Class Introduction:

Welcome! This year eighth graders will pursue various paths to self-discovery. The eighth grade language arts curriculum theme, “Finding my place in the world,” is addressed throughout four units: finding my place, having the courage to change, establishing rights and responsibilities, and building towards success. Students will appreciate themselves and others, become individually empowered, and begin to develop into constructive and successful members of their community.
Students will practice skills and be assessed through daily grammar review, written assignments (assigned and on-demand), informative reading assignments, assigned literature reading, self-choice independent reading, vocabulary, quizzes, and tests.
Class participation and engagement is essential to student success. Disruption to another’s learning process will not be tolerated; everyone has the right to uninterrupted education. I look forward to working with you this year!

Class Expectations:
• Be prepared with materials when class begins
• Complete all assignments on time
• Respect yourself and others, all of the time

Behavior Plan:
• Redirection from teacher
• Verbal reminder/warning from teacher
• Removal from activity (possible call home from teacher)
• Office referral (call home from teacher) *A team meeting may be requested to discuss behavior expectations and an action plan for success.

I believe grades are primarily a medium of communication and are not intended to define who you are. I never refer to students as an “A” student or a “C” student. Grades measure accomplishment on tasks, not intelligence. Grades are posted regularly online.

A = 90-100 or 4.0
B = 80-89 or 3.0
C = 70-79 or 2.0
D = 60-69 or 1.0
F = 50-59 or 0.0

In order to communicate clearly where a student is performing in regards to building concept schemas, I will use the following verbiage:

Mastery - indicating the student has demonstrated the ability to spontaneously apply the concept being studied to new and unique situations.

Strong - indicating the student can apply, with guidance, the concept being studied to most situations.

Developing - indicating the student has demonstrated understanding of but is inconsistent in the application of the concept being studied.

Emerging -  indicating the student is beginning to understand, but has some misconceptions and is unable to apply the concept being studied. 

Limited - indicating the student demonstrates insufficient understanding of the concept being studied with major misconceptions.

No Evidence - indicating the student has not provided enough information to gauge their level of understanding.

Late Work:
* Late work will be reviewed for success, but will result in percentage deduction.
* One day late = 50% credit, after 1 day, late work = 0, zero
Work turned in later than 1 day from the due date will be scored as "no evidence" since within the given time frame for the assignment there was no evidence of a successful attempt or completion of the given assignment. Adhering to assignment due dates is a student's responsibility and key to developing successful time management and work completion skills. That being said, I will monitor student progress, support prioritization and organization of work completion, and work closely with you to recover when needed.

• During an excused absence (illness, travel), students are allowed the number of days absent in order to make-up their work.
• During an unexcused absence (suspension, truancy), assignments are due the day students return to class.
• The Anchorage School District Handbook addresses additional attendance policies.

Parents and guardians:
I am thrilled for this school year! I look forward to working with you and your student for success. I truly believe everyone has gifts to share, and I hope together we can discover and tap into your student’s unique gift. Please make sure your student is prepared for classes with the materials* they need. In my class students are required to have a black and white composition book (along with other supplies on the team list). We will be personalizing these books in class and students will be allowed to use magazines, stickers, quotes, and pictures from home to decorate their composition books to depict who they are. Please help them find appropriate items for their composition books by Friday of their first week.

*Please come prepared to class with a 2-inch 3-ring binder (you may use it for all classes), a pencil, a pen, and a composition book (the black and white bound type... no spirals). We will be using the composition books within the first week of school, and it is imperative you are prepared.
They are easily found at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Target, Fred Meyer, and various office stores.