Mr. Polish’s Independent Study 10th Grade English Syllabus
Welcome to 10th Grade English with Mr. Polish! Our class will meet every Thursday from 8 – 9 am and your attendance there is required. Because we only meet one day a week, it is important that you maintain communication with me by e-mail if you are having any issues with me, school, or the work. My e-mail is and I check it every day so expect me to get back to you no more than 24 hours after you have messaged me.
Since this is an independent study class, this class will be very different from the English classes you have taken in the past. In particular, you are going to do your work within two different contexts:
1. As a class, we will critically analyze literature and non-fiction readings every Thursday. This means that your respectful engagement in class discussion is essential to your grade. Every week you will receive a 5 – 20 point grade based on how often you participate in class. Points will be deducted for tardies, unexcused absences, using a cell phone, doing homework in class, sleeping in class, putting on make-up, eating, chewing gum loudly, leaving class without getting permission, and/or rude behavior. If you end up getting “negative” points for one week, points will then be deducted from your previous weeks’ grades.
2. You will also be expected to do individual work outside of class. Reading assignments will be posted to
Homework must be printed and handed in at the beginning of your school day unless you prefer to e-mail me your work before the school day begins. Most of the assignments will require you to take notes on and answer questions analyzing what you have read. Don’t even think about copying off somebody else, the readings, or the internet as the consequence will be an automatic zero on the assignment and a phone call home. Cheating means copying from the textbook, copying from other students, sharing an individual assignment with other students before it is due, or copying from online sources. It is not acceptable to copy even if you change a few words or re-organize the sentences you are copying. If this happens more than once, you may be expelled from the program.
I want to give you a voice in this classroom and am willing to share some of my power with you. However, with power comes responsibility. If you want to be a part of a class in which you are allowed to speak and be heard, you must:
- Be respectful in class. We are going to discuss our feelings, beliefs, and opinions about non-fiction and literature, but we cannot do this if any one person is not on task or making problems with other folks. That means you must:
Raise your hand when you want to speak and wait until you are called on or you will lose discussion points.
Never put anyone down verbally or non-verbally. Doing so will lead to the automatic loss of 3 discussion points for the week.
No hate speech. Regardless of whether or not you think you are “just joking around,” using hate speech will cost you ALL of the week’s discussion points, lead to an automatic e-mail/phone call home and possibly a referral to the vice-principal.
Pay attention in class. Doing other homework, reading things unrelated to the class, eating, passing notes, playing video games, talking, using music devices, putting on make-up or playing with cell phones is NOT ALLOWED under any circumstances and will lead to the automatic loss of 3 discussion points for the week.
- Be respectful outside of class. What is said in the class stays in the class.
- Be engaged with the class. You are ultimately responsible for your learning. You need to respectfully speak up if you are having problems with the material, me, or any of your peers. You can find me in my room during lunch every day except Tuesday if you need to talk. If you cannot make it at that time, feel free to e-mail me at .
- Show up on time. Be in your seat and ready to work when the bell rings. ______
MR. POLISH’S GRADING SCALE
HOMEWORK: 50% of the grade
PROJECTS/ESSAYS/TESTS: 45% of the grade
CLASS PARTICIPATION: 5% of the grade
If you do not do your HW and/or your grades begin to drop, expect to receive a phone call/e-mail home. If your grades continue to drop, you might be expelled from Independent Study.
UNIT 1: Perks of Being a Wallflowerby Stephen Chbosky(YOU WILL NEED TO GET YOUR OWN COPY)
UNIT 2: The Girl on the Trainby Paula Hawkins(YOU WILL NEED TO GET YOUR OWN COPY)
UNIT 3: The Girl with the Dragon Tattooby Stieg Larrson (YOU WILL NEED TO GET YOUR OWN COPY)
UNIT 4: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (YOU WILL NEED TO GET YOUR OWN COPY)
Mr. Polish’s RULES
If you want to avoid problems in your classes, you are also going to have to adapt to some rules. These rules are NON-NEGOTIABLE and will take effect immediately.
Food IS NOT ALLOWED DURING CLASS and will be taken away if I see it out after the first warning. Having it out will lead to the automatic loss of 3 discussion points for the week.
Cell phones/electronic devices are NOT ALLOWED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES and will be taken away if I see them out after the first warning. Having any of these things out will lead to the automatic loss of 3 discussion points for the week.
Music devices are NOT ALLOWEDunless I give you specific permission to use one while you are working.
Passing notes, putting on make-up, doing other homework, chewing gum loudly, reading unrelated materials, leaving class without getting permission, or sleeping in class are NOT ALLOWED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES and doing any of these things will lead to the automatic loss of at least 3 discussion points for the week.
Basic Everyday Rules:
Show up to class ON TIME.
TURN OFF cell phones, pagers, iPods, PSPs and all other electronic gadgets and doohickeys BEFORE CLASS.
BRING your own notebook, paper, readings, books, dictionary, pens, pencils, and erasers to class. Not bringing your notebook, or pen/pencil will lead to the automatic loss of 2 discussion points for the week.
BE PREPARED to work, participate, and ask lots of questions AS SOON AS THE BELL RINGS.
