My Classroom Website

SYLLABUSIntensive Language ArtsMs. Hatch

Room 4-329

Course Description:The purpose of Intensive Language Arts is to provide integrated educational experiences in the language arts strands of reading, writing, listening, viewing, speaking, language, and literature. My mission, therefore is to provide instruction that enables students to develop and strengthen reading skills and develop independent reading endurance. Our focus will be four-fold:
  1. Comprehension
  2. Vocabulary/ Word Study
  3. Fluency
  4. Critical Thinking
 Before the FCAT Retake: This standard-based curriculum, utilizing USA TODAY content, will empower struggling readers by providing instruction in and guided practice on reading strategies, improving students’ overall reading ability, with special emphasis on reference and research skills (also known as higher order thinking or quadrant D learning). Guided by teacher instructions, reading/literacy teachers will model effective reading strategies and students will be guided through pre-reading, during-reading and post-reading techniques which will strengthen their metacognition and metacomprehension. After the FCAT Retake: Students will be grouped into literature circles based on lexile data from the FAIR test. These students will select a book and read it, employing strategies and new methods along the way. Here are the roles your student will be expected to model and demonstrate.
  • Discussion Direction - writes questions to guide thoughtful group discussion and keeps group on task
  • Connection Maker - writes own and group members' connections (Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World)
  • Summarizer - writes a Beginning-Middle-End summary, revises with group input and creates book final summary
  • Word Master - searches for unusual word choice or description or defines words the group may not know
  • Passage Picker - selects and rereads important passages or descriptive imagery sections to the group and discusses author's style.
Students will also use several websites and programs to prepare for the ACT, as a score on the ACT Reading section of 18 or higher (score of 420 on the SAT) will override the FCAT graduation requirement. Some, but not all, of those resources include,, and Other sites and their uses are available here: and here:  The ACT Test date is December 11, 2010. Students must be registered by November 5, 2010.Students may register late between November 6 – 19, 2010.  The registration fee for ACT (No Writing) is $33.00 (Includes reports for you, your high school (if you authorize reporting), and up to four college choices (if valid codes are provided when you register).) Or  ACT Plus Writing $48.00 Includes reports for you, your high school (if you authorize reporting), and up to four college choices (if valid codes are provided when you register). The $15.00 Writing Test fee is refundable, on written request if you are absent on test day or switch to the ACT (No Writing) before testing begins. The fee may be waived for students with free or reduced lunch. Applications for free and reduced lunch can be found here: If your child already has free/reduced lunch, contact their counselor, Miss Fields or Mr. Ziegler to get a waiver and registration packet. SAT Information: Test Date         Deadline          Fee Status Nov 6              passed              $88      Standby Testing Dec 4               Nov 5              $47      Register Now Jan 22              Dec 23                         $47      Register Now  Grading Policy: Grades are calculated on a total points earned divided by total points possible. The Pinellas County grading scale is used to calculate grades: 90-100 – A, 80-89 – B, 70-79 – C, 60-69 – D, below 60 – F.  In order for the class to move forward to the next subject, the class assessment average must be 80% or higher. These assessments, formal or informal, will be on-going, and the results will reflect in Portal as grades. Assessment will take several forms, including exit passes, thumbs up/down,  teacher observation, classroom quizzes, semester exams, group projects, and individual presentations. Make Up Policy: In accordance with county policy, when students are absent from school, it is their responsibility to make up assignments that are missed. Due dates will be assigned in accordance with school and district policies.   Late Work Policy: Assignments are due by the assigned due date. One letter grade will be deducted from assignments that are one day late (unless the student has an excused absence on the due date). Projects are due on or before the due date.  Extra Credit Assignments: Whenever possible, opportunities for extra credit will be announced to all students. Extra credit assignments must be turned in by the due date.There are three options available:
  1. Literacy Leadership Team
  2. Battle of the Books
  3. ABCD Credit- for students going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
 Additionally students will have the opportunity to earn participation points on a weekly basis. These points could mean the difference between an 89-B and a 90-A. Points will be deducted for inappropriate behavior, such as speaking out of turn, foul or abusive language, use of a cell phone in class, etc. Students are not allowed to use cellular devices in class, and in an emergency, you may reach the student by calling the school at (727) 893-2780.  The in class grading rubric will vary according to the project assigned. I have attached a sample presentation rubric. Other rubrics used in this class are posted to my Moodle site. Empirical analysis reveals that many voracious readers are ill-prepared for modern standardized testing due to a lack of exposure to various common types of text. In order to remedy that, we will use several non-standard formats. This includes, but is not limited to, poems, short stories, plays, science journals, education journals, interviews, videos, games, and Smartboard activities.  As a result, your child may be recorded in class participating in an activity. This data collection will not be shared with the general public without your written consent, but the recordings may be presented to you during parent/teacher conferences. If you have any objections to your student being recorded for the purposes of educational or professional development, please contact me immediately. The absence of your objection indicates your consent.

