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Welcome to 8B English Mrs. Heldt. Back to School Night 2012. Welcome! Teaching Philosophy Goals for the Classroom So Far This Year… Theme / Curriculum Classroom Policies Parent Communication. Teaching Philosophy. Teach ‘how to think’, not ‘what to think’

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Back to School Night 2012

  • Welcome!

  • Teaching Philosophy

  • Goals for the Classroom

  • So Far This Year…

  • Theme / Curriculum

  • Classroom Policies

  • Parent Communication

Teaching Philosophy

  • Teach ‘how to think’, not ‘what to think’

  • Provide an in-depth, challenging, curriculum: differentiation for all abilities within the 8th grade curriculum

  • Set high expectations for quality of work

  • Provide opportunities to work in group settings

Philosophy (cont.)

  • Integration allows for making connections between subjects = ‘Big Picture’

  • Engage in open-ended tasks which promote new ideas and open-ended thinking

  • Consistently analyze, synthesize, elaborate, create, and think critically (aloud and on paper!)

  • Prepare for the rigorous 9th grade curriculum

Goals for the English Classroom…

Student work will reflect:

  • Original insights and interpretations

  • Development (using concrete details, text references, illustrations, support)

  • Sensitivity and precision of thought

  • Thorough preparation, revision and editing

  • Creative word usage, ideas, and imagination

  • Clear understanding of the purpose and limits of a given assignment

So Far this Year…

8th grade students get to know themselves and each other through:

  • Writing

    • Letter to Me

    • Journal responses to “the Three Questions” and “The Bear That Wasn’t”

  • Discussing theme and characterization in Schooled

  • Creating identity charts

    • “The Bear That Wasn’t” by Frank Tashlin

  • Addressing the concept of identity & social justice in readings / Socratic discussion

    • “The Three Questions” (Tolstoy as interpreted by Jon J. Muth)

    • “The Bear That Wasn’t” (Frank Tashlin)

    • “Little Boxes” (Anthony Wright)

    • “The Cutting of My Long Hair” (Zitkala-Ša),

    • “Cheyanne Again” (Eve Bunting)

    • Enduring Wisdom (Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve)

  • Developing working definitions of the terms define, stereotype, ethnic group,prejudice, and discrimination

  • Introduction to Daily Grammar Practice (DGP)

  • Team building activities

8th Grade Theme / Curriculum

Themes: “Identity” & “Social Justice”

(Cross-curricular content connected to History)


  • Gathering Blue

  • Call of the Wild

  • The Cay

  • The Diary of Anne Frank

    Short Stories

  • Flowers for Algernon

  • Various selections from Prentice Hall Literature Series

    Non-fiction Articles / Essays

Curriculum Activities

  • Discuss reading strategies

  • Participate in Socratic discussions

  • Evaluate literature through writing/discussion

  • Develop high-level questions

  • Respond to fiction and non-fiction reading prompts

  • Write for a variety of purposes (academic and creative essays)

  • Debate

Gradual Release of Responsibility Model

Student’s Learning Responsibility











I do,

you watch.

I do,

you help.

You do,

I help.

You do,

I watch!

Teacher’s Teaching Responsibility


  • Online Grading enables you to monitor their weekly classroom progress

  • Web Page

  • E-Mail

    • [email protected]

  • Voice Mail Message


  • If needed, check backpack after school and in the AM – “See it to believe it”

  • Encourage use of planner, binder, folder

  • Develop homework routine

  • Stress value of homework

  • Encourage problem solving

    • “I have too many activities.”

    • “I’ll see if I can get it done.”

  • Long term assignment planning


  • A TIME…

  • To study

  • To communicate

  • To develop friendships

  • To develop social skills

  • To consider the future

  • A PLACE…

  • To receive help

  • To visit with friends

  • To work and play with others

  • To talk with an adult

  • To read for pleasure


  • care about you

  • work as a team

  • help others

  • understand

  • and accept