• 8th grade English/Language Arts Mr. Garner 2019-2020

    Course Overview

    Greetings! Welcome to 8th grade ELA. Over the course of the next nine and a half months, we will be continuing to hone many of the skills you have learned prior to coming to this class as well as introduce you to a few new strategies to help you become a better reader, writer, and thinker. 

    The reading load is divided between class selections and independent choice. The class selections will be read and studied as a class. It will consist of a range of poems, short stories, plays, biographies, etc. Novels will range in genre and complexity. These readings will be read in tandem with a virtue that we will study, using the readings for insight into how to better apply them to our lives. The independent choice will be driven mostly by the students with some guidance from the teacher. 

    Writing assignments will range from taking notes to creating short stories and persuasive essays. On each piece, we will spend class time walking through how to put the piece together prior to assigning the question. Some of these assignments will require a rough draft, many of which should be done in your composition notebook. If a piece is not finished during class work time, the assignment becomes homework. Scoring of all writing assignments will be based off of the Six Traits Writing Rubric, which all students will have a copy of and which will be posted on my teacher page. 

    Classroom Expectations

    Our class will follow the general school rules and guidelines as stated in the student handbook. Beyond that, there are four expectations students are to follow in this class:

    1. BE PREPARED – When you come to class, make sure you have everything you’ll need for class (binder with handouts, composition notebook, pen/pencil, class novel, and independent novel). Make sure your assignment is complete and ready to turn in. 
    2. BE ON TIME – When the bell rings, you are expected to be in your assigned seat, working on the entry task. IF you need to step out of the room before class begins, you need to let me know. General tardiness is an unacceptable habit in this class; if it persists, disciplinary measures will be taken.
    3. BE RESPECTFUL – When in my classroom, strive to remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Over the course of the year, we will be discussing many topics. There is a high probability that someone will say something that you strongly disagree with. Disagree with the idea, but be respectful of the individual that holds it. Name calling and bullying will not be tolerated AT ALL. Also, be respectful of the learning environment. Do not do things that will disrupt the learning of others, and do not leave a mess around your desk. 
    4. BE ALL IN – Each day, give your absolute best. If you strive to do your absolute best, success will take care of itself. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and admit mistakes. Confront them, assess them, and correct them. I will be with you every step of the way and will do all that is in my power to help you achieve your goals. However, success or failure is ultimately in YOUR hands. 


    Your grade hinges on how you perform on tests/quizzes, weighted assignments, and weekly performance. Letter grades are based on the percentage of total points earned which is divided by the number of total points possible. 

    93-100% = A (4.0) 77-<80% = C+ (2.3) 0-<59% = F

    90-<93% = A- (3.7) 73-<77% = C (2.0)

    87-<90% = B+ (3.3) 70-<73% = C-(1.7)

    83-<87% = B (3.0) 67-<70% = D+ (1.3)

    80-<83% = B- (2.7) 60-<67% = D (1.0)

    Assignments turned in one day after the due date can earn up to 80% of the assignment’s total value; it will decrease 10% for every day it isn’t turned in after that, bottoming out at 50%. Students are allowed to revise their work to improve their grade on most assignments but not assessments or are considered  “participation” (ex. note checks). The grade ceiling for revisions depends upon when the assignment was turned in. There are no extra credit assignments in this class. The expectation is to complete your work on time. If you struggle with a particular assignment, question, etc, please see me before school, during Scottie Break, during work time in class, during Advisory, or after school.

    English/Language Arts Supply List:

    • A three ring binder and dividers for handouts
    • A composition notebook for keeping vocabulary words, drafts, notes, etc.
    • A pencil, blue/black pen for daily work, notes, tests, etc.
    • A ‘colorful pen’ (not blue or black ink) for correcting and editing.


    Contact Information

    Mr. Nate Garner

    English/Language Arts Teacher

    Freeman Middle School

    509-291-7301 (x324)