Welcome to the 2016/2017 School Year!

Dear Parents and Students:

I am very excited to be moving up to an 8th Grade Homeroom.  I am also super excited to have many of my 7th graders again in homeroom.  This will be a new and challenging journey and I couldn't have asked for a better class to share this experience with.  While many of the Jr. High routines will be much the same, there are some 8th grade specifics that will be incorporated this year.  Stay tuned to TeacherWeb for Announcements throughout the summer and beginning of the school year.

Dear Jr. High Parents,
 We would like to inform you about our summer reading requirements for Junior High students. This is a mandatory reading assignment, because we want to encourage our students to get ahead of the game before students begin school in the fall. The assignment is to read 2 books from the BOB list. Even though we have silent reading on an almost daily basis, the students are always encouraged to read on their own. We have attached our Battle of the Books list for next year. Reading any of the
following books, along with completing a book report (form to be used follows
this letter) will be counted in the Reading Grade for the first trimester.
You may read two AR books, complete two book reports, or you may do one of
each. Books that are listed on our Accelerated Reading Book list can also be
used toward their AR grade for the first trimester. Books that are starred
are included in the Accelerated Reading test list. In compliance with Common
Core Standards, we have included several non-Fiction books, as well as

2016/2017 BOB List for 6th, 7th, and 8th Grades

  1. Rule of Three                                                         Eric Walters
  2. *Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone              J.K. Rowling              12 pts.
  3. *Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment           James Patterson         11pts.
  4. Racing in the Rain                                                 Garth Stein
  5. Eggs                                                                         Jerry Spinelli
  6. *Stormbreaker                                                       Anthony Horowitz      7pts.
  7. The Land of Stories                                               Chris Colfer               
  8. *The Lost Hero                                                      Rick Riordan              19pts.
  9. *Schooled                                                                Gordon Korman          6pts.
  10. *The Thief Lord                                                     Cornelia Funk            13pts.
  11. *Freak the Mighty                                                  Rodman Philbrick       5pts.
  12. *Firegirl                                                                   Tony Abbott                 4pts.
  13. *Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare               Darren Shan                 7pts.
  14. *Everlost                                                                   Neal Shusterman       12pts.
  15. The Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan   John Flannagan
  16. *The Face on the Milk Carton                                Caroline Cooney         6pts.
  17. *Rocket Boys                                                            Homer Hickman         21pts.
  18. *The Boy Who Couldn't Die                                   William Sleator             8pts.
  19. Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners       Marc Aronson

*Denotes AR Book with Test: Points Listed After Author

    Template for Book Reports

    This is the template for book reports.  All responses should be on a
    separate piece of paper typed and free of spelling and grammatical errors. 
    All responses should also be detailed and well thought out.  Half-hearted and
    lazy answers will not be accepted.  All book report responses will have a
    minimum of five sentences in each answer.
    Include the following:

    *Number of pages.

    1.List the main characters with a detailed description for each.

    2.Describe the setting of the story.

    3.What is the author’s mood and tone of the story?  Give detailed
    descriptions with examples from the story.

    4.Describe the rising action of the story in detail.

    5.Describe the falling action of the story in detail.

    6.What is the conclusion of the story?

    7.Write three character traits of the main character in detail with examples
    from the story.

    8.If you could meet the author, what questions would you ask him/her about
    your book.

    9.Do you think the author wrote this book from his/her imagination alone, or
    was research involved? Elaborate and be specific!

    10.Would you recommend this book? Why or why not, be specific and elaborate
    on your reasoning.

         Again this year, grades will be posted on the Powerschool website. If you do
    not remember your user name or password, please contact the office as soon as
    possible. I do not have access to that information. Please check your grades
    on a regular basis. I return assignments as soon as I have them graded. The
    grading scale is posted on the powerschool site. This year grades will be
    updated every 3 weeks. Because they are readily available at all times, there
    will be no official progress report.  As a general rule, I normally post grades and update them once a week usually on Friday.

         Homework will be posted on this site every night under the 209 Homework tab.
    If I am told what the homework is in other classes, I will post that as well.
    However, I am not responsible if there are any mistakes in the posting of
    homework for classes that I do not teach. You need to check the websites of
    the other teachers.
    Students are still responsible for copying down assignments in class before
    leaving for the day. We write down the assignments each day on a homework
    board. This ensures that students will bring home the necessary books.


    For Religion this year, we will be using a the book, "We Live Our Faith As
    Members of the Church" Volume 2. We will look at the four
    marks of the Church (one, holy, catholic and apostolic) and the growth of
    Christianity (councils, crusades, etc...) from past to present. The website
    for We Live Our Faith is:
    We will also preview the Sunday Gospel through the use of a magazine
    called "Visions".
    In addition, we will also be preparing for Confirmation. Students are
    expected to have their service hours completed by the end of January. As soon
    as you are finished, please turn in your sign in sheet and your Journal
    Reflections. We will be using another new book, "Confirmed in the Spirit".

    Soon, we will also send home information about their Saint Projects and their
    faith histories.

    We will attend the 8:30 Mass each Monday morning. We will also be staying
    after Mass to pray the rosary.

    Service Hours:  25 hours are the required minimum. Service Hour sheets, along
    with a reflection sheet for each kind of service will be due at the end of January. If you have the hours completed, you can turn in your papers so that you do not lose them.

    We will also give you the information about choosing your Saint names, your
    sponsors, writing your Faith History paper and other Confirmation expectations. You are required to attend the 9:00 Commitment Sunday Mass -- the date will be announced soon.

         We will use the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop Book Level C this year. In
    seventh grade, you used Level B. Normally, it takes about 1 1/2 weeks to
    complete a unit. Test dates vary during the course of a week. At the end of
    each unit, there will be a Spelling test and a separate Definition test covering
    definitions, antonyms, synonyms and sentence completions. Every 3 units,
    there is a cumulative Sentence Test. There will also be a Unit Review test covering all 60 words, focusing on antonyms, synonyms, definitions and sentence completions.
    The book has a very good website: Then, you enter the
    level of book that you are using. There is a flashcard review and other
    puzzles to complete that are helpful in reviewing the words.

         By this point in time, you should be familiar with most of the literary terms
    and elements (main idea, supporting details, inference, point of view,
    personification, etc...) We will be reviewing these terms and elements
    throughout the year. For each selection we complete in our reader, students
    will be asked to complete Comprehension qeustions to assess their skills.
    There will also be a test for each selection.
    Our reader is "Literature, Course 3" by Glencoe publications. The entire book
    is online.
    To access the student text book online, you need to do the
    Go to; Enter Quickpass code GL39848u1T. You then want to access
    the Student Online edition. The code to access the book is FB66CA2F2B
    (capitals matter). The online edition should pop up.

    Accelerated Reading:
    We will let you know the requirements for AR when we have figured them out for
    this year. Most likely this will be the same as last year: 50 points per Trimester.

    In addition to our Literature Book, we will also read various novels
    throughout the year. This past year, I allowed students to download books
    onto electronic readers to use in class (if they had one).

    ***** This year, we will be using the Common Core Standards adopted by many
    states as a guiding principle for our Curriculum. Standards for
    English/Language Arts (Reading)and Math are being
    implemented. Many of the standards differ from the Archdiocese standards that
    we have used in the past.  I have found a website with a Parent Roadmap to the
    standards, with an introduction to the Reading/Language Arts standards for
    Grade 8. Please take a look when you have a chance.
    The site is: