Syllabus - Honors

8th Grade Honors Language Arts Syllabus

Instructor:  Melissa Marsh


I.  Overview: 

In the eighth grade, students will write and read with a more critical eye than they have in the past years. The eighth-grade year is often a bridge between middle school and high school and is, therefore, a pivotal year of instruction.  Use of language in speaking and writing will become more sophisticated as they learn new techniques of rhetoric from reading the work of master writers and as they implement these techniques in their own compositions.  Eighth graders who have been using Pre-AP strategies (Advanced Placement classes are where the majority of Honors students are headed) can be expected to use language correctly and precisely, having had a firm foundation in grammar and composition during sixth and seventh grades.

Laying the Foundation: A Resource and Planning Guide for Pre-AP English Grade Eight.

Students will become frequent visitors to our school library as they complete two research projects - one per semester.  

II. Objectives: Course objectives for Honors English 8 correspond to the English Language Arts Course of Study/CCRS. Visit the Alabama State Department of Education’s website for a list of the objectives.

Students in Advanced English 8 will be expected to accomplish the following:

  • Read and comprehend the text and supplemental readings
  • Communicate in writing and orally using standard grammar, sentence structure, and paragraph development
  • Complete research-based projects in MLA format
  • Understand and respond accurately to high order questions
  • Actively participate in class discussions
  • Take accurate and useful class notes
  • Work effectively in groups
  • Expand vocabulary and language skills
  • Identify and describe various literary forms and techniques, using the appropriate terminology
  • Respond to literature through oral and written expression
  • Practice critical reading, writing, and thinking skills
  • Enhance their writing ability
  • Appreciate a wide variety of literary forms for their biographical and historical context

III. Expectations: 

Honors English is an elective course and is NOT required.  The honors section of 8th Grade English differs from standard 8th grade English in that expectations are higher, the course is paced differently, and the subject matter is geared towards the advanced learner.  Students will be held accountable for instruction that took place in their sixth and seventh-grade classrooms.

 IV. Required Daily Materials:

All Honors English 8 students are required to have the following materials on a daily basis:

  • Binder with loose-leaf paper and 5 dividers (English notebook is not to be shared with any other subject).
  • Highlighters
  • Blue or black ink pens (or pencil)
  • Red or other colored ink pens for annotating
  • Composition notebook
  • Personal copy of novels – For annotation-this will be quite beneficial to you for class discussions, essays, and assessments.   

V. Evaluation

Tests and quizzes may include multiple choice, matching, identification, short answer, and/or essay questions. Tests will always be announced in advance unless they are used for diagnostic purposes. Individual or group projects, essays, and oral presentations will have assigned test/quiz values. Any typed essays MUST be double-spaced and typed in Times New Roman 12 point font.

VI. Leadership, Responsibility, and Accountability:  As we prepare students for high school, it is imperative to stress these attributes to our students.

Make-up Work: Per board policy and class syllabus. 

Students are responsible for making up all assignments that were given while absent and should come to me during PBL (immediately following Homeroom) to get any missed assignments.  It is imperative that the Honors student comes to me at this time in order to understand the missed work before they come to class that day. 

Any standing assignment or assignments given prior to the absence are due the day the student returns to school following an absence, and will not be accepted at a later date for credit.  *except in extenuating circumstances

Tests previously announced must be taken as soon as it is convenient for the teacher. 

Class Guidelines:  Treat yourself, the subject matter, your classmates, and teachers with maturity and respect.  Wait your turn to speak. Follow directions the first time they are given. Be prepared for class.  If you are tardy, you must present a pass to the teacher upon arrival. Teachers dismiss the class, not bells. Do not pack up your materials until you are given permission to do so. Disruptive behavior is unacceptable because it is a form of disrespect.  Parents will be contacted as needed.

Plagiarism Your grade is a reflection of your skills, knowledge, and understanding of the course content; therefore, any work that is not your own will not be accepted or assessed. Cheating or plagiarism of any kind could result in a zero for the assignment. This includes homework, class work, writing assignments, projects, quizzes, tests, etc. 

Plagiarism includes copying another person’s homework, using on-line sources or any other sources and claiming them as your own.  Anyone allowing another to copy his work will receive the same punishment - never loan your work to another student.  Anything they need they can get from me. 

Homework:  Homework is an essential part of this course. It is the best way to reflect upon, practice, and reinforce what you have learned in class and it will be given an academic grade.

Notebook requirement:  It is vital to keep your notebook organized.  You will only receive one copy of any given handout; please keep everything you are given and remember there may be a comprehensive semester exam.   Make sure all papers have your name, date, and class period.  Papers with no name will be discarded.

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