I truly love being a high school English teacher! I have been teaching for thirty-six years. I am originally from Clarksville and graduated from C.H.S. in 1977. I attended the University of Tennessee for my Bachelors degree. I earned my M.A. from Tennessee Tech and my Ph.D. from Georgia State University. I am also the author of Writing Research Papers, 16th edition, as well as a part-time instructor at Austin Peay State University. My other writing pursuits include a high school research guide and a children's book series called Corn Flower: A Girl of the Great Plains. My son Caleb and his wife Jessica live in Georgia; they are the parents of my granddaughters Peyton who is ten years old and Paris who is three years old. My daughter Sarah lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband Logan. Sarah owns a creative studio called Board and Brush. Logan is finishing his medical degree. I am looking forward to a productive school year as we reach new heights of knowledge together. Go Wildcats!

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English III Syllabus

Dr. James D. Lester, Jr.

2018 - 2019

 

As designated by the Tennessee State Board of Education, academic standards provide a common set of expectations for what students should know and be able to do at the end of a specific grade or course.  For a breakdown of standard pacing and course objectives for English III students in the Clarksville Montgomery County School System, please visit the Curriculum Navigator on the CMCSS homepage found at: http://curriculum.cmcss.net/public/index.aspx

 

It is the policy of the Clarksville Montgomery County School System to follow the dictates of state statues in the selection and use of all instructional materials.  Parents or legal guardians may request to review any instructional materials used in the classroom by their student by following the guideline set forth in Instructional Policy INS-A073, found at: http://www.cmcss.net/departments/instruction/departmentforms.aspx

 

The following outline charts the units of study for English III as well as major assignments that will be used to enhance student learning or solidify mastery of standards in each unit. This chart is an outline; hence, additional or different assignments may be created based on the needs of students.  Specific details for major assignments will be shared with students and parents or legal guardians as the standards related to the assignments are addressed in class.

 

Textbook ~ The American Experience.  Prentice Hall Publishers, 2007. Textbooks will not be assigned to students. They will be used for classroom readings.

 

Course Description ~ This course will consist of the English III curriculum as mandated by the local board of education. The emphasis for this course is on writing for real world situations and in response to informational texts. Writing tasks will include brief journal logs, whole essays, and research-based synthesis of multiple sources. Additionally, the literature of this course will be a survey of American Literature from the early Colonial Period to the Modern Period. 

 

 

English III

Unit 1     ~     Beginning Literacy Standards     ~     Establishing the American Dream

Literature  ~    The emphasis will be placed on informational texts such as speeches and historical documents  –  "A Gathering of Voices"  –  "Early National Literature"  –  Our Town by Thornton Wilder  –  Early National Foundational Texts and Speeches  –  The Crucible by Arthur Miller  –  “Captivity Narratives” as written by Mary Rowlandson and Captain John Smith  –  Writings and Maxims from the writings of Benjamin Franklin

Composition  ~  Writing Process – Exploring, Planning, Drafting, Revising  –  Writing in Response to Informational Texts  –  Definition Essay  –  Explanatory Essay  –  Informational Writing  –  Defining and Using Rhetorical Devices in Writing

Vocabulary  ~  Vocabulary will be studied in context as an integrated part of the reading.

Communication  ~  Student-led collaborative groups  –  Peer Editing and Evaluation of Essays  –  Use of Media and Technology in Writing and Presentation

Evaluation  ~  Item Samplers for each unit with multiple select responses  –  Evaluation of Writing Tasks in response for assigned and free response writings.

 

 

Unit 2     ~     Developing Literacy Standards     ~     Reaching for the American Dream Literature  ~    An emphasis will be placed on informational texts such as speeches and historical documents  –  "The Growing Nation"  –  "Westward Expansion"  –  Slave Narratives and the "Middle Passage"  –  Frederick Douglass  –  "Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant  –  Shadows of Poe and Hawthorne  –  Transcendentalism ~ Emerson and Thoreau  –  Poetry of Dickenson and Whitman

Composition  ~  Writing in Response to Informational Texts  –  Narrative Essay  –  Explanation  –  Informational Writing  –  Synthesis of multiple sources  –  Rhetoric and Analysis in Writing

Vocabulary  ~  Vocabulary will be studied in context as an integrated part of the reading.

Communication  ~  Student-led collaborative groups  –  Peer Editing and Evaluation of Essays  –  Use of Media and Technology in Writing and Presentation

Evaluation  ~  Item Samplers for each unit with multiple select responses  –  Evaluation of Writing Tasks in response for assigned and free response writings.

 

 

Unit 3     ~     Mastery of Literacy Standards     ~     Courage of the American Dream

Literature  ~    An emphasis will be placed on informational texts to prepare for the TN-Ready End-of-Course Exam  –  "Division, Reconciliation, and Expansion"  –  "Realism Poets"  –  Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose  –  "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell  –  American Humor and Mark Twain  –  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  –  The Harlem Renaissance  –   African-American Literature

Composition  ~  Writing in Response to Informational Texts  –  "Courage" Essay  –  Explanation  –  Informational Writing  –  Rhetoric and Analysis in Writing  –  Blending Sources

Vocabulary  ~  Vocabulary will be studied in context as an integrated part of the reading.

