Language Arts 7 Blue Overview

7 Blue Language Arts 

Dear Students and Parents,         

Welcome to the 7 Blue Team here at JTMS! I know this is going to be a great year for you and hope that you learn to enjoy my class. So that you know just what to expect from me, I have come up with the following requirements that you will need to meet. Please read them over carefully, and if at any point you have questions, do not hesitate to come and ask me. I will always be ready to help you get through your year as a seventh grader. 

The back page must be signed and returned by Friday September 12, 2007, for a homework grade. 

Syllabus:          Jefferson Township has recently revised its Language Arts Curriculum and has adopted the Six Pillars of Character Education as the main topics for our literature units. Each will be covered over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. The following are the themes (in no particular order), and the required 7th grade reading for each. Depending on text availability, time of year, and unit progression, additional Board approved literature may be added. 

§   Trustworthiness-   “If” by Rudyard Kipling (poem) -   “Demeter and Persephone” (short story, Greek myth)-   “Icarus and Daedalus” (short story, Greek myth)-   Phaëthon, Song of Apollo” (short story, Greek myth)-   “Joan of Arc” (short story, Medieval legend)-   Sword in the Stone” (short story, Medieval legend)-   “Robin Hood” (short story, Medieval legend) 

§   Respect-   “Fingerprints and Identity” (non-fiction article) -   Thumbprint by Eve Merriam (poem)-   An excerpt from Song of Myself by Walt Whitman (poem)-   I’m Nobody by Emily Dickinson (poem)-   Me” by Walter de la Mare (poem)-   The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes (narrative poem) 

§   Responsibility-   My Furthest-back Person” by Alex Haley (narrative non-fiction)-   Melting Pot” by Anna Quindlen (expository non-fiction)-   “Victor Edmundo Villaseñor by Jim and Terry Willard (narrative non-fiction)-   Papa’s Parrot” by Cynthia Rylant (short story)-   Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout by Shel Silverstein (poem) 

§   Fairness-   “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury (short story)-   “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” by Rod Serling (Teleplay)-   Martin Luther King by Raymond R. Patterson (poem) 

§   Caring-   Mother to Son by Langston Hughes (poem)-   Seventh Grade” Gary Soto (short story)-   “The Cat Who Thought She Was a Dog” by Isaac Bashevis Singer (short story)-   “After Twenty Years” by O. Henry (short story)-   “Was Tarzan a Three-Bandage Man?” by Bill Cosby (narrative non-fiction)

§   Citizenship-   The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (poem)-   The Enemy by Alice Walker (poem)-   St Crispian’s Day Speech” from Henry V by Shakespeare (drama)-   “Shakespeare and His World” (non-fiction article) 

§   Character Counts-   Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (novel)-   “A Boy and a Man” from Banner in the Sky -   by James Ramsey Ullman (fiction)-   An excerpt from Into Thin Air by John Krakauer (autobiography)-   The Cremation of Sam McGee  by Robert Service (narrative poem)-   Stopping by Woods by Robert Frost (poem)  


In this class, I will be grading using a category points system. Basically, this means that each assignment and assessment will be assigned a certain point value. Based on the points you earn, you will be given a grade in the form a fraction. Then, each assignment is put into a specific category, each with it's own weight. Those values are listed here. All of these add up to provide the final average for the class.  

40% = Major grades (essays, tests, projects, writing, etc)

30% = Minor grades (quizzes, short writings, small projects)

10% = Accelerated Reading

10% = Daily Work (homework (graded) & classwork)

10% = Class preparation (homework checked, books, etc.) and participation


Each Monday you will write that week’s homework assignments into your agenda book. These assignments will be listed according to class on the sideboard. I will be stamping your book to show that what you have written is correct.         

In addition, if a major assignment is missed at any time, I will put another stamp in your agenda book, requiring a parent signature. If the signature is not obtained by the time I check again, points will be subtracted from your grade.         

All homework assignments and major announcements will be given to you in a newsletter.  This newsletter is also found at  

Do Now’s:                             

Every day, we will be making at least one entry into our Do NowSection of our binder.  Each day will be on a variety of assigned topics. These can include: vocabulary, spelling, editing, journals, reflections, etc. At the end of the week, you will receive a daily grade for completing all Do Now’s.  These will be on the overhead, board, or TV when you walk in.  They are to be done immediately at the beginning of the period.  If you are absent, you will need to make up the previous day’s assignment. 


You are expected to keep a binder of all work for this class. There will be periodic checks on completeness and organization. You will be warned ahead of time.  Each binder will have 5 sections: Current Work, Yearly Hand Outs, Do Now’s, AR and Graded Work.  You will have to keep all your assignments for the semester, in order to prepare for your exam. 

