Thomas, James - Language Arts, Digital Media

Meadowdale Middle School

8 th Grade English Syllabus

2016 - 2017

James Thomas 425-431-4341

Stacey Kinnear 435-431-4340

Colindra Connolly 425-431-4119

Course Overview

The English curriculum is designed using the Common Core Learning Standards. In order to reach the standards, students will practice a variety of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Our objective is to create independent thinkers and collaborative learners who are prepared for high school, college, and work life. In eighth grade we will continue to build upon higher level thinking and analysis skills.


Common Reading and Writing Assessments

Time Frame

Quarter 1:

Collections Textbook:

“The Thrill of Horror”

● STAR Reading Test #1

● AR Tests and Reading Log Goals for quarter 1

● Narrative Writing

September 7th 2016 - November 4th 2016 

Quarter 2

“The Pearl”

John Steinbeck

● STAR Reading Test #2

● AR tests and Reading Log Goals for Quarter 2

● Literary Analysis Essay

November 7th 2016 - January 26th 2017

Quarter 3

Move Toward Freedom

● STAR Reading Test # 3

● Pre and Post Collections Assessments

● AR Tests and Reading Log Goals for quarter 3

● Multimedia Presentation Performance Task

January30th 2017 - April 14th 2017

Quarter 4

Literature Circles

● STAR Reading Test #4

● AR Tests and Reading Log Goals for quarter 4

April 17th 2017-

 June 22nd 2017


The English department at Meadowdale Middle School uses Standards-Based Grading tied to the Common Core State Standards. Each graded assignment will receive a number score ranging from 4 to 1. This scoring system encourages students to work to their greatest potential and makes learning important and personalized. If for any reason you do not meet standard on an assignment, you may come in for additional help to relearn the missing skill.

Level 4 Exemplary = A Exceeds standard and is working above grade level

Level 3 Proficient= A-/B Meets standard and is working at grade level

Level 2 Emerging = B-/C Approaching standard is working towards grade level

Level 1 Rudimentary = C-/D Student is working below grade level

Level 0 Missing = F Student is missing the assignment or assessment

Our system of grading helps you to reach your greatest potential, allowing you to practice your skills, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes to improve your skills.

Academic Preparation


Formative Assessment


Summative Assessment


Assignments include on-time homework completion, daily/weekly participation, and self-reflection. Revisions not accepted for this category.

Assignments may include classwork, practice of skills, exit slips, etc. These tasks will show a snapshot of a student’s progress towards a goal or skill.

Assignments may include quizzes, final reading assessments, final papers, final presentations, etc. These tasks will show independent demonstration of skills.

Absences and Missing Work

Students who are absent (excused) are required to make up the work they have missed and have the opportunity to make arrangements with their teacher for missing assignments for each absence. Absent and late work are graded in the order they are received.

Students are encouraged to make up incomplete or missing work and will have the opportunity to complete missing or incomplete assignments for full credit up until one week prior to the end of each grading period. 

Additional Help

The best way to get extra help or make up absent work is in homeroom. Homeroom is held daily in all teachers’ rooms and both students and teachers can arrange a homeroom pass to make up or review material.

Additional help is available in Study Club Monday-Thursday after school in the library. Students can also arrange for extra help before or after school with their teacher if they prefer a more focused environment. 


Successful students check their grades on Skyward on a regular basis. The online gradebook is updated every two weeks, but some writing assignments (performance tasks, essays, etc.) may take longer to grade and update. If you have questions about Skyward grades, please feel free to contact your teacher. 

Google Classroom Access

In order to gain access to your student’s Google Classroom account, teachers need a current email address. After reviewing the this syllabus please email your student’s teacher.

I have reviewed the English syllabus with my student.

Insert student’s name here:

Parent or guardian’s current email address is:

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