Grade 8 Advanced Language Arts



    8th Grade Advanced Language Arts Syllabus

    Nadine Jones

    Howard Middle School

    The Howard Middle School staff facilitates maximum academic achievement, promotes trust and compassion, and challenges students to gain and apply knowledge in the pursuit of lifelong learning.

    1. Overview: 

    In eighth grade, students will write and read with a more critical eye than they have in the past years. The eighth grade year is often a bridge between middle school and high school and is, therefore, a pivotal year of instruction.  Their use of language in speaking and writing will become more sophisticated as they learn new techniques of rhetoric from reading the work of master writers and as they use these techniques in their own compositions.  Eighth graders are to be expected to use language correctly and precisely, having had a firm foundation in grammar and composition during sixth and seventh grades

    Students will become frequent visitors to our school library as they complete two research projects - one per semester.   Students will also engage in studies fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and drama.

    1. Objectives: 

    At the conclusion of this course students should be able to:

          Expand vocabulary and language skills

          Identify and describe various literary forms and techniques, using the appropriate terminology

          Respond to literature through oral and written expression

          Practice critical reading, writing, and thinking skills

          Enhance their writing ability

          Appreciate a wide variety of literary forms for their biographical and historical context

     III. Expectations: 

    The Advanced section of 8th Grade English differs from the conventional 8th Grade English in that expectations are higher, the course is paced differently, and the subject matter is geared towards the gifted learner. 




    1. Evaluation

    Tests and quizzes may include multiple choice, matching, identification, short answer, and/or essay questions. Tests will always be announced in advance, unless they are used for diagnostic purposes. Individual or group projects, essays, and oral presentations will have assigned test/quiz values. Take-home essays MUST be typed and double-spaced and typed in 12 point font (Arial or Times New Roman). If the final draft of your take-home essay is hand written it will not be accepted.

    1. Classroom Policies

    Make-up Work: The day a student returns to school following an absence, standing (routine) assignments or assignments given prior to the absence are due and will not be accepted at a later date for credit – but must be turned in.  Tests previously announced must also be taken as soon as it is convenient for the teacher.  The student is responsible for making up all assignments that were given while absent, teacher will give an appropriate amount of time and IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT TO SEE ME.  I allow students to make up tests period (or before or after school with an appointment). REMINDER:  AFTER ONE WEEK, TESTS NOT TAKEN DUE TO ABSENCE WILL BE ZEROED.

     Leadership, Responsibility, and Accountability:  As we prepare students for high school, it is imperative to stress these attributes to our students.  Work is due at the beginning of class on the date specified.  All required assignments must be completed; however, late work will not be awarded a grade and will be recorded as a zero.

    1. Class Guidelines:
    • Treat yourself, the subject matter, your classmates and teachers with

              maturity and respect:

    •  Wait your turn to speak. Raise your hand and wait to be called on.
    • Follow directions the first time they are given. Be prepared for class.
    •  Enter and exit the classroom quietly and in an orderly manner.
    •  It is imperative you are on time. If you are tardy, you must present a pass             

               to the teacher upon arrival.

    • Teachers, not bells dismiss the class.
    • Do not pack up your materials until you are given permission to do so.
    • Disruptive behavior is unacceptable because it is a form of disrespect.
    • Parents will be contacted as needed.
    • Plagiarism (passing someone else’s work off as your own):  Any student caught plagiarizing another person’s work will receive a zero on the assignment.  This includes copying another person’s homework, using on-line sources and claiming them as your own, in addition to copying other forms of print media and claiming them as original. Anyone allowing another to copy his work will receive the same punishment - never loan your work to another student.  Anything they need they can get from me. 
    • Notebook requirement:  It is vital to keep your notebook organized.  You will only receive one copy of any given handout so keep everything you are given and remember you will have a comprehensive semester exam.   Make sure all papers have your name, class period, date, and the assignment labeled on them. Papers with no name will be discarded.
    • Accelerated Reading Quizzes:   Each student will be responsible for reading novels and taking an AR quiz for points to be determined by the teacher. 


    Detachable portion: to be completed and returned to the teacher.

    Please read the attached syllabus and then sign below to indicate your understanding and support of the classroom system

    Student Signature: _______________________________________

    Parent/Guardian Signature: ________________________________ 

    I am opened for any questions, comments or concerns. (including information you would like me to note such as a medical concern about your child, updated contact information for you, etc.)



    **********THIS SYLLABUS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE**********