8th Grade Accelerated/On-Level Language Arts
Teacher page access: I use Canvas to disseminate general announcements and post assignment instructions and due dates.
I am usually on campus from around 6:15-4:15; since the phone system goes directly to voice mail during school hours, the best way to reach me is via email. I check email several times per day, and I try to respond to emails at the earliest possible opportunity.
8th Accelerated Language Arts will utilize rigorous, high-level thinking strategies that are intended to prepare students for high school honors English classes; this class will, in fact, incorporate part of the 9th grade curriculum. Students will be required to justify responses using text evidence, make inferences, rationalize text-to-world connections, identify bias and argumentative/persuasive techniques, close read for deeper understanding, write for a variety of purposes, and provide explanations to support literary insights. Novels will include Lord of the Flies and The Odyssey.
On-Level classes will emphasize improving writing fluency, justifying responses using textual evidence, and applying critical thinking skills to both literature and non-fiction. Novels will include Night and A Long Walk to Water.
The Language Arts textbook is titled Collections; the Collections textbook will remain in the classroom, but students will be able to access online versions of both the text and related assignments when necessary.
Classroom Guidelines and Student Conduct
In order to create a positive learning environment for all students, certain expectations must be met by all individuals:
- Mutual respect for others (this is a two-way street—I would never expect a student to respect me if I did not offer the same basic courtesies)
- Be prepared and ON TIME—I start my class immediately after the bell rings. Have the required materials needed for the day—they will be posted on the board daily
- No cell phones, gum, or food (students are welcome to bring water)
- Follow classroom policies (signing out for restroom passes, backpacks, raising hand, remaining seated unless requested otherwise)
The HUSD Code of Conduct can be found in the policies and documents section of the HUSD main page. Any necessary discipline measures will follow the Cooley behavior management matrix guidelines.
Grades will be assessed in the following manner:
Assessments (tests, quizzes, projects, formal writing assignments) =65% of grade
Practice assignments (in class reinforcement/remediation, independent practice) =25% of grade
Semester finals =10% of grade
*Please note—while grade updates are provided via progress reports and quarterly grade reports, grades do not start over each quarter; quarters one and two comprise the first semester cumulative grade, and quarters three and four comprise the second semester cumulative grade.
- Students will be given one additional day for each day absent to complete makeup work; if there is a prolonged absence or unforeseen circumstances prevent the completion of work, exceptions can be made
- It is the responsibility of each student to check for missing/absent work online before inquiring with the teacher--all scorable assignments and their necessary instructions will be posted on my Canvas page
- Late work will be accepted for reduced credit through the end of a given quarter
CMS Retest Policy and Extra Help Opportunities
Quiz and Test Retake Policy
To help ensure that every student has an opportunity to master the learning objectives presented in class, students will be given the opportunity to retake summative assessments (with certain exceptions). It is important to note that the retake policy is not intended to be used as a regular practice by a student or as an alternative to study and preparation for assessments.
- Arrangements must be made with the teacher before any retake; this includes turning in the Cooley Middle School Retake Action Plan. Failure to complete the Retake Action Plan can/will result in teacher refusal of a retake.
- Retakes will not be given during class time; arrangements for before or after school testing must be made on the Retake Action Plan
- All retakes must be completed within TWO WEEKS of the date the original assessment was posted to Parent/StudentVue. The retake schedule will be posted in class on Monday of each eligible week. A student may retake an assessment a maximum of two times.
- All practice materials for standards being assessed must be completed and turned in to the teacher (teacher may assign additional practice if warranted)
- Diagnostic tests, independent reading comprehension quizzes, and district/final exams are exempt from retake opportunities
- Unless I have a meeting or a prior commitment, I am more than happy to schedule time before or after school to provide students with additional help. I ask that students request the assistance time one day in advance so I can ensure that I have no scheduling conflicts. Since my availability may vary from week to week, scheduled tutoring times will typically be posted in class each Monday.
Utilizing the HUSD Teacher Pages
- ParentVue/StudentVue--use to access grades (parents: if you are new to the district, you can get an access password from the front office)
-Please note: district guidelines require teachers to input a minimum of two grades per week; while I usually follow this mandate, there will be certain occasions (typically while writing a formal essay) where my students will be working on a single task the entire week. By the end of a given semester, however, my gradebook will always include more than the minimum number of required assignments.
- Canvas—due dates, instructions, and any necessary documents for completing assignments (will often include links to download the original document if misplaced)
All of the supplies listed below are available in my classroom if a student does not have the necessary materials on a particular day; the only item I do not provide for student use is identified with an asterisk.
- *5 subject spiral notebook (HIGHLY recommended—one notebook will be used for the entire school year)
- #2 pencils
- Blue/black pen
- Red pen for editing
- Dry erase marker
- One package of lined 3x5 notecards
- Loose leaf notebook paper
- Highlighter (any color)