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Class Syllabus 2013-2014

Teacher: Mrs. Stone
Email: devan.stone@madison.kyschools.us
Phone: 859-624-4545
Grade level: 7th
School: Clark Moores Middle
Course Description:
All students in my class will explore reading, writing, language, speaking and listening skills that will prepare them for high school and beyond. They will learn skills that will help them better understand varying types of fictional literature, informational texts, and argumentative/persuasive texts. They will learn how to write informational and argumentative texts through a variety of writing strategies and how to incorporate correct language usage into those pieces. They will also be exploring how to use speaking and listening skills to present information they learned.
To ensure that all students reach mastery in each area of language arts, my classroom consists of doing literature circle rotations. Students are placed into groups of 4-5 students per group. This is the group they rotate with each day. They will rotate  to several different centers. These rotation centers include book club, where they read a fictional novel and create discussion questions for later; non-fiction text group where they read various non-fiction texts such as articles, textbook excerpts, etc. and analyze them; writing, where they respond in writing to what they are reading in another rotation; techno savvy rotation where they blog about various texts relating to issues in their reading texts; a discussion rotation, where they bring their discussion questions and topics from their book club rotation and have a discussion with me and their group members about their novel and a vocabulary rotation where they study the origins and meanings of words that come from their book club novels and the ACT prep list.
***This year, I have exciting news!!! I received a grant for a classroom set of iPad minis and we will be utilizing these every day in class to complete varying tasks. Below is a list of apps we'll be using throughout the year in our learning. If you have a smartphone or device, you are welcome to download these apps to become familiar with them. This is NOT mandatory, as some apps do cost money.
Classroom Apps:
• Show Me-free
• iTunes U-free
• Near pod student-free
• Socrative student-free
• Merriam-Webster Dictionary-free
• Super Note:recorder- free
• iMovie- $4.99
• Pages- $9.99
• Keynote-$9.99
The skills they will obtain in my language arts class over the course of the year will allow them to have a higher chance of success at both the high school and college level, not only in language arts class, but also in other core classes. They will be learning several strategies to help them analyze various texts and write in various forms.
Common Core strands:
• Reading Literature
• Reading Informational Text
• Writing
• Speaking and Listening
• Language
Course Outline:
1st Nine Weeks:
• Begin Dystopian Fiction study in literature circles
• Begin reading skills for informational texts such as finding the main idea and supporting details of a text.
• Read and analyze short stories and personal texts.
• Revise/edit personal writing pieces from 6th grade.
2nd Nine Weeks:
• Continue dystopian fiction study in literature circles.
• Read and analyze argumentative/persuasive texts using strategies learned the 1st nine weeks.
• Write argumentative pieces.
• Complete argumentative projects using the iMovie app and classroom set of iPad minis.
3rd Nine Weeks:
• Begin realistic fiction-drama fiction study in literature circles.
• Read, analyze and write poetry.
• Write informational pieces.
4th Nine Weeks:
• Continue realistic fiction-drama fiction study in literature circles.
• Read and analyze dramas/plays.
• Revise/edit writing pieces for publication.
***We will be doing grammar each day as part of our bell ringer work in order to cover using correct grammar/usage. They will exhibit these skills throughout their writing over the course of the year, both in their writing pieces and response pieces in their writing rotation.
Students will be graded on daily bell ringers, literature circle work, unit tests, quizzes, blogs and any projects. Tests, projects and quizzes are weighted more and are graded specifically to assess mastery of common core standards.
AR Reading:
I do expect my students to read outside of class. I will help them in any way that I can to find a genre and/or author that they like. They will be required to read 1 AR book per nine weeks. They will be graded on the AR test that they take, along with a writing response to the book. I have a big selection of both fiction and non-fiction titles in my personal classroom library they can check out, but I do expect that all fines and overdue books be kept current in our school library. Books are very expensive and we need to take care of them:-).