FINAL NOVEL PROJECTS These projects are designed to show that you have gained a thorough understanding of the novel (its characters, plots, & themes) without necessarily writing a book report or taking a test. * * *Your assignment is to complete a combination of the following projects (your choice) that will total 250 points.  The point values are listed. * * *  IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR AN ASSIGNMENT THAT IS NOT INCLUDED ON THIS LIST, THEN WRITE-UP THE IDEA AND TURN IT IN TO ME.  YOUR PROPOSAL MUST BE IN WRITING IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED.  I WILL DECIDE THE POINT VALUE.   


100 Point Assignments—these demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the entire novel.   Create a word and/or picture collage representing the entire novel (main characters, major events, turning point, etc.).  This must be done on a large sheet of drawing paper or poster board (8” x 11” paper is too small).  This must be accompanied by a 1 page written explanation of why you selected the certain words and/or pictures.  This must be neat and aesthetically pleasing.   Create a newspaper about the entire novel that includes such things as classified ads, obituaries, news items, sports articles, cartoons, etc.   Create a board game in which the game pieces represent the characters and the board shows the plot sequence/main events of the entire novel.  This must include rules and be “playable”.  You might want to consider games like Life, Monopoly, Clue, or Taboo.   Re-write the entire novel in comic book form.  You should remain true to any physical or setting descriptions.   Keep a diary from a main character’s point of view (your gender doesn’t matter).  This should include her/his thoughts & feelings, actions, and significant events from the entire novel. You may choose to do this online, or on paper.    Write a series of letters that 2 main characters in the novel might have written to one another during the course of the entire novel.   Make puppets, finger puppets or masks representing the main characters of the novel.  Then, act out the plot of the entire novel for the class. *     Do several pieces of art about the novel.  Be sure to include the major themes and characters.  These should be accompanied by written pieces explaining them. *     Create a Power Point Presentation/Book Report.  This should include a minimum of 15 slides, which have clipart, animations, sounds, and video.  The following information must be included:  title, author, main characters, minor characters, protagonist(s), antagonist(s), setting, conflict, 3 major events, conflict, & resolution.  You will present the presentation to the class.



50 Point Assignments

   Use the alphabet (you may skip 2 letters) and for each letter write a word (noun, verb, adverb, or adjective) that is relevant to the book.  Write at least 1 sentence that tells why this word is significant.   Select (from an outside source) or write 10 poems/songs that you feel say something about the theme, mood, characters or settings of the novel.  Explain why you selected or wrote each poem/song.   Write a new ending for the story, a new adventure for the main character, or the beginning of a sequel.  The tone and format should be the same as the original novel.  If you get rid of old characters, then tell what happened to them; if you invent new characters, then describe them.  This should be at least 2 chapters long.   Compile a list of 5 other novels that have similar themes.  This must include a brief summary of each book (you may find these online, in magazines or book catalogs, at the library, etc.) and the name of the author.  The summaries do not need to be written by you, but you must tell why you think the books are similar.  It is not necessary that you read the 5 books, but you must be familiar with the basic storyline of each.   If the novel you read was made into a movie, then watch the movie.  Write a 2 page essay comparing and contrasting the book and the movie.  Why do you think they are different?  Which one did you like best? *     Explain how you’d make your book into a movie.  Write up a cast of characters & tell who would play each one.  Where would you film it?  What parts might you change/omit?  Why?  Be sure to explain all of your choices. 


