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Course Syllabus 2017-18  

 

Wetumpka Middle School

1000 Micanopy Street

Wetumpka, Alabama 36092

 

 

Course Syllabus

Language Arts ( 2017-18)

Mr. E. Ray ( Instructor)

Mrs. Tremeca Jackson( Principal)

Mr. Ewell Fuller ( Adm. Assistant)

Mrs. Amy Kearly( Adm. Assistant)

 

 

Course Description: The 8th Grade Language Arts is based on the Alabama Career and Readiness Standards and Alabama Course of Study. The primary textbook will be the McDougal Littell literature book that is directly correlated to Explore and ACT/ Aspire . The text will encompass all benchmark literary standards with supplemental reinforcement of composition, vocabulary, grammar, and resource skills. Reading Comprehension and literary standards will be reinforced through short stories, trade books, plays, poems, and ARI/LTF strategies. Grammar and Composition Skills will be further enhanced through the Writer’s Choice text and DGP bell ringers. All four writing modes will be addressed ( narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive) with impetus on the five paragraph essay, short story construct, and research-based writing. Daily Grammar Practice will be implemented as a warm-up each day to strengthen the connection between grammar, sentence structure, and writing. In addition, speaking and communication skills will be reinforced through a vast array of projects including Presidential Debates, explanatory speeches, commercials, and Greek Mythology/Traditional Talk Shows. Listening Skills will be enhanced through teacher selected activities such as “Read Aloud’s” as well as old radio broadcast. Vocabulary Skills will be targeted via academic vocabulary on alternate weeks with the DGP. Art-based projects ( with writing connections) will also be filtered into the curriculum as a means of allowing students to appreciate art expression and its relevance in our world.

 

 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Information

Mr. Ray

8th Grade Language Arts

 

I. Supplies: students must have the following items for Language Arts:

A.       Two packages of #2 pencils                                                        

B.       Two packages of blue or black ink pens

C.        Three Ring Binder_3 inch_all classes

                   1. Bell Ringer Section ( DGP, academic vocabulary, and grammar notes)

                   2. Skills Section ( homework, skill based sheets, LTF analysis )

                   3. Journal Section ( essays and writing activities)/Dialectical ( Pre AP classes only)

D.       Several packages of wide-ruled paper

E.        16-24 pack of crayons or markers

F.        Multi-colored highlighters ( annotations/text feature analysis)

G.       One pocket dictionary ( Websters preferred)

H.       One flash drive or jump drive ( save all projects)

I.         Clear protective sheets with dry erase markers

          

     II. GRADING

A.       Unit Tests ( 50%_3-5 tests)

·         comprehensive reading tests ( standard’s based)

·         writing assessment tests ( all modes)

·         speaking projects

·         grammar tests

B.       Daily ( 50%_minimum of 8 daily)

·         selection quizzes ( poems/short stories_Honor's/Standard Version)

·         notebook grades

·         grammar quizzes

·         DGP quizzes ( Honor's and Standard Version)

·         academic vocabulary quizzes( Honors_ Advanced Rhetorical Devices)

·         differentiated assignments

*   response logs_supplemental novels ( Honor's classes)

 

       III. Tutoring- after school tutoring will be available for struggling students on select Friday’s from 3:00-4:00. On occasion, I will provide a tutoring time slot for major projects such as Research Papers and speaking projects.

 

     IV. MAKE-UP WORK

A.       It is the student’s responsibility to make-up any missed assignments when absent from class. The student must have an excused absence.

B.       All assignments must be made up within three days or the grade will be converted to a zero.

 C. Assignments can be made up on Thursdays during P.E. time

 

D. Late work:

* Standard ( 5 point reduction daily)

* Honors ( 10 point reduction daily_maximum 3 days) 

     V. ZAP (Zeros are not permitted)/ At Risk Students-as a part of our desire to ensure students with multiple opportunities for success, WMS is addressing failures through the ZAP program. Any student “failing” my class at the 4th or 7th week will get a ZAP letter notifying them to report to my class on Thursday during P.E. time. This will allow students to remove zeros that are impacting their grades. Students will receive the ZAP letter on Wednesdays notifying them of any zeros. FAILURE TO REPORT TO ZAP WILL RESULT IN A PERMANENT ZERO!!!

