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Language Arts I


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The Most Important Piece:

Please take the time to read this document carefully with your parents/guardians. It does contain essential information about the course for which you will be held responsible.


The Required Language:

This class tackles a variety of types of writing, grammar and usage skills, speaking skills, and literature types. We cover the entire writing process from the early planning stages to the late revision and editing stages. We’ll work with personal narratives, descriptions, comparison/contrast papers, research, and argument writing. We’ll read short stories, novels, poetry, plays, drama, non-fiction, and everything in between. Here, you’re going to use everything you have inside your brain to look at literature, create amazing pieces of writing, take notes, organize your work, and offer me solid answers to the questions I’ll ask you in class, on your homework, and in test situations. Our grading scale will follow the adopted board policy of the Osborn R-0 School District. Tests, assignments, and projects will all be of equal weight in the course, though some may be worth more points than others.


What You Need to Have:

We’re not going to stick to the textbook here. It has some valuable stuff, but seriously, we have the entire internet at our disposal. It’s just as valuable, so some days, you’re going to read out of a textbook. Some days, we’re going to use The New York Times. Other days, we’re going to use what’s in your brain. Here’s what I can promise you - I will always, always tell you in advance what you need for class.


Every single day, bring something to write with, your planner, your assignment (if it’s on paper), and whatever “text” I’ve told you is required for that day. If you don’t show up prepared, you’re not going to learn anything, and that’s a problem for all of us. Don’t expect me to allow you to run to your locker to grab it. Be prepared.


What I Need You to Know About My Class:


  1. If you complete every single assignment (on time), you will be passing my class throughout the entire year. You will never have eligibility issues, I will never need to let your parents know why you have an F (because you won’t), and you’ll get to move on to Language Arts II without a problem. If you miss a single assignment during a grading period, I cannot guarantee that outcome.

  2. We read and write in my class every day. It’s Language Arts. That’s sort of the definition. There aren’t off-days in my classroom. We don’t have free days to play. I have something pretty valuable to teach you, and I’m not going to waste your academic time or my teaching time. If you’re walking into my class, we’re learning. What that means is that if you miss a class period, you’ve missed something. I will post each day’s layout to Google Classroom, or you can check our classroom calendar for a pretty good summary of what you’ve missed. The classroom calendar is updated regularly, so if something unexpected happens to our class period, I’ll just move things forward a day or make the necessary changes.

  3. We use a lot of different websites in my class. We’ll touch on those at the start of the year, but I expect you to be familiar with them, know your login, and be prepared to head to them at the drop of a hat. I use Google Classroom daily. I also use Newsela, StoryboardThat, NoRedInk, the New York Times Learning Network, Peergrade.io, and PaperRater among others that I will find and test drive. Several of these, particularly Google Classroom, have an app you can download to your phone. I’d recommend you do so (especially with Classroom), so you can check in on assignments, graded assignments, and the like. If you don’t have a computer at home, you can even type your assignments on the app from your phone.

  4. Article of the Week: Every Friday, you will be given a digital copy of a recent news article. The goal is to have you not only become more familiar with the world around you, but also to help you become more familiar with how to closely read a non-fiction text. Every Friday, you will return that article to me with evidence of your close reading recorded and a one page written reflection. 

  5. Book projects are going to be the biggest change you’ll notice this year in my classroom. They’re worth 100 points. All of the points are based on the book talk you give in class. Book talks are typically due the week before quarter ends. Book talks will be scheduled the day book projects are due. In the event, all of the book talks don’t get presented the day book projects are due, remaining book talks will be given the day after book projects were due.