Beginner Middle School English: from Paragraphs to Papers
READING: 1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 2. Wonder 3. Holes 4. Framed 5. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library 6. Because of Winn Dixie
WRITING: 60% Creative Writing 40% Nonfiction
This class is geared towards fifth and sixth grade students or reluctant seventh and eighth grade students who haven't mastered writing paragraphs and are still developing as readers.
Reading is the most important academic skill a student can develop in middle school. A good reader will be a better writer, absorb more information in Social Studies and Science, and have an easier time learning in every other area. There is a big difference in someone who can read and someone who reads well. Readers who read well look at different types of texts with different types of tools. Just like a brick layer uses a trowel and a plumber uses a plunger, good readers need to know what tools to use at what times. During our reading instruction, we will learn different strategies for reading different types of literature. We will read six books over the course of the year. Every fifth meeting we will have a book club based on our book. During this time we will eat something from the book, create an artistic expression of the story, play a game, and discuss the book in depth. These are my favorite classes!
This class will develop a students ability to write paragraphs and gently move them to write papers. We will gently move in complexity from the paragraph to longer pieces in a variety of genres. The program is designed for 5 and 6 graders or struggling 7th graders and 8th graders. If your child is older but has learning difficulties or writing is your daily struggle, this program is designed for you. Direct instruction will occur in class and then students will be expected to work on approachable daily activities at home. This class is suitable for even the most reluctant of writers. If you have children that are already at the paper stage, you should consider enrolling them in the Advanced English Class.
Grammar will be taught within the context of writing and proofreading. I will ask students to proofread paragraphs and "catch" mistakes. My goal is to help your child spot when they make errors and become writers who revise. These activities should take less than ten minutes a day.
I recognize that not all students enjoy reading and writing. In order to keep students motivated we will periodically celebrate what we have learned. For example, at the end of the poetry unit we will have a poetry coffee/hot chocolate house where we drink fancy drinks, share poems we have written, and recite a poem we have memorized. After we are done reading an example of an autobiography we will write a memoir, revise it and compile it into a class publication. We will invite our families to be part of a Meet the Author/Book Signing of this publication.