Welcome to Mr. Maedgen’s 8th Grade English Class!
Greetings Parents and students! I am so excited for the beginning of a new school year, and I cannot wait to dive into getting to know you all and talk to you about what we will cover this school year! Just a short introduction about me. My name is Kenneth Maedgen and this is my fourth year as an 8th grade English teacher at La Vega Junior High. I graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science with a Business Emphasis. I earned my teaching credentials through an alternative teaching certification program. I grew up with a love and respect for education! I would like to instill a bit of that respect, and possibly love for education into each student.
My philosophy is to assure each student has a safe and inviting environment to learn. Each student will be challenged to reach their maximum potential every day.
CONFERENCE TIME: 10:37-11:22
DISTANT LEARNING DURING SCHOOL CLOSURE: I'm available by email 8 A.M.-4 P.M. Mon-Fri.
As we further prepare for learning during the school closure, it is important for the students and I to have a mode of communication. I will communicate with students through Google Classroom and email. My email is kenneth.maedgen@Lavegaisd.org. Every 8th grade student in my class has already been signed in to my Google Classroom. To access Google Classroom, students need only to sign in as if they were sitting in my classroom. I have not changed any of the codes, so they are the same as we used in the classroom. I will begin administering assignments through Google Classroom on April 1st. Students should begin checking Google Classroom daily on April 1st. Prior to April 1st, I'd like for students to go to our Google Classroom page and respond to my comment. I am using this as a way to assure all students can access Google Classroom before I begin adding assignments. If students are having issues signing in, we can fix those issues before April 1st.
The syllabus includes are classroom rules and procedures, as well as what will be expected of students during their 8th grade year that will help them succeed on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test in the Spring.
These materials will be used daily in the classroom and are essential to every student’s success. The folder and notebook will be kept in the classroom in a designated area by class period. Please do not hesitate to ask if getting any of these supplies will be an issue. I keep these in my classroom and will gladly give any student supplies.
DISCIPLINE: I will closely follow the discipline routine set up by the school which progresses from 1. Warning, 2. Student/Teacher Conference, 3. Parent contact/conference, 4. Office Referral. Let me state that my main goal with discipline is to eliminate problems with the rules and procedures set up in my classroom. I will also contact parents at the beginning of any major discipline issue. My goal is to keep each student in my classroom at all times without writing referrals to administration. Referrals are the last resort only when I have exhausted all other options.
RULES: My rules are simple and few. These rules are designed to maintain a safe and comfortable class atmosphere where every student feels safe taking risks in learning.
1) Come to class on time and prepared. Students will be required to be in my classroom before the tardy bell rings or they will be counted tardy. I will also closely follow the 10-10 rule which states no student is allowed to leave the classroom for any reason in the first and last 10 minutes of class. Students have a passing period between classes in which they will be required to take care of restroom breaks. I generally will not let students out of class for the restroom, unless an emergency arises. This allows me to provide a safe environment for every student and make sure they are receiving the most instruction possible.
2.) Respect everyone at all times. I will under no circumstances tolerate bullying of any sort. This includes verbal, non-verbal, laughing, and picking on other students. If I witness this behavior, it will result in an automatic discipline referral. I cannot stress enough that it will not be tolerated. We will use many strategies within the classroom to bring about a safe and positive atmosphere where there is mutual respect between students and teachers.
3) Raise your hand to get up or talk during whole group instruction. This rule is very simple but very important in keeping a productive classroom. I want everyone in the class to feel secure in speaking, but I generally can only answer one student at a time.
4.) Listen and follow instructions. Listening and following instructions is the most important rule when it comes to success in 8th grade English. A perfect classroom is one where the students do the majority of the work. I will explain lessons in many different ways with different directions to follow. Students must listen so they can follow the instructions when completing the work.
CLASSROOM PROCEDURES: I require my class to operate very smoothly so students are always safe and we can get the most out of our instruction time together. These procedures are requirements in my class.
Entering the class:
We will be using the textbook as a scope and sequence guide for the TEKS that will be taught throughout the year. This textbook is aligned with the standards required for 8th grade English students in the state of Texas. Each student will have access to textbooks during class time only. We do not have enough textbooks to give each student. Students will take a Reading STAAR test later in the year to demonstrate their learning from the school year. Students will read a variety of texts and short stories from many different genres throughout the year. Students will also complete several writing assignments to enhance their understanding of what they read.
1st Six Weeks: Analyzing Fiction: Point of View, Plot, and Characterization
2nd Six Weeks: Analyzing Literary Nonfiction and Persuasive Texts
3rd Six Weeks: Analyzing Informational Text: Main Idea, Supporting Details
4th Six Weeks: Creating Connections Across Literary Texts: Poetry, Drama, Mythology
5th Six Weeks: Creating Connections Across Informational Texts/STAAR Prep and Review
6th Six Weeks: Producing Research/STAAR Prep and Review
TESTS AND BENCHMARKS
Once again, I cannot wait to begin this new school year, and I am so excited for the opportunity to know and grow with each one of my students this year, and continue the same success rate of students that pass the Reading STAAR. I will do everything in my power to reach every one of my students on their learning level, and I cannot do that without parent cooperation and support. Please read this syllabus carefully and ask any questions you may have. Summer is over, and I am so excited for this new school year! Thank you for everything you do. If you ever need to contact me with any questions and concerns, my email is the best way, I check it every day. email@example.com
Also, you can always call the school and leave a message for me and I will call you back as soon as possible. Thank you and let’s have a great year.
8th grade English