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Course Content: What does it mean to be an “American” and what responsibilities accompany citizenship in a democratic society? We will read and discuss texts from the 1400s to the present, analyzing them in our effort to answer the above questions and questions students bring to the course about the intersection of literature, culture, and identity.
This college preparatory, National Common Core Standards-based English course builds skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. In this class, students:
- Learn and practice critical reading skills with a wide variety of non-fiction and fictional texts;
- Learn and practice composition skills with instruction in the elements of effective writing, daily writing practice and language development;
- Engage in academic discourse (in pairs, small groups and whole class) to practice speaking, listening to and synthesizing ideas in response to text;
- Give informal and formal presentations to gain confidence and skill as public speakers;
- Become familiar with online and library resources as an introduction to the formal research process.
In addition to the content standards emphasized in the class, this course will help students develop skills in all areas of academic life. At MVHS, we are committed to helping students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, learning and creative skills. We build supportive classroom culture and hold students to a high standard of scholarship and citizenship.
The goals of American Literature Honors are 1) To thoroughly prepare juniors seeking a challenging course that engages them in the dialogue, research and writing skills required in post-secondary learning environments; 2) To create critical thinkers through discussion of discordant readings from 1600 to the present; 3) To engage students in answering the following essential questions for themselves by contributing meaningfully in their writing to the ongoing discourse about American culture and history:
- What is the American Dream?
- What are the traits of the American literary voice?
- How is literature expressive of philosophies of identity?
- Given four centuries of reading and research of American voices in literature, how will I participate in or contribute to its development as a participant in American democracy?
Through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, students in our year-long course will develop proficiencies in college-level literary analysis, research, speaking and listening, writing, and academic language. The course develops students’ understanding of literary texts from 1600 - 1870 in the first semester, culminating in a synthesis essay in December. The second semester applies all of the analytical reading and writing skills from the first semester to the literature from 1870 - 202, culminating in an in-depth research project of one cultural or philosophical question that echoes through the literature.
Broadcasting, or Broadcast Journalism, provides a foundation for media production, including: learning to use cameras, shoot video and use video accessories, storyboarding films, editing with Adobe Premier software, anchoring the twice-weekly show, The Spartan View, directing the production of the show and operating a TelePrompter. In addition to technical skills and public speaking proficiency, students gain practical project management skills and the interpersonal skills essential to working with others on collaborative teams.
The course is designed so that students will become proficient in the Common Core State Standards grades 9 and 10.
Comp/World Lit SDAIE is an English course that follows the standards and curriculum of the college-prep course Comp/World Lit with appropriate support added to aid ELD students in meeting 9th and 10th grade ELA Common Core standards. Through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instructional activities, students in this year-long course, students will be able to:
- Make and explain inferences based passages on fiction and non-fiction texts
- Write a variety of essays, including narrative, informational, and argumentative
- Participate in meaningful discussions, including small group discussions and Socratic Seminars
- Use numerous forms of academic language appropriately
- Advocate for their learning needs as they become more independent in an online learning environment.
In this demanding college-level course, students will learn to write rhetorical analysis, argument and synthesis essays. Heavy emphasis will also be placed on developing independent thinking and on learning to support an argument with evidence in writing and in discussion. Practice timed writings will help prepare students to take the AP test.
Expected Learning Results:
- Critical Thinking: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the expository essay with proficiency in the following skills: analyzing styles of diverse writers, composing and revising original expository writings.
- Communication Skills: Communicate an abstract idea or theme in written and such spoken forms as Socratic discussions, extemporaneous and prepared speeches, classroom conversation and discussion, develop and demonstrate a range of listening skills from quiet respect for others to the ability to question, interpret, and apply information given.
- Know How to Learn: Develop study skills by brainstorming and outlining topics before writing essays. Annotating texts, maintaining class notebooks, and seeking assistance from teacher and tutorial center.
- Problem Solving Skills: Sharpen problem solving skills by answering difficult essential questions through the synthesis of text, personal experience, personal interaction and knowledge of current world affairs.
- Creative Skills: Learn to work with a wide variety of texts and people on a highly varied menu of individual and group activities, develop personal writer’s voice.
The goal of AP Literature is to prepare seniors seeking a challenging learning experience for the literacy and technological demands of higher education. Through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instructional activities, students in this year-long course develop proficiencies in college-level literary analysis, research, and argumentative reading, speaking and listening, writing, and academic language. The course presents a process for helping students read, comprehend, and respond to informational and literary texts via distance learning which culminates in a self-directed research project (senior thesis). This includes a variety of approaches to reading and writing that draw upon teacher-guided and student-facilitated discussions. The course will also prepare students to take the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Exam in May. To facilitate these learning outcomes, group work and ongoing self-assessment of student work play a significant role in the learning process as outlined by the Common Core Standards for 11th and 12th grade. Students will learn how to direct their learning in an online environment and become advocates for their education.
Introduction to Journalism helps student develop media literacy skills, as well as news, features, and opinions writing skills and technical skills necessary for mastery in the modern world of journalism. Essential questions explored: How and why do stories become news? To what extent does the audience affect what you write and how you write it? What are the ethics of journalism?
Journalism Production provides a thorough, rigorous grounding in the practice of professional journalism. Experienced students lead their peers in the production of The Oracle, a school newspaper, online website and social media outlets to report on issues, events, trends, achievements and people in the Mountain View High School community. In addition, they learn to run a media business, soliciting advertisers for their publications and selling subscriptions to the print paper. They also facilitate and participate in current event discussions, study professional journalism, and pursue continuing education in news gathering, reporting, writing, multimedia storytelling, as well as legal and ethical practices of journalism. We will continue to pursue all of these learning and community-serving goals in Distance Learning, including publishing a print newspaper that will be mailed to subscribers and MVHS staff.
Philosophy in Literature is a college-preparatory senior English class in which we study the development and ideas of Philosophy through analysis of literature. Through a sequence of rigorous instructional units, students in this course develop advanced proficiencies in argument, informative/explanatory and narrative reading, writing and speaking and listening. All students complete a Senior Thesis that involves in-depth inquiry and college-level research skills. In-class discussions to develop skills in Socratic discussion and collaborative learning are an essential component of the class.
The goal of the course is to prepare seniors seeking a challenging learning experience for the literacy demands of higher education. Through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instructional activities, students in this year-long course develop proficiencies in college-level narrative, expository, and argumentative reading, speaking and listening, writing, and academic language. The course presents a process for helping students read, comprehend, and respond to informational and literary texts via distance learning which culminates in a self-directed research project (senior thesis). To facilitate these learning outcomes, group work and ongoing self-assessment of student work will play a significant role in the learning process as outlined by the Common Core Standards for 11th and 12th grade. The course also fulfills the ERWC course description approved by the UC and CSU.
Reading: accurately summarize a text, identify the main idea in expository writing, distinguish between opinion and evidence, and compare different writer’s perspectives.
Writing: write an argument supported by evidence and reasoning.
Language: develop domain vocabulary and general academic vocabulary, use a simple, compound sentence, and complex sentence accurately.
Speaking and Listening: present an argument persuasively incorporating media to bolster their point.
Social Justice: explain how people develop prejudices, provide insight into how to combat prejudices, and apply these concepts to their own lives.