CLASS POLICIES—Room 228—English—Mrs. Wood (revised 5/13)
The Prime Directive in this class is simple to the max:
DO EVERYTHING TO INCREASE LEARNING AND THE TIME AVAILABLE FOR LEARNING FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR CLASSMATES.
Common sense and common courtesy cover all situations. Here are some specifics, all of which support the Prime Directive above.
1. Homework to me AS you come in the door, unless the overhead directions tell you to keep it or show it to me. Frequently, you will “show it,” since you’ll be reading it out loud…
2. IN your seat, book and utensils ready, notebook OUT/OPEN, BEFORE the bell rings. (Remember: Extra pen with you at all times! If both your pens run out, you may purchase one from me for $.10.) (Food/Drink with you? NO problem, unless it becomes one….and don’t let me see cell phones or Ipods…or evidence you are using them…If I do, the device is gone.)
3. Check activities posted on the whiteboard. Begin right away with the anticipatory exercise which leads into class work, if one is on the whiteboard. Copy your assignment in your agenda.
4. Listen attentively throughout the hour; participate actively. Plan to stay in the room the entire period. Bring all with you and use the restroom between classes to retain all your points. Thanks!
5. Question me whenever you want; question me and others politely, please. It’s a Life Skill…
6. Wait UNTIL the bell rings before BEGINNING to put work/books away.
7. Speak to me if you have ANY questions about any regulations or about anything I have said. I will be glad to discuss the matter with you. Lack of accurate communication has caused terrible problems in this world! Please do not complain, whimper or feel paranoid until you have a reason!
NOW…a few pieces of general information:
- I am generally in the room during my lunch hour and during my planning period (4th hour.) Quiz Bowl will meet with me during Thursday Project Times, so please check with me another time.
- I’m in the classroom almost every day by 6:45 a.m., on a regular basis, which works better than after school, since so many of you are in activities or head straight for an outside job. However, I often won't leave the building until 3:15 or so. You may also ask me questions when you see me at WalMart, Price Chopper, the YMCA, or anyplace else—whatever helps you move ahead!
- You may come in for help, retakes, or makeup work at any of these times. We will do no makeup work during class. Class time is for current work. In fact, during class time, please don’t ask me about what you missed. This obstructs learning time for others. In fact, avoid absences…
- Late homework carries penalties, BUT if you are not a “habitual offender,” speak to me about the missed assignment. I rarely execute the occasional forgetter or occasional lapsed worker. Otherwise: 70% on late work. Absences: Two days to get the work finished.Avoid absences…
- If you have difficulty with an assignment and cannot find the answer in a reference book, call me at home BEFORE 8:30 p.m. (The number is on your syllabus.) DO look for the answer and THINK first. After all, you’re bright people and are capable of independent thinking! No excuses! You CAN do SOMETHING on the homework to show good intentions! And by the way, AVOID ABSENCES…
- In fact, if you feel you cannot understand the assignment, here’s an easy way to show me you had good intentions: Find any word or phrase or sentence you DID understand in the assignment and write (regular, normal writing) 1 and ½ pages (single spaced) a response/creative reaction to that word or phrase or sentence. (That would be about ¾ page in 12 font on computer, with 1-inch margins…)
- This alternate work may be a narrative, where you make up a story, or an explanation, or persuasive writing, or informative writing. You will earn points for that—perhaps not as many as you would have for the homework, but definitely, you will earn points. The more creative and imaginative you are, the higher the points. In other words, students, you have NO excuses for undone work…
- Please AVOID whining “I don’t understand,” or “I have NO clue” in here. You really don’t mean that! You mean, “I didn’t read the directions,” or “I haven’t looked back in the book or my notes to find the answer because I hoped you’d feed it to me ‘cause I don’t want to think.” A better approach would be something like this: “I’ve read the directions and I understand to this point,” or “I’ve gotten this far, but I’m having trouble with just this spot.” After all, English class IS in the native tongue for most of you, all of you speak English for communication, and ALL of you have fine brains.
- You may retake tests in several ways, AFTER you have done some “relearning” exercises. If you do well on the retake, you’ll generally receive an 85%. Sometimes I average the retake and the original grade. Retaking tests (although they won’t be the “same” tests) is a good way to learn the material for exams. I’m in the room for retakes as listed above. AVOID ABSENCES ALSO!
- Work for a substitute as if your actions mean life or death. Ill-considered behavior for a sub is punished threefold. Subs are infrequent in this class, but I want you prepared. IT IS NOT FAIR to mistreat a sub. It’s the Beast Within rising when you mistreat a sub!
- Cheating on assignments or quizzes—especially since I will help you and will allow you to retake tests—makes me angrier than just about anything else. I may ask that you be removed from class for a time if you cheat. It’s as simple as that. Yes, plagiarism is cheating, and you know what it is and how to avoid it. I’ll expect you to do so.
- Your presence in this class is most important, since this class “builds” in a logical manner, and each day’s work (both discussion and written) is of great importance (and is worth points…). Be here. In LAHS (Life After High School), a boss will expect that. Get used to it now. AVOID ABSENCES!
- To earn full credit for an excused absence, make-up work needs to be handed in within two days following an absence. ASK for the assignments immediately, and, depending on timing issues, I may allow more time for full points. Some discussion work/QuickThinks/focus notes can’t be made up. They’re a “being there” experience… AVOID ABSENCES! (…and check the school policy…)
The school policy covers excused/unexcused absences and unexcused tardies. KNOW THE POLICY!
- If you are going to be absent for a school activity or for a reason you know about ahead of time (page in Topeka, dentist’s/doctor’s appointment, advising the President, etc.), hand in your homework due that day BEFORE you go AND find out what the assignment is BEFORE you go. Otherwise: 70% on the late homework and the undone assignments if it’s a habit! AVOID ABSENCES!
Unless there’s a real emergency in my life, I update grades in every class every day. You can get on the Internet and discover your current grade in any class. Use that ability. You have every reason to know your current grade in this class at any time, so you’ll never be surprised. In fact, it makes your grade your responsibility…
In addition, I give a fairly complete explanation of each assignment when I input the grade, so you could look there for a hint about any missing work! Then, if it’s a QuickThink, figure out from what I listed what I asked, and what your answer would be, and write it all out and hand it in for partial credit. We might consider doing the same for discussions and focus notes.
I also put the next assignment at the end of a day’s grade/grades. You could check there if you forget what the assignment was! Also, your weekly Next Week e-mail late each week will tell you what days I’ll be staying after school the next week until 3:15 or so for make-up. Use the Next Week e-mail fully…