     VI. PROGRESS REPORTS/ASSIGNMENTS/COMMUNICATION

           1. The administration will provide progress reports usually at the 4th and 7th week of each grading period; however, you can access grades daily as well as assignments from the I-NOW portal. This information should be provided in student packages at the beginning of the year explaining how to access it. Contact Gigi Mathis for more information.

             2. I strongly advise that your child record all their assignments in their planners daily as they enter my room. All weekly assignments are placed on my whiteboard. If necessary, I will initial these assignments daily so you can hold your child accountable . If your child habitually is not turning in assignments, I will provide you with a daily report card sheet that I will initial daily.

          3. In addition, I post all assignments on schoolnotes.com. This includes the entire lesson plan for the week as well as relevant parent information and rubrics for outside assignments.  

       4. To further enhance the communication process, I will use REMIND 101 to alert you of important tests and projects. This is basically a “text alert” which will keep all stakeholders accountable.

* 7 Habits ( Enter 81010 with text message @sevenhabi)

* Honor's Classes_ L Arts ( Enter 81010 with text message @9888)

* Standard L Arts ( ( Enter 81010 with text message@f22gck)

VII. Teacher Contact- at any given point, if you have any concerns regarding your child’s academic progress or behavioral issues, please feel free to e-mail me from the school website or leave a message on the class phones . If you wish to set up a parent conference, I will schedule it during my planning period. If there are concerns involving multiple teachers, it would probably be best to schedule conferences after school in lieu of the fact that we are no longer in Pods. Please do not wait to the end of the grading period if your child is failing. As the proverbial statement says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Remember to look again for Progress Reports and please utilize the I-Now portal.

     VIII. LIBRARY USAGE- our class will utilize the library for special assignments such as debates, how to speeches, and research papers. Any illegal internet usage will be dealt with severely. Our county is on a networks server, and the central office can monitor student internet access quite easily because of their access codes to internet.

     IX. COMPUTER LAB (TBA)/SMART PHONES- the students will use the computer lab for various assignments including writing applications, and internet -based programs such as  Accelerated Reader, and Explore practice. I will, also, allow students to utilize their Smart Phones for certain “in class” assignments; however, any student texting or using their Smart Phones without my consent will be disciplined from targeted infractions.

X. DOUBLE DOSE- “at risk” students will be pulled by our resource teachers to work on the A+ program and E 20-20 as a means to remediate deficient standards. ( tentative)

XI. TARGETED INFRACTIONS/DISCIPLINE ( Missing Textbook, Sleeping in class, Chewing Gum)

       First Offense_ Warning

       Second Offense_Warning

       Third Offense_ Parent Phone Call

       Fourth Offense_Behavior Management Form

** All other minor infractions ( disruptive behavior, not in assigned seat,etc)_Behavior Management Form

*** Major infractions ( fighting, skipping class, disrespectful to teacher)_Office Referral

 

 

 

Course Content ( tentative)

I. Literature/Literary Skills ( McDougal Littell)

     A. Units 1 and 2 ( Plot and Conflict/Characterization/Point of View)

         1. “Raymond’s Run”                   5. “Paul Revere’s Ride”

         2. “ Ransom of Red Chief”         6. “Flowers for Algernon”

         3. “The Tell-Tale Heart”             7. “Conductor on the Underground Railroad”

         4. The Hitchhiker                         8. “John Henry”

     B. Units 3 and 4 ( Setting and Mood/Theme and Symbolism)

         1. “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh”                 5. “Hallucinations”

         2. “ The Monkey’s Paw”                              6. “Pandora’s Box”

         3. “Story of an Eyewitness…”                       7. “My Mother Pieced Quilts”

         4. “Mi Madre” and “ Canyon De Chelly”       8. “ The Diary of Anne Frank”

 C. Units 5 and 6 ( Poetic Devices and Tone)

         1. Poetry ( teacher discretion)               4. “Us and Them”

         2. “The Lady or the Tiger”                     5. “O Captain, My Captain”

