6-8th Grade Reading/Writing Curriculum

Sixth Grade Reading/Writing

WHAT WE ARE LEARNING:

Essay writing: How to make your points count and captivate your audience, through narrative, expository, and persuasive writing.

Don’t forget to check Power School!

Grades are up and being posted frequently. If you have any questions about specific assignments, let me know.

Grade 6 Reading/Writing

 

Welcome to Reading/Writing! This course incorporates reading, grammar and writing as collaborative strategies to build the foundation for students to become independent readers, writers and thinkers. We will use the Six Traits of Writing to continuously improve our writing through a variety of genres. We will read a colorful selection of short stories and novels that will challenge students to comprehend and analyze the text at higher levels.  Along the way, we will connect the themes and ideas we read to the concept of growing up and overcoming adversity.

This year, we will continue our Writing course for all students to focus exclusively on grammar and writing skills. In this Writing course, we will weave the concepts covered in the grammar class into our daily writing.

Website

All vital information for the class, including weekly homework assignments, upcoming events, and approaching deadlines will be posted on my website. Please refer to my class web-page for information, and if there are still questions, feel free to contact me at dshepp@stmadsophie.org.

Texts

Elements of Literature Introductory Course

Walk Two Moons by  Sharon Creech

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

**Other Novels as selected by the students

Students will read a wide variety of stories and poems from the Elements of Literature Introductory Course. This year, the Elements of Literature textbook will be used solely in the classroom and students will not have to carry it with them.

Building Vocabulary Program

For vocabulary this year, we will be using the Building Vocabulary program, which teaches students to identify the meaning of a word based on the definition, context clues, synonyms, antonyms, and reading passages. We will also study the origins of Greek and Latin words.

Building Vocabulary from Word Roots provides a systematic approach to teaching vocabulary using Greek and Latin prefixes, bases, and suffixes. Over 90% of English words of two or more syllables are of Greek or Latin origin. Instead of learning words and definitions in isolation, students learn key roots and strategies for deciphering words and their meanings across all content areas.


The workbook provides multiple ways for students to practice their new vocabulary.  We will be taking tests at the end of each lesson.

Daily Journals

Students will begin most classes writing in their journals. This will provide an opportunity to practice new writing skills, reflect upon new concepts, and make personal connections. The goal is for these journals to demonstrate a steady growth in writing throughout the year.

AR Policy

Based on their STAR assessment results from the beginning of the year, students will be assigned a certain number of points they need to receive by taking AR tests each trimester. I will help students select books that are at their appropriate levels. Every two weeks, there will be a designated time for students to complete AR tests on the iPads or laptops. They can also take the tests during free time when they are given permission.

Standards-Based Grading

Students will be assessed based on their performance on the following standards: Reading of Literature, Reading of Informational Texts, Written Expression, Speaking and Listening, and Written Language.

These standards will be assessed through daily journals, essays, projects, tests and quizzes, and presentations. Sometimes, one assignment will include multiple standards, and Power School will reflect this.

Here is an explanation of the 4 point scale. Remember that these numbers are not connected to letter grades. For example, a “4” is not an A.

4: Student demonstrates mastery of the standard at a high school level, incorporating unique and extraordinary skills

3: Student demonstrates a complete and consistent understanding of the standard

2: Student partially demonstrates mastery of the standard, but still lacks certain necessary skills

1: Student attempts to master the standard, but lacks many of the necessary skills

****Understanding Standards-Based Grading

Saint Madeleine Sophie School is using a standards-based grading policy in order to accurately communicate your student’s mastery of content. We believe this provides a clear picture of your student’s academic progress.

  1. Coursework will be divided into three categories: PracticeAssessment Practice, and Assessment. Practice includes homework and other independent activities involving the skill. Assessment Practice includes activities in class that prepare the student for the assessment of the skill. Assessment is the opportunity for the student to demonstrate mastery of the skill.
  2. Content grades will be based upon demonstrated mastery of the course skills and standards being assessed. All of the course grade is based upon Assessment Content grades will NOT include points for effort, homework, participation, or extra credit. These areas will be reflected in the self-directed learner category of the report card.
  3. Homework completion will be tracked, but will not count toward the content grade.
  4. We will use the four point scale to determine mastery (see the explanation below). Students need to score a 3 or higher on a skill or standard to demonstrate mastery.
  5. Students scoring below a 3 on any standard(s) or skill(s) will take an in-class retest on those standard(s) or skill(s) only.
  6. Students still scoring below a 3 after the in-class retest are allowed additional retests before or after school or at recess at the teacher’s discretion. Students MUST complete test corrections or at least 75% of their homework or retest practice work in order to retest.

