• Welcome to 8th grade English Language Arts! 


    The primary focus in 8th grade ELA is to foster a learning environment in which students improve their skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.


    Teacher Contact




    Required Materials

    Please bring the following to class every day. You may need to replace materials throughout the year.

    • An independent reading book
    • A 3 inch 3-ring binder with dividers, paper, and pencil pouch
    • 2 #2 pencils and eraser
    • Earbuds for listening to assigned texts/videos


    Behavior Expectations

    By 8th grade, students know what the rules of the building are, in room 119 we respect those rules and take it a step further. Upon entering room 119, we become Shakespearean Scholars, ready to explore and examine literature and the written word. We are more than learners in room 119; we are the Miller Shakespeareans! As Miller Shakespearean  we are aware of our actions and how that affects others in the classroom, therefore we are:

    • Honest
    • Humble
    • Self-starters
    • Innovative
    • Not afraid to ask questions
    • Organized
    • Respectful
    • Aware of time and space
    • Kind and helpful to our fellow Shakespeareans

    Please read the student handbook as all school rules apply, of course.




    In room 119 we are aware of time and space. This means there is a time and place for everything, and bathroom breaks should be taken between classes as often as possible. In the event that a bathroom break is needed, it should not be during times of instruction or in the first or last 10 minutes of the class period, as these are crucial times students need to be present. To go to the bathroom during the appropriate time, simply sign out on the sheet in the back of the room and take the hall pass. The expectation is that my students go quickly and quietly without causing disruptions in the hallway or to other classes. If a student proves they cannot handle this task, then the privilege of using the restroom may be restricted or a peer-escort may be assigned.


    -Need a pencil?

    No problem! I have plenty of pencils, pre-sharpened at the back of the room. Feel free to quietly get up and grab one, no need to ask. Please refrain from using the electric sharpener during class time. There is a hand sharpener next to the pencil cup if you just need to sharpen your pencil.


    -Getting my attention/whole group discussion

    As Shakespearean Scholars, we are respectful of those around us. So, we raise our hand if we want to share or need help, rather than shouting out or starting a side conversation with our neighbor. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss the exciting topics, but during whole group discussion, raising hands is expected.


    -When I need your attention

    When I want your attention I will call out “All set?” and you, as a group, will respond with “You bet!” I will wait for all pencils to be down and eyes on me to continue.

    -Dismissal from class

    Shakespearean Scholars are always learning, so please do not pack up your belongs before I dismiss you to leave for your next class. As your Shakespearean leader I promise to be aware of time and space and allow you two minutes at the end of every period to pack up before the bell rings. Those two minutes are your minutes and rest of the class time is  my minutes. Once the bell rings, I will dismiss the class to leave.


    -Cell Phone Policy

    In the spirit of being Shakespearean Scholars, room 119 is a cell phone free/red zone. The time spent in this class will be a chance to cancel out the noise of social media, etc. Chromebooks are provided for students for any research that will be required. Parents, if you need to reach your scholar, please contact the office and they will either send a message or transfer your call.



    If you are absent it is your responsibility to schedule a time to meet with me before or after school to go over what you missed. In a single class period it is not usually possible to explain all we covered while you were absent and instruct the day’s lesson. You might also check with a friend from class before you see me.



    A little late to class? Hopefully it doesn’t happen often..Shakespearean Scholars are aware of time and space, and that means being aware of when you should be in class! If you do happen to be a little late, just come in quietly and copy what your neighbor is doing. I will come by and get you going in the right direction as soon as possible. If being tardy becomes a habit, we will discuss what is going on and make a plan together to get you on track!

    *Please also be aware of the school-wide tardy policy.


    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is copying another person’s words or ideas and not giving them credit. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources, use quotation marks for exact quotes, and know the topic well enough to use your own words. Cheating means earning a reward that was not earned, including events such as copying someone else’s work, letting someone copy your work, plagiarism, letting someone else do your work, turning in someone else’s work as your own, changing answer after an assignment has been graded and returned to you, and not doing your part in a group assignment and leading me to believe you did. Any form of cheating will result in an ‘F’ on the assignment and a phone call home.  


    Missing/Late Work

    I will accept late work 1 day late for full credit. If an assignment was due Wednesday and you forgot it at home, no problem! Bring it in Thursday and I won’t take any points off. If your work is more than one day late there will be a 5% deduction for each day after your freebie day. So, if you turn in a perfect assignment, the best you could get for one day late is 95%, two days late is 90% and so forth. No late assignments will be taken two weeks before the end of the grading period.

    If you are absent then you may add one day on to the due date for every day absent. If you are out sick for three days, you will have three days to make up missing work without penalty; just write “absent” at the top of your paper to ensure you receive full credit.


    Positive Feedback

    Being a Shakespearean Scholar is no easy task and when we are having good days, we like to know that it was noticed! Following classroom procedures and expectations has more benefit than you realize. Not only are you creating a positive environment for yourself and your peers, you are also learning and growing into the awesome person you are and will be! Other rewards include improved skills, verbal praise, positive phone calls home, lowest assignment score dropped, and up to a 2% increase in your grade at the end of the grading period.



    • A warning(knock on your desk): I know we all have bad days, and sometimes a reminder is all we need!
    • Second time: verbal warning/reminder
    • Third time: Phone call home or to work: I will make two attempts to call home..
    • Office referral: A student will immediately referred to office upon a 4th infraction.

    Grading Scale

    A+ =97%-100% A    =93%-96% A-  =90%-92% B+ =87%-89%

    B    =83%-86% B-  =80%-82% C+ =77%-79% C    =73%-76%

    C-   =70%-72% D+  =67%-69% D     =63%-66% D-    =60%-62%      F      =0%-59%

    Please read the course information, sign, and return this sheet to Mrs. Leitch.



    Please sign below to signify that you have read the course sheet for Mrs. Leitch’s class, will keep it in your folder, and will be responsible for the information throughout the year.


    _____________________________    _______________________________

    Student Printed Name Student Signature



    Please check all that apply to how you would like to communicate with me about your student’s progress. I will, of course, call for major concerns or accomplishments, but with approximately 130 students, I like to know your preference on communication.


    ___I/We have access to internet at home, so I will check skyward weekly to check my/our student’s progress, and will contact you about any concerns.

    ___I/We plan to e-mail you weekly or monthly for an update.

    ___I/We do not have internet access at home, but would like to have regular contact with you. I/We will call for an update on a regular basis.



    Please sign below to indicate that you have read the course content and that you will help your student be accountable for the information. If you have any questions about course content or your student’s work, please do not hesitate to contact me. E-mail is the best way to reach my quickly.


    __________________________________ __________________________________

    Parent/Guardian printed name Parent/Guardian signature


    __________________________________ __________________________________

    Parent/Guardian e-mail Parent Guardian daytime phone number


    Parents/Guardians, please circle the best way for me to contact you:


    Phone E-mail