Can I do extra credit?
Extra credit opportunities are given each marking period. Students should take advantage of the opportunity when it is given, whether or not he/she feels it is necessary at that time. Don't wait until you feel you need it! It may be too late. Assignments are not given 'on demand.'Extra credit is not applied until the second 5 weeks of a marking period. This ensures that parents are aware of what their child's true grade range is, yet still gives opportunity to raise that grade.*As we included a study skills unit in September, I have promised my students that I would give English extra credit if they could show me an attempt to apply the strategies we learned in class to any other subject. This includes creating outlines, charts, highlighting notes, etc. My intention is to provide incentive for trying out the techniques, while also helping to raise grades in all classes by using good study habits.***Students are also given credit for participating in the PTA Reflections program literature or filmmaking categories. Show completed entries to me for credit.Back to Top
What should I do if I am absent?
Students should follow the homework assignment sheets as given in class each Monday. Homework also appears on the HW page of this website. Absences of more than one day should be reported to the guidance office and a request for work should be made. Students are expected to make up any missed work, get any missed notes, and turn in assignments.Back to Top
What novels do we read in 7th grade?
Seventh graders will read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. We will also read Gary Paulsen's Nightjohn, a novel about slaves learning to read. We will likely read another historical fiction piece, My Brother Sam is Dead, in conjunction with a Social Studies unit on the Revolution. Other independent reading may be assigned throughout the year.Back to Top
Do you have any tips for how I can improve my grades?
Take care with answering multiple choice questions on tests. Read each choice carefully, and be sure that the choice you make is not only true (it happened in the reading) but that it ANSWERS THE QUESTION being asked. Highlight or mark up the test questions to show your thinking processes. Look for key words and familiar phrases that may have been mentioned in class or in notes, be sure that the thought in the question flows into the choice you choose as an answer. Be sure that every word in the answer you choose is appropriate. Beware of words such as NEVER, ALWAYS, OFTEN or EXCEPT and make sure that they apply to the story or characters before you choose them in an answer. Finally, if making a choice is difficult, narrow down your number of choices. There are often two answers that seem right. Look carefully and see if you can choose a few key words in each choice and focus on the choice that seems closer to what you know to be true about the concept you are being questioned on. Is one of the key words a synonym for a word used in class discussions or notes? That may be a good choice.Answer extended response comprehension questions in complete answers. Rephrase the question into the answer. Give thought before responding. The questions require a higher level of response, and your answer should reflect careful thought and analysis. Try to dig below the surface for deeper meaning, and look for opportunities to show what you know! Don't leave details in your head, take the time to put them on the paper. These answers can often earn at least partial credit, give your teacher the chance to find points for you.Writing can be improved by editing carefully. Write in complete sentences, use advanced vocabulary whenever possible, and EDIT your work. Make corrections to spelling, sentence structure, and be sure that your answers stay on topic. Remember, writing improves with the addition of detail--include more information, examples, or reasons why. Try it, it will help! Sometimes recording yourself giving an answer orally and then playing it back can help you get your more detailed thoughts down on paper.Finally, turn work in on time! Plan for longer assignments, check ink in printers, and meet your deadlines. Losing points for lateness can really hurt your grades.Back to Top
May I type my work?
Typed work is fine, unless specifically told to hand-write the assignment. Many people (including myself) simply think and edit better at a keyboard. You may always type journal responses, but they should then be put into your loose leaf notebook (a 3-hole punch does the trick). Essays, reports, etc. usually have being typed as an option. HOWEVER, typed work is subject to the same expectations regarding spelling, spacing, neatness, formatting, etc. as written work. A typed essay should have a TYPED heading, not one scribbled in above the work. It is also important to note that typing your work is your choice, you are not excused from deadlines because of lack of ink, paper, or a computer malfunction. When technology fails, do it the old fashioned way--write it!Back to Top
What is plagiarism and why is it such a big deal?
Plagiarism is passing someone else's words off as your own. It is like copying off someone's paper, except that paper belongs to a professional writer! Plagiarism is cheating, and it is a very big deal in academic and professional environments. Unfortunately, the Internet has made copying the work of others very easy and this has led to serious problems for students at every level. In my class you will be taught the proper way to use sources and write in your own words. Covering up plagiarized work often takes more effort that just doing the work yourself anyway, so please give your writing your best shot--on your own. As a professional writer and educator I take this topic seriously and want you to do the same. I assure you I check sources and come to know your writing style well. Identifying plagiarized work is actually fairly easy. To encourage honest writing, I may have students write only on school computers, ask that website content be approved, or limit the kinds of sources that can be used. It is for your own good!Back to Top
Is there a way to Email you?
Yes, contact me at: email@example.comBack to Top
How do I use the blog page?
I'm excited about sharing a new way of communicating with you about our English content. Clicking on the blog for your class period will bring you to the current question in discussion. If you click on 'Add Comment' you will be asked for an email address and name. Please use ONLY your first name and last initial!! I recommend you use an email address that is accessible to parents as they will receive a copy of the entry once it is posted. This is to ensure that students are responsible with content and do not misuse the blog in any way. Be careful with answers, just as you would on answering test questions, as your responses will earn credit based on the quality of the content of the answer and the quality of the writing itself. Remember that your response and your email address are visible to me and I see EVERY response prior to it being publicly posted.Back to Top
What if I don't have Internet access at home?
The blog responses are quite short; a few sentences at most. You can use the computer lab or library during the day or after school to respond, or you may stop in to see me if you are having a problem accessing the information.Back to Top