Hutchinson Central Technical High School

Course Syllabus


Course Name: AP English Language and Composition

Instructor: Mr. Falcone            Contact Time: 11:42-12:23         Phone Ext: 1304


Grading Policy
Please see Course Outline below for complete Course Syllabus!



Homework Policy
Please see Course Outline below for complete Course Syllabus!



Test Policy
Please see Course Outline below for complete Course Syllabus!



Quiz Policy
Please see Course Outline below for complete Course Syllabus!



Please see Course Outline below for complete Course Syllabus!



Course Outline
Course Description

Welcome to AP English Language and Composition. This course is designed to teach the skills students need to succeed in a college level writing course and will follow the curricular requirements described in the AP Language and Composition Course Description published by the College Board. It is also intended to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. In this class there is a strong focus on helping students develop critical thinking skills and life skills. We do this by emphasizing individual talents and trying to improve upon our weaknesses. English is a humanity, and in simple terms this means the curriculum will touch upon human qualities. For instance, we will develop communication and leadership skills, as well as understand the importance of having both long-term and short-term goals. The goal is to empower students to gain ownership of their education and take charge of their future.

In this classroom students will read multi-cultural literature from a variety of authors across a vast number of genres. Every student will delve into an array of reading selections in an effort to broaden horizons and improve reading skills. In terms of writing, students must feel comfortable writing before they can be expected to write good essays. As a result, students will engage in creative writing assignments on a consistent basis and will use this as a springboard into the world of formal essays. These types of assignments will create an environment that encourages both imagination and creativity.

Students must come into the class expecting an intensive writing experience. They will be required to complete in class timed essays, out of class revised and polished works, reflective writing, peer and self-edits, research projects, and a hodgepodge of other written and spoken activities designed to increase their lexicon of rhetorical techniques.

The focus of this classroom is on the New York State Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy. Every lesson will address at least one of these standards and by doing this the students will be prepared for their final exam. This course will provide students with the opportunity to engage in a series of hands-on learning activities and this classroom will be student centered.

Finally, throughout the year students will be preparing for the New York State Common Core English Regents Exam. It is based on the NYS Common Core English Standards/Curriculum, and consists of an argument essay, a rhetorical analysis response and several multiple-choice questions. Students will receive an outline for each written piece, and we will do several practice essays as we move on through the year.

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to prepare students for a rigorous first year college writing program. The goal is to enhance the ability of students to use writing as a major tool in their lives regardless of their major, or career. As a result, students will learn that writing can be used to learn about themselves as individuals, to entertain an audience, and as a means to develop both critical thinking and creativity. By providing students with several opportunities to use course readings as a foundation to build from, research projects, creative writing topics, and personal essays, students will be able to develop a style of writing uniquely their own. This class is set up based upon the current guidelines for this AP course. This means students will be expected to write on a variety of topics, and develop their critical thinking skills, creativity skills, and overall communication skills. Also, students will be expected to read critically, think analytically, and develop their own sense of “voice”. Ultimately, this course hopes to prepare students for the AP exam offered in Language and Composition, so that they have a chance to be granted college credit. More importantly, students will be better prepared for life.

Material for Class (the following is required for when we return to in-person learning)

• District laptop
• Headphones/earbuds
• Three-ring binder for relevant handouts, notes, & vocabulary (1” maximum and to be used exclusively for English ONLY…NOT to be shared with any other class)
• Wide ruled or college ruled loose-leaf paper for binder
• Blue or black pens (I will not accept work completed with pencil as grading and teacher comments are completed in pencil)
• Tab Dividers to keep your binder organized (optional, but recommended)
• Highlighters (optional)

** Throughout the duration of virtual instruction, students are expected to be able to access Schoology and Microsoft Teams via their district-issued laptop.

The ‘Updates’ and ‘Materials’ Section for the course are used daily and in tandem. Students are expected to check the ‘Updates’ Section DAILY, as there will be instructions posted on how class time will be utilized, whether it be synchronously OR asynchronously. Instructions will refer to any materials in the ‘Materials’ Section that will need to be accessed/completed.

Microsoft Teams:
Students will promptly attend a Team meeting for any time the class is scheduled to meet synchronously. It is these meetings Mr. Falcone will use to deliver instruction upon which assignments are based. Team meetings will also be utilized on asynchronous days, when deemed necessary. Students will be expected to join the class “Team,” in addition to attending the aforementioned meetings.


