A little bit about Mrs. Tsonis:
I began at Leigh School in November of 2006 as a TEAM assistant teaching reading in small groups.  In January, of the following year, I taught ESL for a maternity leave and then I taught 7th grade language arts at Giles last year for a brief time.  In addition, I taught 5th grade at Leigh School in our district as well.  I must say I am very excited to be teaching here at Norridge School District 80.  Prior to Norridge School District 80, I taught English at the high school level for juniors and seniors immediately after I graduated from college. I taught high school English to students from the Niles Township, Evanston Township, and New Trier districts.  Furthermore, I have my master’s degree in gifted education.  I am extremely passionate about teaching and learning new things.  On a personal note, I love to spend time with my family and friends.  I am fond of spending time at the Botanic Gardens and watching movies.  In all, I treat each child in my classroom as a unique individual that learns at his/her own pace and style.  I utilize Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory and for that reason, I emphasize the need for visuals, hands-on activities, music, and discussion.  I emphasize creativity to allow each child the opportunity to grow and challenge him/herself.  Creativity opens each child’s mind and promotes the use of looking at things from various perspectives.   

Quizzes and Tests – all exams will have various point values.  The total point value, percentage, and letter grade will be placed at the top of the exam. 

Extended Responses/Essays – A rubric will be stapled on to the final draft of the writing assignment. 

Parent Signatures:

Note: Parent signatures are required on all tests and quizzes.  This allows the student to see that there is communication between Miss Moragiannis, the student, and the parent(s).  I also find that this is a great opportunity for you to talk to your child about how they are performing in class.  For instance, if your child is having a difficult time with place value in math take the time to see how or what your child can change about his/her study habits.  For example, help your child make flash cards by writing down examples for the math textbook on index cards and review exponents with them on a daily basis.  In class, we have talked about numerous good study skills that should become habit.  Here are a few study strategies to assist your child as they study:

ü  Find a quiet place to study like the library.

ü  Study the same time every night.

ü  Minimize visual distractions.

ü  Take regular study breaks.

ü  Go over classroom notes daily.

ü  Review key vocabulary daily.

ü  Study with another student or family member.

ü  Make studying fun by creating a Jeopardy game or by creating flashcards.

  üUse mnemonic devices.

Strategies for Language Arts:

Please refer to the book talk handout below. I have listed questions you can ask your child as they read.  The list of questions will be great for you and your child as you talk to them about their daily reading logs.  The questions I have included are for you to talk about before they begin reading, during reading, after reading, and fun activities you can do with your child after they have completed their books.  I want my students to be active readers, so in order for them to become active readers they must think about what they are reading as they are reading.  Each student must learn to make connections between what they read and what they already know, predict, interpret by making inferences (piecing the clues together that the author gave them to figure out what the author is implying), summarizing, thinking about their emotions as they read and writing their emotions down on paper, and by asking questions about what they are reading.  They should jot down unfamiliar words and places that they read about; doing research afterwards is a great way to expand your child’s knowledge. 

Reading Logs and Book Talks:

Once students have completed their reading logs and have completed their story maps their assignment will be to present a book talk.  Students will present a book talk to their peers.  Students will write their notes down on note cards for their presentation to the class.  I will collect their note cards, which must be at least two note cards at length.  Students will also have to bring in three objects from home that connects to their book.  Students will present the objects to the class and they will include an oral explanation of the significance of each object to the book.  The book talk will be a persuasive way to get their classmates to read the book they read.  This will be a fun way to entice students to read more books!

Mrs. Tsonis says reading, writing, and grammar are fun!

Classroom Procedures:

              7th Grade Language Arts                 


Mrs. Angela Tsonis

Room: 230

Phone: 708.453.4847 (VM 230)

Email: atsonis@norridge80.net


Class Website

I have a Norridge District 80 Website.  This site will be updated.  If you are absent, or you forgot to write down your homework make sure you call your homework buddy.  In the first week of class you will be given time to write down two of your classmates’ phone numbers.  Please keep the phone numbers handy.   


What I Expect From You/Classroom Rules

1.       Be respectful of the classroom and its citizens.

2.       Be responsible for your actions.  Always think twice and make the right choice.  Even if you have said something wrong, admit to your mistakes.  You will earn respect by being honest.

3.       Always be prepared and ready to work during class.  Always bring a pencil, binder with notebook, required classroom textbook or novel, and your book talk book. 

4.       Always turn in quality work.  I will ask you to redo work that does not represent your abilities adequately.  Make sure your work is your own!

