Philosophy:  The English/language arts program provides an integrated approach to the study of reading, writing, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary.  Our program strives to foster the natural connection between these disciplines.  We believe this connection provides students with a more meaningful approach to instruction.  The goals of our program are to encourage a positive attitude toward literature and writing while providing the necessary skills to be successful in these areas.  Students will be exposed to a variety of genre in their reading, and will learn different forms of writing with the appropriate skills.

ReadingStudents will be learning and applying reading strategies and literary elements (theme, setting, plot, characterization, figurative language, etc.) as they analyze literature.  I will work to enhance their ability to analyze and discuss literature, as well as journal writing for reflection.  The general theme that we will be working on in our reading is “Challenging Our Perceptions by Broadening Our Perspectives.”  Reading units will start with short stories followed by fantasy, mysteries, historical fiction, and realistic fiction.  Students are required to read independent novels throughout the year.  They should bring this novel to school on a daily basis for silent reading opportunities.  I will be reading aloud a variety of novels or stories to the class as well.  We will also have a total of three book reports, one for each trimester.

Writing:  The concepts of the writing process are a key focus of instruction.  Planning, rough drafts, revisions, and editing will be an important and sometimes challenging part of your son or daughter’s writing experience.  Skills for narratives, expository, and persuasive writing will be addressed, although the expository essay is our main focus.  We will be utilizing the new District Writing Curriculum to assist in writing instruction and assessment, in each genre.  This tool is used to monitor writing progress throughout your child’s years at Beach Park Middle School.  There will be weekly writing assignments, usually related to a concept we are reading about in a novel or short story, as well as writing assignments that will extend over time, focusing on a particular skill that we are learning.

Grammar:  This year all components of grammar will be introduced three times a week with daily reinforcement in a warm-up at the beginning of class.  These concepts include parts of speech, with an emphasis on verbs, parts of a sentence, clauses, phrases, and punctuation.  They will also be integrated into their writing on a consistent basis.  There will also be an introduction to diagramming sentences to help students identify the different parts of speech and improve writing skills.

Spelling:  Students will be taught the importance of spelling correctly within our writing and vocabulary work.  There is a focus on word parts, commonly misspelled, troublesome words, and word patterns.

Vocabulary:  Vocabulary will come from the reading material, as well as from weekly vocabulary units.  Students will learn the parts of speech, the meaning of various prefixes and suffixes to help analyze the meaning of the words, and definitions.  We will use rhyming and visual mnemonics to remember the words which has proven very successful.  They will also be instructed on how to use contextual clues to derive meaning.

Interpretive/Evaluative Thinking:  Students will be taught a new strategy called Interpretive/Evaluative Thinking which uses the whole brain when it comes to learning new material, organizing thoughts and or concepts, brainstorming new ideas etc.  They will be using this new strategy throughout the year not only in language arts, but in science, math, and social studies as well.  It makes studying more efficient, cutting down on time needed to study, and increasing retention.  This is very effective in writing, too.

Homework:  Homework is an important aspect of your child’s responsibility.  It is essential that middle-school students begin to shoulder this component of their school day and practice organizing, prioritizing and budgeting their time.  Homework is designed to reinforce the skills and concepts which are being covered in class.  The assignments might be in reading, writing, vocabulary, a project, or any other combination of these activities.  It is important that the students work on their own.  You may clarify a point, but it is best if I know where they are misunderstanding so that I may support them further in class.  Late homework assignments will not be accepted without attending academic detention, parental contact, or a homework pass. Please complete your classwork and homework assignments on time to receive full credit.  Late or missing assignments must be completed before or during academic detention.  Late or missing assignments will lose a minimum of 10 percent off of the final grade. 

Grading:  A student’s final grade or average comes from:

Homework and Classwork 40%

Tests, Projects, and Papers 40%

Classroom Participation/Responsibility/Respect 20%

Total 100%

*Extra Credit may be available to deserving students.  All work done in this class must be your own work.  Plagiarized work will receive a zero and must be resubmitted for half credit.  Assignments must be completed to the best of your ability in order to receive a passing grade. 

CLASSROOM RULES

1.    Follow directions

2.    Be prepared for class

3.    Be respectful

4.    Be responsible

5.    Be safe

CONSEQUENCES

1.    First Offense-Warning

2.    Second Offense-Stay after class

3.    Third Offense-Teacher Detention

4.    Fourth Offense-Administrative Referral

REWARDS

1.    Eagle Feather

2.    Free Time

3.    Class Outside

4.    Homework Pass

5.    Quiz Pass



"You are the author of your own life story."

Amplify MS ELA Curriculum: Curriculum for the 21st Century

Today’s middle schoolers are digital natives who operate as comfortably in the digital environment as they do in the print environment. Amplify’s MS ELA curriculum speaks to these digital natives by being thoroughly interactive, enabling real-time communication with peers and with the teacher, and giving students new interactive formats in which to gather evidence, solve problems, and explore mysteries. The curriculum helps students meet the latest, higher academic standards by engaging students with dynamic digital learning experiences that are riveting and rigorous.

Amplify ELA is Riveting

Multimedia and technology are used in new ways to engage students and to inspire them to read more, write more, discuss with their peers more actively, and think harder. Often a game or an animation will provide the way into a challenging text, but the game or animation will never obscure the real task at hand: reading and writing. Audio supports, visual supports, and personalization technology help learners with varying needs to access texts in differentiated ways.

Amplify ELA is Rigorous

Practice in on-demand writing improves writing skills while helping students think analytically and independently and communicate original ideas and opinions. Curriculum-embedded apps—not worksheets—push students to dig more deeply into complex texts and extend their understanding.

The Amplify Library, featuring hundreds of texts, and a standards-aligned suite of educational games inspire students to read in and outside the classroom by making an adventure out of reading, writing, syntax, spelling, and vocabulary.

Reading Activities during lessons and homework include close reading of rich, rigorous, and engaging texts that meet the higher standards of Common Core. Students work with a range of texts—classic literary, dramatic, and informational. Students interact with the text by reading, rereading, highlighting text, adding notes to text, and paraphrasing—all on the digital platform!

The Amplify Library contains more than 600 books including classics and contemporary popular fiction and non-fiction that students explore independently.

© 2015 Amplify Education, Inc.