Thursday, September 3, 2009

Course Syllabus

Edina High School English 10
Ms. Rachel Hatten
Course Syllabus
Room 280

“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity…For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.” --Kofi Annan

“Books are the deepest way to communicate about what it is to be a human.” Peter Weer

Course Description
English 10 refines the language arts skills of reading, literary analysis, writing, vocabulary development, research, critical thinking, speaking, listening, visual literacy, and digital literacy. Units include studies of the journey as a universal human ritual, ethical dilemmas and the conflict between responsibility to society and to the individual, causes and effects of different cultures colliding, and persecution and other outside influences that affect us on a local and global level. Some selections align with the World History sophomore course so that students can make interdisciplinary connections. Selections include both Western and non-Western texts that reflect diversity in race, gender, age, economics and geography. In addition, students will contribute to a class blog to create an online learning community that not only extends classroom literary analysis discussions, but also provides an authentic audience to outside reading and writing assignments.

Regular instruction in vocabulary will use both explicit lessons and vocabulary specific to the literature being studied in class.

Intensive writing instruction will help students develop thinking skills and a personal voice. Students will write one formal, typed assessment each quarter for a total of four formal assessments per year. Essay assignments throughout the year will include multiple modes such as narrative, persuasion, and critical analysis. Grammar and usage review will include explicit lessons, but focus on using correct conventions in writing. Writing instruction and assessment will use the Six Traits of writing, rubrics and exemplars. Students will write a major research paper during third quarter.

Students will also develop and practice effective speaking skills in individual presentations and group discussions.

Major texts in each unit of study:
Identity and the Journey as a Universal Ritual
The Namesake
The Road
The Odyssey
O, Brother Where Art Thou?

Ethical Dilemmas: Individual vs. Society
All My Sons
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Cultures Collide
Nectar in a Sieve
Things Fall Apart
The Mission
Bride and Prejudice

In the Time of the Butterflies
Slaughterhouse 5
The Weight of All Things

Tying it all Together: Coming Home
Animal Dreams

Ongoing areas of study:
Visual literacy, including photography, film, and other print and digital images
Grammar, usage, and mechanics
Digital Literacies
MCA Poetry and Reading Prep

Some notes about literature selection in Edina Public Schools:
1. Literature that is studied and read as part of a course has been sited for excellence by an independent source (for example it has won literary awards, received positive reviews by independent book reviewers and/or recommendations from professional organizations, etc.) and/or the author has been sited
for excellence by an independent source.

2. Students should read and analyze a variety of literature in print, auditory and visual texts including:
Fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction;
A variety of diversity topics/themes including: race, gender, age, economics, and geography;
Contemporary and classic selections. Approximately one classic and 2-3 contemporary selections in each course read by all students.

3. In grades 9-12 literature is adult, full-length novels/non-fiction as well as short stories, poetry and drama.


In this course, I hope that you will:
** Read widely and analytically.
** Develop, explore, and clearly articulate original ideas.
** Write well for a variety of purposes.
**Use critical thinking skills to accomplish a wide range of tasks related to literature, writing, and media.

My work as a teacher is based on the following beliefs:
** I have a responsibility to create and nurture a safe working environment for all of my students—both collectively and on an individual level
** I believe in the power of texts to affect our understanding of the world and the human condition in a profound way
** I have a responsibility to prepare you for real world working and thinking on a critical, analytical level in a media infused 21st century
** I believe that you can be better than you are today. I believe that you can write more fluently, read more deeply, question more critically, and empathize more compassionately. I believe in the work we’re doing here.

My expectations for you are:
** Work: Show up for class—physically and mentally. Your fellow students and I need you here. Your primary purpose here is to participate in your learning and to produce work that contributes to the good of our class community. As Michael Hartoonian, scholar of education and public policy, says, “Work that we do to improve our personal circumstances always affects others. If we do good work, that good radiates to others. Of course, poor or bad work also radiates to others, causing a general decline in the wealth of the community.” Knowledge, which you gain through work, is key to successful citizenship in a multicultural world. To this end, expect homework each night and prepare to speak in class each day.
** Respect: At all times, be respectful of scholarship, of yourself, of each other, and of me. We are in this together.
** Belong: Foster community by taking care of each other, being ready for anything, and appreciating the differences that each person brings to class.

