Digital Media Design


Kearny High Educational Complex

English Syllabus

English 1-2 /Mrs. Clay

Grading Policy

Standards-based Assessments......................

Final Drafts / Projects..................................

Classwork / Noteboook/Quizzes.................

Independent Reading/Homework…………





Class participation / Attendance…………..


* Extra Credit not to exceed 2%

** If a student chooses not to complete any one of the above categories, that student will receive a zero in Class Participation / Attendance for the grading period.

Independent Reading Expectations

Between dialectical journals, book projects, and oral presentations, independent reading accounts for more than just your daily homework. This reference sheet details exactly what you will be expected to complete in order to earn the 20% of your class grade based on independent reading and related assignments.

Independent Reading: “What is it?” and “What can I read for credit?”

“Independent” reading means exactly that – you have the “freedom” to choose what you read – provided that the material is challenging enough for you as a reader and appropriate for class discussion. The books listed on the attached page have been approved by your English teacher for independent reading. You may also choose a book that is not on this list, but your selection must be approved by your English teacher before investing time in that book for credit.

Dialectical Journal Entries 

Dialectical journal entries are a way for you to interact with the material you read and track your progress as a reader. After you read each night, complete an entry in your dialectical journal with the appropriate details from the book, as well as your response to what you read.  You may wish to discuss what you read with someone, if you’re looking for a place to start with your response to the reading.

Date (dd/mm/yy)

Book Title


“Quote” (including page #)

Reader response

Student signature

Parent/Guardian signature

Note: Journal entries will be stamped for “completion credit” at the start of each class. Dialectical journals will also be collected on Fridays (every 2 weeks) and reviewed for the quality of their contents.

Book Projects 

Dialectical journal entries account for only half of the total independent reading requirement for this class; to account for the other half of this grade, you must complete a “book project” for each independent reading book you read this year.  At minimum each book project (regardless of its form) should demonstrate that you have read the book and are able to share with other people important ideas and/or details about what you have read.

For this independent book project you are to respond to your choice of 5 of the questions listed below. Your responses must be thorough in what you discuss, and effectively written taking into consideration the methods you have learned in class. For example you should write about characterization, theme, imagery, or other literary ways of looking at writing. All writing must be in standard English with few or no mistakes.

Please include a heading with your name, date, and class period. Write the title (underlined) and the author’s name. Write the number of pages. Type written is preferred, but if you must hand write it must be easy to read. Choose 5 of the following, they can be in any order. Include page numbers for all quotes.

1. Discuss a theme or motif from your book. What is it? Provide evidence from the novel in the form of quotation(s).

2. Using specific detail, give an interesting and engaging summary of the novel.

3. Who would you recommend this book to, and why? Use specific examples.

4. Discuss any cultural, religious, ethnic, political, geographical or other issues that impact the novel. Focus on one aspect and give evidence.

5. Discuss the setting and it’s impact on the novel. Why is the setting important?

How does it effect character development? What is the time period and why is that important?

6. Discuss a character from the novel. Describe him/her and support it with 2 examples from the story. Cite the page number.

7. What person or incident has the most impact on the main character? Discuss how and why.

8. What conclusions can you draw about the author from reading this book? Be specific in your explanation.

9. Discuss the conflict in the novel. How do the main characters resolve the conflict?

10. Choose a quote and explain the significance in terms of characterization, plot development, or theme.

11. What parts of the novel have been challenging for you to read? What aspects have been enjoyable? Explain.

12. Describe the style or dialects used in the story. What effect does it have on the reader?