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Policies and Expectations

Homework Policy

● Homework due dates will appear on the Homework/Discussion page of my blog.

●  All homework is due at the beginning of class. If it not completed when you walk in the door on that day, it is late. Please drop it off in the homework basket (next to the front door) unless otherwise instructed (read the board for special instructions).

●  Please do not attempt to finish homework in class. You will miss out on new & important information, and since it is already late, you are not gaining anything by attempting to turn it in during the middle or end of class.

●  Some homework will be checked for completion; at other times I will collect and grade it for content. You will be given a rubric for all types of homework assignments so that you know exactly what you need to do to get a “4”.

●  Late work: Work that is turned in after the due date can still receive full credit. However, for each late assignment, there is “interest” to pay. “Interest” refers to an extra assignment you will have to complete and turn in along with the original assignment. As long as you do the assignment, with interest, before the quarterly deadline, it will be given full credit.

●  “Interest” for different types of assignments will be posted on this page of  the blog. If you need to make up an assignment for which no interest has been created, please let me know.

●  If your grade drops to 2.2, you will be expected to do remediation. In most cases, a low grade is the result of missing assignments. To remediate, determine which assignments are missing and complete them, along with the interest.

●  At the end of each quarterly deadline, I will enter a grade of “1” for any missing assignments. This grade will not change. Do not wait until the day before a deadline to complete a late assignment. If the interest is done incorrectly, you will not be given more time to fix it.

●  Because all homework assignments are explained on the homework page of this blog, you are expected to keep up even if you are absent for any reason. Coming to school after a day’s absence, and expecting an extra day to turn in something that was collected while you were gone, is unacceptable most of the time. I will make exceptions to this rule on a case-by-case basis– for example, if you were so sick you could not possibly do any work; if you did not have access to a computer or the Internet during your absence; etc.

●  If/when you do not understand how to do something, I expect you to problem-solve. Problem-solving might mean using some of the links provided for you on my blog, calling a friend, or emailing me at mrsterry.thomas@gmail.com I will usually get back to you within 12 hours.

 Responsible Use of Technology

●  I am a big proponent of technology and using it to enhance your school experience. First and foremost, I expect you to check and read your email. I often send emails to the class that contain helpful information or reminders. Choosing not to read them is choosing to put yourself at a disadvantage in the class. Read all emails from me.

  • Additionally, use email to communicate with me after hours. The email that works best is mrsterry.thomas@gmail.com I do not often check my school email at home; please use the gmail address after 4:00 PM (if you forget, or if you don’t remember this email address, you can certainly email me at tthomas@cng.edu Just keep in mind that I might not read it until the beginning of the following day).

●  In this class, plan to use, or learn to use the computer as well as possible. You should be comfortable uploading documents & images, using word processing programs, using Google docs, bookmarking websites, searching for information on the Internet, and following basic “netiquette”. If you are not, you need to ask me how to do something when the time comes. Not knowing how is not an excuse.

●  I encourage you to bring a laptop to class. Keep in mind that once you enter the classroom, your computer is no longer an entertainment tool– it is an educational one. Anyone who uses the laptop inappropriately in class will lose the privilege for the day (after the first offense); for the week (after the second offense), and for the year (third offense).

●  The same holds true for Blackberries and other hand-held devices. I recognize that many students use their Blackberries for sending themselves reminders, taking photos of the whiteboard, and even word processing. While I would prefer that you not do this– I’d prefer that you actually copy the notes on the board, write the reminders in your agenda, or use a full-size keyboard for word processing, I’m not interested in policing these behaviors. So, yes, you can use your Blackberry for school-related tasks. However, if you choose to use it inappropriately, the consequences for first, second, and third offenses as described above will apply.

●  Sometimes students like to listen to music while working independently. I am completely supportive of this as long as you aren’t distracted by the music, and as long as you keep the volume low enough so that we all don’t have to hear those annoying buzz, buzz sounds that emit from your speakers. In addition, you need to be aware of when it is time to turn the music off.  There may be times when I do not want anyone listening to music, so always ask first.

IMPORTANT: In spite of what the cartoon above says, technology cannot save you.  It can only help you. And sometimes, technology fails. Computers crash, your Internet connection doesn’t work, flash drives get damaged, and so on. When this happens, it’s up to you to problem solve.  Failed technology is not, in most cases, an excuse for not having your homework or not knowing how to do something. Back up your work, but have another back-up plan that is “low-tech” for those times when technology fails.

What You Need for this Class

At a minimum, please bring the following every day:

  • a 3-ring binder with several (5 or more) dividers
  • several pens- different colors
  • several pencils

Also recommended:

  • a laptop
  • one or more folders
  • 

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