• Cooley – English Language Arts 7

    Course Syllabus, Mr. Reynolds

    PLEASE NOTE: The course is subject to change due to COVID-19

    Course Information

    COURSE TITLE:  7th Grade English Language Arts


    • Collections: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Close Reader: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Novel List – To Be Announced
    • Supplies: Composition notebook, glue, pens/pencils for daily use, Expo markers (we can write on the desks!), colored pencils or thin markers, loose leaf paper, and a 2 pocket folder or section in a binder for this class.
    • Wish List: Lined paper, Clorox wipes, and large hand sanitizer for the classroom.

    Room: 225

    Phone: 480-279-8366

    Email: sean.reynolds@husd.org


    Instructor Information

    Teacher:  Sean Reynolds        

    Credentials: Bachelors of Science, Criminal Justice; ELA teaching credential; ELA Highly Qualified

    Instructor Availability

    I make every effort to respond to email within 24 hours. I am also available to you before or after school by appointment; please do not hesitate to let me know if you need to speak with me.      


    About Mr. Reynolds:

                  I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area.  I love to go visit as often as possible, especially to attend Oakland A's and San Francisco 49ers games! I have been married for 20 years and have 2 children, a boy named Seth and a girl named Avalyn. You will hear stories about them ALL the time! I also have three dogs.  A Golden Doodle named Teddy Bear, a Chihuahua named Lime, and a Chihuahua mix named Rusty.  I love relaxing, watching Netflix, hanging out with friends and family, watching sports, and going to the movies.  My favorite movies are “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Training Day”, and “Terminator 2”.  Sorry guys we will not be watching these in class!

                  This is my 2nd year of teaching.  My goal is to teach each student to work hard and love learning. I love to see the progress that each student makes each year. Our slogan around here is “I never lose. Either I win or I learn.” I love this quote because we are ALL learning and growing on a daily basis. We learn from our mistakes and just get better!

    Course Topics and Objectives

    • Exploring the different genres of literature; Becoming familiar with literary terms; Reading and annotating informative texts; Using composition to accurately express thoughts; Understanding grammar and its use. We will cover 7thgrade ELA standards and read from grade level texts over the course of the year. This will prepare students for 8th grade ELA next year and for high school classes.



    • Be on time. This means you are in class AND in your seats when the tardy bell rings.
    • Be prepared for class with all necessary materials.
    • Be seated with the correct materials, working on Bell work, and ready for instruction within 60 seconds of the bell ringing.
    • Tardy Policy: 2nd Tardy-Lunch Detention and Phone Call; 3rd Tardy and Beyond-Referral.


    Participation is very important. We engage in many forms of learning and you are expected to participate in them all. Come prepared to participate in all class discussions. Be prepared to defend your ideas, to think critically, and to have fun.

    Expectations for Class Behavior and Demeanor

    Treat the teacher and all other students with respect.

    • Be quiet & respectful when others are speaking.
    • Good manners are expected at all times towards ALL teachers and students. This includes not talking back!
    • Use only language that builds others up, not tears them down.
    • This class is a complaint free zone. No complaining about the school, teachers, or students will be tolerated. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
    • NO PROFANITYor RACIAL SLURS of any kind will be tolerated.
    • You are expected to dress in accordance with the school dress code at all times. If any portion of your undergarments (underwear, bra straps, etc) is visible you are in violation of the school dress code.
    • NO GUM, Food, or Drinks! This is a no gum campus. No Eating or drinking with the exception of a water bottle.
    • Do not throw pens, pencils, etc. across the room or into the trashcan by trying to “shoot baskets”.
    • I have ZEROtolerance for bullying.  There will be harsh consequences if I find you engaging in this behavior in my class or anywhere on campus.




    Assignment Submission 

    Most assignments may be hand written or computer generated. If you choose to type an assignment, excuses of no ink, no paper, or broken printer will not be valid because you always have the option to write your assignments. All formal writing assignments are to be in MLA format and properly cited.

