Contacting your instructor: District email is the preferred method (email@example.com)
or you may call 474.3300 x8142 Mission Statement of the District
"The mission of the Lucia Mar Unified School District is to ensure that all students acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential to become productive members of society." Mission Statement of Nipomo High School
The mission of Nipomo High School is to provide a safe, structured environment which enables high levels of relevant learning for all students, empowering them to realize their full potential as productive citizens in our changing world, drawing upon the unique resources of the local community and new innovations in science, technology, and the arts.
The pre-AP English student is a gifted student who desires preparation for a college level English experience in his junior and/or senior year. This student will be entering a four-year vertically aligned English program that culminates in Advanced Placement Literature (junior year) and Advanced Placement Language (senior year). Students should enjoy reading excellent literature, exploring ideas presented in this literature, and writing about these ideas.
The guiding theme for this year’s inquiry will be “The Hero’s Journey.” Students enrolled in this course are expected to make a commitment to a rigorous curriculum of reading, literary analysis, and composition. Students are expected to be professional in their presentation of themselves and their work in the class. If there is an issue, such as a lack of a computer, the student will need to communicate with the instructor and work out a solution—such as allocating extra time in the library or in Mr. Shields’s classroom outside of class. Each student should be ready every day with supplies, with assignments turned in on time, through attentive reading, and through a readiness for discussion!
All students will successfully exit Pre-AP 9 having demonstrated the following:
—The ability to write a literary essay analyzing theme
—The ability to write a literary essay analyzing character
—The ability to identify certain poetic devices in a work and discuss their use
—The ability to recognize certain literary devices in a work and discuss their use
—The ability to write an expository essay (CAHSEE)
—The ability to write a persuasive essay (CAHSEE)
—The ability to write a biographical narrative (CAHSEE)
—The ability to identify and use correctly the parts of speech, the subject and verb in a sentence, verbal and prepositional phrases, and types of sentences
—The ability to read independently
Cheating is cheating. It is wrong. It is unacceptable. It is a blot on the cheater’s character. I cannot stress enough the importance of having academic integrity. Plagiarism is “stealing” the unique ideas or wording of another and presenting them as one’s own. It includes, but is not limited to, cheating on examinations, copying work, the purchase, renting, borrowing or otherwise appropriation of a research paper, project, or assignment and presenting it as one’s own work.
The principle rule of academic integrity is that each member of the Nipomo High community will do one’s own work, executed to the best of one’s ability, exclusively for the assignment of which it is presented. Refer to the NHS Handbook to see the immediate and long-lasting consequences to cheating.
• a three-ring loose-leaf binder
• tabbed dividers inside binder to keep class papers in order. You may organize your binder in whatever way works for you, but I suggest you have at least the following sections:
• a large supply of wide ruled 81/2” X 11” filler paper
• blue or black ball point pens (pencils and highlighters are also greatly beneficial)
• a positive and drama-free attitude while in the class! Literary Works to be Explored in Class this year (not an exhaustive list):
• Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander
• The Odyssey by Homer
• Antigone by Sophocles
• The Once and Future King by T.H. White
• The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
• Independent reading novels: Anderson’s Speak, Ranh’s Anthem, Potok’s The Chosen, Kidd’s The Sectret Live of Bees, Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Card’s Ender’s Game
• Selected short stories, poems, and movie clips
Work is expected to be turned in on time and in a professional manner. Name, date, and period should identify every piece of work turned in, and any paper illegible or without necessary information will not be looked at. All essays and formal work needs to be typed in MLA format. Refer to the Handbook’s policy concerning late work. Unless otherwise stated, assignments are due at the beginning of the period for which you are enrolled.
CSU and UC schools will not accept any English grade lower than a 70%. So while you can pass a semester of English in high school with a 60%, if you earned less than a D+, those four-year schools will not count that class’s credits and you might be five credits short of meeting entrance requirements. If you have missed a test or a quiz, it is your responsibility to come in and make it up within a reasonable time period.
A = 90% - 100% D = 60% - 69.9%
B = 80% - 89.9% F = 59.9% or lower
C = 70% - 79.9% (I do not round up)
Grade checks: Leave your grade check on my keyboard at the beginning of the period and pick it up after class. If you are curious about your grade, stop by at lunch or get an official grade check paper.
