• Language Arts 8th Grade Course Syllabus 2024-2025


     Course Description: This course will focus on students’ growth in the areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking, discussion, reflection, and viewing. Reading strategies, critical thinking skills, grammar, and vocabulary building will be the main themes of this class. Through different types of text such as fiction, nonfiction,drama, and poetry students will practice reading strategies and comprehension skills. We will also work on grammar and proper writing techniques. The focus of writing will be on narrative, informational, argumentative, and research. The overall goal of this class is to increase the literacy and writing ability in all students.

    Units of Study:  Quarter 1:  Everyone Loves a Mystery   Quarter 2:  Past and Present   

      Quarter 3:  No Risk No Reward               Quarter 4:  Hear Me Out


     Course resources: ● Study Sync ●Commonlit.org * Novels: Outsiders SE Hinton,  House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros (H), Ender’s Game Orsen Scott Card, Hunger Games Suzanne Collins (H), Animal Farm George Orwel (H), Hidden Figures Margot Lee Shetterly (both) 

     Reading will study: Short stories, nonfiction, drama, poetry, novels, narrative, and reading assessment materials. Focus will be on gathering evidence from several sources to research and provide textual evidence to strengthen the claim. Reading comprehension and critical thinking strategies, elements of literature, poetic elements, text features, summarizing, analysis, and all 8th grade ELA State Standards will be addressed and assessments will be given.  


    Writing will study: Narrative, informational, research, and argumentative/persuasive writing. Focus will be on grammar, different styles and genres of writing as well as citing the sources for research. We will address all 8th grade ELA State Standards. Assessments will be given to show proficiency.  


    Assessments:  The students will have assessments during units of study.  These assessments will show evidence of  proficiency of the standard we have covered and/or looking at grammar and vocabulary.  These assessments will also help the teacher reassess where the student is at in their learning goals.  These assessments and coursework  will count in the gradebook and affect the student’s final grade.  Students will have projects and opportunities to show what they’ve learned.  There will be required presentations in this class.


     Grade check: Students and parents/guardians may check grades on PowerSchool throughout the year. Please contact me if you have any concerns or questions. Report Cards will be available through PowerSchool every 9 weeks. If you do not have internet access please contact the office for a hard copy.


     Assignment expectations: Students are expected to turn in all assignments. Late work will be accepted based on the policy below.  Our goal is to do all assignments in order to learn the standard and to be able to show the evidence of proficiency.  


     Absent/Late assignments: The student is responsible for picking up and returning their missed work at the student center in our classroom or on Canvas.   I am responsible for providing the student with the missing assignments for make-up. Work is due no later than 10 days after the student returns to school unless it is at the end of a grading period.  Late assignments will be accepted up to ten days after it is due after which a 49% will be entered into the grade book.   If an exception is needed please contact me to set up other arrangements.

    Retakes:  Due to the nature of this class and the many opportunities to edit and revise assignments as well as the varied project assessments retakes will be limited. 


    Plagiarism: The following counts as plagiarism:

    To take credit for work that is not yours, copying information from a source and not citing the source, using any form of AI to write your paper rather than using it as an information source, to copy another student’s work, to allow a student to copy your work, taking credit for another student’s work. 

    This may be revisited at the discretion of Ms. J and actions will be taken based on the situation.


    Extra Credit:  There will be no extra credit, but criteria to go from proficient to highly proficient will be in every project assessment and opportunities to edit and improve your work will be provided.

    DVUSD Grading Scale:  This is the district policy and will be implemented at Canyon Springs


    Weights:  20% Class work      80% assessment   

    Scale:  all grades below 50% will go into the grade book as a 49%

    A 90-100

    B 80-89

    C 70-70

    D 60-69

    F 49%

    4 Highly Proficient

    3 Proficient

    2 Partially Proficient

    1 Below


     Teacher Help: I am available to help before school by appointment. 


    Teacher Contact: The best way to contact me is through email. If you do not hear from me within 24 hours M-Th please contact the office and ask to leave a message. I am very diligent in checking/answering emails. Ashley.Januski@dvusd.org

     “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” Albert Einstein

    Ms. J’s Basic Classroom Rules:

    • No throwing (yeeting) anything 

    • No cell phones and headphones must plug into your chromebook

    • Please remain seated in a chair for the duration of the class  

    • No food or gum 

    • Keep hands and feet to yourself

    • Be respectful 

    • Do not line up at the door, but stay seated until dismissed

    • Follow class procedures 

    • Always know that you are wanted and welcome in this class!  I’m truly glad you're here!