Communication  ~  Student-led collaborative groups  –  Peer Editing and Evaluation of Essays  –  Use of Media and Technology in Writing and Presentation

Evaluation  ~  Item Samplers for each unit with multiple select responses  –  Evaluation of Writing Tasks in response for assigned and free response writings.

 

 

Unit 4     ~     Extension of Literacy Standards     ~     The Dream Realized

Literature  ~    An emphasis will be placed on informational texts to prepare for the TN-Ready End-of-Course Exam  –  "From Disillusion to Contentment"  –  "Modern Poets"  –  "Contemporary Writers"  –  The American Poet - Robert Frost  –  The Piano Lesson by August Wilson  –  African-American Literature  –  The Screenplay  –  Lyrics

Composition  ~  Writing in Response to Informational Texts  –  Narrative Essay  –  Informational Writing  –  Argument  –  Explanatory Essay  –  Blending Sources  –  Synthesis Essay

Vocabulary  ~  Vocabulary will be studied in context as an integrated part of the reading.

Communication  ~  Student-led collaborative groups  –  Peer Editing and Evaluation of Essays  –  Use of Media and Technology in Writing and Presentation

Evaluation  ~  Item Samplers for each unit with multiple select responses  –  Evaluation of Writing Tasks in response for assigned and free response writings.

 

AP Language & Composition

 

Course Objective ~ AP Language & Composition is a course that will strengthen the effectiveness of your writing skills. We will analyze and apply rhetorical strategies as we examine information from source texts. Moreover, we will employ techniques that are for effective argument and the blending of sources into a composition. AP Language & Composition will also prompt you to become a critical reader of expository, argumentative, and analytical texts.

 

Expectations ~ During the school year, there will be structured tutorials held on select afternoons each month. These will be a time for enrichment activities as well as instruction and review of test-taking strategies.  A mock exam will be completed on a Saturday morning in early November. The final requirement of the course is to take the AP Language & Composition Exam in early May. There is a fee for taking the test, but with a passing score, you will be reimbursed that money.

 

 

 

AP Language & Composition Test ~ The AP Language & Composition Test has two major parts:

 

  • Multiple Choice Section --- 60 minutes – 52 to 55 questions –

All reading comprehension – 3 or 4 essay passages

45% of the total AP Language test grade

 

  • Essay Section --- 15 minute reading period, then 2 hours to write – 3 total essays

1 – Synthesis – Mini-research paper – A documented paper using 4 sources!

2 – Analysis – Response to the PURPOSE of a prose essay and its use of rhetorical devices. “What is the meaning and how do you know it?"

3 – Persuasion / Definition / Explanation - Respond to a topic to explain your view with evidence from your readings, experience, or observation.

55% of the total AP Language test grade.

 

 

Planned Readings ~ The emphasis for AP Language & Composition is reading and analyzing nonfiction and informational text. However, we will also read several significant literary selections, including novels, plays, and short works of fiction and poetry. Following are some of the selections that will be emphasized during the AP Language & Composition course ~

 

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Our Town by Thornton Wilder

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

"Thanatopsis" by William Cullen Bryant

Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

"A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote

Trifles by Susan Glaspell

Selected poems by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The Quiet Man" by Maurice Walsh

Selected poems of Robert Frost

Tender Mercies by Horton Foote

Selected poems of Langston Hughes

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson

Selected short stories of Mark Twain

 

 

Instructor ~ Dr. Lester  ~  E-mail - james.lester@cmcss.net

POSITIVE CLASSROOM PROCEDURES

Dr. Lester

Clarksville High School

 

Classroom Goal ~ The goal of this English course is to educate and empower each student with the abilities and skills to reach their full potential. The teacher and learners will work together to learn, understand, and apply the course content. You will have ample time to complete the assignments; moreover, you will learn much more than just "book" material in this class.

 

Expectations ~ Good English and good manners are used in this classroom. You are high school students. You know rude behavior compared to acceptable behavior. The key to our working together is gaining respect for each other. Hopefully, I can earn your respect through practical and useful lessons, and you can earn my respect by showing that you are mature and dedicated learners. I do not foresee numerous discipline problems because you are going to stay very busy.

 

Compliance ~ Each student is asked to help maintain the classroom atmosphere. Put all waste paper in the trashcan, not in the desks or on the floor. You will be asked to pick up paper which is left around your desk. Do not move desks or turn off the lights unless you are asked to do so.  Please do not loiter in the doorway because people must then ask you to move in order to pass through. Do not sit on the desk tops. Do not write on the desks, in the textbooks, or in dictionaries. Horseplay, punching, and shoving are not allowed.

