Weekly outline

  • General Information

    Course Overview

    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. 

    About Me

    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.

  • Parent Resources: Thoughts about Education

    The Science of Motivation

    If we are to truly equip students for their world, a world changing exponentially, then teachers need to look to the business world to determine the trends and expectations of this industry. Dan Pink’s Ted-Talk focused on three aspects of motivation in the work place that needs to change, and is changing, and we must address in the classroom: autonomy, mastery and purpose.


    Bio Dan Pink

    Daniel H. Pink is the author of five provocative books — including three long-running New York Timesbestsellers, A Whole New Mind, Drive, and To Sell is Human. His books have been translated into 35 languages and have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. In 2015, London-based Thinkers 50 named him, alongside Michael Porter and Clayton Christensen, as one of the top 10 business thinkers in the world. Pink’s TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 19 million views. His RSA Animate video about the ideas in his book, Drive, has collected more than 14 million views.

    He currently serves on the advisory boards of RiseSmart, Betterment Institutional, Heleo, and Hubspot.

    Before venturing out on his own nearly 20 years ago, Dan worked in several positions in politics and government, including serving from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore.

    He received a BA from Northwestern University, where he was a Truman Scholar and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a JD from Yale Law School. He has also received honorary doctorates from Georgetown University, the Pratt Institute, the Ringling College of Art and Design, and Westfield State University.

    He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.


    The Winds of Change at the College and University Level

    David Helfand’s approach to education at the college level is paving the way for innovation and a movement for colleges to reinvent themselves and find purpose and value in what and how they provide for students. The controversy over not just the cost of a college education, but whether there is a return on investment leaves many students questioning an institution that has become complacent. In fact, many Fortune 500 companies have taken aim at the lack of preparation in key areas, such as problem solving, collaboration, and initiative.


    Bio David Helfand

     David Helfand is a U.S. astronomer who served as president of Quest University Canada from 2008-2015. Prior to his presidency at Quest, he was a Visiting Tutor at Quest. He has also served as chair of the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University and co-director of the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory.[1] He was also part of the university's Physics Department. His stated research interests include radio surveys, the origin and evolution of neutron stars and supernova remnants, and active galactic nuclei. Helfand has been instrumental in the creation of general education classes oriented around the sciences, developing a course, Frontiers of Science, that has subsequently become part of the Core Curriculum of Columbia College, the university's undergraduate liberal arts and sciences division. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


    Thinking Creatively Can Be Taught

    Giovanni Corazza

    Dr. Corazza provides a practical approach to showing people how to step out of the box and think creatively using several simple systems. This video illustrates for my students how they can pattern their thinking to begin the process of thinking creatively with a purpose.


    Bio Corazza

    Corazza is a full-time professor at the Alma Mater Studiorum at the University of Bologna, a member of the Executive Council, and the founder of the Marconi Institute of Creativity. He teaches science and the applications of creative thinking. Why/Which/How/Where/What/When/Experiment. A quick jump out of the box is more insight ful than a lifetime of standard thinking. 



    Grit: At the Core of the Growth Mindset

    Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn't the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success. The need to have academic resilience and push past the challenge is at the core of any innovator or entrepreneur.


    Bio Duckworth

    In her late twenties, Angela left a demanding job as a management consultant to teach math to seventh graders in the New York City public schools. Several years in the classroom taught her that effort was tremendously important to success. To begin to solve the mystery of why some people work so much harder and longer than others, Angela entered the PhD program in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is now a professor. She is also a 2013 MacArthur fellow and Founder & CEO of the Character Lab.