LA Syllabus - Highline Public Schools

Language Arts Syllabus
Greetings Students, Families and FriendsIt is our belief that all students can and will learn. Learning is a cooperative venture among teachers,
students and families. As your Language Arts teachers, we are thrilled to begin an exciting and
challenging year focused on developing reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Though our
teaching approaches may vary, our expectations, curriculum and goals do not. We are committed to
providing students a fair and rigorous education that is aligned with Common Core State Standards and
expectations. When students commit to their own success, they bring motivation, willingness and
positive participation to the classroom.
As experienced teachers, we recognize that a student’s education is greatly enhanced with support from
home. We encourage families to be involved in their student’s work, whether it is by supervising
student’s 30 minutes of nightly reading, checking their student’s planner, providing opportunities for their
student to write, discussing the learning that is happening at school and/or communicating with the
teacher. We appreciate and value the support that families provide, and are looking forward to this
positive partnership and a wonderful year together.
Course description:
Students at Pacific can expect to follow the Highline School District frameworks for 7th &
8th grade Language Arts. These frameworks are aligned with national Common Core
7th Grade
Unit 1 Agency & Independence in Reading (Sept–
Unit 2 Writing Realistic Fiction (Sept-Oct)
Unit 3 Reading as a Writer (Nov– Dec)
8th Grade
Unit 1 Textual Lineages (Sept– Oct)
Unit 2 Fantasy & Dystopia (Sept-Oct)
Unit 3 Literary Essay (Nov– Dec)
HBA #1 Nov 16th-20th (subject to change)
HBA #1 Nov 16th-20 (subject to change)
Unit 4 Writing about Reading (Companion
Books) (Nov-Dec)
Unit 5 Non-Fiction Research (Jan-Feb)
Unit 6 The Art of Argument: Research-based
Essays (Feb-March)
HBA #2 March 7th-18th (subject to change)
Unit 7 Analytical Reading (April-May)
Unit 8 Student Choice Writing (May-June)
Unit 9 Planning for Summer Reading (June)
Unit 4 Investigative Journalism (Dec-Jan)
Unit 5 Critical Non-Fiction Reading (Jan-Feb)
Unit 6 Position Papers & Argument (Feb-March)
HBA #2 March 7th-18th (subject to change)
Unit 7 Analytical Reading (March-May)
Unit 8 Memoir Writing (April-May)
Unit 9 Reading for High School (June)
Diversity of teaching methods:
Within these units, students will engage in a variety of learning experiences, including the
Targeted, small group instruction when needed to address learning needs
Writers and readers workshop
Individual conferencing
Book clubs
“I do, we do, you do” (gradual release to independence)
Blended Learning (learning using technology components)
Whole class instruction
Diversity of assessments:
We make decisions to determine the learning needs of your child using a variety of
assessment methods. Student’s skills will be assessed by the teacher, but students will also
engage in self- and peer- assessment.
Formative assessments (frequent checks for understanding)
o Exit tickets, notebook entries, rough drafts, quizzes, reading responses
Summative assessments (end of cycle/unit assessment)
o Final revised drafts, on-demand (test-like) writings, unit tests, presentations
Re-assessment (re-takes)
o The opportunity for re-assessment is available to students who meet the
Re-assessment Policy:
Students are encouraged to demonstrate their growing understanding of skills through
re-takes and revisions of summative assessments.
Students may be asked to complete a “Revision Form” and take advantage of
tutoring opportunities.
In order to be eligible for a re-take/revision, students need to have completed all
necessary learning activities leading up to the assessment.
Missing Work Policy:
Missing assignments will receive a 50% in the gradebook until they are received.
Students who are absent from class should follow these steps:
1. Consult with a trusted classmate on missed classroom activity or assignments.
2. Access materials from your teacher’s designated area
3. Check-in with your teacher about what you’ve done so far, ask for anything you
still need, and develop a plan to catch up.
Grading Policy:
Students will be assessed on their progress toward mastery of the Common Core
standards. Most items in a gradebook will reflect a student’s progress toward a standard or skill
and will be represented by points. Traditional assignments may also appear.
Gradebook marks:
M= missing, “50%” The item has not been received.
X= Excused The assignment will not impact the student’s grade
Point distribution:
Classwork/Homework = Approximately ¼ of grade book points
Assessments = Approximately ¾ of grade book points (formative or summative)
Classroom Expectations:
To ensure that all students have a safe and optimal learning environment, Pacific uses restorative
practices to help students develop positive and appropriate behavior. If at any time, a student does not
meet behavior expectations, logical consequences will follow. Please see student handbook for details
on behavior expectations.
Language Arts Teacher
Christian Cerone
Room #139
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