8th Grade Language Arts

Ridgeview Middle School    2020-2021
Ridgeview Middle School 835-1601

Mrs. Teresa Deel
tjdeel@dcps.k12.va.us
Google Voice: 276-807-8819

Mrs. Melissa Owens Resource
mfowens@dcps.k12.va.us
Google Voice: 276-365-8186

-Welcome

Welcome to your eighth grade Language Arts class.  This year we will all be learning and adapting as we go.  It's a new experience for us all!  Please take a moment to read through this syllabus to familiarize yourself with the course.

Course Description

-Language Arts differs from other classes because the content does not necessarily follow a specific progression in order to move forward to more difficult materials.  Instead, it is more effective to teach the standards holistically (many at once) instead of isolation.  Each of the Language Arts standards will be addressed throughout the ye-ar.

We will be using the following text in class this school year:  Holt McDougal Literature, Grade 8, CIP (Comprehensive Instructional Program), a variety of web based materials, and novels.

According to the Virginia Department of Education, you will continue to develop oral communication skills and will become more knowledgeable of the effects of verbal and nonverbal behaviors in oral communication. You will continue to read a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry while becoming more independent and analytical. You will continue to refine written composition skills, with special attention to word choice, organization, style, and grammar. Written explanations will utilize informational writing skills. You will continue vocabulary development through a study of figurative language and continuing study of roots, affixes, and cognates. Knowledge of the informative/persuasive techniques of media messages will be studied. You will apply research techniques to gather, organize, and communicate information, properly citing sources. You will also demonstrate correct use of language, spelling, and mechanics by applying grammatical conventions in writing and speaking.  This class will include a variety of activities that are designed to strengthen each of these skill areas.  The Virginia Standards of Learning can be located at the end of the syllabus.

You will have an opportunity to demonstrate your writing ability in March on the SOL Writing test and your reading ability in May on the Reading SOL test.  One of your first tasks in Language Arts this year will be to complete the SRI, Scholastic Reading Inventory test, which will help you determine your areas of strength and weakness.  Classroom instruction will help you continue to grow in your areas of strength and I/E will support you in improving upon your areas of weakness.

 

Classroom Expectations

Below, you will find classroom expectations we have put in place.  In addition to these, it will be expected that you will follow the grade level behavioral expectations your 8th grade teachers have put in place. 

·        Follow classroom and school rules

o   Be prepared for class (come to class prepared, ready to learn, with an open mind, and ready to participate).

o   No vandalism (treat all materials, especially Chromebooks,  and property with care)

o   No lying, cheating, or stealing

o   No profanity (teenage slang, i.e. crap and suck, will not be tolerated)

o   No cell phones or electronic devices (cell phones are only allowed during non-instructional hours)

 

Each classroom will maintain a record of office referrals for misbehavior and/or inappropriate behavior with the purpose of monitoring students’ conduct. 


Hybrid Assessment Information

  • Participation – You will be expected to participate in all in person class activities and remote class assignments and you will earn a grade for doing so.

  • Class Work & Homework – We will complete several activities in class, but you will be required to complete some activities on your own.  Failure to complete activities will have a negative effect on your overall grade.

  • Portfolio – A portfolio is a collection of work that you have created.  Your portfolio will consist of various pieces of required assignments that you will complete throughout the school year.  This assignment will allow me to review the progress you have made throughout the year and allow me to track both positive and negative trends.

  • Tests and Projects – We reserve the right to test you on any material presented in class, assigned for homework, or covered in the textbooks.  However, you will have advance notice so you may have time to study.  You will be given vocabulary at the beginning of your week and have a test at the end, so please, study and be prepared.

  • Attendance Policy and Guidelines - The Code of Virginia states that every parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any child who is of school age shall cause such child to attend a public school or otherwise provide the child with an education in accordance with state law unless the child is exempt from the state's compulsory attendance requirement. Attendance for all students enrolled in Dickenson County Schools will be recorded daily.


