• 8th Grade English Syllabus

    Mount Elden Middle School 2019-2020

    Lynn Patton  lpatton@fusd1.org


    My teaching philosophy and classroom environment respects all students and expects all students to actively engage in their learning process.  I acknowledge various learning styles and encourage students to embrace the opportunity we have to work together to achieve individual goals and pursue personal growth.


    Course Description: Eighth Grade Language Arts is designed to engage the student in applying reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in meaningful interdisciplinary tasks. Students will develop an appreciation for literature through the study of literary elements in classic and contemporary selections. My Perspectives is the core language arts curriculum centered around the Arizona State Standards for 8th Grade English Language Arts and the FUSD Board approved content as follows:


    The Essential Questions

    1. What are some milestones on the path to growing up?
    2. How do we remember the past?
    3. When is it right to take a stand?
    4. In what different ways can people be intelligent?
    5. Are inventions realized through inspiration or perspiration?


    Reading: A skill that requires students to determine the purpose and recognize features and language used by the author so students can think thoughtfully and methodically about the details in the text. All reading units focus on an anchor text and whole-class learning, small group learning, and independent learning tasks.


    Reading Selection: Students will read a variety of short stories from My Perspectives. Each story begins with a first read, then a close read, followed by analyzing the text and analyzing craft and structure.


    Independent Book Studies: Students will be responsible for an independent study of independently chosen novels that are part of each unit of studyThe student may choose from over a list of trade books.


    Vocabulary Study: Students will utilize word recognition and vocabulary skills to communicate. Vocabulary is necessary for reading fluency and is a continuous process.  Students will utilize context clues, study roots prefixes and suffixes as well as synonyms and antonyms of words to acquire the meaning and relationship of words.


    Writing: The writing process focuses on the Six Traits + Presentation including: Ideas, Organization, Conventions, Word Choice, Voice, Fluency, and Presentation. Each trait will be taught explicitly and will culminate with the integration of all traits in writing assignments and projects for each unit.


    Listening & Speaking: Listening and speaking skills centers on students expressing, communicating, evaluating, and exchanging ideas effectively. Students will apply Standard English to communicate.

    Classroom Expectations:

    There are three rules in the classroom: Be Respectful, Be Prepared, Be Ready to Try Your BEST.


    Communication: Communication is the key to success. In an effort to maintain ongoing communication, I prefer email correspondence as it allows me to respond quickly and from many locations. Please feel free to contact me at any time.


    Assignments/Homework: Assignments are given for practice and development of skill; they are given to enhance the understanding and mastery of concepts. Vocabulary is integrated into the reading selection. Homework assignments focus on the independent study component to the unit. I encourage students to work diligently and to use their class time appropriately. Daily work is posted on the board and students are expected to write the information in their calendars/planners. Assignments that are project-based are planned well in advance.


    Grading: FUSD has adopted a standards-based grading system through grade 8. Students will be given feedback on practice items for each standard and standard assessments will be posted in the grade book based on the following scale: 4 – Proficient,


    Labeling Assignments:  All assignments should be labeled in the upper right-hand corner as follows: First and Last Name, Date, Period


    Make-Up Work:  Students have the same number of days to make up assignments as the number of days they were absent.  It is the student’s responsibility to find out what work needs to be completed. 


    Preparedness: Mount Elden Middle School expects students to be prepared daily from following dress code requirements and wearing their ID to having completed assignments and all materials necessary for class.


    Tutoring: I encourage students to participate in tutoring on Tuesdays from 2:30-4:00 for assistance with any assignment, computer time, or make-up work. Additional tutoring times until 4:00 can be arranged.


    Cellphones:  Unless being used for a classroom activity, cellphones are expected to be kept in the student’s backpack. A warning will be given if cellphones are out and then placed in a locked cabinet in the classroom until the end of the class period or sent to the office for parent pick-up at the end of the day.


    Discipline Policy:  Students are expected to follow the classroom/school guidelines and are held responsible for their choices. If needed, I will work with students to understand and accept the consequences of their behavior. Consequences may include a phone call home (made by the student), lunch detention, removal from class, going to the Responsible Thinking Classroom, or a discipline referral to the office.


    ***  Please sign the bottom portion of this document and return by Tuesday, August 13, 2019. 


    Student Name _______________________________________________     Period __________


    Student Signature ____________________________________________   Date ____________


    Parent Signature  __________________________________________       Date _____________


    Email address:  __________________________________________  phone number  ___________________


    Best to be contacted during the  DAY  or   EVENING    (please circle)