I would like to start off by saying thank you for a wonderful start of this school year. I know there have been a lot of adjustments, such as the rotating schedule and the added content area class. Thank you for your continued understanding and support as this is new to all of us. I wanted to send out a letter clarifying some concerns and confusion with the added reading course.
Seventh grade is a difficult year for all students due to the curriculum moving away from simple recall and memorization to more analyzing and synthesizing of material. Students can no longer take a test and simply pass without practicing the necessary skills at home. ELA/Reading classes are a skills-based class. In order to improve, students must practice the skills within the reading and writing standards in class as well as at home. This requires a little more effort and dedication in order to maintain the desired grade of 80% or above. I have stressed to all my classes that it is vital to check my blog regularly, check synergy for grades/missing assignments, turn things in on time, and complete any assigned homework or unfinished classwork. It is important that students advocate for themselves and reach out to me about their own grade and where they stand in my class. I have been stressing the importance of taking responsibility for their own learning and advocate for themselves.
Grades and Due Dates
Due to the rotating block schedule, it has been difficult for all students, parents, and teachers with the adjustment. Now that we are at the 4 ½ week mark, I wanted to come up with a plan for getting assignments turned in with less confusion.
3rd, 4th, & 5th period - All unfinished classwork and Homework (with the exception of ReadingPlus) will be due on A DAY schedule. Tests will also be given on this assigned day.
6th & 7th period - All unfinished classwork and Homework (with the exception of ReadingPlus) will be due on B DAY schedule. Tests will also be given on this assigned day.
Students are given the first few minutes of class to write down classwork/homework in their agenda.
This should clear up any confusion about due dates and hopefully alleviate the amount of late work being turned in. If I do not have the assignments by the assigned due dates, it will be considered late, and I will deduct 5 points of each day it is late (including the days they do not come to class).
After much reflection over the weekend, I have decided to make some changes with homework. There will only be ONE homework grade a week for Readingplus. Students must complete 4 reading, 4 vocabulary, and 2 visual skills in Readingplus.com with an 80% or higher each week. The week starts over on Monday. Students have until Monday to complete the Readingplus requirements. This weekly homework assignment is the only exception to the assigned class due dates.
Students will often be given practice sheets and vocabulary words to help them with their studies for this course. I will no longer be taking these assignments as grades since there are intended for practice. Students should be able to self-assess to determine whether they should be completing the practice sheets and vocabulary. In lieu of homework, students will be frequently quizzed on materials that will be counted as grade. This includes, but is not limited to, comprehension questions about the novel, academic vocabulary, skills-based quizzes, etc. As a reminder, quizzes are counted as a formative grade which helps guide my instruction in class and cannot be retaken. In an effort to have students take more responsibility for their schooling, they must self-assess their progress in my class to determine if they need to be completing the practice homework or adding addition study time for this class.
ELA VS Reading Class
Although all students now have a reading class, it is still the responsibility of both the Reading & ELA teacher to teach all reading and writing standards. The reading class was added this year as an extension to ELA. While more writing will be done in ELA and more reading will be done in Reading, they will both still concentrate on all aspects of the curriculum. For more information about the Georgia 7th grade ELA Reading and Writing standards please visit https://www.georgiastandards.org/Georgia-Standards/Frameworks/ELA-Grade-7-Standards.pdf
Make-Up Work for Absences
Students who are absent when an assignment is made will be given the same number of days to complete the make-up work as they were absent, not counting the day of return. Make-up of graded work will be as scheduled with the teacher. Students have until five (5) days prior to the end of the grading period to turn in missing work for excused absences. Assignments made or announced prior to a student’s absence, including tests/quizzes, that are due on the day of the student’s return will be due at that time. (Quizzes and tests will be taken with class.) Homework and any other make up work will be accepted according to school policy. Students are responsible for requesting and following through on make- up work,not the teacher!!!
Stay connected with my classroom by joining Remind101! This phone app. is 100% FREE!!! Receive frequent updates on classroom activities, homework, projects, and due dates. Text @jacksongms to the number 81010 You'll receive a welcome text from Remind. If you have trouble with 81010, you can try texting @jacksongms to (678) 394-3097.
In order to remain in any Advanced Content/Advanced Math class, students must maintain a minimum of an 80 at the end of the 9weeks. If the average is below an 80 at the end of a grading period, the student will be placed on probation. This probation continues for the remainder of the school year. If the grade drops below an 80 for a second time in the school-year, the student may be removed from the class for one semester and must apply for re-entry
I hope this letter has answered any concerns or questions you may have. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me. I typically respond to emails within 1-2 business days.
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