Language Arts

Class Overview

Welcome to language arts (LA) class! Our main focus will be literacy which includes reading and expression (writing and speaking/communicating). Not only will your child be reading novels, short stories, plays, articles, and poetry, he/she will also be engaging in writing, speaking, and possibly even performance activities. In addition, the theme this year is Empowerment and my primary goal is to empower your child to use his/her skills to make the world a better place, all while having a great time and learning in LA class.

My name is Samantha Gentrup and I have been teaching for 15 years. I absolutely love being a teacher! I have been here at Murdock Middle School for three years (this is my fourth year here) and prior to coming to MMS, I taught in Kentucky and South Carolina. My mission as a teacher is to help your child improve his/her reading, writing, and communication skills (listening and speaking). I also strive to help your child find real world issues that he/she is passionate about and empower your child to make a positive change in the world.

Google Classroom!

Great news! We are a Google Classroom again this year. What does this mean? To be a Google Classroom, this means that each student has a Chromebook (like a mini laptop) to use during class. Lessons will be in Google Classroom and students will work on the Chromebooks to access Google Classroom and complete assignments and activities. They will also be able to conduct research this way and can collaborate with one another for peer reviews and small group activities. We used Google Classroom last year and my students as well as their parents loved it!

Here's how to access Google Classroom:

I will assign homework frequently, and it will include reading, vocabulary practice, writing, or possibly even research of some kind. Don’t worry, I am very detailed and all of the information will be provided for each homework assignment. Your child will also need to write his/her homework down DAILY in an agenda or notepad. My estimate is that homework will take approximately 30 minutes each night (30 minutes of FOCUSED time). It is your child’s responsibility to write the homework in his/her agenda each day and it will be clearly labeled on the board for him/her. I will also post important due dates on my classroom website.

* Please note, there will be book reports due each quarter and your child needs to finish each book before writing the book report. Book report format choices are posted within Google Classroom for them to see.

Make It Real Monday

One of my students' favorite activities in language arts class is Make It Real Monday (MIRM). For MIRM we examine a real-world issue related to people, animals, and/or the environment and do this by reading articles, writing reflections, answering questions, having collaborative discussions, and using creativity and problem-solving skills to design possible solutions. This allows my students to learn more about local as well as global issues, it ties directly to learning standards, and also helps them develop 21st century skills that will help them not only succeed in their chosen career path, but will also help them be life-long learners. One of the resources we use frequently for MIRM is

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