We’re underway in the 2016-17 school year, and we wanted to share some of the changes that the English Department has implemented for this school year:
Freshmen Vocabulary Shift
This year is the first of a two-year overhaul of our vocabulary component of our Introduction to Literature classes (i.e. our core courses for freshmen & sophomores). We have reduced the number of vocabulary units that we will teach our freshmen this year, and have simplified the definitions and the supplemental information about the word parts and the new vocabulary words that we teach. Our vocabulary webpage underwent a minor redesign as well. Next year, we will also adjust our sophomore vocabulary text.
This year, our department is also restructuring our grammar component for the Introduction to Literature courses, and will be reinforcing our grammar instruction by using NoRedInk, a website that tracks student progress and highlights student weaknesses. This shift is a long-overdue adjustment to the BHS Grammar units that we introduced six or so years ago.
American Literature Textbook
Our American Literature textbook completed the second year of its renovation, which transformed the textbook into one governed by a chronological order to one that introduces a thematic organization instead.
This summer, the British Literature teachers met to discuss the beginning of a similar renovation to the British Literature course and the textbook as well. We expect that this will become our next major project within the department. We also cleaned up and simplified the vocabulary sections in both textbooks, and included definitions and flashcard sets to the units in the British Literature book, as we hope to improve the level of engagement that our students have with the vocabulary units.