In Case of School Emergency Closure:
In the case of State, National, or Local emergency, or unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary for the class to go to a virtual classroom in order to preserve education of students while the school itself may be closed. In this case, the class will follow all School District provided guidelines and curriculum modified and presented on Google Classroom. Students will already have access and provided below are links quick access. This page will be updated if a situation like this arises, indicating modifications to the curriculum. Google Classroom will provide further support and detailed information
COVID - 19 - 2020 Update
Students will be working virtually in ELA until the District reopens. This means that there are going to be modifications to the curriculum. Please stay tuned to Google Classroom for specifics. The following learning goals have been targeted as essential moving forward towards the end of the school year and will be the focus with digital support:
Students will tell the story of the 2020 Pandemic from their first hand experiences. They will produce a clear and coherent writing product in which development, organization, and style are appropriate to a task, purpose, and audience selected by them. Through the use of digital support and guidance, both from the teacher and peers, students will develop and strengthen their writing by planning, revising, editing, and rewriting.
Google Classroom Codes:
In this course, students will expand their critical, creative, and analytical reading, writing, and thinking skills, as well as refine their speaking and listening skills using the workshop model (mini-lesson, independent practice, small group and conferring, and share). Students will develop their ability to closely read, interpret, and analyze increasingly complex literature and informational texts. They will express their thinking through writing and speaking in a variety of ways, for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students will additionally engage in inquiry based research to improve skills within self selected topics.
Key Course Learning Experiences
Book Tastings: At the beginning of each unit, students will have several opportunities to explore the variety of titles within the genre of reading study.
Gallery Walks: At the end of each unit, and sometimes mid-unit, students will have the opportunity to share and celebrate their work through displaying it for their peers, and classmates from the opposite “House,” to view and give compliments.
Passion Projects: Throughout each semester, students will have the opportunity to develop their own course of study around a self selected topic of interest, something they are ‘passionate’ about. They will engage in setting goals to make a plan for learning, researching, and then applying that research. At the end of each semester, students will then get to share their learning with peers through a self selected platform or ‘product’.
Becoming a Journalist: Writers will use skills learned throughout the Investigative Journalism unit to write a news article about a meaningful topic or issue. They will draw on personal experiences and observations as well as research to develop the issue into a story that others will care about. Writers will have the opportunity to display their work through a published newspaper.
Arguing to Persuade: Writers will use skills they learned throughout the Position Papers unit to craft and produce and produce an argument based on a self selected claim. Writers will have the opportunity to use these arguments to try to persuade others to agree with their position.
Essential Learning Goals
Students will deepen their understanding of reading, writing, and research concepts specific to the units of study:
Writing Memoirs: Writing to reflect on experience and make thematic connections. In addition to producing a task appropriate piece of writing through the use of the writing process, students will gain an understanding in the role they play in their community and continue developing their growing sense of self. (Global Competence, Well Being)
Investigating Characterization: Reading to deeply analyze complex characters. Students will use dialogue, setting, plot, and theme to develop a deep understanding of a character and the decisions they make. In doing this, students will also learn to understand and work alongside different types of people they may come across in their everyday lives. (Collaboration, Critical Thinking)
Position Papers: Research and Argument: Writing fair and principled arguments based on research. Students will learn to clearly express a claim and use relevant and accurate research to support it. (Communication)
Dystopian Genre Study: Reading to make real world connections. Students will analyze a text to identify possible themes and draw on that evidence to question what the author is saying about the real world. (Global Competence, Creativity)
Literary Essay: Writing to provide a formal interpretation of the topic addressed in a text. Students will produce a formal piece of writing in which they will clearly state their interpretation and then accurately support it with evidence. (Communication, Critical Thinking)
Critical Literacy: Reading contemporary literature to empower. Students will develop techniques for analyzing text as well as identify reading identities and how those identities shape responses. (Creativity, Self Directed Learning)
Investigative Journalism: Writing to investigate news and meaningful topics. Students will combine narrative and informational writing techniques to produce a clear and coherent piece in the journalistic style. (Global Competence, Communication)
Major Assessments and Success Criteria
The middle school English Language Arts Department believes that learning by doing is the best way to gain new skills and expand existing critical, creative, analytical, and evaluative skills; consequently, this class is largely a performance-based class, a class that guides students through the process of creating something (presentation, portfolio, project, etc.) that demonstrates their mastery of and ability to apply key skills and concepts.
Students will evaluate their own progress while in the process of completing assessments, and teachers will provide feedback which students can use to upgrade their assessments. Assessment directions, minimum requirements, and success criteria will be provided at the introduction of each major assessment.
Skills and concepts that transfer from one assessment to others: Students effectively convey ideas and information, orally and in writing, to enhance communication; students interact appropriately for a variety of classroom situations; students make connections between and among a variety of texts: fiction, informational, and visual.