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A. Parke

7th & 8th English Courses--Overview

Welcome to a new school year! I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for English and building a successful and productive year with each of you. FUSD honors English is a literature-based and standards-based course that is demanding of students’ time and energy. Every element of English language—from reading and writing to spelling, vocabulary, and grammar—will be developed as the year goes on, as will listening, speaking, and critical thinking skills. This class will both seek to challenge you as learners and to help you to become creative and critical thinkers. 

Hopkins English 7 and English 8 are mixed-level courses, with English and honors English students enrolled together. While the content of the course and the learning goals within each unit are similar for all students, Honors English students differ from the English students in two main ways. First, my expectations for “honors” level students are higher in terms of responsibility, handling the workload, and quality of work, as well as students' demonstration of an innate desire to learn. Second, students generally are more quickly ready to approach all areas of the curriculum in greater depth and complexity, leading to opportunities for independently driven exploration and study. This will allow honors students to delve more deeply into our studies, as well as give college prep students the chance to hone their skills with peer modeling and interaction.

The eighth-grade course builds upon the work and learning begun in seventh grade and places emphasis on student responsibility and preparing students for the rigors of high school (see MSJHS English Placement Guidelines).

Literature:  We will read several genres of literature this year, including selected works of nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. You will participate in diverse classroom activities—such as discussion and debate, cooperative learning groups, and oral presentations—that will take you into, through, and beyond each work we read.

Seventh-grade core readings are New Kid and Inside Out & Back Again. Possible additional readings include selections from the FUSD-adopted grade-level textbook and FUSD former core readings The GiverThe PearlAnna of Byzantium, and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

Eighth-grade core readings are Real and I am Malala. Possible additional readings include selections from the FUSD-adopted grade-level textbook and FUSD former core novels The OutsidersWhirligig, Chasing Lincoln's Killer, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

 Writing: You will be expected to master standard writing conventions, as well as demonstrate competency in informative/explanatory writing, argumentative writing, and narrative writing. You will also complete mini-research projects and participate in different forms of creative writing.

Second quarter, students complete a creative writing challenge called NaNoWriMo ("National Novel Writing Month"; more information to follow). 

Tests and Quizzes: Throughout each quarter, students will demonstrate understanding and apply learned skills through tests and quizzes (including pop quizzes). Each semester will also conclude with a semester final for which students will apply the skills and knowledge they have gained throughout the year. 

Independent Reading: Students will participate in an independent, school-wide reading program that does not include whole-class readings. In this class, students will participate by selecting age-appropriate books from diverse genre, both fiction and nonfiction. As students complete their outside reading, you will use the class resources on scheduled days to complete comprehension and analysis tasks.

Yearbook Overview

Welcome Hopkins Yearbook Staff!  Students in this class will be members of the yearbook production staff.  The course is designed to expose the student to the skills of photography, journalism, and page production, and to assist him/her in acquiring the responsible attitude necessary to meet the demands of a production schedule and a publication deadline.  Students will work in teams to complete a 152-page yearbook ON TIME!


A. Parke Teacher - English/Yearbook