5.       Manage your time and prepare in advance.  On days of quizzes and tests, you are expected to have studied at home and not during passing periods, before your test, or during another class.

6.       I expect appropriate behavior at all times and anything less will be dealt with according to school policy.  In our classroom where discussions are frequent, you must be attentive, accepting of differences of opinion, and polite.  Use of any type of disrespect, inappropriate language directed to another student will not be tolerated. 

What You Can Expect From Me

7.       Homework Daily / Quizzes Weekly / Tests Monthly.

8.       Late Work: If you do not have an assignment on the date due, your score for that assignment will be reduced by 50% if it is turned in the next day.  Assignments more than two days will earn a score of “0.” It is your responsibility to complete the work. 

9.       A student that is suspected of cheating on a quiz, test, or homework assignment will be issued a “0.”

10.    Missed exams/homework because of an absence are to be made up within the same amount of days you were absent or it is a “0.” If you are absent when a project is due, you will be expected to turn in the project on the day upon return.  It is your responsibility to get your missed assignments and to complete the work.  

11.    I am available for extra help.

12.    I give 100% daily and I expect the same from you.


Entering the Classroom

Upon entering the room, please quietly have a seat and begin writing in your journal or completing the grammar assignment.for the day.  The journal question for the day will always be on the overhead.  This should be an automatic action.  Additional directions will be written on the board. 

Consequences for Misbehavior

First Time:                Verbal Warning

Second Time:            You will meet with the teacher and discuss the misbehavior.  If necessary, parent may be

                                  contacted for a conference.

Third Time:               Parent is contacted again.  You will have a conference with the teacher and parent to discuss

                                   your behavior.  We will work together to come up with an intervention plan. 

Severe disruption:      You will be immediately sent to the principal’s office. 

Parent Communication

Occasionally I may call home to update your parent(s) on your progress.  In addition, you will be asked to bring home quizzes/tests requiring a parent signature these should be brought back to me the following day.  School progress reports will be sent home with you when necessary.  Any materials not returned on time with a signature will result in a detention. 

Homework Policy

Homework will be accepted as follows:

Due Date = Full Credit

Day Late = Half Credit

Two Days Late = No Credit

If you do not have your homework assignment completed on the due date you will be responsible for filling out a  “homework alert” sheet.  The homework alert sheet must be signed by me, you, and your guardian.  Once the sheet is signed you must provide a reason as to why the assignment was not complete.  Lastly, the assignment must be turned in the following day with the homework alert sheet stapled at the top in order to get half credit for the assignment.  It is your responsibility to complete the work for the following day. 

Materials Needed for Class

-          1 Spiral Notebook (Journal)

-          1 Three Subject Notebook (reading, writing, and spelling)

-          3 Folders (will be collected)

-          2 pads of post it notes

-          2 packages of index cards

-          Pencils

-          2 green pens

·         You must bring a book of choice to read EVERY day

Grading Scale:  98 -100 = A+   95 – 97 = A    92 – 94 = A-   90 – 91 = B+  87 - 89 = B   85 -86 = B-  82 – 84 = C +  81-79 = C  77-78 = C -  74- 76 = D +   72- 73 = D  70-71 = D -  69 = F


You are given three grades for language arts – Reading, English, and Spelling (Vocabulary).  Since all three grades are so closely related and taught holistically, all assignments will count for each category.  Your overall grade will be the same for each of the three categories. 

Grades are Calculated as Follows:

Participation/Attendance 20%          

Homework (Assignments completed outside of class including reading logs/story maps) 20%

Classwork (Includes journals, responses, notes, group work, and informal presentations) 20%                                    

Quizzes, Essays, Formal Speeches, and Book Talks  20%

Exams/ Projects 20%           

Note to Parents:

Please feel free to email me at atsonis@norridge80.net or call me here at Giles School at 708.453.4847 anytime.  I will answer your question or concern as promptly as I can, which will usually be at the end of the school day.  I believe that communication between you and me is the best way to help me assist your child.  I am hopeful that you will feel comfortable to let me know if something needs to be discussed.  Finally, I want you to know that I am delighted to have your child in my classroom this year! I know that every child is unique and he/she learns in various ways; for that reason, I will do my utmost to make sure your child’s learning needs are being met in order for all of us here in room 230 to have a successful year filled with both academic and social growth. 



Teacher – Student – Parents’ Accountability Contract



 I will be fair and consistent in administering what is stated in this handout.

Mrs. Tsonis

Parents and Students:

Please sign the following document and return it by _______________________________________________.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  If you have any questions, you may write them in the space below and I will contact you in a timely manner.



