English Studies 12

English Studies 12 is a difficult, yet provincially mandated, course that carries strong impact on your future whether immediate or distant.  To ensure your success in this course please make use of resources provided for you to advocate for your learning needs:  attend seminar, turn on notifications for the the Class Teams page, check the general channel daily, email me, and arrange for a “buddy” to inform you of information you may have missed if absent.  Most importantly, attend on a regular basis.  The number one reason why students do not do well in this course is due to absence.  Throughout the previous years of your academic career, you may have missed certain skills that you require for the successful completion of this course.  These cannot be made up if you continue to miss classes.  I am available to meet with you in addition to seminar hours (which will be in room E118) before school and after school with appointments.  A quick email will often suffice to set up an appointment.

The BC English Studies 12 learning standards state:

English…is a foundational curriculum that equips students with the language and literacy skills they will need for success in school, community, career, and life. It provides students with the opportunity to become effective communicators, to develop and express their own ideas, and to think deeply and critically about the ideas of others…The English Language Arts curriculum is designed to empower students to become thoughtful, ethical, and responsible citizens of a diverse society. As they explore texts, students come to understand the influences shaping Canadian society and the unique contribution of First Peoples to our country’s and province’s heritage…Through the English Language Arts curriculum, students gain a repertoire of communication skills, including the ability to interact, on a local and global level, with information from a variety of sources and in multiple modes. Within this repertoire is the ability to critically evaluate digital media, a crucial skill for today’s students. As they become effective and literate users of language, students are able to use these and other skills in achieving their personal, educational, social, and career goals.

Assessment:  Throughout the next 5 months we will study elements of a story, the play, media, poetry and essays.  Assessment of your knowledge understanding and skills will occur through course competencies developed as we engage with this content. All means of assessment gather data on your proficiency in the competencies.   

The principles of learning under which I teach are these:

  • Learning requires the active participation of the student.
  • People learn in a variety of ways and at different rates.
  • Learning is both an individual and a group process.
  • A student cannot be adequately assessed on learning until teaching has taken place.

Before a teacher can begin to teach, they must first assess students’ prior knowledge and skills against the expected learning standards of the course.  This is the formative assessment.  Once educational needs are determined, design of curriculum can begin.  Some students require extra time to learn knowledge and skills.  Every time we do an assessed assignment there will be an optional opportunity to complete an alternate assessment.  For example, I assess students’ knowledge of a short story and the competencies we have been developing through a circle discussion.  You are still working on the skills required to be an effective speaker in this situation and you feel that if you were allowed to try again, you could do better.  An alternate assessment time with an alternate topic may be provided.  It is up to you to advocate for those needs and to ensure that you are attending alternate appointments. 

Formative Assignments: some assignments, or even portions of assignments, are formative.  These assignments will not be used in the final grade but will be used on the first report card as they are indicators of your abilities either before teaching begins or during the learning process.  The completion of these assignments is necessary to your overall success within the course as they provide you with opportunities to build skills and knowledge as we progress to more difficult levels.  Note: the final report card makes use of summative assessment only to determine your grade level based on the learning standards for English Studies 12. 

Late Assignments/Incomplete assignments:  whether formative or summative, these effect your grade as they are either not providing the necessary data to ensure your learning needs are being met, they are not being provided in time to affect the design of instruction, or they are not giving you the necessary feed-back you require to aid in skill acquisition and/or adjustment of misunderstanding of content.  Students not completing summative assignments will find themselves receiving first an “I” which could become a “0” as assessments of their abilities could not be made due to assignments not submitted.  If you are absent or you do not have an assignment completed on time, it is expected that you will attend the first flex you can once you have returned and complete and submit that assessment at that time.  If you do not, then the only manner in which you can make up a late/missed assignment is to attend the 1 scheduled alternate. 

Assessment is an art:  in determining a final letter grade for you for this course I apply a method that requires analysis of the scope of your learning: are you demonstrating growth at the end of a unit and at the end of the course?  If so, I give less weight to assessments at the beginning when learning was just starting to happen.  Did you seem to misunderstand instruction on an assessment and so did not perform as well as you had been doing on other similar assessments?  If so, I would also give less weight to that assessment.  In essence, I am looking for a pattern.  In addition, I do not assign numbers for your work, only letter grades.  Here is the grid showing how that grade will be represented as a percent for the purposes of formal reporting:

B- 76%   F 0-40%

As a final note:  Fundamentally I believe that respect and honesty are extremely important.  To that end, I ask that you be honest with yourself and me at all times.  If you do not understand something, if you have gotten behind, if you are having a bad day, it is best to be honest about how that is affecting your learning and seek support to get back on track.  “I forgot to do the homework” is often the reply given by someone who actually found the work too difficult or just didn’t know how to begin and did not want to admit it to themselves or their teacher.  Honesty will only help you get the job done, with the support I am more than happy to offer.

I look forward to working with you,

Tara Olchowy