8th-grade Gifted/ High Ability / Arts and Technology Magnet
2017-18, 8th-grade English Syllabus
Instructor: Ms. Hoefer
Dates: Fall Semester (Aug. 14 - Dec. 14); Spring Semester (Jan. 8 – June 7)
Class Schedule: Honors English, periods 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Location: room 149
Office Hours: After-school--please be sure to let Ms. Hoefer know you are stopping by!
With a focus on the 21st-century super skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication, students will explore real-world themes that impact their lives and their communities. Students will develop their writers’ voices, analytical thinking, and speaking through exploration of varied genres and through a multitude of writing, reading, research and speaking experiences. Art and technology will play integral roles in knowledge acquisition, inquiry and product.
- To develop writer’s voice in a variety of genres including narrative, analytical, expository and argument.
- To respond critically to a variety of texts.
- To develop strategies for improving creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration.
- To enhance the depth and complexity of thinking
- To experience the joy of intellectual challenge.
- To embrace art and technology as a conduit to deeper understanding of the world.
- Pencils, black or blue pens, highlighter, pen for revision/editing
- Glue sticks (replaced throughout year)
- Composition book
- Lined paper replaced throughout year
- Binder, section in binder, OR folder for classwork and homework
- Gmail account
- Flash drive
- Access to the Internet through home or library
- Grammar/Spelling Check for documents (Grammarly app or similar)
- Class novels--House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisnersos, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, banned or challenged book, T.B.D.
*** These are recommended. Please let me know privately ASAP if you are unable to get these materials or need more time.
Helpful for Classroom Community
- Clorox wipes
- Copy paper
- Color copy paper
- Art supply donations
- Technology donations (for students who do not have access at home)
- DonorsChoose donations for new G. A. T. technology lab
* These are recommended. Please let me know privately ASAP if you are unable to get these
materials or need more time.
- Work habits grade is based on the student’s participation and effort in class activities and discussions and completion of all assignments on time and with diligence.
- Cooperation grade is a reflection of the student’s behavior, respect of teachers and fellow students, and ability to follow the classroom expectations.
- Late work may be accepted for up to two days with a 20-point deduction each day unless the timing of the assignment is mandatory for completion of a daily assignment or project. If you need the assignment for the next class period and cannot participate in class work because of the missing work, YOU WILL RECEIVE A ZERO.
- You are to write your homework in your agenda planner FIRST THING, EVERYDAY. All homework assignments and major class assignments will be listed on the class website www.mshoeferstotallyawesomewebsite.com
- I will not change grades over email. Please make time to visit with me after school or during the first ten minutes of lunch if an issue arises or if you need help.
- This is a culmination year, meaning that there are requirements to receive a middle school diploma and/or participate in a culmination ceremony. The counselors will provide more information on the policies. They are also posted under the Student Resources page on this website.
- Plagiarism is a serious offense. All precautions should be taken to ensure that work is cited to the original author via quotations, summarizing, paraphrasing and documentation. First offense is a conference and a failing score on the assignment. Second offense is a U in Work Habits, a fail on the assignment and parent contact.
*We are all human and life happens. Please speak to me when extenuating circumstances occur, whether about an assignment, an absence, a technology issue, or a general feeling of despondency. Take a deep breath and we shall work towards a solution. But get on it!
35 % Class work
50% Major Assignments and Tests
- A = 90% - 100%
- B = 80% - 89%
- C = 70% - 79%
- D = 60% - 69%* * automatic U in Work Habits
- F = 59% AND BELOW* * automatic U in Work Habits
Jupiter Grades and Schoology
L.A.U.S.D. is requiring schools to adopt Schoology as the new, online gradebook. More information will follow. Further use of Jupiter Grades depends on the ease of use for parents, students, and myself with this new district program.
- As part of the Gifted, Arts and Tech Magnet, you will be expected to display tendencies of a 21st Century Learner, which include communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, delving deeper into information, media and technology skills as well as creativity and innovation.
- You will use a thumb drive, email address, Google classroom participation and access to the Internet. You can count on me to help you address any issues resulting from these technology requirements. Speak to me when issues occur as quickly as possible for resolution. It is your responsibility to make arrangements or speak to me prior to a project due date.
- You will need to print throughout the year. You cannot count on the library for all of these needs. If you need me to print for you, you should email the document AS A PDF, before homeroom at the latest and I will be happy to accommodate. DO NOT ASK TO PRINT DURING CLASS. THIS WASTES CLASS TIME.
