• English Nine Class Syllabus

    Teacher: Mr. Trey Dodson


    Course Description: Nineth grade English is a Language Arts course with a focus on communication (including speaking, listening, and media literacy), reading (drama, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction), writing, and research. Instructional Philosophy: As a teacher, I believe that backward design is the best approach to student achievement. With backward design, we begin with identifying the skills students need to master in the class, and then I design meaningful lessons that will provide students with the opportunity to learn, practice, and perfect these skills. As we follow the state’s Curriculum Framework, we will study vocabulary on a weekly basis, read and study world literature in relation to its historical context, participate in small group projects, produce numerous writings including analytical essays and creative writings, and conduct a research project. Throughout each class period, you can expect to take notes during mini-lectures, work in small groups, and work independently. For vocabulary study, you will learn new material each Monday, practice the new material Tuesday through Thursday, and quiz on the material on Friday. Major Course Goals: The skills that you will master throughout this course include the following standards prescribed by the Virginia Department of Education :

    Standard 9.1 The student will make a formal oral presentation in a group or individually. 

    Standard 9.2 The student will examine how values and points of view are included or excluded and how media influences beliefs and behaviors.

    Standard 9.3 The student will apply knowledge of word origins, derivations, and figurative language to extend vocabulary development in authentic texts.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Standard 9.4 The student will read, comprehend, and analyze the development of British literature and literature of other cultures.               

    Standard 9.5 The student will read and analyze a variety of nonfiction texts.                                                                                                         

    Standard 9.6 The student will develop expository and informational, analyses, and persuasive/argumentative writings.                                   

    Standard 9.7 The student will write, revise, and edit writing.             

    Standard 9.8 The student will write documented research papers.

    Major Course Projects, Topics, and Activities: Though we will study a wide variety of texts, some of the major works we will read include: .

    ● The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

    ● Night by Eli Weisel

    ● To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    ● Great Expectations by Harper Lee

    ● The Odyssey by Homer

    Other areas of studies include creative writing opportunities, and critical and analytical writing.

    Course Assessment Plan: You should expect to have a test at the end of each unit. Units are about two to three weeks apart, so you can expect about 3 unit tests per grading period. It is important to keep all notes and class assignments organized in your binder so that you can easily prepare for tests. You will have weekly vocabulary quizzes on Fridays. There are no state exams for this course, so your final exam will be teacher-made. However, you may be exempt from your final exam if you have earned an A in the class.

    Grading Scale: Your grades in this course fall into the following categories:                           

    • Gold Category = 40% ○ Tests, research project, final essays
    • Silver Category = 35% ○ Friday quizzes, middle level projects or essays                                                                                               
    • Bronze Category = 25% ○ Smaller daily assignments Grade Scale: We use a ten point scale, which is as follows: A = 90-100 B = 80-89 C = 70-79 D = 60-69 F = 59 and belowNote: Your lowest three grades will be dropped in both the bronze category and one in the silver category. Supplies


    ● One three-ring binder that is at least 1 inch thick

    ● College ruled notebook paper

    ● Dividers ( four)

    ● Pens

    ● Pencils

    ● Highlighters or colored pencils or different color ink pens * Box of tissues( optional, will be good up to 3 times for 10 points on a Silver or Bronze grade) Homework

    Policy: When you have homework, it will likely be in the form of studying, independent reading, or completing an essay that was started in class. When you have reading homework, you should expect to have a reading quiz (bronze level) the next day in class. These quizzes cannot be made-up since we will go over the answers in class; make sure to read when it is assigned. If you are absent, check with me or another student to find out what your homework is. Other missed homework assignments may be made up with a 10 point per day penalty up to three days late. Make-up Work

    Policy: It is my goal for each of my students to grow and learn, so of course missed work may be made up. However, make-up assignments must be completed and turned in within three days. If you are absent, you should schedule a time to meet with me. It is usually not possible to make up missed lectures, notes, or guided work during a regular class period, so you should expect to spend time with me before or after school if you have been absent.

    Extra Help: I am available most days after school if you are in need of tutoring or extra guidance with any of the topics we cover in class. Please schedule these times with me in advance so that I can be sure to be available for you. You may also use FEV Tutor using the following link: Galileo Student Handbook: https://galileo.danvillepublicschools.org/parent_resources Contact Information: Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns outside of class. My email address mdodson@mail.dps.k12.va.us. Parents may reach out through email or by calling me at school during my planning block (8:30 - 9:45).

    Class Rules and Expectations Class Rules and Expectations

    1. Bring your materials to class with you every day. You will need pencils, paper, and your notebook( any size) every single day.

    2. Be courteous and respectful of the other people in this room. This means I expect you to be kind to all of the people in this room and to use good manners. Be respectful of other students’ opinions and ideas during class discussions. Do not create disruptions that will keep other students from learning.

    3. Be respectful of school property. Do not damage school property! Do not write on desks, cabinets, walls, books or any other surface that does not belong to you. Keep your desk area clean and do not leave anything behind in the desk!

    4. Place pocketbooks and book bags on the floor under your desk and out of the way of others. You may not place bags on your desk.

    5. No eating or drinking in the classroom. During parts of the school year it is understandable if you need a water bottle, however be mindful not to let it spill.

    6. Try your best at all times! I do not expect you to know everything or to be able to “get it” on the first try. I do expect you to stay focused and try your best. Work hard when you are in class.

    7. Adhere to the district policy regarding cell phones which are only in the hallway or cafeteria.

    8. Ask questions when you do not understand something and let me know if we are moving too fast.

    9. Each student is expected to come to class ON TIME, quietly, with all necessary materials, and be seated and working on the bell work when the bell rings.

    10. Assignments are to be turned in on time. 1. 1 day late: Score minus 5 pts 2. 2 days late: Score minus 10 pts 3. 3 days late: Score minus 15 pts 4. Anything more than 3 days late: Score minus 30 pts.