• English 9 Syllabus

    Spring 2020

    Teacher:  Ms. Blackwell 


    Nancie Atwell says, “There’s nothing better for you—not broccoli, not an apple a day, not aerobic exercise.  In terms of the whole rest of your life, in terms of making you smart in all ways, there’s nothing better.” Guess what she’s talking about?  Reading and writing.  Really. 


    Course Description:  English 9 is designed for students who represent the mainstream of our student population. Students enrolled in this course are able to read grade-level materials with understanding and possess basic communication skills. Career goals may include college or other advanced programs. Course content will emphasize writing as a process, the study of grammar as a means of improving communications, and the study of literature as a means of understanding one's self and the world in which the student lives. 


    Course Goals and Objectives:

    • The student will participate in, collaborate in, and make multimodal presentations both  independently and in small groups (SOL 9.1).
    • The student will produce, analyze, and evaluate media messages (SOL 9.2).
    • The student will apply knowledge of word origins, derivations, and figurative language to extend vocabulary development in authentic texts (SOL 9.3).
    • The student will read, comprehend, and analyze a variety of fictional texts including narratives, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama (SOL 9.4).
    • The student will read and analyze a variety of nonfiction texts (SOL 9.5).
    • The student will write in a variety of forms to include expository, persuasive, reflective, and analytic with an emphasis on persuasion and analysis (SOL 9.6).
    • The student will self- and peer-edit writing for capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, paragraphing, and Standard English (SOL 9.7).
    • The student will find, evaluate, and select credible resources to create a research product (SOL 9.8).
    • The student will develop skills for workforce or further education readiness.
    • To create lifelong readers.


    Materials: You need a three-ring binder, tabbed dividers, looseleaf paper, pens or pencils, and a notebook for your Writer’s Notebook.  Binders will be kept in the classroom. We will organize your binder on Friday, January 10, so please be sure to have your supplies by then.


    Cell Phones:  You should not use your phone at ANY time unless the teacher has asked you to use it for instructional purposes.  The FDHS cell phone policy is the one we adhere to: if you’re using your phone when you shouldn’t be, your phone will be turned in to the office.  (The office will then call your parent to pick it up. It will not be returned to you.)


    Bell Work: Students begin the daily bell work prior to the start of class.  Bell work sheets are on Google Classroom and are graded at the end of every two weeks.  


    Response Journal:  To ensure that you are developing your writing skills, we will write regularly on a variety of topics in our Response Journal (online through Google Classroom), our Reading Response Journal (also online), and our Writer’s Notebook.  


    Reading:  The only way to improve your reading skills is to read; therefore, you will read from your choice novel every day in class as well as at home, for homework.  Your progress in your novel will be determined by reading conferences with me, and you will have a book project each quarter.


    Course Work:  Your report-card grade will be determined by assignments designated to one of three categories:  major assignments, minor assignments, and practice/participation. Tests, essays, and projects are MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS and are worth 50% of your grade.  Quizzes, most class work, some homework, and response journals are MINOR ASSIGNMENTS and are worth 40% of your grade. PRACTICE/PARTICIPATION includes bell work, some classwork, most homework, and class participation and is 10% of your grade.  

    Grading:  The Augusta County 10-Point Grading Scale is illustrated below.  


    A+ 98-100

    B+ 88-89

    C+ 78-79

    D+ 68-69

    F  0-59

    A   92-97

    B   82-87

    C   72-77

    D   62-67


    A-  90-91

    B-  80-81

    C-  70-71

    D-  60-61



    Graded Work:  Augusta County expects high school teachers to grade and return your work to you within three days of submission.  Circumstances and length of assignments, however, may influence that time frame, and I will keep you apprised of any necessary changes.


    Absences and Late Work:  Your attendance is necessary for you to do well in English, so please make it a priority to attend school and to arrive to class prior to the tone.  (If you are not in your seat when the tone sounds, you are tardy.)  If you miss a class, Mrs. Converse will put together a packet of work for you to make up.  It is your responsibility to make up the missed work within three days of your absence.  


    Our Plans:  Each grading period, we will have a major focus area, and our reading, writing, and vocabulary will reflect this focus area.  



    Reading Focus Area

    Writing Focus Areas


    Novel:  The Outsiders and a 

       choice novel

    Short Stories

    Survivors:  Narrative Nonfiction

    Minor:  response journals, paragraphs, short


    Major:  narrative, expository, persuasive


    Novel:  Your choice


    Drama: Romeo and Juliet

    Media Messages

    Minor:  response journals, poems, paragraphs,

         short essays

    Major:  poem of address, narrative, persuasive 


    My Expectations:  I expect that you will treat yourself and others with respect, that you will abide by the Honor Code, and that you will apply yourself to your work and seek my assistance when you need it.  

Last Modified on January 9, 2020