8th grade course content


8th Grade English Language Arts

Course Outline

Mrs. Crotto-Young

Eighth grade English Language Arts is a year when students are expected to show increased independence in their writing and projects.  In ELA we will start the year by developing classroom rules and mastering procedures.  Organization, respect, teamwork, and effective communication will be stressed themes throughout the year.  Students will engage in class discussions, hands-on learning, communication activities, and will be expected to independently use the ELA notebook and homework assignment book (HAB).  Students will be expected to set academic goals for themselves.


Notebooks are required for all subjects; however, it is not necessary to have four separate notebooks.  Students may combine one other subject with ELA.  These notebooks will be checked periodically throughout the year to ensure proper organization.  Students should keep all past work until otherwise notified.  Parents are encouraged to look through their student’s notebook at home to understand what we are doing in class.  ELA notebooks should be organized as follows:

            Five Sections:

  1. Bellwork and toolkit

  2. Literature analysis

  3. Vocabulary/Grammar

  4. Speaking/Listening

  5. Writing

    Students are also advised to have a sturdy pocket folder to keep homework to pass in, and might want a pencil keeper.  A dictionary will be necessary for some assignments, so students should have one at home.  Students are expected to come to class prepared each day with an appropriate writing utensil, notebook, books and HAB.  Failure to do so will result in lunch study.


    Course Content:

    The eighth grade ELA curriculum is aligned with the  Common Core New Hampshire  standards.  General topics of coverage include:

    Reading comprehension and analysis, grammar, Greek/Latin vocabulary, information/research and technology usage, the writing process, types of writing, world mythology, speech and listening skills, independent book projects, poetry, and altered books.


    Eighth grade ELA will align with student policies and procedures listed in Westmoreland School Handbook.  During the first week, students will work to define classroom rules and master classroom procedures to enable us to have a productive, mutually respectful school year.



    Homework is to be recorded as assigned by the student in his/her assignment book.  Parents are encouraged to use the assignment book to review homework assignments with their student.  Parents may be required to sign or initial that they have seen the assignment book if a student is not being responsible about turning in assignments. Homework will be assigned to reinforce concepts learned in class or prepare students for upcoming tests/lessons.  Many homework assignments are started in class, and with proper time management students are often able to get a good head start on the assignment.  If parents or students have questions about assignments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Students that do not have their homework completed at the beginning of class will be assigned to lunch study.  In addition, late work may result in the loss of points.  Please note that on long term projects excuses regarding printer and/or computer problems will generally not be accepted on the day the assignment is due.  Students are encouraged to come to me before the assignment is due if they are struggling.



    Grades are calculated based on achievement, effort, and participation.  Extra credit is not an option unless all regular assignments have been satisfactorily completed.

    Please make sure to regularly check PowerSchool for updates to your student’s grade.



    Classroom management will provide that each child is treated with respect and that they in turn respect themselves and others.  Classroom procedures will be reviewed, and students are expected to follow them at all times, including when they have a substitute teacher.  Discipline will follow the guidelines listed in the Westmoreland School Handbook.


    Parental involvement:

    During the middle school years it is very important for parents to maintain involvement and communication with their child’s teachers. That said, the middle school years are also a time of growing independence.  Although it is sometimes difficult to know just how much support to give, I encourage parents to let their student approach me with any questions or minor issues first.  This is an important step in the road to self-advocacy, especially in this year before moving on to the high school. In addition, the Westmoreland School Handbook has some helpful considerations for assisting your child with homework.  Parents can stay abreast of what we are learning in class by reviewing the HAB and notebook.


    Please know that I encourage questions and feedback.  The best way to reach me is by email at mcrotto-young@sau29.org.


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