Guidelines and Expectations

Course Objectives: The curriculum for 10th grade Literature traces the intellectual development of western civilization from its ancient Greek and Judeo-Christian roots up to the 20th Century through a study of literary works. The topics and themes in texts read as a group and at home will be thoroughly discussed in class. We will be studying the human existence in western civilization through the eyes of the poets of the times. Our focus will be on each piece in and of itself as well as identifying and understanding the correlations each piece has with other texts as well as the other three CORE disciplines. The thematic, interdisciplinary approach will allow the student to understand how and why all four CORE classes are closely intertwined.

Assignment Expectations: At the beginning of each unit, I will be distributing copies of all of the literature that we will be reading in class for everyone who did not purchase the book bundle. With the exception of Antigone by Sophocles, all the texts will be in “packet” photocopied form. These copies are theirs to mark up at your discretion. This is the case, as I want all students to maintain the skill of being “active” readers, as they were in CORE 9. That practice, complete with the use of multiple highlighters, will continue to be implemented in my class! This means that I want the students to annotate their texts as they read. Students need to make notations of details of which they are uncertain which need clarification but to also make notes regarding passages that seem important. All students need to be able to recognize salient details in a text without the teacher pointing them out to them. I will be randomly collecting copies of the text from time to time to ensure that all students are maintaining this skill throughout the year. These “spot checks” will be recorded as 50-point graded assignments.

The “polychromatic” Active Reading guidelines are as follows:

RED INK: Used to circle all unfamiliar terms/vocabulary. Definition of term is then written in the margin of the text. Answers the question What does this mean?

BLUE INK: Identify/clarify main ideas and important events of the text. In the margin of the text you must summarize/paraphrase series of events AT LEAST once per page. Answers the question What is happening?

BLACK INK: Synthesize and comment on sequence of events. Analyze implied significance of the passage. Ask/answer complex critical questions that cannot be ascertained with an initial/superficial read of text. Answer thoroughly ALL questions posed in R.A.P. Identify/explain thematic connections with other texts, units, classes. Answers the question Why is this important?

Everyone needs to bring texts to class every day, as students will take an in-class diagnostic reading exam every day, covering the previous night’s reading. These exams will ask questions requiring both to simply recall specific salient details about the text as well as to predict future events based on things already read. Each day’s exam will be open note & open text. Along with the texts, as students follow the links above, they will find a set of RAP (Review And Preview) assignments. These are a series of questions that serve as the daily outlines that focus on the important events of each of the night’s reading passages. It is strongly advised that these RAP questions are printed out as well as the texts themselves.

The night that a passage is assigned (let’s use Book Nine of The Iliad by Homer as an example) the student should have a few things on the desk along with the text itself. They should also have a copy of the RAP for Book Nine out as well. They will need pens and highlighters in their “active reading” process. The RAP is a series of questions which will immediately assist the student in ascertaining the important events, characters & details. This outline will guide the scholar to a thorough read of the text. The following day’s exam will be “inspired” by a few questions from the RAP. Consequently, if the student has indeed read the text and, better yet, if they have used the RAP as a guide in reading the text, they should have little to NO trouble with the daily exam. Theoretically.

Following the daily exam, the remainder of the period will be devoted to an in-depth discussion of the assigned passage. Again, I am looking for active discussion in class from all students. If they have read the text and, better yet, if they have used the RAP as a guide, they should have little to NO trouble with the daily class discussion. Again, theoretically.

The students are required to maintain a CORE notebook, including coursework for all four classes. This is to be a neatly maintained and organized 3-ring binder. The Literature portion of the notebook will be maintained in reverse chronological order. Here is where all hard copies of the RAP assignments will be kept as well as all daily exams, notes and outlines. Also, all work in my class is to be done in either blue or black ink only. As of today, I will not accept any assignment written in pencil.

Classroom Environment: The students must understand that this coursework is going to be extremely rigorous, but I want the students to feel comfortable in my classroom. To maintain this, the students are allowed to eat or drink in my classroom. They must understand that this privilege exists until someone leaves a candy wrapper or an empty bottle on the floor or gum underneath one of my desktops. If that happens, the privilege is revoked, not suspended, revoked from all four of my CORE 10 classes. Also, I will make it a point to tell all my other periods which class is responsible for the infraction. A simple way to avoid this is to clean up at the end of the period.

Attendance & Tardy Policy: Attendance is extremely important in a program such as this. The four CORE classes are planned down to the day. Each class period has an enormous amount of material to cover, and a very limited amount of time to do so. If a student is absent, they must contact a colleague and find out what they missed. Being absent is not an exemption from the work. Tardies are not tolerated in my class. If a student is late to my class without a valid excuse they will stand in the back of the room for the entire period. “Late” in my class is defined as not being in their assigned seat the moment the bell begins to ring. Standing, however, is also not an exemption from work. They will be expected to participate in class just like any other student. As mentioned before, each day will begin with a diagnostic exam. If they are tardy, they will lose precious minutes from the daily test. A simple way to avoid this is to be on time to class.

Letter Grade to Numeric Ratio Chart for

Grade In-Class 10-15 Minute Quizes In-Class 30-Minute Quizzes & Active Reading Spot Checks In-Class Period-Long Essays At-Home RAP Response & Unit Final Exams Major A.P. Literature Projects/Essays
A+ 10 20 50 100 200
A 9.5 19 47.5 95 190
A- 9 18 45 90 180
B+ 8.9 17.5 44.5 89 178
B 8.5 17 42.5 85 170
B- 8 16 40 80 160
C+ 7.9 15.5 39.5 79 158
C 7.5 15 37.5 75 150
C- 7 14 35 70 140
D+ 6.9 13.5 34.5 69 138
D 6.5 13 32.5 65 130
D- 6 12 30 60 120
F 5 10 25 50 100