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Senior Essay Writing Syllabus

Email: valerie.nafso@farmington.k12.mi.us
Website: http://www.msnafso.weebly.com
Room #: 903
Remind 101: Text @nafsoessay to (586) 439-5056

Welcome
Welcome to Essay Writing! In this class, you will be given the opportunity to explore, write, read, discuss, research, work together,
and grow personally.

Objectives
Throughout this trimester we will explore many genres of essays as well as many texts and styles of writing. We will write to
discover our voice and style. Additionally, through writing, re-writing, and peer editing, you will learn the importance structure,
organization, and language. We will be peer critiquing and applying constructive feedback to our writing. We will use synthesis,
analysis, and reflection to develop voice, style, and confidence in writing.

This course is designed to prepare students for the demands of collegiate writing. The term will cover many different writing
techniques, structures, approaches and components. The students will write some of, but are not limited to, the following essays:

College Entrance Argumentative Essay Personal Belief Essay
Cause/Effect Essay Film Analysis Lyric Analysis
Literacy Narrative Impromptu(s) Compare/Contrast
Process Analysis Descriptive Essay Literary Analysis

Speaking and Listening Skills
One of the best ways to develop ideas for writing is through speaking and listening, so all students will be expected to participate in
discussions and present information consistently during the term.

Grades
Each essay done at home is worth 50 points. Each impromptu is 25 points. All essays will be graded based on a rubric available at the
beginning of each assignment. The rubric embodies six writing traits: ideas/thesis, voice/analysis, organization, sentence structure,
word choice, and conventions (spelling/grammar). Your grade will be determined by the effort and quality of those traits in written
assignments. Your grade for the trimester will be your points divided by the total number of points in the class.

Format
Essays must be in MLA Format. They should be typed, double-spaced (no extra line breaks), and in 12 pt. font. The authors name,
the instructors name, the assignment name (in place of class name), and the date must appear in the top left-hand corner. Every
essay should include a title. An example of the format is attached. Please try to print your essay on both sides of the paper.

Rewrites/Revisions
Every essay is subject to a rewrite or revision. Every 50-point essay will be peer edited and then turned in the same day. I will then
look at each of them and give them back with feedback (no grade). You will then incorporate the feedback into revising your essay.
Only the revision/rewrite will be counted in the gradebook.

1, 2, 3, 4 Quick Assessment
After teaching a certain concept, I may give you an assignment that will help me assess where you are. It is very important to assess
your own learning as well, so I have a general scale that ranges from 1-4. 4 is Mastery. That means you can do the skill in the
goal/learning target with complete confidence and dont need any extra assistance. 3 is Applying/Proficient. That means you can
do the skill in the goal/learning target with confidence, but havent mastered it just yet. 2 is Developing. That means you can
somewhat do the skill (or part of the skill) in the goal/learning target with little confidence, and need some assistance from the
teacher because you may have some questions. 1 is Beginning. That means you cannot do the skill in the goal/learning target and
need full assistance from the teacher.

Classroom Expectations

1. Aretha Franklin knows what shes talking about. RESPECT one another ALL THE TIME. This is
the #1 rule in my classroom.

I firmly believe in a classroom where everyone feels comfortable participating in a number of ways. In order to achieve this goal,
it is imperative that we all respect one another to create an interactive and trusting environment. We come equipped with
different strengths and opinions, but no one is better than anyone else. My classroom is a judgment-free zone.

2. An excuse is not a pretty color on you.

Printers are unreliablethat is a fact. To avoid coming to school with the Printer Excuse (which I wont even bother hearing),
do not be a printing procrastinator (try saying that 5 times fast). You should print the night before an assignment is due, so if
your printer breaks, you can either have a friend print or you can come to school EARLY to print in the media center or in a
classroom (from your email or a USB).

3. Hay is for Horsesso is whining.

I expect that no matter what we do in class, you keep a positive attitude about it, whether it be assigned homework, a due date,
a new activity, moving around, etc. Attitudes (good or bad) are contagious, so in order to keep this room a positive learning
environment, make sure your attitude is somewhere on the good end of the spectrum.

