• The Learning Collaborative -

    English Course Description

    In English, we...

    • Explore and develop literacy, i.e., the ability to read, write and speak and conduct research effectively

    • Encourage the clear, honest expression of ideas, feelings and perceptions
    • Enjoy and examine the literature created by others, both peers and published authors
  • Instruction

    Project Based Learning

    Relevant Contexts

    Students engage in a project/problem-based learning environment in this course. They build communication and literacy skills in authentic and relevant contexts, work both individually and collaboratively to develop understanding, publish their work for authentic audiences, and regularly reflect on their learning. Through this approach, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity skills. They also learn to take ownership of their learning and develop a growth mindset – referred to as "fundamentals" in the course.


    "Just in Time" Instruction

    Students access content and develop skills primarily through workshops. Workshops may include class discussions, small group activities, targeted skill instruction, reading, research, technology-based activities, instructional videos, lectures, and demonstrations.

  • Assessment

    Mastery of Learning

    Students are assessed on their mastery of literacy skills: reading, writing and speaking. Each project targets specific skills in each main area, e.g., narrative writing, reading literature and collaborative discussion. Students are given scaffolded instruction and multiple opportunities to demonstrate their growth and level of proficiency. They work collaboratively with me and with their peers to develop polished communication skills.


    Proficiency Scales:


    Argument Writing

    Informative Writing

    Narrative Writing

    Reading Literature

    Reading Nonfiction

    Oral Presentation

    Collaborative Discussion


    What those numbers mean:

    • 4 = advanced-- demonstrates factual and conceptual understanding and apply knowledge and skills to novel situations.
    • 3 = proficient-- demonstrates both factual and conceptual understanding, and  skills are at the standard.
    • 2 = developing-- demonstrate factual understanding of content and  skills are approaching proficiency.
    • 1 = needs help--demonstrates partial factual understanding and need more training and significant practice to meet the standard.
    • no score = work does not demonstrate what the teacher is assessing; or, maybe the work was not turned in.


    For content scales associated with particular Humanities projects, please see Haiku.

  • Grading,etc.

    Standards Based Grading

    Students will be assessed through a standards based grading model which ensures students have multiple opportunities to show proficiency in the learning outcomes of their TLC courses. Student mastery of specific skills and content through diverse and rigorous academic challenges is a key component of their learning. Therefore, punctual submission of work is essential in order for teachers to give timely feedback. This system helps us to personalize learning experiences for students and target each student’s individual needs. Semester grades will be based on a student’s ability and growth in each of the targeted learning outcomes at the end of the semester.


    The grade book in Haiku is the best resource for following a student's progress toward goals.



    Students are responsible for the information and assignments they miss during an absence. Students should review the agendas and activities on Haiku and work with their partners in class to help them with this task.

    Late and Revised Work

    Seeking feedback and revision is expected.  All late and revised work is due at the end of each marking period, i.e., all R1 work is due no later than the last day of R1.

  • Technology

    Cell Phones

    Students deposit their cell phones in the "parking lot" I provide in my classroom for the duration of the class.

    Other Digital Devices

    Tools for Learning

    Digital devices are considered tools for learning. Students bring their own device or check out a device free of charge from the district. While in class, devices are used with the permission of the teacher, for specific purposes. "Recreational" use of devices is not permitted during class time.

  • Contact Me


    415-945-3600 x4423

    Sir Francis Drake High School

    1327 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

    San Anselmo, CA  94960