                Please avoid disruptions. Do not tear paper, litter the room, pass notes, or attend to personal grooming while in the classroom. Do not throw anything, including books, paper, and pencils. No food or drinks are allowed in the classroom – water bottles only! You will need to sharpen pencils and get your books and papers ready before the tardy bell rings. Hall passes will not be given – take care of all business before entering the classroom.

 

Courtesy ~ Respect the opinions, property, and privacy of others. Do not prowl in other student's belongings, including notebooks and purses. Do not sit at the teacher's desk or bother anything on the desk. Always be courteous by raising your hand, waiting to be recognized, and then speaking when called upon. Do not talk when the teacher is speaking. Be as considerate of others as you want them to be of you. At the end of the class period, the teacher, not the bell, dismisses class. Please enter and leave like ladies and gentlemen.

 

Punctuality and Attendance ~ Be in the classroom on time. This class begins on time and you will not be tardy. You are allowed only two tardies each semester for each course. You must be in the classroom when the tardy bell sounds. On the third tardy, an office referral will be submitted to an administrator.

                If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed and make up the work. Next day make‑up is preferred. Remember that your grade is at stake, so be certain that you ask for the missed work when you return to class. Typically, I will give you the handout or a slip of paper with the assignment and a designated date when the assignment is due. You are expected to turn in all work on time, but if you are absent, I will tell you a date when the assignment must be submitted. It is your responsibility to check with a peer to retrieve notes or specifics about the assignments.

 

Assignments ~ All grades for tests, writing assignments, homework, and daily projects will be based on a 100 point scale. Incomplete assignments will receive a grade of 51 until the assignment is completed. This will allow your grade to be a reflection of work completed, not the negative penalty of a zero for missed work. Once the missed work is completed and graded, it will replace the temporary grade of 51. Homework assignments will be gathered at the beginning of the class period. Any work that is not turned in on time will receive a reduction of 10 points. If the work is not turned in, the grade will remain 51.

Progress reports for all learners will be given every three weeks. The majority of your grade for the semester is determined by your work during the 18 week semester; the final exam is a portion of your final grade, to take it seriously. All assignments for this course are important. Complete all assignments on time and your grade will reflect the progress that you are making.

Grading Scale  ~  A – 93 to 100   B – 85 to 92   C – 75 to 84   D – 70 to 74   F – below 70

 

I am available to help you with assignments and make-up work on Tuesday and Thursday after school from 2:30 to 3:15. If you are having trouble keeping up with assignments or need help with your reading or studies, please come in and meet with me. Do not wait until the end of the nine weeks grading period or semester to come to me. I am here for you, but you must take the initiative and come for assistance when needed.

 

 

Academic Honesty ~ Cheating on assignments as well as plagiarism on writing tasks will not be tolerated. Cheating is defined as giving or receiving answers on any work, whether tests, homework, or class work. The only exception is when projects and assignments are designated as cooperative learning with peers. If a student is found guilty of cheating, in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, the student will receive a zero for the assignment, the parent will be notified, and a referral will be forwarded to an administrator.

                Plagiarism is copying material from a source and claiming it as one's own work. Evidence of cheating and plagiarism can result in non-admittance to honor programs and exclusion from clubs and activities.

 

Materials & Supplies ~ Be sure to bring the appropriate materials to class each day:

  • Notebook – You need to have a notebook that you can add pages to so that you can keep up with all handouts and graded coursework.
  • Journal – You need a composition journal or spiral notebook for free writing and journal entries. Journals will be graded after every ten entries.
  • Pencil or Pen – Please write with black or blue ink, or use a pencil.
  • Textbook – Literature textbooks will NOT be assigned to you. We will use a class set of books for assignments. A set of grammar handbooks will also be available for use in the classroom, but will not be assigned to students.
  • Paper – Please use clean and neat paper with your first and last name, the date, and class period always written in the top right corner.

 

Behavioral Plan ~ The goal of this English course is to educate and empower each student with the abilities and skills to reach their full potential. For this goal to be met, I plan to be firm but fair in carrying out my behavioral plan for discipline in the classroom. I will not tolerate any behavior which detracts from the learning.  As mentioned already, you know rude behavior compared to acceptable behavior.

How will Dr. Lester deal with discipline?

  • 1st offense ~ A verbal warning after class
  • 2nd offense ~ Parents called
  • 3rd offense ~ 30 minutes after school detention and parents called
  • 4th offense ~ Parent, student, and teacher conference
  • 5th offense ~ Office referral to an administrator

Take responsibility for yourself. Do your assignments, turn them in on time, and put forth your best effort. I do not want a lot of excuses. If you did not do the work, simply say, "I didn't do it."  Be aware that you are responsible for your work and your participation in class. I want you to do well! This class is very important to me – make it important for yourself, and you will do well. Let us strive for excellence together.

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Changes and alterations to this listing of Positive Classroom Procedures may be made at the discretion of the classroom instructor. Students will be notified concerning necessary changes.

 

Determination  +  Dedication  +  Hard Work  =  Success