- Technology access on campus is a privilege. To that end, if you participate in altering any of the equipment, access inappropriate websites, engage in cyber bullying or social media, tamper with someone’s account other than yours, or go to a website not cleared by the teacher, that privilege may be revoked temporarily or permanently.
- If you are absent from class, you are responsible for the missing assignments. Check the class website for the days that you missed. There will be links to handouts and slideshows on the website.
- Check with a study buddy or with Ms. Hoefer for clarification on an assignment. Questions or clarifications about missing work may happen after class, during the first 10 min. of lunch or after school, according to Ms. Hoefer’s and your schedule.
- Make-up work should be turned in three days after you return from an absence (unless otherwise discussed with Ms. Hoefer) or you will receive a late grade.
These are planned units, but they are not set in stone! My teaching is fluid and changes with student needs, current events, exciting opportunities, or changes of heart! ***DUE TO MS. HOEFER'S FAMILY LEAVE UNTIL EARLY OCTOBER, THE SCHOOL YEAR UNIT DATES WILL CHANGE.
August Welcome to the 8th-Grade!
- Getting to Know Each Other and the Classroom Procedures
- Summer Book Project Celebration
- Visual Thinking Strategies: M.O.C.A. partnership
- Six-Word Stories
- Studio Art Project #1: Collage
September- early November What Does Progress Really Mean?
DEFINITION EXPLORATION: PROGRESS
STANDARDS FOCUS: EXPOSITORY AND VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT
- Short stories, poetry, video, articles on technology’s impact on relationships
- Visual Thinking Strategies: M.O.C.A. partnership
- The Origin of the English Language
- Evaluating for credible sources
- Research Strategies
- Organization of nonfiction
- Analyzing information with depth and complexity icons
- Expository Writing with citations
- Studio Art Project #2: Altar
November- December Finding My Voice: Voice in Art and Writing
DEFINITION EXPLORATION: IDENTITY
STANDARDS FOCUS: RESPONSE TO LITERATURE AND THE NARRATIVE
- Short stories and poetry with strong voice
- Elements of Plot
- Literary Tools
- Writer’s Style Analysis
- Identifying Theme
- Narrative Writing
- Building art and writing with strong voice and vision for Scholastic Art and Writing Contest
- Novel Study: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
- Studio Art Project: personal choice
December- January HOLIDAY BREAK Tell Me a Story: Building Community
DEFINITION EXPLORATION: VOICE
STANDARDS FOCUS: LISTENING SKILLS
- Listen to interviews, noting both story and thematic value as well as technical qualities
- Determine how stories are important part of humanity
- Interview Skills
- How to listen and ask compelling questions
- Record, edit, publish interview
- Photographic composition
- Studio Art Project #4: Photography
January- March 1 for All: Exploring My First Amendment Rights
DEFINITION EXPLORATION: FREEDOM
STANDARDS FOCUS: argument writing and speaking skills
- Deconstructing the First Amendment
- Articles and primary sources exploring censorship issues
- Banned and censored books and stories
- Argument writing
- Deconstructing argument essays
- Short stories that lend themselves to taking a position
- Speaking Skills
- Literature Circle Book Club—Banned/Censored Book
March--April The American Dream? How Differences
In Power Impact Relationships
DEFINITION EXPLORATION: POWER
STANDARDS FOCUS: ANALYSIS
- T.E.D. talk, poetry, news articles about privilege in America
- Novel Study: The Outsiders
- Dialectical Journal
- Analysis Essay: Theme
April--END OF YEAR Protest Through Poetry
DEFINITION EXPLORATION: CHANGE
STANDARDS FOCUS: POETRY
- Poetry Month—A poem a day
- Articles, poetry, music, primary sources and art related to protest throughout the ages
- History of the Harlem Renaissance
- Writing: Poem Analysis
- Poetry Performance Study
- Vocabulary Development
- Grammar, Usage, Mechanics and Spelling Practice
- Universal Themes: change, structure, relationships, conflict, order vs. conflict, power, patterns, systems
- Depth and Complexity Prompts: language of the discipline, big ideas, rules, trends, origins, across disciplines, change over time, key details, unanswered questions, multiple perspectives, contributions, convergences, parallels, paradoxes
- Literary devices
- 6 + 1 Traits of Quality Writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, fluency, conventions, presentation
- Revision and Editing
- Visual Thinking Strategies