English II & English PAP Syllabus

  • English II & PreAP 2021-2022 School Year

    Contact Information

    Instructor: Ms. Cheryl Voskamp

    Room: B209

    In order to create the optimal learning experience, it is imperative to have open communication between parents, students, and myself.  I enjoy speaking to both my students and their parents and will return calls and emails within 1-2 business days of receiving them. 

    Classes are 1st & 3rd-7th periods with Conference Hours during 2nd period (8:19-9:12 am) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Please feel free to contact me to schedule a conference via phone, Google Meet, or in person.   


    Email: cvoskamp@alvinisd.net

    281-245-2232, ext. 4410

    Remind- Join code: @VosB209

    Please feel free to join my Remind for ease of communication.  It will be required for all students, and students will be able to contact each other through the app without sharing personal numbers (great for group projects).  Please be aware that all communication is filed and accessible.


    Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:00.  In the case of emergencies, meetings, and/or absences, tutorials will be rescheduled to the following day.


    English 2 Units of Study:                                                                                                                                                             

    These classes are run in a reading and writing workshop format. Units have a theme and are skills-focused units. We will read, write, think, and talk about our reading, writing, and thinking every day.

    Unit 1: First 20 Days

    Reading focus: Choice Novels/Fiction

    Writing Focus: Personal Essay using "This I believe."

    Big Idea Question(s): Why do words matter?

    Unit 2: Moving Forward

    Reading Focus: Argumentative

    Core text -Anthem by Ayn Rand

    Writing Focus: Argumentative and Persuasive essay

    Big Idea Questions: How does your environment shape your identity?

    Unit 3: Overcoming Obstacles

    Reading Focus: Book Club/Informational Texts

    Writing Focus: Informational-Awareness letter

    Big Idea Question: How do our actions impact the future?

     Unit 4: Drama & Poetry

    Reading Focus: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde & Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

    Writing Focus: Debate/speech

    Big Idea Questions: What is the dark side of loyalty?

    Unit 5: Research

    Reading Focus: Multi-genre/ Nonfiction book club

    Writing Focus: Research

    Big Idea Questions: How does who we were guide who we will become?

    Unit 5.5: Mini unit on Testing as a Genre

    Writing Focus: Revising previous work

    Big Idea Questions: How can test prep help you?

    Unit 6: Full Circle to Personalize Unit 1

    Reading Focus: Independent reading or self-selected book clubs

    Writing Focus: Narrative/Personal Digital Narrative

    Big Idea Questions: Why do your words matter?


    Students will create their own norms for our classroom environment to foster accountability.  My personal expectations are as follows:

    1. Be Respectful- We must be respectful of our colleagues and leaders. 

    2.  Be Accountable- We must own the good moments to make them routine and the pitfalls to help eliminate them.

    3.  Be Consistent- Working hard yields results, and working constantly yields perfection. 

    4.  Be Excellent- Excellence breeds mastery.  Failure is not an option and neither is second place.   


    Phones, devices, and headphones should be out of sight during class unless the lesson or an accommodation on file specifically calls for the use of a device.  Smart watches should be on airplane mode in order to avoid distractions.  Given the current circumstances we find ourselves in, we will use electronics much more often, therefore it is vital we govern our use and avoid getting off task.  Electronic use is only permitted during approved times and must remain academic.  Non-academic use will result in confiscation.


    If a device is confiscated, it will be surrendered to the office, and a fine will be required in order to reclaim your device.  Refusal to surrender the device to the teacher will result in an automatic assignment of two days of ISS.  NOTE TO PARENTS: Please be aware of the times that your student is in class and refrain from texting or calling during that time.  The most common excuse I get when a student is using a phone is their parent contacted them, and they will be in trouble if they don't respond. I do not accept this as an excuse.  If an emergency arises, please contact the front office, and they will reach us accordingly.


    All students will be held to and expected to maintain high expectations for behavior in class. For those students who choose to not uphold these expectations or disrupt our class environment, the result will be any of the following consequences: 

    ·       Verbal warning

    ·       1 Minute conference

    ·       Call parents

    ·       Referral to Grade level AP 



    Grades for this course will follow the grade breakdown standard for Manvel High School, and are as follows:

    Daily/Minor Assessments:   60%

    Major Assessments:              40%

    Total:                                     100%


    Grades will reflect student learning and growth.  Students are expected to turn in work on time (or early).  Failure to submit assignments in a timely manner may result in the assignment of mandatory tutorials and/or point deductions.  Once an assignment is 3 days late, students may not get higher than a 70, and I will not accept work submitted after the three days unless it is completed in tutorials by the fourth day before the end of the grading cycle.  Late work will absolutely not be accepted during those four days.  Failure to complete all assignments may result in withholding the opportunity to test until all assignments and quizzes have been attempted.


    Plagiarism (claiming someone else’s work as your own) is not acceptable under any circumstances.  We will study and imitate many authors over the course of the year, but students are required to create unique works for every assignment.  Many students choose to copy someone else, because they feel their writing is not strong enough.  English classes are about experimenting and gaining mastery/understanding.  You cannot become better writers without taking the risk of writing from where you are and learning how to polish it to become better.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and NO ONE is perfect.  All writing assignments will be submitted to Turnitin.com and subject to a plagiarism check.  Please see the Resources section on the Classwork page in Google Classroom for an overview of how the site works.  Students who plagiarize or otherwise cheat will be subject to a parent/teacher/student conference, the option to redo the work for up to 70% of the original grade, and will be required to attend tutorials for a negotiable span.  If a student plagiarizes or otherwise cheats a second time, there will be a student/teacher/parent/AP/counselor conference, a zero for the assignment, and further disciplinary action as per said students’ AP requires.  Unfortunately, the world of education is small, and it is imperative to learn the missteps of this now before even greater consequences in college and/or the greater world.


    Students may make corrections and resubmit assignments as many times as necessary to show mastery of skills until the last week of each grading period.  The aim every day is to be better than we were the day before!


    If an absence is necessary, it is the student’s responsibility to gather and complete the work missed. Do not ask about make-up work during whole group instruction. Students may send an email or attend tutorial hours to receive assignments. Please note that attending tutorials the same day as an absence will not make up for the absence of that day.  If absent for a test or timed writing assignments, the student is responsible for attending the assigned makeup test date posted on the classroom calendar.  Excused absences will receive the number of days missed to complete work. Be mindful of when grading periods end. An “I”/incomplete is the same as ineligible for UIL participation, so some assignments may need to be completed in less time than the number of days the absence allows.



     §  Attend Class every day ready to learn—this means be on time, be prepared, be engaged!

    §  Keep up with the homework assignments and reading.

    §  Come to tutoring and always ask for help when you need it.

    §  Be consistent with your writing. The length and content are both important!

    §  Get a good night’s sleep before exams.

    §  Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to keep up with the material in class.  Waiting until the night before the exam to try to learn the materials is a good way to fail an exam.




    *Students, in lieu of a signature sheet, please go to the form in this link to verify receiving this and to tell me everything you think I need to know about you.  Thank you so much!! https://forms.gle/2bZAageRC9j375vU6


    ** Parents, in lieu of a signature sheet, please go to the form in this link to verify receiving this and to tell me a little about your child.  Thank you so much!!  https://forms.gle/bhJ63qqtY2nBjDpk9