Course Expectations:
Q: What are the goals of this course?

A: The purpose of this course is to help you to become a more effective reader, writer and thinker. To this end, we will study literature from a variety of genres, time periods and places. We will look at literature while asking ourselves:

  • Why do we tell stories?
  • How can fiction reveal truth? 

As we study and discuss the content of this course, you will also be honing your reading and writing skills. This course seeks to answer the following skills-based questions:

  • What are the skills and habits that help a reader understand any text?
  • How do themes emerge from patterns and details in a text?
  • How does a writer develop a successful interpretive claim about a text?
  • What constitutes strong evidence to support a claim?
Q: What will we read in this course?

A: Major works include Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Oedipus Rex, Romeo and Juliet, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and a variety of short stories, essays, myths and poems.

Q: What kind of writing will we do in this course?
A: All LHS 9th graders are expected to complete four major pieces of writing each quarter. These pieces will not all be expository essays, but the focus of this class will be on analytical writing. We will start the year with shorter, paragraph-length pieces and slowly build to more complex essays. You will get the opportunity to do some creative writing as well.
Q: What do I need to bring to class?
A: You will need a place to put handouts and notes.  I suggest a section in a larger binder or a durable folder.
You will also need to bring your assignment notebook, a writing utensil, and our current text every day.  Additionally, as we start to use the iPads more frequently, you might find it useful to bring a stylus to class.
Q: What is the LHS Honor Code?
Q: What happens if my work is turned in late?

A: Your work will be marked down by 1/3 of a letter grade for each day it is late (from a B to a B-, for example).  If you anticipate a problem, you need to come see me as soon as possible to work out a solution.  I am much more amenable to giving extensions when there is a thoughtful plan in place.

Q: Do I have to use my account?
A: Yes.  100% of your communication, document storage, writing, etc. needs to be created and kept in your lexingtonma account.  When we use other websites, such as, you are expected to use your lexingtonma emails and passwords to create logins.
Q: Will we be using technology in class on a regular basis?
A: Yes.  We will use iPads often.  The iPads, however, will be housed in the classroom.  This means that all of your work will need to be stored in your Google Drive so it can be accessed from home.

Q: How will iPad use differ my experience in middle school?
A: In middle school you were able to take your iPad home with you everyday, and customize the device to your preferences. However, in 9th grade you will be sharing the iPad with three other students. The iPads will remain in the classroom and you will not be able to take it home.

Q: Whoa, Nellie! How will we manage this?
A: You will learn how to manage your account. You will make sure you are in your own drive before you start working and quit all apps at the end of class everyday.

Q: Can I share my work with other people?
A: The biggest challenge of working in a digital environment is protecting the integrity of your work.  You are responsible for managing the sharing settings of all of your work.  I expect that you know who has access to your work.  I suggest giving peer editors, parents, and tutors “Suggesting” privileges rather than “Editing.”  

Q: Can I use my phone in class?
A: No.  We will have regular access to iPads in class.  Your phone will not be necessary.  If you are using your phone in class, I reserve the right to take it.  In these cases I will also contact home.
Q: What if I have my own iPad or laptop?
A: On a case-by-case basis, personal devices may be used in class when we are employing technology.  Please schedule a time with me to discuss the use of a personal device.  In approved cases, it will be your responsibility to secure a reliable internet connection and have access to all your school work.  I cannot provide tech support for personal devices during class time.

Assessment & Gradebook: 
Q: How will my work be assessed?
A: All assignments will be given a point value.  Categories are not weighted.  I find this to be the simplest system because it gives you a quick gauge of how important an assignment is.  For example, most nightly homework assignments are worth 4 points.  Quizzes range in value between 10 and 20 points.  Most larger projects, essays, and exams are worth 50 to 100 points.  In addition to a point value, all large assignments will receive focused feedback via an assignment rubric.
Q: How do I check my grade?
Q: How often can I expect my grades to be updated?
A: By policy, I am required to release current grades twice a quarter.  In reality, I will make your grades available for each assignment as soon as the assignment is graded for all of my students.  This means that your grades are updated continuously throughout the quarter.  It is also important to me that you will see your grades before they are shared with your parents.  You will receive digital grades via Google Classroom on all major assignments before they are published in the Aspen gradebook.
Q: What do I do if I disagree with a grade or would like to discuss the grade further?
A: I am happy to meet with you to discuss any of your work.  My expectation is that you wait 24 hours between seeing your assessment and asking me for a meeting.  In these 24 hours, it is helpful for you to craft specific questions or points of concern. It is probably most dependable to request a meeting via email.

Consent: Once you have read through this information, you need to submit this form to acknowledge your awareness of the course policies.  CLICK HERE