Many of you may be familiar with my class from past experience, but I think you’ll find things are rather different in our Communication Arts class this year. With the rearrangement of our teaching placements, I’ve been excited to have the chance to teach reading for fifty minutes and writing for fifty minutes each day. I got more excited still when I learned that the district had purchased 30 laptops to be shared by the upper grades. The addition of so much time and technology has made it possible for students to dig deeper into our work so that we can accomplish more together.
Last year we started using gaggle.net as a way for students to communicate with teachers through e-mail and each other through blogs, as well as work on assignments between home and school. Only North Callaway students have the ability to communicate within this system and I have complete access to your child’s e-mails even after they have been deleted. The district has researched gaggle.net and found it to be secure and beneficial to students. Please let me know if you have any concerns about gaggle.net, as I intend to provide students with passwords within the next couple of weeks.
I could go on and on about what I hope to accomplish this year and how our classroom will run. I’ll shorten this though by simply saying we’ll be reading and writing everyday in class. We’ll be working on vocabulary in class daily as well, so this should no longer be an assignment to dread. Your child should continue to spend some time reading at home, but I realize it may not be every night with all the busy activities that are part of being in junior high. We literally have thousands of books covering all genres available between my classroom and the library, so the phrase “I can’t find anything to read” should never be heard from your son or daughter.
The following items are mandatory DAILY:
ü Reader’s Notebook, Writer’s Notebook, Handbook
ü independent reading book (IRB)
ü a pen or pencil
ü any work that is due (vocabulary, final draft, reading response, etc)
Here’s a list of what students will need in order to make the grade in Communication Arts:
ü Daily writing and application of lessons in Writer’s Notebook. (15%)
ü The content of two quarterly reading responses (15%) using proper conventions (10%).
ü Compose three final drafts quarterly (one focused, two self-selected). (15%)
ü Thoughtfully complete and turn in daily work on time. (35%)
ü Quarterly common assessments or final exams. (mandatory by district=10%)
ACADEMIC DISHONESTY POLICY:
Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: Plagiarism, cheating by copying other student’s homework, quiz, or test by any method (including electronic devices, computers, and internet) or enabling someone else to cheat (giving your assignment to someone else).
First Offense: Zero on assignment or test and conference, parent contact.
Subsequent Offense: Disciplinary referral, zero on assignment or test and 1—3 day of In-School- Suspension, parent contact, and documentation in student’s discipline record.
Heather Erickson: e-mail—firstname.lastname@example.org; can be reached 8:20-9:20 daily at 642-4333