    Be sure to follow all guidelines for the assignment, including a proper heading.

    Late Policy/Absences

     All assignments must be turned in on or before the due date to receive credit. The teacher will determine if assignment will be accepted after the due date. Adequate time is given for all assignments to be completed. If you are absent the day a long-term assignment is due, the assignment will be due the day you return to class. I will NOT remind you, you will be expected to remember to turn in the assignment or it will not be accepted. You will have one day for each day absent to make up all other work.  If you have an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Academic Honesty

    Academic honesty is highly valued at Cooley. A student must always submit work that represents his or her original words or ideas. If any words or ideas are used that do not represent your original words or ideas, you must cite all relevant sources. Anyone caught cheating will receive a zero for that assignment. I take plagiarism and academic dishonesty seriously and you will receive a zero if you plagiarize anyone else’s work or if your parents (or anyone else) do your work for you.


    As I return each assignment, I will provide grades and input into the grading system. If you have any questions about your grade, please see me in private and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

    Please don’t hesitate to see me with any questions or issues. I am not perfect and if I have made an error, I would like the opportunity to correct it. Please do not accept a lower grade than you think is correct, simply because you are unsure how I arrived at it.

    At Cooley, we want all students to have a fair chance of success, which is why we have a Retake Policy on all assessments. Please use this opportunity to your advantage! You will have 2 weeks after a test grade is posted to retake an assessment. See me for specific guidelines and requirements.

    Percentage Values for Course Assignments


    % of Final Grade

    Assessments/ Projects/ Essays/ Quizzes


    Classwork/ Practice/ Notebook Checks/ etc..


    Semester Final Exams






    Composition Notebook/ Assignments

    You will be required to keep a notebook for all classwork. Each day, you will be required to write down the date, the learning objective for the day, and a response to the bell work question. In addition, any notes or activities will go on this same page. From time to time, you will be given notes or worksheets to glue into your notebook. This daily information should be reviewed and studied each night. If you are absent it is your responsibility to locate and complete all assignments given during your absence. You will be allowed to make-up interactive material. Points will be deducted for incomplete material. Your writing must be legible; neatness is a requirement for a passing grade.


    Reading Assignments

    Reading is a vital part of your education. You will be expected to read not only poems, articles, short stories, and classroom novels while at school, but you must bring the book of your choice that you are currently reading EVERY DAY. One of my goals for you is to find a genre that you LOVE. Whether it’s non-fiction about your favorite sports, mystery thrillers, or anything else, I just want you reading every single day! We will start this process with a 1st Quarter Book Report (information will come soon). I will give recommendations of books that will connect with each Quarter’s “Collection” theme. If you or your parents have any issues or concerns with assigned reading material, please do not hesitate to come to me immediately. The school has a large selection of young adult books.  There is NO excuse for not having your book or reading 30 minutes of your book of choice after school.


    More Information on Book Reports/Projects

    You will be required to do one (1) book report/project each quarter.  This may be subject to change at any time.  I will give you the project and rubric at the beginning of each quarter.  You have more than enough time to complete these assignments. I do appreciate these projects turned in early as long as they are done well.  Specific instructions and project rubric will be available to students in a hard copy form. 


    Computer Usage

    You will be receiving a district device (laptop computer).  These will be used on occasion to access online articles, our online textbook, Galileo assignments/dialogs, Canvas assignments/tests, and district assessments. You will be expected to use these computers appropriately and only for the assigned work/test.



    Phones, Distractions, etc.

    Phones, Apple Watches, and other technology are not allowed during the school day and must be kept in backpacks at all times. In addition, anything that can be distracting to the student or their fellow peers will not be permitted. If a student is allowed some type of device according to an IEP or 504 paperwork, the proper accommodations will be made on a case by case basis.



    Canvas and Communication

    We will begin using Canvas as a way to communicate with students and parents. This will also give students and parents access to daily assignments, class calendars, and other resources to help our students succeed. More information will be sent home soon when it becomes available.