St. Thomas More

MS. Jackson

8th Grade ELA

7th Grade Literature

Dear parents and guardians,

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! It is truly my honor to have your student in my English Language Arts or Literature class this school year at St. Thomas More Parish School. Therefore, as the students and I begin our academic journey in pursuit of excellence, I want to share with you my contact information, course description, books, our classroom rules/expectations and grading policy. Please do not hesitate to contact me concerning your students progress. Again, I want to welcome you to the new school year and I am excited about working with you and your student this school year. May God continue to bless and keep you.


Ms. Patricia Jackson

8th Grade Language Arts and 7th Grade Literature Teacher

Contact Information:

Classroom: 8-A Phone Number: 713-729-3434


Please contact me via e-mail to arrange a time for a parent teacher conference or to ask questions regarding our classroom.

Course Description:

Students in 8th Grade English Language Arts (ELA) are presented with instruction in the four arts of language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The basic format is a reading and writing workshop. English incorporates the 6 Traits of Writing. This is a program that allows the student to master prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing a work by learning the analytical model for writing assessment. Ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation are the teaching tools that assist the students in the writing process. Parts of speech are taught and strengthened by diagramming. Rules of punctuation and searching for errors in writing are addressed and practiced. Eighth grade students will also work to prepare themselves to take the Catholic high school entrance exam through review activities.

A student in 7th Grade Literature will be given a selection of reading material and writing topics. Often, the choice of a specific book is given to the individual student, subject to instructor approval. Students are given numerous opportunities to work both independently as well as cooperatively in small groups. In addition to the independent reading and writing, oral presentations are assigned. Students will work to determine accuracy of information, making judgments, formulating questions, and foretelling conclusions. This year we will study Greek Mythology. A variety of genres will be read and studied to introduce students to the world of reading. Specific classroom sets will be forwarded home during the year.

Classroom Textbooks:

8th Grade ELA: Voyages by Loyola Press

7th Grade Literature: Word Wisdom by Zaner-Bloser

Literature, Bronze Level by Prentice Hall

Please note that other texts and resources will be given via handout, classroom set or Google classroom.

Expectations and Policies:

  1. Each student is expected to come to class prepared (with materials and assignments) and equipped with an attitude ready to learn each day.
  2. Each student is expected to participate daily in the learning environment as a respectful participant, both to the teacher and his/her peers.
  3. Students are expected to submit all assignments on time and communicate any concerns or issues that may hinder this in a timely fashion. In the event of an absence, the student will be responsible for contacting me upon returning to school to receive make-up work.
  4. If any student believes that he/she may need any additional help outside of classroom sessions, he/she should communicate with me to schedule a coach class session.
  5. Each student is expected to do his or her best every day in the classroom setting.

Grading Policy:

The grading policy is listed as follows...

Assignment Weight

Tests/ Projects/ Major Writing Assignments 45%

Classwork/Drills/Vocabulary/Journal 30%

Quizzes 15%

Homework 10%

  • When a student misses an assignment, he/she needs to see me as soon as possible to make up missed assignments. In the event of an excused absence, the student has one week from the date of the absence to make up the assignment(s).
  • Late assignments will result in the following

1 day late

      • 20 percent off (starting grade of 80) for 7th Grade
      • 50 percent off (starting grade of 50) for 8th Grade

2 days late

      • 50 percent off (starting grade of 50) for 7th Grade
      • 0 percent off (starting grade of 0) for 8th Grade
      • 3 days late no credit given for 7th Grade
  • Homework due dates will be assigned in class and listed on Renweb. Students should write in their planners to ensure that homework is completed in a timely manner.

Cheating/Plagiarism and Violations of Expectations:

Cheating, copying or using the works of another without citation will result in a lowered academic and/or conduct grade, a discussion with a parent or guardian and a meeting with the dean of students at the teacher's discretion. Students are expected to display honesty during their studies. If you would like to have a conference regarding your student, please contact me to schedule a conference in advance.

Teaching Credentials

Ms. Jackson has taught students from preschool to the university level over the last 20 plus years of her career. He currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, Prelaw/Political Science, a Masters of Arts in Post Secondary Educational Guidance and Counseling and a Masters of Arts in Education Administration.

Please note the Google Classroom websites for classroom calendars, study guides, project guidelines and grading rubrics.