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Habits of Scholarship

In Mr. Norton's language arts class, students’ character development is equally important as developing vocabulary knowledge and mastering reading and writing skills. Throughout their educational journey, students are working to become effective learners, ethical people, and contributors to a better world. All three aspects of strong character (persistence, responsibility, and collaboration) are essential for success in school and in life. The rigorous expectations Mr. Norton has for students in his language arts class will require them to regularly practice the following habits of scholarship:

Persistance

All students can improve their reading, communication, and writing skills with effort.

Responsibility

Every student is responsible for their own behavior and choices.

Collaboration

Communication is key to successfully working with others to achieve goals.


In Mr. Norton's language arts class, students are expected to actively engage in their own learning by asking questions and participating in classroom discussions on a weekly basis. Students in Mr. Norton's language arts class receive weekly Work Habits scores that are based on habits of scholarship. Refer to the Grading Practices page for information about Work Habits scores.

Language Arts Academic Skills & Knowledge

Reading

In Mr. Norton's language arts class, students will experience a variety of genres in literature including fiction and nonfiction prose. Fiction selections include novel, novella, and short story pieces. All literary selections are accompanied by an in-depth oral literary response and analysis and include associated assessments for reading comprehension. The reading assessments helps the student identify his or her strengths, as well as weaknesses. These effective reading assessments help students assess what they do understand about a text, as well as what they do not understand. This is all done with the aim of a student becoming a fluent reader.

Vocabulary

All literary selections are accompanied by associated assessments for vocabulary The vocabulary assessments measure the receptive knowledge of words from the 2,000, 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 frequency levels in English. These assessments employs a matching format of words and short definitions, and the results are often used to set learning goals. A comprehensive list of the vocabulary words for the entire school year can be found by selecting "Vocabulary Lists" at the top of this page. Information about the related studying expectations can be found by selecting "Homework" at the top of this page.

Writing

In addition to the oral literary response and analysis, all literary selections are accompanied by a written in-depth literary response and analysis. In Mr. Norton's language arts class, students analyze the associated literary themes with expository paragraph and essay writing. Each student will receive intensive, individualized, differentiated writing instruction via one-on-one Writer's Workshops, based on the 6 + 1 Traits® of Writing. The writing traits that students will develop in 7th grade include organization, ideas, word choice, and conventions. The aim of these writing activities is to help students master both paragraph and essay writing.


Please see the online calendar to view a tentative schedule of the planned curriculum for the school year. Students in Mr. Norton's language arts class receive regular Content Knowledge scores that provide valuable information about the students' reading and writing skills development. Refer to the Grading Practices page for information about reading and writing skills assessment scores.

Advanced Language Arts Class

Students in Mr. Norton's Advanced Language Arts class will experience a different pace, depth, and complexity of instruction. Specifically, students in the Advanced Language Arts class will independently read two additional above-grade-level novels and complete the associated accelerated literary response and analysis. This is a rigorous class requiring students to think analytically while expressing ideas clearly and the material presented will challenge students to a higher level of thinking. The critical thinking tools employed in this class help students dig deeper into a concept (depth) and understand that concept with greater complexity.

Contact Information

Please email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Robert Norton, MA Ed.

rnorton@dcsdk12.org