Mrs. Teresa Deel
Welcome to 8th Grade Language Arts!

Assignments can be located on the calendar.

This webpage will provide you with useful information pertaining to the class as well as important events. 
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
My email address is
Ridgeview Middle School's Phone number is 276-835-1601
My planning time is from 1:35-3:15.

Portaportal Visitor:  tdeella8

Language Arts Syllabus

8th Grade Language Arts Syllabus

                       Mrs. Teresa Deel            Ridgeview Middle School        2015-2016



Welcome to your eighth grade Language Arts class.  I have planned many fun activities for this school year that I hope will prove to be fun, exciting, and educational.  Please take a moment to read through this syllabus to familiarize yourself with the course.

Course Description

Language Arts differs from other classes because the content does not necessarily follow a specific progression in order to move forward to more difficult materials.  Instead, it is more effective to teach the standards holistically (many at once) instead of isolation.  Each of the Language Arts standards will be addressed throughout the year.

We will be using the following text in class this school year:  Holt McDougal Literature, Grade 8 and a variety of novels.

According to the Virginia Department of Education, each student will continue to develop oral communication skills and will become more knowledgeable of the effects of verbal and nonverbal behaviors in oral communication. The student will continue to read a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry while becoming more independent and analytical. The student will continue to refine written composition skills, with special attention to word choice, organization, style, and grammar. Written explanations will utilize informational writing skills. The student will continue vocabulary development through a study of figurative language and continuing study of roots, affixes, and cognates. Knowledge of the informative/persuasive techniques of media messages will be studied. The student will apply research techniques to gather, organize, and communicate information, properly citing sources. The student will also demonstrate correct use of language, spelling, and mechanics by applying grammatical conventions in writing and speaking.  This class will include a variety of activities that are designed to strengthen each of these skill areas.  The Virginia Standards of Learning can be located at the end of the syllabus.

You will have an opportunity to demonstrate your writing ability in March on the SOL Writing test and your reading ability in May on the Reading SOL test.  One of your first tasks in Language Arts this year will be to complete the SRI, Scholastic Reading Inventory test, which will help you determine your areas of strength and weakness.  Classroom instruction will help you continue to grow in your areas of strength and I/E will support you in improving upon your areas of weakness.

Classroom Expectations

Below, you will find the classroom expectations I have put in place.  In addition to these, it will be expected that you will follow the grade level behavioral expectations your 8th grade teachers have put in place. 

  • Follow classroom and school rules
    • Be prepared for class (come to class prepared, ready to learn, with an open mind, and ready to participate).
    • No vandalism (treat all materials and property with care)
    • No lying, cheating, or stealing
    • No profanity (teenage slang, i.e. crap and suck, will not be tolerated)
    • No cell phones or electronic devices (cell phones are only allowed during non-instructional hours)


Each classroom will maintain a record of office referrals for misbehavior and/or inappropriate behavior with the purpose of monitoring students’ conduct. 

Supply List

3 ring binder

10 subject dividers

1 single subject notebook



 Assessment Information

  • Participation – You will be expected to participate in all class activities and will earn a grade for doing so.
  • Class Work & Homework – We will complete several activities in class, but you will be required to complete some activities on your own.  Failure to complete activities will have a negative effect on your overall grade.
  • Journal- You will be required to keep a journal.  Each entry will focus on reading or writing.  Journals will be kept in the Language Arts classroom.
  • Portfolio – A portfolio is a collection of work that you have created.  Your portfolio will consist of various pieces of required assignments that you will complete throughout the school year.  This assignment will allow me to review the progress you have made throughout the year and allow me to track both positive and negative trends.
  • Tests and Projects – I reserve the right to test you on any material presented in class, assigned for homework, or covered in the textbooks.  However, you will have advance notice so you may have time to study.  You will be given spelling/vocabulary every Monday and will have a test on those words on Friday, so please, study and be prepared.
  • Extra Credit – I’m sorry; I do not do extra credit.  You will have an A+ at the beginning of each nine weeks and it is your job to maintain that grade. 
  • Honors English – Students in the advanced class as well as students in regular classes will follow the same basic course outline.  However, students in advanced class will focus on a more in-depth approach to the course content.  Students in the advanced class will be assigned more independent study and will be required to exhibit a more thorough understanding of the content material.
  • Teacher Page – My teacher page will be updated on or before Monday morning of each week if at all possible.  The week’s assignments will be posted along with spelling/vocabulary, essay topic for the week, and any other important information pertaining to the week.
  • Teacher Contact - Parents may contact the school to set up conferences concerning your grades, behavior, or any concern that they may have concerning your education.  They may also contact me by email:
  • Have Fun - As with anything in life, if you enjoy it and have fun, time passes quickly.  I’m willing if you are to make this a great year for us both.

