Joseph Le Conte Middle School
1316 N Bronson Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028
Dear Parents or Guardians,
I am Ms. Belay and I will be your child’s English, Literacy for Success and Ancient Civilizations teacher for the 2021/2022 school year. I am excited to work with you and your child this school year. The information that follows outlines my focused curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards which enables students to meet the standards for their grade level and prepare them for the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) scheduled towards the end of the school year. In addition, I explain course contents and grading, classroom and academic expectations and discipline policies for the three classes. Please review this information with your child. I am able and willing to talk with you during my 2nd and 8th period conference periods, via Zoom or telephone until further notice. I can also be reached via e-mail at email@example.com, through Class Dojo, Schoology and by calling Joseph Le Conte Middle School at (323) 308-1700.
Student will be evaluated through formal and informal assessments. These include examinations, oral and written work, classroom work, class participation, teacher evaluation as well as projects and homework (where relevant) for each of the subject matters. Classwork, tests, projects, homework and participation will be a certain percentage of a total letter grade per academic subject. In addition to letter grades, students will receive work habits and cooperation grades. The options for work habits and cooperation grades are “E” (excellent), “S” (satisfactory) and “U” (unsatisfactory). Students are expected to consistently turn in assigned work and participate in class in order to have a mark of “E” in work habits. Students are expected to follow classroom and school rules and expectations. Students are also expected to respect classroom and school property in order to receive a mark of “E” in cooperation. Anything less means there is room for improvement in work habits and cooperation. There are only work habits and cooperation grades given for Homeroom. Being on time and completing the assigned reading and activities impact work habits grades for Homeroom. I do not use a “traditional” grading scale. As a result, I need for students to complete projects and other standards-based assignments to gauge mastery of content. The letter grading scale will be:
A=80-100% B=79-60% C=59-40% D=39-20% F=19-0%
Homework, Classwork, Tests and other projects:
Each student will turn in work that is their own, on the date it is due. I grade students on classwork, homework, tests, quizzes, projects, participation and homework. Homework will be assigned per academic class Monday through Friday, or as needed, to reinforce concepts and lessons taught. Assignments are organized by weeks in Schoology folders. Schoology is a great resource for keeping track of assignments. All assignments will be graded on a ten-point scale dependent on the degree of completeness and accurateness. I expect 100% participation in assignments, discussions and group work. Unexpected circumstances happen, therefore I encourage students to make-up work missed as a result of an absence. However, at the end of a grading period, incomplete assignments will earn a “0” for that assignment, and remain that way until completed because of LAUSD grading demands. For safety reasons, all assignments will be accepted through Schoology. I will use LAUSD’s pacing plans and curriculum and instructional maps for each subject to schedule due dates for assignments.
School and Classroom Rules, Expectations/Procedures:
Please refer to the Student Handbook for a complete list of school rules and expectations that also apply to the classroom. The classroom rules and expectations are as followed:
1) Come to class on time and prepared to work. 2) Do NOT get out of your seat without permission. 3) Raise your hand before speaking. 4) Keep your hands to yourself (No horseplay or play fighting in class). 5) No eating or drinking in class. 6) Follow directions.
Behavior Policies: A positive, safe, respectful and nurturing classroom and school is a great place to be. I would like all students to have great success in my class and at Joseph Le Conte Middle School. In order for me to teach and for students to learn, we need an orderly classroom that is free of distraction and disruption. I expect everyone in room 105 to respect each other and school property. I encourage and reward positive behavior through verbal praise, phone calls/notes home, small treats and items as tokens of appreciation and other minor classroom and school wide privileges. If students consistently challenge school and classroom rules and expectation, they also choose the consequences. These consequences may include classroom discipline such as loss of students’ personal time during lunch or after school and yard clean-up duty. Students will also be referred to the Intervention and/or Counseling Office for behavior modification. If the problem persists, a parent conference will be schedule to discuss the problem and possible solutions.
I appreciate your cooperation and assistance in the year to come. When parents, teachers, students and the school community work together, we can insure that students are productive, successful, well adjusted and prepared for high school, college, career and life. I look forward to meeting with you during Open House and Parent Conferencing. Thank you for your time and support.
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aims to prepare students to be college and career ready. The focus of the CCSS is on close reading of complex texts, text-dependent questions and writing grounded in evidence from the text. Instruction in Ancient Civilizations is also based on the California History-Social Science Standards for grade 6. In this course, students will explore the ancient world from pre-historic people and their tools to the Fall of Rome.