Grades are figured according to the following scale based on cumulative point totals:

100-93% A 79-77 C+ 69-67 D+
92-90 A- 76-73 C 66-63 D
89-87 B+ 72-70 C- 62-60 D-
86-83 B 59-0 F
82-80 B-

Please pay attention to penalties for scholastic and academic dishonesty outlined on page 18 of the handbook.


Major papers: Major papers will be due within a 3-5 day window, rather than be due on one, set date. While the size of the timeframe will remain at my discretion, I will alert you to the dates of the timeframe within which you can hand in your paper. This should give you ample time to complete the paper on time, and resolve any technical or personal issues that may arise. As long as your paper is handed in within the window, it is considered on time and will be graded without penalty. Papers are graded in the order that they were handed in. If you hand in your paper one day after the timeframe has closed, 25 points will be taken off of your final score (C is the highest possible grade). If you hand in the paper any time after that, 50 points will be taken off of your final score. All major papers will be worth 100 points. If you are absent on the closing due date, the paper needs to be emailed to me that day by 8:30 a.m. as an attachment if it is to be graded without penalty. Additionally, you must plan to hand in a hard copy of your paper upon your return to school.

Daily work: Research indicates that assigning homework, providing timely feedback, and obtaining assessment of student learning are important in enhancing the teaching-learning process. The purpose of homework is to either prepare you for the following day’s lesson, or to enhance and practice the skills learned in the previous lesson. This purpose is lost if the homework is not completed on time. For this reason, late homework will not be accepted.

Tests: If you are absent the day of a major test, you will need to attend the make-up test session that I schedule. There will only be one opportunity to make-up a missing major test. Make-up tests are comprised of short answer questions, while the regular test will have a variety of question types, including multiple choice. Retesting is not allowed. Be prepared for tests the first time.

Reading Check Quizzes: Occasionally, you may need to complete a quiz on the previous night’s reading assignment. Quizzes may be unannounced. If you are absent and miss a reading check quiz, you will need to complete questions on the reading that are posted to our class blog in order to be excused from those missing points.

The Notebook: All students will be expected to maintain a classroom composition notebook that includes comprehensive classroom notes as well as a detailed table of contents. The individual pages of the notebook will be checked at random during class every two weeks. After an absence, it is your responsibility to check with a trusted classmate and to copy down the notes that you missed within two days of returning to school.

Integrity: Consider that your character and good name cannot be easily reclaimed once you make the decision to cheat. If you do decide to cheat or plagiarize in any portion of the academic work for the course, you will earn a zero for the assignment and may be referred to administration for disciplinary action, as spelled out in the student handbook. Do not compromise your integrity by cheating.

The Mouse Problem and the New Carpet: There are mice in the building. There will be mice in this classroom if we bring food or sugary drinks into it. That is terrible. Conversely, we have brand new carpet, which is awesome. I don’t want mice, and I don’t want to ruin my new carpet. To that end, water ONLY (no additives) is allowed in this room. Please use reusable water bottles as there is no recycling in this room and we’d like to be as green as possible.

Requested Supplies:
All students need a single subject notebook to be used exclusively for English 10. I happily accept donations of tissue, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, loose leaf paper, glue sticks, scissors, markers, pens, and pencils which we can all use.

Keeping in Touch:
If you have any questions or feel as though you need additional help throughout the semester, please ask! I am available most days before and after school in my classroom. Please call or email with any questions or concerns. I’m looking forward to sharing a productive and enjoyable year together!

Ms. Rachel Tholen Hatten
Room 280


  1. hi mrs.hatten its me jose avilesi did my homework lol
    well see you tomorrow ^_^


  3. :)hi! I don't have much to say sooooo bye!

    -Haley Madson
    hour 2!

  4. iheartenglish<3


    Anna Solomon