Grades posted online: Check the Homelink on the NHS homepage to see your grade at any point throughout the. Also, updated grades will be posted regularly in the classroom.
Weighted Grades: According to NHS English Department policy, your grade will be weighted as follows: 50% = writing; 30% = assessments; 20% = HW/Classwork.
Extra Credit Options
Extra Credit: Quarterly Option. As a rule, Mr. Shields does not give outextra credit; students earn it. At the end of each quarter, students with no more than one missing assignment for that quarter will be allowed to do a possible “extra credit” project worth up to 5% of the quarter grade. In other words, a student must earn the option to do extra credit by turning in his work. (Mr. Shields will not reward a student for sitting in class and picking his nose all semester by allowing him to do an “extra credit” assignment to pass the class.)
Extra Credit: Visual & Performing Arts Show. Students may choose to earn 10pts extra credit by attending an NHS VPA Show (Drama, Music, Dance, Ceramics, Art…). Write a paragraph summarizing the plot of the production in at least 100words. Write a second paragraph explaining your opinions of the production (storyline, choreography, set/light/sound design, acting, etc) in at least 100words. Staple your ticket to your paragraphs and submit it to your teacher within one week after the final performance date (or show Shields a “selfie” of you at the performance).
To better ensure your success in this course, please visit the classroom website to see when homework is due. Homework assigned in class will be posted on this website later that day. This will enable you to stay well informed and up to date on what is expected. If Mr. Shields suspects that students are not utilizing this website, he may choose to cease spending time updating it regularly. But until then, use the following online steps to access this information:
-go to www.nhstitans.org
-click ABOUT US at the top
-scroll to almost to the bottom, and click Nathan Shields
[changes to the website maintenance have occurred recently, so it may take a bit of time for Mr. Shields to smoothly get all of this information online] Essays (NHS English Dept. Policy)
Format:Unless otherwise stated, every paper and essay in this class must be in MLA format!
Late Essays: Every day an essay is late will earn a full letter grade reduction until it is turned in.
Rewrites. A student may be required to rewrite an essay. If this is necessary, the student may rewrite as many times as needed until it passes (and Mr. Shields is the kind of teacher who will read it every time you submit it). When submitting a rewrite, highlight (on your updated draft) every change you made from your previous draft, and staple it on top of your previous essay’s packet.
First day rules explained by teacher…
Food/Drink/Gum: No eating, drinking, or gum-chewing allowed. If this is followed by every student for one full week, this rule may be dropped for that class period.
Tardy Policy: Before the bell rings, you must be in your seat doing whatever #1 on the board states to do; otherwise, you will be counted tardy. I may or may not inform you if you are marked tardy as that may waste more time in class.
Other items you need to know about this class…
1) Respect. The primary academic rule in this class is “respect.” This means that you behave in a way that allows all students (including yourself) to learn and allows the teacher to teach (listening politely to other opinions, not abusing classroom furniture or materials, not saying anything that could sound like an insult, or…)
2) Cell phone, IPOD, etc: I strictly follow the NHS handbook’s policy on cell phones and electronic devices: allowed before & after school, during break & lunch… and if Mr. Shields has a specific assignment for it. Otherwise, I will immediately send it up to an administrator if I see any evidence of it. In other words: If I see it, it’s mine!
3) Leaving the room: Unless directed otherwise, when leaving the classroom for any reason, you always need to sign out on the clipboard, take the clipboard, then sign back in.
4) Finished with a Quiz? There is ALWAYS something to do in this class. For instance, if you finish a quiz early, turn it over and take out your Outside Reading book (or your LitCircle book) and read silently.
5) Bathroom Policy: The “leaving the room” pass is hanging by the door. Please ask to use the restroom if needed. If a student or class is abusing this option of leaving class, this privilege may be revoked. If you must use the restroom and can’t hold it, don’t bother asking (I don’t want a mess in the desk), simply bolt out of the room, grabbing the pass as you go, and explain it to your teacher when you return.
