Mrs. Sarah Wood
Pioneer Central Middle School
Eighth Grade ELA
Welcome to your LAST year of Middle School - How exciting is THAT?!
I just wanted to give you a VERY quick overview of the year and what is to be expected of you in my classroom?
1. Who IS this Teacher?
Good question. My name is Mrs. Wood and this will be my twentieth year teaching in the Pioneer Central School District. This is going to be a FANTASTIC year and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be your teacher.
2. What do I need for class?
I will expect the following to be in your possession for the beginning of the school year:
· 2 Marble Composition Notebooks
· Scotch Tape
· Pens (blue or black, minimum 10)
· Pencils (minimum 20)
· 1 3-prong folder with pockets
· USB flash drive (optional)
· Loose-leaf Lined paper
· Sticky Tabs
· A positive attitude and belief in your own success
3. What is expected of you?
I expect you to read between 6 and 7 nights per week. I expect you to do more writing about what you read than you ever have before. I expect your work to be handed in ON TIME unless you have a LEGAL excuse. I expect you to be organized. I expect each of my students to follow the procedure in this (and every) classroom. I expect you to be Respectful, Responsible, and Ready. I expect you to be an ACTIVE learner. I expect each of you to be polite, prepared, prompt, and productive. If you are having problems, I expect you to come to me for help.
4. What is expected of ME, your teacher?
I will ALWAYS treat each of you will fairness and respect. I will ALWAYS try and make learning fun. I will ALWAYS try to help anyone who needs it. I will ALWAYS do whatever I can to help you believe you can succeed.
5. What should you do when you enter D138?
· Walk into the room quietly and take your seat. Have your supplies ready
· Be prepared to read and write EVERY SINGLE DAY
6. What should you do if you’re absent?
· Just because you were absent does not mean you are exempt from reading and writing at home. You should bring your book, Reading Calendar, and Reading Notebook home EVERY SINGLE DAY.
· If you are going to be absent for an extended period of time, please have your parent/guardian contact us, so you can get your work from the entire team.
· TALK TO ME IF THERE ARE PROBLEMS. I’m not a mind reader.
· Your absence is YOUR responsibility. I will not CHASE you for your work.
7. PowerSchool for Parents
This web service gives parents and students access to real-time information including attendance, grades, and detailed assignment descriptions, school bulletins, lunch balances, and even personal messages from the teacher. Everyone stays connected: students stay on top of assignments and parents are able to participate more fully in their student's progress.
8. GRADING POLICY
Statement of Expectation—
WE expect….that all students be active and independent learners with an interest in their own success. We strive to promote learning that produces critical thinkers, problem solvers, academic risk takers and effective communicators. We do this through rigorous reading and writing tasks and assessments.
We believe….the purpose of grading is to provide an assessment of student progress, mastery, and needs. It is felt that the most effective tool for assessment is independent growth. This growth may be evaluated through diagnostic means, formative assessments, summative assessments, rubrics, observation, parallel tasks, classwork, and participation. Our students will begin to self-assess and have a better understanding of their own learning, progress, and overall reading and writing habits.
We feel… we have taken great collaborative strides as a district to ensure that our grading policy is fair and just for all students across grade levels.
However, it is also based on student engagement in and out of the classroom.
Grading & Homework Assignment Guidelines—
Final grade is calculated by PowerSchool for each weighted task.
Rubrics, when used, are converted to points for PowerSchool.
This grading policy will be explained at parent/student orientation, posted on teacher websites, given to the students, and reviewed at parent conferences as needed.
**ELA NYS Common Core Standards, Curriculum, Philosophy, overall class structure, and daily assignments are
DEPENDENT ON STUDENT INVOLVEMENT AND ENGAGEMENT.
Frequency of Evaluation
· Independent Reading
· Daily Reading Calendar
· Reading Journals
· Unit Homework
Journals and Calendars
Will be assessed upon Completion, Volume, and Variety using our classroom rubric
(minimum of 2)
· Summative Assessments
· Book Talks
Will be assessed upon CCLS, comprehension, and using our classroom and NYS rubrics
(minimum of 2)
· Anticipatory set writing
· Published Writing Piece
Will be assessed on the writing process and the final product using our classroom and NYS rubrics
· Weekly preparation and/or participation for class
· Classroom engagement
· Daily writing notebook tasks
· Unit Workbook Completion
· Grammar practice
Will be assessed on Behaviors, Teacher Observation, & Preparedness using our classroom rubric
Final exam will count for 1/5
of student’s final grade
Culminating Tasks during Final Exam Week
Will be assessed using
NYS Rubric9. Reading and Writing
· When you begin writing, you should first, COLLECT multiple ideas, in your WRITING NOTEBOOK.
· Next, CHOOSE an idea.
· After that, EXPAND upon that idea, using multiple strategies in your WRITING NOTEBOOK.
· Then, DRAFT about that idea.
· Subsequently, EDIT and REVISE your ideas.
· Ultimately, PUBLISH and CELEBRATE your ideas.
· Oh by the way…You should write PAGES, not paragraphs.
· You are expected to read 6 out of 7 nights per week—on average, 30 minutes per night.
· You are expected to REFLECT every other day in your READING JOURNAL. Use the prompts given each quarter. Responses must be ONE page in length to receive full credit.
· You should DIG DEEP with those reactions (you cannot just make statements, you need to support them with evidence from the text)
· All reflections must be in your READING JOURNALS. Loose leaf will not be accepted.
· You MUST keep track of your reading time by using your READING CALENDAR.
· Oh by the way…You should read CHAPTERS, not pages.
The work continues at home:
Your homework, EVERY night, regardless of class structure, will be to read and/or write.
In the end, your success in ELA class
depends entirely upon your own effort:
· If you do not read, your grades will suffer.
· If you do not write, your grades will suffer.
· If you do not cooperate during class, your grades will suffer.
· If you do not work at home, your grades will suffer.
Trust me, I know this may seem intimidating, but…
10. Goal Setting
An ESSENTIAL part of the ELA classroom is setting personal goals for your work. Since SOOOOOO much is going to be done on your own, you have to be able to figure out your own next step.
· How many pages am I going to read per night?
· I am going to ask myself at least 3 questions when I read tonight.
· I am going to write one more reflection than I did last week.
· Tonight in my writing, I am going to concentrate on capitalization.
· Tonight in my writing, I am going to use dialogue.
Your goals will depend upon on your own needs, wants, and ambitions. Your goals should look different from your neighbor’s.
This year we will be focusing on many aspects of reading and writing. Our primary goal is to get you ready for the rigor of high school.
We will be reading 4 major pieces of literature:
· “Flowers For Algernon” Daniel Keyes
· Inside Out and Back Again Thanhha Lai
· “The Diary of Anne Frank” Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett
· Night Elie Wiese
Additionally, you will be writing several literature based formal essays.
You are in EIGHTH GRADE so I assume you know the Middle School “Drill” by now. But just in case…keep up with your work, stay organized, be respectful to everyone, have a positive attitude, and ASK FOR HELP!