Welcome to 8th grade English
~Mrs. Dana Zuschin~
Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,
Welcome to 8th grade English Language Arts. Your success in English is of prime importance. My
goals for this school year are to enable students to be self-motivated, responsible for their own work,
and enthused about learning. I can only hope to achieve these goals with your help and support. The
Language Arts program includes the reading of literature, the writing process, vocabulary, spelling,
grammar, and critical thinking skills. You can expect daily writing, essay writing, projects, and
activities related to the literature being read. Since literacy is a major focus of the educational
community, students will be expected to read at least 30 to 45 minutes a night in a novel. Technology is utilized throughout the academic day, and the majority of student work is communicated via Google Classroom. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions.
The following are my set of classroom rules and policies:
1. Follow all school rules contained in the student agenda.
2. Be in the assigned seat ready to begin to work before the bell rings.
3. Be polite and courteous to others. Raise a hand to contribute.
4. Respect school property and the property of others.
5. When the teacher is speaking, remain quiet and make eye contact with the teacher.
6. Come prepared to class with pencils, pens, highlighter, paper, a sharpener, binder, and
7. Cell phones must be turned off and stored away while in class. If a cell phone is visible
8. No passing notes or distractions during class time.
9. Wait to be dismissed by the teacher not the bell.
10. Use restroom facilities before coming to class.
Grading Policy and Absent Work-
My grading policy is as follows:
A=90-100% B=80-89% C=70-79 % D=60-69% F=59% and below
ATL class is a pass/fail grade with 70% or higher being a passing grade.
In case of absence, students are expected to make up missed tests and work. Students will be given
one day for each day absent. If special circumstances exist, time adjustment can be arranged with me
as needed. As always, it is the student’s responsibility to find out what was missed. Homework is
written on the board, and students are required to copy the week’s assignments into their MMS
agenda. If a student is absent when an assignment is due, it is to be handed in the day the student
returns. Please read the late work policy carefully!
Late work will be accepted for full credit with a valid parent note up to 1 day late of due date (grace
period). The parent note must be presented to the teacher the day the assignment is due at the
beginning of class or before school. Any late assignment without a parent note will be assessed at
50% credit. NO ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED TWO DAYS PAST THE DUE DATE.
Students with IEPs and other special needs will be graded accordingly to fit their academic program.
8th grade ELA Common Core reading requirements-
Students are required to read nightly, a minimum of 30-45 minutes. Each trimester students will be
assigned a specific book to read at home. Book titles may vary according to the class level:
Honors/SEI/English. Students will be given six weeks to complete the reading and the Novel
Analysis packet, which will be required to prove reading completion, related research, and
understanding of the novel. Guiding questions will be given to students to discuss and record notes
with their peers, either in class or through a blog discussion. These notes will assist them in
completing the Novel Analysis work. This assignment is a major grade, and will not be completed
before the progress report; therefore, it is important to check with your child on his/her progress
with the Novel Analysis, since this grade can greatly impact the final trimester grade. At the end of
the six week reading period, students will continue to read at home nightly, but they will choose their
own reading book.
Students will participate in creating a final project each trimester based on the IB Unit topic. Units are designed to address the significant concept of the unit and provide the students with choice on what to create. Unit projects are a culminating piece, and a significant part of the student's overall grade.