CAII-B Syllabus: 2015-2016


Mr. Zavos
Telephone: 816-736-5340    Voice Mail: 2291
E-mail Address:

Mr. Zavos Hanging Around in 2014-2015

About the class:

Communication Arts II-B is a two-semester course that focuses on reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking.  Students will continue to develop their skills in the reading and analysis of literature, the production of quality writing through the writing process (pre-write/draft/edit-revising/final draft), and the accessing, documentation, and presentation of information using oral communication and appropriate technology.  They will also review grammar, usage and mechanics and continue to develop vocabulary.

Course Overview:

Grammar Time: (Grammar will not be taught as a unit, but as a series of mini lessons that correspond with various reading and writing units)
Major points of emphasis include: Review parts of speech
Subordinate and independent clauses/ Sentence structure
Run-on sentences – e.g. comma splices
Verb tense
Subject-verb agreement
Pronoun-antecedent agreement
Pronoun case
Punctuation and capitalization
Spelling – especially plurals v. possessives
Active voice
Misplaced modifiers

Writing Focus

We will work on the writing process from pre-writing to revising to final draft.

Academic Journals: students will be given a writing prompt daily (bell work)

Portfolio Pieces

  I.  Compare/Contrast Essay

  II.  Research Paper

  III.  Cause-Effect Essay

  IV.  Personal Essay (Memoir)

Assessment: Journal entries will be evaluated based on completion and effort. Portfolio pieces and other writings will be evaluated based on the 6 Traits of Writing (Ideas and Content, Conventions, Organization, Sentence Fluency, Voice, and Word Choice.


Required reading (read as a class)

1.  Fahrenheit 451      2. Of Mice and Men     3. Julius Caesar    4. Various shorter works

Required Materials
You are expected to have the following items with you in class each day:
Laptop - charged
Pencil and/or black or blue pen
Academic Journal for daily writes and some note-taking (most notes will be done in a Google.doc.)
Any assignments that are due
Book for reading (enjoyment) – Students may read or write during “down time” – no electronic games, movies, music, or texting.

Classroom Rules
  In addition to the rules spelled out in the Student Handbook, students will be expected to adhere to the following classroom policies:

1.  Be on time
2.  Be prepared
3.  Be responsible
4.  Do Your Best

  • Grading Practices
      • Total points for all areas unless approved through Administration.
      • A= 90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, F=0-59
  • Make-Up Policy & Late Work
      • Make-up work - follow current school policy
      • Late homework - accepted for a maximum of 60% credit up until the end of a unit - exceptions at teacher’s discretion e.g., steps in writing process to produce a paper.
      • Late work can be submitted up to the summative assessment.
      • There are no retakes, but there are opportunities for growth offered at the teacher’s discretion.
  • Technology Policy
    • Students will:
      • check classroom Blackboard site daily for course information, assignment postings, weekly schedules, and/or handouts and materials
      • respect a teacher’s direction when to or when not to use technology
      • use proper grammar and punctuation in all email communications
      • only use laptops/cell phones/earbuds/headphones during class if directed by teacher
      • have earbuds/headphones available for use daily
      • check student school email daily
    • Teacher will:
      • maintain a Blackboard presence
      • assign detentions or submit referrals for violations of the tech policy
      • respond to emails in a timely fashion
  • Tutoring Expectations
    • Students will:
      • Have a plan upon arriving at LHS (what are you there to work on?)
      • Use tutoring time for productive activities (games, social media, videos, etc. are not good uses of time)
      • Check LH assignments regularly and attend assigned tutoring sessions
  • Tardy Policy/Bell-to-Bell Instruction
    • Students must be in the classroom prior to bell ringing.
    • Must come with a signed pass for an excused tardy.
    • If you are more than 10 minutes late to school for the day, you must check in with the Attendance Office before coming to class.
    • Remain in seats until dismissed by teacher. The bell starts class, the teacher dismisses class.
    • Teacher will notify students when it is appropriate to pack up materials for the hour.
  • Classroom Culture and Expectations
    • Work BELL to BELL.
    • Check your grades at least once a week.
  • Consequences
    • Inappropriate behavior and tardies to class will result in conferencing with students or a parent if necessary. Repeat offenders will be given detentions or office referrals if necessary.

Classroom Conduct: It is important in any classroom situation for there to be a certain amount of respect for one another and for yourself.  Respect yourself by being on time, being prepared, and giving your best.  Respect your classmates by listening to what they have to say and by sharing your own thoughts and ideas with them.  Respect me by not bringing electronic devices into our classroom.  I will respect you as individuals by always being prepared, listening to what you have to offer, both inside and outside the classroom, and fairly evaluating your work and effort.  As long as each of us works to respect everyone within our classroom, the semester should be enjoyable and productive. 

I challenge each and every one of you to find the new in the old, to discover the undiscovered, and to see all sides of every situation.  Together we will take a journey into ourselves, and hopefully we will come out in the end a little smarter, a little stronger, and a little surer of who we are in this world.  Have a great journey!