         3. “ Roughing It”

     D. Units 7, 8 and 9 ( History and Culture/Facts, Persuasion, and Research)

       1. “Snapping Turtle”                           6. “Robo Legs”

         2. “One Last Time:                             7. Skills

         3. Dreams from my Father”                     * Persuasive Techniques

         4. “Over the Top…”                                * Elements of an Argument

         5. Interview with a Songcatcher”           * Fact vs. Opinion/Author’s Purpose

   *** NOT ALL POEMS AND SHORT STORIES WILL BE COVERED DUE TO TIME CONSTRAINTS.

 

   II. Writing Assessment ( McDougall, ADAW, and Writer’s Choice)

       A. Four Writing Modes

             1. Narrative (Standard)/Short Story (Honors )

             2. Persuasive ( Standard)/Argumentative ( Honors)

             3. Descriptive

             4. Expository( standard) Rhetorical Analysis ( Honors)

       B. Formal Research Paper ( Career-Based)

             1. Notecards

             2. Outline

             3. Parenthetical Citation /Reflective sentences ( Honors Only)

             4. Documented Research Paper

             5. Bibliography

       III. Grammatical Skills

         A. DGP’s ( Daily Grammar Practice)         C. Writer’s Choice

         B. Connections ( Mc Dougal)                       D. Kid’s College

 

     IV. Speaking Skills

         A. “How To” Speech ( Standard) /Persuasive Power Points ( Honors_Modern Inventions/Practicality)              

         B. Presidential Debates: Informative ( Standard)/Counterargument Mode ( Honors)

         C. Traditional Talk Show ( Standard)/ Greek Myth Talk Show (Honors)

       D. Movie Advertisement ( standard) /Movie Advertisement: Parody_Honors )

        

     V. Novel Analysis  ( A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks_EP classes_syntactical and diction analysis)

 

   VI. Art Expression/Art Genres ( Overview of Art Genres:tentative)

“Pop Art” ( Standard)       “Political Cartoon” (Honors)        

 

Honor's Addendum

Parents,

As you should already know, your child has been chosen for EP English based on our administration’s arduous process of selection. Consider this a great honor and a privilege; however, with this privilege, your child will be expected to work very diligently. With the EP label, there is no entitlement nor fluffy grades. Your child will be rigorously challenged and stretched to levels which will allow them to “think outside the box.” There are many misconceptions concerning the concept of academic rigor.

                   Academic rigor is not:

·         More assignments

·         A conscience act by the instructor to make the content over demanding

·         A notion that an “A” cannot be achieved

·         Homework every night for at least two hours

Academic Rigor is:

·         High expectations for all students

·         Allowing students to generate their own ideas, questions, and propositions

·         Providing the framework to allow students to be prepared for the work force and college

·         Deeper immersion into the content with emphasis on its application to real world settings

 

The main curriculum change is the utilization of LTF ( Laying the Foundation) practices which are directly correlated to the College and Career Readiness Standards. Listed below is a short synopsis of some of the practices with LTF:

·         Dialectical Journals- detailed character and plot analysis that utilizes evidence and commentary to explain elements of a piece of literature

·         Annotations- students identify and explain literary devices from a select passage with detailed commentary.

·         Detailed exploration of the three levels of reading with the primary focus on inferential and evaluative levels

·         Research-based assignments that involve strong textual evidence with emphasis on thematic development

·         Closed Reading Practices that allow students to become independent and proficient readers.

·         Integration of different textual genres in order to make connections between the texts.

·         Development of well-rounded thesis statements based on in-depth analysis of a literary piece

·         Analysis and construction of higher level questions with emphasis on synthesis and evaluation

·         Mastery of academic vocabulary with real-life applications

* Response logs to two selected novels ( fiction/nonfiction)

On a final note, I am deeply honored to have the liberty of working with your child this year. The success stories from last year are countless, and I feel very confident about what the 2017-2018 students will bring to the table as well. However, I would like to interject a word of caution. In my opinion, the ultimate goal of all parents is to allow their children the autonomy necessary to be self-sufficient in a highly competitive world. For the upcoming academic  year, be concerned more with growth as opposed to a letter grade. Guide your child, but allow them to experience challenges on their own that will ultimately build character. I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to help build success with your child.