We read and fully understand the classroom policies and procedures.  The rules of the room have been put in place to ensure a safe learning environment that promotes respect and learning.


Student: I read the attached information.  I fully understand and accept my class responsibilities.  I will be respectful toward everyone.  I will complete only quality work.  I will come to class prepared and ready to work.  I will help create a classroom where everyone can learn and be the best they can be. 


Student’s name (print) :__________________________________________________________________________

Student’s signature:___________________________________________________________ Date: _____________

Parent(s): I read the attached information.  I fully understand and support my child’s class responsibilities. 

Parent’s name (print): ___________________________________________________________________________

Parent’s signature: ______________________________________________________________________________

Home Phone: ___________________________________    Work Phone:__________________________________




Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.  - Abigail Adams

Name: _________________________

                  Book Talk Guidelines Mrs. Tsonis              

Reading: Our school handbook states that every student must read for at least twenty minutes every night.  For this reason, I have decided to make this an exciting endeavor for our class! You will be expected to read two books from various genres every month.  You will be given a book chart to keep track of readings.  In order to make sure you are an active reader you will need to fill out a reading log every night to ensure they are alert as you read.  This is the best way for me to help you become a critical reader.  The reading log promotes you to make connections, predict, interpret, sum up, think about your feelings, and ask questions as you read.  I am excited to see just how many different genres you will read this year! Room 230 will surely dive into a variety of books this year!


Description of each assignment:


(1st) Reading Log: After your twenty minute reading every night you will choose three out of the six

  reading strategies given to you on the reading log and you will respond in the space

  provided.  If you need additional space for your response you may use a loose leaf

  sheet of paper and staple it to your reading log. 


(2nd) Story Map:  Once you have completed your book the next step is to fill out the story map.  Fill in

each category in its entirety.  In the characters box make sure you give a brief  

description of each character.  Tell me who they are and how they are important to the

book.  If your book has a number of characters then include the major ones and do not

write about the minor characters.  Leave those out since they are not as important and

therefore, they do not need to be mentioned. 


(3rd) Book Talks:   You will present two books to the class.  These are formal presentations.  The reason

   for the book talks is to try to “sell” your book to your classmates.  You must have 

   note cards for your presentation.  Also, you must include three objects that connect to

   your book.  You will end with a cliffhanger.  You will not give away the ending of the

   book because you want your classmates to read it! However, there may be one or two

   books that you do not like and that is okay.  You will tell us why you disliked the

   book.  Was it the mood that the author created that you did not like? Was it the

   author’s style of writing? Support your thoughts on why you did not enjoy the book. 

   Also, you must find things that you think your peers may like about the book even

   though you did not.  You cannot simply said the book was bad, you need to support

   your statements using proof and with supportive details. 


Allotted points per assignment:

Reading Logs – spot checks will be done, so make sure you complete your assignment every night.  If I do a spot check and your work is not quality work, or you did not complete it for the day you will get a “0” for the assignment.  (20 points)

Story Maps – you must turn in one story map a month. Your story map will be turned in on the day of  your book talk book presentation.  I would make sure to get an "okay" on your story map from me prior to your presentation.  (Checked in)


Book Talks – you must turn in your note cards once you are done with your presentation.  Eye contact, voice projection, relevance of objects, and preparation of presentation will be assessed.  (10 points)


                                                                 Story Map  

                                                       (Mrs. Tsonis) 

Title: ___________________________                                                  Author: __________________

Compiled by: ____________________                                                   Date: _____________________

           Setting (Where and When)                                              Characters (Who)






             Goal (What the character wants)                                  Problem (what is standing in the way)



Events (Things that happened)







Solution (How the problem is solved)                                  Ending




My reaction (What the story makes me think                       Theme (An important idea in the story--              

about, feel or remember)                                                       What does the story teach us?)





Page two – Continued…

Draw a picture below of one important event that occurred in the story you read.










Include a caption (why is the drawing above significant (important) to the novel):






Communication: Please feel free to email me at atsonis@norridge80.net or call me here at Giles School at 708.453.4847 anytime.  I will answer your question or concern as promptly as I can, which will usually be at the end of the school day.  I believe that communication between you and me is the best way to help me assist your child.  I am hopeful that you will feel comfortable to let me know if something needs to be discussed.  Finally, I want you to know that I am delighted to have your child in my classroom this year! I know that every child is unique and he/she learns in various ways; for that reason, I will do my utmost to make sure your child’s learning needs are being met in order for all of us here in room 230 to have a successful year filled with both academic and social growth.