Course Information

Course Syllabus 7th Grade Language Arts

Welcome to the 7th Grade Language Arts Course Syllabus.  Below I have highlighted my instructional goals, outlined interventions and extensions, explained my grading policy, and touched on my educational philosophy.  I have also included my contact information at the end of this document for your convenience.

Instructional Goals

Students will be working to achieve proficiency in a number of common core state standards throughout the school year. However, the 7th Grade Language Arts team has selected the following benchmarks as “priority standards”:


7.RL.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

7.RL.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

7.RL.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contract, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

7.RI.9 Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.


7.W.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

7.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization and analysis of relevant content.

7.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details and well-structured event sequences.

7.W 8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.


7.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

7.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

As a staff we are committed to interpreting and analyzing these “priority standards” to provide the best possible education for each of our students. Of course, curriculum in my classroom will focus on more than just these standards. They will be, however, emphasized and revisited throughout the year.

Interventions and Extensions

Students are offered interventions when additional strategies are needed to help them achieve proficiency as determined by classroom assessments. Interventions may include the following:

● Reteaching the subject matter

● Providing additional practice opportunities

● Providing accessible text

● Considering placement in intervention classes

● Offering other interventions appropriate to student's needs

Students demonstrating advanced proficiency are offered extensions to address individual rate and level of learning. Extensions may include the following:

● Creating opportunities that require higher order thinking skills and inquiry

● Offering options to explore class topics more deeply

● Providing access to advanced-level text

● Offering other extensions appropriate to student's needs

Grading Policies

As we embrace proficiency grading, I will make every effort to provide students with grading rubrics prior to assessing skills. Summative assessments (tests, papers, and projects) will be worth more points and will subsequently have a greater impact on students’ grades than formative assessments (related homework or classwork). That said, if students are not practicing skills, they will not improve, and the likelihood of this student achieving proficient and advanced scores diminishes. The grading scale is as follows:

A: Exceeding (9-10)

B: Proficient (8-8.9)

C: Progressing (7-7.9)

D: Emerging (6-6.9)

F: Insufficient Evidence (0-5.9)

Please check your student’s progress on the Synergy grading system as I will update it regularly.

Educational Philosophy and Classroom Expectations

I firmly believe that every child is entitled to a quality education. Whether a student needs extra support on an assignment or needs to be introduced to a new challenge, I want my classroom to be a space in which every student can blossom. Reading and writing are not only valuable skills, but can be extremely fun too! It is my wish in the upcoming school year that all of my students grow intellectually, but also view reading and writing with enlightened perspectives. As a class we will laugh, reflect, examine new viewpoints, realize our strengths, and work on our weaknesses. Perhaps most importantly, we will see ourselves as a team - all in this together. I have as much to learn from students as they do from me. Most of my behavioral expectations are related to a mantra taught to me by a mentor teacher: “Do not interfere with my right to teach you or your own right to learn.” As a class we need to value every individual’s right to grow whether it means coming to class prepared or listening intently during a class dialogue. I also value LRMS’s commitment to respect and plan to constantly remind students of their contribution to a healthy school environment.  I am very excited to get to know all of my students and work with them throughout the upcoming year.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding this syllabus or the course in general.

Contact Information

Nathan Yoder

School Phone: (503) 825-5841

District Email:

I will respond to any phone or email messages as quickly as possible.

Course Syllabus 8th Grade Social Studies

Nathan Yoder: (503) 825- 5841                                                                              

Use my website to remind yourself about deadlines and to see what you missed when you were absent. Use my phone number and email to call or email WHENEVER you have a question, a concern, or you want to offer feedback or suggestions. My job is to help you be successful! 

Units/Themes Covered

  • 9/11

  • United States Geography/Mapping

  • Review of Exploration and Colonial America

  • American Revolution

  • Constitution/US Government

  • New Nation/Westward Expansion

  • The Civil War & Reconstruction

Materials Required Daily:

  • Notebook paper, pens, and pencils. As you use up your supplies, you need to replenish them! You will need these all three trimesters.

  • Social Studies Spiral/Composition book (separate from LA)

Proficiency Requirements: Each student’s skill proficiency will be measured using the standards set in the nationally recognized Common Core State Standards, with a focus on the Sherwood School District Social Studies Priority Standards. We teach all the Common Core Standards, but “priority” standards are skills we will focus on in more depth.

Sherwood School District Social Studies Priority Standards:

Historical Knowledge 8.5:  Analyze the causes as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, and examine major American and British leaders, key events, international support, and consequences of the American Revolution.

Historical Knowledge 8.6:  Use and interpret documents and other relevant primary and secondary sources pertaining to U.S. History from multiple perspectives.

Civics and Government of the United States 8.18: Examine and analyze important United States documents, including (but not limited to) the Constitution, Bill of Rights, 13th and 15th Amendments.

Social Science Analysis 8.26:  Examine a controversial event, issue or problem from more than one perspective.

Grading Policy:  Grades are used to show proficiency on the nationally recognized common core state standards and progress toward a earning an Oregon high school diploma.  

Grades will be computed using two categories:

  • Skill demonstrated (Summative assessments) = 80% of final grade

    • Summative assessments are given after learning and practicing a skill to the point  where student should be able to demonstrate proficiency

    • Students are allowed to retake summative assessments on a case-by-case basis

  • Practice/Daily Work (Formative work and assessments) = 20% of final grade

    • Formative assessments are given continually through assignments, quizzes, and activities while learning, practicing, and perfecting the skills being taught.

    • No extra credit available

    • No retakes for formative (practice) assessments

Interventions: Students are offered interventions when additional strategies are needed to help them achieve proficiency as determined by classroom assessments.

Extensions:  Students demonstrating advanced proficiency are offered extensions to address individual rate and level of learning.

Category Label


Generalized Definition



Meets all of the requirements of the grade level standard and can demonstrate understanding at a higher level of rigor based on Blooms Taxonomy.



Meets all of the requirements and demonstrates all of the knowledge and skills of the grade level standard at the appropriate level of rigor.



Meets the most basic elements of a given standard, but not all knowledge and skills embedded in the standard are demonstrated.   Demonstrates the essential knowledge and skills required.  Cannot demonstrate level of rigor called for by verb in the standard



Meets a few elements of a given grade level standard, but many required elements are missing and limited understanding demonstrated

Insufficient Evidence

0-59% depending on level of understanding

Student completed the assessment, but little, if any evidence of learning relative to the standard is shown

Parents: During the course of the year we will watch contextually/thematically relevant films/clips.. If you wish for your student to take part in alternate learning activities you can email me at the beginning of the year or have your student choose to opt out at the time.

Feel free to contact Mr. Yoder with any questions.