Mrs. P and Ms. K's English 1

Reading + Speaking + Writing = FUN in English 1!

Welcome to English 1 at Heights High for the 2015-2016 school year!

Teacher Information: Mrs. Megan Petraska, M.A.


Ms. Heidi Kaye, M.Ed.


We are so excited to be your teachers for English 1 this year! You can expect our English class this year to be one in which we have the opportunity to read and discuss some great works of literature and non-fiction, then craft meaningful products to enrich our understanding of them. This instructional model is known as project-based learning and it is a new take on school in which students perform real-world tasks and practice 21st century skills…because that is what you will need upon graduating! You can also expect to be held to high expectations at all times, and experience success should you dedicate yourself to our classroom learning community and the important work we will collaborate to produce. We will begin our year reading numerous short stories which will serve to teach you the elements of literature such as characterization, conflict, plot, setting, theme, and point of view. Then as the year progresses, we will learn how to complete a research project. We will also read popular novels, poems, plays, speeches, and works of nonfiction from selected media sources, producing products which will prove your mastery of each of the common core content standards in relation to each work we read.

Class Information

Student Behavior Expectations

To be a successful student in this class, you need to POP!

  • Professional
    • This looks like: Being appropriately dressed, handing in work on time (and in a manner that looks like you put significant effort into it), just like a professional would do in the real world. This is also using appropriate language, as well as using technology appropriately.
  • Organized
    • This looks like: Having a binder with all your handouts and bringing all the materials you need to complete your work daily, as well as having a plan in place for when things don’t work out the way you plan or anticipate.
  • Purposed
    • This looks like: Being focused on your end goal, knowing your job each day, using resources productively to meet this goal, and following directions.

***Additionally, you will be held to the Tiger Expectations and Guidelines set forth by the District. You will receive a hard copy of these expectations and guidelines via your school planner and they can also be found online at

Attendance, Class Etiquette and Class Participation Policies

Our classroom is centered upon trust, respect, and responsibility. You have our trust, unless you act in a manner which causes you to lose it. We hope you will come to trust us, too, and know that we are always here for you. Please know that you will always have our respect, and we expect yours as well. In terms of responsibility, you will demonstrate this through your daily actions. Therefore, it is a requirement that each student attends class on time, prepared; work is completed to the best of his or her ability, acts professionally, and makes meaningful contributions to our classroom community. If you are not in class, it is also your responsibility to obtain and make up any missed work.

Necessary Supplies

You are expected to bring the following to class daily:

  • A binder (if it is a binder you are using for multiple classes, it MUST have a section designated for English 1)
  • Looseleaf/filler paper (college ruled)
  • Pens and pencils
  • 2 GB mobile flash drive
  • Earbuds (to be left in the classroom for assorted activities)


You will be assessed on your mastery of the Common Core state standards for English/Language Arts grades 9-10. These standards can be accessed by following this link and scrolling to the grades 9-10 sections of the document: These will drive our learning targets and assessment for each unit, (you will be assessed to show mastery), and determine your grade in this class.

Your grade will be comprised of the following:

  • Individual assignments (i.e. classwork and homework)
  • Assessments on the learning targets for each unit
  • Summative projects and performance tasks

Unless otherwise noted, your assignments and projects are expected to be typed and in MLA format (this includes “Works Cited” pages – when assigned). (These guidelines and formats will be discussed in class). Additionally, formal English, grammar, spelling, and punctuation should be used at all times when writing or speaking in this class.


Standards-based grading will be used to assess your progress toward the learning targets, on each assignment. Some assignments will be graded based upon completion, while others will be assessed based on criteria (which will be provided via rubric). Grades can be found on Infinite Campus and will be updated frequently.

Grade breakdowns will be as follows:

  • Individual assignments (i.e. classwork and homework)
  • Assessments on the learning targets for each unit
  • Summative projects and performance tasks

Grades will be calculated in the following manner:

  • 75% - Knowledge and Thinking (Mastery of learning targets)
  • 15% - 21st Century Skills (Professionalism, organization, developing work ethic)
  • 10% - Communication (Using sophisticated sentences, expressing ideas clearly in writing and orally)

Late Work/Retake Policy

Students are responsible for communicating with us when absent or when work will be late, (just as adults must do with their bosses in the real world) and an extension will be agreed upon. Work will be considered late if it is handed in after the class on the due date. Students who submit work late, will receive the lowest form of the grade they earn on the assignment (i.e. if the assignment earns a 100%, it will be entered in the gradebook as a 90% A). You can re-assess on all assignments tied to the common core standards to earn a better score, however the maximum score is reduced by 10% for each re-assessment. Projects can also be revised and resubmitted within two weeks of receiving feedback.

Academic Dishonesty (Plagiarism)

Academic dishonesty violates our community of trust, respect, responsibility, and the Tiger Expectations. It includes but is not limited to cheating, copying work, and using another’s’ work without giving credit. Students who are academically dishonest will receive a referral and grade of “Incomplete” until the assignment is re-written.

Helpful Information and Links

What Is Happening in Class?

Classroom Newsletters

I send out a monthly newsletter with updates about our class and the work we are doing. These will be posted here!