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7th Grade Expectations
7th GRADE G.A.T.E. ENGLISH CLASS EXPECTATIONS
Students and parents are expected to communicate with me if there are any difficulties with these expectations.
This class is designed to help students to better articulate their ideas, observations, opinions, and feelings through command of the English language. The class is composed of three general strands of study, in accordance with the California State Standards: Reading, Writing, and Listening and Speaking
This class is designed to give students greater depth and complexity of information, allow for opportunities for students to comprehend, analyze, apply, evaluate, and synthesize information pertaining to subject matter, and to expand students’ capacities in the following areas (in no particular order):
· Organizational skills and academic independence
· Understanding the writing process and the construction of a composition
· Understanding rules of grammar, mechanics, usage, and spelling
· Understanding genres of writing (response, persuasive, narrative, summary and research reports)
· Literary comprehension
· Critical thinking skills
· Independent problem solving
· Reflection and self-advocacy
· Understanding of basic ideas in philosophy
To help accomplish this, students are expected to regularly attend, conduct themselves in a respectful manner, and complete assignments and readings within the scheduled time frames.
Class work will fall under the following eight categories:
The homework policy is in accordance with the DJUSD policy. That is, approximately 20 minutes per weeknight, along with regular outside reading (450 pages per quarter). The outside reading requirement is divided among other academic subjects (English, Social Studies, and Science). There will be no weekend homework, except when necessitated by the student (i.e. – not completing assignments in the allotted time, or other organizational issues).
Class Conduct and Discipline:
Students are expected to behave and dress according to all school rules. Students must also bear in mind that behavior includes both verbal and non-verbal communication. Students are not required to like each other, but they must be respectful. Students are expected to be respectful of each other’s right to learn and feel safe (both emotionally and physically). Bullying or otherwise harassing or socially ostracizing other students will not be tolerated; students caught doing this will receive in-school suspension and office referral. Cheating is prohibited. Students suspected of cheating will have an informal conference with the teacher or a formal conference with both parent and teacher, if needed or requested. Students caught / determined to be cheating will receive a 0 grade on the assignment. Cheating includes helping another person to cheat, or plagiarism in compositions. Any instances of cheating or harassment will be written into the students’ behavior record, which may be referenced by other teachers or in later grades.
Students who keep other students from learning or me from teaching should expect the following consequences per occurrence /per class day:
1st occurrence: warning
2nd occurrence: written warning
3rd occurrence: One-hour detention / parents are notified
4th occurrence: In-school suspension
Regular Occurrence (more than twice per week): Counseling referral and parental notification.
Attendance, Preparedness, and Responsibilities:
Students are expected to be on time for class (meaning seated and ready to work) each day. This means having, if needed, “Something to write on and something to write with.” Failure to follow these instructions may result in disciplinary consequences. If a student should be absent, it is his/her responsibility to make up any lost work. They can do this by arranging a time to review with me or contacting their “study buddy.” For extended absences of more than three days, parents are requested to contact the independent study program (DSIS) for the student to make up lost work. Homework and weekly agendas/assignment descriptions are posted weekly at the teacher website: http://teacherweb.com/CA/OliverWendellHolmes/MrBryant/
Students will have weekly Vocab Workshop homework (approximately one unit per week). Vocabulary are completed individually (preferred) or with a friend. Students may not simply copy answers from another student. This is considered cheating and will result in an automatic 0 on the assignment.
Students should have a personal/definable method of organization, which includes: a three ring binder with paper, an organization folder to store notes and assignment descriptions, a spiral binder, a pen (blue/black ink), pencil, and something to read. Students are expected to have and use their planner, which will be updated at the beginning of class each week, and on regular occasions later each week. The planner is the primary means for parents and students to keep up in class and communicate classwork expectations and due dates. It should be checked regularly by parents, students and teachers.
Sleeping in class is not allowed. Some students, however, may be allowed to take a nap if I approve, as sometimes students have bad mornings, or personal sadness, and being able to take a nap can be critically helpful (and kind). Snacks are allowed in class, provided students leave no mess. Students who leave a mess will be asked to clean it up, even if it means they are late to another class, or be made to help custodians clean the campus.
Grades are based on a cumulative point score on completed work. This score is converted to a percentage on which the grade is based. Grades are given a letter only, without plusses or minuses attached.
90% and above = A
80% - 89% = B
70% - 79% = C
60% - 69% = D
59% and below = F
Grades are weighted as follows:
20% Literature exams and responses
15% Vocabulary and spelling
5% Outside reading
Progress reports are given once per quarter, at the midway point and are sent by mail. The progress report is listed as Pass or Fail. For a letter grade progress report, a request must be emailed to the teacher. Regular, specific progress reports will be given at no greater than three week intervals, and not without counseling notification. Students are given an assignment log in which they can keep their assignment scores, so they should always have a fairly accurate idea of their grade.
Compositions over 40 points have approximately one week to be turned in without any loss of credit. After this grace period, late work will be graded at no higher than 60%. Assignments of less than 40 points will also receive a 60% maximum score if turned in after the due date. This due date is not applied for extenuating circumstances such as excuse absence, etc. Flexibility is considered only on a case by case basis upon consultation with parents.
Most compositions can be rewritten to improve initial grade, provided the original assignment was submitted on time and complete. Many tests (in grammar, for example) may be allowed to be retaken if students request it, and have shown academic behavior that warrants such consideration. I am a firm believer in second chances.
Extra Credit assignments are available at certain times, but I don’t generally give extra credit.
Further consideration (up to 5%) can be given for class participation and personal effort / demonstration of integrity. There is a rubric for this. Please note that the 5% is used to reflect positively on a student’s grade, not as a punitive measure.
A last note on participation: If a student is particularly shy or has special needs that compromise his/her ability to participate proactively, this will, of course, be taken into account, including class presentations I am not a particularly shy person, but that should not mean that I don’t recognize that some are.
If you should have questions for me, I prefer to be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great year!