Sophs Per 4

How We Demonstrate Respect

  • Listen to one another’s opinions and respect that other people have different views
  • Be polite – lend paper and pens
  • Raise hand unless calling out activity
  • Wait for person to finish speaking – don’t interrupt
  • Be attentive and contribute
  • Treat others with respect and expect respect
  • Keep it clean – place trash in the bin
  • If borrowing something, return
  • Be on time

What We Expect of Ms. Weeks

  • Teach us!
  • Celebrate all of us – don’t play favorites
  • Make it fun by being enthusiasm
  • Treat us with respect and expect respect
  • Hear what we have to say
  • Explain the rationale for the grading

I am delighted to welcome you to Sophomore English!  I look forward to getting to know and working with each and every one of you.  We will be working very hard this year, grappling with some large questions about who we are, how we define ourselves, and what it means to be human.  We also will read and respond to rich literature and texts, while also further developing our writing practice.  At the end of the year, I hope that you will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in the work you have produced and the insight you have gained.

Classroom Texts

  • The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  • Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  • Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
  • Night, by Elie Wiesel
  • Poetry
  • Short stories
  • Literature circles with books of your choice
  • …and more!

As we read these texts, we will be analyzing and discussing how they help us explore and begin to answer the following essential questions:

  • In what ways does experience inform identity?
  • How can we understand the relationship between the individual and society?
  • What does literature add to our understanding about ourselves and our world?
  • What composition skills are necessary to be an effective 21st century communicator?

Course Expectations & Classroom Policies

My basic guideline for the classroom is RESPECT. We will define what respect means and looks like more specifically to us as a class over the coming days, but you should always conduct yourself in a manner that shows respect for your teacher, your peers, the classroom, and yourself. The following guidelines are a demonstration of your respect toward the class:

  1. Arriving to class on time with your composition notebook, binder, text, and pen or pencil on the desk so that you are ready to work when the bell rings. This also means that you take care of any bathroom breaks, drinks of water, and other personal necessities before the bell rings.
  2. Technology is a part of our everyday lives, and we will often use your devices during class.  However, when not in use as part of instruction, put phones away and close your screens.  A warning will be issued for any off task behavior.  If the behavior persists, I take the device for the remainder of the day or will turn into administration.  Please refer to the student handbook regarding the school’s policy.
  3. Homework and assignments are due the day they are due.   I do not assign frivolous work and will not assign homework each and every night.  Because we use many assignments as the basis for our future class work and discussions, assignments are due when they are due.
      • For some assignments late work is accepted with the following penalties: 5% turned in after deadline but by the end of the same day; 10% turned in the following day; 20% turned in the second day; 30% turned in the third day, and no late work accepted after the third day.
      • For assignments used as the basis for that class’s use (discussion questions, brainstorms, outlines, etc) a completion grade is generally the rule.  Have it and complete=100%. Missing=0%.
      • Revised papers that were originally turned in late will carry the late points.

    I am not unreasonable.  If you think you are going to miss a deadline, see me beforehand.    We will review your particular situation and come up with an appropriate plan of action together if I believe the circumstances warrant a change from the original assignment.

  4. If you are absent or tardy, it is your responsibility to follow up with the missed work and assignments. Check the website. If you know you are going to be absent or tardy for a field trip or other reason, see me beforehand to make arrangements for missed work.  “I was out” is not an acceptable excuse. This also applies to assignment due dates.  Assignments are due whether you are here or not.  Any in class assessments such as reading checks or in-class responses must be made up the day you return to school unless other arrangements are made.  It is your responsibility to check periodically in Powerschool to see if there are any missed assignments; I will not track you down to remind you of missing work.

Grading & Gradebook
All assignment grades are out of 100 and are weighted depending on the amount of time and effort necessary to meet the assignment’s requirements. Weights range from 1 to 5:

      • ≤ 1 = homework checks, short classroom assignments
      • 2 = quizzes, longer homework, discussions, writing responses
      • 3 = tests, presentations
      • 4-5 = formal papers, unit tests, major projects

Semester Grading

      • Q1=42.5%
      • Q2=42.5%
      • Exam: 15%

I make every effort to keep the online grade book as up to date as possible, and most assignment grades are generally entered before the 2-week window. Long term/larger assignments (essays and projects) may take longer to grade. However, a check will be entered for collected work and 0s for work that is missing.   Grades with the small ‘c’ symbol mean there is a comment regarding the grade.

Plagiarism Policy
I expect that all writing is from your point of view and in your unique voice. I want to hear what you have to say. If you submit work that is partially or wholly not your own, you will receive a grade of 0 for the assignment with no opportunity to make up the assignment. This is a zero tolerance policy. To ensure that this policy is adhered to, I may require assignments be uploaded to and google docs.

As a sophomore, you create a portfolio of your work that is assessed by a team of tenth grade teachers at the end of the year.  Your portfolio consists of different types of essays that show growth and development as a writer. Be sure to save all you work! There is no reason to delete an assignment from google drive.

Contact Information


Office Hours for Chat on Remind:  Sunday, Monday-Thursday 7am-9pm and Friday 7am-3pm.  I will do my best to respond to you as promptly as possible.  Use this feature only for urgent questions.

Free periods and appointments: I highly encourage you to come see me during my planning periods and before/after school if you have questions about assignments or need additional help. In most cases, I can be found in the classroom or the English Office.