Course Description

Welcome to your second year of junior high school English!  This class is designed to help you develop the skills and confidence you need to carefully examine your world and to express your thoughts clearly and logically.  The goals of this class are necessary, not only for success in high school but also throughout your life; all paths ahead require well-developed thinking and communication skills.  To achieve these goals, each and every day we will read, write and discuss.  In addition, we will study vocabulary and examine the mechanics of language. 

Throughout the year, you will write for a variety of purposes and under different conditions.  You will write expressive (creative thinking) and expository (critical thinking) pieces, most often taking the time to revise and edit before publishing. However, there will be times—as there are in life outside of school—when you will be asked to write an “on demand” piece to demonstrate the development of your thinking and organization skills. 

At the end of this course, if you work hard, you will be able to

  • write with clarity and focus for a variety of purposes.
  • access, analyze, evaluate and create different forms of media. 
  • identify themes in literary works and main ideas in informational texts.
  • analyze expressive pieces of literature by applying your knowledge of the elements of literature and literary techniques.
  • discuss texts and related issues with your classmates by speaking thoughtfully, listening actively and asking probing questions.
  • evaluate reasoning in a variety of texts.

Class Materials

Please have these items available for each class meeting:

  • 3-ring binder (at least 1 ½ inch)
  • 5 tabbed dividers
  • two different-colored highlighters
  • loose leaf notebook paper
  • black or blue pen (avoid pastel-inked pens or red-inked pens)


The general focus of English 8 will be on historical fiction and nonfiction texts from various time periods.   We will evaluate authors’ purposes and perspectives, compare and contrast texts and learn how to locate specific details that support the development of universal themes of literature.   The texts will be determined in part by the interests and abilities of the students in class and we will also draw upon our classroom set of Holt McDougal Literature textbooks as needed.

Classroom Policies and Procedures

  • All Student Handbook rules will apply to class.
  • Personal electronic devices are not to be used in class unless needed for our work.  Smart phones can be wonderful in-the-moment research tools; however, I reserve the right to ask you to turn off your phone and put it away if it appears to me that you are distracted by your phone.  Think about it:  there is just no point in you sitting in a classroom if you are not engaging the material because your mind is elsewhere!
  •  Assignment due dates will be announced in class and posted on the website.  Late work will be penalized with a deduction of points (5% per day) for five school days.  After five days, the maximum you can earn is 70%.  If you are more than 5 school days late with an assignment, I will require that you visit me during Viking period or make an appointment to stay after school to complete your work.
  • Absences:  When you return from an excused absence, you have as many days as you were absent to turn in missing assignments.  Please contact me and check the class website in the case of an extended absence.

 Academic Honesty Policy

 Plagiarism is a form of cheating; it is the use of someone else’s ideas or words without giving proper credit.  Cheating includes (but is not limited to) copying someone else’s work, turning in work done by someone else, or turning in work that has been submitted in another class by you or anyone else.  Both cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses. 

 MY POLICY:  If you have been found guilty of academic dishonesty, I will give you a zero on the assignment in question.  You will have an opportunity to redo the assignment with a 25% reduction in points.  If you are found guilty of academic dishonesty a second time, you will receive a zero on the assignment, and you will not have the opportunity to redo it.  If you are found guilty of dishonesty a third time (unlikely!), you will fail the course and I will notify your guardians, the principal and superintendent.

Grading System

 Grades will be determined by the total number of points earned during a grading period.  Grades can be checked at any time on PowerSchool.  Please note well:  you must earn at least 74% in a class to receive credit for that class.  Furthermore, you must demonstrate mastery of 80% of the course objectives (the most important learning goals).

A+  98% - 100%

A  95% - 97%

A-  92% – 94%

B+  89% - 91%

B  86% - 88%

B- 83% - 85%

C+  80% - 82%

C  77% - 79%

C-  74% - 76%

Less than 73% = no credit!

 Grade Distribution

ü  Writing Assignments  35%

ü  Literature Study 30%

ü  Vocabulary and grammar  20%

ü  Discussion and presentations  10%

ü  Notebook  5%


  • Attendance is important, if not essential, for success in this class. 
  • A tardy is a disrespectful entrance to class—a late student interrupts the class’s learning time.  

Dear Student,

I welcome you to this class.  I look forward to working with you in your exploration of the written word and I hope you make a commitment to learning as much as you can from our time together.  We will explore and play with language and also become more aware of other types of communication.  I ask that you develop and express some enthusiasm and positive energy for this course as it is essential for your success.

Thank you for being a member of this class.

Ms. Lamborn

Unknown user,
Aug 29, 2016, 7:57 AM