• Strategies for Success

    Course Syllabus

    Teacher: Heather Berry-Chavis

    Planning Time: 4th Period

    Phone Number: PSHS 910-521-3253

    Email address: heather.berry-chavis@robeson.k12.nc.us

    Logins need to follow the following format – USERNAME:firstnamelastinitiallast4digits of your NCWise# and PASSWORD:8 digit DOB

    2nd CLASS CODE for newsela.com is 3FTF67

    3rd CLASS CODE for newsela.com is U7X8NV


    This class is designed to help the student be successful in the general curriculum.



    1.       Reader’s Notebook (provided by the teacher)

    2.       Library Book (100 + pages in length)

    3.       Pencil and blue/black ink pen

    4.       Logins for quizlet.com and newsela.com

    5.       All materials needed to complete assignments for other classes


    Course Description: This course is designed to provide the resources each student needs to be successful in the general curriculum.  Each student will receive remediation/additional assistance/specialized instruction in a small group setting daily.


    Goals and Objectives: The students will be able to utilize the information learned in this course to perform better in their other courses during their high school career and be better prepared for life after high school.


    *It is the student’s responsibility to write down all assignments daily in each of his/her classes.  Even if the student completes the assignment in the core classroom, the student is still required to bring it to the Strategies class to be checked for accuracy and verification of completion.  If the student fails to do so, his/her grade in this course will reflect their failure to follow classroom procedures and expectations. Collaboration with regular teachers will be done on a weekly basis, however, it is the responsibility of the student on a daily basis to address the areas of study that they need assistance and to bring all notes, classwork, and homework to class every day. 

    Media Center Monday – EVERY MONDAY student groups will go to the media center to pick out a new library book with the Teacher’s Assistant


    Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – News articles addressing science/social studies themes from newsela.com will be read and discussed.  Math/English skills will be taught during each class period to reinforce basic skills. 


    Friday – Vocabulary and Comprehension Test – Free time after all work is complete, if work ethic and behavior are merit of a reward. 


    Daily Class Structure:

    1. Daily Journal Writing

    2. Interactive Lesson via multimedia

    3. Whole Group Direct Instruction Lesson

    4. Reading Project or Activity – small groups, partners

    5. Independent Work from Regular Classes

    6. Student/Teacher conferences

    7. Song Lyrics for reading fluency (time permits)



    90-100                       A

    80-89                          B

    You may ask to review your grades at any time.  Progress Reports will be sent home at scheduled intervals. 


    70-79                          C

    60-69                          D

    59 or below               F

    Grade Breakdown for the Semester (approved by EC Department for all courses):                                                                                   

    Friday Vocabulary and Comprehension Tests – 30%                    

    Class Projects/Homework – 20%               

    Classwork/Participation – 30%                                                 

    Notebook/Portfolio – 20%

    ****If you snooze, you get a ZERO for the day’s participation grade and you miss an opportunity to improve your academic skills.  Take ownership for your learning.   Do not sleep. ****

    Participation:  You will receive a DAILY CLASS PARTICIPATION GRADE.  Class participation is a vital component of this course—your input will make our sessions more interesting and personally relevant. Ask questions, speak your mind, and offer your personal insights about the material. There will be considerable time allotted for class discussions and cooperative learning groups.  This counts for 30% of your final grade.  Sleeping in class will count against this grade— staying awake is a prerequisite for participating in class.  If you sleep during classroom activities, you will not only affect your participation grade, you will affect your Friday test day grades as well.  Please take pride in your classroom behaviors and do your best.  We love to share and communicate our ideas – please take part.  Your voice counts.

    HOMEWORK:  Each student is expected to read 15 minutes each night or a minimum of 8 pages per night from their self-selected reading book to ensure the 9 week book reading goal/requirement is met. You should be reading Monday-Thursday. The student is required to document the nightly reading in the Reader’s Notebook at the beginning of each class by writing a 5-8 sentence long summary. Homework Monday-Thursday counts for 25 points per assignment with a possible score of 100 per week.  Students are required to complete at least two fiction or non-fiction books for the 1st quarter and three fiction or non-fiction books for the 2nd quarter.  These books will be self-selected and a final book review for a project grade will be required two days after the completion of the book. Therefore, you will have two project grades for first quarter and three project grades for second quarter.