The Four Point Scale

1- The students meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little knowledge or understanding of the skill.

2- The student meets some requirements for proficient work and is approaching mastery of the skill.

3- The student is demonstrating proficiency on the specific skill. He or she can regularly complete this skill and show solid understanding.

4- The student demonstrates the skill at an extremely high level (high school or college) in a unique way that exceeds expectations.

Clarifying 4 point system

The four point scoring system is not a percentage. For example, receiving a 3 does not mean that the student is earning a 3 out of 4 possible points, or a 75%. It means the student is mastering that skill. Receiving a 4 is not the same as receiving full credit; it means the student is showing a highly rare and advanced level of mastery. On Power School reports, parents and students should focus on the the four point scale scores and not the percentage scores.  This score is listed under the Grade column of the Power School reports. The four point scale scores more accurately describe how well the student is mastering the skill.

Please discuss these procedures with your student and make sure he or she understands that each student is expected to master EACH individual concept with a score of 3, and that there will be an opportunity for review or extra help prior to retesting.

Rules for 6th Grade

Be Safe

Be Respectful (to yourself, your classmates, the teacher)

Be Part of the Team (Participate, work well with others)

Be All In (100% Effort, 100% Positive Attitude)

Positive Consequences

If students are doing an outstanding job of demonstrating the 4 Be’s, the following will happen:

  • Happy Parent Emails: Ms. Shepp loves to email parents about the outstanding work their children are doing in his class. Who knows, it could earn you a reward or treat at home.
  • S-Bucks: Ms. Shepp will give out S-Bucks, which can be redeemed for healthy snacks, free time, and other fun prizes.
  • Big Check: If all students are able to follow the opening routine correctly and have completed their homework assignment, students will earn a check. Once they have earned enough, there will be a celebration.

Negative Consequences

If students fail to follow the 4 Be’s, the following consequences will be enforced:

  • Level One: Verbal warning
  • Level Two: Temporary removal from class, teacher conference
  • Level Three: Parent contact
  • Level Four: Conference with administrator

About the Teacher

Ms. Shepp grew up in beautiful Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Washington State University(Go Cougs!) and went on to get her Continuing certification endorsement in Reading and English at the University of Washington. She has been teaching for 41 years, mostly in middle school in both Washington and California. This will be Ms. Shepp’s fourth year at Saint Madeleine Sophie.

For fun, Ms. Shepp enjoys teaching writing and literature, yoga, walking, baking, drawing, painting, and spending time with her husband, her family(including her twin sister). She’s an avid sports fan, and her favorite teams are the Seahawks, Mariners, and WSU football!!

Contacting Ms. Shepp

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns! If needed, we can always set up a conference before or after school. Also, be sure to frequently check the websites for updates on course material and of course homework assignments.

Contact: dshepp@stmadsophie.org

 

Seventh Grade Reading/Writing

WHAT WE ARE LEARNING

Essay writing: How to make your points count and captivate your audience, through persuasive, narrative and expository writing.

Don’t forget to check Power School!

Grades are up and being posted frequently. If you have any questions about specific assignments, let me know.

Welcome to Reading/Writing! This course incorporates grammar, reading and writing as collaborative strategies to build the foundation for students to become independent readers, writers and thinkers. We will use the Six Traits of Writing to continuously improve our writing through a variety of genres. We will read a colorful selection of short stories and novels that will challenge students to comprehend and analyze the text at higher levels. The seventh graders this year will read two all-time classics: The Giver and The Outsiders.  Much of our content will be tied to the theme of growing up and challenging the norms of society.

This year, we will continue our Writing course for all students to focus exclusively on grammar and writing skills. In this Writing course, we will weave the concepts covered in the grammar class into our daily writing.

Website

All vital information for the class, including weekly homework assignments, upcoming events, and approaching deadlines will be posted on my website. Please refer to my class web-page for information, and if there are still questions, feel free to contact me at dshepp@stmadsophie.org.

Texts

Elements of Literature First Course

The Giver by  Lois Lowry

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Where the Red Fer Grows by Wilson Rawls

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

**Other Novels as selected by the students

Students will read a wide variety of stories and poems from the Elements of Literature Introductory Course. This year, the Elements of Literature textbook will be used solely in the classroom and students will not have to carry it with them.

