English 8 Syllabus




Ms. Samantha Burt

Lyles Middle School-----Room G5

972-240-3720 extension 52163

E-mail: SZBurt@garlandisd.net

Conference Time: 2nd period


       The following is an overview of my classroom objectives and procedures. Please take some time to go over these procedures with your child. We will be going over them in class, but it is extremely important that you and your child both understand what is expected in my classroom. When you have finished, please fill out the last page and send it back to school with your child no later than Friday, August 26, 2011.


**Students need to keep track of this course syllabus at all times, especially during my class; Students should be able to refer back to the syllabus for all inquiries about the course.





Instruction is designed with an aim to enhance the students’ appreciation for and understanding of the English language as it relates to writing and speaking correctly.

Critical thinking, writing, and speaking are emphasized in all written and oral assignments.



GOAL#1—Encourage and Promote Higher level thinking skills


GOAL #2—Increase students level of responsibility


GOAL #3Provide the tools necessary for a smooth transition into the high school classroom.













Entering the Classroom


     You will enter the classroom in a quiet and calm manner. If you need to sharpen your pencil, use the restroom, etc. you will need to do that at this time. You will go to your assigned seat and begin writing down the day’s assignment from the projector screen into your planner. When finished, you will begin the journal prompt/warm-up for the day. You must be IN YOUR SEAT when the tardy bell finishes ringing; otherwise, you are tardy.


Lyles will be strictly following a school wide tardy policy. Tardy students will be required to adhere to the consequences of that policy.




     Every class period, unless otherwise stated, we will begin class with an 8-10 minute journal prompt. When the timer goes off, be prepared to share your entries with the class.


End of Class Dismissal


I will dismiss the class, not the bell.


Working in Cooperative Groups


     You will be placed in groups at least 50% of the school year. Ms. Burt will select these groups randomly. When working in groups remember to respect others, stay on task, give encouragement and support, use quiet voices, PARTICIPATE, and stay with your group. Group work will be graded on those things.


Leaving the Classroom


      You have six S.O.S. passes (per six weeks) to use in your planner. Make sure that if you need to leave the classroom, it is a real emergency.












     Everyone will have a partner of their choosing to be responsible for collecting the assignment in the result of an absence. Your partner will complete a make-up work cover sheet and will attach all handouts as well as write any instructions you will need once you have returned. Your work will be placed in the appropriate folder according to your class period in the “Been Absent? section of the classroom.

     When returning from an absence, be sure to arrive to class early. The first thing you need to do is go to the “Been Absent?  section, check your folder, and collect your work. If you have any questions, speak with me before class, after class, or before/after school. When you’re turning the make-up work in, make sure that the cover sheet is with it, or you will not receive credit.


Turning in Work


There are clear bins labeled INBOX and OUTBOX on the back counter. All work that you turn in, should be placed in the bin labeled INBOX according to class period. All graded work that is ready to be returned to you will be located in the bin labeled OUTBOX according to class period.


Make-Up Tests and Homework

Homework will be given at least twice a week!!!!!!!!!


     For every day that you are absent, you have one day to make up your homework. After the first day (after the allotted days), the penalty is as follows:

1 Day Late=15 point deduction

2 Days late=25 points and Mandatory Tutorial

3 Days late=30 pts/Administrative Detention (Thursday School)

After the above late days, I will no longer entertain the thought of receiving that particular missed assignment. It is your responsibility to turn in all assignments and projects.


     To make up a test, you will have to arrange with Ms. Burt a time to come in and take the test. This is your responsibility. This must be done no later than one week after the missed test date.










Grading Policy

     Classwork 50%-These are assignments that are given during class time such as notes, journal entries, S.A.T. vocabulary search, and essay preparation.

     Homework-10%- This does not apply to class work that you didn’t have time to finish in class and as a result had to take it home.

     Tests/Projects 40%-These include tests, quizzes, I.W.A’s (Independent Writing Assignments), essays, and group/individual projects, such as a Black History Project.



     My tutorial times are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8:05-8:45a.m. I am coaching in the afternoons, so any tutorials that absolutely need to happen in the afternoons have to be set up ahead of time. Students have the option of going to Ms. McKenzie’s tutorials, as the lesson plans are the same. If there are any changes to these days or times, or I am unable to hold tutorials, the students will be notified in advance in class. All students are encouraged to come to tutorials!


Major Assignments (Due Dates will be given in class) : If anything changes, you will be notified. Once I give due dates, it will be the students responsibility to have those assignments turned in on time.



  4 Essays---2 per Semester (That equals 1 per 6 weeks)-The goal is to write four different types of essays-The majority of the preparation will be done in class, but there will need to be time spent outside of class on these assignments. They are very important-

-1) Due:                2) Due               3) Due      4) Due


At Least (3)  I.W.A.’s (Independent Writing Assignments)—These assignments are to be done independently and will be graded on a pass/fail basis by a marking of A for Accepted and D for Declined; More information will be given in the form of a Power Point presentation and teacher modeling when we begin.


1 Black History Project—This will be similar to a book report and has to be accompanied by visual aids and oral presentations.


Research Paper—This will done close to the end of the year. There are several different components to this assignment; further details will be given when the time arrives.


Remember to keep track of the course syllabus at all times; As questions arrive during the school year, you should refer to the syllabus first. If you have any further questions and I have not provided you with the information that you need, feel free to contact me.










Absent Student’s Name: ______________________________Class Period: _______

Date of Absence: ____________________  

Return Date (filled out by the absent student):________________________________


Person Preparing the Report: ____________________________________________



Assignments You Missed:


These are due: _______________________________________________________________________


Assignments due the day you were gone:



This is due NOW or late penalties apply.




(    )   All information is filled out completely and correctly.

(    )   All notes, worksheets, etc. have been attached
















Name of Student: ________________________________________________________

                                                     (First)                                       (Last)


Class Period ___1 ___2 ___3 ___4 ___5 ___6 ___7


Name(s) of Student and Parent(s)/Guardian(s):(First and Last Names)-Please PRINT




Parent(s)/Guardian(s) Home Phone: ________________________________________


Parent(s)/Guardian(s) Work Phone: ________________________________________


Parent(s)/Guardian(s) E-mail Address: ______________________________________


Best Time to Call and Where: _____________________________________________


I have read the course syllabus/expectations and understand that I must take responsibility for my academic advancement, as well as my classroom behavior.



                               (Student Signature)                                                                             Date



I have read and discussed with my son/daughter the Syllabus/Expectations for this course and I understand what is required of my child in Ms. Burt’s classroom.



                                (Parent Signature)                                                                             Date


Comments: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Parent(s)/Guardian(s): Please feel free to add any comment