Student will be able to:
-Compare and contrast the origin and development of African, Asian, European and Mesoamerican civilizations.
-Explain and demonstrate how geography influences the political, social, cultural and economic growth of a civilization.
Both primary and secondary sources, visual texts and various forms of technology will be used to allow students to access the content and curriculum. Students will work in pairs as well as groups to develop their listening and speaking skills.
All students have been assigned Impact California Social Studies: World History and Geography, Ancient Civilizations and an Inquiry Journal Workbook published by McGraw-Hill Education. The textbook is also available online and students have been instructed on how to access the online version of the textbook. The textbook needs to be covered. It is important that students not lose these materials since they will not receive a second copy. Textbooks should be covered and be kept from damage and writing. It is best that students have a binder with a section for History and/or Ancient Civilizations where they may place filler paper and important handouts. In addition, students should always have several pencils and pens and paper. If possible, please supply your student with colored pencils and a pencil sharpener with a barrel for pencil shavings. Students must bring devices assigned to them daily.
Student will be evaluated by examination, classroom work and class participation as well as projects and homework. Classroom participation is defined as active participation answering and asking questions relevant to the material being studied and the completion of dispatch activities (Warm-ups). Since students are enrolled in a magnet program, they will not earn a grade of “A” on the final report card if they do not complete all or many of the projects. The grade is an average. It is composed of about:
Tests and Quizzes: 30% (includes projects)
Homework will be assigned as deemed necessary by the teacher from Monday through Friday. If students have incomplete assignments, those need to be done at home. In Ancient Civilizations, students will have several projects they will work on independently, at home, with the conclusion of some units. These projects will require students to investigate aspects of the various civilizations we will study during the school year.
The Common Core State Standards aims to prepare students to be college and career ready. The Common Core Standards focus on close reading of complex texts, text dependent questions and writing grounded in evidence from the text. Instruction will be geared towards preparing students for the Smarter Balanced Instructional Assessment Blocks (IAB) throughout the year. There will be an end of the year or summative assessment, created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium or SBAC. Students will be exposed to various rigorous forms of literature such as informational and visual texts, short stories, novels and other sources of relevant literature. Students will write short paragraphs and longer essays. The Common Core State Standards require that students are competent writers. Explicit instruction and practice in grammar and writing, aligned to the Common Core Standards, will be taught to enable students to be competent writers. Students will be given ample opportunities to practice speaking and listening by working in pairs and groups.
All students have been assigned the required text, StudySync, published by McGraw Hill. StudySync is a thematic and literature units based program. There will be a hard copy version and a digital version of the program. Some components of the program require students to have an internet connection to access the curriculum. It is important that students not lose or misplace materials assigned to them as they will not receive replacements. The textbook, and all other necessary materials for the course, need to be brought to class when it meets. It is best that students have a binder with a section for English/Language Arts where they may place filler paper and important handouts. In addition, students should always have pencils and pens and paper.
Students will be evaluated through writing, assessments and other work done for homework and classwork. Participation will also be a factor in the grade each student earns. Classroom participation is defined as: active participation in classroom discussions by answering and asking questions relevant to the material being studied and active contribution and engagement in group activities. Since students are enrolled in a magnet program, they will not earn a grade of “A” for the course without completing writing assessments and end of unit projects. The grade is an average. It is composed of about:
Classwork: 50% (Writing and other work done in class)
Assessment: 25 %
I will assign homework, as necessary, to reinforce topics covered in class Monday through Friday. Assignments not completed in class may and will need to be completed at home. It is also important that students read books that interest them, at home, on a daily basis. We are fortunate to have Accelerated Reader (AR) at Joseph Le Conte Middle School. Students have been tested and given their AR level. Students are expected to read books at their level and take AR tests. The school’s library is a great resource for students where they may check out books at various times during the school day.
Literature for Success:
This is the first level of the Developing Readers and Writers Course (DRWC), which is an accelerated intervention program that addresses the needs of the students in grades 6 through 8 who have demonstrated delayed reading in the areas of decoding, encoding, fluency and comprehension. Students will be taught grammar, writing and regularly diagnose and practice on IXL. We will also be reading novels in class.
Students will be evaluated through writing, assessments and other work done mostly in class. Participation will also be a factor in the grade each student earns. Classroom participation is defined as: active participation in classroom discussions by answering and asking questions relevant to the material being studied and active contribution and engagement in group activities. The grade is an average. It is composed of about:
Classwork: 50% (Writing and other work done in class)
Assessment: 25 %