Tests and Quizzes:                      

Advanced warning will be given for every test and quiz (at least a week for a test, several days for a quiz). Review activities and/or some type of study guide will also be provided.         

If you fail a test, you may be asked to bring it home for a parent signature, which you will then return, along with test corrections for additional credit. 

Make-up Work:                           

Being that you are now in seventh grade, homework will be entirely your responsibility. If you do not hand it in after one day late, you will not receive credit. This excludes any excused passes from me.  If you miss more than 2 assignments, you will be required to attend a Homework Club session for half credit on all assignments.         

If you miss a test, quiz, or project, your name will be posted on a board in the room, along with the title of the assignment that you need to make up. You will have until a week before the marking period ends to complete any of this missing major coursework.  

Accelerated Reader Program:                

You have AR homework everyday! 

You are expected to read 20-30 minutes everyday!  To help you out, advisory is now a “Drop Everything And Read” period throughout the team.      

Due to the number of novels we will be reading in class this year, the requirements for AR are different from what you had last year. However, they will be changed each marking period in order to help you prepare for the level you will need to be reading at when you reach eighth grade.          

Below is a break down of these requirements. There is a minimum reading level for all books, as well as a point value that needs to be reached. If you earn the required points, you will receive a 100 as a test grade. Any less then the required would mean a reduction in that grade. However, anything over the required will be considered extra credit! Your AR requirement is 10% of your final marking period average!! 

M.P.#1:  minimum 4.5 RL / earn 10 pts

M.P.#2:  minimum 5.0 RL / earn 10 pts

M.P.#3:  minimum 5.0 RL / earn 20 pts

M.P.#4:  minimum 5.0 RL / earn 20 pts          

Each marking period, you will be given a set date by which you must earn your points. This date is usually about a week before the marking period ends.  

  • You are only permitted to take one AR test each day and it must be taken in the presence of and with the knowledge of one of your team teachers.
  •  No testing may be done in the library without special permission from me.
  • You may not take an AR test on a book that you have read as part of your Language Arts class. The only exception would be if you take the test before the class even begins the book.
  • You are expected to have an AR book with you at all times. Each of your teachers is aware of this and can, at any time, ask you to take it out. If you cannot produce one, you will be marked as unprepared. If this happens often, you will begin to lose credit.

 During the week, you will be given silent reading time. You are REQUIRED to have your AR book with you at this time. If you do not, you will receive a zero as a homework grade. If this happens more than once during a marking period, you will receive a detention.   

The following titles have fairly accurate movies and will not be acceptable as AR reading this year:Bridge to TerabithiaCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryCharlotte’s WebEragonHarry Potter (#’s 1-5)HolesHootJames and the Giant PeachMatildaThe Da Vinci CodeThe Golden CompassThe Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeTuck Everlasting 

The following is the list of works that are EXCLUDED from the 7th grade AR list as these titles are part of the 8th grade curriculum: Animal Farm by George OrwellFlowers for Algernon by Daniel KeyesNight by Elie WeiselThe Outsiders by S.E. HintonNothing but the Truth by AviThe Pigman by Paul ZindelThe Call of the Wild by Jack LondonTen Little Indians by Agatha ChristieMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieThe Diary of Anne Frank by Hackett and GoodrichThe Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan DoyleSummer of My German Soldier by Bett GreeneAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieDiary of a Young Girl Trans. by BM Mooyaart  AR

Extra Credit Opportunity This year, in order to broaden the reading scope of 7th graders, we will be offering an extra credit opportunity during each unit. Every 6 weeks, there will be two novels chosen that deal with the themes we will be discussing in class. Anyone who reads one of these specific books and passes (60% or above) the AR test will not only earn the regular AR points, but they will also earn extra credit for that marking period.  This is not in addition to the regular AR reading, merely a way to get students to branch out in their reading choices.The novels are all available in the library, but the team Language Arts teacher will be able to provide additional copies of each book that can be checked out.  

Extreme Readers

As another incentive, the 7th Grade competes in something called Extreme Readers. Starting in September, we keep a running total of all points the students earn and at the end of the year the top 10 readers from each team are honored and given a reward of some sort.

Language Arts Guidelines & Syllabus

Ms. Elsey’s Seventh Grade Class2007-2008 School Year 

I have read the requirements for Ms. Elsey’s Language Arts class and I understand what I__________________________, will (STUDENT’S FIRST AND LAST NAME)       be expected to complete for the 2007-2008 school year.   

 ________________________________________          ________________           

 PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE                                                           DATE 

 ________________________________________          ________________                         

STUDENT SIGNATURE                                                                 DATE  

6th Grade Team: _______________________________________________ 

6th Grade L.A. Teacher: __________________________________________                                                           

Please have returned to me by September 11th, 2007