• Mrs. Bensonhaver

    Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks 8th Grade Language Arts Syllabus



    352.671.6290 Ext 57321



    “I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams. We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” Matt Smith, Doctor Who.



           The 8th Grade Language Arts students will be immersed in reading and writing activities this year. Students will read selections from a variety of genres including: novels, short stories, plays, biographies, poetry, primary documents and non-fiction informational texts. They will then synthesize, analyze, and respond to what they read through classrooms discussions, collaborative activities and various writing assignments including argumentative, informative and narrative writing.


           We will spend time building their oral communication skills and presentation skills in order to make them confident presenters of information. I will also guide the students through each step of the writing process. Our goal will be to produce thoughtful, polished finished products that reflect the writing and grammar skills they are gaining.


     Classroom Expectations: I value the rights of all of my students and insist on a safe, respectful learning environment for every student. Students are required to be responsible for their actions and materials. Required Materials: It is imperative that students come to class prepared to learn each day. They should Have: One subject spiral notebook, pens, pencils, and glue. Online students will be sent a link to an online notebook along with a video on how to use it and upload it.


    Grading and Evaluation:

    Classwork/Quizzes 50%

    Homework 10%

    Tests/Projects/Presentations 40%


    Grading Scale:

    A = 100% - 90%

    B = 89% – 80%

    C = 79% – 70%

    D= 69% - 60%

    F = Below 60%

    Late Work Policy: NO late work will be accepted. See homework policy on reverse. Make-up work is due three days after an absence.



    Plagiarism Policy: All work that you turn in must be your own. Please do not give information to another student to copy or use another student’s work to complete your own assignments. There may be times that I assign a group project and information will be shared, but I make those exceptions clear. Plagiarism will result in a zero for all parties involved and parent notification. Multiple occurrences will result in disciplinary action.


    Class Procedures:

    What do I do when I enter the classroom?

    Enter calmly and quietly. Sharpen pencils if necessary. Copy down your activity in your agenda planner and start

    to work on your bell work.


    Where do I find my assignments?

    The Daily Agenda will display the assignments for the day and bell work will be on the overhead.




    How do I head my paper?

    In the top right corner:                                                                                                           First and Last Name

                                                                                                                                                        Period and Date

                                                                                                                                                        Assignment Title             



    Where do I turn in assignments?

    The teacher will instruct you to pass papers forward at the appropriate time. Homework will be turned in on

    your block day into the black basket Labeled homework on the white bookshelf.



    What do I do if I am absent?

    Any papers given out while you were absent will be labeled with your name and placed in the make-up work

    folder. Check there upon your return. You will have three days to make-up the missed assignment.


    What is expected of me during class?

    A positive work ethic is expected of myself and all students. Any activities that distract from learning are not

    acceptable and will not be permitted.

    - No unnecessary noise or talking during class.

    - No cell phones or electronic devices.

    - No grooming in class.

    - Do not put your head down on the desk at any time.

    - You may NOT have any food, drink, or gum in class. Water bottles are encouraged.


    What should I do if I do not understand something for homework?

    Be sure you listen carefully during the instructions. Be sure to ask clarifying questions then. If you have problems

    and you are at home, ask a parent or friend. You may email me your specific question and what you did to

    attempt the assignment. If I do not answer the email that evening, come see me in the morning.





    Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Your teacher and fellow students wish to foster a safe online learning environment. All opinions and experiences, no matter how different or controversial they may be perceived, must be respected in the tolerant spirit of academic discourse. You are encouraged to comment, question, or critique an idea but you are not to attack an individual. Working as a community of learners, we can build a polite and respectful course community.


    The following netiquette tips will enhance the learning experience for everyone in the course:


    • Do not dominate any discussion. Give other students the opportunity to join in the discussion.
    • Do not use offensive language. Present ideas appropriately.
    • Be cautious in using Internet language. For example, do not capitalize all letters since this suggests shouting.
    • Popular emoticons such as ☺ or / can be helpful to convey your tone but do not overdo or overuse them.
    • Avoid using vernacular and/or slang language. This could possibly lead to misinterpretation.
    • Keep an “open-mind” and be willing to express even your minority opinion. Minority opinions have to be respected.
    • Think and edit before you push the “Send” button.
    • Do not hesitate to ask for feedback.


    We have read and understand the syllabus for Mrs. Bensonhaver’s class and agree to adhere to

    all the rules and procedures.


    Student Signature: ___________________________________________________________________________


    Parent/Guardian Signature: _____________________________________________________________________

    Parent/Guardian Email Address: ______________________________________________________