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Middle School Language Arts with Ms. Blubaugh

Course Overview and Policies

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! The subjects of English and Reading are combined and called Language Arts in the 6th and 7th grades. Therefore, this class will count double in a student’s GPA. In sixth through eighth-grade the curriculum is broken into four main areas. The following will be covered through both whole group and individualized instruction this year.

Reading Literature and Informational Text

  • Key Ideas and Details
  • Craft and Structure
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

Writing

  • Text Types and Purposes
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Range of Writing

Speaking and Listening

  • Comprehension and Collaboration
  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Language

  • Conventions of Standard English
  • Knowledge of Language
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

During whole group instruction, we will discuss strategies for becoming proficient writers and analyze short pieces of literature together to enable students to learn how to write a critical analysis of their own independent reading material. Our vocabulary study will use a workbook called Word Wisdom by Zaner-Bloser. The focus of this book is on the use of context clues and word parts to help decode larger, unfamiliar words as texts become more complex.

Individualized instruction will be utilized in the individualized-study of spelling words and grammar skills. Students will have frequent reading and writing conferences with the teacher. Some students will be required to take Accelerated Reader quizzes to monitor their progress, however, these will not be a part of their quarterly grade. Students in my classes will not have an AR goal.

Homework will be assigned as needed. Homework assignments will be posted in the classroom on a daily basis. Students are responsible for writing assignments in their calendar at the end of each Language Arts class. It is important for assignment calendars to be checked each night by students and parents/guardians. This is an excellent way for parents/guardians and teachers to communicate with one another. Please refrain from removing any pages from the assignment calendar. Listed below are routine assignments so you can help guide your student at home on a nightly/weekly basis:

  • Reading~30 minutes a day outside of their Language Art’s class
  • Spelling~weekly list of 5 words based upon their individual word bank; your student should utilize the spelling procedure taught to them in class so they are prepared for a 10-word test that is NOT announced prior to the date.
  • Writing~60 minutes every weekend; students who do not put in this time over the weekend will struggle to meet the writing deadlines in our classroom
  • Grammar~self-paced lessons using a computerized program; weekly progress will be monitored and noted toward the quarterly grade
  • Vocabulary~a unit is broken into 3 parts, expect us to cover 10 words each week with practice workbook pages and a quiz; there is a unit test every 4th week overall 30 words of the unit

Makeup work is to be done promptly. Students are responsible for making up classwork and homework due to an absence. Please remind your student to check the assignment journal in our classroom and pick up any papers. The SCCS Handbook policy will be followed.

Late assignments can greatly impact a student’s quarterly grade. Assignments that are taken as a completion grade will not be accepted after the due date. Other more complex assignments will be accepted one day late with a 50% deduction. Beyond one day late those assignments will receive a zero.

Grades will be updated weekly using ProgressBook, an online grade book. Your student's account should be active and accessible at this time. Please check to see if you are able to log in with your child’s login information from last year. If your family is new to SCCS or you need assistance in accessing ProgressBook, please contact the school office.

Students in middle school will be issued a handbook this year, Write on Course 20-20. This book needs to be covered, travel with your student at all times, and be used as a resource to help your child learn more about using the English language. This book will be used every year and sent with the student upon graduation in 8th-grade. Therefore, your student may annotate their copy.

In order for learning to take place, students must have a clear understanding of what is expected of him/her. Knowing the teacher’s expectations enables a student to feel more secure and confident in the classroom. All students are expected to adhere to the following behavior guidelines in the classroom.

  • Respect yourself. Always think positively and do your best at all times.
  • Respect others, their ideas, and their property.
  • Speak at appropriate times. Share your thoughts and ideas during discussion time and group work.
  • Listen while others are speaking. If you need help or further directions, please raise your hand.
  • Be on time to class with necessary books and supplies.
  • Homework should be nice, neat, and turned in on time.
  • Have your assignment calendar with you at all times.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you have by using the assignment calendar or my contact information listed below.

I look forward to working with you and your child this year in middle school!

God Bless,

Ms. Blubaugh

Jean Blubaugh

St. Charles Catholic School

2175 W. Elm Street

Lima, Ohio 45805

419-222-2536 ext. 1072

blubaughj@sccslima.org