8TH Grade English Language Arts
Roselle Middle School
Mrs. Cullen & Mrs. Mosciano
Welcome to 8th grade English Language Arts! We are really looking forward to starting our 8th and 5th year here at RMS, and are excited to get to know our new students. We’d like to use this syllabus to outline the expectations we have for our students, both in Room 106 and outside of school.
This year in English Language Arts we will be using the curriculum myPerspectives English Language Arts. This curriculum includes both reading and language arts skills. MyPerspectives English Language Arts is a student centered learning curriculum where students will analyze text, cite evidence, and respond critically about their learning. Students will take ownership of their learning through goal setting, reflection, independent text selection, and activities that encourages peer collaboration.
Each unit of study includes selections of different genres- including multimedia- all related to a relevant and meaningful Essential Question. As students read, they will engage in activities that inspire thoughtful discussion and debate with their peers allowing them to formulate, and defend, their own perspective.
We will be discovering historical events through literature that will correspond with their Social Studies work. We will also be looking at more complex text and works of nonfiction to prepare you for future workload in high school. Our goal is to get through all five units in myPerspectives English Language Arts books.The units for 8th grade is as follows, novels are subject to change. We will also have literature circle units where students will have input as to what book he or she would like to read and discuss in small groups.
Unit 1: Rites of Passage
Essential Question: What are some milestones on the path to growing up?
Tex by S.E. Hinton
Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
So B. It by Sarah Weeks
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Shattering Glass by Gail Giles
Unit 2: The Holocaust
Essential Question: How can we remember the past?
The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust by Allan Zullo
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
We are Witnesses by Jacob Boas
Parallel Journeys by Alfons Heck, Eleanor H. Ayer, and Helen Waterford
Berlin Boxing Club by Rob Sharenow
Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams
Surviving Hitler by Andrea Warren
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Unit 3: What Matters
Essential Question: When is right to take a stand?
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Freedom Walkers by Freedom Russell
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
We Shall Not Be Moved by Joan Dash
Unit 4: Human Intelligence
Essential Question: In what different ways can people be intelligence?
NO NOVEL Studies
Unit 5: Invention
Essential Question: Are inventions realized through inspiration or perspiration?
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Declaration by Gemma Malley
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Boy: Tale of Childhood by Roald Dahl
Martian by Andy Weir
90 – 100 = A
80 – 89 = B
70 – 79 = C
60 – 69 = D
0 – 59 = F
Each Monday, the student will be given their homework for the entire week. Homework will be written in their assignment notebook on Monday, and they must also bring their assignment notebook to class daily. Unfinished classwork is added to their assignment notebook as the week progresses, so the student needs to plan wisely. There will also be some long-term assignments. Having knowledge of homework ahead of time will allow the student to plan their homework around family obligations while remaining accountable for their work.
Missed work is the student’s responsibility. It will be posted on the board for the entire week so the student can get the information they need to make up the work.
After an EXCUSED absence, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange with me for make-up tests and quizzes.
Missed, unexcused work will be accepted, but will be knocked down an additional 10% off for everyday that it is late. No work will be accepted after two weeks late.
Doing well is no secret. Work hard. Ask questions. Respect others. Behave appropriately. Be prepared to learn when coming to class. Bring your materials. Arrive on time. Take care of personal necessities before coming to class. Keep the classroom clean. Dispose of your own trash.
How Parents Can Help!
Your students cannot succeed without your help at home. Help them with the responsibilities of middle school. They must get their work to school and to me on time. Look over their assignment notebooks, and be aware of when tests are and when assignments are due. Encourage them to come to us to ask questions BEFORE the due date on an assignment. They must continually work hard and their work must reflect their effort. I will not accept work done with only ½ of their effort. With your help at home and with my guidance at school, your student will navigate beautifully through 8th Grade English Language Arts. We can be contacted through the school phone: 630.529.1600, or by email: [email protected], [email protected] Additionally, all of the 8th grade teachers have a link on the school website to stay up to date with daily assignments, events, and documents for your child’s benefit. We can be available before and after school, and if needed, we can set up appointments at certain points during the day. We are here to demand a lot from them, but we are also here to help them succeed. With their effort, our guidance, and your support, we know that they will.