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Ms. Melissa M. Cooper7th Grade English Spindletop TeamRoom 215 Thank you for being here tonight, and for your support throughout the year! I have ten minutes to get through an entire school year’s worth of information, so bear with me if I talk fast or don’t get to answer all of your questions. Tonight’s handouts (and this PowerPoint) will be available on the Course Information page of my website. The website is your friend—have your child visit it often so it doesn’t get lonely.
Contact Information firstname.lastname@example.org 841-1406 (voicemail) http://murchisonmatadors.org/cooper
Have you seen these items? • Course syllabus: Pre-AP’s is gold, Advanced is yellow • Agenda • Murchison website • Library book • Parent homework: million words assignment
Essential Question for 2013-14: What do you do when no one is around to help you? “Somebody will come.” “Do you have a phone?” “Would SOMEBODY please DO something!” “Hellllllp!”
Here’s what I want my students to consider: But a broken escalator becomes … stairs. Will you sit on the escalator and wait for someone to rescue you? Or will you climb up the stairs? Seventh grade is a lot like an escalator: sometimes you’re moving forward and upward; sometimes you get stuck—by a bad grade, a missed assignment, or a failed test. It’s more work than letting the escalator carry you, but you can still put one foot in front of the other and solve your problem.
Curriculum: Writing This year, students will write in their writers’ notebooks every block day. Composition books should stay in the classroom. If a student takes his/her comp book home, he/she must remember to bring it back the next day. Occasionally, students will select a piece of their writing to revise, edit, and turn in a final copy.
Curriculum: Reading Block days will include silent reading. Students will need to bring a library book, book from home, or an e-reader (Kindle, Nook, etc.) to read independently. Students may select books of their choice. Each 6-weeks, students will read selections from the InterActive Reader or the literature textbook. Once each semester, Pre-AP students will read a whole-class novel and use it to study literary elements. Advanced students will read three high-level books and complete IB-style projects.
Grading I have one category of grades. However, some assignments, such as projects, may count twice so that they are more heavily weighted. Students will be notified of these in advance. FYI, the assignment will not appear twice in Gradespeed—I am able to set a multiplier of 2x from my end.
Late Work and Other Point-Eaters • MMS late work policy allows students to turn in work up to three days late, with a 15 point penalty each day. After three days, the assignment is no longer accepted. • In just these first two weeks, many students have turned work in late, and many have turned in work with no names. In both cases, kids are not getting credit for work they’ve done and are losing points to the Grade-Eating Dragon.
Retakes Retakes: AISD policy states that teachers "[m]ay allow a student a reasonable opportunity to make up or redo a class assignment or examination for which the student received a failing grade.“ English department policy is that students who earn a failing grade on a major test or major writing assignment may be allowed to take a retake or complete corrections for a maximum grade of 70%. Please see my website for a detailed explanation of my philosophy regarding retakes and do-overs.
STAAR Seventh-graders will take the STAAR writing test in March, then Reading and Math in April. You might not see a lot of STAAR-specific work, but I assure you that I will teach them the skills they need to know to be successful—on the test and beyond!