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WELCOME, PARENTS!

Lit/LA 7 & 8
Melissa Matis matism@penntrafford.org
My class website at http://msmatis.weebly.com
Professional Twitter account @MatisTMS

Curriculum Goals
1.

To develop your childs writing skills in regard to ideas,


organization, fluency, word choice, voice, and conventions.

2.

To encourage your childs engagement in thoughtful


discussions of reading and writing.

3.

To teach and encourage your child how to be a more


confident reader and writer.

4.

To strengthen character through teaching and modeling


organization, responsibility, kindness and compassion.

5.

To expand your childs vocabulary in speaking and writing.

6.

To encourage and develop the proper use of the English


language through grammar review and study.

Your Child Should Expect . . .


1.

To be challenged and driven to improve all aspects of his/her writing,


requiring thoughtful reflection as well as multiple revisions and edits of papers
using a workshop-based process.

2.

To contribute thoughtful answers to questions during discussions of literature


and writing.

3.

To practice and perfect various reading strategies to improve reading


comprehension and an understanding of literary elements.

4.

To spend significant time learning the meaning of and practicing usage of


vocabulary words.

5.

To improve grammar and usage skills and apply to all assignments, especially
writing papers.

6.

To earn grades based on quality work that reflects thought, effort, careful
attention to directions, and timely submission.

Writing
The writing curriculum will be a heavy focus using a
Writers Notebook and using mentor texts to allow
reading/writing reciprocity.

Our writing units will include:

Narrative Writing
Informative Writing
Argumentative Writing
Text Dependent Analyses
Poetry Portfolio

Vocabulary

Students will receive 20 vocabulary words per unit.


Each unit runs three weeks. They will use the words in
sentences and use www.vocabtest.com to take tests.

Students will be encouraged to use their words in


discussion and writing to promote ownership of the
words.

Testing on the words will be cumulative up to 60 words.


Test formats will vary. Most often, I will have them take
their quiz or test online.

Literature
This year, we will study the following units of literature:

Short story, non-fiction, poetry and drama units selected


from the textbook or other appropriate sources.

7th grade: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls; Tuck
Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

8th grade: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton; The Hobbit by J.R.R.


Tolkien; The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank; The Giver by
Lois Lowry

Independent reading selections during first 3 quartiles with


accompanying RAFT projects and presentations

Resources

No Red Ink: www.noredink.com

Weekly assignments to reinforce and practice grammar skills


Class Codes can be found on my website.

Vocabulary website: www.vocabtest.com

Grading

Students are evaluated on a point-based system for each assignment.


Point value varies and is generally higher for tests, essays, and projects.
Class participation may account for no more than 10 percent of the
students grade. Please check grades on Power School.

Student grades are not only a reflection of time and effort; more
importantly, a grade reflects ones level of thought and skill as well as
the ability to adhere to assignment specifications and rubrics.

Students should expect a reasonable amount of homework as befits the


course and grade level. 8th graders can expect more homework and
more emphasis on reading outside of the classroom in order to prepare
them for high school.

Lesson plans and other helpful information are posted online at my


http://tm.penntrafford.org/user_profile_view.aspx?
id=4aeb9aa8-2bd9-494b-954f-7a7707964713&type=DT

Get Involved!

Read the literature we are studying in class so you can talk


with your son or daughter about it.

Ask your son or daughter to share his/her writing with you.


We will stress REVISION and EDITING a great deal this
year. Offer to be a peer editor. :)

Study vocabulary with your child. Encourage use of the


words we are studying in your everyday conversation.

Please be familiar with Class Rules; these were sent home


and signed the first week and can be reviewed by looking
on eChalk.

Struggling students should take advantage of Homework


Club, which runs Monday through Thursday each week.