Building Vocabulary Program

For vocabulary this year, we will be using the Building Vocabulary program, which teaches students to identify the meaning of a word based on the definition, context clues, synonyms, antonyms, and reading passages. We will also study the origins of Greek and Latin words.

Building Vocabulary from Word Roots provides a systematic approach to teaching vocabulary using Greek and Latin prefixes, bases, and suffixes. Over 90% of English words of two or more syllables are of Greek or Latin origin. Instead of learning words and definitions in isolation, students learn key roots and strategies for deciphering words and their meanings across all content areas.


The workbook provides multiple ways for students to practice their new vocabulary.  We will be taking tests at the end of each lesson.

Daily Journals

Students will begin most classes writing in their journals. This will provide an opportunity to practice new writing skills, reflect upon new concepts, and make personal connections. The goal is for these journals to demonstrate a steady growth in writing throughout the year.

AR Policy

Based on their STAR assessment results from the beginning of the year, students will be assigned a certain number of points they need to receive by taking AR tests each trimester. I will help students select books that are at their appropriate levels. Every two weeks, there will be a designated time for students to complete AR tests on the iPads or laptops. They can also take the tests during free time when they are given permission.

Standards-Based Grading

Students will be assessed based on their performance on the following standards: Reading of Literature, Reading of Informational Texts, Written Expression, Speaking and Listening, and Written Language.

These standards will be assessed through daily journals, essays, projects, tests and quizzes, and presentations. Sometimes, one assignment will include multiple standards, and Power School will reflect this.

Here is an explanation of the 4 point scale. Remember that these numbers are not connected to letter grades. For example, a “4” is not an A.

4: Student demonstrates mastery of the standard at a high school level, incorporating unique and extraordinary skills

3: Student demonstrates a complete and consistent understanding of the standard

2: Student partially demonstrates mastery of the standard, but still lacks certain necessary skills

1: Student attempts to master the standard, but lacks many of the necessary skills

****Understanding Standards-Based Grading

Saint Madeleine Sophie School is using a standards-based grading policy in order to accurately communicate your student’s mastery of content. We believe this provides a clear picture of your student’s academic progress.

  1. Coursework will be divided into three categories: PracticeAssessment Practice, and Assessment. Practice includes homework and other independent activities involving the skill. Assessment Practice includes activities in class that prepare the student for the assessment of the skill. Assessment is the opportunity for the student to demonstrate mastery of the skill.
  2. Content grades will be based upon demonstrated mastery of the course skills and standards being assessed. All of the course grade is based upon Assessment Content grades will NOT include points for effort, homework, participation, or extra credit. These areas will be reflected in the self-directed learner category of the report card.
  3. Homework completion will be tracked, but will not count toward the content grade.
  4. We will use the four point scale to determine mastery (see the explanation below). Students need to score a 3 or higher on a skill or standard to demonstrate mastery.
  5. Students scoring below a 3 on any standard(s) or skill(s) will take an in-class retest on those standard(s) or skill(s) only.
  6. Students still scoring below a 3 after the in-class retest are allowed additional retests before or after school or at recess at the teacher’s discretion. Students MUST complete test corrections or at least 75% of their homework or retest practice work in order to retest.

The Four Point Scale

1- The students meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little knowledge or understanding of the skill.

2- The student meets some requirements for proficient work and is approaching mastery of the skill.

3- The student is demonstrating proficiency on the specific skill. He or she can regularly complete this skill and show solid understanding.

4- The student demonstrates the skill at an extremely high level (high school or college) in a unique way that exceeds expectations.

Clarifying 4 point system

The four point scoring system is not a percentage. For example, receiving a 3 does not mean that the student is earning a 3 out of 4 possible points, or a 75%. It means the student is mastering that skill. Receiving a 4 is not the same as receiving full credit; it means the student is showing a highly rare and advanced level of mastery. On Power School reports, parents and students should focus on the the four point scale scores and not the percentage scores.  This score is listed under the Grade column of the Power School reports. The four point scale scores more accurately describe how well the student is mastering the skill.

Please discuss these procedures with your student and make sure he or she understands that each student is expected to master EACH individual concept with a score of 3, and that there will be an opportunity for review or extra help prior to retesting.

