• 9th Grade Honors English

    Writing and Reading About Literature and Nonfiction

    Ms. Laura Fitch (laurafitch@solonboe.org) ext. 5398

    Mrs. Nanci Bush (nancibush@solonboe.org) ext. 5312

    Ms. Laura Lagania (lauralagania@solonboe.org) ext. 5798


    Course Description:  Analysis of fiction and nonfiction texts. 


    Texts and Materials:  No Red Ink online grammar program, Membean online vocabulary program, novels to be announced during the course of the semester, handouts distributed in class and/or posted to Google Classroom.


    Course Objectives:  

    The honors/AP English program is a four-year program designed to prepare students for the rigors of AP classes, college admittance examinations, and college itself. Ninth grade teachers continuously work in conjunction with each other and with all teachers of advanced English classes to ensure the skills, assessments, and rubrics are aligned with the overall goals of the program.


    By the end of this one-year course, the student should be able to: 


    1. connect basic grammar rules to the elements of writing.

    2. understand the mechanics and structure of the sentence and build on them.

    3. utilize elevated vocabulary to communicate ideas both verbally, as well as in writing.

    4. develop a sense of style and voice in writing and explore the use of writing techniques.

    5. identify literary devices, analyze their effect, and intelligently articulate their purpose in the literary piece. 

    6. discuss literature with peers and work collaboratively to dissect it. 

    7. recognize the organizational patterns, including main idea, author’s purpose, rhetorical strategies in nonfiction works. 

    8. respond to complex prompts that require the individual to demonstrate organization, complex sentence structure, the ability to integrate quotes, and the support of theses.

    9. utilize revision methods for coherent writing.


    Student Responsibilities: 

    1. Read assigned selections for the day they are due.

    2. Come to class every day on time and be prepared to discuss the material with your classmates and write both collaboratively and individually.  Completion of homework is an expectation of the course, whether the assignment is graded for points or not.  Assignments turned in by the due date are eligible for full credit; late assignments will result in a reduction of points. If a pattern of late work emerges, a conference between the teacher and the student (and/or parents and counselors) will be scheduled.

    3. Students are requested to notify the instructor in the event of absence (see contact information above).  It will be difficult to catch up in this class if you fall behind.  Makeup work is the student’s responsibility and that individual will not be reminded to ask for it or to complete it.  

    4. Students have as many days as they were absent to make up missed work.  If an assignment was given prior to your absence, you must have it done on the assigned day.  It is the student’s responsibility to get any assignments missed.  All made up work is due at the beginning of class. If you are not in class for an excused appointment but are in the building for some time that day, you must drop off assignments before 3 p.m. that day or they will be considered late, and you will receive no credit.  

    5. Students must have immediate access to  any pertinent handouts and assigned novel every day.

    6. Students are expected to behave as adults in regards to attendance, timeliness, and attitude.

    7. Students will abide by all the rules in the Solon High School Student Handbook. 


    Other Policies and Important Information: 


    Cell phones -- There will be no cell phone use in class unless clearly indicated by the teacher. Students will turn cell phones off at the beginning of each class period and stow them in the assigned place. Any unauthorized use of cell phones will result in the phone being turned in to the main office. Any unauthorized use of cell phones during an assignment will result in a zero on the assessment.


    Chromebooks -- While we will not use Chromebooks every day, students should have their Chromebooks charged and ready for use on days when indicated for the lesson or an assessment.

    Extra Help:  Skillful and supportive help is available for all writers in the Writing Lab.  It is a place where writers of all capabilities can discuss their assignments at any stage with an English teacher.  It is located in the Media Center and is available to you during study halls and lunch periods. Check with the Media Center aide during the first week or two of school for the Writing Lab schedule and utilize this resource.  The student is also encouraged to make an appointment with the teacher as needed.


    Testing Center:  Any tests and quizzes that you miss will be placed immediately in the Testing Center for you to make up and will remain there only for as many days as you were absent.  Thus, if you were absent two days (for example: Monday and Tuesday), your assessment will be in the Testing Center for two days (Wednesday and Thursday) and must be taken during those days either before, after or during school (i.e. study hall periods).  If you are absent one day and we take a test that day (for example: Monday), you have to make it up by 4:00 the day you return (Tuesday). 

    Your teacher will record the score as a zero if you fail to take the assessment as directed.  No exceptions.


    Grading:  Solon High School’s grading scale will apply.  Quarter-end, semester-end, and year-end grades are NOT rounded. 


    The bulk of your grade is made up of tests and writing assignments.  Thus, 80% of your total grade will consist of assessments, writing, and various projects, 20% of your total grade will consist of homework and classwork. There is no extra credit.   


    Membean:  Must complete three, 15-minute sessions per week for homework points.  

    We will work on a three week cycle as follows:


    Wk 1 (Monday – Sunday) – 45 minutes of Membean training due by 11:59 on Sunday night. Students must complete all 45 minutes to receive credit (5 points in Other category). This is all or nothing – must hit 45 or will receive a zero.


    Wk 2 (Monday – Sunday) – 45 minutes of Membean training due by 11:59 on Sunday night. Students must complete all 45 minutes to receive credit (5 points in Other category). Again, this is all or nothing – must hit 45 or will receive a zero. Any student who did not complete the full 45 minutes the previous week must add the missing minutes to this week. EX. If in Week 1 Student A trained for only 30 minutes, in Week 2 he must train for 60 minutes (15 missing minutes + 45 minutes).


    Wk 3 (Monday – Sunday) – we will have a Membean quiz during this week, which will most likely fall on the Wednesday but could be on any day (we will post on the calendar). All students who have completed 90 minutes of training in the previous two weeks will take the quiz. NO training minutes will be due in the 3rd week of the cycle.


    *Additionally, students who do not complete the required training minutes in either of the 1st two weeks of a cycle will have two points deducted from their quiz.  All quizzes will go in the Assessment category.

    ** Any student who does not complete the required 90 minutes of training in the first two weeks of the cycle will not take the quiz with the rest of the class. There will be one final opportunity to complete the 90 minutes (45 from each of the 1st two weeks) by the end of the 3rd week, at which time a makeup quiz will be arranged. Again, two points will be deducted from the final quiz grade. If said student does not complete the 90 minutes of training  by the end of the 3rd week in the cycle he will receive a 0 on the quiz. NO makeup quiz will be given.  


    Academic Honesty:  All work submitted must be your own.  Proper documentation is necessary when citing someone else’s thoughts and words.  Solon High School’s policy on plagiarism will apply.  Papers that are submitted late to turnitin.com will lose points, and those papers never turned in to turnitin.com will not be graded and will receive a zero.