Welcome to Ninth Grade English withMrs. Weinstein!
“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” --Ursula K. LeGuin
This is an English class unlike any other that you’ve experienced. First and foremost, it requires that you challenge yourself as a reader and a writer. We’ll be exploring many things about our world this year, especially how and why we communicate with other people. So, welcome to the journey!
We’re going to focus our reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills on four thematic units this year: Identity, Overcoming Obstacles, Taking a Stand, and The Price of Passion. Each one will contain selections of memoir, drama, short fiction, novels, speeches, and poetry. You’ll be making lots of choices about how to expand, explore, and assess your own learning, and you’ll have many opportunities to read and write creatively in every unit.
Learning to use technology is also a major part of this course; you’ll be experimenting with programs in the Microsoft Office package, including Powerpoint, Publisher, and Word. We’ll also learn how to use the internet and Power Library for effective research. Additionally, we’ll be working with Photostory, I’m sure that many of you are already comfortable with your technological skills, so this class may be a place to show off what you already know.
You will be expected to complete all assignments on time. Turning in late work will cause you to lose points, so be sure to turn in your assignments on the appropriate due dates. You will also be keeping an English Notebook for the course. This notebook will serve as a textbook that we build during the year, and you will earn points for keeping it organized and updated. In addition to many projects that will be a part of our four thematic units, there will be three major tasks that will be ongoing throughout the year.
Journals—Every week, you will write at least two pages in your journal. You may write about as many topics as you choose, but you must fill at least two pages with your own original ideas. If you would rather type, you must type one double-spaced page of entries per week, using 12 point font. Whichever option you choose, you may use your journal to write poems, stories, reactions, opinions, or to communicate with me. It is your responsibility to keep up with your journal. I will read your journals weekly during each marking period. That journal check will always be on a Monday. So, be sure to write at least two entries every week, and have them in class every Monday.
Independent Reading (D.I.R.T.)—Also on Mondays, we’ll be spending 30-40 minutes (as a class) reading for fun. D.I.R.T. stands for Daily Independent Reading Time. You are expected to come to class prepared with something of your choice to read every Monday, and points will be awarded for preparation and participation. The Classroom Library is a wonderful resource for choosing reading material. As a part of our D.I.R.T. days, we’ll be keeping reading logs and developing book projects. You’ll be completing at least one book project per quarter.Although this course will keep you very busy, we’ll also have a lot of fun. Don’t worry! We’ll work together as a community of readers and writers. I’m certainly open to your ideas and suggestions; I’ll work with you to make the most of our time together. Again, welcome to the class—I hope that it will be an experience that changes the way that you think about communication.