Welcome to the English Department

Our Vision:

The Greene English department strives to prepare students for an increasingly diverse and competitive global community. This community calls for citizens who can communicate effectively, respectfully, and powerfully. While reading and writing skills reach beyond the subject of English, the literature and nonfiction selections we provide through our curriculum, along with many writing opportunities, offer a rich ground for students to grow and develop as critical thinkers, capable of embracing multiple perspectives. Literature teaches us the virtues and flaws of human experience and invites us into philosophical, moral, and artistic inquiries, providing students real and fictitious complexities with which to engage. Greene students will be prepared to actively participate in their communities, to contribute as problem-solvers, innovators and collaborators, and to meet, with empathy, the challenges of our times.

ELA Core Beliefs and Practices:

1. Students will have frequent opportunities to write for different audiences, purposes, and in different settings, from timed to multi-draft pieces.

2. Students will receive instruction in close reading strategies to help them become stronger readers and writers.

3. Students benefit from choice in independent reading and writing assignments.

4. Mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process; thus, revision and improvement of first draft pieces is encouraged and applauded.

5. Students benefit from reading texts with a diversity of viewpoints and author backgrounds.

6. In preparation for high school, students will learn to use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for their formal writing assignments.

English 6

This course builds the solid foundation students need to navigate the literary world and the writing process. Students use significant works of literature and a variety of fiction and nonfiction selections in digital and print formats as a basis for instruction in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students progress from writing well-developed paragraphs to writing full essays in a variety of modes including informative/explanatory, narrative, research, and argumentative writing. Students utilize the writing process from brainstorming to the final draft. Collaborative discussions, critical thinking exercises, and word study are interwoven into both reading and writing assignments. The goals are to build a love for reading, to create effective communicators in both written and oral language, and to promote successful independent learning.

English 7

Students continue to develop skills in reading, writing, vocabulary development, speaking, and listening. Students read both widely and deeply from a range of literary and nonfiction texts that reflect varying levels of text complexity. In addition to core novels, there will be an emphasis on independent reading. Students are expected to develop skills in academic writing, which includes argument, informative/explanatory, and narrative strategies, with grammar and mechanics taught in context. Collaborative discussions and activities are used to help students construct meaning from text and develop critical thinking skills.

English 8

Students will learn to read, write, listen, and speak with greater maturity and understanding. As students study literature and nonfiction texts, they will focus on developing a critical view of the author’s purpose, style, and development of a claim or theme. Reading closely to determine what a text says and making logical inferences is a critical skill this year. Students will expand their ability to use narrative, expository, and argumentative writing skills in their compositions, often in response to literary and nonfiction texts. As students continue to practice the writing process, they will develop their writing styles, with emphasis on sentence fluency, word choice, revision, and self- editing. Students will continue to develop their speaking and listening skills to further their comprehension of course content and texts, to collaboratively build knowledge, and to skillfully present knowledge and ideas.

Creative Writing

This dynamic elective creates a positive writing experience for students who love to write and are interested in exploring different types of creative writing. Students experiment with various literary forms such as personal narratives, long and short fiction, and poetry. This writer’s workshop gives students the opportunity to discuss and revise their writing in an atmosphere that is both fun and safe. The class is designed to build a community of writer’s who honor each other’s attempts to capture their world (and other worlds!) in words.

Writing Workshop

This class is intended for students who would like extra help in order to be successful in their English and Social Studies classes. In addition to supporting students on academic writing assignments in these classes, we practice different aspects of writing and communication through class projects. Those aspects are determined according to student needs. This class is intended for students who need help specifically with the organization and elaboration of ideas in writing. The class size is kept small (10-12) in order to maximize the amount of individualized support for students.

Read 180 (Academic Enhancement)

The purpose of the class is to enhance student focus, performance, and confidence in the areas of vocabulary, reading comprehension and critical thinking. The class is designed to help in all academic disciplines where reading is required. In addition, it offers an opportunity to improve reading and writing skills before the demands of high school academics. Class size will range from 5 to 8 students. The environment will be interactive and individualized. Engaging yet demanding activities will show students that reading and writing have value in their lives and beyond the classroom. This class is intended for students who are reading one or more years below grade level and have been recommended by their teacher or guidance counselor. This is a yearlong course however some exceptions may apply.

ALD (Academic Language Development)

Prerequisite: Teacher/Counselor Recommendation Grades 6, 7, 8 Semester/Year

This course is designed to support students in narrative and expository reading, comprehension, essay writing, vocabulary development, and use of spoken language in the core content areas. Effective organization and study skills will be integrated into the curriculum. The course will prepare students for success in listening, speaking, reading and writing in high school college preparation (A-G) courses. This class is intended for students who are English Learners or Reclassified English Learners (RFEP) and is not a part of the English Learner program.

This class will not assign homework. One day per week, the teacher will help students prepare and organize homework from other core classes.