Hello and welcome to 10

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Gregory Soden & Nicole Overeem

Muriel Williams Battle High School

Language Arts Department

Email: gsoden@cpsk12.org &NOvereem@cpsk12.org

Phone: (573) 214-3300

August 2014

Dear Students & Guardians/Parents,
Hello and welcome to 10th grade English at Muriel Williams Battle High School! We are Mr. Greg Soden and Ms. Nicole Overeem and we are very excited about working with you and your child. We are excited to have a successful school year in room G210.

In 10th grade English, students’ instruction focuses on a multi-genre, interdisciplinary approach where reading and writing is used in the context of social inquiry. In 10th grade, the focus is on World Literacy – the ability to effectively read, discuss, and compose texts related to global issues and cultures throughout the world.

In 10th grade, students will continue to master reading, writing, and verbal skills. In reading, students should start to analyze complex texts, characters, and ideas and must begin to understand the cumulative impact that individual details make as part of a coherent whole. In writing, students need to begin to anticipate their audience and, when appropriate, maintain an objective tone while adhering to conventions of a particular discipline. When speaking, students will propel conversations with a well-reasoned exchange of ideas while acknowledging diverse perspectives and relating the discussion to broad themes. Students’ understanding of English grammar should expand to understand how language functions in different contexts and to include the artistic nature of language.

In English 10, we will explore the use of multiple technological tools, such as digital assignment submissions, digital e-books, and online course content availability through Blackboard. Information and syllabi are available for all of our courses through the Battle High School website within the teacher profile pages.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us anytime; however, keep in mind that we are teaching a full class schedule and will contact you as soon as possible. We are always enthusiastic to speak with you about how we can best serve you and your student. Call us at school or email us anytime if you wish to talk!
Most Sincerely,

Gregory Soden Nicole Overeem

Welcome to English 10!
Contacting Ms. Overeem

  • Email: novereem@cpsk12.org

  • Phone: (573) 214-3300

Contacting Mr. Soden

  • School Phone: (573) 214-3300

  • Room: G210

  • Email: gsoden@cpsk12.org

  • Course materials will be available at our Blackboard site (Blackboard is available as a free iPad app; we will download this app together in class and explore)

Daily Classroom Supplies

  • iPad

  • Binder/Notebook with loose-leaf or spiral paper

  • Assigned reading materials

  • Writing utensils

  • Positive disposition & 100% effort!

Grading Scale
If you turn in assignments on time, you will always have the chance to revise to receive a higher grade. All students will receive a grade on the following scale.
A 94-100 C 73-76

  1. 90-93 C- 70-72

B+ 87-89 D+ 67-69

B 83-86 D 63-66

  1. 80-82 D- 60-62

C+ 77-79 F 59 and below

The Order of the Spartans: CHARGE!!

Challenge: Be determined to succeed

  • Seek help as needed

  • Practice writing, reading, and good verbal skills inside and outside the school day

  • Use all support resources (Mr. Soden, Spartan Time, tutoring, Blackboard and useful websites as given in class

Honor: Continue the Legacy

  • Dress appropriately

  • Help Mr. Soden keep the classroom clean (trust me, I need it!)

Advocate: Empower and embrace differences

  • Always listen when others are speaking

  • Express yourself civilly always (especially in moments of disagreement)

  • Ask questions frequently to extend our diverse knowledge

Respect: Value self, others, and community

  • Take care of the classroom and school

  • Water is encouraged for good health

  • Be courteous of others (classroom communication norms)

Give: Serve your school and community

  • Join clubs or sports!

  • Volunteer in your community!

  • Attend Spartan Time to get help/help your peers

Engage: Be accountable and be involved

  • Be an active learner

  • Meet your obligations in group work a

  • Contribute to class discussion

2014-15 Class Procedures & Expectations
In order to be productive, societies need procedures to stay organized. Procedures are a fact of every day life in nearly everything we do. We board airplanes in a certain manner and drive cars in other ways. Our class will be no different and will be organized in a certain manner so that students know exactly what to expect every day in class. This list is extensive, but is designed so that each student can reach maximal amounts of success in English 10.

  1. Achieving success

    • If you as a student feel lost, disorganized, or want to practice anything related to English 10, consider attending Spartan Time. If your grade falls below a 73% or you have scored below 73% on multiple assessments, attend Spartan Time. If you wish to practice your verbal presentations or want to practice your editing, please arrange time with me.

    • Reading, writing, and verbally communicating are necessary and challenging skills that are required for long-term success in life. Each is difficult but we promise that if you have anything you want to practice, we will be there for you.

  2. Dismissal

    • We will work almost to the bell every class period. I will give you time to get ready for departure.

