• Honors English II

    Spring 2012

    Jen Presley



    Welcome to Honors English II! I feel so lucky to share a classroom with you again so soon!

    This is a semester in which we’ll be working together on two primary things: we’ll read literature from all over the world and we’ll focus heavily on developing your writing.


    We’ll read a wide variety of literature – essays, short stories, poetry, and at least two books that you’ll have the opportunity to choose.  We’ll look not only at geographical regions, but also at themes and literary forms that pertain to those regions. By the end of the semester, you will be able to see connections between local concerns and universal questions.


    We’re going to be doing a lot of writing. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like a strong writer. You’ve heard me say this before… be open to trying something new, be willing to make an honest effort, be persistent and take risks, and ask questions when you don’t understand. My hope is that by the end of the semester each one of you will have started to find your voice as a writer. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but we’re going to be doing a lot of writing…

    This is my first time teaching the English II curriculum, and I’m looking forward to navigating this with you! As always, come talk with me if you encounter problems or questions; if you have ideas about a particular assignment or something you’d like to try, let’s discuss it.

    I’ve set up a private Honors English II group on Facebook; you can send a friend request to Jen Presley (ECF English) and I will add you in! You can always contact me via text, phone call, or email – you can also make appointments before or after school.

    1.    Be on time, seated, and ready to work at the beginning of class – 9:00am. Being on time allows us to use the whole class period effectively. (I know the bus isn’t always here right at 9:00 – if you’re a bus rider, come in ready to get started! If you are here at 9:00, I expect you to be ready to go!) Take care of all restroom and vending machine business before class.
    2.    Quiet writing is… QUIET. We’ll write for at least some portion of the class nearly every day. During this time we’ll maintain quiet so that people can concentrate.
    3.    Class discussion requires everyone’s participation. During whole-class discussion one person speaks at a time; listening and asking thoughtful questions is a key component of participation. Respect for the person speaking is non-negotiable.
    4.    Deadlines are… DEADLINES. Work is due on the due date (hence the name – see how that works?). Late work will be accepted, but the highest grade you can earn is 75%. If you have unusual circumstances, please see me prior to the due date.
    5.    Supplies. You need 2 bound composition books, notebook paper, a 1-1½  inch binder for your writing portfolio, and something to write with. Please let me know if you have trouble getting any of these supplies!
    6.    Grading. I grade on process – how well you participate in the activities of the class. I also grade on product – how well you do on the papers, projects, and essays that are part of the class. Grades are calculated as follows:
    20%   Daybook (see separate handout)
    30%   Participation and quizzes. Participation means coming to class prepared, engaging in classroom activities, and doing quality work in class.
    50%   Papers, tests, projects
    Grading scale
    93-100 A:  Excellent work that exceeds expectations
    85-92 B:    Proficient work that meets expectations
    77-84 C:    Work that is partially proficient
    68-78 D:    Work that is barely proficient
    50-68 F:    Work that fails to demonstrate proficiency
    7.    The importance of honesty. It’s important that the work you turn in is your work – any ideas, sentences, or phrases you use from books, articles, websites, etc must be quoted and cited. I promise, I’d rather have your imperfect and partially complete thoughts than someone else’s. Please review the consequences for plagiarism in your Student Handbook.
    8.    Portfolio. You are required for this class to place all your papers, with drafts, in a binder that you may keep in the cabinet in the room. The most important thing you should know at the outset is to save everything electronically, including drafts, and to put a date on everything. After you complete a draft – of anything! – I strongly suggest that you email it to yourself or save a copy on Dropbox. This portfolio will be checked periodically and will be part of your final exam.
    9.   What to bring. Plan to bring your daybook and a book of your choice for reading to class each day. (You’ll choose books for independent reading early in the semester.) These are your two options for activities if you complete classwork early. Homework from other classes is not a good option in thei class and will negatively affect your participation
Last Modified on January 8, 2012