Mr. Heaney does not believe in what is thought of as traditional daily homework assignments that can often be classified as busy work. Assignments strive to be items that have true educational integrity in that they show student learning and achievement and prove that the student has actually learned something permanently and not temporarily. Mr. Heaney believes that students should be reading on a daily basis. Therefore, students may have daily reading assignments that will require them to read somewhere between fifteen and thirty minutes a day. Also, the long-term projects are usually multi-faceted. Ultimately, there is an enormous variety of projects that are given. These may range from packet work, collegiate essays, take-home tests, poster creations, or video production. Mr. Heaney usually gives students ample time in class to work on these projects but many projects will require that the student work on them at home as well. Most units will end with an in-class exam that Mr. Heaney usually allows students to use their notes on.
Most assignments will be long term and project based with the intention of doing four things: (1) Enhancing student appreciation for ELA content (2) Improving writing skills (3) Improving reading skills (4) Developing critical thinking skills
Assignments are assessed holistically according to a basic letter assignment rubric that mirrors a collegiate grading system:
A = Shows superior effort and skill. The student has gone the "extra mile" so to speak
B = Is a strong performance. The student has done a very good job but the work doesn't reflect the top achievement that was possible.
C = This is a passing grade. The work is acceptable but shows little care and concern for resembling an item of quality.
D = This is a largely unacceptable grade. There is no real quality in the student performance. Students who receive this grade will be asked to re-do their work as this grade is unacceptable even if it is considered passing.
F = This grade goes to work that is either largely undone or not done at all.
*Student grades will usually be posted near the end of a ten week marking period. Due to the nature of long-term projects, any grade posted prior to seven or eitght weeks into the quarter is usually an inaccurate or incomplete portrait of student achievement.