    Hybrid schedule students will be marked present or absent on the days they are scheduled to attend school. Parents/Guardians should notify the school of their child's absence and should provide the school with a written note or doctor's excuse immediately when their child returns to school but no later than three days after they return
  •  The attendance of remote students will be determined by time-based and task-based participation that produce meaningful interactions. Meaningful interactions are defined as two-way engagement with a student and staff that allows some sort of feedback or input from the student on successes and challenges.
  • A meaningful interaction with a teacher could mean an email, attending an online Google Meeting, logging in to Google Classroom to complete an assignment, a phone conference with the teacher, participation in an online class, or submission of an online project or assignment. All remote students are expected to participate and submit all assignments as described in the syllabus or schedule provided by their teacher.

  • Dickenson County School will not award attendance awards for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Extra Credit – We are sorry; we do not do extra credit.  You will have an A+ at the beginning of each nine weeks and it is your job to maintain that grade. 

  • Teacher Page – Our teachers' pages will be updated on or before Monday morning of each week if at all possible.  

  • Teacher Contact - Parents may contact the school to set up conferences concerning your grades, behavior, or any concern that they may have concerning your education.  They may also contact us by email:

Teresa Deel tjdeel@dcps.k12.va.us

Melissa Owens  mfowens@dcps.k12.va.us


·        Have Fun - As with anything in life, if you enjoy it and have fun, time passes quickly.  We are willing if you are to make this a great year for us both.

 

 

Standards of Learning (SOLs)
Grade 8
English

 

In eighth grade, students continue to build upon skills previously learned in earlier grades. There is a continued emphasis on reading comprehension by comparing fiction and nonfiction texts. In fiction texts, students will explain the development of theme(s), and compare/contrast authors’ styles.  In eighth grade, there will be an increased emphasis on nonfiction reading, and students will analyze authors’ qualifications, point-of-view, and style. The student will continue the study of word origins, roots, connotations, and denotations. The student will also plan, draft, revise, and edit while writing in a variety of forms with an emphasis on expository and persuasive writing. Students will compose a thesis statement and defend a position with reasons and evidence. Students will evaluate, analyze, develop, and produce media messages. Students will create multimodal presentations that include different points-of-view, and collaborate with others to exchange ideas, make decisions, and solve problems. The student will apply research techniques to analyze information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions and possible bias.  Students will also cite primary and secondary sources using either MLA or APA style sheet. As in earlier grades, the meaning and consequences of plagiarism will be stressed.

Communication and Multimodal Literacies

8.1 The student will participate in, collaborate in, and report on small-group learning activities.
a)   Assume responsibility for specific group tasks and share responsibility for collaborative work within diverse teams.

b)   Exhibit willingness to make necessary compromises to accomplish a goal.
c)   Collaborate with others to exchange ideas, develop new understandings, make decisions, and solve problems.

d)   Include all group members, and value individual contributions made by each group member.

e)   Make statements to communicate agreement or tactful disagreement with others’ ideas.

f)   Use a variety of strategies to listen actively and speak using appropriate discussion rules with awareness of verbal and nonverbal cues.

g)   Use self-reflection to evaluate one’s own role in preparation and participation in small-group activities.

8.2 The student will develop and deliver multi modal, interactive presentations collaboratively and individually.

a)   Select, organize, and create multi modal content that encompasses opposing points of view.

b)   Choose vocabulary and tone appropriate to the audience, topic, and purpose.

c)   Use effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills to deliver multi modal presentations.

d)   Cite information sources.

e)   Respond to audience questions and comments.

f)   Differentiate between Standard English and informal language.

g)   Evaluate presentations.

8.3 The student will analyze, develop, and produce creative or informational media messages.

a)   Analyze the purpose of information and persuasive techniques used in diverse media formats.

      b)   Examine how values and viewpoints are included or excluded and how the media can influence beliefs, behaviors, and interpretations.

c)   Use media and visual literacy skills to create products to express new understandings.

d)   Evaluate sources for relationships between intent and factual content.

e)   Utilize multimedia to clarify information and emphasize differing points of view.

f)   Evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind media presentation(s).

