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English II (World Lit.) syllabus


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English II Course Syllabus

Mr. Farnen

Revised Aug. 19, 2012





Planning periods:      for both semesters – 3A (11:20 – 1:10) and 3B (11:20 – 1:10)         


Availability:               7:30 – 8:00 am every day, 3:30 – 4:30 pm daily, during plan,

or by appointment


Phone:                        School – 742-3312

Home – 740-5000


Email:                         jfarnen@usd415.org


Teacher webpage:     www.hiawathaschools.org; go to “Teacher Web Pages” under the “Faculty

and Staff” menu and select “James Farnen”; the syllabus, reading lists, and other items will be posted there regularly






Personal Oath

I am not here to give you knowledge or the tools you need to be successful because I do not have them to give, but I will do everything in my power as your teacher to help you find them for yourselves.


Course Description and General Expectations

Welcome! The scope of English II, World Literature, will be to acquaint you with literature of the world—especially Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, and Russia—in all eras and across all genres. The goal is to get each of you focused on further developing your own reading, writing, critical thinking, language, and speaking and listening skills, as well as to get you acquainted with the cultural and historical richness of the world. In developing these skills and acquainting ourselves with unfamiliar cultures and ideas, we are preparing ourselves to navigate the world beyond high school, whatever it holds for each of us. The more you apply yourself, the more you challenge yourself, the more questions you ask and seek answers to, the more you stand to gain from this class.


Classroom Policies:

I believe that the desire to learn is a natural and important part of the human experience and that, to this end, it is one of my principal duties as a teacher to ensure that all students are provided the opportunity to learn to their fullest potential by instating and enforcing policies and procedures to manage my classroom so that no behavior is permitted that runs contrary to this aim. The four basic classroom policies that allow all students to benefit from the maximum opportunity for learning are that ALL students will…


1) Be Respectful

2) Be Responsible

3) Be Inquisitive

4) Be Involved


If everyone in the class will observe these simple policies then I know we will have an enjoyable and very productive year.



Classroom Daily Procedures: 

  1. Be in your seat at the sounding of the bell signaling the start of class.
  2. Be working on the day’s Journal Prompt (posted on the whiteboard) when the bell rings signaling the start of class.
  3. Write down the day’s “Home Extensions” items in your planner.
  4. Give me your attention when I require it, and I will reciprocate.
  5. Participate in whatever it is we’re doing in class—it makes the 85 minutes seem to pass a lot faster.
  6. Wait for Mr. Farnen to dismiss you at the end of class. Do not assume that the bell dismisses you.


Necessary Supplies:

  • Pens (blue, black, red) and pencils
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Three-ring binder (one inch)
  • Subject dividers (optional, for your organizational convenience)
  • A spiral notebook (preferably specifically for English—this will be your journal for the year)



Grading/Make-Up Work/Late Work Policies

The grading scale implemented by Hiawatha High School is as follows:



97 – 100



77 – 79


94 – 96



74 – 76


90 – 93



70 – 73


87 – 89



67 – 69


84 – 86



64 – 66


80 – 83



60 – 63





0 - 59


Your grades in this course will accumulate with points earned through daily assignments and daily participation, as well as major assignments such as essays, projects, presentations, tests, exams, quizzes, etc.


Make-up Work:

In the case of school related absence, it is your responsibility to turn in assignments and request class work prior to leaving for the activity. You will be expected to be prepared for class when you return from the activity.


In the case of other absences, it is your responsibility to request missed class work from me as soon as you return to classes. You will then have one additional class period for each day missed to turn in the work. If work is not turned in by this point, the late work policy will apply. If an assignment was due on the day you missed class, that assignment should be turned in the following school (NOT class) day. Failure to do so will result in application of the late policy.


Late work:

Failure to turn in a completed assignment by its due date will result in a 10% deduction per day of the grade earned. You will have a total of 5 consecutive school days—not class days—to turn in the daily homework. After 5 days you will not receive credit for the assignment. IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING AN ASSIGNMENT COME TO ME IMMEDIATELY! DO NOT WAIT!!!


If you are absent on the day of a test, the retake must be scheduled for before/after school within five days of the test date. Failure on the part of a student to schedule a retake time and date with me within the five days will result in a grade of zero for the test.


TIP: Use your planner to keep track of due dates for assignments and dates of tests. 



Course Requirements and Grading Breakdown


  1. Daily Participation (approx. 20% of final grade) – Participation points will be available most class periods. These points will be easily earned as long as you:
  • are in your seat by the warning bell
  • come to class prepared with materials and assignments
  • demonstrate attentiveness by asking questions and providing constructive commentary and by refraining from off-topic conversation
  • contribute constructively in class discussions and group work
  • complete each day’s journal assignment in class
  • work on days provided to you for working—i.e. researching in the library instead of showing your neighbor Google Ninja for the millionth time


  1. Journal Exercises (approx. 10% of final grade) – Every day there will be a journal prompt or other warm-up posted on the board. These may be grammar exercises, standards practice, personal reflections, etc. They are to be begun at the sounding of the first bell and concluded when I signal their conclusion. WARNING: Failure to keep careful track of journal responses and/or to record a response for each prompt will adversely affect your grade.


  1. In-class assignments/Homework (approx. 20% of final grade) – To be announced.


  1. Major Essays, Projects, Presentations and Examinations (approx. 50% of final grade) – To be announced.


  1. Notes (included in Participation grade) – Far from being a cruelty, the notes you take are primarily for your benefit. Usually I will give you fair warning when an occasion in class calls for note-taking. You are also encouraged to use this section in your portfolios to take notes on the texts we read both inside and outside of class. There will be cases when these notes may be used during tests.  



Discipline and Tardiness 

Appropriate behavior is expected at all times in the classroom. Unacceptable behavior will be subject to disciplinary consequences. Inconvenience detentions (15 minutes with me either before or after school) will be given for infractions. Further infractions will be dealt with in accordance to the student handbook guidelines for “Levels of Unacceptable Behavior and their Consequences.”


You are expected to be in class on time, which means you are in your seat and ready to begin class when the bell rings. You will be counted tardy if you arrive after the bell without a pass from another teacher. You will need to be sure to bring all supplies to class, as going back to your locker to retrieve materials will result in a tardy. Your first tardy will be your only warning. The second tardy and all subsequent tardies will be recorded during attendance. Three tardies equal one unexcused absence, no exceptions.



Extra Credit

Extra credit will be available at certain points each academic quarter and will be offered to the class as a whole. No extra credit will be offered individually.  

















Guidelines for coursework: (paper headings, etc.) 


Be sure to follow these guidelines for ALL typewritten assignments:


  • One-inch margins on all sides. (File/Page Setup/Margins)
  • Double space the entire document. (Format/Paragraph/Line Spacing)
  • Use Times New Roman 12 point font (Ariel if you’re feeling jaunty)
  • Center the title. Please do not underline, italicize, make bold, or increase the font size.
  • Use appropriate heading.




Jane Smith


English I


Mr. Farnen


August 17, 2010


My Paper Title




_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _



I verify that I have read, understood, and will abide by all parts of Mr. Farnen’s course syllabus.

Print:___________________________   Sign:________________________________



I have read and understand the course syllabus for Mr. Farnen’s English course.

Print:__________________________   Sign:_________________________________


Preferred method of contact (circle one and provide information):