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From the Helm
Ahoy and welcome to 8th Grade Regular English and Honors English! I would like to begin by welcoming aboard students and parents to the 2020-2021 school year. I hope you have had a restful and enjoyable summer and have managed to stay safe and healthy. We are sailing into some uncharted waters and I'm sure that Long Distance Learning will make for some rough seas at first. I am here to help and I look forward to this new school year with hope; it promises to be a great adventure! I know that together we can accomplish the goals we set, and I feel confident that this year will be a wonderful learning experience for us all! As with any voyage, I believe students learn best when well-prepared!
A few years back, I created a Help Center to provide assistance to students and/or parents who are struggling or simply looking for information about a particular aspect of my class. You will find the Help Center on the leftside margin of this page. The Help Center holds a number of step by step tutorials to walk students through the following:
1. Hook, Line, Sinker (the format we use for short response writing). In addition to the step by step PowerPoint, I've also included 2 printable handouts that will guide your students through the format we use in 3 easy steps.
2. Explanatory Essay (1 of 3 writing forms we tackle over the course of this year). Students will find a PowerPoint tutorial in the Help Center that will walk them through the essay format if they are struggling or need a reminder while at home.
3. Argumenative Essay (the 2nd writing form we tackle over the course of this year). Students will find a PowerPoint tutorial in the Help Center that will walk them through the essay format if they are struggling or need a reminder while at home.
4. Summary Writing. I've included a step by step PowerPoint on how to write a summary, which may prove helpful on a number of our assignments.
There are a few other things included in the Help Center. There's information about how AR (our reading program) works; AR makes up a hearty percent of your student's grade, so it's important that you and your student are familiar with this program. Finally, please ignore the make-up work information in the help center. Things are obviously a bit different now that everything is online. Students have a 1 week grace-period for most assignments they miss. They can still receive FULL credit if the work is submitted within this time frame. But please be aware - assignments will NOT be accepted on the 8th day after the due date. This too is a subject in which your student(s) need be familiar with.
In addition to offering writing assistance to students, the Help Center also includes valuable information for parents who want to learn more about my classroom procedures. The list below provides addition information that can be found in the Help Center:
1. Materials List. Please ignore this list. Currently, everything is submitted online. Other than a school issued Chromebook and our English textbooks (4 total), your students will not need anything supplywise.
2. Homework: What You Can Expect. Technically, everything is "home work" now. These slides explain the homework you can expect in a typical week. Now, these same assignments will become classwork activities. These assignments will be posted to Google Classroom on a DAILY basis. You will see all of the assignments for the week are clearly organized by week and by day.
3. Checks & Balances. This PowerPoint walks you through the Checks and Balances that are set up in my class. A general rule is that students have a week to make-up their missing work. To make up missing work, students will need to: find the missing assignment in Google Classroom, click unsubmit, make the changes they need to, resubmit the assignment, and send the words MAKE-UP WORK as a private message below the assignment. If they do not write MAKE-UP WORK below the assignment, I will not be able to see it in Google Classroom or know that they have made changes to their previous work!
4. AR: How It Works! You will find a PowerPoint dedicated to our reading program (AR or Accelerated Reader). Understanding this programs is important because it accounts for a hearty percent of your student's grade. This PowerPoint will walk you through everything you need to know!
5. Rules. While there is a PowerPoint included about the rules of my classroom, things are of course, very different online. I simply ask that students attend our Class Meetings on time (accessed through Google Classroom and held on MS Teams), be responsible, positive, on topic, and kind in their comments (when using the chat function), and that they mute their mics when not presenting (it causes distortion, feedback, and amplifies background noise) and be mindful of their language when in our Class Meetings.
Thank you for taking an interest in your student's education! I look forward to working with you all this year!
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