Sophs Per 5

How we agree to demonstrate respect to each other and the classroom:

  • Being patient with one another
  • Letting everyone speak
  • Helping each other
  • Being kind, helpful, and considerate
  • Providing constructive criticism
  • Listening

What we expect of Ms. Weeks in demonstrating respect to us:

  • Having a positive, uplifting attitude
  • Providing constructive feedback
  • Listening to us!
  • Being clear with instructions and repeating if necessary
  • Making class appropriately challenging and productive

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.

I have one goal for you for the year – for you to see yourself as a reader and a writer.


A core component of this course will be independent reading.  You will self-select books to read in the beginning of class.  We’ll conference and do some writing about these texts, but the main point is for you to find a book you enjoy reading and to READ.

In addition to your independent reading, we’ll also read whole class and group texts including The Catcher in the Rye, a Shakespeare play (most likely Macbeth), and Elie Wiesel’s Night.  Some of the group choice texts include Akhil Sharma’s Family Life, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, Erika Sánchez’s I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, and Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High.  We will also read a variety of short stories, poetry, and informational texts.

As we read these texts, we analyze and discuss 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?


Throughout the year, we will write in a variety of genres and modes including personal, analytic, and creative writing.  Since one of my goals is for you to see yourself as a writer, we will develop a writing practice that works for you.  Part of your practice will include revision and conferencing with peers and teachers.  You will also have the opportunity to select your favorite pieces for your writing portfolios.

Materials for Success

  • Composition notebook and folder for this class only *Required
  • Laptop/tablet device
  • Post-it notes for taking notes as you read

Course Expectations & Classroom Policies

My basic guideline for the classroom is RESPECT.  We will define what respect means 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, folder, text, and pen/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. The school policy is that phones are not to be out during classroom. Your phone should be in your bag.
  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.
  4. 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 if I believe the circumstances warrant a change from the original assignment.
  5. If you are absent or tardy, it is your responsibility to follow up with the missed work and assignments.

Assessment & Gradebook

We’ll be using the Learning Rubric to assess your learning with the course outcomes together. In the coming days, we’ll define how the learning rubric works and what it looks like in the Sophomore English classroom, defining it for our use.  The expectation is that you are making use of materials and feedback to assist your growth in your own learning as related to your cognitive/academic engagement and your personal/behavioral engagement.  In addition to my feedback on your performance, you will also self-assess.  Your grade will be a combination of assignments (some may be self-selected), reflections, and observations of your learning.

PowerSchool Setup

Semester Grading

Q1=40%                         Exam: 15%

Q2=45% (Portfolio)

Q3=40%                        Exam: 15%

Q4=45% (Portfolio)

Academic Honesty

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 fail to demonstrate your own learning. Administration will be notified.  This is a zero tolerance policy.

  • If you find that you’re behind in your work, communicate with me and let’s make a plan.
  • If you find that the assignment is difficult or you do not understand the concepts or the assignment, communicate with me and let’s make a plan.
  • If you’re not sure how to cite something, let’s work on it.
  • I’m here to help you with your writing and learning.
  • There is no reason to submit work that is partially or wholly not your own.

Contact Information


Planning periods and appointments:  I highly encourage you to come see me during my preps and before and 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.  You can always use Remind to see where I am.

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