Mater Academy Middle/High School

Reading/Learning Strategies 


Teacher:  Ms. Castro

(305) 828-1886



Welcome to Mater Academy Middle/High School.  I’m excited about the opportunity to get to know you, and I’m looking forward to a happy and productive school year. I have created a warm and welcoming learning environment, which revolves around centers and individual instruction. Students will have daily small group instruction with me, which will allow me to target each student’s individual needs.  Upcoming school events you should be aware of include; open house, parent conferences, and Saturday tutoring. Studies show that parental involvement in a child’s education is one of the strongest indicators of student achievement. We hope you will make it a priority this year to attend as many school-sponsored events as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, would like to schedule a conference, or volunteer to help out, you can contact me via email. Please return the enclosed parent signature page by August 30, 2012.  Once again, welcome to Mater Academy Middle/High School. Let’s work together to make this the best year ever!


“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”  -- John Dewey


Reading Course Description

Please see PowerPoint attached to my Mater website.

Creative Writing Course Description

Please see PowerPoint attached to my Mater website.


Course Objectives

Through our reading program, the learner will:

Enjoy, appreciate, and evaluate language in all its forms.

Listen, read, view, and think critically.

Write and speak effectively in a wide variety of formal and informal styles.

Pre-write, draft, revise, edit, publish, and reflect as a means to more effective writing.

Choose and apply appropriate reading strategies in order to analyze and evaluate written texts.



Classroom Rules

1. Be seated with all materials and supplies when class begins.

2. Complete all assignments on time.

3. Listen while others are speaking.

4. Respect each other’s opinions, space, and belongings.

5. Be Prompt.

6. Always wear the proper uniform. 



Classroom Procedures and Expectations


If a student breaks a rule stated above, the following consequences will occur:

  • Verbal warning will be given.
  • Parents will be contacted.
  • Administration will be notified of behavior. 


Students are expected to follow six basic rules. A violation of these classroom rules will result in a disciplinary action. See your student handbook for more details regarding the school discipline policy. A handout of this discipline policy has been sent home with your child.        



Scheduled Help Sessions

Extra help in reading will be available after if your child plans to attend please have him or her fill out a tutoring registration form. (These forms will be going home soon).


Teacher/Parent Communication

If you need to contact me, there are three options. The quickest and easiest way to do so is through email. You may also call the front office or write a note and send it with your child to school. If you just need some information or to look up a date, you may go to my website and that should answer any questions you may have. Also, if I receive a question often I will usually add the answer to the website as well.

My email address is:

 Front Office Phone Number: (305) 828-1886

My teacher website is:



College ruled lined white paper

1 inch binder

Dividers/tabs for the notebook (1 pack)

Blue pens (may have eraser)

Black pens (may have eraser)

#2 pencils


Hi-lighters (5 colors)

Colored Markers

Colored Pencils

Stack of Construction Paper

2 Composition notebook (label it “Journal”)

2 File folder with prongs

500  index cards ruled 3 x 5

Post-it notes (2 7/8 in. by 2 7/8 in.)

Agenda to write down all home learning assignments





Grade Breakdown and Policy

Grades are broken down into four different categories:


Test: 25 % of grade

Quiz: 15% of grade

Classwork: 35 % of grade

Homework: 25 % of grade


No late assignments will be accepted unless student has an excused absence.

Students are required to take notes and participate in daily lectures.

Paper topics will include responses to literature, essays, and creative writing.

Projects are creative extensions from literature and writing assignments that will include performances, art, and speeches.

Alternative assessments will be given on required reading.

Quizzes/Tests will generally assess spelling and vocabulary progress.

Tests will occur at the completion of a novel to assess reading comprehension, writing fluency, as well as grammar progress.

Alternative assessments will be given on a weekly basis.

Journal/Notebook /Agenda: Journal topics will be given on a daily basis and checked weekly. Notebooks must be brought to school every day and must contain all class work, home learning, notes, and any other materials used in class. There will be random agenda and notebook checks weekly. 

Reading: Students are required to read three Accelerated Reader books every nine weeks. Upon completion of the book the student will complete an alternative assessment.


Classroom Structure

The class will be structured with centers, small group, individual, and teacher guided instruction. Students are required to participate, follow directions, and complete all assignments while in their classroom setting.  All final drafts of papers and projects, as well as quizzes and test scores that are graded and handed back to the student must be signed by a parent or guardian and returned the next class time.



During an excused absence, students are allowed two days to complete make-up work.