Disclosure -- 2017

Course Description:  This is a class for students who enjoy writing and want to improve the quality and quantity of the writing they do.   To accomplish that we will both write and read a lot.  We will practice various kinds of writing that could include memoir (personal narrative), poetry, short story, description, novel chapters, picture or short chapter books for children, directions, newspaper articles, dramatic scenes, letters, blog and wiki posts, and humor. 

For a plethora of information about our class, go to Ms. Dorsey’s Creative Writing classroom web page at cavewriting.blogspot.com.  To access it from our school home page, select  “Faculty & Staff,”  “English,” and “Claudia Dorsey.”

Texts Used:  Reading improves writing, so we will be reading “mentor texts” (translate that to “good examples of writing”) of many kinds.  We will read from Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine and Spilling Ink by Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer. Students will be able to refer to classroom textbooks for help in revision and editing: The Write Source, Great Source; Writing and Grammar, Prentice Hall.   

Materials and Fees:  Students, it is your responsibility to come to class each time with pencils, blue or black pens, and lined paper. Also bring a book to read. You will need to purchase a composition book to leave in class. A binder with dividers to organize assignments can be very helpful.  This binder could be used for more than one class.   Keep all assignments until after you have received your final grade that term.  Some assignments may be filed in the classroom.
Technology: We will be using school computer writing labs a time or two a month, but in case you don’t finish work in class (or during Cave Time), you need access to a computer and printer.  We will use Kidblog or another platform for posting, and may use MyAccess, Google Drive, Edmodo, and/or other online platforms where students will be able to post some assignments from school or from home (if you have an internet connection).
Cell phones should be turned off during school hours. 

ð Important: As we begin the semester, bring a composition book to leave in class.  &

Grading Policy: Are you tired of reading disclosure documents?  Put a smiley face on the signature page and receive a treat. J Work that will be graded includes daily class work (including appropriate participation in class activities), homework, quizzes, exams, daily scribbles, and other short and long writing assignments.
       Grading Scale:                     95-100% = A    73-76% = C
                                                90-94% = A-      70-72% = C-
                                                87-89% = B+     66-69% = D+
                                                83-86% = B       63-65% = D
                                                80-82% = B-      60-62% = D-
                                                77-79% = C+       0-59% = F

Quality Standards for Work: Final drafts of major assignments will not be accepted unless they meet the following criteria:
s Use 8 1/2x 11" paper unless otherwise indicated.
s The paper should be smooth-edged (no spiro-bits).
s Type, or write using standard blue or black ink.  
s Write on only one side of the paper.
s The product should be neat and legible.
s  Follow any additional requirements in the assignment.

Homework Policy: You will be given time in class to work on most assignments.  However, if you don’t finish in class,
your in-class work will become homework.  

Late Work Policy: Twenty percent will be deducted from points received for work turned in more than a week after the original due date. Late work due to excused absences may be turned in up to one week before the end of each term. These dates are posted on the class blog calendar.  No late work or further revisions will be accepted during the last week of each term.
However, some work is prerequisite to other work, and not having it ready on time will keep you from being able to complete other assignments.  If we make children’s books for younger students, those must be ready on time when we take the books to those students, and I will deduct up to fifty percent of the grade if that project is late.
Make wise use of Cave Time as needed to complete or make up work.

Attendance Policy: See the student planner/handbook for school policies.  If a student must miss school, a parent or guardian should call the school office or send a note to the office to have that absence excused.
Planned absences should be discussed with me in advance. 
When a student is absent:  Access information about what we have done in class at our class blog at cavewriting.blogspot.com.  The student is responsible for obtaining any materials needed to make-up work.
Class Rules:      Follow the school rules and. . .                                          F See your handbook for our school rules.E
1. Be on time. (Be in your seat working on the bell-ringer by the time the tardy bell rings.)
2. Be prepared. (Bring needed materials including a book to read, homework, or other work you should have done, and readiness to learn.)
3. Be on task.  (Be doing what you need to be doing when you need to be doing it.)
4. Help maintain a positive classroom environment by respecting yourself, the teacher, other students and staff, as well as property.
5.  Don’t bring food or drink (except water in a clear bottle), unless the teacher specifies a treat or party day.
6.  If you must, you may chew gum as long as I don't have to see it or hear it, or find it under a desk or on the floor.
You can find the School Handbook on our school website.  Look under “School Information” and click on “Student & Parent Handbook.”
Contacting Me:  School telephone: 801.610.8750, extension 200.    Classroom:  200 
Before school by appointment-- 7:30-8:10 a.m.; After school -- 2:45-3:30 p.m.; or otherwise by appointment. 
Creative writing class blog: cavewriting.blogspot.com.  
My class blogs are linked from our school site, and you can find a link to our writing class blog there.
Extra credit is occasionally available to those who read the class blog (web pages). 

š Note to Parents:  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns (or to volunteer your help).  My favorite method of communication with parents is e-mail, so if you have an account, please share your address with me right away by sending an e-mail with the subject line – “Parent of  [your student’s name].”   You could include other contact information in the message instead of filling out that part of the signature sheet attached here.  However, I will still need the signatures.
    Your seventh grade student should be taking on more responsibility for schoolwork, but he or she still needs your guidance and encouragement to keep backpack and binder(s) organized, to keep up on schoolwork, and to value the learning that’s available.   Use our school website and Skyward to stay current with what’s going on at the school and with your individual child.   I’m looking forward to working with you to help your child have a successful and enjoyable seventh grade year. 


Parent/Teacher Conference:  February 9

Please fill out the attached signature sheet and VIP Information sheet, and return to Ms. Dorsey

by  January 18.   The points for turning them in on time will count on the grade.

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