Syllabus for 2012-2013 8th Grade English

A syllabus is a tricky thing, and I often put off making mine until push comes to shove. This year, however, I started thinking about my syllabus a good bit before the beginning of the school year because I knew I wanted to re-vamp it, I knew my colleagues and I were going to be more aligned than ever this year, and I wanted to make sure that my policies were clear to students and parents. My colleagues and I collaborated on a syllabus together, and we then took it and made it our own. Below is my syllabus for my 8th grade English class for this year. I would love any feedback on how to make it better for my students.

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About epdwilliams

Junior High English Teacher The Westminster Schools
This entry was posted in Education, Standards Based Grading and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Syllabus for 2012-2013 8th Grade English

  1. Keep fixing the plane, PWilly! Thanks for being a forerunner in all of this work!

    • epdwilliams says:

      Thanks girl,
      I am so excited yall are doing the 4 point scale in history. Please let me know how it goes! I would love to keep spreading the Guskey Goodness.

  2. tsadtler says:

    First off, I love that you have share your syllabus with the world. Bold move. Brava! Second, I LOVE that you have included the truly important (and seldom included) items such as the 6+1 rubric. That sends a strong message to your students: “These are the learning behaviors that will lead you toward successful outcomes…” And shouldn’t students know those learning behaviors BEFORE they are asked to exhibit them? Your students now do.

    Finally, your idea for making “bright spotting” a part of course expectations sends two important signals: we’re focused on growth and we’re all accountable for identifying moments of growth. I hope that the kids are energized by the opportunities that you’ve laid out in front of them. I decided not to create a syllabus last year, and nobody missed it. That is NOT to say that opportunities were not lost by my not making a syllabus. So, I don’t think the right solution was for me to kill the syllabus; rather, I should have re-envisioned it. I’ve got some work to do. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • epdwilliams says:

      Thank you Ted! I had the same issue last year with a syllabus- I didn’t really do one. That actually lead to some problems in expectation communication between me, my students, and their parents. I decided to re-do the syllabus because of that. I don’t love the traditional syllabus that I am using, but I know that Clarkbeast is re-vamping his syllabus. Maybe I can get him to share his as well so we can see a good model of a syllabus done well.

  3. Pingback: A New Idea for the Gradebook | Superfluous Thoughts

  4. timl says:

    Hi, my name is Tim and I am a very new ESL teacher in a middle school. What a great syllabus! Would you mind if I used some of the content (specifically your phrasing of essential learning points — put into my own words as much as possible) in creating my own syllabus? My 8th grade class will read different texts and have a different focus (more on grammar, for example) but some of the learning objectives really mirror what we are going for…

    • epdwilliams says:

      Tim,
      Sure! that would be totally fine. That is why I post stuff- for sharing, adapting, and hopefully through conversation we can all improve our practice. Thank you for reading. Best of luck with the school year.
      p

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