Very simply put, every student is expected to come to class every day prepared to work. This means having your appropriate supplies/materials each and every day. As this is a college level course, you should be competent writers and recognize that the workload is both challenging and places a high level of expectation on you with regard to performance. With the long-term nature of many of the projects and assigned readings, effective time management is crucial. Students are expected to hand in assignments on time. If a student knows in advance that they are going to be absent for a long period of time or that they will not going to be able to hand in an assignment on time, then it is strongly recommended that they find a moment to talk to me about the situation.

You should be prepared to participate in pair work, small group and/or whole class discussion and should be active contributors to our process of creating meaning. You should have your own voice in class, and, at the same time, respect the contributions of your classmates. You may disagree with their interpretation; however, you should state your disagreement in a manner that is conducive to literary debate rather than personal opposition.

Overall, we want to strive for excellence and every student is asked to perform at that level. If we want to be successful, we all must respect one another and work together. We anticipate this to be an exciting year, filled with active engagement, learning, and preparation for the future, a journey upon which we will embark together!


• Students are expected to attend class regularly and on time. Attendance (on both synchronous and asynchronous days) in this class is mandatory. Attendance is recorded at the beginning of each synchronous class. You are to be on time for class. On asynchronous days, check the ‘Updates’ Section on Schoology for an explanation of how attendance will be taken that day.
All assignments are due prior to the start of the class period and on the specified due date. Assignments not submitted prior to the start of class may not be accepted.
• Regardless of whether a student is present or absent from class, each student is responsible for checking the ‘Updates’ and ‘Upcoming’ Sections on Schoology and for getting the class notes.
• Late work may or may not be accepted depending on the assignment; late work that is accepted will receive a penalty of 10% per day late, for up to 5 days. However, if a student is unable to submit an assignment, it is critical that the student communicate this to the teacher well in advance of the due date for a possible extension. Every effort will be made in accommodating a student’s request but cannot be guaranteed for a variety of reasons. For instance, if the teacher goes over the assignment in class on the day it is due, late submissions cannot be accepted for that assignment. A student will receive zero credit for assignments not submitted.
• Students will not pass this course if their work is consistently late, or if they submit the bulk of their work toward the end of the quarter.
• You are to be respectful of all class members. Rude and disruptive behavior is not tolerated in this class. Foul language, derogatory remarks, and disrespect toward classmates and/or the teacher will not be tolerated.
Cheating and plagiarism on schoolwork will result in a zero on the assignment (Please read Academic Integrity below).

Grading Policy

Grades in this course will assess progress over time—improvement and hard work. Grades will reflect commitment which may include but is not limited to the following: attention to knowledge and acquisition and improvement in literary study, timely efforts, class attendance and participation, working cooperatively to acquire knowledge and help others improve writing and reading analysis. Grading will be based on class discussion and activities during class, out-of-class reading and other assignments, and writing in and out of class.

Every assignment that is given will be have a numerical value placed on it depending on its level of difficulty, time spent completing it, and/or level of importance. Your course average will be calculated based on Points Earned (on all assignments – in and out of class, activities, participation, writing) and divided by Total Possible Points. Therefore, all grades will be added to the Assignments category and assigned a point value based upon its weight. For example, if a student earns 170 points out of 200 total possible points, their overall average for the course is 85%.

 Please note that I do not curve/drop the lowest grades or assign extra credit work. Anyone that knows me knows how approachable I am. If you experience any challenges with the coursework you need to let me know right away.

Course Outline
Please understand that this outline serves as a general guideline for the work we will cover together and may be subject to change. Students should expect to be assigned work a minimum of twice a week. All assigned work will be posted simultaneously to Schoology (please see ‘Policies’ above) and Infinite Campus/Parent Portal.

