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 you will 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. The English curriculum is designed 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 amount of genres. Every student will delve into poetry, short stories, novels, a few plays if there is time, and even a few articles in an effort to broaden horizons, and improve reading skills. In terms of writing, students have to feel comfortable writing before they can be expected to write good essays. As a result, the students will engage in creative writing assignments on a consistent basis, and will use this as a springboard into the world of formal essays. We will write short stories, and we 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 main focus of this classroom is on the four learning standards for English Language Arts provided by New York State. 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 the 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 three-paragraph written 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 the students for a rigorous first year college writing program. The goal is to enhance the ability of the 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 the students with several opportunities to use course readings as a foundation to build from, research projects, creative writing topics, and personal essays, the students will be able 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 the 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

• Three-ring binder for relevant handouts, notes, & vocabulary (a ½” to 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
• Two folders with pockets and center clasps to keep Regents & AP Exam-related assignments
• 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)


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 there is some sort of extenuating circumstance, then a written explanation is expected. If a student knows in advance he/she is going to be absent for a long period of time or he/she is not going to be able to hand in an assignment on time, then it is strongly recommended that he/she find a moment to talk to me about the situation.

You should be prepared to participate in daily pair, 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 here, and every student is asked to perform at that level. We all have to respect one another, and we all have to work together if we want to be successful.
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!



• All assignments are due at the beginning of the period and on the specified due date. Students who are absent must check the course website (see next bullet point). Any homework not received on the due date will lose 10% for each day it is late. However, if a student knows ahead of time that they are going to be absent for a prolonged period or unable to submit their assignment by the due date, it is crucial that the student speak to me about the situation in advance.
• For assignments (i.e. formative and/or summative assignments, text-based questions, various writing assignments, peer edit material, etc.) which pertain to the lesson of the day, students earn no credit if they do not submit those assignments on the due date. Students earn no credit if: an assignment is due on a specific day and after being collected we immediately go over the material in class, graded work is passed back to those who submitted the assignment…essentially, once the answers are out there it would be unfair of me to collect the work from someone who didn’t turn theirs in yet. 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. Computer issues are not valid excuses for late work. Some days the workload will be heavier than others will----especially if students do not plan ahead on long term assignments. Do plan ahead! Homework, including assigned readings, is to be current whether or not a paper/project is due. All assignments must be completed on time. Therefore, due dates are considered absolute and rarely extendable. The majority of assignments will be provided to you well ahead of time, even before starting the lesson/unit, so that you can be best prepared to succeed. Keep on top of things and train yourself to see conflicts ahead of time.
“Better late than never is not half so good a proverb as better never late!”
• You may access my announcements, copies of relevant texts, handouts, homework assignments and moderated discussion groups by going to You are responsible for and expected to check Schoology on a daily basis, especially if you are absent, as I will post all work directly on this site. Therefore, do not look for an excuse as to why you couldn’t do the work expected of you.
• Successful students will attend class regularly and on time. Attendance in this class is mandatory. Attendance is recorded at the beginning of each class. You are to be on time for class. However, it is expected that you come prepared with a late pass in the event that you are tardy for class. If you are tardy, without a pass, you will be assigned a detention…NO EXCUSE!
• Successful students will demonstrate skills indicative of quality workers by bringing required materials (this includes assignments, relevant handouts, applicable texts, and other materials necessary for class), completing homework assignments, participating in class discussions, and respecting the opinions of others. DO NOT ASK to return to your locker to retrieve an item you SHOULD HAVE brought to class. A carpenter would be sent home if he/she came to work without his/her tools. Your job is to be a student: don’t forget your "hammer!"
• Successful students will demonstrate accountability by listening closely in class and following ALL instructions given by the teacher. This includes fire drills, emergency preparedness drills, and all other directions.
• 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, teachers and school staff will not be tolerated. If you do not appreciate being disrespected then do not disrespect others!
• All policies regarding student expectations and responsibilities as are published in the Student Handbook will be in effect and duly enforced in this class. I ask that students familiarize themselves with this portion of the Student Handbook.
• Students are not allowed to bring food, drinks (except water) into the classroom. According to school policy, cell phones must be turned off and in your locker during class time. Any cell phone use during class time may result in disciplinary action.
• Ladies may not keep purses on their desk or on their lap. All purses must be stored under a student’s chair or hung on the back of the chair, no exceptions.
• No passes are issued during the first and last five minutes of class…this includes use of the restroom! Please use the restroom during the change of class. Additionally, student planners are required for travel into and outside of the classroom.
• I reserve 10% of a student's grade for attitude, behavior, achievement, and participation.
• The teacher will dismiss the class, not the bell! Therefore, all students will remain in their seats until instructed by the teacher. This has nothing to do with following “commands” but everything to do with being a respectful individual. For instance, if you were in the middle of a conversation with me and the bell rings, how would you like it if I jumped up and ran out the door? Please be respectful at all times!
• 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, cooperative working 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 papers written in and out of class.

Assignments are not weighted and are therefore worth equal value.

**Please note that I usually do not curve grades or assign extra credit work. I will not compensate for your refusal to do work or to come see me for extra help. Anyone that knows me knows how approachable I am. If you are experiencing any difficulties with the work you need to let me know right away.


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 the use of someone else’s WORDS or IDEAS without giving proper credit. This includes paraphrasing a source without giving due credit. Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic integrity and any assignment containing plagiarism earns a zero.

These guidelines will, if they are taken seriously, contribute to your success and achievement in this course. Always feel free to speak to me at any time about any question, problem, or concern you may have about assignments or your work in general. I am here to help you in any way I can, but try to remember that it is important to ask for help when you need it.

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 a solo project, make sure the two of you don't pass in 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 very 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 marks.

Since this is a freshman college-level class, we will approach every aspect of our time together with this in mind. You should strive to:

Commit yourself to the study of college-level material,
Discuss literature and other issues with maturity and decorum,
Conduct your studies independently, responsibly, and with integrity
Treat your fellow classmates and teacher with the utmost respect and kindness, and
Approach this class, as with all your studies, with humility and an open mind.

*** If you have an issue that you feel needs specific attention or consideration, please let me know. In the past, students who have not brought things to my attention have suffered because of their silence. Those who have talked to me have said that I can be accommodating and helpful. At the end of the day, our goal is to not only be English students, but successful English students who are striving towards college and career readiness.

I look forward to having a great year with all of you!

Mr. Falcone