8TH GRADE HIGHLY CAPABLE LANGUAGE ARTS
                                             COURSE SYLLABUS
                                  Ms. Saiz C-10     bonnie.saiz@tumwater.k12.wa.us

8th Grade Highly Capable Language Arts
8th Grade Language Arts will focus on the district-mandated reading and writing power standards. For detailed
information on the Power Standards, see the Tumwater School District Web Site:
http://www.tumwater.k12.wa.us/home/index.html. Go to DepartmentsStudent LearningCurriculumPower
StandardsReading or Writing Click on the 8th Grade documents.

To understand justice and injustice in our society, students will read and write in a variety of literary forms to help
them explore ways in which they can each make a positive difference. Students will use the following forms:
       Journals                                   Drama                             Essays
       Short stories                              Novels                            Letters

Writing responsively about literature allows one to compare insights, perceptions, attitudes, and even problems
about what is read with one another.

Classroom Expectations:
    Materials Needed: Everyday students will need a writing utensil, paper, an SSR book, and a 1½” three ring
       binder with dividers for classwork, notes, and journal entries.
    In seat, with necessary materials out three minutes after release from previous class or TARDY!!
       Necessary materials are posted on board; pencils must be sharpened BEFORE class.
    Students will take responsibility for completing classwork/homework on time.
    Students will participate in class discussions and complete assigned work.
    Students behavior should not interfere with classmates’ right to learn or the teacher’s right to teach.
    Be polite, considerate, and respectful of others, always putting forth your best effort.

Behavior is a choice: Negative choices made by students may have the following consequences:
   1. Verbal or nonverbal warning
   2. Time out in pod/hall or relocation of work area
   3. Infraction slip (lunch detention, call home, ISS)
   4. Teacher negotiated service or owed time in lieu of infraction
   5. Parent contact
   6. Referral to an administrator (behavior contract)
   7. Exceptional misconduct may result in skipped steps, with immediate administrative contact.

At the beginning of each quarter (9 weeks), students will be issued three Oops passes. It will be their
responsibility to keep track of them and use them for emergencies only. They may be used for the following:
       Excusing a tardy. If an Oops pass is provided, the tardy student will not receive an infraction slip.
       Leaving class to use the restroom, get water, go to locker, etc. Students will not be allowed to leave the classroom
        after class has started unless they use an Oops pass.
       Turning in an assignment one day late without penalty. Oops pass should be stapled to the late assignment.
       If you have Oops passes left at the end of the quarter, you can turn them in for extra credit.
Assignment Policies:
    Assignments will not be accepted later than one week from the due date.
    Assignments turned in within one week of due date will receive 50%.
    Opportunities and Homework Center may be used to complete late assignments.
    Students who have late or missing assignments will need to stay in a classroom during Opportunities,
       forfeiting the right to attend activity stations.

   It is the student’s responsibility to obtain missed assignments.
   Upon return to class, students should check the assignment file to obtain missed work.
   Please also attend Opportunities in the classroom for clarification, instruction and work completion.
   Students with excused absences are allowed one day of make-up time for each day of absence.

   Students will be given skills practice assignments that we will collect on the same day each week (TBA).
   Independent Reading/AR is also to be completed at home (two books for quarters 1, 2, & 3… three books
     for quarter 4). Grade will be based on AR tests or book reviews.
   Planners are a required class resource. Students are expected to use planner daily to document class
     agenda, assignments, due dates, and reminders. Planners will be randomly checked during SSR. Points
     will be given for this assignment.

    Based on total points. Tests/Quizzes and projects will have a higher point value than daily work.
    Progress Reports are sent home at mid-quarter (five weeks) and must be signed and returned.
    For daily updates, check Skyward Family Access online. Please see the TMS office to sign up for this
       AMAZING service!!!
    Retain all graded work. To adequately prepare for quizzes and tests, students are encouraged to keep all
       applicable materials for the duration of each unit. Moreover, should there be a discrepancy concerning
       your grade, you will need proof to back up your assertion.

                                              Grading Scale/Rubric:
           100-90      A CONSISTENTLY strong – extends learning, goes beyond expectations
           89-80       B Does everything in assignment and does it all well
           79-70       C Does the minimum requirements – demonstrates control of simple concepts
           69-60       D Work is overly simplistic or inappropriate --shows lack of understanding or care
           59----50     Does very little or shows insufficient detail
           49----40     Development of assignment is minimal with no demonstration of concept development
           0--------    No work accomplished.