 

Reading

8.4 The student will apply knowledge of word origins, and figurative language to extend vocabulary development within authentic texts.

a)   Identify and analyze the construction and impact of an author’s use of figurative language.

b)   Use context, structure, and connotations to determine meaning and differentiate among multiple meanings of words and phrases.
c)   Use roots, affixes, synonyms, and antonyms to determine the meaning(s) of unfamiliar words and technical vocabulary.

d)   Identify the meaning of common idioms.

e)   Use word-reference materials to determine meanings and etymology.

f)   Discriminate between connotative and denotative meanings and interpret the connotation. 

g)   Extend general and cross-curricular vocabulary through speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

8.5 The student will read and analyze a variety of fictional texts, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama.
a)   Analyze how authors’ development of characters, conflict, point of view, voice, and tone convey meaning.

b)   Identify cause and effect relationships and their impact on plot.

c)   Explain the development of the theme(s).

d)   Explain the use of symbols and figurative language.

e)   Make inferences and draw conclusions based on explicit and implied information using references to the text for support.

f)   Identify and analyze characteristics within a variety of genres.

g)   Compare/contrast details in literary and informational nonfiction texts.

h)   Compare and contrast the authors’ use of word choice, dialogue, form, rhyme, rhythm, and voice in different texts.

i) Compare and contrast authors’ styles.

j) Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.

8.6 The student will read, comprehend, and analyze a variety of nonfiction texts.

a)   Identify an author’s organizational pattern using textual clues, such as transitional words and phrases.

b)   Apply knowledge of text features and organizational patterns to analyze selections.

c)   Skim materials to develop an overview or locate information.

d)   Make inferences and draw conclusions based on explicit and implied information using evidence from text as support.

e)   Analyze the author’s qualifications, viewpoint, word choice, and impact. 

f)   Analyze details for relevance and accuracy.

g)   Differentiate between fact and opinion.     

h)   Identify the main idea.

i) Summarize the text identifying supporting details.  

j) Identify cause and effect relationships.

k)   Evaluate, organize, and synthesize information for use in written and other formats.

l) Analyze ideas within and between selections providing textual evidence.

m)  Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.

 

Writing

8.7 The student will write in a variety of forms to include narrative, expository, persuasive, and reflective with an emphasis on expository and persuasive writing.

a)   Engage in writing as a recursive process.

b)   Choose intended audience and purpose.

c)   Use prewriting strategies to generate and organize ideas.

d)   Organize writing structure to fit form or topic.

e)   Establish a central idea incorporating evidence, maintaining an organized structure and formal style.

f)   Compose a thesis statement for persuasive writing that advocates a position.

g)   Clearly state and defend a position with reasons and evidence, from credible sources.

h)   Identify a counterclaim and provide a counter - argument.

i) Distinguish between fact and opinion to support a position.

j) Organize information to provide elaboration and unity.

k)   Develop and modify the central idea, tone, and voice to fit the audience and purpose.

l) Revise writing for clarity of content, word choice, sentence variety, and transitions among paragraphs.

8.8 The student will self- and peer-edit writing for capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, paragraphing, and Standard English.

a)   Use and punctuate correctly varied sentence structures to include conjunctions and transition words.

b)   Correctly use pronouns in prepositional phrases with compound objects.

c)   Use a variety of sentence structures to infuse sentence variety in writing.

d)   Maintain consistent verb tense across paragraphs.

e)   Use comparative and superlative degrees in adverbs and adjectives.

f)   Use quotation marks with dialogue and direct quotations.

g)   Use correct spelling for frequently used words.

 

Research

8.9 The student will find, evaluate, select, and synthesize appropriate resources to produce a research product.

a)   Formulate and revise questions about a research topic. 

b)   Collect and synthesize information from multiple sources.

c)   Evaluate and analyze the validity and credibility of resources.

d)   Analyze information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, point of view, or bias. 

e)   Cite primary and secondary sources using Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) style.