• English 11 Course Overview

    Mrs. Kaminski

    Lake Shore Senior High School



    Welcome to 11th grade English! Our curriculum for this year will focus on the Common Core Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language. We will be conducting an in-depth study of several novels, plays, and shorter works. You will also complete at least one research-based project and write a number of pieces of varying lengths. Each of you will also be required to read two full-length literary works of your own choice. In addition, we will continue the preparation for the English Language Arts Common Core Regents exam that you have begun in earlier grades, so that each of you will successfully complete the Regents exam in June. I am excited about the upcoming school year, and I am looking forward to getting to know each of you and studying literature together.


    Your junior year is a rigorous and important one academically. I am committed to helping you through this year by creating a curriculum and class environment in which each of you will be able to succeed. If you wish to succeed, then you should be prepared to read all assigned works, participate in class discussions, thoughtfully complete homework, quizzes, and tests, write meaningful essays, and come to class prepared and ready to work. I will be prepared to create challenging and interesting lessons and assignments and to provide extra help or clearer explanations when it becomes necessary. 


    Of course, all school rules will be closely observed in this class. Come to class on time. Passes will be issued using your own agenda only. Do not bring into the classroom your hat, coat, or book bag. Follow the school dress code. If I see or hear any electronic device during instructional time, it will be confiscated. 


    For this class you will need (1) a bound composition notebook to use as a journal and (2) a three-ring binder with some looseleaf paper and three dividers. The dividers should be labeled “current unit,” “graded work,” and “keep all year.” I will collect and grade both of these notebooks periodically.   Every day you should bring your binder, pen, and the book we are currently reading. Journals will remain in the classroom, and you should bring your outside book on Fridays. You may also bring food or drink with you as long as this does not become disruptive or messy.


    My grading policy is straightforward and should become clear early in the school year. I will grade on a point system, in which larger assignments are worth more points. For example, journal entries will be worth about 10 points, homework assignments and quizzes 10 to 30 points, and essays and tests will be worth 50 to 100 points.


    At the end of the quarter, I will add up the number of points you have earned and divide it by the number of points possible. That percentage will be your grade for the quarter. The four quarter grades and your Regents exam grade will each be worth 1/5 of your final course grade for the year. EXCEPTION: for students who have previously passed the ELA Regents exam (such as seniors who are repeating English 11), the final course grade will be an average of the four quarter grades, with NO final exam grade.


    An important part of each quarter’s grade is your participation grade. Verbally participating in a discussion actually helps you learn the material and formulate your thoughts; it will be an important skill in many of your college classes. Every day in class, I will keep track of your involvement in class discussion and activities. You can raise your participation grade through paying attention throughout the entire block, demonstrating interest and enthusiasm, raising your hand and sharing your thoughts or questions when appropriate, and contributing to group activities. You will lower your participation grade if you work on other assignments during class time, interrupt the class, talk to your neighbor rather than paying attention, put your head down, come unprepared to class, or act in a way that distracts the rest of the class from learning.


    I believe that homework is necessary in order to follow up a lesson, prepare for a lesson, practice a specific skill, or help you to think about a certain topic, so I will assign a reasonable amount of homework almost every class period. I expect assignments to be completed carefully and thoughtfully. Each assignment that you hand in should be your own original work; copying and plagiarism are serious offenses with serious consequences. If you hand in an assignment that is not your own work, it will receive a zero. If this happens again, the consequences will be more serious. Save all graded work in your folder until you receive a progress report, when you can verify the accuracy of your grades. After verifying your grades, you may clean out your binder, but do not throw away any handout on colored paper. Those should be saved all year.


    Homework assignments will be accepted for full credit in the class period they are due. If an assignment is late for any reason other than absence, the grade earned will be divided in half. If you are absent from school, see me promptly, and I will strictly follow the procedure outlined in the Student Handbook for making up work. If you have a music lesson, find it on my schedule, show me the schedule at the beginning of class, and then make sure you hand in your homework, find out what you are missing, and get the new homework.   If at any point in the year you feel that you are not able to succeed in my class, please discuss this with me so we can work out a plan together. I will be available for extra help after school almost every day. I would be happy to meet with any of you for any reason.


    I check my e-mail daily and am happy to hear from you or your parents at any time. (HKaminski@lakeshorecsd.org ). You may also reach me by phone through leaving a message on my voice mail (716-549-2300 extension 2278). I will be using Remind for those of you who would like to receive text message reminders of major due dates, classroom announcements, etc. To subscribe to my text messages, send a text with the message @3b46 to the number 81010. We will also use Google Classroom to complete and submit assignments throughout the year.