Student Home Access to Skyward and Textbook material
    Students may access Skyward using their own logon and password.
    Students may access the McDougal Littell 8th Grade literature book by going to Classzone.com. They will
       create their own account with their Skyward Student Access Login and password and will need the
       following activation code: 3634619-20.

Parent Involvement/Communication:
    Please refer to Skyward Family Access (see above) for information about assignments and
       www.schoolnotes.com (zip code 98512) for a general unit overview and reminders.
    Additionally, please contact me at the school by phone (709-7550) or e-mail
       bonnie.saiz@tumwater.k12.wa.us with comments, questions, or concerns.
Highly Capable Language Arts Program Contract
September 2010

In accordance with Tumwater School District program requirements, this class is designed to provide a rigorous,
challenging academic environment. This program is for students with a successful academic record who are
interested in accelerated learning in language arts and literature. You are asked to consider the workload for this
course, discuss the expectations with your parents/guardians, and sign the contract indicating you understand the

Academic and Behavior Expectations
    The average homework assignment, reading and/or writing, may take 30-40 minutes a night.
    Assignments must be submitted on time and be of high quality.
    Late work will only be accepted for up to 50% unless you are absent on the due date. It is the student’s
      responsibility to obtain all make-up work.
    Students will come to class prepared – i.e. notebook, pen, pencil, paper, and any other pertinent materials.
      When a novel is assigned, it is required in class each day. Students’ independent reading books are also
      required in class each day.
    Students are expected to uphold behavior that does not interfere with classmates’ right to learn or the
      teacher’s right to teach.
    Students are expected to maintain a “B” or better throughout the year.
    Parents will be contacted if an academic or behavior problem arises.

Be organized. At times you may be working on more than one project or assignment at t time. Start early and
finish early. Develop a study plan that works for you. Meeting deadlines is critical.

Come to class with an open mind; be flexible, asking yourself, “What can I learn from this? How does this
connect with what I already know about literature and writing?” Follow Sir Francis Bacon’s advice: “When you
study, study not to condemn, nor to believe, but to weigh and consider.”

As your teacher, I will do everything I can to help you expand your knowledge and understanding in order to be
successful in this class. I expect you to be ready to question, to respect others’ opinions—even if you do not
agree—and to learn.

I look forward to meeting you and your families. If you have any questions or concerns, I can be contacted by
email at bonnie.saiz@tumwater.k12.wa.us or by calling at 709-7550. I may be most easily reached before or after

Warmest regards,

Mrs. Saiz
My student and I have read and discussed the attached Syllabus and Contract
We understand and accept the responsibility and the commitment required. In the event that academic and
behavioral expectations are not met, we understand that a parent conference will be scheduled to review candidacy.

_______________________________            _____________________________            __________
Student Name (Print)                         Student Signature                      Date

_______________________________             _____________________________           __________
Parent/Guardian # 1 Name (Print)             Parent/Guardian Signature              Date

_______________________________             _____________________________           __________
Parent/Guardian # 2 Name (Print)             Parent/Guardian Signature              Date

Parent/Guardian Contact information (please do not use student e-mail address):
Please fill out this page as completely as possible. Your student will receive credit when he/she returns this
document to me. This information is for my file to best be able to contact you regarding your student.

Priority contact # 1 (name-relationship to student) ________________________________________
Phone: (Home) _____________________(Work)____________________(Cell)____________________

E-mail(s) (write very clearly): ____________________________________________________________

The best time of day to contact me is in the (circle one) a.m. or p.m. at (circle) home work cell
I prefer e-mail contact when possible (circle one) yes or no or don’t have

Priority contact # 2 (name-relationship to student) ________________________________________
Phone: (Home) ____________________(Work)____________________(Cell)_____________________

E-mail(s) (write very clearly): ____________________________________________________________

The best time of day to contact me is in the (circle one) a.m. or p.m. at (circle) home work cell
I prefer e-mail contact when possible (circle one) yes or no or don’t have

The following voluntary information about your child will help me facilitate his/her individualized
Should this student be wearing glasses and for what (reading, distance)? _________________________
Allergies or other health issues (List):
Describe any unique traits or needs of which I should be aware:

At times we need volunteers. Can we contact you to see if you can help? __________

Any special skills or knowledge you have to share (what)?

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