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Syllabus English I Pre-AP

Pre-AP English I

                     Mrs. Martina Brown   Draft Copy

                                                              Fall 2013         July 27, 2013 (revision on 8/8/13)


FINAL COPY with student revisions August 31, 2013




Pre-AP English I is very different from the Language Arts classes you have had in the past.  The AP program is rigorous and demands your determination, dedication, and responsibility.  You will be challenged to move beyond the basics of Freshmen-level language arts and embrace a higher level of reading, writing, and critical thinking.  You will be required to refine your study practices, manage your time effectively, and work responsibly.

What should you expect in Pre-AP?

Pre-AP is designed to prepare you for both the AP Language and AP Literature courses that you may take as juniors and seniors in high school. Because the AP Language and Literature courses are college-level courses with accelerated curriculum, we begin preparing you for the rigorous demands of the program in the Pre-AP classes.


Pearson Literature books

We will start with To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.
See the webpage for information on the independent reading selection, Ender’s Game.


Students will research and compose several papers, speeches, articles, letters, and presentations using representative styles of writing. An emphasis will be on On-Demand writing formats. Throughout the course, students will keep a communications portfolio. Information regarding the Communications Portfolio is on my teacher website.

Objectives and Expectations:


  • To improve your reading ability for comprehension, interpretation, and evaluation
  • To improve your vocabulary
  • To promote your discussion and writing about literature
  • To improve your thinking skills through critical thinking and discussion
  • To develop your ability to use literary terminology correctly
  • To critically examine the genres of fiction, drama, and poetry
  • To improve your writing style through analysis and evaluation
  • To review, as needed, problems with writing mechanics, usage, and grammar
  • To improve test-taking skills through timed drills of multiple choice and essay questions, like those found on the AP test, SAT, and ACT.


  • Turn in assignments on time: Assignments must be turned in on the due date to receive full credit.
  • Participate in class discussion: Class participation is required. It is expected that you attend class regularly, that you are prepared and that you have read the material for the day, and that you contribute to the class discussion.
  • Keep class work organized: All work must be kept neatly in a 3-ring binder. Do not throw anything away.
  • Attend class regularly: Come to class every day. If you miss, it is your responsibility to make up your work as stated in the school policy. BONUS points may be available based on simple assignments to students in attendance on random, teacher selected days and cannot be made up unless the student was on a school sponsored trip.

Classroom Rules:

  1. All school policies and rules printed in the student handbook will be enforced in the classroom. An exception is the use of smartphones or other electronic gadgets when being used as a tool in course work or reading.
  2. At all times, students and teachers will treat each other with mutual respect, this includes being courteous and considerate; profanity is not acceptable. August 8, 2013   3:00pm  Because it seem this rule is being overlooked, I have made the font BOLD. 
  3. Arrive to class on time.
  4. All materials must be brought to class.
  5. Attendance is important and expected - BONUS points may be available based on simple assignments to students in attendance on random, teacher selected days and cannot be made up unless students were on a school sponsored trip.

Required Materials/Resources: 

  • Blue/black pen and pencils
  • Paper
  • Textbook/novel daily
  • 3-ring binder with dividers to separate the following sections (see the Communication Portfolio page on my website)
  • A 12" ruler that fits in the binder
  • Ender's Game novel by Orson Scott Card
  • A copy of To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee is optional (There are copies in the library.)
  • Access to a computer with Internet and a word processing program compatible with Microsoft Word (for after school hours, there are computers at the public library)

Homework and Tests:

You are expected to turn in all assignments on time. Late work will be accepted in accordance with the school policy regarding excused absences. In the event of an excused absence, you will be expected to check my teacher website for the classwork and assignments. Tests will be made up after school (by appointment). The time span is addressed in the "Student Handbook." If there are extenuating circumstances, these will be considered on an individual basis at the discretion of the teacher. Students may retake formative tests (by appointment) on one of three dates the following week after that the testing window is closed.

Extra Help:

There will be some opportunities where I will be available for extra help. I can be available after school and during my planning to talk or to meet with you and/or your parents if you have any concerns; an appointment is required. Email is another great way to communicate your questions and comments. My email address is martina.brown@clinton.kyschools.us


Cheating will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, copying from another student, text messaging, talking during an exam or quiz, downloading from the Internet, plagiarizing (intentional or unintentional), and/or using cheat sheets. If any of this behavior is observed, you will receive a zero on the assignment, and disciplinary action may follow. Talking is not allowed during an exam until all test materials are collected from all students. Any talking during this time could result in a zero on the exam.


The grading scale will follow the school policy. All formal essays are assessed using Scoring Rubric for Kentucky On-Demand Writing as the primary assessment tool. In addition we will utilize the rubrics developed by this year’s freshman English class in collaboration with the teacher as a secondary tool.  Rubrics for grading (other than writing) will be developed by this year’s freshman English class in collaboration with the teacher.  I want to be in constant communication with students and parents to help you succeed. Infinite Campus and my teacher website will help with keeping students and parents up-to-date on assignments and grades.



As I often say, “I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel if it works.” I have adapted several ideas from other syllabi which seem to have similar reading and writing goals as those held by our high school and which address the Common Core Standards.









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