• E-Mail: joseph.vanwagner@allenisd.org Phone/Voicemail: 972-236-0600 ext. 4869 Twitter@the_mister_v

    This class uses Canvas as the primary communication and information hub. Please log in to Canvas for additional details.


    Mondays:  7:40a-8:10a, 3:35p-4:30p
    Tuesdays:  AM only by appointment
    Wednesdays:  NO TUTORIALS
    Thursdays:  AM or PM only by appointment
    Fridays:  AM or PM only by appointment

    If you were issued a Tutoring Call slip, please arrive at the assigned date and time. Be prepared with your materials (including print-outs; if you have misplaced these, it is your responsibility to print new ones) and questions. If you need to change your appointment, it is your responsibility to contact me beforehand.

    Failure to attend or reschedule in a timely manner will result in disciplinary action.

    Entering the classroom

    • Required materials for each class period are listed on the classroom whiteboard. This list may change from day to day, so please look at it every time you come in.
    • You may preview the plans for each class rotation on the agendas posted to the modules list so that you may arrive prepared.
    • You may also preview plans for each day on the Class Twitter page.
    • Writing utensils are required every day.
    • Pencils are required for analytical writing (SAQs) and expository writing (essays).
    • If there is a Fire-Up or other opening activity displayed on the board in the classroom, you must begin this work as soon as the bell rings. Students who are unprepared or unproductive are subject to disciplinary action.


    Obtaining missed work

    • All students are expected to independently obtain missed work and instructions for classes they are absent from. Handouts may be printed out from the Canvas assignment or agenda pages.
    • Extra printouts may be available in the top drawer of the cabinet near the student workstation in the classroom.
    • Class notes may be printed from any Canvas assignment or notes page.

    Cell phone/Personal device use

    • On most days, phones and tablets should be completely out of sight (not on desks, chairs, shelves, or the floor) at all times. If a device is visible, it is considered "in use."
    • A charging station is provided for students to charge and secure their phones and devices.
      • During tests and (some) quizzes, these devices will be locked in the box and may not be accessed until the test is over.
    • If electronic devices are permitted for use during a class activity, the charging station will be closed.
      • Even when devices are permitted, students are bound by the school's acceptable use policy and the syllabus.
      • Devices must be stowed when activities for which they are used have ended. When these activities have stopped, normal device policies resume effect.
    • Electronic devices will be taken if they are visible or are used in violation of these rules at any time - no exceptions.
      • Students do not receive "warnings" for inappropriate or unauthorized device use.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Q: "What is Pre-AP English I?"

    • English I is a literature-based course in which students will study various genres and literary devices, refine writing skills, develop vocabulary knowledge, extend critical thinking, and practice the research process. Goals for this course include:
      • reading & understanding a wide variety of literary and informational texts;
      • composing a variety of written texts with a clear controlling idea, coherent organization, and sufficient detail;
      • researching to locate a range of relevant sources & evaluating, synthesizing, and presenting ideas and information;
      • listening & responding to the ideas of others while contributing ideas in conversations and in groups; and
      • learning how to use the oral and written conventions of the English language in speaking and writing.

    Q: "Will there be homework?"

    • Homework will be given periodically, and may include:
      • Assigned Reading
      • Canvas Quizzes
      • Unit Projects
    • Additionally, students are expected to have a novel selected for independent reading when a novel is not assigned to the class.

    Q: "Will there be opportunities for extra credit?"

    • No.

    Q: "What can I do to avoid being overwhelmed in English I?"

    • Log in to Canvas every day.
      • View the Canvas calendar for due dates.
      • Preview daily agendas on Canvas for discussion, activity, and assignment details.
      • Read class announcements on Canvas.
    • Communicate with the teacher during class, tutorials, and on Canvas.
    • Attend tutorials if necessary.

    Q: "Where are the assignments?"
    • In the Modules section of Canvas.
      • In-class assignments are labeled [ic]
      • Homework assignments are labeled [hw]
      • Some assignments may be marked as both in-class and homework ([ic+hw]).
      • In-class work not completed during the time provided is considered homework.
        • This includes make-up work.
        • Unless you have documented accommodations (Special Education or 504, for example), this will not grant you an extension. If an assignment is due in class, and you do not finish it until later in the day, it is late.
          • Late work is eligible for a maximum grade of 70.
    • Rubrics are at the bottom of most Canvas assignment pages. These are the expectations for each assignment and how they are graded.
    • Due dates are provided in-class (each day, both verbally and on the classroom whiteboard).

    Q: "How do I use Canvas to study?"

    • New notes, vocabulary note cards (Quizlet),videos, and study guides will become available and are updated as lessons are posted. These  can be found in the Modules list under the "Resources" module for the current unit.
    • Past notes, vocabulary note cards (Quizlet),videospractice quizzes, and study guides can be found in the Modules list under the "Resources" module for each past unit.

    Q: "What did I miss when I was absent?"

    • It is your responsibility to keep up-to-date on activitiesassignmentsnotes, and due dates by reading agendas & assignments on the Modules list.
    • You may Contact me if anything on Canvas is unclear.
    • Attend tutorials (schedules are listed above).
    • If you are absent due to extracurricular activities (such as band or athletics), notify me ahead of time.
      • You are responsible for independently obtaining work to be missed before these absences take place.
      • Unless you have specific, documented accommodations with the school, extracurricular absences do not grant you extensions. Your assignments must still be completed on time or before you leave.
    • Read the class syllabus for details regarding absence policies and extensions.

    Q: "What if I don't have a computer or the internet?"

    • Laptop Check-Outs: ask your House Office for more information.
    • Lowery Freshman Center Library: open before and after school from 7:45am - 8:10am and 3:30pm - 4:30pm (the library is not open during lunch periods!).

    Many local businesses also offer free public Wi-Fi, including:

    • Allen Public Library: open Monday-Thursday 10:00am - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday 10:00am - 6:00pm, and Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm.
    • Market Street: open Monday-Sunday 6:00am - 10:00pm.
    • McDonald's: 815 S Allen Heights Drive, open 24 hours every day.
    • Caffe Promenade: open Monday-Wednesday 5:00am - 9:00pm, Thursday & Friday 5:00am - 10:00pm, Saturday 6:00am - 10:00pm, and Sunday 6:00am - 6:00pm.