Welcome to 7th Grade Language Arts!!!
Mrs. Christine H. Lawrence
Address: 3500 Sally Kirk Road
Winston Salem NC 27106
Jefferson Middle School Phone: (336) 774-4630
Seventh grade Language Arts students will use oral language, written language, and media and technology for expressive, informational, argumentative, critical, and literary purposes. Students also explore the structure of language and study grammatical rules in order to speak and write effectively. While emphasis in seventh grade is placed on argument, students also:
· Express individual perspectives in response to personal, social, cultural, and historical issues.
· Interpret and synthesize information.
· Critically analyze print and non-print communication.
· Use effective sentence construction and edit for improvements in sentence formation, usage, mechanics, and spelling.
· Interpret and evaluate a wide range of literature
The State Board of Education has made an interesting change to the Language Arts curriculum by requiring students to complete portfolios as opposed to taking a writing test. Due to this, we will be able to focus more on daily writing assignments and fostering individual creativity as opposed to teaching very stylized responses that are necessary to pass a standardized writing test. It is important to remember however that although there is no state test, students will be assessed locally in writing and therefore writing remains a very integral part of my class. A folder will be kept on each student and will contain writing samples that I will compile throughout the year. Several writing samples are required of every 7th grader by Forsyth County Schools. However, as a class and individual, we will practice writing in hopes that each students required samples show growth.
Classwork will vary from day to day. Depending on the content area, whether it be writing or reading, the classroom activities will also vary. However, four journal entries will be due at the end of every week. The required entry will be writing on the board when students enter the classroom. They will have the first five minutes to work in their journal every day. What they are unable to complete in class will become homework. Most of the time, the entry will pertain to our topic of the day, and/or a previous topic. Journal entries are my way of getting to know your child and quickly assessing their understanding of our work.
It is my hope that most required work will be completed in the classroom. However, due to discipline, classroom interruption, schedule variation, need for extra practice, among many other variables homework may be assigned.
A vocabulary test will be given every Friday. The words will come from the work we are reading. We will go over the words every day in class and will practice these words through our reading. However, it is your child’s responsibility to study those words and their meanings every week. If students are paying attentions in class and actively participating and listening, not much studying will be required.
Again, as mentioned above, four journals will be due everyone Friday. But again, class time is given for the completion of these entries.
When students are absent, they have as many days as they were absent plus one to turn in their work. Scheduled projects must be turned in the day that students return to school. Please contact me immediately if there are circumstances that would prevent a student from completing their make-up work in the allotted time frame. If students are not absent and they did not turn in an assignment on time points will be deducted from the assignment each day that the assignment is late. Students may make up missing assignments or tests any Thursday from 2:00-3:00pm. However, I am available to make other arrangements for those students who have conflicts. If you plan to stay for tutoring, you must let me know before 9:30am that day, however, the earlier the better. By letting me know ahead of time, I can have the materials ready for you at the beginning of tutoring. This also allows time to make other arrangements if there happens to be conflicts.
Below is the list of novels we will be reading this year. Each novel presents different adventures and challenges. These novels serve as avenues that will help your child establish proficiency in the 7th Grade North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
1st Quarter: No novel; we will be learning the parts of a novel, reading short stories, poetry, etc. The first quarter will serve as a “training period” that will help your student better understand the novels and prepare them for critically analyzing the works we read and writing effectively about them.
2nd Quarter: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
3rd Quarter: The Giver by Lois Lowry
4th Quarter: The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins
*Students will be able to borrow any materials from my class, including these novels. However, if reading at home, writing in the margins and/or highlighting in your text is something you wish to do, buying the novels may be the best option for you. While this is not required, it is recommended.
*Please be advised that this schedule is subject to change at any time.
Assessments and Grading:
Some units will be assessed through traditional paper/pencil tests whereas others may be assessed with a research paper and a presentation. By varying assessments, it is my hope to fairly assess all students. I am firm believer that being “fair” does not mean treating all students the same. I believe that each student can learn and that it is my job to give your child the tools and skills to excel on all kinds of assessments.
The grading scale that Winston Salem Forsyth County Schools has adopted is as follows:
Grading breakdown in my classroom:
Homework = 15%
Class work = 10%
Quizzes = 20%
Tests = 25%
Projects = 30%
· 3 ring binder
· Loose Leaf Paper
· Colored Pencils
· Composition notebook of your choice for a Journal
· Hand sanitizer
· 1 box of Kleenex
*Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. I want my classroom environment to be open and welcoming to not only your child but also to you. Email is the best way to contact me; however you are more than welcome to call Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
While I hope you feel that you can count on me, I hope I can count on you. Your child’s success lies in your hands. As the old saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child”. While we are excited to be a part of that village, we cannot do it alone. I hope that contact is welcomed from me. It is my goal to contact you before an issue becomes a larger problem and your support can only help your child. On the other hand, I find great pleasure contacting you about your child’s accomplishments as well. It is my hope that you do not dread my emails or phone calls, but view them as informative and helpful.
I am very excited about getting to know you and your child. I hope that we have a great year together that is not only mentally intriguing but also fun and exciting. The 7th grade is an exciting time and our team is excited to make your year with us the best year yet!!
**Any and all of the policies above are subject to change. Please continue contact with me, TJMS and ask your students for updates regarding our school and the classroom.
Looking forward to great year,