This course is designed to prepare students for the SAT exam. Students will learn test-taking strategies, time management and reading and writing skills. They will also be introduced to diagnostic testing, practice tests, rubrics and resources. The new SAT aligns with the Common Core Learning Standards, which are taught in grades K-12. This course’s content and skills, therefore, will be familiar to the students. There are four sections on the exam, including math, reading, writing and an essay. This course will focus on the reading, writing and essay sections, while Mrs. Shrome’s course will focus on the math. Students will meet with Mrs. Marshall every other day and with Mrs. Shrome on the opposite days.
The following texts will be provided by the school:
- “New SAT Grammar Practice Book”
- “Reading Workbook for the New SAT”
- “The Official SAT Study Guide”
- Binder tabs (three to five)
Course Format and Procedures
The course meets daily for 42 minutes and students are expected to make full use of class time. There will be some periods of lecture, but most of class time will be spent reading, writing or conferencing in groups or pairs. Students are expected to participate in discussions and share select pieces of their work with their peers and teacher.
This is a pass/fail course. Students, therefore, will be graded based on their efforts during class and in-class assessments. Each day the students will receive a check or a zero. If a student is taking notes, following along, annotating, answering questions in the workbook and/or participating in discussion, the student will receive full credit, denoted with a check. If the student skips class, puts their head down, refuses to read and/or refuses to answer questions in their workbook, they will receive a zero for the day. At the end of each marking period, the amount of checks and zeros will be counted and if the majority are checks, the student will receive a “P” for passing. If there are more zeroes, the student will receive an “F” for failing.
Student and Parent Resources
- Students: The instructor is available every day after school until 2:25 p.m., and during free periods by prior arrangement.
- Parent Resources: Email is the best way to the instructor, who will respond within 24 hours. In addition, the following websites are great resources to help with studying and taking practice exams
- Khan Academy
Course Outline (tentative)
Unit 1: Reading Closely for Textural Details (Weeks 1-10)
Students will practice reading and analyzing extended passages of text at varied levels of text complexity. Multiple reading passages will be explored in both fiction and nonfiction, giving students the opportunity to practice analysis and synthesis of texts. Students will be asked to interpret graphics and make connections between graphics and passages. Students will also investigate the way authors use word choice, structure and other techniques to create a desired effect in both fiction and nonfiction passages. History and social studies passages from the U.S. founding documents and texts in the great global conversation, along with science-based articles will be read and analyzed. Reading selections from such texts helps prepare students for the rigors of making meaning from challenging, often abstract texts on serious topics such as rights, duties and freedoms.
Unit 2; Writing and Language (Weeks 11-20)
Students will provide quotations from passages, data from graphs, tables or charts or other relevant text as evidence to support conclusions in class discussions and on assignments. Students will practice writing and language analysis skills—effective language use, expression of ideas and properly utilizing standard English conventions—to develop their analyses of social studies, science and career-related passages. Grammar, word choice and sentence structure will be focal points and students will practice revising and editing sentences using those points. They will be asked to make corrections in word choice, conventions of usage and punctuation, organization, sentence structure and analysis of graphical data on the redesigned SAT.
Unit 3: Essay (Weeks 21-30)
The SAT essay prompt will be a foundation for frequent writing assignments. Students will practice evaluating evidence for consistent and legitimate supporting arguments. Students must discern whether the evidence they use actually strengthens their argument. They will revisit previous writing assignments periodically, and allow students to alter their evidence, their word choices or otherwise edit their work to strengthen their skills. Students will benefit from using a rubric to analyze their writing—rubrics provide a clear description of the skills, knowledge and understandings they must demonstrate.
Unit 4: SAT Test Review (Weeks 31-40)
Students will work on practice tests and essays individually, in pairs, in groups and as a class with the teacher.
Note: The content of this syllabus is subject to change in accordance with the needs of the class and/or instructor.