Mr. Mullen's Language Arts 8th Grade

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! This is my eleventh year with the district. As Huggy Bear in Starsky and Hutch might say, "Word on the street is this group of 8th graders is good people." I'm looking forward to getting to know each of them. We start out with a poster of who you are! What do you like to do? How many members in your family, and what do they look like? My World Poster Activity. Parents: please allow your son or daughter to use photos for this activity (they will return with them in the spring!) as it makes for a better look at who they are! We will work on this on Friday only, and it will be our first graded assignment! The grade will be kind as long as students make a good faith effort, as art is a subjective thing. :) Parents, if you need to contact me, the best way to do so is via e-mail: I check my mail regularly, and will get back to you!

Thurs. Sept. 7: We are looking at being prepared for emergencies such as fire and lock-down. In addition, we will look at the student handbook and discuss cell phones, bullying, the dress code etc. In addition, building wide we will be playing team-building games etc. The students have been introduced to the D.I.N. (Do it Now sponge activity). This consists of two bad grammar example sentences on the white board that students correct to the best of their ability. Then I go over the corrections suggested to me by volunteers. The students make the corrections, then we turn the binders in for grade every two weeks. 

Fri. Sept. 8: We will be doing the D.I.N. as usual, then the My World Poster activity. These posters are popular with the kids (and staff) all school year long. Students make a poster of their family and their hobbies which we hang on the wall. 

Week of 9-11: Monday we will read the short story, "The Landlady." This is always a popular story with the students. They love the twist at the end. Tuesday and Weds. we do pre-reading research into what life would be like in the colonial period. The novel Johnny Tremain is set in the turbulent period leading up to the Revolutionary War. Students will see that life was very different: no T.V., cell phones, electricity etc. Thursday: we will begin the novel and begin to find the evidence for the comprehension questions that go along with the chapter. This is in line with the Smarter Balanced stuff. We will read section one of chpt. 1.  EVIDENCE from the text is word for word, not paraphrased. Friday is usually reserved for independent reading, but things are a bit hectic and we don't yet have access to the books. We will continue our Johnny Tremain reading by finishing chpt. 1.  

Week of 9-18: Mon. we will begin the Three Best Things About Christmas essay. This lays the foundation for our 5 paragraph model essay that we will use for the Expository Essay, and the Persuasive essay we will do later in the year. It also gives me a look at their writing ability. The essay will incorporate hook, thesis with rule of 3, three body paras. and conclusion. Tues. we conclude the essay. Weds. we will read non-fiction on the NEWSELA website on the Chrome books. This is in line with the SBAC. Thurs. we return to the Johnny Tremain novel. On Friday we will go to the library and check out a 100 Book. We will read and make journal entry #1. 

Week of 9-25: Mon. we continue the novel Johnny T. after the D.I.N., which we do daily. We are working on finding the evidence for comprehension questions. We will finish chpt. 2 and begin 3 through sec. 1. Tues. we continue the novel by reading chpt. 3 through the end of the chpt. and answer the questions with evidence from the text. The students now put their finger on the evidence and we discuss if the answer works. This is preparing them for the SBAC. Weds. we return to the novel reading chpt. 4 through sec. 4. Thurs. is another novel day, as we read through sec. 2 of chpt. 5 and answer the comprehension questions. Fri. we read from our 100 Books from the library and make journ. entry #2.