RAISE YOUR HAND BEFORE you speak and WAIT TO BE CALLED ON. Speaking out of turn will lead to the automatic loss of 1 discussion point.
ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION before walking out of class for any reason.
IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THESE RULES YOU WILL:
1ST – RECEIVE A VERBAL WARNING AND/OR LOSE A DISCUSSION POINT
2ND – LOSE ANOTHER POINT, HAVE A CONFERENCE WITH ME DURING LUNCH, AND/OR
BE MOVED TO ANOTHER SEAT
3RD – LOSE ANOTHER POINT ANDRECEIVE A PHONE CALL &/OR E-MAIL HOME
4TH – LOSE ANOTHER POINT AND RECEIVE A REFERRAL TO ROBYN POPE
5TH – LOSE ANOTHER POINT ANDRECEIVE A REFERRAL TO THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE
6TH – LOSE ANOTHER POINT AND HAVE TO ATTEND CLASS WITH YOUR PARENT
7TH – LOSE ANOTHER POINT AND RECEIVE A REFERRAL TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE/POSSIBLE
EXPULSION FROM INDEPENDENT STUDIES
Mr. Polish’s Policies
These policies are NON-NEGOTIABLE and will take effect immediately.
Things to Bring Every day:
SPIRAL NOTEBOOK/THREE RING BINDER (you must get one just for this class).
ASSIGNED PACKETS/BOOKS. Homework readings will be posted to
PENS/PENCILS/ERASERS/HIGHLIGHTERS. Not bringing a pen/pencil to class will lead to the automatic loss of 2 discussion points for the week.
It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to get the homework and notes from either me or another student if you are absent as you will be graded on all the work assigned in class. You will get no discussion points if your absence is unexcused.
1 Absence (Excused or Unexcused) = Behavior log & phone call or e-mail home
2 Unexcused Absences = Behavior log & phone call or e-mail home/ Referral to Robyn and possible dismissal from Independent Study
3 Unexcused Absences = Behavior log & phone call or e-mail home/ Referral to Robyn and possible dismissal from Independent Study
You will lose 3 points for every unexcused tardy. Tardies may only be excused by bringing a note from a teacher or the office. You must take care of this before you come to class.
HW must always be turned in at the beginning of the day or e-mailed to me at before the school day starts. Make sure to send documents in .pdf, Word 1997-2003 or .rtf formats. LATE WORK WILL ONLY RECEIVE FULL CREDIT IF I RECEIVE AN E-MAIL FROM A PARENT/GUARDIAN EXPLAINING WHY IT WAS LATE. Otherwise, LATE WORK WILL BE MARKED ONE GRADE DOWN FOR EVERY CALENDAR DAY IT IS LATE. WORK THAT IS OVER 5 DAYS LATE WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY MARKED 50% OFF WHATEVER GRADE YOU GET.
Mr. Polish’s Notebook and Journal Format
You are required to keep a notebook entry EVERY DAY of class. Though you can earn extra credit for beautifying your notebook with artwork, each entry in your notebook MUST have the following features:
Date: You must record and underline/highlight the date every Thursday.
Homework: Under the date you must copy down the homework assignment from the board. If the assignment is the same more thanone week in a row, just write “same as last week.”
RAP (Review and Preview): When RAPs are assigned, you must copy the RAP question from the board and respond to it in at least three sentences or you will receive no credit. If there is no RAP, write No RAP. Honors students must write at least six sentences per RAP to get any credit.
Class Notes: Since you will be graded on the notes you take you must take notes EVERY DAY. When there are no notes, you are to write a one-sentence summary specifically stating what we did in class.
I will correct and grade your notebook at least once every two weeks. However, homework will be collected separately from the notebook and must be done on a separate sheet of paper.
Be prepared and bring your notebook EVERY day! Remember, your notebook entries must be reader friendly. Even if you are absent, you are required to get each full notebook entry you missed from another student. However, you must write your own responses to RAP questions.
Every two weeks of class you are REQUIRED to write at least one journal entry based on a question that I will assign. Your journal entries should be written in the same notebook you use for class and can be NO SHORTER THAN 10 SENTENCES EACH. HONORS STUDENTS MUST WRITE AT LEAST 20 SENTENCES PER JOURNAL. You may write additional journals for extra credit, but if you do not write about the assigned journal you will get no extra points. In your journal, you must write down the date of each entry. Extra credit journal entries can be:
A reaction to a reading, class discussion, lecture, assignment, or other activity.
A personal letter to me that relates to what we are learning in class
A poem/song that relates to what we are learning in class
A short story that relates to what we are learning in class
A reaction to a personal experience that connects your experience to what we are learning in class
Extra credit journals CANNOT BE:
A list of things we did in class (E.g.: We read the book. We wrote our RAPs)
Complaint/insult letters (E.g.: I hate this class. It’s so boring. I hate my group)
About grades (E.g.: I have an F. I’m going to work harder. I need to try more)
About any other class or the school in general
About personal things unrelated what we are learning in class.
Please do not write journal entries that you do not want me to read. If you write anything inappropriate or potentially offensive in your notebook, expect me to contact your parents or the school about it.