Homework – Monday through Wednesday you will have homework. Sometimes I give homework on Thursdays or Fridays as well. You receive 10 points for each assignment, unless you make too many errors or it appears that you are not trying. Homework is given so that you may practice what you are learning in class. This is when you’ll discover if you need more help from me or if you have mastered the standard I am teaching. Please ask for help in class, but if you are still having difficulty, come in at lunchtime. If you turn in your completed homework on time, this will help to “pad your grade” in case you have “test anxiety” and don’t perform well. Also, homework reinforces what you are learning in class without the teacher guiding you through it. This will be about 30% of your grade.
Tests – I schedule tests when I feel that the class is properly prepared. This will be about 30% of your grade. Homework is a necessary tool in preparing you to master the California State Standards. If you are diligent to thoughtfully complete all of your assignments and ask for help when you need it, you should be able to perform well on the tests I give.
Book Journals – You will read four fictional novels of your choice on your own. A completed Book Journal will be due toward the end of each quarter. Your book should be around 200 pages and at a reading level that is comfortable for you. Try to challenge yourself on this. If I assess that the reading level is somewhat below your ability, I will assign you another book. So, when you choose one keep that in mind. Do not procrastinate! Complete and turn this assignment in early to avoid a huge penalty if you are late. Because it is a 6-7 week assignment, I only allow two days late, and you will have to write a responsibility essay that your parents will sign. The book journal is about 10% of your grade.
Benchmark Tests – These tests are an indication as to how well-prepared you are to perform successfully on the STAR exam which is taken in April. These are given toward the end of each quarter. This will be about 10% of your grade.
Openers – You will be asked to quietly work for 5 minutes on review of skills you should have already acquired in the areas of grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. You will need to be organized because you will add daily to the same page from Monday through Thursday. We will correct it on Friday and you will receive 10 points for complete openers. Be sure to ask questions if you are not sure if you understand the task at hand.
Writing – We will have a variety of writing assignments throughout the year. We will work on developing your skills from basic paragraphs to seven-paragraph essays. We will cover the California State Writing Standards 2.1 – 2.5. This includes the following: Fictional or Autobiographical Narrative, Response to Literature, Research Reports, Persuasive Compositions, and Summaries of Reading Materials. During our poetry unit you will write three excellent poems and present them to the class. You will write at least one short story, and if we have time you will have other opportunities to express yourself with creative writing! This is about 10% of your grade.
Projects – We will have a variety of projects directly related to the class novels or the poetry we read. This will be about 10% of your grade.
Extra Credit – I do not give extra credit assignments unless you have done all of the assignments and have turned them in on time. Once a month I will have a drawing for those who have not used their restroom passes. The winners of the drawing receive 10 extra credit points or a homework pass.
Renaissance – This card is issued to you based upon academic performance in all of your classes. You may use it for extra credit or for a homework pass on specified days.
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