English Language Arts 1-2

Ms. Maxwell in Room 518

Be kind. Stay engaged. Work hard.

Hi! I'm Holly!

I am a passionate and innovative English teacher who is dedicated to engaging and empowering my students. I love to design authentic learning experiences that creatively trick students into learning. Previously, I taught in Zhengzhou, China at an international high school (Kinglee) for four years. I have taught a wide variety of English courses including English I (9th grade), English II (10th grade), American Literature (11th grade), AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, Speech, 7th grade ELA, and Non-Fiction: An Introduction to Rhetoric. In my free time, I love to travel the world, read, practice yoga and meditation, and hike through the boundless beauty of our natural world. This is my second year at Sandra Day O'Connor High School, and I am excited to create a positive learning community in which ALL students feel supported, safe, and confident as they socially, emotionally, and intellectually grow!

ELA 1-2 Course Description

English class provides essential skills in reading comprehension and reading strategies, literary

analysis, grammar (usage and mechanics), and formal and informal writing. Elements of fiction and non-fiction will be covered through a variety of sources, including short stories, novels, plays, poems, articles, videos, internet, etc. Writing will cover fundamental grammar usage as we explore several writing styles, including a number of essay assignments.

For this class, we will regularly use Canvas.

If you would like to sign-up for access to canvas, please click on the link below.

Cultivating Creativity

Freshman Writing Bootcamp

Our year will focus heavily on supporting students as they develop into effective and thoughtful writers. The link below provides the "Freshman Writing Bootcamp" comprehensive notes that we will utilize throughout the entire year.

Required Materials

  • Fully charged iPad
  • Writing Utensil
  • English Notebook
  • Highlighters
  • Ear buds/headphones
  • A positive attitude :)

ELA 1-2 Curriculum Grading

Speaking and Listening (10%)

  • Socratic Seminars
  • Small group/whole class discussion
  • Literature Circles
  • Formal Debate

Classroom Wishlist

Currently, I have a small, but evolving, classroom library that is available to all students. My goal is to inspire and cultivate a love of reading both in and OUTSIDE of the classroom. If you would like to donate, I have linked my "Classroom Amazon Wishlist." Every donation is greatly appreciated!