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 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 as we strive for the classroom to be as student centered as possible.

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 school year, students are expected to be able to access Schoology and Microsoft OneNote for pertinent classroom materials and to submit assignments.

Policies and Expectations

The overriding expectation in the class is RESPECT; respect for you, respect for other students, respect for the teacher, respect for the school, and respect for any guests we may have in our class.

• Students are expected to 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. If you are ever absent from class, it is your responsibility to check the ‘Updates’ Section and ‘Assignment Calendar’ on Schoology. This will make the next day easier on you.
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 (will clarify in class); late work that is accepted will receive a penalty of 10% per day it’s 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.
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.
• Cheating and plagiarism on schoolwork will result in a zero on the assignment.
• Be interested and do NOT disrupt anyone’s learning. No one should disrupt the learning process in any way. Carrying on side conversations while the instructor or another classmate is speaking is VERY distracting and disrespectful.
• Work in class by paying attention, participating, and asking questions whenever they arise.
• Work outside of class by doing any assigned work, annotating the text(s), preparing for discussions or presentations to the best of your ability, and again, asking questions whenever they arise.
• Everyone should be in his/her seat and ready to work when the class starts. This means getting materials, using the restroom, sharpening pencils, and socializing should be completed before class begins.
• Bring your class materials and your willingness to learn, to class, each day. You will not be permitted to retrieve forgotten materials during class time. Do NOT make it a habit of coming to class late. If you are late, it is the EXPECTATION that you present me with a “late pass.”
• Being a Hutch Tech student requires appropriate behavior and respect for others. Receiving or sending a text message in class or using social media is inappropriate and impolite. I consider texting, use of social media, side conversations, inattention to the lesson, and non-engagement to be personal insults. When you are in my class, I expect your full attention and participation.
• When you are in my classroom, be neat. Clean up after yourself. Leave the room cleaner than you found it (we will discuss “food and drink” in class).

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 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, etc.) 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 and Expectations’ above) and Infinite Campus/Parent Portal.

Semester One
• Teacher and Student Introduction/Icebreaker
• Microsoft Teams and OneNote Discussion
• Course Syllabus 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.

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!


Mr. Falcone