English 12 Bearing Witness

  • Instructor: Mrs. Rohlfs
    (517) 339-8249 ext.7324

    Bearing Witness is designed to help you grow as a reader, writer, collaborator, and most importantly, as a person. Our classroom is a community that will work together to support each other in the creation of knowledge, meaning, and quality work.

    Objectives of the Course
    By the end of senior year, students will be able to:
    ● Explore important societal issues and use productive dialogue to communicate ideas effectively.
    ● Use their voice and passion to take a stand on issues locally, nationally, and internationally.
    ● Feel confident and competent as readers, writers, speakers, and thinkers.
    ● Seek and understand multiple perspectives by listening with an empathetic ear and using critical thinking.
    ● Live their truth by understanding their place in the world.

    Required Materials
    Sticky notes for talking to the text (annotating)
    Pens & Pencils

    ● The Freedom Writers Diary by The Freedom Writers and Erin Gruwell
    ● Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario
    ● I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
    ● Various poems, articles, journals, video clips
    ● Classroom Library: I maintain a classroom library containing high-interest books for teens. I will not discourage students from taking advantage of the library. Parents and guardians, please let your child know if you object to a book he/she has selected.

    Units of Study

    First Semester
    Identity (CommonApp)
    Local & state (The Freedom Writers Diary)

    Senior Leadership ePortfolio
    Socratic Seminars
    Sustained Silent Reading & Free Writes

    Second Semester
    National (Enrique’s Journey)
    International (I Am Malala)

    Activities & Assignments
    Course activities and assignments will include (but are not limited to):
    Senior Leadership ePortfolio
    Independent Reading
    Vocabulary and Reading Quizzes
    |Written essays, narratives, poetry, etc.
    Group work
    Speeches and presentations
    Small & large in class discussions
    Research essay

    Group Norms
    There are some expectations that need to be met in order to keep our classroom a safe, organized, and effective learning environment. These expectations apply to everyone.

    ● Be prepared. Come to class with all materials every day. Turn in assignments on time.
    ● Be kind. Hateful speech, put-downs, derogatory comments, etc., will not be tolerated. Understand that there will be many perspectives in this class, and it’s important to approach new learning with kindness, empathy, and an open mind.
    ● Respect. Respect yourself, everyone in our class, and personal/school property.
    ● Communicate. Let me know (in advance!) when you need help or have questions. An essential skill for learning is becoming an advocate for your needs. If there is something blocking your road to success… we can move it together!
    ● Participate. Our different talents and personalities allow us to contribute to our class in many different ways. Make your contribution count.
    ● Follow School Rules. Rules regarding behavior will be enforced according to the student handbook.
    ● Cell Phone Policy: Cell phones must be stowed away at all times unless Mrs. Rohlfs explicitly states that they are appropriate. These occasions are rare. When in doubt, it is always better to ask permission than to assume you can be using your phone. If you are distracted or are disrespectfully using your phone, you will put your phone into the “phone hotel.” If you are repeatedly reprimanded for phone use, you will have to create an individual improvement plan with Mrs. Rohlfs, which may include turning in your phone at the start of class each day.

    ● PROCESS: This category includes any and all assignments that a student must complete to generate new knowledge or practice existing knowledge. These may include, but are not limited to, in class and homework assignments, quizzes, journals, etc.
    ● PRODUCT: This category includes any and all assignments designed as opportunities for students to show their proficiency on specific learning outcomes for the course. These include, but are not limited to, tests, projects, and essays.
    ● PROFESSIONALISM: All students are expected to produce work in a professional and timely manner, which includes turning work in on time, participating in classroom discussions and activities, and behaving in a manner that allows learning to take place. This category includes a grade associated with these behaviors.

    For English 12, the percentages of the overall grades are as follows:
    Process = 35% Product = 55% Professionalism = 10%

    As 12th graders, it is an important time to form professional habits for life after high school, and timeliness is incredibly important. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to stay on top of classwork. This means utilizing Google Classroom, contacting your peers, and e-mailing Mrs. Rohlfs if necessary. Even if you miss a day of class, you are still required to turn in major assignments on their due dates. This is true in the work and college environment! Beyond high school, an occasional request for an extension is deemed acceptable, but a pattern of turning in late work is not. To this end, students will be allowed to turn in one late assignment per semester with no impact on their Professionalism score but must turn in a late work ticket and coordinate an extended due date with Mrs. Rohlfs.

    You are allowed to retake/revise assessments in order to demonstrate your learning and growth. Make sure you communicate with me and we will create a timeline and plan.

    Cheating and Plagiarism
    Cheating includes (but is not limited to) copying work, allowing others to copy, taking photos of other classmates’ work and adjusting to pass as your own, creating cheat sheets, revealing test questions to those who will take the test, copying and pasting from websites, or any attempt to gain an advantage by means other than your own efforts. Plagiarism is taking someone else’s words, phrases, or ideas and presenting them as your own. If you cheat or plagiarize, you can expect serious disciplinary action. Act with integrity.

    That’s it! Please make sure you fill out the exit ticket assignment for this syllabus, located in the Week 1 Getting Started Topic in Google Classroom.