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Tracy Haltiwanger > 7th Grade Language Arts Syllabus

SYLLABUS FOR: Language Arts Grades 7

TEACHER:     Tracy Haltiwanger


First bell rings at 8:15                                       Course 

1st  Period                    8:25-9:17                    Planning 
2nd Period                    9:21-10:11                  7th GT LA
3rd Period                    10:15-11:05                7th GT LIT    
4th Period                    11:08-11:58                 7th GT Language Arts
Lunch                           12:01-12:34                 Lunch
5th Period                    12:37-1:27                   Planning
6th Period                    1:31-2:21                     7th GT LIT
7th Period                    2:25-3:15                     7th LA

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course is designed for grade level/challenge students who are capable of working at a moderate to rapid pace for the study of grammar and usage, spelling and vocabulary, novel units, and writing skills.  Organization, responsibility, and daily studying are essential attributes of students working at this level.

REQUIRED TEXT/INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND RESOURCE:  The Writer’s Craft- McDougal Little, Previously Adopted Class Sets of Textbooks, Novels from Seventh Grade Book List, Teacher and Curriculum Guide Generated Supplemental Materials, Reader's Digest Magazines.

COURSE CONTENT STRANDS/OBJECTIVES:  Students will be exposed to the South Carolina content strands of reading/literature, writing, speaking, and listening.

UNITS OF INSTRUCTION ALIGNED WITH STANDARDS:  Standards are listed.  Full copies of standards are available upon request.

Grammar and Usage Handbook:  Presented in sequence.  Monitoring and Adjusting may occur during the year.  (Standards Incorporated:  R1.12, R1.13, W1.1, W1.2, W1.3, W1.4, W1.5, W1.6, W1.6.2, W1.6.3, W1.6.4, W3.1, W3.2, W3.3)

Handbook 37 Understanding Sentences:  Complete and Simple Subjects and Predicates; Types of Verbs; Verb Phrases; Using the Subject in Different Positions; Compound Subjects and Predicates; Varying the Four Kinds of Sentences;  Correcting Fragments and Run-ons; Proofreading, Revision, and Drafting Skills; Applications in Writing and Literature; Writing Connection:  Persuasion

Handbook 44 Using Compound and Complex Sentences:  Recognizing, Punctuating, and Varying Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences; Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions; Proofreading and Revision Skills; Applications in Writing and Literature; Writing Connection:  Expository

Handbook 38 Using Nouns:  Identifying Nouns; Various Uses of Nouns; Common and Proper Nouns; Singular and Plural Nouns; Possessive Nouns; Using Plural and Possessive Nouns Correctly; Appositives; Combining Sentences Using Appositives and Possessive Nouns:  Proofreading, Revision, and Drafting Skills; Applications in Writing and Literature; Writing Connection:  Informative Writing

Handbook 39 Using Pronouns:  Pronouns and Antecedents; Subject and Object Pronouns; Subject and Object Pronouns in Compound Parts; Pronoun Problems; Personal, Possessive, Interrogative, and Indefinite Pronouns; Reflexive and Intensive Pronouns; Proofreading and Revision Skills; Writing Connection:  Description

Handbook 40 Using Verbs:  Kinds of Verbs; Verb Phrases; Direct Objects; Predicate Words; Verb Tenses; Principal Parts of Verbs; Irregular Verbs; Contractions; Proofreading, Revision, and Drafting Skills; Application in Writing and Literature; Writing Connection:  Narrative and Literary Writing

Handbook 41 Using Adjectives:  Identifying Adjectives and Words Modified; Predicate Adjectives; Comparative and Superlative Degrees of Adjectives; Proofreading and Drafting Skills; Applications in Writing and Literature; Writing Connection:  Informative Writing

Handbook 42 Using Adverbs:  Identifying Adverbs and Words Modified; Adverbs in Comparison; Using Adjectives and Adverbs Correctly; Avoiding Double Negatives; Proofreading and Drafting Skills; Applications in Writing and Literature; Writing Connection:  Informative Writing

Handbook 43 Using Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections:  Identifying Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases; Using Pronouns as Objects of Prepositions; Conjunctions and Interjections; Proofreading, Revision, and Drafting Skills; Applications in Writing and Literature; Writing Connection:  Expressive Writing

Mechanics:  Comma Rules; Quotation Marks; Writing Titles Correctly; Semicolons

Writer’s Workshop:  The following writing lessons will be completed throughout the year.  (Standards Incorporated:  W2.1, W2.2, W3.3, W4.1, W4.2)  The students will be able to correctly write the following writing pieces:  expository, descriptive, narrative, persuasive, personal and expressive, and letter writing-friendly and business.  The students will pre-write, draft, revise, proofread, publish, and present for the eight types of writing listed above.

