Tocci Honors ENG 1 Syllabus

English I Honors Syllabus

Course: English I Honors

Teacher: Ms. Tocci

Room: 220


Course Description

Welcome to Honors English I. This class is designed to help all students improve their skills in reading and writing. It is my goal that students, parents, and myself will work together towards a successful year!

Throughout the school year, students will be exposed to and interact with a variety of literary genres—from short stories to novels, fiction to memoirs. 

Being your freshman year of high school, this year is going to present you with both opportunities and challenges that you have not yet faced in your academic career. But we are in this together!

If you take anything away from this syllabus, I want you to remember three things:

  1. You matter
  2. Your education matters
  3. This class matters

You should feel welcome and safe to use your voice, in many different ways and many different contexts, in order to contribute meaningfully to discussions about important issues in society and the world.  


Students are REQUIRED to bring all supplies to class EVERY day in order to be a present, active participant in the lesson. The expectation is that students will have these items ready and on their person starting on Monday, August 29th (giving you a week to secure them)!

  • 2” inch binder with 5 dividers
  • Your school-issued Chromebook
  • A constant supply of loose leaf lined notebook paper
  • Writing utensils (pens, pencils, highlighters)

But Why Do I Need These?

I’m glad you asked! Your binder will be used all year to hold onto important handouts, for daily warmups, and to maintain an archive of previous information. It’s crucial that you have these materials in order to keep a strong and organized routine in my class. I promise it’ll make your workload feel more manageable. 

If for any reason you cannot get these items please let me know. I will find a way to get you the supplies you need to succeed. 

Digital Materials

  • Schoology: You will need to log into Schoology every day for access to slides, activities, and assignments.
  • Turnitin: This is a tool we use to prevent plagiarism. Instructions will be provided and posted online. 
  • ActivelyLearn: You’ll use your school Google/Gmail account to sign in to this site to access readings and various texts. 

Course at a Glance

The Honors Intro to Literature class is composed of 5 separate units each focusing on a different aspect of Literature and Composition. The order or content may be subject to change!

Unit 1: Short Stories (Emphasis on literary devices and mastering basic academic writing skills)

Unit 2: Fences
Unit 3: Of Mice and Men

Unit 4: Hero’s Journey
Unit 5: William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Course Expectations

1. Attendance

Your presence and voice in class are important, so make attendance a priority.  If you are anticipating missing class, please let your teacher know in advance. If your absence is unexpected, make sure you have checked Schoology and other platforms we use to see what you have missed so you can keep up with the work or ask any clarifying questions you may have

Attending class does not simply mean that your body is physically present in the room, but rather that you are an active participant in your own learning.

2. Participation

Once again, your voice in class is vital.  You will be expected to participate in class in multiple ways.  I will offer as many ways as possible to actively participate, both in writing and verbally.  I will also make sure to practice participation in smaller, low-stakes, and low-pressure tasks, especially at first. 

3. Grading and Turning in Work

Grades will be determined based on your ability to meet Common Core State Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. We will be using what is known as Standards Based Grading—which is to say that students will have the opportunity to complete an assignment as many times as necessary in order to reach mastery of those given standards.

The grade book is divided into two categories: Practice and Standards

Standards grades are for work that is graded for proficiency on the Common Core academic standards, and makes up 75% of your overall grade. 

Practice grades are for assignments that help you practice necessary skills, and make up 25% of the overall grade.

We want you to succeed, and of course, to pass. However, the skills you will be learning and refining in this course will require you to try, and maybe even fail, multiple times before you master any of them. 

Therefore, Unit Assessments tied to priority standards will be required to “make up” if not turned in. 

Unit Assessments must be turned in AT LEAST TWO WEEKS before the end of the semester. I have a rolling deadline policy, which means I will accept late work during the unit in order to ensure you have time to complete assignments to the best of your ability. However, once a unit closes, there is no going back and making up work from the previous unit. So be sure you stay on top of your work. You should work with your teacher to come up with a plan to make up specific assignments that show you moving toward proficiency on the priority standards.  

Please do not simply complete a bunch of past assignments and expect them to automatically improve your grade. Grading is no longer a “points game” but based on students’ proficiency with the Language Arts skills.

*GETTING EXTRA HELP*: Not turning in an assignment and/or assignment because you did not understand it is never an excuse in our class. This is because I am here to help you succeed. If you are struggling with an assignment, an idea or concept, inspiration, or whatever it is that is limiting your ability to become a successful student in this course, I will help you. I am willing to help during lunch or after school to ensure that you receive the support you need. However, it is your responsibility to come to me if you need help with something. We are all human, and by nature imperfect. If you need help, please reach out, I’ve got your back 🙂 

Standards-Based Grading Proficiency Bands
Exceeds Expectations100%
Meets Expectations85%
Approaching Expectations75%
Partially Meet Expectations65%

4. Originality

It is impossible to measure your proficiency and success on academic skills and standards if the work you turn in is not your own.  

Copying another student’s work or taking information (text or ideas) from a source (online or in print) without giving proper credit is considered plagiarism. The reality is, if you compromise your academic integrity, not only am I required to submit to the administration, but you will have lost my trust and will need to work to gain it back. 

Your learning, and my ability to teach, is dependent on this human relationship of ours. 


1. DPS Gmail
  • The simplest way to access your gmail account is through the following url:
  • Once there, you will be prompted to enter your DPS Student ID Number and your password.
    • This is the same login you use to access Infinite Campus.  
    • Passwords are defaulted to your birthday (mmddyyyy). BE SURE TO CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD in order to maintain security and keep your work safe!
  • Once logged in, you have access to your Gmail Account which functions as any other Gmail Account.
  • Signing into your DPS Gmail Account is the first step to accessing any of the other Google Applications.
  • Check your email frequently!  Classroom updates and announcements will be delivered straight to your inbox.
2. How to Access Your Files
  • Your DPS Gmail Account gives you access to Google Drive, online file storage (i.e. cloud-based).
  • Access drive at:
  • All of your digital work for English class will be stored on the Drive so that it is easily accessible to you from home, school, or mobile device.
    • The Drive will store any type of file, although using Google Docs is recommended.
  • Google Classroom is really a simple way to manage sharing documents through your Google Drive Account.
    • When you join my classroom, a file folder will automatically be created for your assignments, and this folder will serve as your digital portfolio