"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore."
-Dale Carnegie

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.”
¯ Roger Crawford

 

CHAMPS Addendum

As a part of WMS continuing effort to maximize classroom management, our school was selected as a part of pilot program for a program known as CHAMPS:

C onversation levels that students can display during class activities.

H elp _ How do students get questions answered when needed?

Activity_ What is the task, objective, or end product?

Movement_ Can students move in a class and under what circumstances?

Participation_ What does the expected student behavior look like and sound like ? How do students show they are fully participating?

Success If students follow the CHAMPS expectations, they will be successful.

 

The underlying principle of CHAMPS is that established routines and procedures build a structured class that maximizes learning and minimizes inappropriate behavior. It also addresses the importance of creating rapport with students, correcting behaviors in a positive way, and providing students with the tools to be successful. This is especially an important tool for beginning teachers or for seasoned teachers that struggle with discipline. The following acronym STOIC is the basic framework for its implementation:

S tructure your classroom for success

T each students how to be successful in your class via clear routines and procedures

O bserve student behavior to deter possible problem areas

I nteract positively to build essential rapport with the student

C orrect fluently and calmly to deter teacher/student confrontations

 

As a pilot teacher for the program, my areas of focus will be the following:

·         Creating a physical setting that minimizes disruptions.

·         Procedures and routines for how students enter and leave the room, assigning work, make-up work, tardies,and not having class materials .

·         Positive feedback on class activities by celebrating successes

·         Corrective feedback that targets specific misbehaviors without creating significant disruptions to the class dynamics.

·         Clear, concise assignments with a well- defined rubrics or stated instructions.

·         Continued reinforcement of procedure ( first 20 days) until they become practiced routines by the students.

 

 

 

 

 

Term 1 Standards Taught

 

I.         Reading ( CCRS 8.1-8.6_Common Core)

·         Inferences

·         Cite Textual Evidence

·         Paraphrasing

·         Theme/Central Idea

·         Plot Elements

·         Literary Devices ( flashback, foreshadowing)

·         Word Choice ( diction and connotation)

·         Text Structure ( 2 or more texts)

·         Chronological Order

·         Cause/Effect

·         Point of View ( 1st Person, Third Person Omniscient, Limited)

·         Narrator Evaluation

·         Irony ( Situational, Verbal, Dramatic)

 

                   II. Grammar ( ACOS 36-38)

·         Sentence Fragments

·         Pronouns/Antecedents

·         Verb Tenses

·         Comparative/Superlative ( Adjectives and Adverbs )

·         Commas in Compound Sentences

·         Subject/Verb Agreement ( Prepositional Phrases)

 

III. Writing ( CCRS 22-24_Narrative/Short Story)

Rubrics: Narrative Writing/Short Story

·         Begin with an attention- getting introduction such as a flashback, dialogue, setting desriptions, curious statement, multitude of question, action event, etc.

·         State the main idea at the end of first paragraph. ( make it interesting)

·         Provide a clear incident, event, or situation.

·         Use vivid sensory and imagery details in describing characters, setting, and action.

·         Middle Paragraphs ( Develop exposition rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution)

·         *Develop the Plot thoroughly ( suspense, action, flashback, delaying the climax, adding tension to main character, multiple conflicts, surprise twists or unexpected events)

·         Use strategies such as dialogue and imagery to support your descriptions.

·         *Develop at least two characters thoroughly through dialogue, action, description of characters and internal thoughts.

·         Have a clear organization with a clear beginning, middle, and ending. ( time transition words such as suddenly, finally)

·         Use language suitable to audience and purpose.

·         Keep a consistent tone and point-of view.

·         *Concluding paragraph should wrap up, reflect, and leave reader with an impression. Avoid predictable endings. It can end open-ended, suspenseful. dramatic, or even in the form of a cliffhanger)

·         Varied sentences such as simple, compound, complex.

