• Welcome to

    Eighth Grade Language Arts

    Mrs. Carol Foley

    “The sense of responsibility – yes, this I believe is the most valuable thing a person can carry along into later life…”     Walt Disney


    Our Eighth Grade Language Arts Goals

    1. Demonstrate use of the writing process
    2. Comprehend literature in all of its genres
    3. Become independent readers
    4. Respond to literature with personal connections
    5. Communicate verbally in a clear, confident, and knowledgeable manner.


    My Philosophies


              The standards our students need to meet to be successful in their world are becoming greater by the day. To help the kids meet these needs, I construct my lessons for class using a combination of several different schools of thought. I incorporate the work of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, Nancy Atwell’s writer’s workshop, and Harvey Daniels’ Literature Circles just to name a few. Each learner is unique and learns from their previous performance.




          ***It is preferred that work done in this class be done in pen.  Formal work must be completed in ink (in pen or computer printed).  If any work is illegible, it will be returned to be redone and resubmitted THE NEXT DAY with a point deduction.


    1. McDougal-Littell Series – The Language of Literature Anthology – Green
    2. Personal Writer’s Notebook
    3. Notebook with 3 sections
    4. Novels and journals which will accompany each unit
    5. Reading and Writing Folders (kept in class)
    6. Independently chosen novel (Always have one lined-up. J)
    7. American Reading Company Genre Lab titles – “Traditional Tales and World Culture” **(New this year)











              My grading system is based on an accumulation of points. During each marking period, students’ work will consist of approximately 600-800 points. The breakdown in percentages is:

    • Literature ~ 40% (comprehension quizzes & homework, vocabulary, contributions to discussion, knowledge and application of literary devices etc.)
    • Writing ~ 45% (personal writing, revisions, knowledge and application of conventions, etc.)
    • Independent Reading Responses ~ 5% (Due on Fridays – 5 per marking period) {also an extension of Literature}
    • Preparation and organization ~ 5% (Daily in-class 5 minute reading)



              Each class will begin with 5 minutes of independent reading time. Then the students’ first job as they prepare to begin class is to copy the Daily Log and Homework from the board. You can check this log daily to see what we’ve accomplished in class and what is up-and-coming. You can also double check it with CANVAS. Many lessons will use a Type 1 or Type 2 writing to either build background or access prior knowledge for the lesson. Some writing may be read to the class; others will be writing used to start the discussion. At times, we will begin with a revising warm-up exercise.


              Following the writing activity, students study the works of literature found in the Language of Literature program. Students will be reading several selections from this series in addition to several novels. Some highlights for the year will include:

    • A short story unit including: “Flowers for Algernon,” “The Bet,” “The Lady or the Tiger”
    • The American Reading Company Genre Reading/Writing Lab – Traditional Tales
    • Study of WW II and The Diary of Anne Frank
    • A poetry unit
    • The Giver

    The literature anthologies will stay at home until June. Students will be assigned some class reading at home, as well as some independently chosen stories.



              In order to reinforce comprehension and increase the rate of independent reading, the students will be using both traditional reading strategies and “Literature Circles.”  While the traditional strategies focus on the comprehension, the literature circles (Based on Harvey  Daniels’ program) allow the students to make personal connections to the readings.










              We are in our fourth year of a writing program from Schoolwide called Writing Fundamentals. It has its roots in Writer’s Workshop in the tradition of Lucy Calkins.

              During this time in class, students work on personal or assigned pieces of writing and study mentor texts. The rate at which they work during this time depends on each student. They are given independent writing time, time to conference with others and with me. Each part of the process is essential and mandatory. During these first few weeks, your student has experienced writing workshops in a shortened form.

              Students will be working on Narrative, Informative, and Argumentative writing after examining professional writers through mentor texts.

                        All writing in this class will be graded using the Pennsylvania Writing Assessment Domain Scoring Guide.



              On assigned Fridays, students will be responsible for turning in a Reading Response based on their independent novel. They have a choice of 7 different modes in which to respond to the reading. Each is worth 15 points. The details about this assignment are in the permanent section of their notebook. At the end of the year, it is always gratifying to see the students look back over their reading responses and track their year’s accomplishments with regard to reading choices that they have made.



    • There will be new homework assigned 3-4 times per week. Of course, some weeks will be busier than others.
    • On assigned Fridays, reading responses are due.
    • Many assignments are given quite in advance and students are given more than one day to complete them.
    • No late homework is accepted in this class unless it is due to an absence on the due date.
    • As it stated in the welcome letter, students are expected to read or write each night; therefore, they have been made aware that on nights without assigned English homework, they are to read or write for at least 15-20 minutes.


    ***Please feel free to contact me through the school or website with any questions or concerns. I look forward to an exciting and enjoyable year together with you and your children.




    Carol A. Foley