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English II: 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th

Conference: 2nd (8:35-10:11am)


7th (12:25-1:55pm)
Tutoring: T/W/Th (3:00-3:45pm)

Mrs. Tara Allen


DHS-Room B142
taallen@duncanvilleisd.org
(972) 708-6906

Duncanville High School English II Syllabus 2015-2016


Dear Parents/Guardians,
My name is Tara Allen, and I am your childs English II teacher for the 2015-2016 school year. I am so excited to be
teaching at Duncanville High School, and more importantly, I am thrilled to have your child as a student. Even though
this will be my first full year of teaching for Duncanville ISD, I have spent the last ten years in education, both at the
public school and collegiate levels. I was born and raised in Grand Prairie and currently reside there with my husband
and young daughter. I completed my Bachelors in English and Government at Texas Womans University and
obtained my Master of Science in Higher Education Teaching and English from Texas A&M University-Commerce. It
is my mission to build positive relationships in order to instill a love of learning in my students. I love my job and am
passionate about my subject. It is my hope that my students develop a desire to become life-long learners. I look
forward to celebrating your childs successes this year!
Course Overview
English II students continue to increase and enhance their reading, writing, listening, speaking, and communication
skills. Students will complete written compositions and engage in vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, and
rhetorical practices on a regular basis. In order to promote both individual and cooperative growth, reading, writing,
and discussion activities will be engaging and purposeful. Students will be presented with multiple and various
methods for editing their papers for clarity, engaging language, and the correct usage of the conventions and
mechanics of written English. An emphasis is placed on persuasive forms of writing, such as logical arguments,
expressions of opinions, and personal forms of writing. These personal forms of writing may include a response to
literature, a reflective essay, or an autobiographical narrative. Students will also learn literary forms and terms
associated with selections being read.
Conference/Tutoring
I am available for parent/guardian conferences during my instructional blocks, provided below, as well as after
school. Please schedule your conference in advance in order to confirm my availability, as well as the attendance of
other participants when needed. I check my email throughout the day and will respond as soon as possible. Generally,
you can expect to receive a same day response; however, there may be times when the response time will be longer.
Email is the best form of communication, and I can only contact local numbers via phone. Please note I have an open
door policy, so feel free to visit me any time.
Conference: 2nd Block 8:35-10:11am and 7th Block 12:25-1:55pm
Tutoring: Tuesday-Thursday 3:00-3:45pm
There is an afternoon PSAT/SAT/ACT preparation class that is offered each week. Details of this tutorial will be
announced. Students are encouraged to listen for this information during the daily announcements. Please realize
this is not a requirement; however, it does provide students with a great opportunity to receive information and
helpful hints in achieving high scores on these tests. I will provide students with 20 extra progress check points each
time they attend this class. These sessions are designed to help their scores on these tests, but may also help their
grade in English II.
taallen@duncanvilleisd.org
(972) 708-6906

Year at a Glance
First Semester

Second Semester

1st Nine Weeks


Unit 1: Traveling Through World Literature
This unit bundles student expectations that address word
study, writing, and reading of twentieth century world
literature to support the critical analysis and creation of
fictional text through the use of complex literary elements
and techniques specific to the genre. Students examine
literature and related media to make important personal
and world connections within and across different contexts
and genres. An emphasis on the integration of listening,
speaking, reading, and writing skills supports the continued
development of processes while providing a framework for
college and career readiness.
Unit 2A: Analyzing Poetic Structure
This unit bundles student expectations that address word
study, reading, and writing to support the analysis and
creation of poetry using structure, poetic forms and literary
techniques specific to the genre. Students examine
literature to make important personal and world
connections within and across different contexts and
genres. An emphasis on the integration of listening,
reading, and writing skills allow the continued
development of processes while providing a foundation for
college and career readiness.
2nd Nine Weeks
Unit 2B: Deeper Analysis Through Drama
This unit bundles student expectations that address word
study, writing and reading to support understanding of how
elements and techniques enhance plot in drama and
encourages appreciation of classical and traditional
dramatic text while providing a foundation for script
writing. Students examine literature and related media to
make important personal and world connections within
and across different contexts and genres. An emphasis on
the integration of listening, speaking, reading and writing
skills allow the continued development of processes while
providing a foundation for college and career readiness.
Unit 3: Analyzing Informational Text
This unit bundles student expectations that address word
study, reading and writing of expository and procedural
texts. Students examine text and media to make important
personal and world connections within and across different
contexts and genres. An emphasis on the integration of
listening, reading, and writing skills allow the continued
development of processes while providing a foundation for
college and career readiness.