Semester One
• Teacher and Student Introduction/Icebreaker
• Microsoft Teams and OneNote Discussion
• Syllabus & Digital Citizenship Practices and Expectations Discussion
• Diagnostic Assessment(s)
• Introduction to AP English Language and Composition
• Introduction to Writing Friday’s
• Goals Writing Assignment
• Discussion on why we study English
• Description/Imagination Writing Assignment
• What is “Close Reading”?
• “The Birthday Party” Reading and Writing Activity
• Discussion of Project #1 (see Projects section below)
• Stream of Consciousness Writing Assignment
• Discussion on why we write and on using outlines
• Introduction to the Foundation of Writing (Introduction, Body Paragraph Section, Conclusion)
• COGWOSNA Writing Assignment
• “Walden” Reading and Writing Assignment
• “Walden” Peer Editing Activity
• Strangers Writing Assignment
• Discussion on rhetoric
• Writing Strategy Notebook
• Introduction to Analysis Protocol
• Explanation A Reference Sheet
• Performing a Rhetorical Analysis
• Thank You Writing Assignment
• “Self-Reliance” Reading and Writing Assignment
• “Self-Reliance” Peer Editing Activity

**Semester Two outline will be forthcoming.


Each project has a variety of purposes designed specifically to enhance writing skills, research skills, and critical thinking skills. The students will have the opportunity to explore several goals, several topics, and develop their own “voice”. In each case students will receive a period of a few weeks to work on it. There will be a rough draft and a final copy. Also, at least once during the process, students will review and offer advice to their peers. The teacher will sit down and conference one on one with each student to discuss the use of the rhetoric skill at hand, and discuss ways to improve upon it to help build understanding. The student and the teacher will review the devices, the definitions, and how the overall goal of each mode at hand is being applied. There will be at least one, but maybe two projects due per marking period. The following is a tentative listing of projects we may complete over the course of the academic school year.

First Semester

1. “Visions of the Future” –
The main purpose of this assignment is to help students develop a strategy to writing a research paper, and incorporate literature into their writing. Also, students will be better prepared to make a good decision regarding college or university.
2. “Autobiography” –
The main purpose of this assignment is for students to introduce themselves to their classmates. All students will write this paper, and then one or two students will read their papers at the beginning of class each day. In this essay students will present one incident, event, or experience which has changed their lives or made them into the people they have become.
3. “Disease” –
The main purpose of this assignment is to enhance writing, research, and critical thinking skills. Students will learn and understand that good writing skills go far beyond the English classroom, and in this case will explore the medical field. Also, students will reflect upon humanity, and will learn to appreciate their own health.
4. “Photography” –
The purpose of this assignment is to help students understand the premise that everything in life has a story to tell. Also, students will use technology to enhance their ability to write, and connect to the world around them.

Second Semester

1. “Novel” –
The purpose of this project is to help students learn the importance of independent reading, and how literature can be used to enhance our lives.
2. “Alternate Book” –
The purpose of this assignment is to bring into focus the importance of theme, and why staying on track is so vital within writing. Also, students will learn that creativity, and imagination are just as powerful of a tool in determining “voice” then lots of words.
3. “Emotion” –
The purpose of this assignment is to illustrate how emotion plays a significant role in our lives. Also, students will be able to analyze an emotion, and apply critical thought to it.

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism is not the same as cooperation or collaboration. I often expect, even encourage, students to work on assignments collectively. This is totally okay.

Collaboration is to work together (with permission) in a joint intellectual effort.

Plagiarism is to commit literary theft; to steal and pass off as one’s own ideas or words that are someone else's. When you use someone else’s words, you must put quotation marks around them and give the writer or speaker credit by citing the source. Even if you revise or paraphrase the words of someone else, if you use someone else’s ideas you must give the author credit. Ideas belong to those who create and articulate them. To use someone else’s words or ideas without giving credit to the originator is stealing.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to, copying or giving an assignment to a student to be copied (unless explicitly permitted by the teacher). Cheating also includes using, supplying, or communicating in any way unauthorized materials, including textbooks, calculators, computers or other unauthorized technology, during an exam or project.

Students are responsible for maintaining the integrity of their work. This means the person who lets his/her work get copied gets the same zero as the one who copied it! If you insist on working with a friend on an assignment/task, make sure the two of you don't submit the same (or closely similar) work. You may cite similar sources and may even use some of the same quotes to support your views, but you are all unique people who interpret and express thoughts differently. This should be reflected in your work.

I fully expect you to put forth your best effort for all the work you pass in. Failure to do so will be reflected in your grades.

Every student is strongly encouraged to ask questions as needed, to set up appointments if there are concerns of any kind, and to feel comfortable contacting me. If you have an issue that you feel needs specific attention or consideration, please let me know. Those who have talked to me have said that I can be accommodating and helpful. Communication is a critical aspect of a successful English class, and it is important every student understands he/she can always contact me.

I look forward to a successful year with you!