    STUDY NOTES and complete all assignments for Regular Education classes!! 


    Daily-At the beginning of each class you will complete a summary daily in your “Reader’s Notebook” summarizing your homework reading assignment in 5-8 sentences.   You will be required to work on meeting your weekly (three newsela.com articles) and quarterly (two fiction or non-fiction books for the 1st quarter and three fiction or non-fiction books for the 2nd quarter) reading goals during class if you have completed all other school work.

    Weekly-You will complete three news articles from newsela.com with an 80% accuracy or better.  One article will come from the science category, one article will come from the social studies category, and the third can be from any category you select.  If you do not score an 80% or better on the quiz then you will need to retake the quiz by reading the same article but change the Lexile level.

    Quarterly-You will be required to work on meeting you quarterly reading goals during class if you have completed all other school work.  12th graders are required to complete four WorkKeys practice tests quarterly, read two books first quarter and three books second quarter, summarizing your reading daily in your notebook, and writing a book review for each book two days after completing the book.

    Ø  INDEPENDENT CLASSWORK- Students will not talk or get assistance from other students during independent work. These assignments are to be completed by the students themselves.

    Ø  GROUP CLASSWORK- Students will work in teams to do various assignments and projects based upon their common regular education classes. Teams must work together, participate, share ideas, and solve problems. Teams will be respectful of their instructional time, managed their time on task, and work respectfully with each other at all times.

    You will earn points every day for your class work Monday-Friday with a possible score of 100 per week.



    Students that have failed a test will need to go back and review concepts that are not mastered during Strategies class. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Strategies Teacher and the Regular Education Teacher of skills that are not mastered so additional instruction can be provided. You will retake all failed tests either during Strategies class or during Learning Center.

    Final Exam:  You will be required to take your regular education class exams and those grades will be calculated into your final EC Strategies for Success grade. 

    Behavioral Expectations:  A Word Document will be pulled up each day to record any behavioral issues and will be kept as a running record of our semester.  If you complete all of your assignments and do not have any behavioral issues during the instructional time, the last ten minutes are dedicated to free time where song lyrics will be played to increase reading fluency.  If you earn  a minimum of 450 points for the week you will be able to participate in the Behavior Modification Reward System on Friday. It is imperative that you are present every day, follow all classroom rules, and are respectful of our learning environment in the classroom.  Please understand that this class needs your cooperation so everyone can be successful. You will be expected to complete all assignments, study all notes, and respect instructional time. 


     1.  BE READY FOR LIFE:  Respect other people and their views and opinions.  Have positive communication with classmates and the teacher.  Do not bully others.  It will not be tolerated. 

    2. BE READY FOR WORK:   Follow directions the first time given.  When given directions, follow them.  Stay focused and ready to learn.

    3. BE READY FOR COLLEGE:     Respect our class instructional time.  Free time will be earned at the end of each class period where you may listen to songs (read lyrics on the screen).  Keep your cellphones, headphones, and all electronic devices put up and out of sight. If not, they will be confiscated until the end of the instructional time and placed in the electronic prison bucket. 

    4. Honor all codes of conduct found in the PSHS Student Handbook.


    Consequences for Not Following Rules:

     1. Verbal Warning – Documented in EdClick

    2.  Teacher/Student Conference – Documented in EdClick

    3.  Parent Contact  -Documented in EdClick

    4. Principal/Assistant Principal Conference with disciplinary action to be determined by administrator.

    5.  Student can not participate in behavioral modification program that promotes class bonding/socialization and life skills on Friday.

    Please read all syllabus material with your family to ensure that they are aware of the policies, expectations, and grading rules for the classroom.  This will count as a test grade so please sign and return by Friday, August 28, 2015. Thank you!!

       Student Signature:______________________________________________________


                                       Parent Signature:  _____________________________________________________

    Comments, Questions, Concerns: _________________________________________________________