Mr. Aleman's 8th Grade Language Arts

Welcome to Mr. Aleman's Language Arts Class!

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Grace Wilday Junior High School (GWJHS) – 2018-2019 School Year

Teacher: Mr. Aleman                                                         Class Time:  78 minutes

E-mail:                         Location:        Room 1022

Extra Help: I am available before school as early as 7:30 most days and after school Tuesdays and Thursdays until 4PM


  • Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals

  • The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt

  • Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship by Russell Freedman

  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl


Required Supplies

  • One composition (marble) notebook

  • One folder (Two-pocket)

  • Extra pens and pencils

  • Independent Reading Book--chosen from home, library, or the classroom

Course Description:

This class ensures students are well prepared for high school and the world around them through sharpening the foundational abilities of reading, writing, and critical thinking. If completed with maximum effort, students will be able to determine themes, central ideas, and supporting details, recognize basic patterns of organization in their own writing as well as that of others, and understand vocabulary in context. Every day, students will work towards these skills by reading, writing, and analyzing the diverse variety of topics that are presented by the challenge of the books.



Course Requirements for students:

Your grade will be determined by your participation in class, performance on tests and quizzes, homework, classwork, projects, and revised writing assignments. Work is expected to be handed in on time, as students usually cannot move forward without proving their understanding of the previous topic. Each day that an assignment is late, a grade level will be deducted form it (whether that be -10 if it is out of 100, a B if it was an A, etc.)  All grades will be posted periodically and can be located at any time through Genesis. Language Arts Grading Policy

Homework -- 10%--Mostly Independent Reading and skill practice (Theme, Main Idea)

Classwork -- 15%--These will be Do-Now checks, I-Ready Lessons, and assignments with the book.

Quizzes -- 25%--My quizzes are very difficult. Most are vocabulary and reading based. Most are NOT multiple choice. I-Ready for sure.

Tests -- 30%--I DO NOT LIKE multiple choice tests/tests based off remembering little details. Our tests are either  stations or Socratic Seminars.

Projects/Labs -- 20%--Usually group-based. This is where you will get to combine critical thinking and art.

There are expectations for each of these categories, as follows:

Homework:  Homework will be assigned every night and will typically take 20-30 minutes to complete. In order to develop the work ethic and accountability needed to succeed as students and people, skills learned in the classroom must be sharpened both in and out of the classroom. Handing in assignments on time is itself a skill, one that lends itself to a diverse range of careers and higher education.



Do-Nows and Exit Tickets: Both of these are done on a daily basis, at the beginning and end of the period. Students have a designated place to complete both in their class notebooks, and they will be collected and graded at various points throughout the term. These are important as they help students begin thinking about/warming up to the skill/idea being focused on that day, as well as check for understanding on what was taught. More than a grade, I need these to help guiding your child in the direction suitable for them. If a student is getting to class on time and giving maximum effort on each of these daily assignments, they should never be worried about these grades.


Quizzes and Tests: These are administered several times throughout each term to check for students’ completion and understanding of all coursework--at times this will include the Do-Nows and Exit Tickets. In addition to routine checks for understanding, a summative assessment will be given at least once per unit to ensure that students completed and understood their own work. If your child earns a test grade of 70 or lower or falls below that mark on their overall average, I will be contacting you to develop a plan to remedy these issues through extra help (which is available before and after school EVERY day barring meetings).



Class Participation and Classwork: Active participation in class discussions will help your child develop his or her interpersonal skills, as well as develop writing and reading comprehension skills. To earn full class participation points your child must routinely contribute to class discussions and hand in any classwork assignments.




Classroom Rules and everyday procedures (Stated in the contract, updated as new procedures arise)


Procedures: 1. Get to class on time 2. You will have 2-3 minutes to copy the homework
3. Homework will be explained, fist to five check for understanding!
4. Do Now begins--usually reading/writing, then sharing with a partner or whole class
5. Skill introduction/Review, then practice in groups
6. Practice the skill individually
7. Exit Ticket: What was learned today???
Class Specifics ****I take attendance at the beginning of EVERY class*** ***Your book/binder for this class will be split into 2 sections -1st: Notes -2nd: Do Nows/Independent Reading ***You will get loose leaf for exit tickets*** ***There is a bright orange bin for absent work. If you are absent on the 11th, and you come in on the 12th, check the folder for the 11th.*** 

***If I think you are struggling during an assignment, I may ask you to do something specific (write why you are having trouble in the margins, answer a different question). If I change the assignment at all, don’t worry. It is all about UNDERSTANDING***

***Participation Points will be a grade every week--how many times you have to participate changes often, but I usually begin with 5 per week (at least). This is not a quick yes or no--but a meaningful contribution to the class (reading, questioning, answering a question)*** ***Late Work: Usually the homework or class assignment needs to be completed to move on, so second chances are hard to come by unless you are absent with a note. Every day late= -10 points/ - a letter grade***

  • For those who finish QUICKLY! No time is wasted! There will always be an independent reading assignment or reading to do that you can begin/sometimes finish in class! Do this for a couple minutes while everyone else finishes up.

Final Comments:

I will put everything into making sure our goals are clear and every single student gets the help they deserve in order to succeed--all of this, of course, is dependent on how much effort students give back. Parents feel free to contact me whenever you would like at or if you would like to sign up for text message alerts on due dates/information please use the following:

****REMIND APP for both students and parents:

All homework/important notifications will be sent out via the Remind App. In order to sign up…

TEXT your class code to 81010, and follow the directions to set up…

Period: 1-2: @99dg94   4-5: h7hdek 7-8:@gf38k8

    2. You will receive a message back welcoming you to Remind. It will prompt you to create a name. Use the following---> Jose’s (mother, father, guardian) Christina.


Thank you and welcome to what will be a very successful school year.  

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