Welcome to 9th Grade at Panorama High
with Dr. Osborne
"In a school where the sole purpose is to manufacture competent workers for the nation's technological-industrial complex, perhaps the need for literary instruction and reading would not be keenly felt. ...But if schools serve a greater function, to help create empowered and attentive citizens who can both pursue fulfilling and fruitful individual lives and who can contribute in transformative ways to the life of a democracy, then literature must take a central place in the curriculum." from You Gotta BE the Book by Jeffrey Wilhem
You can e-mail me about anything you wish to discuss at
ENGLISH CURRICULUM STANDARDS: Your Course Work and Tests Are Based On These
9th Grade Online Leadership Academy
- WHAT IS AN EXHIBITION? -- Great explanation and basic directions
- Project and Exhibition Grading Rubrics
- The America Project: What Does It Mean To Be An American?
- The Huck Finn Project
- Censorship and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain -- Some great project and activity ideas
- More Project Directions
- Personal Project Intro
- Other Projects
Workshop Approaches we will use in class and On the Web
- Rubrics! -We will assess many of our workshop activities adapting these rubrics
- Writing Portfolio Assessment >How To Assess Your Portfolio
- Learning Logs -- A simple, powerful form of documenting and assessing your learning
- Double Entry Journals and Learning Logs
- Test Maker Tool -- We will attempt more authentic kinds of assessment than the typical paper-and-pencil tests. One of the options you can consider is to develop both a "typical" test and a "Correct Answer Key," almost like a catechism of questions and answers. We will also investigate other improvements in assessment, including self-assessment and a practice used in current business, called 360 degree feedback.
- Student Self-Assessment: Making Standards Come Alive
- Authentic Assessment -- 23 excellent articles from the Coalition for Essential Schools that can help us develop far more authentic assessment and learning in this course.
- Exemplars of Good Student Work
- Reasons Not To Plaigiarize
- Shared Inquiry
- Conversations Intro
- Literature Circles -- Description of reading discussion tool we will use
- Fishbowl Discussion -- discussion "in the fishbowl"--in chairs, in the center of the room, surrounded by spectators in their desks
- Socratic Seminars - Tutorial -- Excellent procedures and guidelines
- Courageous Conversations -- Guidelines and advice for having "Courageous Conversations" about, racism, ageism, sexism, and other issues that tend to raise defensiveness in participants. Useful, too, in confronting, or "carefronting" friends and authorities.
- The Collaborative Classroom -- Theory behind the practice
Acting Out Workshops
- Using Creative Dramatics
- Acting Workshop Links
- Character Immersion Guided Reading and Writing
- Creative Drama Guidelines
- The Write Source (Writers INC) Home Page
- Student Writing Models
- Publish It!
- The I-Search Process
- More on the I-Search Paper
- The Writing Process
- Internet Writing Workshop -- You can now submit works in progress on-line for feedback!
- Online Journal Writing Workshop
- Free-Writing -- Also note the techniques called "Looping" and "Cubing"
- S.C.O.R.E. Activity Bank -- Note Journal options here!
- Pre-writing: Keeping a Journal
- Writer's Resource Center -- fabulously fertile site aimed at the real writer in you
- The Five-Paragraph Essay -- "Because the five-paragraph essay is a chosen vehicle for measuring a student's writing proficiency, it is essential that each master this patterned format writing to score well."
- Guide To Writing A Basic Essay
- Revising Writing -- A PowerPoint presentation; you can advance slides by pressing the keyboard's spacebar
- Composition Resources from Colleges
- Writing a Research Paper -- "Despite the illusion, the research-paper writing process (as with any writing process) is quasi-linear at best."
- Write Your Novel Now -- "A Professional Writer is an Amateur Who Didn't Quit"
- Writing Fiction: A Beginner's Guide -- from Creative Writing for Teens
- Writing Mysteries and Suspense
- Mystery Writing
- Creative Writing: A Google Directory
- Creative Writing Resources -- from the Awesome Library
- Character Development Center -- Creating and understanding character is key to writing and reading fiction. This is a great resouce site.
- The Poetry Room - Unconventional prose poet Louis Jenkins, an intriguing source for study
- Poetry 180 -- A poem a day from Billy Collins, our 2003 Poet Laureate of the United States
- Modern American Poets -- 161 companion sites for poets in the Anthology of Modern American Poetry
- Poet On-Line -- poems on different topics, poetry tips, a poetry contest and more
- Poetry for the 21st Century
- A Poetry-Lover's Guide To the World-Wide Web, Post-1950
- A Poetry-Lover's Guide To the World-Wide Web, Pre-1950
- Shakespeare's Sonnets
- Links to Other Poetry Collections and Poetry Guides
Study and Test Prep Resources
- Study Guides & Strategies -- Study skills are shown to result in higher readings skills than reading instruction!
