcome to English 11!

The focus of our studies this year is on American literature. Since we will be working closely with your
U.S. History curriculum, the majority of our readings will correlate with major events in American
history, concentrating our analyses on how the content of literature across these various time periods
and circumstances is still relevant to our current lives. There will also be extensive focus on writing;
junior year concentrates primarily on developing our skills in crafting focused, sophisticated arguments
that are thoroughly supported by relevant and thoughtfully selected textual evidence.

The following is a tentative outline of the topics and literature we will be covering this year:

Semester 1
Semester 2
Self Project (2 weeks)
The Things They Carried, Tim OBrien (5 weeks)
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (5 weeks)
A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini (5 weeks)
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (5 weeks)
English/History Research Paper (6 weeks)
College Admissions Essays (2 weeks)

These will be supplemented by additional texts I find applicable throughout the year.

Classroom Expectations
It is my preference to focus on the literature and the work we are doing, so I ask that you come to class
each day prepared to contribute positively to the classroom environment. My rules for the classroom
are simple:
Be present. This means being not only physically present, but also mentally focused on class
conversation and involved in discussions and activities.
Be responsible. Be aware of class rules and routines. Come to class each day with your
assignments completed and ready to participate as a valuable member of the class.
Be respectful. Treat your classmates with courtesy and kindness. Recognize that you are in a
school setting and understand the behavior that is appropriate for this environment.

Course Materials
To be prepared for class each day, make sure you always bring with you:
q The current novel/text of study
q 100 3x5 notecards and something to keep them together and organized, whether it is a ring, a
notecard file, or a basic Ziploc bag.
q Pen/pencil and lined paper, and a folder to keep your class papers organized

Late Work
If you do not turn in work on the assigned due date, you will receive a 0 in the gradebook until it is
turned in. You will have one week to submit the assignment for partial credit; after that, the 0 will
remain in the gradebook. All late work will receive a 0 for your Accountability Habits of Mind,
regardless of when it is turned in.

Technological Devices
Cell phones, iPods, and other similar technological devices will not be permitted during class time.
There may be times during class when it will be appropriate to have such devices out, which I will
specify. Otherwise, it will be confiscated, and your parent will need to pick it up from me at a later time.

**Note that I do not allow books to be downloaded onto phones and used during class. The only exceptions
are devices that are designed specifically as e-readers, such as Kindles or Nooks. Please make the
necessary arrangements to ensure you have a copy of the text when we begin each unit of study. Libraries
are a great resource; I also strongly suggest planning ahead of time to purchase used books on**

Food & Drink
Water is allowed during class time. All other food or drinks belong outside of the classroom. Gum
counts as food.

Bags, backpacks, and extraneous items are not permitted on desks during class time. Only items
pertaining to the work at hand will be allowed on desks; everything else must be placed on the floor
and out of the way.

Outside Work
No outside work is allowed during class time unless you receive express permission from the teacher.

Your grade in this course will be determined through Da Vincis Design Based Grading.
80% of your grade will be based on the following Essential Skills for English 11:

1. Reading (15%)

2. Writing: Form (20%)

3. Writing: Content (20%)

4. Speaking (15%)

5. Vocabulary (10%)

The remaining 20% portion of your grade will be based on Da Vinci Designs Habits of Mind.
All assignments will be graded in accordance with Da Vinci Designs 1-4 point system.



Letter Grade


No evidence. Mark as Missing in the grade book.


Evidence demonstrates partial understanding.


Evidence demonstrates basic understanding.


Evidence demonstrates understanding.


Evidence demonstrates detailed understanding.

Academic Integrity
Cheating or plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. If you are found guilty of either, you will
receive a 0 on the assignment in question with no opportunity to make it up; a call home will also be

Absences/ Make-up Work
If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to come talk to me about assignments that you
missed. I will not be chasing you down to replace a 0 for any incomplete work. Whenever you are
absent, you are still responsible for finding out what you missed and being prepared for class the day
you return to school, such as making sure you are caught up on reading assignments.

Contacting Me
If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can email me or schedule a time to meet
with me. I am also available for extra help at the beginning of the school day Wednesdays and
Thursdays, from 8:15-9:00am, or by appointment.
All written assignments will require a digital submission to Make sure you are enrolled in
your correct class period well before the first assignment is due. Enrollment IDs for each class are
listed below. The enrollment password for all classes is literature.

Class Period
Enrollment Class ID
Period 2/4
Period 5/7
Period 9/11
Period 10/12