Course Syllabus

Rose Tree Media School District

Penncrest High School

English Department

Course Syllabus: Accelerated English 10



Ms. Carolyn Heaton, Room A105

Pi Lambda Sigma Faculty Advisor                                  




Course Overview:  This course is designed for highly motivated readers and writers. We will use novel study as our basis for classroom discussions and writing topics.  Students are expected to write every day, and to come to class prepared and ready to participate. Expect nightly homework to average one hour. All homework will be posted in Schoology.


Throughout the course we will examine texts using Wiggins and McTighe’s Facets of Understanding:


Explanation: sophisticated and apt explanations and theories, which provide knowledgeable and justified accounts of events, actions, and ideas.


Why is that so? What explains such events? What accounts for such action? How can we prove it? To what is this connected? How does this work? What is implied?


Interpretation: interpretations, narratives, and translations that provide meaning.


What does it mean? Why does it matter? What of it? What does it illustrate or illuminate in human experience? How does it relate to me? What makes sense?


Application: ability to use knowledge effectively in new situations and diverse contexts.


How and when can we use this knowledge, skill, or process? How should my thinking be modified to meet the demands of this particular situation?


Perspective: critical and insightful points of view.


From whose point of view? From which vantage point? What is assumed or tacit that needs to be made explicit and considered? What is justified or warranted? Is there adequate evidence? Is it reasonable? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the idea? Is it plausible? What are its limits? So what?


Empathy: the ability to get inside another person’s feelings and worldview.


How does it seem to you? What do they see that I don’t? What do I need to experience if I am to understand? What was the writer feeling, seeing, and trying to make me feel and see?


Self-Knowledge: the wisdom to know one’s ignorance and

how one’s patterns of thought and action inform as well as prejudice understanding.


How does who I am shape my views? What are the limits of my understanding? What are my blind spots? What am I prone to misunderstand because of prejudice, habit, or style?


Grading: All grading is based on a point system.  All assignments (including class participation) are worth points. Your final grade is determined by dividing total points earned by total possible points.


Nearly every class will begin with sustained silent reading (SSR) during class. 


Vocabulary will be tested in 5-unit increments. Upon the completion of five units in the book Joy of Vocabulary, you will be tested on all five units’ worth of words, plus the words from the school list, which will equal approximately 100 words. Do not wait until the end of the unit to study for this test. The words are challenging and you will be tested in a variety of formats (fill in the blank, matching, multiple choice, etc.).  


Reading selections: Below please find some examples of works to be studied during the course.  Selections include, but are not limited to:


Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare


Please bring your chromebook, a notebook, and writing utensil to class each day. You should also have a system in place for handouts (folder, binder, docket, etc.).


Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Ten points will be deducted from late assignments.


Students who visit the Pi Lambda Sigma writing center for help with major papers will receive extra credit. 


Students are responsible for missed work. Please see me if ’ve missed class. I expect classwork to be made up within three days, and papers/tests to be submitted or made up upon your return.  If you have a question or concern, please come see me. Cell phone use during class is prohibited.


 I am looking forward to a productive and successful year with you! Get ready to explore, think, share, and grow.