Class Overview:
Language Skills

Course Description
Students in this class will undertake an in-depth study of practical writing, through mechanics, usage, and grammar, audience and purpose, structure and format. Students will read, review, and evaluate professional models. Students will learn to write for various purposes, including academics, practical, and oral presentation. This is a writing-intensive class; students should expect to write every day, for a variety of purposes and audiences.

At the minimum you will need a notebook and writing implement for every class.

Extension Level – Extension-level classes will challenge the student in the classroom and require independent study outside of the classroom. In many extensions courses, students will be required to carry out independent research and produce a research paper or project. Students who select extension courses should demonstrate well-developed critical thinking, reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning and study skills.


Students will read classical and contemporary nonfiction accurately and fluently with understanding and appreciation. 
Students will write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Students will speak purposefully and demonstrate effective communication skills through discussion and presentation techniques.
Students will utilize effective vocabulary and rhetorical skills in their reading, writing and oral communication.
Students will demonstrate self-management skills through conduct, class preparation and timely assignment follow through.

Academic Dishonesty
Scholastic dishonesty, which includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism from any source, or unauthorized collaboration with another person to prepare written work, will result in a student(s) receiving no credit for the assignment, possibly and/or, depending on the circumstances, suspension from school.
In addition, academic dishonesty will result in an immediate dismissal from the National Honor Society, Class Officer or Leadership position.


Language Skills Expectations:
Robert Greene

  1. Materials

At the bare minimum you will need a notebook and writing implement for every class. It would behoove you to have a folder or binder in which to collect class handouts, and a G-mail (Yes, specifically G-mail.) account. Also useful would be a Flash drive and a voice recorder of some kind.

The Skinny
In this class you will be learning and relearning the most important skill you can take away from public education: the ability to write clearly, accurately, and picturesquely for a variety of audiences and purposes, There is a lot writing in this course, a lot of reading; be prepared.
Tool Box Level One (Top of the box) — Grammar, punctuation, sentences and paragraphs – Students will use a variety of methods to review and relearn proper grammar, punctuation, paragraph and sentence structures, and word usage. Students will study professional and amateur writing models, and work to enhance their speaking and writing vocabulary.
Tool Box Level Two — Students will review the format of, and practice writing, various essays (persuasive, descriptive, comparison, process, narrative, reflective) and other useful forms (letters and emails). Students will study professional and amateur writing models, and work to enhance their speaking and writing vocabulary.
Tool Box Level Three — Students will learn to adapt their writing to various presentation forms (speeches, PowerPoints, podcasts, etc.) and learn to deliver these presentations professionally. . Students will study professional and amateur writing models, and work to enhance their speaking and writing vocabulary.
Tool Box Level Four (Bottom of the box) — Students will write a longer, partially research-based, essay, intended for publication in a class anthology. Students will be encouraged to seek other publishing opportunities, as well. Students will study professional and amateur writing models, and work to enhance their speaking and writing vocabulary.

There will be a quiz nearly every Friday.

      1. Self-Management

You make the decisions, you accept the consequences; it’s as simple as that. If you conduct yourself professionally, you shouldn’t have any problems. If you cannot manage yourself, I’ll be forced to assist you via the school’s disciplinary process.
Attendance: If you are absent from class, for any reason, it is your responsibility to seek out and complete any missed assignments, lecture notes, tests, quizzes, etc. Make-up sessions are held in room C2024, after school every Tuesday or by appointment. There will be no make-up time during school hours. Regardless of the reason behind your absence, you have five days to make up the work. Students who miss class must get the day’s assignments via, the class Twitter site, or Facebook group. Barring catastrophic Internet failure, there is no excuse for being oblivious about what went on in your absence.
If you are not in class by the time the final bell rings—both feet in the door, you are late and will be marked as such. If an administrator or another teacher makes you late, get them to write you a pass. If you are late because you splashed water on yourself in the bathroom or got your arm caught in a locker, tell me and we’ll talk.
Assignments: Assignments are expected in class on the day they are due, neat and complete. Late assignments will lose points every day they are late, and that includes weekends.
Homework due the day after it is assigned does not have to be typed. I understand students may have difficulty accessing computers with short notice, so neatly completed, hand-written (cursive) assignments are acceptable. If I can’t read it, I can’t—and won’t—grade it. Typed work is at all times preferable.
Long-term assignments, for which the deadline spans more than an overnight, MUST be typed. Problems with computers, disks, Internet connections, printers, copiers, monitors, flying monkeys, etc., are not acceptable excuses for missing or late work. Students must plan accordingly and get their work in for the deadline. If there is a real problem, like a family emergency, get me in the loop as fast as you can and we’ll talk.
The acceptable format for a typed assignment is Times New Roman font, at size 12, double-spaced. If I see more than three typos, syntax or style errors, or spelling mistakes on the first page, I will not accept the work. Instead, I will hand it back to you and you will make any needed corrections at home and turn the assignment back in the next day, at which time it will be marked late.
Participation: Students are required to participate, to the best of their ability, in each and every class. Your attendance will factor into this, as you cannot participate if you are not here. Miss a block? Find a way to make up the time.
Respect: I will not tolerate a demonstrated lack of respect toward me or any student. We are here to learn from each other and, for that, we need a safe space in which to work. Comments, items, people and ideas are not to be described as “gay” or “retarded.” Words have specific meanings; choose the ones you use carefully.

      1. Other stuff

Grading: I use a system called “category total points.” Essentially each assignment has an assigned point value, and assignments that require more work count more. The sum of points earned divided by the sum of points possible is your assignment average. The final assessment will be factored in as 25 percent of the whole.
Assignments, based on scope and complexity, may take a considerable amount of time to evaluate. Therefore, your patience will be necessary regarding the returning and posting of grades.
Restroom Pass: The restroom pass can only be used once per student per class. If you need it, get up quietly, grab the pass, sign out on the log and head to the nearest restroom. Put the pass back in its place, do whatever the pass policy instructs, and return to your seat. Only one student is allowed out of the room at a time.
Computers: Computers, Wi-Fi and the LAN in this room may not be used for anything other than legitimate classwork. Inappropriate use can result in a detention and loss of computer privileges. Computers will be taken care of and loved as if they were your own. Use of the computer lab for this class is a hard-fought privilege, which can be revoked. Do not switch mice, unplug peripherals, etc., without permission. Online dictionaries and thesauri are on the bad list; don’t use them.
Furniture: The chairs are not rides; do not use them as such. Keep your feet off the desks and chairs.
General neatness: Leave the room at least as pretty and clean as you found it.
Technology and food: School-wide policies apply in here, too. Learn to love them.