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    7th Grade Language Arts Syllabus

    Ms. Kurtenbach





    Email:  Kristin.kurtenbach@dvusd.org

    Phone:  623-445-7470 (Message only during school hours)

    Website:  https://www.dvusd.org/domain/4176     

    Email is the best way to get in touch with me.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.


    Language Arts Areas of Study

    Reading:  literature and informational text

    Writing:  argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative

    Speaking & Listening:  collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, teacher-led) and presentations

    Language:  demonstrate standard English grammar in writing and speaking



    Textbooks will be used in class and are not available for use at home.  However, student textbook content and related resources are available online at http://my.hrw.com/.  Each student will receive individual login instructions.


    Novel Study

    Students are encouraged (NOT required) to obtain their own personal copies of novels so that annotation can be made in the book. Classroom copies of the novels will be available for use while at school if students do not have their own copy. 

    Any of the novels that are read/studied may be borrowed from a friend or the library; they do not have to be purchased.  They may also be read on an e-reader, but students will need to follow the page numbers given and bring their e-reader to school at their own risk.  The school nor the teachers will be held responsible for damage to or loss of an e-reader while on school grounds.

    You will be notified in advance of the date that students are required to have each of the novels, but you may get the books ahead of time if you choose to do so.  Barnes & Noble at Happy Valley will be contacted prior to each unit so that they will be more likely to have these titles in stock if you prefer to purchase your books there.  Amazon is also a relatively inexpensive option (Barnes & Noble does not typically have copies of I Am The Cheese).


    Novel List

    7th Grade ELA (Gen. Ed.)

    7th Grade ELA (Advanced)

    Ender’s Game

    by Orson Scott Card



    by Scott Westerfield



    by Brandon Sanderson


    I Am The Cheese

    by Robert Cormier




    The following items must be brought to class daily:

    • Pencil and eraser
    • Pen
    • Highlighters
    • Binder with tabs and loose leaf paper



    Your grade will be determined based on the following categories:

    70% Assessments                     20% Projects                             10% Assignments



    Students will be notified of all tests/quizzes before they take place.  In order to be successful, students should take notes, study consistently throughout the unit, and ask their teacher and peers questions, as necessary.  Students will have the opportunity to retake most tests (not quizzes); the better of the two scores will be recorded in the grade book.



    The purpose of homework is to provide students with practice of concepts learned in class.  This practice is crucial for student learning, and when given, is expected to be completed before class the next day, unless another date is specified.  Late work will only be accepted prior to the end of the unit.


    Attendance and Tardies

    Attendance is vital for student success.  Excessive absences may result in a low grade and/or failure of the class.  It is the student’s responsibility to find out what he/she missed when absent by checking the agenda board and/or talking to the teacher.  Per district policy, the student will have two days for each day absent to make up the missing work.  This will not apply to long-term assignments/projects; in this case, it is expected that the student will adhere to the original due date or turn their assignments in upon their return to school.

    Tardiness results in students missing important information and instruction at the beginning of class.  It is also a distraction to the class when a student enters the classroom late. 


    Student Expectations

    1. Be respectful with your words and actions.
    2. Come to class prepared and ready to learn.
    3. Follow directions the first time they are given.

    (Students are expected to follow all Gavilan Peak School rules and policies at all times.)