Dr. Talley

8th gr. English/Lang. Arts                                                                                                     



Course Description

This course is designed to teach and challenge students in all areas that encompass language arts.  These areas include the elements outlined by the Georgia Performance Standards:  reading, writing, conventions, listening, speaking, and viewing.  



  1. McDougal Littell Literature
  2. Write Smart (CD)
  3. Grammar for Writing (consumable)

If any of the texts are lost, stolen, or damaged (missing the barcode), it is the student’s responsibility to pay for the book before a replacement book is issued. In the event that the lost book is found, please retain all receipts.  The cost of the Literature book is $77.19.


Outline of Course

Students will follow the outline in the GPS: Eighth Grade ELA Year Curriculum Map.  Each unit will contain a variety of activities and assessments with an emphasis on differentiation to meet the needs of all learners.  The 8th grade units focus on the following writing genres with approximate timeframes.

  • Unit I: Reading Informational Texts/Expository /Research Standards (August/September)
  • Unit II: Narrative Standards/Reading Literary (Fiction) Texts                        (October/November)
  • Unit III: Reading Informational Texts/Persuasive Standards                          (November/January)


25 Book Standard

Each student will be expected to participate in The 25 Book Standard throughout the school year.   Students must read a novel (at least 150 pages) 5 nights per week for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time and complete a teacher determined activity reflecting literary analysis of the novel.  Students will also be permitted to read informational text (newspaper/magazine articles) to meet the standard.  A separate activity will be given to demonstrate completing of informational text.  Adhere to the following pacing guide for completion of the standard.

  • August (2 books or 300 pages worth of reading)
  • September (3 books or 450 pages worth of reading)
  • October (3 books or 450 pages worth of reading)
  • November (3 books or 450 pages worth of reading)
  • December (2 books or 300 pages worth of reading)


Grading Scale                                    Weighted averages                                       

100-90             A                                 Classwork                   30%

  1.             B                                Performance                25%
  1.             C                                Homework                  15%

70                     D                               Test/Quizzes                20%

69 and below   F                                 Final                            10%    



Agenda Planner                                  Blue or Black Pens                1 pack of 8 tab dividers       

Pencils/Pencil Sharpener                     Highlighters                            Jump drive

2- Three subject spiral notebooks        3 folders w/pockets)               2 Composition books 

Loose leaf notebook paper      1 - 3 ring white binder (1 ½ inch) w/pockets and clear plastic cover

1 reading book from your CRCT Lexile Reading List


Policies / Regulations 

It is the policy of the DeKalb County School System that students will receive a denotation of “I” (Incomplete) for any missing assignments until student work is completed. Student work must be completed within the prescribed time limit set by the school.  The maximum point allotment will be 70%. 

  • Teachers must provide three make-up opportunities to students to complete missed work or improve failed work.
  • Parents, please assist your child in this area, as I will not make-up missed assignments from one marking period to the next. All work must be made up within the prescribed marking period. It is important that students master standards while being responsible for their learning.
  • Homework- Homework is expected to be completed as assigned.
    • Make-up work- Announced work, such as homework, quizzes and major assessments are due the day the student returns.  For each day’s excused absence, students will have one day to make up missed work.  If a student is absent under extenuating circumstances, special arrangements can be made to make up work.  IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK THE CALENDAR AND/OR REQUEST MISSED WORK.
    • Academic honesty- Receiving or giving information for an assignment is cheating and when caught in the act students will not receive credit nor receive the opportunity for a chance of make-up. Plagiarism is not acceptable: If a student takes information from the Internet or any printed resources without a citation, it is considered plagiarism and will result in a reduction in grade.

·Safety Net Opportunities- Any opportunity afforded to students to ensure mastery of required standards.  Suggested safety nets may include but are not limited to: before and after school tutorial, Saturday School, Second Chance Café, make-up packets, special projects, teacher tutorials, technology based projects, research and other extended learning opportunities.

  • Expectations / Consequences / Discipline- Students must adhere to the DCSS Student Code of Conduct, as well as specific class rules.


Important dates- See county / school website.


Required Projects, reading list and other special assignments


Helpful websites and other resources

For example    (See GPS for Parent's section)

Resources for Parents at Internet4Classrooms                        SAT Question of the Day