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3981450-43815000Dr. Ruth BeenkenContact Information:Phone: 205.871.3516 Email: BeenkenR@mtnbrook.k12.al.usCourse Description:This course is designed to give students the opportunity to think and write creatively. My goal as the teacher of this course is to encourage you to love writing and to guide you as you hone your craft. It is through writing that life becomes more meaningful to me, and I hope to inspire the same instincts in you, that writing brings to me. Writing can clarify, heal, excite, encourage, remind, inspire, and make the world a better place. This class is the beginning for you to be a poet, a free- lance writer, a story teller, an essayist, a non-fiction writer, or whatever you choose to become as a writer. There will be many options presented to you. If you make the effort to write in this class you are assured a very good grade. This class is about exploring the different writing genres.Projected Units of Study:AutobiographyPoetry Creative nonfiction Short storiesNarrative fictionPersonal NarrativeExpository essayPersuasive essayDescriptive writingBiographical writingNovel writingRestaurant reviewsMovie and music reviewsProjects –see Moodle pageReader’s Theatre script writingPoetry and musicCourse materials:Binder with dividersLoose-leaf paperFlash driveHard back JournalPens/pencilsJournal:The purpose of the journal is to give you the opportunity to write every day. It is a place for you to write and create –don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or flow. Just write. You will be responsible for writing in your journal. Sometimes you will free-write in your journals while other days you will respond to a provided prompt. I just want you to write! Journals will be collected periodically as a means of accountability. I will let you know in advance when they will be collected. Publishing/Writing Contests:Sometimes we write for ourselves, while other times we write for others. Your journal is for you. Your final, polished drafts are to share with others. At least once this semester, you must submit a finished piece to a writing contest or website. I hope students will enter our own Mountain Brook Junior High Art Forms competition, the ASFA writing competition and others that I will make them aware of. Class Blog:You will also publish polished pieces on our class blog to share with the world. You will be responsible for maintaining your page, uploading your finished pieces, and following the guidelines we’ve discussed for being a smart and safe digital citizen. In order to receive an A grade in the course you must upload your finished, revised pieces to the blog once they have been approved by the teacher. Our class blog is www.kidblog.org/beenkenscreativewritingclassblogPortfolio:You will keep a folder in the classroom that will serve as your portfolio for this class. In it you will place your completed writing so that at the end of the semester we can choose to publish it if you want to. Autobiography: You will be writing a 10 chapter autobiography of your life up to this time. We will publish this writing by spring break and also hold an author reading before the end of the year. Parents will be invited to attend this reading. Intuition List: As you begin your writing journey, keep a list of ideas that pop into your head, interesting word combinations, story lines that are interesting that you see, or vocabulary you might want to use in your writing. These lists you can keep in the back of your journal. Conferences:We will conference regularly together on your pieces of writing. Revision and excellence go hand in hand. Tardies:You must be in your seat when the bell rings to be considered on time. Grading:You will be graded on your journals (completing entries), written assignments, participation, peer editing, writing projects, and personal progress. The grading scale is based on a points system, and you will be given points for your work. If you hand in all assignments and have made an effort to fulfill the assignments to your best ability, you are guaranteed to get an excellent grade in this class. Doing your best work assures a good grade. Not handing in assignments takes away from your overall grade. Absences:You must see me after you’ve been absent. I will make sure you have the handouts that you have missed and any assignments you need. MoodleroomsYou will be able to access my class calendar (due dates) and any handouts used in class, via Moodle rooms. Please use the calendar on a daily basis to know what is going on in the class. Expectations:Be punctualBe respectful of people and propertyBe preparedBe on taskBe kindWriting Project: The writing project will be a “student choice” project. This project is above and beyond our class work and writing. Half of the extended period will be allotted for students to work independently or in groups on their chosen project. I will spend a few days introducing various options to the students before they begin working on a project. Topics may range from a large biographical study of an ancestor with a photo story attached, a reader’s theatre presentation (group work), a few chapters of a novel, or a children’s book with illustrations. Also, a student may wish to work on an essay and refine and finish it in order to submit it to competitions in the future such as Art Forms, ASFA, or other online and national competitions. There are many options for the Writing Project and there are several project ideas students can check out on my web page. After reading over this syllabus on your own and signing below, please share the information with your parent(s) and have him/her sign below. Return the signed portion to me tomorrow. I, _________________________________, have read the course syllabus and understand what is expected of me. I also have read and understood the blogging terms and conditions. I agree to uphold themStudent Signature: _____________________________________________________________-438161270Parent Section: Dear Parents-I am excited to get to know your child this semester and to share with them my love for writing. Thank you for reviewing the course syllabus and the blogging guidelines. Please contact me if you have questions or concerns. Best,Esther Ruth BeenkenClass Blog Permission: Please indicate by checking the box below your decision regarding permission for your child to participate in educational blogging.Yes, my child may participate in educational blogging.No, I do not feel comfortable allowing my child to participate in educational blogging. I prefer for my child to complete the alternative assignment.Parent’s Name (Printed): _____________________________________________Parent’s Signature: _____________________________ Date: ________________ Parent’s email (to receive periodic updates about class blog): ___________________________________________________

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