English teachers at Chelsea School are responsible for instruction aligned with the Prince George’s County Public Schools Common Core State Standards as well as the implementation of the writing mechanics and written expression sections of each child’s IEP. The purpose of the class is to guide students in their development as mature writers and thoughtful consumers of literary texts.
In 9th grade English, students are introduced to literary genres such as the short story, poetry, drama, the novel, and literary nonfiction. From a writing perspective, the focus is on the paragraph. Students are taught to perfect their ability to construct a five-sentence paragraph using simple, compound, and complex sentences. They are given opportunities to practice these skills through narrative, descriptive, persuasive, and academic writing. Remediation in sentence mechanics, syntax, grammar, spelling, and fluency are provided on a daily basis.
In 10th grade English, students continue their study of literary forms, but with an intensive focus on analysis. Students are taught close-reading strategies and learn to identify and discuss themes in literary works. Students begin to write formal term papers with academic sources. Building on their work in the ninth grade, students are taught how to organize and write multi-paragraph essays and papers. Remediation continues in grammar and mechanics, with an added emphasis on voice, style, and arrangement.
Students in English 11 begin preparing for the type of writing and textual analysis that they will be expected to perform in college. Through the study of grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and textual annotation, students prepare for the SAT and ACT tests. Expectations for term papers are increased, with MLA formatting, standards of research, and style becoming part of instruction and assessment.
Students in English 12 are expected to demonstrate the organization, composition, and editing practices of effective writers. Over the course of the year, they are tasked with formal writing in a variety of modes, including academic papers, persuasive essays, literary analysis, and speeches. They are taught to perfect their use of assistive technology, the writing and reading accommodations that will be necessary for them to succeed in college level courses.