Students will be utilizing our literature anthology, Language of Literature, to experience short stories and poetry, as well as reading and analyzing at least two novels from the approved eighth grade book list: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes , Nothing but the Truth by Avi, and Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt. Several of the novels connect to the historical topics of the American Revolution, government, and Civil War.
Throughout the school year students are expected to read on average 20 minutes each school night and 30 minutes over the weekend (a total of 130 minutes a week). They will keep individual reading logs to be turned in every two weeks as part of their Language Arts grade. In addition, students will keep track of their completed book reading for each semester and report on three books of their choosing each semester by writing and turning in a book letter for each. These six book letters are not accepted for late credit as they are given the due dates at the start of the year. Students can select their own books throughout the year with the goal of reading at their own individual level.
MAPS (Measure of Academic Performance) assessments in reading will be administered to students using our computers both at the spring and in the fall. These assessments help teachers become aware of students' strengths and weaknesses and to measure growth in reading throughout the year. Washington State's Reading MSP (Measurement of Student Progress) will be given in the spring; these scores will help place students in their freshman English classes. Last, two writing assessments will be administered to eighth grades: an expository prompt in the fall and a persuasive in the spring. There is no Writing MSP at the eighth grade.
A student's Language Arts grade will be weighted as follows:
10% = Independent reading requirements (bi-weekly reading logs, book letters, semester reading log)
10% = Participation (group activities, entry tasks)
20% = Quizzes and Tests
30% = Assignments (in-class and homework)
30% = Projects (i.e. novel units, essays, etc.)