Rules for 7th Grade

Be Safe

Be Respectful (to yourself, your classmates, the teacher)

Be Part of the Team (Participate, work well with others)

Be All In (100% Effort, 100% Positive Attitude)

Positive Consequences

If students are doing an outstanding job of demonstrating the 4 Be’s, the following will happen:

  • Happy Parent Emails: Ms. S loves to email parents about the outstanding work their children are doing in his class. Who knows, it could earn you a reward or treat at home.
  • S-Bucks: Ms. Shepp will give out S-Bucks, which can be redeemed for healthy snacks, free time, and other fun prizes.
  • Big Check: If all students are able to follow the opening routine correctly and have completed their homework assignment, students will earn a check. Once they have earned enough, there will be a celebration.

Negative Consequences

If students fail to follow the 4 Be’s, the following consequences will be enforced:

  • Level One: Verbal warning
  • Level Two: Temporary removal from class, teacher conference
  • Level Three: Parent contact
  • Level Four: Conference with administrator

About the Teacher

Ms. Shepp grew up in beautiful Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Washington State University(Go Cougs!) and went on to get her Continuing certification endorsement in Reading and English at the University of Washington. She has been teaching for 41 years, mostly in middle school in both Washington and California. This will be Ms. Shepp’s fourth year at Saint Madeleine Sophie.

For fun, Ms. Shepp enjoys teaching writing and literature, yoga, walking, baking, drawing, painting, and spending time with her husband, her family(including her twin sister). She’s an avid sports fan, and her favorite teams are the Seahawks, Mariners, and WSU football!!

Contacting Ms. Shepp

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns! If needed, we can always set up a conference before or after school. Also, be sure to frequently check the websites for updates on course material and of course homework assignments.

Contact: dshepp@stmadsophie.org

Eighth Grade Reading/Writing

WHAT WE ARE LEARNING

Essay writing: How to make your points count and captivate your audience, through persuasive, narrative and expository writing.

Don’t forget to check Power School!

Grades are up and being posted frequently. If you have any questions about specific assignments, let me know.

 

WHAT WE ARE LEARNING

Don’t forget to check Power School!

Grades are up and being posted frequently. If you have any questions about specific assignments, let me know.

Welcome to Reading/Writing! This course incorporates grammar, reading and writing as collaborative strategies to build the foundation for students to become independent readers, writers and thinkers. We will use the Six Traits of Writing to continuously improve our writing through a variety of genres. We will read a colorful selection of short stories and novels that will challenge students to comprehend and analyze the text at higher levels. The eighth graders this year will read a few all-time classics : To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Night.  Much of our content will be tied to the continued theme from last year of growing up and challenging the norms of society.

This year, we will continue our Writing course for all students to focus exclusively on grammar and writing skills. In this Writing course, we will weave the concepts covered in the grammar class into our daily writing.

Website

All vital information for the class, including weekly homework assignments, upcoming events, and approaching deadlines will be posted on my website. Please refer to my class web-page for information, and if there are still questions, feel free to contact me at dshepp@stmadsophie.org.

Texts

Elements of Literature Second Course

Night by  Elie Wiesel

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Students will read a wide variety of stories and poems from the Elements of Literature Introductory Course. This year, the Elements of Literature textbook will be used solely in the classroom and students will not have to carry it with them.

Building Vocabulary Program

For vocabulary this year, we will be using the Building Vocabulary program, which teaches students to identify the meaning of a word based on the definition, context clues, synonyms, antonyms, and reading passages. We will also study the origins of Greek and Latin words.

Building Vocabulary from Word Roots provides a systematic approach to teaching vocabulary using Greek and Latin prefixes, bases, and suffixes. Over 90% of English words of two or more syllables are of Greek or Latin origin. Instead of learning words and definitions in isolation, students learn key roots and strategies for deciphering words and their meanings across all content areas.


The workbook provides multiple ways for students to practice their new vocabulary.  We will be taking tests at the end of each lesson.

Daily Journals

Students will begin most classes writing in their journals. This will provide an opportunity to practice new writing skills, reflect upon new concepts, and make personal connections. The goal is for these journals to demonstrate a steady growth in writing throughout the year.

AR Policy

Based on their STAR assessment results from the beginning of the year, students will be assigned a certain number of points they need to receive by taking AR tests each trimester. I will help students select books that are at their appropriate levels. Every two weeks, there will be a designated time for students to complete AR tests on the iPads or laptops. They can also take the tests during free time when they are given permission.

Standards-Based Grading

Students will be assessed based on their performance on the following standards: Reading of Literature, Reading of Informational Texts, Written Expression, Speaking and Listening, and Written Language.

These standards will be assessed through daily journals, essays, projects, tests and quizzes, and presentations. Sometimes, one assignment will include multiple standards, and Power School will reflect this.

