Honors English 9

Class Letter from Teacher & Facilitator: Mrs. Nira Dale

Welcome! (A Note from Mrs. Dale)

In Our Class...

In Honors English 9, we will delve deeply into a wide variety of rich literary texts in a fashion that will nurture compelling and thought provoking discussions. We will regularly carry out textual (and cross-textual) analyses with critical thought in efforts to exceed the surface exercises in basic plot summary. During the course of this school year, we will sharpen our writing and language skills through multiple mini-research projects, which will often result in group/individual class presentations. ...


This course has been designed to enhance and enrich writing and language skills. Nevertheless, most all of our tasks, written or oral, will be driven by the LITERATURE we read. This should not come as a surprise since writing, vocabulary, and language work hand-and-hand. Thus, on most occasions we will either be reading, writing about, or discussing the literature...
It's ALL about LITERACY!

Honors English Literature Selections ...

(Click on image for larger view of selections)

Outside Reading (Novels):

Summer Selections (2 of 3 should be chosen)~ Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte); Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd); TheThings They Carried (Tim O'Brien)

School Year Outside Reading Selections

  • Animal Farm (George Orwell)
  • Pygmalion (George Bernard Shaw)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
  • A Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberry)
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
  • The Killing Sea (Richard Lewis)

Literary Genres:

Fiction and Nonfiction

Short Stories (include, but certainly not limited to "The Lady or the Tiger," F.R. Stockton; "The Scarlet Ibis," James Hurst; "The Cask of Amontillado," Edgar Allen Poe...)

Poetry~ In addition to our 2nd Nine Weeks Poetry Unit, students will explicate (unfold, interpret, and analyze) a different assigned poem virtually EVERY weekend in preparation for "Poetry Cafe Mondays"

Complex/ Informational Text~ Our class will cover a plethora of complex and informational texts as we will read a number of historical documents and famous speeches along with news articles and scholarly journals during mini research tasks and project-based learning activities.

Classic Selections (Drama & Mythology):

  • William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet
  • Homer's Odyssey

Projects & Presentations

Project-based learning tasks will permeate the learning experiences as we will grasp the relevance of the curriculum and obtain college and career readiness skills. It is imperative that all assignments, homework, and readings are completed well BEFORE deadlines and due dates. The level of rigor in this class will allow NO TIME TO WASTE TIME. Nevertheless, the pace and productivity of this course will make the time fly!

Mrs. Dale's Directives


HOMEWORK IS ALWAYS A REQUIREMENT: Mrs. Dale NEVER gives "busy" work. Homework assignments are ESSENTIAL to YOUR success in the lesson for the following day of class. Also, without the extended practice that homework assignments provide, it is unlikely that you will reach mastery level in the given content objective. Therefore, ALWAYS complete homework assignments (e.g. assigned readings, writing tasks, text assignments and exercises, etc.)

BELL WORK ("DO-NOW"): Each day you enter my room, you will have an essential task or "DO-NOW." Begin the task BEFORE the tardy bell rings. The task will often involve a measure of reading and thinking about what you've read. Therefore, do not waste time or disturb others by entering class talking or socializing. (NO ONE is allowed to stand or socialize in my doorway before class.)

HALL PASSES WILL NOT BE GIVEN: Our time is VERY limited, and there is always a lot for us to accomplish in EVERY lesson; thus, you are expected to take care of any personal business (e.g. restroom, phone, locker, etc.) BEFORE you enter my room. This is not only an issue of responsibility, but this is now also an issue of safety. (If there exists a medical condition that requires restroom visits or other outside-of-the-classroom need, please have your parent make me aware of such a need by contacting me personally.

BRING ACCOUTREMENTS TO CLASS EACH DAY: Although most of our class materials are available digitally, and I plan to make a valiant effort to be as "paperless" as possible this year, you must bring the following each day: A. Binder (w/ dividers tabs and paper) B. Vocabulary Workshop workbook, C. Ear buds & Flash drive (You will often have to use available laptop/desktop computers to save files too large to upload to Edmodo or email accounts) D. Outside Reading Materials (Novels) E. Writing Utensils (black or blue pen; A stylus would be very beneficial for iPad use) F. Of course...iPad--Charged BEFORE class G. iPad Applications (Be sure to visit www.dalesdigitalclassroom2.weebly.com to view complete list of required iPad apps. and bookmarks for Mrs. Dale's class.)

