European Literature

12th Grade CAST Literature, 2013-14               Miss Cossick

Class Syllabus                                                  Room 318

Course Description

In this course we will explore various pieces of literature with the intention of learning about ourselves and our world. Our ultimate goal will be to grow and develop as people and as readers, writers, and learners. In order to do this we must challenge ourselves, question ourselves and others, and maintain a positive reflective nature.


Course Purpose, Goals, and Objectives

In this course, students will: develop their vocabularies, reading fluency, write a number of compositions of different genres as proscribed by the California Content Standards for English/Language Arts, respond to and analyze literature, and practice and develop their speaking and writing skills using standard English conventions.



  • Listen to instructions and follow directions
  • Be curious and engaged learners
    • Attend all classes on time.
    • Turn cell phone off while in class
  • Fully complete all assignments on time.
  • Act in a professional manner at all times.
  • Participate and make the most of class time
    • Show respect for all people at all times.
    • Come to class with all materials
    • Do not miss more than 5 days of school/semester


Grading Policy: All assignments, both big and small, are worth points and your grade will be determined by the amount of points you have at the end of each grading period. Grades are posted on School Loop and are updated as often as possible—usually about every other week.  Late work can be made-up once completing a Missed Assignment Form (please see Late Work Policy below) and it is accepted for partial credit and will be graded by the end of the grading period. Be aware that School Loop is not always reflective of the present. You are responsible for keeping track of your assignments. Grades are recorded in a hardcopy grade-book and the data is input to School Loop. Great attempts are made to keep School Loop up to date.


90-100%=A        80-89%=B         70-79%=C         60-69%=D      59% or less=F

Late Work Policy: In order to complete make up work, students must complete a Missed Assignment Form the day they return from their absence. Homework is always due in one days time while other assignments can be discussed and are flexible. As according to Balboa High School policy, make up work is ONLY given to students who have a readmit slip (indicating an excused absence).


Attendance:   Students must be present 90% of the grading period to receive an A and 85% a grading period to receive a B.  This means you cannot miss more than 3 days for an A and 4 days for a B*


Consequences for Students Having Three or More Unexcused Absences:

  • No late or make-up work will be provided for the rest of the semester.
  • Participation grade = F for the quarter.


Tardiness: Three tardies in one grading period* will result in the loss of five participation points for the grading period.



* in the case of special circumstances, Miss Cossick will always make exceptions. Please feel free to talk to me if you are in a situation that needs special attention and we can work something out.


BBC:  Every class you have at Balboa High School will have four similar items posted on the blackboard: “Do Now,” aim, lesson steps, and homework.  “Do Nows” are completed during the first four minutes of class. You receive a stamp that counts as one point and they will all be added up at the end of each grading period. Please note that the “Do Nows” cannot be made up, even if the student has an excused absence/tardy with the only exception being the case of late buses. The points are such that a few absences should not affect your letter grade. The Aim is the lesson’s objective for the day. Lesson steps are the events that will occur throughout the class. Having them listed on the BBC lets you know the answer to “What are we doing in class today?”


Homework:  Per Balboa High School policy, homework will be assigned daily.  The homework will be listed on the BBC when you come in every morning. When you are absent, you must connect with me the day that you return and get a Missed Assignment Form (MAF). You must get your MAF the day that you return from your absence; details of the new due date will be decided together and written on the form.


How You Earn Your Grade:

1.)  Participation: At the beginning of each grading period, your Class Participation Grade is 45 points, which is an A. If you want an A+, you may volunteer for a variety of in-class opportunities including attendance, note-taking, blog posts, etc. The Class Participation Grade relies on positive behavior, which means that tardies, disruptions, disrespect, and lack of involvement in classroom activities and procedures will result in loss of class participation grade.


2.)  Class-work: Keep yourself organized and keep track of your assignments so that you are aware of what your grade is.  Take notes when you think it is necessary; do not expect to be told to take notes.  Practice independence.  Always record your homework assignment that way you have a record of all homework throughout the year.


3.) Quizzes:  We have regular quizzes and pop! quizzes. The possibility of a pop quiz will be based on our progress in a novel, the teacher’s need to check for understanding of a subject/topic, and/or it could be based on poor student conduct. They can be given at any time. Regularly scheduled quizzes include a vocabulary quiz given every other week, totaling three per grading period.  Once per grading period, CAST students are expected to develop an artistic representation of vocabulary terms rather than submit definitions and sentences. Details will be provided.


4.) Homework:  This is an important part of every day’s lesson.  It wraps things up for the day, and starts things off the next day.  The credit/points add up quickly giving you a feeling of major accomplishment.  When absent, be sure to pick up a Missed Assignment Form (MAF).


5.) Quote Response Journal:  The “Quote of the Week” allows for a written response to a content related and often student provided quote that is displayed in the classroom for the entire week. Students will respond to the quote in their journals following the guidelines we will discuss in class. These journals will be kept in the classroom, however, a student may remove them if they choose. Responses to the quote of the week will be recorded in the journals.


6.) Weekly Debates: In groups, students will be given a debate topic each week that they will explore, analyze, and develop an argument in support of or against. Students will provide solid evidence to support their stance. A rubric will be provided and discussed before the first debate.


7.) DEAR Entries:  DEAR is an acronym: Drop Everything And Read.  DEAR is silent reading that will be held every day at the beginning of class for the first 10-15 minutes.  At the end of each week, students will complete a response in a reading journal/log.


8.) Assessments: The assessments, or tests, are used to evaluate your mastery of specific skills and/or information. They come in a variety of forms to meet the needs of the diverse group of learners in the classroom. Essays (biographical narrative, persuasive, expository), speeches, blogs, Power Point presentations, journals, video production, short answers, multiple choice, as well as portfolios will be used to determine the level of mastery a student has achieved.


9.) Midterm Exam/Final Exam:  Much preparation is expected from each student for these exams, and therefore I plan to inform you as to what content these tests will cover.  You will receive a study guide.


Literature and Theme Overview for 2013-4


Grading Period

Literature and Theme

Details of Assessment

1st: Narrative

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Mental Health Students will write a narrative short piece focusing on the struggles of an individual who experiences issues with mental health.

2nd: Research and Informational

Short Stories: Change verses Tradition Students will create a photographic essay accompanied by an informative speech that defines the culture of change and growth through the generations in America.

3rd: Expository

Persepolis: Gender Studies and Oppression Students will develop a biographical presentation using Power Point OR they will create their own graphic novel that focuses on an influential woman who inspired others and/or changed the world.

4th: Expository

Taming of the Shrew: Feminist Studies Students will explore the tendencies and stereotypes of gender, recording their thoughts, opinions, research findings, assigned worksheets, etc. in a journal to be submitted at the end of the quarter.

5th: Research

1984: Propaganda Students will generate an inquiry question that will lead them on a quest to discover the answer through surveys, interviews, and data analysis.

6th: Information

Nonfiction Unit: Rhetoric Students will choose a modern social issue/cause and immerse themselves into the subject collecting data in a variety of ways culminating in a documentary style video production.


How to contact me and get help:


Please do contact me and see me for help or to answer any questions.

• You may always email me at

• You may message me through School Loop.

• You may call me at school at 415-469-4090 during school hours.

• You may come to my room for lunchtime study hall for help or just a place to study/ read/work.

• Please make an appointment if you absolutely need to see me as I often have meetings during lunch/after school.



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