Course Outline

Freshman English A 2013-2014

Class Description: This class will focus on improving all students’ reading and writing skills.

Recommended Materials: One three-ring binder with five tabbed dividers labeled as follows:

Reading Minutes




“I Can” Statements

You will also need an SSR book that you can either purchase from Scholastic or check out of the school or classroom library.

Donated materials: optional but GREATLY appreciated: Kleenex, hand sanitizer, clorox/lysol spray or wipes, paper towels.

Typical two-week schedule (subject to change):






AOW assignment



Reading Minute

Writer’s Workshop


Reading Minute



Computer Lab

Reading Minute



AOW assignment



Reading Minute

Writer’s Workshop


Reading Minute



Reading Minute

Writer’s Workshop


Switch Time


AOW - Article of the Week assignment - As a weekly homework assignment, you will expand your knowledge of current affairs by reading and responding to a newspaper or magazine article. This is a two-part assignment: you are to do a close reading of the actual article, where you mark up the text with comments, questions, and confusion; then respond to a reflection topic on our classroom website discussion forum which is due the following Sunday.

SSR - Silent Sustained Reading - You will choose a book to read for a book project due in the final week of the trimester. This book should be challenging. It should be something you have not read before. As you can see, you will be reading your SSR book 2-3 times a week for 20 minutes each time. You should also be reading for 20 minutes each night at home. Even if you finish your book before the end of the trimester, you are required to read during all SSR times.

Reading Minute - For bellwork each day, a student will be reading to us for 60 seconds. You can read from a newspaper, magazine, or website as long as it is printed and can be handed in on your assigned day. As a class, we will then respond in writing for 3 to 5 minutes about what we have heard.

Writer’s Workshop - This trimester, we will focus on writing real and imaginary narratives, and writing a research paper. Writer’s workshop time is 30 minutes and is devoted to developing your ideas for each of the writing assignments. You will meet with me approximately once each week to discuss your strengths and difficulties as you write your essays. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure your writing assignments are finished by the due dates, even if that means taking your writing home and working on it there.

Switch Time - I work collaboratively with Mr. Gotz, one of the other 9th grade English teachers, to make sure all our students are given multiple opportunities to succeed. On switch days, any student in either of our classes with missing work will be given the hour to complete it. Anything not turned in at the end of switch time will be counted as a zero in the gradebook. Students with no missing work will be able to participate in an enrichment activity, enhancing reading and writing skills.

Holocaust Memorial Field Trip - Since our curriculum centers on the themes and literature about the Holocaust, we have planned a field trip for Thursday, October 24th to the Michigan Holocaust Memorial in Farmington Hills. More information will follow soon.

Grading Scale

B+=89-87% C+=79-77% D+=69-67%

A=100-93% B=86-83% C=76-73% D=66-63%

A-=92-90% B-=82-80% C-=72-70% D-=62-60%

        Below 60%=E

Any student caught cheating or plagiarizing will be given a zero for that assignment.

Work turned in late and/or during switch time will receive 60% credit.

Passes - I will sign your planner in 3 places at the beginning of the trimester. If you need to leave the room for any reason, please fill in the date & time in one of those three spots. No planner = no pass.

Substitute teachers - if a substitute teacher leaves your name for misbehaving in my absence, the consequence is 4 hours of detention. No exceptions.

Scholastic book orders - Each month I offer Scholastic book orders to students who may want to purchase books. Remember, current literacy research indicates that reading proficiency is the number one key to success in high school and college!

Electronic Device Policy: There are times in my class that I will ask students to use his or her cell phone as an educational tool to enhance our curriculum. If a student is using his or her cell phone or electronic device at an unapproved time (during SSR, for example), I will collect the device pursuant to the PHMS electronic device policy.

School-Wide Behavior Guidelines:

Class Rules: Consequences for misbehavior:

1. Follow directions the first time they are given. 1-Warning

2. Come to class prepared, on time, and ready to learn. 2-Reflection

3. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself. 3-Detention

4. Use appropriate language and attitude. 4-Office Referral

5. Respect school and others’ personal property.

PHMS Attendance Policy:

Types of absences:

  • Excused Absence (Coded 1) - an absence which has been confirmed by the parent.

  • Unexcused Absence (Coded A) - an absence which has not been confirmed by a parent.

  • School Approved Absence - an absence from school or class initiated by the school or made necessary by participating in school activities or functions.

  • Tardy - A tardy is when a student is less than ten (10) minutes late to class.

  • Suspended Absence - A suspended absence is an absence from class as a result of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

PHMS Tardy Policy:

  • First Offense – Teleparent message

  • Second Offense – Teleparent message

  • Third Offense - Teleparent & (1) Lunch Detention

  • Fourth Offense – Teleparent & (3) Lunch Detentions

  • Fifth Offense & Beyond - – Teacher referral for administration action and parent contact.

I know that is a lot of information to process in one day. Please keep this document in the front of your binder for quick reference throughout the trimester.

Mrs. Sreniawski

734-362-6100 x 2133