- Dictionary for Students (Merriam-Webster)
- Dictionary and Thesaurus (Merriam-Webster)
- Vocabulary University
- Academic Vocabulary List
- An Abundance of Word Info about English-Vocabulary Sources -- Roots and suffixes from Latin and Greek are key to advanced vocabulary.
- College Board Advice on Essays, etc.
- High School Standardized Test Preparation -- Flexible, well-constructed site from Chicago Public Schools with numerous tips ALL teachers should use in coaching and encouraging students.
- Open Response Questioning Strategies
- Regents Exam Prep Center -- A rich New York state site
- Constructed Response -- Students must use critical and creative (higher order) thinking in these test items, a new "state of the art" aspect of current testing.
- Writing Constructed Response Items
- FreeTranslation.com -- Free translation of web sites and text for Spanish, French, and German to English and English to Spanish!
- Bull's Eye Business Writing Tips -- FREE weekly business writing tips
will help you improve your business writing. An amazingly resourceful collection of tips and self-tests.
- WritingEnglish.com -- Go the the bottom of this page for links to great, brief advice on cover letters, resumes, and common errors. The top portion advertises their for-a-fee service.
- How To Interview -- "Your resume will get your foot in the door but your interview skills will decide whether you get the job or not."
9th Grade Course Grading Rubric
The following rubric describes what you must do to earn each grade.
These grades are course grades, not six-week “progress report” grades.
Thus you have approximately four months to meet these standards.
Students who earn an A:
- Always arrive on time, with the necessary supplies, and are ready to work.
- Maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on rubric scores and assessments.
- Demonstrate development of leadership abilities.
- Develop and demonstrate familiarity with at least 7 American writers and their work.
- Complete work assigned/committed to in this class, including web work accessible any time from any Internet connected computer.
- Keep portfolio well organized with selected exemplars and Overview Narrative ready for periodic review.
- Work well independently and with others, and contribute to the workshop groups and class.
- Read at least 1100 pages in progressively more difficult books by semester’s end.
- Improve reading speed, and increase stamina significantly, and grow in fluency, flexibility, originality and quality of writing
- Do at least one major project/exhibition with noteworthy originality and elaboration.
- Show creative adaptations and critical awareness in assignments and projects/presentations.
Students who earn a B:
- Consistently arrive on time, with the necessary supplies, and are ready to work.
- Maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA on rubric scores and assessments.
- Demonstrate development of leadership abilities.
- Develop and demonstrate familiarity with at least 5 American writers and their work.
- Complete nearly all work assigned/committed to in this class to the best of your ability, including web work accessible any time from any Internet connected computer.
- Keep portfolio organized with selected exemplars and Overview Narrative ready for periodic review.
- Work with more independence and improved ability to collaborate and contribute to both workshop groups and the class.
- Read at least 800 pages in progressively more difficult books.
- Improve speed, and increase stamina measurably, and grow in fluency and quality of writing
- Do at least one major project/exhibition with adequate originality and elaboration.
- Show ability to translate ideas and concepts in assignments and projects/presentations.
Students who earn a C:
- Usually arrive on time, with the necessary supplies, and are ready to work.
- Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA on rubric scores and assessments.
- Demonstrate development of leadership abilities.
- Complete nearly all work assigned/committed to in this class, including web work accessible any time from any Internet connected computer, but the quality varies.
- Develop and demonstrate familiarity with at least 3 American writers and their work.
- Do at least one major project/exhibition with fluency and elaboration.
- Portfolio spottily organized with selected exemplars and Overview Narrative not fully ready for periodic review.
- Work with limited independence; collaboration and contributions to the workshop groups and class
are often unproductive.
- Read 600 pages in progressively more difficult books.
Improve reading speed, and increase your stamina minimally, and grow in fluency of writing
- Show basic mastery of course tasks and content in assignments and projects/presentations.
Students who earn a D:
- Rarely arrive on time (or often absent); with the necessary supplies, and are ready to work.
- Maintain at least a 1.5 average on rubric scores and assessments.
- Demonstrate adequate development of leadership abilities.
- Complete few assignments in this class; minimal effort and low quality prevent success.
- Portfolio spottily organized, with missing drafts and Overview Narrative, not fully ready for periodic review.
- Develop and demonstrate familiarity with at least 2 American writers and their work.
- Do at least one project/exhibition with fluency.
- Rarely work independently; often distract others and undermine class discussions and workshops.
- Read 400 pages in progressively more difficult books.
- Show no measurable or observable gains in the area of reading and writing
- Show minimal mastery of course content in assignments and projects/presentations.
Students who earn an F:
- Chronically absent and/or tardy; rarely have the necessary supplies; are not willing to work.
- Have a cumulative GPA below 1.5
- Demonstrate inadequate development of leadership abilities.
- Portfolio poorly organized, with missing drafts and sketchy Overview Narrative, not fully ready for periodic review.
- Complete few assignments in this class; make no observable effort to work or improve.
- Cannot work independently; routinely distract others and undermine class discussions.
- Read less than 350 pages.
- Show no measurable or observable gains in the area of reading and writing; performance may even decline.