·         Vary sentence purpose such as declarative, interrogative, exclamatory,etc.

·         Grammar/Usage with minimum errors.

 Grading

A-100-90

B_89-80

C_79-70

D_69-60

F_59 and Below

                      


Course Syllabus 7 Habits  

 

Wetumpka Middle School

1000 Micanopy Street

Wetumpka, Alabama 36092

    

 

 

 

Course Syllabus

7 Habits of Effective Teens ( Sean Covey)

( With Writing and Grammar Connections)

Mr. Emmett Ray ( Instructor)

 

 

 

 

Course Description:  The purpose of the 7 Habits of Effective Teens study is to give students greater empowerment with their own lives by assuming responsibility for their own actions. The author Sean Covey applies timeless principles to allow students to face tough decisions and life-changing situations. In an entertaining style, Covey  provides a step-by-step guide to help students improve self- image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, get along with their parents, and much more. Furthermore, the book provides a diverse approach by utilizing cartoons, videos, heart-wrenching stories, and even famous quotes to help students make connections to their own lives.

 

As for the curriculum approach, it will be integrated in the following ways:

·        Read Alouds

·        Writing Connections ( Writing Extensions, Journals, Research)

·        Grammar Connections

·        Art-Based Applications  with connections

·        Videos

·        Role Playing

·        Skits and Commercials

 

 

“Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own. I am the force.”

 Elaine Maxwell

I. Supplies: students must have the following items for Language Arts:

A.      Two packages of #2 pencils                                                         

B.      Two packages of blue or black ink pens

C.      Three Ring Binder ( Bell Ringers, Journals Assignments)

D.      Several packages of wide-ruled paper

E.      16-24 pack of crayons or markers

          

     II. GRADING

A.      Tests ( 50%)

** Vocabulary Tests

** Speaking Projects

** Writing Modes

** Research Activities

B.      Daily ( 50%)

** Quizzes

** Journals

** Bell Ringers

** Homework 

** Writing/Art-Based Applications

     III.  MAKE-UP WORK

A.      It is the student’s responsibility to make-up any missed assignments when absent from class. The student must have an excused absence.

B.      All assignments must be made up within three days or the grade will be converted to a  zero. Assignments can be made up on Thursdays during P.E. time.

 

 

      IV. PROGRESS REPORTS/ASSIGNMENTS/COMMUNICATION

            1. The administration will provide progress reports usually  at the 4th and 7th week of each  grading period; however, you can access grades daily as well as assignments  from the  I-NOW portal. This information should be provided in student packages at the beginning of the year explaining how to access it. Contact Gigi Mathis for more information.

             2. I strongly advise that your child record all their assignments in their planners daily as they enter my room. All weekly assignments are placed on my whiteboard. If necessary, I will initial these assignments daily so you can hold your child accountable . If your child habitually is not turning in assignments, I will provide you with a daily report card sheet that I will initial daily.

          3. In addition, I post all assignments on schoolnotes.com. This includes the entire lesson plan for the week as well as relevant parent information and rubrics for outside assignments.  

       4.  To further enhance the communication process, I will use REMIND 101  to alert you of important tests and projects. This is basically a “text alert” which will keep all stakeholders accountable.

** SEVEN HABITS CLASS ( Using Your Text Messaging on your phone)

·         Enter 81010

·         Text Message @sevenhabi

 

V. Teacher Contact- at any given point, if you have any concerns regarding your child’s academic progress or behavioral issues, please feel free to e-mail me from the school website or leave a message on the class phones . If you wish to set up a parent conference, I will schedule it during my planning period. If there are concerns involving multiple teachers, it would probably be best to schedule conferences after school in lieu of the fact that we are no longer in Pods. Please do not wait to the end of the grading period if your child is failing. As the proverbial statement says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Remember to look again for Progress Reports and please utilize the I-Now portal.