25 Point Assignments—these demonstrate a thorough knowledge of certain events or characters from the novel.   Make paper dolls of the main character(s).  Research the types of clothing worn during the era (if the story is set in a different time period) or check for clothing descriptions in the book and make a wardrobe for them.  The dolls and their garments should be true to the physical descriptions given in the book.     Make a diorama in which you show the scene that you feel is the most significant in the story.  This must be accompanied by 1 written page explaining why you selected this scene.   Select a character from the book.  Then select 10 quotations from the text that you feel reveals the character’s personality.  You must explain what each quotation/sentence tells you about the character.  You must also tell which page the quotation/sentence came from.   Select (from an outside source) or write 5 poems/songs that you feel one of the characters from your novel would either like to read or that relate to her/his life.  Explain why you selected or wrote each poem/song.   Story Bag:  Put together a bag that contains at least 10 items that would be useful to or significant to a character in your novel.  Include a description of each item and its relevance to the story.   Select one of the characters in the novel and imagine what would happen if you brought her/him to your school or to your home for a day.  You should consider things like: how would s/he fit it with the other students/family members; how might s/he react to the rules, teachers/parents, assignments/chores, etc.; how would s/he dress & how would people react to that; what might s/he find interesting?  This may either be written from your point of view or from the character’s point of view.   Create a tri-fold brochure or pamphlet with drawings, pictures, and text that advertise or promote something in the novel.    Select a character from the novel and “interview” her/him.  What kinds of things would you like to ask her/him & how would s/he respond?  Write this up in an interview format.   Make a “wanted” poster for one of the main characters.  Give a physical description & picture, what s/he has done, what the reward is, and who to contact.  Also indicate whether s/he is wanted dead or alive.   Write a book review for the novel.  Briefly outline the main characters, setting, plot, and theme.  Also tell whether or not you would recommend this novel to someone your own age and specify who might enjoy it.   Compare and contrast 2 of the main characters from the book.  You may use a Venn diagram for this, but you must explain what makes the characters different from one another and how they are similar.   Research the author of the novel.  Tell where s/he is from, where s/he went to school, where s/he lives now, her/his family, etc.  You should also include the names of other books that s/he has written, what awards/honors s/he has received.  This must be in your own words.   Find and get copies of summaries of 5 other books written by the author of the novel that you just finished.     List 15 interesting words from your novel.  Tell why each word is interesting or significant.   Make a crossword puzzle using words from your novel.  Be sure to include character names, setting, and main ideas or terms from the book.   Draw a map of where the story takes place.  Label all of the places that were important in the story.  Write 1 page about how the places were used in the novel.   Create an obituary or a eulogy for one character in the novel.  Give all the pertinent information-- birthplace, schooling, accomplishments, career, etc.  How do you think that person would want to be remembered? *     Compare your novel with several TV shows that are similar.  Describe the ways in which they are similar & the ways in which they are different. *     If the story takes place in an actual city/town, research the setting.  Where is located?  Climate?  Population?  Main language & religion?  Provide a map of the place & surrounding areas.  How many miles is it from your home?  Include a map showing how you’d travel to get there from where you live.  Tell what mode of transportation you’d use to get there. *     Find 10 recipes that relate to your story in some way.   For example, if the story takes place in a particular region, then include recipes that tell what kinds of foods are served there.  If the story deals with a certain time period or socio-economic group, then tell what kinds of foods would be served in that era or to that group of people. *     Have a character from your book endorse or sell a product (like a TV commercial).  Tell what product it is and why people should buy it.  Write a 1 paragraph dialogue for your character to say.  The item you select should relate to the story. *     Create a Web Page for a character from your novel. Have members of your group create pages, and comment on each other’s pages through the page. You can date through eharmony, or friend each other on MySpace.  *      Pretend you are a newspaper reporter whose job is to interview one of the characters. Write your interview.  *      Create a newspaper page for your story. Summarize the plot in one of your articles. Cover the weather in another. Include an editorial and a collection of ads that would be pertinent to the story.  *       Pretend you are a character in the book. Write diary entries as if you were the main character. There should be one entry for each chapter. Each entry should tell about what the main character has done, learned, and felt during that chapter.  *      Compare and contrast your story with another you have read for class this year or last. Remember to include how the novels are alike and how they are different.  *      Choose one character in this story. Think about what the character was like at the beginning of the story. Write about how the character has changed by the end of the story. What events led up to the changes of the character?  *      Pretend that you have been chosen to write a sequel to this story. Write a brief summary of the sequel. Include information about the sequel's plot, setting and main characters.  *      Make a Little Book out of one 12” X 18” must have title/author, main character, setting, situation, problem, conflict, and resolution and about the author pages.  *      Fold a storyboard into eight panels on a 12’X18” construction paper. Must have title and author panel, main character, setting, situation, problem, conflict, resolution, and a personal reaction to the story.  *      Write a friendly letter as if you were the main character. Tell the reader what the character does, what the character knows or learns, and how the character feels. You can pretend that this is during the story or after the story is finished. Be sure to follow the friendly letter format. Create neat stationery, either by hand or with the computer. Do not forget the envelope!  *      Summarize the plot of your story by creating a cartoon version of the story. Use about 6 to 8 frames. *      Redesign the front and back cover of your novel. Include the pertinent information as well as the short summary on the back. Draw 1 picture to put on the inside of your novel. State where in the story your picture would go.  *      Draw a picture time line showing the important events in your story.  *      Make a series of 5 drawings or paintings depicting the major events in the story. Describe them.  *      Sketch a portrait of a character. Write everything about him or her. Make up a poem about your character.  *      Use a cereal box to tell about your book. Cover your box with paper. Write a new title and place that on the front of the box. Place a short explanation of the book on the back. Add catchy phrases about the book all over to get people to want to read the book. Include the author, copyright...  *      Put together a collage of the story from magazine pictures. Describe.  *      Make a diorama of a scene from your story.  *      Make a diorama of a scene from your story and another book, by splitting it in half.