English Department. Mary Ellen Phelan, Supervisor. A book is a gift you can open again and again. – Garrison Keillor. How to Read and Why.
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Mary Ellen Phelan,
A book is a gift you can open again and again.
– Garrison Keillor
Teaching students to examine texts deeply, evaluate the author’s craft and purpose, and develop an understanding of greater themes and ideas are important reading skills that students need in order to comprehend and appreciate texts.
-- Christopher Lehman and
Falling in Love with Close Reading
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
-- William Carlos Williams, MD
For example: Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its
development over the course of the text, including how it
emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide
an objective summary of the text. Informational texts to be the source of 70% of academic information across the school
For example: Research projects to answer a question or synthesize multiple sources on a subject to
demonstrate understanding of the subject under investigation.
For example: Use digital media strategically in classrooms to model the effective use of audio, visual,
and interactive elements in presentations.
For example: Write and edit work so that it conforms to MLA style guidelines.
-- How does literature connect to our everyday life?
-- In a world of information overload, what are the essential questions?
-- How can we help students connect their
thinking to their writing?
-- What tools and tactics will prepare our
students to reach their academic potential?
-- How can we help students recognize
morality and aesthetics in their reading and
-- What communication and multi-media
skills do students need in the 21st Century?
-- How can we help students focus on achievement given the temptations of technology and
College Prep for students who have a passing average in English; to advance to an Accelerated class in 10th grade, students need a 95% average in their 9th-grade College Prep course.
Accelerated for students who have at least an 80 average in English and a 7th-grade NJ ASK score of Proficient; to continue in an Accelerated class in 10th grade, students must maintain an 85% average in their 9th-grade Accelerated course; to advance to an Honors class, students need to achieve a 95% average in their Accelerated course.
Honors for students who have at least a 90% average in 8th-grade English, a 7th-grade NJ ASK score of Advanced Proficient, and a teacher recommendation. To continue in an Honors class in 10th grade, students need a teacher recommendation and an average of at least 85%.
Students who are dropped from Honors to Accelerated or from Accelerated to College Prep will need a teacher recommendation and an an average of 95% to move into the more rigorous class in the next school year.
All students take four years of English. Students are assessed annually for placement in the next appropriate level.
All students are encouraged to enroll in electives.
All students are encouraged to participate.
Creative Writing I and Creative Writing II
Women and Gender in Western Literature
Shakespeare I and Shakespeare II
Philosophy I and Philosophy II
School Newspaper: The Arrowhead
Literary Magazine: Folio
Fusion Club for the Arts
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, --
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.
My office is always open.
Feel free to contact me.
908-647-4800, ext. 6849