• English 1

    Ms. Shawna Gard

    Freshman English        

     Email:  sgard@holdenschools.org

    Phone: 816-850-4444, ext. 7145

    Plan time:  Blue Day: 8:00-9:27
                    White Day: 9:31-10:58

  • English I
    Course Syllabus
    Ms. Gard

    Course Description:

    English I is an introductory course to the study of grammar, composition, literature, spelling, speaking, listening, journaling, and book reports. Students will study Shakespearean drama, short story, non-fiction, and poetry genres. Students will also participate in a unit introducing them to library research. Methods of assessment may include but are not limited to objective and subjective tests, essays, oral presentations, projects, and observations.

    Instructional Philosophy:

    Upon coming to class, students should expect to see an activity or journal on the board to start off the class. They will be expected to enter the room quietly, to be seated before the bell rings, and to begin the posted activity. Students should expect to be actively engaged through cooperative learning strategies, active learning, note taking, class/group discussion, and teacher lecture. The structure/organization of the classroom will depend on the activities planned. Students will be placed in teams the second or third week of school. These teams will change periodically throughout the year.

     Major Course Goals:

    1. Students will read an analyze different types of literature.
    2. Students will identify major literary terms and their application.
    3. Students will read for pleasure and analysis.
    4. Students will expand their understanding of English grammar.
    5. Students will improve their writing skills.
    6. Students will become familiar with the library and computer lab.
    7. Students will use various resource materials.
    8. Students will increase their vocabularies.
    9. Students will practice a variety of test-taking skills

    English I Essential Learning Outcomes


    1. Students will apply decoding strategies and use context clues to identify the meanings of terms.
    2. Students will make inferences to show comprehension during reading and draw conclusions after reading.
    3. Students will explain similarities or differences when making the following connections: text to text, text to self, and text to world.
    4. Students will determine point of view, the author’s purpose, and reasons to support that purpose.
    5. Students will evaluate the persuasiveness of organizational patterns, the effectiveness of word choice, the accuracy of evidence, and the proposed solutions in text structure.


    1. Students will use correct spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
    2. Students will have a basic understanding of commas, apostrophes, and standard usage with an emphasis on subject-verb agreement.


    1. Students will have the basic controlling idea given to them, and then they will develop a basic controlling idea from two or more texts.
    2. Students will independently locate and document inn-depth, specific, and relevant details that support a controlling idea, thesis and topic sentences.
    3. Students will write in an organized, logical order with an introduction, varied sentence structure, and a conclusion.
    4. Students will write with audience and purpose in mind, specifically considering word choice, sentence and paragraph structure, and formal and informal language.

    Listening and Speaking

    1. Students will create concise presentations with or without media/technology, respond to feedback, and defend ideas.
    2. Students will listen to evaluate presentations.

     Information Literacy

    1. Students will introduce their quotes with their own words while demonstrating the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing.
    2. Students will provide details on how examples, quotes and paraphrases, reflect the topic with a follow-up sentence.
    3. Students will use MLA style when writing formally, documenting internally (internal citations). 
    4. Students will use MLA style when writing formally, documenting externally (works cited).


    Major Course Projects & Instructional Activities:

    Students will complete the following:

    • Research project
    • 2 book reports/projects (1 a semester)
    • Numerous essays and compositions in a variety of styles (character analysis, compare/contrast, persuasive, narrative, description, etc.)
    • Oral presentations
    • 1 play
    • 1-2 novels





    Course Assessment Plan: 

    Students will assessed in numerous ways throughout the school year. These types of assessments are tests, quizzes, essays, book/research reports, and projects. High school students are required to take a final exam at the end of the first semester. Second semester the student will be required to take the End of Course (EOC) exam.


    Classroom Expectations:

    Don’t Create A Problem

    1. Be Respectful- use common sense, good manners and courtesy.  Keep everything in good taste and school appropriate. Respect school property (do not deface, misuse or mark on desks, school property or other people’s belongings).  Keep your property on or under your desk and keep your work area clean.  Dispose of trash in wastebaskets.  Leave the teacher desk, computer, file cabinets, etc. alone unless given permission. 
    2. Be Engaged- Participate!  Keep outside distractions (i.e. cell phones, toys, etc.) put away.  
    3. Be On Time



    Below are the consequences for violating school and/or classroom guidelines.

    1. Warning
    2. Move student to a new seat and a teacher-student conference
    3. Parent contact
    4. Office referral



    **refer to the student handbook for additional information regarding: attendance policy (pg. 5-8), appearance/attire (pg. 27 ), student conduct (pg. 30), discipline (p. 31-36)


    Supplies and Materials Needed

    Students enrolled in English I will be required to have the following materials:

    • Laptop (daily)
    • Pen or pencil (daily)
    • 1 subject college ruled spiral notebook (can recycle from last years supplies)
    • Highlighter (research paper)
    • A book to read
    • 1 box of Kleenex or 1 bottle of hand sanitizer



    Food, Drinks, and Gum: Food is not permitted in my classroom unless the student has gotten permission from the teacher. WATER in a clear close-capped bottle is allowed. Gum is allowed unless this privilege is taken away at the teacher’s discretion. 


    Hallway: If you need to leave the room,  you must have a pass. You will find a wooden block right next to the door. Make sure you sign out/sign in when you leave/return.  Only one student may leave at a time.



    Extra Help:

    I am available for any student who needs extra help.  I am available during SOAR on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 1:00-1:45.  Tuesday is English trump day, so SOAR is closed to referrals only. I will be available most morning from 7:30-8:00 and after school from 3:15-4:00.  You can also have the opportunity to attend homework club before or after school.  Please plan with me ahead of schedule so I can make sure I am available. 


    Contact Information:

    Parents may contact me by phone, email, or visiting the school.

    Teacher: Ms. Shawna Gard

    Email Address: sgard@holdenschools.org

    Phone Number: (816) 850-4444, ext. 7145

    Available: White Days 9:31 - 10:58 

                Blue Days 8:00 - 9:27

                Holden High School operates on a rotating block schedule.  Students are enrolled in     eight courses and attend four each day.