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My classroom telephone number:
630-293-6060, extension 2046
My email address: 
Language Arts is a set of COMMUNICATION TOOLS. It is not a typical subject.

In our class, we examine issues in current events and content from other classes (SEL, Social Studies, Science, and even Math.)

We learn how to communicate using WRITING and SPEAKING.

We learn how to receive information using LISTENING and READING.  
Please note that our assignments are multi-step and usually take many days to complete. After they have been submitted to me, stories and essays take a minimum of 10 minutes each to grade. When there are 140+ students on our team, this means it takes over 23 hours to grade one story assignment. Expect that the grade for a story or essay will be posted to the online grade portal approximately 10 days to 2 weeks after submission.
 Bullying hurts people in ways that often are invisible to an observer. 
Bullying is completely unacceptable.
All people, students and teachers, are to be treated with respect at all times. 
Ample in-class time is given for almost every assignment and activity in Language Arts. Any assignment that is not finished during class should be completed during TAP (Teacher Assistance Period). If a student chooses to utilize these class periods inefficiently, then the assignment must be completed at home. In very rare circumstances, students will have to do a research project independently. Typically, for most students this occurs no more than once per school quarter.

8-RED Assignment Activity for each class is compiled onto a weekly spreadsheet. If you would like to receive this spreadsheet via email, please contact me via email. My email address is located at the top of this page. Additionally, if you visit our Team Eight Red page, there will be a link you can click to access this spreadsheet.
Thank you!
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WORDS: The basic building block of communication

Increasing the number of words we understand and can use is one of the most important aspects of Language Arts class.
We will learn via sets of Greek and Latin roots. Knowing what the root of a word means helps us to figure out the meaning of new words that contain the same root.
Our word sets can be viewed by clicking on the link below.

The Tools To Build Understanding

Just like a hammer and nails are used to build a house, so grammar and punctuation are necessary to build a strong piece of communication that everyone can understand.
We use two online resources to practice grammar:


DETAILS make a story come alive:
-vivid adjectives
-a variety of action verbs
-figurative language
-describing ALL the senses (visual, audio, sensory, smells, tastes)

Writing To Inform

We will be researching widely abused drugs:
1. Steroids
2. Heroin
3. Student Choice
Our research includes detailed quotes and citations of sources. 

The Art of Persuasion... can we change someone's mind?

"Argumentative" does not mean fighting. It means taking a position on a controversial topic and defending this opinion with supports. Without factual support, a position is weak and won't get the reader to consider changing his or her mind. 
We will research two topics and write two arguments.
 Topics are subject to student and teacher input, and may be changed.
After researching these topics, students will present an argument about a position regarding these topics.
  • SYNONYM (happy:joyful::sad:depressed)
  • ANTONYM (inflation:deflation::frail:strong)
  • CHARACTERISTIC (tropical:hot::polar:cold)
  • PART/WHOLE ((finger:hand::petal:flower)
  • DEGREE (mist:fog::drizzle:tropical storm)
  • TYPE (golden retriever:dog::salmon:fish)
  • TOOL/WORKER (pen:writer::voice:singer)
  • ACTION/OBJECT (fly:airplane::drive:car)
  • ITEM/PURPOSE (knife:cut::ruler:measure)
  • PRODUCT/WORKER (poet:poem::baker:pie)
Students, please join me on Edmodo. It really is like a Facebook for school. You will be able to work together with other students on a group project and ask me for assistance even outside of the classroom. I am really excited about being able to help you using this communication tool.

Create an identity as a student. PLEASE use your real first name and the first letter of your last name. Ask me for further information. In class there is a handout. This handout can also be emailed to you. Send me a message from the envelope icon located in the top right corner of this webpage.

CLICK HERE to go to Edmodo
Notes and Quotes
Believe it or not! Writing by notes BY HAND rather than on a keyboard actually helps a person to remember the information more thoroughly and for a longer time. Develop your handwriting skills. It'll help your brain. :-)
"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." -Soren Kierkegaard
"You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." (-unknown)

To get someone to change their mind you need evidence. It also helps to show them how their lives will improve. :-) 
My favorite poem is actually a part of a larger piece written by George Gordon, Lord Byron. Here it is:

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto IV, Verse 17

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes
by the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but nature more,
from these our interviews, in which I steal
from all that I may be, or have been before,
to mingle with the Universe, and feel
what I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
© 2015 West Chicago School District 33 | 312 East Forest Avenue, West Chicago, IL 60185 | Phone: 630.293.6000