What can a student expect to learn in English I Honors this year?
Students should enter high school with a strong foundation in reading fluency and comprehension, written expression, and speaking and listening skills. This course transitions the student into the higher level application of these skills by introducing the students to classical literature and a variety of nonfiction text structures. Students will hone their critical reading skills in order to not only comprehend, but appreciate the aesthetic value of the work. Writing becomes a primary way of communicating academic thought. Students will begin to develop a unique voice or style as they explore a variety of essay structures. In addition, students will write two papers, one using the APA format and one using the MLA style guide. Beyond a directed reading program of the classics, which will include one novel per semester, students will choose one novel per month for independent reading. Underpinning this program is an emphasis on thinking, both the logical structure of constructing and supporting ideas and the process of developing a creative approach to problem solving. Honors level work assumes a basic level of proficiency in skills and a desire to work at a higher level of thinking and responding.
How do students of differing abilities find success?
The range and scope of the work allows for varying abilities and interests. Most units include a choice for not only formative, but summative assessment. The focus is on learning and mastery and providing a customized pathway for the student as he/she becomes more aware of his/her learning strengths. In addition, applications such as No Red Ink and Actively Read allow for a variance in ability levels.
How does this course meet and exceed state standards?
All lessons are aligned with the state standards and will exceed the DOK complexity and rigor. The choices of literature, the opportunities to write, the extensive amount of literature shared, and the scholastic mentorship offered will also exceed the designated expectations of the state standards. Beyond this, the opportunity to speak truth and identify God's presence in all things reconciles all that we do with a much higher purpose, preparing students for Kingdom work.
What teaching methods are used in this course?
Students will participate in a variety of approaches which will support learning, including readers and writers workshops. Aspects of the workshop include mini-lessons, guided and independent practice, and reflecting. Students will use visualization, signposts from Notice and Note, and active learning (working in collaborative groups). Socratic seminars, inquiry-based learning, gamification, and some flipped class instruction will also be experienced. The core of the learning experience will be designing opportunities for the student to discover and unpack the core concepts.
What are some curriculum highlights in this course?
We begin the year with establishing a healthy mindset, shifting the focus from grades to learning. The first mini-unit will explore a growth mindset, emphasizing the attitude needed to accomplish the level of achievement in this class. Students will establish the expectation for active listening, providing quality feedback, and quality discussions. Students will also learn to blog at a professional level and understand the impact and importance of a social media footprint and brand. An emphasis on logic, identifying fallacies will also be explored. One popular unit is the study of detective fiction will which include exploring deductive reasoning.
How is technology integrated in your curriculum?
Technology is a tool used daily. All assignments are pushed through Google Classroom. Bellwork will be introduced through a Google slide deck. Additional applications will include Actively Read, Recap, Nearpod, No Red Ink, Padlet, Kahoot, Quizlet, Socrative, and Google docs.
How is our Christian faith and the following of Jesus included in this course of study?
The challenge from the first day is to understand the concept of a world view, identify the elements of a Christian lens, and use this to better define and understand our faith. Scripture is used as a companion to the literary and nonfiction works. The core questions that we will ask is, where can we see God's presence or His hand at work? How does Jesus respond in the scripture to the trials and perspective offered by the writer and his message? The objective is to rely on God's word to direct ourselves and find truth. Through this practice, our hope is that students will begin to see how relevant and necessary the Bible is to use daily. Students will also be involved in a daily seven minute devotional, which all will have opportunity to lead.
What instructional materials are used in this class?
The text is HMH Collections. Additional novels, nonfiction works and media will be included.
I hold a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of South Florida and an Master's Degree and Doctorate Degree in education from Columbia Pacific University. I have taught English in private and public schools, and coordinated an American school in Dubai, UAE. My husband and I live on a small horse farm. We have 2 children and four grandchildren. My passion, beyond reading, is serving on the worship production team at our church. I am beyond delighted and honored to have the opportunity to mentor students at SCS.
Please see the attached syllabus.