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8th Grade English Language Arts

  • Course Requirements:

    Course Expectations:
    The expectations of the eighth grade Language Arts course are to improve written and oral communication skills and to develop an appreciation of written and oral language. This is accomplished through the study of literature, composition, grammar, and vocabulary. Students will also apply study skills, research skills, and practice critical thinking. They will have the opportunity to collaborate and work creatively to solve problems and complete projects. We will use the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Collections Anthology along with additional supplemental materials. Students will also be responsible for a common read book(s) in which the entire grade level will read the same title and complete a thematic project. The course is designed to be rigorous, yet developmentally appropriate, and assessments will mimic the style of the Smarter Balanced assessment given in the spring.

    Please keep in mind there are high expectations of students in 8th grade.  This includes always being prepared for class, being on time, and turning in all assignments the day they are due.

    Parental Involvement:

    • Respect teacher’s time and commitment- please allow 24 hours for a response
    • Support your child in his/her learning
    • Support your child to maintain regular attendance and on-time arrival
    • Communicate concerns/questions with the teacher

    Teacher Support:

    • Provide curriculum enrichment opportunities
    • Foster higher-level thinking skills and creativity
    • Support student’s autonomy and promote self-advocacy
    • Complete formative and summative assessments to modify instruction
    • Provide opportunities to work collaboratively

    Assignments:
    It is also recommended that students keep all graded assignments for the entire marking period just in case there are any discrepancies. All homework assignments are due at the beginning of each class period. All work is expected to be your own. Academic dishonesty involves, but is not limited to, cheating, copying homework, plagiarism, and using unauthorized online tools to help with assignments. It is taken seriously and will result in disciplinary action and a possible zero. The district’s code of conduct will be followed.

    Grading Policies

    The following is the department-wide grading policy:

    • Exams are 40%
    • Tasks are 20%
    • Classwork is 30%
    • Homework is 10%

    Late Work Policy:
    In the case of expected absences, students will be allowed 1 day/day missed with 0 penalties to turn in assignments. In the case of unexpected absences, students will be allowed 2 days/day missed with 0 penalties to turn in assignments. Late assignments will be accepted for half credit, within 2 weeks of the assignment due date. 

    Absences:
    It is the student’s responsibility to get the work they missed when they return.  There is a designated area in the classroom for missed work. Also, please remember to check Schoology for reminders.

    Rules and Procedures

    Cell phones:
    District cell phone policy will be followed. Student cell phones should be turned off and placed in lockers. Activated devices are not permitted during school hours and devices will be confiscated and turned over to administration.

    Behavioral Management:
    Students have the opportunity to earn loot tickets daily for positive behavior. Students can also earn field trips and marking period celebrations by adhering to school-wide PBS policies.  Students may also earn individual or class privileges that may vary throughout the year. The conduct policy of the school and the Board of Education, as outlined in the Code of Conduct handbook, shall be followed in this course.  Each student is also expected to follow the behavior guidelines set forth by eighth-grade teachers. The teacher will first address the student in the class, but if behaviors continue (or are severe) a time-out may be issued. These can affect a student’s ability to earn PBS rewards. After a time-out, or if a behavior is very severe, an official referral may be written. Any behavior that disturbs classroom learning will not be permitted.

    Reading and Writing Requirements:
    It is recommended students read at least thirty minutes per night. Additional guidelines will be set forth throughout the year and posted on Schoology. Students will be required to complete extended writing assignments at home. Generally, these will be assigned every two weeks. These writing assignments will cover a variety of skills and concepts and provide the opportunity for students to work to meet Common Core standards. They will be spot-checked using a rubric. We will work to set reading and writing goals throughout the year and we will offer challenges to motivate students. Our goal is to foster student’s love of writing and reading and to help them become life-long learners.