Class Novels:  Students will read and respond to novels selected from the seventh grade book list.  (Standards Incorporated:  R1.1, R1.2, R1.3, R1.4, R1.5, R1.6, R1.7, R1.8, R1.9, R1.10, R1.11, R1.14, R1.15, R2.1, R2.2, R2.3, R2.4, R2.6, R2.7, R2.8, R2.9, R2.10, R3.4, C2.1, C2.2, C2.3, C2.4, C2.5, C2.6, C3.1, C3.2, C3.3, C3l4, C3l.5, C3.6, c3.11, C3.7, C3.8, C3.9, C3.10)

Vocabulary: vocabulary study includes practice with analogies, context clues, proofreading skills and dictionary skills.  (Standards Incorporated:  R2.5, R3.1, R3.2, R3.3, R3.4, R3.5)

Calculation of grades:  Major grammar tests, major compositions, and novel test grades are doubled.  Spelling tests, vocabulary tests, English quizzes, and novel quizzes count once.  Recorded daily grades are averaged together to count as a quiz grade.  Content grades weighted in this way are averaged together to reflect a student’s quarterly average.

Types of and schedule for major assessments:  Students will be informed of a major test date at least five days in advance.  This schedule may be altered occasionally due to holidays, assemblies, or our need to spend more time in another content area.  Regardless of a change in schedule, students will be given at least five days to prepare for tests.  English and novel quizzes will be scheduled on any day of the week.  Students are informed of quiz dates one to three days in advance.  I also give pop quizzes, so students should study daily.  Students are instructed to record test and quiz dates in their agendas so that they will know to study and parents will be able to check and know of upcoming quizzes and tests.  Writing assignments will be interspersed throughout the year.  Students are given reasonable time to complete various writing assignments.

Grading Scale
        93-100     A
        85-92       B
        77-84       C
        70-76       D
     Below 70    F

Homework Policy:  Complete assignments by due dates.  Study for English section quizzes and unit tests.  English practices that are incomplete by the end of a class period should be completed for homework.  Practices are left in the Language Arts section of your binder for further study.  Additional written homework for the completion of compositions will be required during the year.  Students are instructed to record all due dates, quiz dates, and test dates in their agendas to assist them and their parents.  Study daily what we go over in class.  Not all homework is written.

Missed Work/Make-Up Policy:  Provisions for work missed during excused absences will be worked out with the teacher(s) concerned and should not exceed five (5) school days after the student returns to school.  Provisions for the make-up of school- work missed during unexcused absences must be made with the teacher(s) concerned.  It is the responsibility of the student to make this contact.  There will be no make up of school -work missed due to out of school suspensions unless specified by an administrator.

ATTENDANCE AND TARDY POLICY:  Please see Student Agenda, pages 1 and 2.

PRESENTATION OF RULES AND PROCEDURES:  Rules and procedures were discussed with students on the first day of school.  My class guidelines were sent home and read by parents. Students returned the last page of the letter that was signed by the parent/guardian and the student.  Signatures are kept on file. 


1.  Follow directions when they are given.
2.  Have all supplies and assignments every day.
3.  Avoid unnecessary noise and movement.
4.  Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
5.  Respect other people and property.
6.  Raise your hand and wait to be acknowledged before you speak.
7.  Students should follow all of Northwood’s rules and procedures.

Consequences for violating class and school rules/policies:  School rules and policy violations will be dealt with on an individual basis.  Possible consequences involve a warning, instruction to re-do assignment properly or neater for credit, time-out to work in another classroom, lunch detention, after school detention, parent contact (written letter or note in agenda, phone call, conference), or office referral.

PROCEDURES FOR NON-INSTRUCTIONAL ROUTINES:  When traveling as a class, we follow Northwood’s procedure by walking in a line without talking.  Students should write assignments, quiz dates, and test dates in their agendas.  Assignments, quiz dates, and test dates are listed on the board, and we take time during the class period to record in agendas.  Students should go to lockers before class begins.  They should not have to request to go to lockers during class to get books or assignments.  Students should go to the restroom before and after class.  Students should use discretion when requesting to leave class to go to the restroom or the nurse.

PLAN FOR PARENTAL COMMUNICATION:  If parents have a question or concern during the year, they can call the school at 355-7000 and leave me a message or they can call me at home 268-3121.  Progress reports and report cards are sent each quarter.  The calendar in the front of the student’s agenda includes dates that the progress reports and report cards will be sent.  If there is a need, I will initial a student’s agenda upon parental request.  The student is responsible for recording assignments and bringing me the agenda to be signed.  This plan is only effective when the agenda is monitored and in turn signed by the parent at home.  I also like to make a lot of phone calls to parents with good news.  My favorite type of communication is meeting the parent in person, so sometimes I may make a home visit to see how things are going.