4. As Scar would tell you, BE PREPAAAAAARED!

Youve been in school for 10+ yearsby now, I think you know you will be in class from Monday through Friday, so its no
surprise that you need your writing utensil, your folder/binder, your books, and your notebook every single daykeep it all i n
your backpack so you never forget it.

5. Only my grandpa visits the bathroom 10 times an hour.

You are human and sometimes nature callsjust be reasonable about your bathroom visits. Try to limit it to emergencies only
since people leaving and coming back all of the time is extremely disruptive. I dont permit bathroom visits during
lectures/notes/lessons unless it is an emergency. Also remember that your planner has to go with you.

6. Leave my classroom better than you found it.

I kind of like my room a lot, and I spend more time in it than at my real homeso please keep it clean and respect our space
(no gum under chairs and tables, no garbage left behind, no writing on furniture, etc.)

7. Early is on time and on time is late.

As a responsible adult in any career path, you will be judged on your promptnesspeople see tardiness as a testament to your
character; they will perceive you as lazy and full of excuses. Youre not too cool to be early/one timethe sooner you figure that
out, the more successful you will be in my class and in your future.

8. Follow Directions

Everything I ask you to do in this class is for the purpose of learning and growing as a writer and person. If you are ever confused
about the purpose, Ill be happy to explain it to you. You are expected to follow any direction I give in class (taking notes, putting
your phone away, doing an activity, warm-ups, exit conversations, etc.)

Nafsos Policies
Homework Policy
I do not give out homework to ruin your life. And I do NOT give busy work. Each assignment has a purpose and that is to assess your
understanding of the lesson I just taught that day. I actually use your homework to ASSESS your understanding; therefore, it is
important to put your honest effort in them so that I can see where youre at. If you dont understand the concepts, your homework
will reflect that and I will be able to see it and help you. Your grade will reflect your effort.

Late Work Policy
When class begins, there will be directions on the board as to what to do with your assignment that is due that day. Typically, a
paper due that day will be peer edited before you turn it in. You are expected to have the essay with you IN CLASS on the day it is
due. When I have you turn a paper in, you will turn it into the blue bin on the student supply table (Turn-In Bin). If you do not turn
in an essay on the day it is due in class, you may turn your essay in at any time, but to the black Late Bin on the student supply
table. It will not be given a late grade because your grade needs to reflect your abilities, not your bad habits. HOWEVER, any papers
in the late bin will be a 0 in the gradebook until I can get to themand that is if I get to them (your late work is not my priority).
PLEASE be respectful of my time. Late essays really burden a teachers life more than you even know. Note: Your late work will not
receive feedback from me.

Tardy Policy
I will be implementing the NFHS tardy policy. Students are to be in class and prepared to learn at the sound of the bell, as instruction
will begin promptly. Note: Every tardy will be logged in Zangle Notes.
1
st
tardy Conversation with me.
2
nd
tardy Call home.
3
rd
tardy 30-Minute detention with me. Further tardies or failure to serve the detention will result in a referral to the office.
4
th
tardy Meet with Assistant Principal, who will contact parent.

Cheating Policy
I would want to earn enough of your respect that you wouldnt want to cheat in my class, but ideally, I want you to have enough
respect for yourself and for learning that you wouldnt do it at all. Cheating is anything including copying homework, letting
someone copy your homework, plagiarism, having notes visible during quizzes or tests, etc. There is literally no point in cheating
because it does not give either of us an accurate representation of your understanding (remember that I use assignments to assess
your understanding so cheating will hide your struggles). Plus, it is not worth losing respect and possibly getting suspended.
Plagiarism will result in a 0 until you redo the assignment completely. You will also be sent down to an administrator with a referral
that will be logged in MiStar for all staff to see. I also contact colleges. For any kind of cheating, I will follow the steps on the English
Department Cheating Policy.

Absence Policy
VIEW THE WEBSITE ON THE DAY(S) YOU ARE ABSENT BEFORE COMING TO CLASS!!! There, you will be able to see what we did,
what you missed, and any notes/worksheets that were given out. If you are absent on the day an assignment is due, you will be
expected to turn it into me when class begins on the day you return, otherwise it goes in the late bin. If you are absent on the day I
assign something, you will have one day to make up work for each day you are absent (only for excused absences). If you do not
abide by that schedule, I will have you put your assignment in the late bin. If you have an unexcused absence, your work that was
due that day will go in the late bin. I have blue mailboxes on the student supply table where I put handouts from each day. Check the
mailbox slot for the day you were absent for any hard copies of handouts. Please respect this policy and take responsibility of your
absences. You should never have to contact me when you are absent unless you have a question about something we did that day
after viewing the website.