6) When Absent: If you know you are going to be absent, talk with your teacher to get work ahead of time. There are folders containing handouts from the past two weeks in the “Absent Crate.” If you are absent and an assignment was passed out during that time, you are responsible to get the handouts, instructions and any other necessary information. The due date for all assignments is subject to the NHS Handbook (1 extra day for each absent day). For an extended absence, contact your teacher to work it out.
7) Argue with the Ref: There may come a time when your teacher wrongly accuses you of an action or even acts in a disrespectful manner toward you. If this is the case, the worst thing you can do is try to argue with the teacher at that time. You will not get what you want, and you might receive worse. If you disagree with anything that your teacher has done or said, wait for an appropriate time to discuss the situation with your teacher in a way that does not distract others from their tasks in class. In short, “Don’t argue with the ref.”
8) Tissues and Pencil Sharpening: Get a tissue or sharpen your pencil during any appropriate time in class (such as a transition between activities, SSR, during a collaborative session). If it’s an immediate need, get a tissue even if Mr. Shields is lecturing (do not soil the back of the person’s head in front of you with a sneeze… that’s just gross!).
9) Extra Credit: Quarterly Option.As a rule, Mr. Shields does not give out extra credit; students earn it. At the end of each quarter, students with no more than one missing assignment for that quarter will be allowed to do a possible “extra credit” project worth up to 5% of the quarter grade. In other words, a student must earn the option to do extra credit by turning in his work. (Mr. Shields will not reward a student for sitting in class and picking his nose all semester by allowing him to do an “extra credit” assignment to pass the class.)
10) Extra Credit: Visual & Performing Arts Shows. Students may choose to earn 10pts extra credit by attending an NHS VPA Show (drama, music, dance, art…). Write a paragraph summarizing the plot of the production in at least 100words. Write a second paragraph explaining your opinions of the production (storyline, choreography, set/light/sound design, acting, etc) in at least 100words. Staple your ticket to your paragraphs and submit it to your teacher within one week after the final performance date.
11) Academic Honesty: Cheating is cheating. It is wrong. It is unacceptable. It is a blot on the cheater’s character. I cannot stress enough the importance of having academic integrity. Plagiarism is “stealing” the unique ideas or wording of another and presenting them as one’s own. It includes, but is not limited to, cheating on examinations, copying work, the purchase, renting, borrowing or otherwise acquiring of a research paper, project, or assignment and presenting it as one’s own work.
12) College credit: CSU and UC schools will not accept any English course grade lower than a 70%. In other words, if you passed any semester of English in high school with a D+ or lower, those four-year schools will not count that class’s credits and you might be five credits short of meeting entrance requirements.
13) Required Materials:Here are the items you need for this class… a 3-ring notebook (you can share it with another subject; you do not need a separate one for this class), pens (blue or black ink), a highlighter (not necessary, but preferred), and a large supply of 8½”x11” lined paper. Also, you always need to bring your outside reading book (or LitCircle book), and you must have a positive and drama-free attitude while in the class.
14) Late Work: Unless otherwise stated, every assignment is due at the beginning of the class period. Any assignment turned in after that is considered LATE and you will receive half-credit for that assignment. However, if you do not turn in an assignment at all, you will probably receive lunch detention until it is turned in. (For “assessments” [essays, projects, etc], late work is accepted at a reduced rate)
15) Supplies in class: Staplers, tape, hole-punch, and all other daily supplies will be by the door, under the t.v., and in the white cupboard. This is your cupboard. Feel free to use the supplies that are in it, but keep it tidy; Mr. Shields will not clean it, he will only keep it stocked.
16) Vocabulary: On the first day of every week, you will receive a Vocabulary pre-quiz. Students who ACE it will be excused from doing that week’s Vocab homework and from taking the quiz that Friday. Students who do not earn 100% on it are required to do that week’s Vocab homework and they will be quizzed on that information on Thursday of that week.
17) Vocabulary quiz make-up: If a student is absent on a day when taking the weekly Vocabulary quiz, come in at lunch the next week and take the quiz on one of the classroom computers. Your vocab homework is due the day you take the quiz. If you do not make up the quiz within a week, you will probably receive lunch detention.