Syllabus for Expository English Reading and Writing Course
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Course Description: The goal of the Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) is to prepare college-bound seniors for the literacy demands of higher education. Through a sequence of eight to ten rigorous instructional modules, students in this yearlong, rhetoric-based course develop advanced proficiency in expository, analytical, and argumentative reading and writing. The cornerstone of the course—the ERWC Assignment Template—presents a scaffolded process for helping students read, comprehend, and respond to nonfiction and literary texts. Modules also provide instruction in research methods and documentation conventions. Students will be expected to increase their awareness of the rhetorical strategies employed by authors and to apply those strategies to their own writing. They will read closely to examine the relationship between an author’s argument or theme and his or her audience and purpose; to analyze the impact of structural and rhetorical strategies; and to examine the social, political, and philosophical assumptions that underlie the text. By the end of the course, students will be expected to use this process independently when reading unfamiliar texts and writing in response to them.
Major Course Objectives:
Reading Rhetorically Outcomes
Writing Rhetorically Outcomes
Listening and Speaking Rhetorically Outcomes
Habits of Mind Outcomes
Required Text: We will be working primarily from the ERWC Handbook. In addition, we will work occasionally from My Perspectives: British and World Literature.
Course Standards: This class will focus on the major California Common Core Standards for English Language Arts as they pertain to grade-level reading, writing, speaking and listening skills as they pertain to informational and literary texts. For more information about the California Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, please visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/index.asp
Units of Study: These are the 12 modules or units of study within the ERWC, of which 8-10 are to be completed by the end of the school year. The suggested order for the fall and spring semesters is as follows:
Academic Vocabulary: In order to improve the learning and achievement of students in school and beyond, there will be a focus this year in the classroom on key words which students will become familiar with and use in an academic setting to further their English language development and critical thinking skills. These words are: analyze, cite, compare/contrast, elaborate, evaluate, illustrate, infer, justify, paraphrase, predict, summarize, synthesize. In addition, key terms to be learned and used related to grade-level rhetoric include claim, theme, thesis, argument, opinion, main idea, topic, supporting idea/detail, example, essay, persuade.
Grading System: Tests, quizzes, classwork, homework, and cooperation are based on points. Each student has the opportunity to earn points through work productivity and participation. The points are inputted into a computer and are averaged across all assignments. The percentage value of the assignments is as follows:
Classwork/Participation=50% Tests and Quizzes=30% Homework=20%
Students who attend regularly, are respectful, and take part in lessons, discussions and group and individual assignments and turn them in on time will learn as much as possible, and it will reflect positively in their grade. Grades are also based on academic abilities according to IEP goals, teacher and staff’s observations, assessments, and student skills.
Communication: Major assignments are posted online either through Google classroom, Schoology or on the teacher’s CCHS website: http://www.chatsworthhs.org/apps/staff/
Go to www.chatsworthhs.org view the ‘staff list’, look for ‘Ryan Hyatt’, then click on your class subject and period.
The best way for parents or students to contact me for any reason is by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also go to Mr. Hyatt’s page and click ‘send e-mail’.
Information about how parents will be able to access their student grades through the new Schoology system should be forthcoming.
Classroom Preparation/Organization: I have provided all students with a folder and notebook to use for classwork, the graded contents of which are to remain in my class until the end of each 5-week grading period. Please ensure your student is prepared for class with his or her own pens and & pencils.
Grading Scale in Percentages:
54% or below=F
Contact Information: If there are any questions or concerns about student grades, behavioral issues, class requirements or anything else, email is the best way to reach me at email@example.com.
I look forward to working with your student this school year!
Please sign and return to me acknowledging you have read and understood the syllabus, policies and expectations.
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