• Mrs. Cathy Brankman
     
    brankmanc@westportcs.org

    962-8244 ext.152

    Home/Cell # 569-1415
    (before 7:00 pm, please)

    A successful integration of the Standards will provide students with necessary fluency, comprehension, analytic and communication skills necessary to be on track for college- and career-readiness. The integration of the Standards into instruction will also require instructional shifts, which are born out in the specific fluency, comprehension, analytic and communication expectations stated in the Standards.
    As a result of CCLS-aligned instructions, Students will readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They will habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and digitally. They will actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality
    literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience, and broadens worldviews.

    They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic. In short, students who meet the Standards develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.” (Engageny.org)

    With that being said, I will be using some of the lessons provided in the Modules developed for the Common Core standards. The novels include:

         Inside Out and Back Again

         To Kill A Mockingbird  
     
         A Midsummer Night’s Dream

         Unbroken

         Warriors Don’t Cry

    Throughout each of the modules, students will read closely essays, memoirs, short stories, and study pictures from the eras studied. It is this integration between literary and informational texts that builds knowledge and broadens worldviews.

    Along with essays written about each focus topic, students will also learn to write research papers using the MLA formatting of citations. I would like to scaffold research writing throughout grades 7-12 so that students leave WCS confident in
    selecting reputable cites to support their argument and avoid plagiarism.

    Because the four novels listed above are meaty readings, I would like to give the students some lighter reading assignments such as The Outsiders and That Was Then, This is Now. Students have thoroughly enjoyed reading these pieces in past years.

    Students will be prepared to take the New York State English Language Arts Exam in April of 2016.
    We will focus on test preparation throughout the year. During the ELA classes, we will spend time on writing skills: sentence structure, parts of speech, punctuation usage, and building vocabulary. While these are certainly integrated into the
    Common Core curriculum, I believe it is essential to cover them independently as well. Students will be quizzed weekly
    on vocabulary, so please ask them about their vocabulary word lists.

    Fortunately, I have never found it necessary to have a lot of rules in my class. Those that I do
    have are simple:

    --Do not touch things that do not belong to you.

    --Listen to others and be respectful of differences of
    opinions.

    --Come to every class prepared. This means having pen/pencil, binder,
    planner, and all homework completed.

    --Late assignments will be counted as a zero until turned
    in. Five points will be deducted for
    each day an assignment is late.

    Schooltool provides parents the opportunity to view upcoming assignments and see students’ grades on a regular basis. I am going to strive to be more timely using this program. I would like to be able to post grades every week this year.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. I will do my best to communicate with you the good things that are happening in class. I am looking forward to a great year!