ENG 3-4 Block

Ms. Wendy Thornton's Eng 3-4 Block

(Periods 1 & 2)

Room 207 -- Mira Costa High School


August 29, 2012

1. Roll & Getting to Know You

2. Course overview and Expecations


1. Please bring your summer reading book to class tomorrow and Friday.

2. Summer reading timed writing Friday

3. Ethics Policy and Course Expectations Signatures due 9/4/2012

Link to Ethics Policy http://www.miracostahigh.org/ourpages/registration/docs//school%20information/Ethics_Policy_-_Sept_1_2009.pd



Welcome to your sophomore English class. The following expectations are in place to promote a successful learning environment for all students. I value the time and effort you will put into this class. This class is about one hour a day, 5 days a week, for 180 days; use these hours wisely. Please keep this document in your binder at all times.


It is proven that students achieve more when they feel safe and comfortable in their learning environment.  Plus, it is simply more fun when we all feel comfortable, especially since we will be seeing each other five days a week for the next 10 months. Because of this, I maintain a zero-tolerance policy for disrespect – disrespect between students, from student to teacher, or from teacher to student. We will practice the golden rule and treat others how we want to be treated. Any actions that are offensive, threatening, or distracting will be grounds for detention and further disciplinary action. No one has the right to take away from or disrupt another person’s learning time. Each day you choose your attitude; choose wisely.


What you get out of this class will be a direct result of what you put into it. To truly progress as an English student, you need to be participating each day and completing all assignments. You are expected to be in your seat and ready to go when the bell rings.


The golden rule also applies to the classroom. The space is our space, not just Ms. Thornton’s space, so you are also responsible for keeping it clean, picking up after yourself, and returning supplies to their specified locations. In the interest of keeping the classroom clean and rodent free, only water will be permitted in the classroom during class time.


Furthermore, cell phones, Ipods, handheld video games, or other electronic devices should be turned off and kept in your backpack at all times. I do not want to see electronic devices at all. These items should never be in your hands or pockets during class time. If I do see an electronic item out, I reserve the right to take it away from you. Distractions caused by electronics can result in a detention or more serious consequences.  If disruptions continue, you may be required to leave your phone/device in the office each day.


In addition to maintaining appropriate conduct in the classroom, we as a staff at Mira Costa also promote ethics inside and outside of the classroom, especially in reference to avoiding plagiarism and/or cheating on independent assignments. Consequences have been established for all cases of cheating. Cheating includes: plagiarizing, copying other students’ work, using notes or other support materials on assignments/tests where assistance from notes/resources is not permitted, using another author’s words verbatim without a citation (from the Internet or printed sources), passing or indicating answers about an assignment or test when such actions are prohibited by the teacher, or taking a copy of an assignment or test without the permission of the teacher and attempting to use it for personal gain. Consequences for the offenses will range from a zero recorded for the assignment to 1-5 days of suspension and/or legal action. See the Guidelines for Student Behavior and the Ethics Policy in the Student Handbook and for more specific details.

Absences/Late Work

  1. Fact: If you are absent, you will miss out.  
  2. Fact: Absences are the #1 grade-killer.
  3. Homework is due on the assigned due date at the beginning of the class period (unless you are absent, but see #4 and #5)
  4. For some assignments (usually but not limited to: major assignments, process papers, presentations, etc.), the due date is fixed, meaning that even if you are absent on the due date, the assignment is due at the beginning of your class period. See individual assignment information for due date details.
  5. Late work is not accepted unless a prior arrangement is made/ extension is given. All requests for extensions will be considered but not necessarily granted.
  6. Any homework collected or assigned while you are absent, is due upon your return. If you think you will need more time because your illness/absence has rendered you unable to complete work, please contact me immediately to request an extension.
  7. While absent, you are responsible for getting a hold of assignment details: (ideally) from a peer or (secondarily) the website (which will not always up-to-date).
  8. When you return after an absence, be mindful that we have to get on with that day’s lesson, so “read the room” and be selective about how/when you ask questions about missed content. Coming in and asking, “What did I miss?” is highly discouraged. Asking “When is a good time to meet so I can ask you a question about what I missed?’ is highly encouraged. Any questions you ask post-absence should be clarifying questions.


Grades are non-negotiable. The points you earn determine your grade, and are applied to a tradition points scale: A= 90-100, B= 80-89…F=0-59. I do not round grades up. For example, an 89.9 is a B+. You should monitor your grades weekly. Do not wait until the end of a grading period to inquire about missing assignments/grades. Deal with these issues as they happen. Email is a great way to inquire.


Extra credit is available on quizzes and is usually connected to our SAT words du jour. I do not offer extra credit assignments upon request, so please do not ask. Do the assigned work on time and to the best of your ability.


Though I do not weight your grades, I do make a distinction between long-term (major) and short-term (minor)assignments. For example, nightly homework will be worth 5-30 points while essays and projects will be worth 50-10,000 points. Quizzes will be worth 10-40 points and tests from 50 to 10,000. Do your best on every assignment, turn in all of your work, and gain all of the knowledge you can. Knowledge and thinking are the point, not the points.

Parental Support


Parents are a phenomenal asset, and they are our first teachers. They are here to support you, but they are not in this class every day like you are, so if you have questions, please talk to me directly whenever you can rather than having your parent contact me. I am here to help you; I am happy to help you. It is also a very valuable life skill to have to be able to go directly to the source when you need assistance or have an issue. Of course, I do invite parents to keep in touch with me via phone or email should family/personal matters may arise that can impact your academic life. Communication is key.        

Book List


 Please buy these titles so you have your own copy to annotate.


  1. Grendel by John Gardner
  2. This I Believe : NPR essay collection (First volume) ACCEL ONLY
  3. Macbeth by William Shakespeare ACCEL ONLY
  4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ACCEL ONLY
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Marie Remarque
  6. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  7. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl  ACCEL ONLY
  8. Night by Elie Wiesel
  9. 1984 by George Orwell