Course Overview

Welcome to Mr. Norton’s language arts class! Each quarter of instruction is based on a common grade-level theme that is interwoven throughout the curriculum. Quarterly themes include: Growing up with Courage, Moral Ambiguity: Right vs. Wrong, The Individual and Society, and Self-Awareness and Individuality. Students will experience a variety of genres in literature including fiction and nonfiction prose. Fiction selections include novel, novella, and short story pieces. Nonfiction selections include biography, autobiography, and essay pieces. The literary selections include an in-depth literary response and analysis and include associated assessments for reading comprehension and vocabulary Students will write nearly every day in their Learning Journal Google document and participate in writer's workshops for essay writing. Individualized, differentiated grammar instruction (on the use of capitalization, usage, spelling, and punctuation) is integrated into the Learning Journal and essay writing activities. Essay writing instruction includes prewriting, drafting, editing and revising, and is based on the 6 + 1 Traits® of Writing.

In addition to the aforementioned course information, students in the Advanced Language Arts class will experience a different pace, depth, and complexity of instruction. Specifically, students in the Advanced Language Arts class will read two additional novels, complete the associated literary response and analysis, and take a reading assessment for the associated novel. Students in Advanced Language Arts go beyond surface level understanding of concepts to enhance their ability to think critically. The critical thinking tools employed in this class help students dig deeper into a concept (depth) and understand that concept with greater complexity.

Please see the online calendar for this course to view a tentative schedule of the planned curriculum for the school year. Please email me if you have any questions or concerns.

No Cell Phones, Toys, Food or Drink in the Classroom

Mr. Norton does not allow cell phones or toys to be used in class. Use of these items may result in the temporary loss of such items and may impact weekly Work Habit scores. In addition, food and drink, including water, are not allowed in the classroom at any time.


The rigorous grade-level expectations Mr. Norton has for students in this course will require the student’s best effort and necessitate perseverance. Students are expected to arrive to class on time ready to actively engage in their learning. Students are expected to actively participate in their learning by asking questions, participating in classroom discussions, and asking for help when needed. Students will read frequently and practice the skills that are necessary for effective writing. Students will be expected to read for extended periods of time (up to 60 minutes during some class periods). Students will participate in comprehensive writing process workshops and are expected to work independently. Students are also expected to regularly check Infinite Campus and make up any missing classwork and assessment before the end of the respective quarter. At the end of the school year, all students are expected to give an oral presentation of their Statement of Belief to a large audience of students and teachers.

Make-Up Work

A reasonable amount of time for a student to prepare and hand in make-up work due to an absence will be allowed. Normally, one day to make up work for each excused day of absence is a good rule. It is a school expectation that all work is turned in one week before the end of the respective quarter.

Contact Information

Email address: rnorton@dcsdk12.org