I am sending this letter to introduce my 8th grade program to you. My name is Mr. Kelly, and if you are reading this letter, I will be one of your daughter’s/son’s teachers this year. I feel the 8th grade is a very important year in preparation for the transition into high school. This year will be more important than ever as we try to get everyone back on track. A few of the focuses (besides curriculum) of my program is to help my students develop and refine responsibility along with instilling and enforcing pride and respect. One of the ways I work on this is with my assignment policy.
Let me start by explaining my homework/classwork policy. It is rooted in the idea that if I ask students to do something I want them to get credit for it. While I often do not expect them to show mastery of it, it is important that I see true effort. I enforce the assignment policy with a system of grading homework and classwork assignments. I check homework, classwork, participation and “Do Now’s”(class warm ups) this way. Again when I “collect” these assignments and review them, I’m mostly looking for effort and completion. After four assignment grades, the student is assigned a grade equal to a quiz grade based on the following system.
A homework slip will be given due the next day, if it is a day late they will be given a Lunch detention,
2 days late they will be given an after school detention
√w Check “W”- Check warning, they need to put more effort into it. They don’t lose points unless it continues.
absent- Absent the day I collect/check and the day I assign the assignment = Ab.
This assignment will turn into a 0 if not made up. **They are responsible.
In parent portal it will eventually be listed as a zero with a note that it is
√ check- Assignment complete = 90
√+ check plus- Assignment thoroughly done, 3 bonus points are awarded = 90 +3
√++ check plus plus - Wow, 6 bonus points are awarded = 90 +6
Again after four assignment grades, the four grades are averaged and that number is recorded as a quiz grade. After the average is computed all of the check plus points( Bonus points) are added. A student can have 3-24 points added to the average depending on the amount of check plusses they received on assignments. In this way bonus and extra credit are always available in my class. This system is challenging for some of my students in the beginning, but it places the responsibility on their shoulders, preparing them for the challenges of high school. The system is not a universal system in the 8th grade. Each teacher has his/her own policy regarding homework, make-up, homework slips, and sign and returns.
Assignment #1 / #2 / #3 /#4
√ √ 0 √ = 68 quiz grade
Assignment #1 / #2 / #3 /#4
√+ √ √+ √ = 96 quiz grade
I find this system helps students who score poorly on tests earn extra points. Students have many opportunities to improve their grades. So after 4 regular assignments you will see grade in Parent Portal representing the 4 assignments.
Open book metade (½ Quiz):
Students will be assigned a section in the book (ex. chapter 7 section 1) to read and will be assigned 2 activities to complete. After reading, they will have a vocabulary section that will ask them to explain names and terms in the context of the section they read. They need to identify the word and then explain the role it played in this section. Next they will need to answer several questions about the section. The answers will be graded based on the evidence they provide that they read the section, not if the answer is correct. This Metade will be worth ½ of a quiz. This is basically an open book/take home ½ quiz. Each assignment is given a 1-10 score.
The Class itself:
The class covers from the build up to the Constitution to the birth of our nation . Students are required to keep a 3 –ring binder that I often call a notebook. The binders are used to keep all of the notes, classwork and homework together. The binder will be collected for test grades. The “notes” are typed up by me with page numbers and unit headings. Students fill them out in class as we go. Tests generally are infrequent and cover a great deal of material. Students will need to study the notes, quizzes, “do now‘s”, and homework as we go along so they do not get overwhelmed. If your child says they do not have any homework you can always tell them to look over / study the social studies notes. Students will have at least two days to work on all homework assignments. Because of this I expect the students to read the section and answer fully (not one word answers) all of the assignment questions. Answers should always be in full sentences.
I will stay after school at least once a week for office hours, this is an opportunity besides study for students to get help. I will post these times on my website weekly. I will be available at these times for virtual help as well in a google meets room. Students are also encouraged to ask simple student questions in google classroom, my email and Remind.
One of the greatest tools available to my students is my class website. I update the site whenever I give a new assignment. Along with assignments, I also list other class-related information on the site. The address is mrkelly.org
Please sign up for my Remind announcements by sending a text to 81010
Text this message
For A-block @3g64kh
For B-block -@6a6hg42
For C-block -@9f9ckg
For G-block -@63a9ae
For H-block -@87f6ca
Please make sure you text the right class code
You can also get to this site directly through the https://bms.drregional.org ; the school website.
I am truly looking forward to working with your daughter/son in this very important year in his/her life. Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or concerns. My email address is email@example.com, through the Remind app, or you can reach me by phone 1-508-252-5080 the office can connect you to my room. If I am unavailable, leave a message with the office.
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~Ari
I think you will find this web site very useful during the year. I invite you
to explore it. Notice the homework pages (“Homework” link and the “Worksheets”
link), I update the pages everyday(that I assign something). One trick to keep in mind is
that you will need to refresh the page every time you go to it or your computer will read
the page in the cache and make it look like it was never updated.
When your child is out you may see what was assigned that day in class (homework,
Metade and/or upcoming tests). I upload a copy of the worksheets in the "Worksheets"
section. Worksheets that can be printed at home or to save ink students can just write
the answers on white lines note paper. Metades require the book but students have 3-5 days to
complete them. If you're picking up material you’ll just need the book… the rest is online.
*students must have their materials:
Book that is covered
Something to write with
Assignments that are due
*e-mail link is a great way to communicate with me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please join the Remind that matches with your son/daughters class from the first page.
Please do not hesitate to e-mail me with questions or concerns, about my class or things
going on in school. I'll do my best to get back to you quickly.
I created this web site not because I'm required to do it but because I feel it is a great way to provide parents with information they need. With over 120 students in my classes I use these devices to help with communication. I believe that parental support is vital to education.
~ Please check the Parent portal regularly. Don’t just look at the averages… click to see
the assignments. This is how it is broken up;
• cw/hw - This is how I check classwork and homework. These assignments can be
group or partner activities in class, do nows (opening activities that check for
understanding of main ideas that should be in the notebook which they can use to
complete, regular simple homework assignments, or similar things.
Grading for cw/hw is that after four assignments they average to a quiz grade -
√w = check weak or check warning, not quite a check minus but needs more energy… two
check w’s in a group of 4 assignments = one check minus.
√+ = check plus is 3 bonus points for extra effort
√++ = check plus plus is 6 bonus points for extra effort
• Quiz - These are just standard quizzes
• Metade - These tend to be book section assignments. Students must read the section
and answer the questions fully, showing evidence that they read the section. Answers are
not graded for correctness, they just need to prove they read it and answer in complete
sentences and thoughts.
Grading is based on a 1-10, 10 being perfect. Two metades equal a quiz grade. So if a
student gets an 8/10 on one and then 9/10 on the next they receive an 85 quiz grade.
• Tests - Tests are given infrequently and tend to be big. Students receive study guides
at the start of every unit. The best way to study however is to study the class notes. Test
are the equivalent of 2 quiz grades.
I'm looking forward to working with you as together we prepare you child for High School
this school year.
Mr. T Kelly