VI. Smart Phones- I will, also, allow students to utilize their  Smart Phones  for certain “in class” assignments; however, any student texting or using their Smart Phones without my consent will be disciplined from targeted infraction procedure below:

 VII. TARGETED INFRACTIONS/DISCIPLINE ( Cell Phone Misuse,  Missing Textbook, Sleeping in class, Chewing Gum)

       First Offense_ Warning

       Second Offense_Warning

       Third Offense_ Parent Phone Call

       Fourth Offense_Behavior  Management Form

** All other minor infractions ( disruptive behavior, not in assigned seat,etc)_Behavior Management Form

*** Major infractions ( fighting, skipping class, disrespectful to teacher)_Office Referral

 

Tentative Course

Term 1

·         Chapter 1 ( Foundations:Getting in the Habit)

·         Chapter 2 ( Paradigms and Principles)

·         Chapter 3 ( Personal Bank Account)

·         Chapter 4 ( Habit 1:Being Proactive)

·         Speaking Project ( Commercial Ad: Proactive)

·         Writing Extension  ( Expository Essay: “Why is Proactivity Important”)

·         Art/Writing ( T Shirt Design: Proactive with Slogan)

·         Vocabulary Test

Term 2

·         Chapter 5 ( Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind)

·         Chapter 6 ( Habit 3: Put First Things First)

·         Speaking Project ( Skit_The Time Quadrants)

·         Writing Extension ( Narrative Essay: “The Crossroads”_see pages 76-79)

·         Art/Writing Application ( Mission Statement)

·         Vocabulary Test

Term 3

·         Chapter 7 ( Relationship Bank Account)

·         Chapter 8  ( Habit 4  :Think Win Win)

·         Chapter 9 ( Habit 5: Seek First to Understand Than to Be Understood)

·         Chapter 10 ( Habit 6: Synergize)

·         Speaking Project ( Movie Ad: Synergy)

·         Writing Extension ( Free Verse Poem_Habits 4-6)

·         Art/Writing Application ( Synergy Presentation)

·         Vocabulary Test

 

 

 

Term 4

·         Chapter 11 ( Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw)

·         Speaking Project/Writing Extension  ( Children’s Story_Promoting One Habit)

·         Art/Writing Connection ( Caring for the Body/Caring for the Mind)

·         Response to Video ( Overcoming Adversity:Expository Essay)

**Rudy                        ** The Miracle Worker                  ** We Are Marshall

·         Vocabulary Test

·         Research Report ( “Nutrition and Exercise”)

*** Grammar Connections will be incorporated when applicable.***

 

CHAMPS Addendum

As a part of WMS continuing effort to maximize classroom management, our school was selected as a part of pilot program for a program known as CHAMPS:

C onversation levels that students can display during class activities.

H elp _ How do students get questions answered when needed?

Activity_ What is the task, objective, or end product?

Movement_ Can students move in a class and under what circumstances?

Participation_  What does the expected student behavior look like and sound like ? How do students show they are fully participating?

Success If students follow the CHAMPS expectations, they will be successful.

The underlying principle of CHAMPS is that established routines and procedures build a structured class that maximizes learning and minimizes inappropriate behavior. It also addresses the importance of creating  rapport with students, correcting behaviors in a positive way, and providing students with the tools to be successful. This is especially an important tool for beginning teachers or for seasoned teachers that struggle with discipline. The following acronym STOIC is the basic framework for its implementation:

S tructure your classroom for success

T each students how to be successful in your class via clear routines and procedures

O bserve student behavior to deter possible problem areas

I nteract positively to build essential rapport with the student

C orrect fluently and calmly to deter teacher/student confrontations

 

As a pilot teacher for the program, my areas of focus will be the following:

·          Creating a physical setting that minimizes disruptions.

·          Procedures and routines for how students enter and leave the room, assigning work, make-up work, tardies,and not having class materials .

·          Positive feedback on class activities by celebrating successes

·          Corrective feedback that targets specific misbehaviors without creating significant disruptions to the class dynamics.

·          Clear, concise assignments with a well- defined rubrics or stated instructions.

·           Continued reinforcement of procedure ( first 20 days) until they become practiced  routines by the students.

 

Grading

A_100-90

B_89-80

C_79-70

D_69-60

F_59 and Below