Mrs. Kleinmeyer

Gifted ELA 9
Room 408

Contact Info:
816-736-5340 ext. 2057

Course Overview

Communication Arts Gifted is a year-long interdisciplinary seminar course which gives identified gifted students the opportunity for enrichment in subjects unavailable in other course work as well as in the Language Arts curriculum.  In this concept-oriented course, students will explore current issues, rhetorical approaches to society's problems, and models of writing on contemporary topics.

Because the Common Core standards are shared for grades 9 and 10, the 9th grade level will be more focused on the introduction of concepts, with 10th grade focusing more on the mastery of concepts. Even though this is a writing- and reading-intensive course, the enrichment nature of much of the subject matter will enable the students to work within their academic strength areas in choosing topics for papers and independent projects.  Additionally, an emphasis on creativity will allow students to choose from a variety of modalities and intelligences.

Course Materials

The materials for this course are chosen for their complexity and their ability to provoke critical thinking and articulate communication. The focus of this course will be on the integration of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students will develop the necessary skills to read and analyze selected pieces from current periodical and other enriched materials including various poems, essays, short stories, dramas and novels.  Students will learn to write proficiently for a variety of purposes using advanced tenets of writing and appropriate levels of diction for the demands of the writing. Students will work on their presentation skills and their higher order thinking skills including their ability to analyze materials in research and synthesize a variety of resources.  Learning will be discovered through problem solving, authentic assessment, and advanced use of technology whenever possible.


Laptop (charged and ready to go!)

Notebook paper

Appropriate textbook or novel

Independent reading book

Pen or Pencil

Post-It notes

Folder or binder to keep papers


Course Goals

  • Learn and employ the elements of rhetoric
  • Think critically about contemporary social issues.
  • Analyze the research on a historical topic.
  • Communicate articulately and accurately on ideas related to the study of contemporary topics.
  • Develop the ability to determine a significant and relevant topic for sustained study.
  • Apply a structured process for research as well as critical and literary analysis.
  • Decide which of the various sources for research and retrieval systems are the most appropriate.
  • Write proficiently, using the level of diction appropriate for the demands of the writing and the audience.
  • Create a formal works cited page, using the MLA format.
  • Meet a quality level of expectation in presenting a final project to a varied audience.   

Grades and Late Work

LATE WORK: Students are expected to assume responsibility for completing assignments in a timely manner.   

  • 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.

Major essays may be turned in up to 1 day late, but will incur a 10% grade reduction.  If you are absent, be proactive in finding out what you missed. Check the google calendar on Blackboard. If a planned absence is known, talk to me ahead of time.

GRADES: Grades will be based on a total points system.    

Points will be totaled and converted to a letter grade using the following scale:

               A= 100% - 90% B= 89% - 80% C= 79% - 70% D= 69% - 60% F= 50% - 0%.

*There are no retakes, but there are opportunities for growth offered at the teacher’s discretion.

Academic dishonesty of any kind is unacceptable and will result in a grade of zero for all involved.    Unless you are specifically directed otherwise, all written work should be in final draft form (this means neat, legible, proofread, and in complete sentences) and ready to hand in when you enter the room at the beginning of your class period.

Classroom Expectations/Policies

1. Be respectful to classmates, teacher, yourself, and the classroom/building.

2. Be prepared at all times with laptop, book, paper, and pen or pencil.

3. Be on time and ready to learn when the bell rings. The LHS tardy and absence policy will be followed.

4. Be responsible. Use appropriate language at all times. Profanity is not acceptable (verbal or written).

5. Work BELL to BELL. The bell starts the class; the teacher dismisses class.

Technology and Food Policies

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, while being professional and respectful
  • 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

Food & drink are permissible as long as they are not a disruption or a major meal and the room is kept clean.


I am available before school or during Liberty Hour on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Please schedule an appointment so I know to be available in the classroom.

  • Have a plan upon arriving at LH (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


Inappropriate behavior, missed Liberty Hour tutoring, and tardies to class will result in conferencing with students or a parent if necessary. Repeat offenders may be given detentions or office referrals if necessary.

Blackboard and Twitter

I will host a class website on Blackboard where assignments, a class calendar, unit PowerPoints, and other important items will be posted. CHECK IT, and check it often. I also have a class twitter account that can be followed at @MrsKleinmeyer. The tweets will be on Blackboard as well.

Students and Parents