Sacred Heart Cathedral Catholic School - Dodge City, KS

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism, as discussed in class, means using someone else's ideas or words as your own, without giving credit to the author. At SHCCS, the consequences for plagiarism are the same as for any form of cheating: three demerits and a zero on that assignment. This is extremely important to know and avoid now because the consequences are far worse as you get older. If you plagiarize later on, you can be kicked out of college, fined large amounts of money, or even lose your job. Please see the "Paraphrasing Steps" document to understand what is required to put something into your own words. Below are also some tips that I use to avoid plagiarism:
 
1. After highlighting the main idea, read it a few times. Then, look away from the article or set it aside and type it as best you can in your own words. Go back and check to see if the essential idea is the same.
 
2. After you've tried paraphrasing the main ideas, underline or highlight in your Google document the words that match the article. If it's too similar in words or structure, you still need to change it. If you have paraphrased well, only basic words and proper nouns should remain. Please remove highlights or underlined words before you turn it in.
 
3. If in doubt, when you think it's super important, but you don't think you can paraphrase it, quote it! Your summaries should not be filled with quotes, and I would rather have you paraphrase. However, it is better to possibly lose points for an unneeded quote than to plagiarize.

ELA Typical Weekly Schedule

Dear Students and Parents,

I am implementing a new "routine" this year in all of the ELA classes (6-8). We focused on most of these skills last year, but this year I have given some skills certain days. This list does not cover everything we are doing in class each day. It is also subject to change each week. Nevertheless, I hope it will still give you an idea of what we are working on each week! As always, please email me if you have questions.

  • Monday
    • Journal: Mistakes Monday - Each class corrects grade-level grammar errors from multiple sources.
    • The previous "Article of the Week" (AotW) response is DUE on the Google Classroom BEFORE class, and it is discussed in class. The new AotW is assigned (This is different for each grade level)

 

  • Tuesday - VOCAB DAY!
    • Journal: Terms Tuesday - Each class completes an activity based on the Word of the Week, root words, or their novel vocabulary.
    • Vocabulary Quiz
    • Activities to study new word list

 

  • Wednesday
    • Journal: Wisdom Wednesday - Students respond to an inspirational quote or write their own advice to help a given situation.

 

  • Thursday
    • Journal: Anything Thursday - Students complete one of a variety of activities to increase their literacy.

 

  • Friday
    • Journal: Figurative Friday - Students practice figurative language using a given journal prompt.

Parents: How to Help Your Child Succeed in ELA!

Dear Parents,

Below are a few ways to help your students in English this year:

1. Vocabulary: Your child should be studying a word list each week. This list is available on Quizlet.com for your students. I also print lists for students who want a paper copy. Encouraging them to study this list, or studying it with them, would definitely help them with their quiz each Tuesday. Also, if you want a PDF of this list emailed to you, please let me know!

2. Article of the Week (AotW): This assignment will begin at the beginning of each week (usually Monday) and will be due on the next Monday. Students will need to read and take notes on the assigned article, as well as submit a one-page (double-spaced) response to the Google Classroom. Please see the article: "Parents: What's an AotW?" for more information.

3. Encourage them to Read: Students have both a class novel and a choice novel that they should be reading each quarter. If they fall behind with their class novel, they typically struggle with the assignments or activities related to it. Also, I do give pop quizzes from time to time to check their reading comprehension. For their choice novel, they have a "book talk" and a "One-Pager" assignment due at the end of each quarter. (First Quarter Deadline: Thursday, October 12th)

4. Sign up for Remind: To help keep you informed, I am using Remind, a mobile app, to send due-date reminders for larger class assignments. Please view the PDF for your child's class under my document tab for instructions on how to sign up.

5. Email me: Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns!

Parents: What's an AotW?

This year, I am implementing an assignment called the Article of the Week, or AotW. I heard of the AotW a few years ago, and I am very excited to start using it in my classroom! The assignment idea comes from an amazing ELA teacher, Kelly Gallagher. The AotW serves several great purposes in my classroom, including helping students think more deeply about the world around them using real-world, informational texts. Also, I hope it will help my students interact with their readings better in order to form stronger reading responses and text-based arguments. 

Here are the parts to this assignment:

  • Informational Texts: Is extremely important for students to develop the reading skills necessary to tackle ANY type of reading, not just novels or poems. I hope to practice these skills with a larger variety of text by using the AotW. Also, although the AotW texts will differ for each grade, they will all focus on either current events or themes related to their class novel. 
  • Notes/Highlights: I want them to interact with this article in a number of ways. In particular, we are practicing highlighting unknown words, areas of confusion, main ideas, and statements that help them respond. THIS IS NOT BUSY WORK. Your child should have a purpose in mind as they read the article, and their notes should help them write their response. (We work on this is class too.)
  • RESPOND: After students spend some time reading and interacting with the article, I want them to write. This step has two crucial pieces:
    • "They Say" (Main Ideas): Students need to mention the name of the article, the author, and the main ideas that were presented. This portion should be roughly four to five sentences, depending upon the article.
    • "I Say" (My Response): This area is their opinion, and it is usually the hardest part of the assignment for them. They need to either address what stood out to them or what they agree or disagree with. However, this should not be a rewording of facts from the article or a random list of their ideas. They should come up with a clear argument or a few points that they want to discuss, and then they need to explain their view. This step, because it is the hardest, is also adjusted depending upon the grade level. I also help them in class with this section by showing them what to focus on in the article.

Please see "AOTW Rubric" in my Documents tab for information about how this assignment is graded!

Contact

8th Grade 
Middle School ELA