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Syllabus for Mrs. Bene's Class

Welcome to Mrs. Bene’s Language Arts Class

    In my past years of teaching, I have found the most common complaint from my students to be, “This topic is boring,” or “I hate writing.”  My friend and I did a little research and decided to use a part of a curriculum called reading/writing workshop in the classroom.  This concept entails allowing the students to choose their own topics.  Each day a lesson (such as parts of speech, punctuation, propaganda, etc.) is taught on a skill and the students apply that skill in their writing.  This way, not only do the students learn the process of writing, but also they learn to enjoy writing.

Grade Breakdown

                    at least 12 written pieces (over the 4 nine weeks)         1200 pts (100/paper)
Wow Quizzes                        200 pts
Journal Check                        150 pts
1 hour of writing every week                200 pts
Weekly Agenda Check                150 pts.
Silent Reading                       100 pts
Notebook Check                    150 pts.
 Daily Participation Grade                1100 pts
Chapter Tests                        100 pts
Homework                        100 pts
Projects                        200 pts

  3350-3650 pts = A (93-100)
3349-3000 pts = B (85-92)
2999-2700 pts = C (75-84)
2699-2375 pts = D (70-74)
              2374 and lower = F (69 and lower)

Communication

    I have an e-mail address (rebecca.bene@sumnerschools.org) that I may be reached by either parent or student.  I check my e-mail every day, so it would be easier for those of you who work to get in touch with me.  Students may also e-mail to ask for assignments, or if they need help with an assignment.  If a student misses a lesson, he or she may easily come in the next day and copy the lesson from my notebook, or they may copy it from another student.  It is their responsibility to get what they miss.
    You may also reach me at the school:  (615) 824-8383.  You may leave a message, and I will get back with you as soon as possible.






Homework

    The students have three “set” homework assignments every week.  These assignments will never change, so if a student is absent from school, they will be able to work on the assignment without having to search it out from another student.  They will occasionally have other homework assignments throughout the year, however it is their responsibility to get it.
    On Monday, the students have an agenda check.  The students are to copy the board every day in their agendas, so that you have an idea of what we are doing for the day.  On Friday, a parent or guardian should sign.  I check the previous week for a signature on Monday.
    Every Wednesday, they will have what is called “Hour of Writing.”  The “Hour of Writing” is just that, an hour of writing.  The student works on one of their pieces of writing due at the end of the quarter for a total of one hour at home.  They may be working on any step of the writing process for that piece:  pre-writing, drafting, etc.  It is the student’s responsibility to decide how to spend their writing time.  They may split it up Wed.-Wed. 10 min. a day, they may do 30 minutes for two days, or they may do it for an hour at a sitting.  It’s up to them.  As long as the hour is achieved, it doesn’t matter how the time is split up.  The important thing is that the parent or guardian has signed off that they witnessed the child doing the assignment.  I also accept journal entries as an hour of writing; a signed note by the parent is enough.  The journal doesn’t need to be shown.  The purpose of this assignment: to get the kids writing outside of school, and to bolster its enjoyment.
    On Thursday, the students have five “Words of the Week” due.  The five words are given on Monday.  It is the student’s responsibility to write the words five times each, look up the definitions, and use each word in a sentence.  Each work and its information should be written on a 3x5 index card, and kept in a pouch in their binder.  On Thursdays, a quiz will be given the grade their spelling as well as their ability to figure out the meaning of the word.  They will attach their cards to the quiz so that they will get a grade for the cards.  Why only five words?  Research shows that people only remember the first and last thing they read; therefore if the word list is shorter, the words and their meanings will be comprehended more successfully.



My Goal
    My goal is to teach students to enjoy reading, grammar and writing.  Through their enjoyment, they will become more confident writers and students.  Hopefully, by the end of this school year, they will achieve this goal.  I am looking forward to working with both you and your students!  Have a great year!
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