  • iPad "Plie" Positions : REMEMBER to keep your iPad charged BEFORE you come to school. There are not enough power outlets for everyone to plug in chargers. Hence, you are to exercise your role of being a responsible student by keeping your iPad charged at night. (See more on iPad "Plie" Positions in section below.)

iPad "Plié" Positions for Mrs. Dale's Class

Load these APPS ON YOUR IPAD BEFORE 8/19/2013

iBooks should should be your 1st download.

(Just learned that iBooks is not preloaded.)

The following apps will serve the capacity for you to use your iPad in four modalities for my class:

  1. Recording (Taking Notes/ Writing)
  2. Collaborating (Brainstorming/ Problem solving)
  3. Creating/ Presenting/ Publishing
  4. Responding (Formative/Summative Assessments)

(Be sure to visit www.dalesdigitalclassroom2.weebly.com to view complete list of the names and "How to..." links for the required iPad apps. and bookmarks for Mrs. Dale's class.)

Top 20 iPad Apps for Mrs. Dale's Class

  • Penzu
  • Penultimate
  • Notability
  • Note Anytime
  • Evernote
  • Markup
  • iBrainstorm
  • Popplet Lite
  • ThingLink
  • Haiku Deck
  • Prezi
  • Educreations
  • Tellagami
  • QCards (Quizlet)
  • Socrative (Student)
  • Mighty Meeting
  • Nearpod
  • Gmail (please open a Gmail account --as it is not blocked by our school network--and "add to homes-creen")
  • DropBox (Please open a free account.)
  • Edmodo (Please DO NOT use the app version. Right now it is not very functional. Open the site in Safari and "add to homes-creen")


If you are absent from class, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to do the following immediately upon your return:

• Find out what assignments you missed--Most ALL assignments will be available online allowing you to stay caught up with

the rest of the class when absent.

Vocabulary or Spelling Tests will be EVERY WEEK; therefore, if you are absent on these such days you will be expected

to take the test immediately upon your return.

• When ABSENT on TEST DAYS, see me immediately before or after class to schedule your make-up test for an appointed time

within a day or two from your return.

Vocabulary Workshop: "Weekly Vocab Champs"

You must purchase the Vocabulary Workshop workbook for our class. The vocabulary learned from these exercises will equip you for ACT, SAT, along with vocabulary skills needed for college and career readiness. Each unit will cover 20 NEW career-ready vocabulary words every two weeks. Although you won't take the actual vocabulary test until the 2nd week, there will be an Edmodo vocabulary quiz each week. The quiz will contain ONLY 10 of the 20 vocabulary words for the two weeks. The Challenge: You won't know which 10 will be on the Edmodo quiz. The team with the largest number of points on the Edmodo quiz will get 5 bonus points on the vocabulary test. (Teams will be assigned before school starts. Teams will span across periods; thus, students in 1st period on the MIT Team are on the same team with 8th period MIT Team...)


Our Primary Learning Management System..

Edmodo ( www.gofalcons.edmodo.com ) is our "one-stop-shop" for instructional purposes in our class. It is vital that BOTH PARENTS & STUDENTS sign up in order to have full access to our classroom resources. Edmodo will help you to keep up with due dates, tests, quizzes, and more. You will take many quizzes and tests in Edmodo. It will serve as your personal at-home tutor as Mrs. Dale will often post screencast videos of instruction that you can play as frequent as you need in order to fully grasp a learning concept. You will also use Edmodo to work collaboratively with other students in class and in other classes. Periodically, we will have the opportunity to collaborate with classes in other schools nationally and/or internationally (see "Our Global Classroom"- http://dalesdigitalclassroom2.weebly.com/our-global-classroom.html -for examples of the types of activities we did last year. For Mrs. Dale's class, you will join THREE Edmodo groups:

1. Dale students ALL 2013/14

2. Dale Students Period ___ (your class period)

3. Columbia/ Harvard/ MIT/ Princeton/ Yale (Assigned Vocab. Team)

View the video below, (created by a wonderful Edmodo teacher, Travis Monk of Indiana U.S.), to get a good understanding of how you can get the MOST out of your Edmodo student account.

How to sign up for Edmodo and use it for class

7 Habits Starting the New School Year

(Created by My Edmodo PLN Partner, Sandy King)

7 Habits/ Starting School-2

Contact Mrs. Nira Dale

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.