8th Grade English “Few young people learn to love books by themselves.
Someone has to lure them into the wonderful world of the written word;
someone has to show them the way.”
~ Orville Prescott ~
TO: 8th grade Student and Parent/Guardian
FROM: Mrs. Hillman – Team 8B English Teacher
It is well documented that reading enhances a student’s learning and his/her ability to learn. Reading improves one’s ability to process and to reason, which are critical for high levels of understanding. Reading also improves writing skills and the entire writing process. In addition, it adds meaning to self-understanding. Clearly, reading benefits a student’s world and the broader world of which we are all a part.
Unfortunately, however, reading among Americans is decreasing. This is especially true for 8th graders. As their lives become busier because of growing options, 8th graders often sacrifice reading for other responsibilities. One of the goals of eighth grade English is to help students develop and maintain a habit of reading regularly.
Due to the importance of reading, students will be expected to do outside independent reading for each quarter of their 8th grade year. My program is entitled RAP - Reading Adds Power and students in 8th Grade English classes will be required to read 500 pages of fiction per quarter. The novels, as well as textbook pages we read together as a class, will not count toward the student’s total pages read. Students should aim to read at least 60 minutes a week at home.
To assess the understanding of this reading, the students will conference with me throughout the quarter. These conferences will support the student’s efforts and will determine whether the students have, in fact, read the number of pages they say they have read. Conferences will serve to also help in the continual review of the Elements of Fiction.
Students will be choosing their own reading material for RAP. Students are encouraged to share their choice reading material with their parent/guardian. Should you have questions about this assignment, please do not hesitate to contact me. And, as always, our young people learn so much by the role models we set.
So, to all of us...Happy Reading!
Students must be reading a fiction novel at all times (no graphic novels). The book must be at least 125 pages in length. Students must read the book from cover to cover unless you get approval from the teacher to change books.
There will be many chances to personal read during class, especially during Independent Reading / RAPtime on Fridays after Spelling tests. Therefore, students should have their RAP book travel to and from home and school each day. Their RAP book is the “admission ticket” to RAP. If a student comes to class without an independent reading book, he or she will be given something to read during that time period and lose the time they could have used for working toward their required pages to be read in their book of choice.
The purpose of RAP is to improve and get in the habit of reading. Research states that students should read at least 11 pages a day. Reading everyday and making it a habit is important. Please read consistently. To ensure this, students will receive a RAP grade at mid-quarter and at the end of every full quarter and semester.
RAP will be assessed through Reading Conferences that are required a number of times throughout every quarter with me. Students will be able to sign up for conferences in class. In addition, I am available most days after-school for conferences.
Each quarter the students will be given the due dates for RAP so that they can meet the Reading Requirements during that grading period.
*** RAP DATES FOR 1ST QUARTER: Each student should have the first 250 pages read by September 8th in order to conference with the teacher by September 12th in order to meet the mid-quarter grading window. If a student completes their book before the September 8th due date, a student can sign-up for an earlier conference date. The second 250 pages should be read by October 6th in order to conference with the teacher by October 10ndin order to meet the 1st Quarter grading window.
Students should select books that interest them and are at an appropriate reading level. Students should chose books that your family considers appropriate. Because it is impossible for me to know what each family considers appropriate, students should make sure their parent or guardian is aware of the book they have selected to read.
Have FUN and ENJOY your reading!
RAP ASSESSMENT FOR 2014/2015 SCHOOL YEAR
TOTAL PAGES: (per semester) POINT TOTAL:
900-999 90-99 (A)
800-899 80-89 (B)
700-799 70-79 (C)
600-699 60-69 (D)
599- BELOW FAILING ***700 pages is the minimum page requirement to get a grade of “C” each semester***