  3. Entry procedure

    • There will be a task projected on to the screen every day for you to work on immediately upon entry into the classroom. The task will vary from day-to-day and will utilize different reading, writing, and speaking skills, but you should begin as soon as you enter and are seated.

  4. Homework & turning in assignments

    • We will turn in hard copies in the designated turn-in tray for your class.

    • Some work may be turned in via email when arranged

  5. Seating arrangements

    • There will be assigned seats in my classroom in order to help me get to know you better and faster. Your seats at the start of the year are not permanent.

  6. Classroom speaking

    • In the classroom, all students and teachers are expected to address each other in a respectful tone. We will debate, discuss, challenge, and critique each other, but all communication will be done civilly.

  7. Absent/make-up work

    • If you are going to be absent or if you have an excused absence, you are responsible for looking at my website to retrieve instructions and due dates or by contacting me. You are expected to turn in work within the amount of days that you are absent (i.e. five days absent equals five days to turn in the assignment)

    • All assignments are officially due on the due date, but any assignment can be turned in at any time by submitting a “late assignment application” form.

    • All assignments will be available on our Blackboard site and in my classroom. Please see the calendar on my website for due dates. Make sure you have the Blackboard app downloaded.

  8. Honesty

    • Do your work to the fullest of your ability. Students discovered to completing work dishonestly will forfeit all points attached to that assignment and will require a conference with home.

  9. Attendance

    • It is very important that you attend as many classes as possible. Class discussion and work are often extremely rewarding and are difficult/impossible to recreate outside of class. One class per day absent is acceptable to turn in missed work. Students are responsible for finding all class work missed and completing it within the acceptable time frame. Missed assessments (presentations, writings, projects, etc.) must be made up within ONE WEEK. The student is responsible for arranging the time to make up the assessment before/after school or during Spartan Time.

    • Please come see me if you know you will be absent.

  10. When you finish a task…

    • If you finish a task to the best of your ability with time remaining, you are expected to continue working. Some suggestions are: editing a paper; reading a class or voluntary book/article silently; determining if any assignments are missing and complete, etc. You will not be allowed to disturb others.

  11. Listening to and responding to questions

    • Follow the class norms: a) Hear all sides equally; b) Listen well enough to respond to and build upon each other’s ideas; c) Talking loudly is not a substitute for reasoning; d) Back up opinions with clear reasons; e) Speak one at a time; f) Address all using respectful language

  12. Working cooperatively/Group work

    • We will work together frequently individually, in pairs, in small groups, and as a class whole. You will oftentimes be assigned to work with your seatmate or those near you. It is expected that you will work with one and all without disturbing the class about your grouping. In groups, you should contribute and strive to be an equal member. Contributions are necessary in society and these collaborations will prepare you for the rest of your life.

  13. Ensuring you have your materials

    • Bring your iPad, a notebook, and writing utensils every day

  14. When you need help or need a conference

    • If you are lost, confused, or just want to go over some topics or strategies, please email or see us during Spartan Time. We promise to work with you on any concerns you may have.

  15. When the phone rings

    • We will be interrupted by phone calls to our classroom. We expect you to continue working quietly when the phone rings.

Course Readings List

Semester 1

“Girl” – Jamaica Kincaid

“The Censors” - Luisa Valenzuela

“The Mirror” – Haruki Murakami

“Like the Sun” – R. K. Narayan

“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“The Bet” - Anton Chekhov

“A Temporary Matter” – Jhumpa Lahiri

“Hell Heaven” – Jhumpa Lahiri

“The Looking Glass” – Anton Chekhov

“Terminator: Attack of the Drone” – Mohsin Hamid

“Happy Endings” – Margaret Atwood

The Arrival - Shaun Tan

“Immigration Stories” -

Angela’s Ashes (excerpt)

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Mythology - Edith Hamilton

The Odyssey - Homer
Semester 2

Oedipus the King - Sophocles

Julius Caesar- William Shakespeare

“Axolotl”- Julio Cortazar

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

Metamorphosis- Franz Kafka

They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky- Deng, Deng, Ajak, & Bernstein

Night- Elie Wiesel
*Others as assigned day-to-day
First & Second Semester Assessment Topics:

Literary Elements: Satire, Tone, Narrative elements

Plot/elements of fiction

Reflection (self & peer assessment)

Compare/contrast genre and forms

Independent Reading Book (1 per semester)

Short Story

Argumentative Writing

Narrative essay (Writing Process)

Multimedia project: Themes in Drama

Issue Paper/ Research (abstract, annotations, works cited, submission)

-Position Paper: Argumentation


Research Project and Presentation for Night

Human Rights Speech

Two portfolio presentations (1 per semester)

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