In Language Arts this year students will be exposed to many forms and genres of literature. To begin, we will study in depth, the novel Freak The Mighty. We will do many assignments and projects that focus on appearance -vs- reality. Through characters and plot, we will see examples of how people make judgments about others based on outside factors. In the end we will understand that each person has the power to control their own identity, regardless of what others think of them. Next, we will study a variety of Short Stories where we will analyze the elements and focus on the theme of survival. These stories will lead us to inquire about our own life, where we will determine which attributes we will need to survive life's challenges. Finally, we will study Poetry. While learning how to "peel" a poem, we will learn that poetry leads to differing interpretations of word and emotion. In writing, we will focus on improving our 5 paragraph critical essay writing skills. We will follow the same format all year to help build confidence and tailored writing techniques for each student's individual needs. In addition to the fantastic learning listed above, we will do weekly reading, writing and word work in a "Daily Five" structure. Students will choose "good fit" books or writing projects according to their interest to enjoy during this time.
Assessment- all projects and assignments will be graded based on the Alberta Government's Key Learning Outcomes from the grade 8 LA Program of Studies. Student's assignments and projects will be marked with Exemplary, Proficient, Emergent or Not Yet descriptors based on the rubric for that individual assignment. Assessment will be ongoing and will take place in individual, group, peer and self evaluation sessions. Students have the opportunity to improve their mark, at any time throughout that term by re-doing assignments on their own time. Monthly progress marks are available for parents to view on the first week of every month through the Parent Portal.
Homework- each child is expected to read at home for 30 minutes every night. It is important that each student read a "good fit" book which is at their level. This will ensure continuous success. Research shows that even 10-20 minutes of home reading increases children's reading, writing and spelling levels drastically, compared to kids who do not read at home. Please make it a family habit to drop everything and read each day!
My goal is to instill the love of language in each student and to help them become an independent, life-long learner. To reach this goal I will do my best to tap into each student's natural curiosity for learning. I truly believe ALL kids CAN, and in my class, WILL learn to their fullest potential!