Grade Eight

The eighth-grade student will learn and apply interviewing techniques developing and delivering oral presentations in groups and individually. The student will demonstrate correct use of language, spelling, and mechanics by applying grammatical conventions in writing and speaking. Students will evaluate, analyze, develop, and produce media messages. The student will plan, draft, revise, and edit writing, with emphasis on exposition and persuasion. The student will apply reading and writing skills in all subjects, as well as respond critically to literature. The student will continue development of vocabulary, with attention to connotations and figurative language. The student will continue to develop an appreciation for literary genres through a study of a wide variety of selections. The student will describe themes, make inferences, interpret cause and effect relationships, differentiate between fact and opinion, and draw conclusions from a variety of texts.


Communication: Speaking, Listening, Media Literacy

8.1 The student will use interviewing techniques to gain information.

a) Prepare and ask relevant questions for the interview.

b) Make notes of responses.

c) Compile, accurately report, and publish responses.

d) Evaluate the effectiveness of the interview.


8.2 The student will develop and deliver oral presentations in groups and individually.

a) Choose topic and purpose appropriate to the audience.

b) Choose vocabulary and tone appropriate to the audience, topic, and purpose.

c) Use appropriate verbal and nonverbal presentation skills.

d) Respond to audience questions and comments.

e) Differentiate between standard English and informal language.

f) Critique oral presentations.

g) Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work.

h) Use a variety of strategies to listen actively.

8.3 The student will analyze, develop, and produce creative or informational media messages.

a) Evaluate the persuasive/informational technique being used in nonprint media including television, radio, video, and Internet.

b) Examine how values and viewpoints are included or excluded and how the media can influence beliefs, behaviors, and interpretations.

c) Use media and visual literacy skills to create products that express new understandings.

d) Evaluate sources for relationships between intent and factual content.


8.4 The student will apply knowledge of word origins, analogies, and figurative language to extend vocabulary development within authentic texts.

a) Identify and analyze an author’s use of figurative language.

b) Use context, structure, and connotations to determine meaning and differentiate among multiple meanings of words and phrases.

c) Use roots, affixes, cognates, synonyms, and antonyms to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words and technical vocabulary.

d) Use dictionaries, thesauruses, and glossaries to determine definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, and usage of words.

e) Discriminate between connotative and denotative meanings and interpret the connotation.

f) Extend general and specialized vocabulary through speaking, listening, reading, and writing.


8.5 The student will read and analyze a variety of fictional texts, narrative nonfiction, and poetry.

a) Explain the use of symbols and figurative language.

b) Make inferences and draw conclusions based on explicit and implied information using evidence from text as support.

c) Explain how authors use characters, conflict, point of view, voice, and tone to create meaning.

d) Understand the author’s use of conventional elements and characteristics within a variety of genres.

e) Compare and contrast the author’s use of word choice, dialogue, form, rhyme, rhythm, and voice in different texts.

f) Compare and contrast authors’ styles.

g) Identify and ask questions that clarify various viewpoints.

h) Identify the main idea.

i) Summarize text relating supporting details.

 j) Identify an author’s organizational pattern using textual clues, such as transitional words and


k) Identify cause and effect relationships.

l) Use prior and background knowledge as a context for new learning.

m) Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.


8.6 The student will read, comprehend, and analyze a variety of nonfiction texts.

a) Draw on background knowledge and knowledge of text structure to understand selections.

b) Make inferences and draw conclusions based on explicit and implied information using evidence from text as support.

c) Analyze the author’s qualifications, viewpoint, and impact.

d) Analyze the author’s use of text structure and word choice.

e) Analyze details for relevance and accuracy.

f) Differentiate between fact and opinion.

g) Identify the main idea.

h) Summarize the text identifying supporting details.

i) Identify an author’s organizational pattern using textual clues, such as transitional words and phrases.

j) Identify cause and effect relationships.

k) Evaluate, organize, and synthesize information for use in written and oral formats.

l) Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.



8.7 The student will write in a variety of forms, including narration, exposition, persuasion, and informational.

a) Identify intended audience.

b) Use prewriting strategies to generate and organize ideas.

c) Distinguish between a thesis statement and a topic sentence.

d) Organize details to elaborate the central idea and provide unity.

e) Select specific vocabulary and information for audience and purpose.

f) Use interview quotations as evidence.

g) Revise writing for clarity of content, word choice, sentence variety, and transitions among paragraphs.

h) Use computer technology to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish writing.


8.8 The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing.

a) Use a variety of graphic organizers, including sentence diagrams, to analyze and improve sentence formation and paragraph structure.

b) Use and punctuate correctly varied sentence structures to include conjunctions and transition words.

c) Choose the correct case and number for pronouns in prepositional phrases with compound objects.

d) Maintain consistent verb tense across paragraphs.

e) Use comparative and superlative degrees in adverbs and adjectives.

f) Use quotation marks with dialogue and direct quotations.

g) Use correct spelling for frequently used words.



8.9 The student will apply knowledge of appropriate reference materials to produce a research product.

a) Collect and synthesize information from multiple sources including online, print and media.

b) Evaluate the validity and authenticity of texts.

 c) Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information.

d) Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions,

main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, point of view or bias.e) Cite primary and secondary sources using Modern Language Association (MLA) or American

Psychological Association (APA) style.

f) Publish findings and respond to feedback.

g) Define the meaning and consequences of plagiarism and follow ethical and legal guidelines for gathering and using information.