8th Grade Language Arts students will develop skills in the areas of: reading; writing; speaking; listening; and language (vocabulary, conventions, etc.); during the course of the year in accordance with grade-level Common Core State Standards.  By the end of the year, students will be able to read and comprehend grade-level text in a variety of genres, as well as draft and produce coherent expository, narrative, and argumentative essays.


  • The course is guided by the Common Core State Standards for 8th Grade Language Arts

  • Curriculum materials will be pulled from multiple resources. These resources may include novels, short stories, poems, articles, speeches, sections of textbooks, and some primary source documents.

  • Areas of focus include:

    • Writing

    • Reading

    • Vocabulary

    • Grammar

Student Rights and Responsibilities:
The SSD Board has the responsibility to afford students the rights that are theirs by virtue of guarantees offered under federal and state constitutions and statutes. Among these student rights and responsibilities are the following:

1. Civil rights — including the rights to equal educational opportunity and freedom from discrimination; the responsibility not to discriminate against others;

2. The right to attend free public schools; the responsibility to attend school regularly and to observe school rules essential for permitting others to learn at school;

3. The right to due process of law with respect to suspension, expulsion and decisions which the student believes injure his/her rights;

4. The right to free inquiry and expression; the responsibility to observe reasonable rules regarding these rights;

5. The right to privacy, which includes privacy with respect to the student’s education records.  Students have the right to know the behavior standards expected of them as well as to know the consequences of misbehavior.

Classroom Rules:

It is imperative that we have a learning environment that makes learning accessible to all students. In order to accomplish this, there are three simple rules that all students are expected to follow. These rules apply to your interactions with every person that enters and exits our classroom.   The three rules are as follows:

  • Be Safe

  • Be Respectful

  • Be Responsible

Academic Integrity:
Honesty and integrity are expected of all students in class preparation, assessments, assignments, projects and other academic work.  Misconduct includes, but is not limited to cheating; plagiarism; forgery; fabrication; or theft of instructional materials or assessments. A lack of academic integrity on your part will result in an FYI and phone call home, at the very least.  Honor yourself by thinking for yourself and doing your own work.   


  • Please bring the following materials to class EVERY DAY:

    • Writing Utensil

    • Composition Notebook

    • Your school binder with an LA section

    • An independent reading novel

Grade Breakdown:

  • Each priority standard will be assessed based on the following scale:

Exceeding 9.5   Summative Assessment = 80% of total grade

Proficient 8.5 Formative Assessments = 20% of total grade

Progressing 7.5 Informative = 0% of total grade

Emerging 6.5

Insufficient Evidence 5.5



Definition for Parents/Students




Larger measures of a student’s level of proficiency for state standards.

Tests, projects, performance tasks, presentations



Work that gives a student feedback on their progress at essential skills before they take summative assessments.

Quizzes, homework, practice tests, assignments



This category is generally used as a means to communicate important information regarding student behaviors such as effort, responsibility, participation and work completion.  Entries in this category have no impact on a student’s grade.

Participation grades, permission slips, practice logs

How can I improve my grade?

  • Print Synergy report and check for retake opportunities on assessment scores

  • Complete proficiency practice for the assessment you are retaking.

  • Conference with your teacher to check off proficiency practice.

  • Complete retake.

  • When retake is returned, fill out your proficiency tracker with new score and repeat steps if necessary.

I was absent. Did I miss anything? ABSOLUTELY! What do I do?

  • Check academic team calendar online. Download attached files if applicable and complete assignment to the best of your ability.

  • Check the Absence Station at an appropriate time (before school, after instruction during class, or after school) Take materials available for the days you missed and complete.

  • You have the same number of days to make up work as the number of days you missed. For example, if you were absent for 2 days, you have 2 days to turn in missing work without penalty.

I need help, what do I do?

  • Take advantage of class time – please ask questions!

  • Schedule an appointment with me – I will do my best to help you succeed!  

  • Check my website and the 8th grade team calendar for additional resources.

Parents &/or Guardians – Please be sure to update your contact information in ParentVUE as I will use Synergy for home communication.   I look forward to working with you and learning together this year!
Year Overview:

Trimester 1:

Writing: Investigative Journalism         Reading: Short Stories & The Pigman  

Trimester 2:

Writing: Literary Essays                        Reading: Lit Circles  #1, Dystopian Novels

Trimester 3:

Writing: Position Papers                        Reading: Lit Circles  #2, Civil War Novels

Vocabulary: Students will be assignment a list of ten SAT vocabulary words at the beginning of each week. It is the student’s responsibility to spend time studying the list outside of class. We have a Quizlet vocabulary resource page for our class, complete with words and definitions, practice quizzes, and learning games. Quizzes will be held on Fridays. At that time, vocabulary homework will be due. Check the calendar for any changes to the schedule.
Grammar: Grammar work will be done each day in class, with a weekly quiz each Friday. Students will have their grammar work and extra practice sheets given to them each Monday.