Here is an explanation of the 4 point scale. Remember that these numbers are not connected to letter grades. For example, a “4” is not an A.

4: Student demonstrates mastery of the standard at a high school level, incorporating unique and extraordinary skills

3: Student demonstrates a complete and consistent understanding of the standard

2: Student partially demonstrates mastery of the standard, but still lacks certain necessary skills

1: Student attempts to master the standard, but lacks many of the necessary skills

*****Understanding Standards-Based Grading

Saint Madeleine Sophie School is using a standards-based grading policy in order to accurately communicate your student’s mastery of content. We believe this provides a clear picture of your student’s academic progress.

  1. Coursework will be divided into three categories: PracticeAssessment Practice, and Assessment. Practice includes homework and other independent activities involving the skill. Assessment Practice includes activities in class that prepare the student for the assessment of the skill. Assessment is the opportunity for the student to demonstrate mastery of the skill.
  2. Content grades will be based upon demonstrated mastery of the course skills and standards being assessed. All of the course grade is based upon Assessment Content grades will NOT include points for effort, homework, participation, or extra credit. These areas will be reflected in the self-directed learner category of the report card.
  3. Homework completion will be tracked, but will not count toward the content grade.
  4. We will use the four point scale to determine mastery (see the explanation below). Students need to score a 3 or higher on a skill or standard to demonstrate mastery.
  5. Students scoring below a 3 on any standard(s) or skill(s) will take an in-class retest on those standard(s) or skill(s) only.
  6. Students still scoring below a 3 after the in-class retest are allowed additional retests before or after school or at recess at the teacher’s discretion. Students MUST complete test corrections or at least 75% of their homework or retest practice work in order to retest.

The Four Point Scale

1- The students meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little knowledge or understanding of the skill.

2- The student meets some requirements for proficient work and is approaching mastery of the skill.

3- The student is demonstrating proficiency on the specific skill. He or she can regularly complete this skill and show solid understanding.

4- The student demonstrates the skill at an extremely high level (high school or college) in a unique way that exceeds expectations.

 

Clarifying 4 point system

The four point scoring system is not a percentage. For example, receiving a 3 does not mean that the student is earning a 3 out of 4 possible points, or a 75%. It means the student is mastering that skill. Receiving a 4 is not the same as receiving full credit; it means the student is showing a highly rare and advanced level of mastery. On Power School reports, parents and students should focus on the the four point scale scores and not the percentage scores.  This score is listed under the Grade column of the Power School reports. The four point scale scores more accurately describe how well the student is mastering the skill.

 

Please discuss these procedures with your student and make sure he or she understands that each student is expected to master EACH individual concept with a score of 3, and that there will be an opportunity for review or extra help prior to retesting.

Rules for 8th Grade

Be Safe

Be Respectful (to yourself, your classmates, the teacher)

Be Part of the Team (Participate, work well with others)

Be All In (100% Effort, 100% Positive Attitude)

Positive Consequences

If students are doing an outstanding job of demonstrating the 4 Be’s, the following will happen:

  • Happy Parent Emails: Ms. S loves to email parents about the outstanding work their children are doing in his class. Who knows, it could earn you a reward or treat at home.
  • S-Bucks: Ms. Shepp will give out S-Bucks, which can be redeemed for healthy snacks, free time, and other fun prizes.
  • Big Check: If all students are able to follow the opening routine correctly and have completed their homework assignment, students will earn a check. Once they have earned enough, there will be a celebration.

Negative Consequences

If students fail to follow the 4 Be’s, the following consequences will be enforced:

  • Level One: Verbal warning
  • Level Two: Temporary removal from class, teacher conference
  • Level Three: Parent contact
  • Level Four: Conference with administrator

About the Teacher

Ms. Shepp grew up in beautiful Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Washington State University(Go Cougs!) and went on to get her Continuing certification endorsement in Reading and English at the University of Washington. She has been teaching for 41 years, mostly in middle school in both Washington and California. This will be Ms. Shepp’s fourth year at Saint Madeleine Sophie.

For fun, Ms. Shepp enjoys teaching writing and literature, yoga, walking, baking, drawing, painting, and spending time with her husband, her family(including her twin sister). She’s an avid sports fan, and her favorite teams are the Seahawks, Mariners, and WSU football!!

Contacting Ms. Shepp

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns! If needed, we can always set up a conference before or after school. Also, be sure to frequently check the websites for updates on course material and of course homework assignments.

Contact: dshepp@stmadsophie.org

HERE’S TO GREAT YEAR LEARNING TOGETHER!!!!