Food/Drink Policy
Snacks/Drinks are allowed so long as there is absolutely no evidence ANYWHERE. If any food/drink/garbage is left in my room, I will
have to ban eating/drinking in class for everyone. You dont want to be that person.

Electronics Policy
There will be times where I will allow phones; however, there are no phones out during lectures, class discussions, group work, or
activities. Part of being an adult is knowing when you should and shouldnt be using your electronics. For any questions or to review
the consequences, refer to the NFHS Personal Electronic Device Policy.

Classroom Procedures

At the Beginning of Class:
1. Get to your seat when the bell rings.
2. Get out your materials for ENGLISH CLASS ONLY and put them on your desk (including homework that is due that day). If you were absent
the day before, check the mailboxes for handouts.
3. You will have a warm-up each day. As soon as the bell rings, you need to get your warm-up sheet out, copy down the goal, and work on
the warm-up for that day (every warm-up is to help you with a concept or to get you ready for something we are doing that day).
a. On every other Friday, when you complete the warm-up, turn in your warm-up sheet to the blue turn-in bin on the student
supply table for points.
b. While you work on the warm-up each day, I will be taking attendance and checking in homework.
4. When you finish your warm-up, you can read a book or sit quietly until we go over the warm-up.
At the End of Class:
1. We will always do a wrap-up session, whether it is an informal assessment (1-4 scale, fist to five, thumbs, etc.) or an exit conversation to
make sure youve achieved the goal for that day.
2. There is absolutely NO PACKING UP until I have made my final announcement; once I have made my final announcement, if there is extra
time, you may chat with a friend, but you need to be in a seat until the bell rings (there will be no lining up by the door).

Classroom Protocols

Classwork Protocol
Keep talking at a minimum unless you are discussing the work with a classmate or working in partners/groups; stay on task (no working on other
work); use your time wisely; no use of electronic devices until work is finished.
Discussion Protocol
Be actively engaged (listening attentively, ask questions, build off a classmate, jot down notes, add insight); Respect one another (no interrupting
or talking over one another, be appropriate); Stay on topic (try not to go off on rants or tangents); have appropriate materials out on desk.
Silent Reading Protocol
Complete silence; no head down or working on other work; engage with a text (sticky notes, annotating, etc.) for the allotted time.
Peer Editing Protocol
Give constructive feedback; not what youre doing wrong but what can you do to make it better; give honest feedback.
Group Work Protocol
Do your part; share your strengths; be actively engaged; stay on task; work well with others in any work environment, you will most likely have to
work well with people who are completely different from you, so keep an open mind and respect them.

Classroom Need-To-Knows

Weebly
I use Weebly for my classroom site. It will be updated daily with the daily agenda (for absent students or involved parents who want to know
whats going on in class), class announcements, a calendar of important dates, and resources.

Announcement Board
The white board on the side of my classroom is open to students to write any announcement or post any flyers (NOT during class time) that has to
do with any school event. Content MUST be appropriate, otherwise students will not write on it anymore.

Student Activities Calendar
If you want to know about any activity going on at NFHS, take a look at the very colorful event calendar in the front of the room.

Student Supply Table
In the front of my room, there is a table of supplies (pens, pencils, highlighters, post-it notes, stapler, tape, lined paper), an absent mailbox (where
extra handouts will go), a blue/green turn-in bin (where homework will be turned in), and a black late bin (where late work will be turned in).
Students are welcome to use supplies, but I ask that they be put back because the supply table will not be restocked.

Stage and Offices
In my classroom, there is a stage and two offices. The work space and shelving located on the stage is for Student Senate only. Without my
permission, students should not go on the stage, nor touch any of the materials on stage. Students are also not permitted to enter either office on
each side of the stage, as that is my storage space for Student Senate.