3rd Nine Weeks


Unit 4: Purposeful Persuasion
This unit bundles student expectations that address
persuasive text (e.g., political debates) and media literary
(e.g., web pages, online information, television,
documentaries, commercials, blogs, newspapers) for the
purpose of shaping perceptions and beliefs about reality.
Students examine what the media and text present, how it
does so, and what factors affect the way it is created.
Through the study of print and non-print, students identify
and analyze the effect of persuasive techniques in order to
incorporate them into their own writing and to facilitate
informed decision making.
Unit 5A: Connecting Genres
This unit bundles student expectations that address word
study, writing and reading to support understanding of
multiple genres. Students re-examine literary and
informational text to make important personal and world
connections within and across different contexts and
genres. An emphasis on the integration of listening,
speaking, reading and writing skills allow the continued
development of processes while providing a foundation for
college and career readiness.
4th Nine Weeks
Unit 5B: College and Career Connections
This unit bundles student expectations that address word
study, reading and writing of expository and procedural
texts, with a focus on college and career connections.
Students read fictional text independently to deepen
understanding of theme, genre, structure, and elements.

Unit 6: Marshaling Evidence


This unit bundles student expectations that address the
research process of gathering, synthesizing, organizing, and
presenting ideas and information. An emphasis on each
step of the research process is highlighted in order to
reinforce critical thinking that will continue to develop and
lay the foundation for future research in college and career
pathways. Students read fictional text independently to
deepen understanding of theme, genre, structure, and
elements.
taallen@duncanvilleisd.org
(972) 708-6906

Guidelines for Success


Students are expected to:
1) Be respectful to others.
2) Arrive on time and be prepared with necessary materials each class period.
3) Actively participate in class discussions and reading/writing activities.
4) Begin working on the bell ringer activity as soon as the tardy bell rings.
Parent Expectations
1) Require high and exemplary performance from your child.
2) Check Home Access Center (HAC) for grade averages, missing assignments, etc.
3) Keep an open line of communication with me on a consistent basis.
Discipline Policy
In my classroom, we follow the campus CHAMPS plan. Expectations regarding conversation, help, activity,
movement, and participation for various activities are provided on posters around the room which coincide with the
guidelines listed above.
If a student chooses to not follow the classroom expectations, I will take the following steps:
1) First infraction-verbal warning
2) Second infraction-private conversation with student
3) Third infraction-parent will be notified
4) Fourth infraction-parent conference
Severe Clause: In case of severe misbehavior, such as fighting, profanity, vandalizing, or disrupting the function of
class, the student will be referred immediately to the principal. These are referred to as non-negotiable.
Cellphone/Portable Devices: Duncanville High School is a BYOD campus (Bring Your Own Device), and I support
integrating technological devices into the classroom. However, I expect all students to place their cellphone or device
upside down on their desks until they are instructed to use them. The first time a student is asked to put their
phone/device down, it will be taken up for the remainder of the class period. The second time a student is asked to
put their phone/device down, it will be taken up, given to the front office, and a parent/guardian is required to pay
$15.00 in order to get the phone back.
Grading Policy
CATEGORY
Classwork
Major Assignments/Projects
Tests
Homework

WEIGHT
60%
20%
15%
5%

Required Materials
Please be prepared with these supplies by Monday, August 31st.
1) Pencils and pens (no light color inks, please)
2) Loose leaf notebook paper
3) A folder or divider in a large binder
taallen@duncanvilleisd.org
(972) 708-6906

Materials to stay in classroom:


1) 3-Subject notebook***
2) (2) Packages of index cards
3) (3) Packages of sticky notes
4) (2) Boxes of tissues
Technology Information
Please make sure your email address is up to date in the system. I send frequent updates on what is happening in
class. In addition to the websites listed below, I will also be utilizing a new system called Remind
(www.remind.com). Instructions regarding sign up will be sent via email.
Class Web Page: http://mrsaenglish2dhs.weebly.com/
Twitter: @MrsAEnglish2DHS

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. It is extremely important to keep communication open between
us, and I would love to talk to whenever you feel the need to discuss your childs progress. I look forward to working
with you.
Sincerely,

Tara Allen

taallen@duncanvilleisd.org
(972) 708-6906

Please return by September 1st (A) or 2nd (B) for a homework pass!
I have received a copy of the grading policy, late work policy, classroom expectations, and agree to comply.
Parent Signature ___________________________________________________________________

Student Signature __________________________________________________________________

Please use the space provided below to communicate any concerns, celebrations, or details that you would like me
to know. It takes some time to get to know each student. Any input you can provide helps aid in the process.

taallen@duncanvilleisd.org
(972) 708-6906