Syllabus

Your Guide to All Things Pre-IB English 2

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Meet the Teacher

Hi!, I'm Lee Ann Spillane and I am delighted to be your tenth grade English teacher. I have been teaching English language arts for more than two decades in Orange County Public Schools. I am a Mom, a writer and sometimes an artist. My book, Reading Amplified, describes how I began integrating technology in my classroom.
✎Pet Peeves Teachers

Navigating Pet Peeves

We all have things that rankle or get on our nerves. Part of learning in community, learning together is knowing how to navigate relationships. Here are three things that bug me.


Don't you hate it when someone has an issue with you but talks about it to someone else instead of talking to you directly? In psychology that is called triangulating.


Communicate honestly.

Instead of asking a friend or a friend of a friend or a cousin or someone who had me last year, ask me if you have a question or concern. I will respond honestly and promptly.


Don't you hate it when you know someone made a mistake--even if the mistake was an accident like breaking your Mom's prized souvenir glass--but won't admit it?


Take ownership.

Own your learning. Own your life. Own your successes, your mistakes and your failures. I will be here to help, support and guide, but I am not the boss of you. Be curious! You are in charge. You will make many decisions this year about books you read, assignments you do, and more. If things go wrong (and occasionally they will) I will own up to my mistakes, make corrections (or amends) and continue on. I want you to do the same.


Don't you hate it when someone shuts you down with careless words or strange looks or comments that are too critical?


Assume Positive Intent

Assume we all have positive intentions. Try not to take a glance, a look or a stray comment the wrong way. No matter what, keep trying. Never give up trying to become a better writer or more accomplished reader and thinker. Always keep swimming. Effort and practice pay off.

What Digital Tools Will We Use?

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How are we graded?

Assessment and Grading


Grades represent what students know and are able to do. Students are not graded on their behavior, how they dress, or what they bring to class. Assessment is a process that identifies where students are in terms of standards and skills. Assessment drives instruction. Assessments tell a teacher what he or she needs to teach next. Grades sum up assessments twice per quarter (progress reports and quarterly grades).


Students and teachers assess learning in this class.As students master skills, and demonstrate the evidence of learning, assessment scores on the learning progression (or scale) go up.


Students will use this learning progressions or scales to self reflect on:


• where they currently stand in learning concepts and content,

• where they are going as learners, and

• where they have gaps in understanding.


Student learning is monitored using learning progressions or scales. Students keep copies of current learning progressions in their academic journals. Students are taught to self-assess and reflect throughout the year.


I use standard percents for letter grades for most graded work. Everything we do counts, but not everything we do is graded. Grades report a student’s learning or level of skill on Florida Standards: reading, writing, speaking/listening and language. Grades are reported eight times a year in categories that represent the Florida Language Arts Standards or LAFS. I will try my best to update grades weekly in Progress Book.


Standard Percentages:

A+ 100%, A 95%, A- 90%

B+ 89%, B 85%, B- 80%

C+ 79%, C 75%, C- 70%

D+ 69%, D 65%, D- 60%

F 50% F- 30%


Weighted Categories for Grades:

Reading 30%

Writing 40%

Speaking/Listening 20%

Language 10%


Early scores in most categories will be dropped as students demonstrate understanding so that the final grade reflects students’ learning.

Late Work

Do you accept late work?

Yes! Late work happens. In the real world, adults turn things in or do things late--sometimes we pay a price for it, but late work happens. The federal government even accepts our taxes late. So, I too take assignments late. Better late than never!


How many points are taken off for late work?


Late work is accepted with a ½ letter grade penalty. All work must be turned in within one week of being assigned. If work is not turned in, it may be made up (or an alternate assignment may be given to the student) during resource/tutoring time on Tuesdays.


How do I make up work?

Come to resource time after school on Tuesday to make up work that you missed.


Can I redo assignments for a better grade?

Absolutely! If you earned a C or below and want to try again, come in during resource time. We will talk about the task or assignment, so that you know what to do to improve your performance. Then you can redo the work at that time. Once you are finished, you will turn it into the red "grades" mailbox in the classroom and when I get some extra time or am updating Progress Book, I will re-grade it.


How will we turn in work now that we are a digital school?

We will turn in work in a variety of ways. In the classroom, work on paper will be turned in to your class period's red IN folder. Graded work will be available in the green OUT folders. Online, you will turn in written work via Google Drive, Google Classroom or Edmodo. I will teach you how to do that.

Tutoring & Resource Time

  • Get extra help.
  • Do make up work.
  • Do your homework.
  • Redo an assignment for a better grade.
  • Ask a question about a grade or Progress Book.


Resource time: 2:15- 3:00 PM every Tuesday

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Need to get in touch?

Share photos, comments or questions for our class on social media using the hashtag #bearenglish.

Materials Needed

  • 2 composition notebooks (one you began in the summer and another one).
  • pens
  • highlighters } I have plenty of these if you need them.
  • Room Supplies: 1 box of tissues, 1 pack of copy paper (bring one or the other)