English Department Grade 7 & ELD Program

This is my second year teaching at Le Conte Middle School. This is a very special job to me because it is where I completed my student teaching with USC, not to mention I live in the area and consider myself to be apart of this community. I have lived in the Hollywood area since I first moved here to finish film school back in 2014. After I graduated I worked at Sony for a short time, before quitting to find a more meaningful career. I decided to get my Masters in teaching from USC Rossier and graduated class of 2020.
It was while I was in school for my second degree that I met my husband while working at a local coffee shop. I am very blessed to have made a life for myself out here in this overwhelming metropolis, it was like finding a needle in a haystack. I changed my name from Ms. Kroll to Mrs. Chavez :) During the pandemic we adopted our first pet, a polydactyl Siamese Mix named Mia. We spend our free time discovering all the great food and pizza places in LA and are welcoming our first baby this summer!
Course Description:
English Language Arts is designed to provide students with the skills and content
knowledge to transition from the process of learning to read to the more advanced
processes of reading to learn. Students will build academic vocabulary, in oral and
written forms, and independent reading skills to significantly improve reading
comprehension and vocabulary. An increased familiarity with models of good writing
and the conventions of writing and spelling will be developed in order to apprentice
students in building proficiency in the California English-Language Arts Standards for
seventh grade. Seventh grade students are expected to continue to develop strategies
for organizing and giving focus to their writing with an increased emphasis on the
documentation of support and extension of organizational strategies. Students are
expected to write texts of between 500 and 700 words in the form of responses to
literature, research reports, persuasive compositions, and summaries.

The curriculum is organized into four instructional Units: Narrative, Research/ Exposition,
Response to Literature/Text, and Persuasion.● During UNIT 1: the narrative component, students will read and analyze works that
will allow them to explore how events advance the plot, how events explain
past/present actions or foreshadow future actions, and how a character’s thoughts,
words, speech patterns, and actions reveal characterization.
● During UNIT 2: the research/exposition component, students will learn how to identify
and trace the development of an author’s argument, write reports that use a formal
research process, and deliver persuasive oral presentations that employ
well-articulated evidence.
● During UNIT 3: the response to literature/text component, students will read a variety
of texts, analyze characterization in various works, identify recurring themes across
works, and write extended responses to literature based on developed
interpretations that use support for statements and claims.
● During UNIT 4: the persuasion component, students will develop skills used to identify,
evaluate, and analyze the credibility, accuracy, and efficacy of an author’s
argument, point of view, and perspective while noting instances of bias and
stereotyping. These elements will be apprenticed and applied in the classroom for
students to construct successful arguments of their own.
Course Materials:
● StudySync McGraw Hill Textbook is available digitally in Schoology
● Selected Works: Short Stories, Essays, Poetry, Novels, Informational Texts, and Media
● Supplemental Resources: Renaissance Learning, Collections, Reading Horizons, IXL,
Newsela, Read Theory, and BrainPop!
● Composition Notebook
● Chromebook with working charger
● Pencils with erasers/Red Pen/Highlighter
● Folder with pockets
*Please let me know if you have any trouble accessing the required materials for this class, and I
can provide what you need from Le Conte school supplies.
1. Students will adopt a Growth Mindset “I am not there yet, but I can improve!” and be
allowed retakes to show improvement on assignments/assessments/tests or quizzes
2. Students will participate in academic conversations
3. Students will complete reading, writing, listening and speaking
4. Students will honor teacher, peers, and class rules
5. Students will take responsibility for any missing assignments or
tests during their absences. All materials are on Schoology,
students are expected to turn in work online even if absent.
Class Rules:
1. Students MUST be on time with required materials, and charged Chromebooks; 4
or more unexcused tardies or class unpreparedness will result in an (U) in
2. Students will remain seated in assigned seats at all times
3. Students will use respectful language at all times The Golden Rule: treat others
how you want to be treated!
4. Students will be respectful of others by actively listening when someone is
speaking, and must raise their hand to be called on to share in class
5. Students will maintain safe behaviors such as keep their hands to themselves and
off other students or property
6. Students will not be allowed to use phones during class
7. Students will not be allowed to wear hoods, hats or headphones during class
8. Students will not be allowed to eat in class, but may have water - no open juice,
soda, or energy drinks allowed in the classroom.
9. Students will practice good hygiene, keep a clean and respectful work area:
You will be responsible for any spills/ mess/trash/defacement of tables clean up
you create
10. Students will have integrity in their work habits. There is absolutely zero tolerance
for any form of cheating or copying. Cheating will result in a zero for
assignment/quiz/test. Any copied work results in a zero, both students
(copied/copier). Parents will be notified of a cheating incident.
*A NOTE ON CONSEQUENCES*: Students will receive a verbal warning for first violating
any of the rules along with a phone call home, followed by a referral to Student Support
Services Staff or meeting with Intervention Counselor and parents for repeated offenses
- if rules are consistently broken, students may face loss of privileges, confiscated
personal items, or be asked to leave the class.
Academic Focus: California Common Core State Standards
*Note*: The total number of Learning targets are subject to change and are not
sequential. They may be rearranged throughout the school year to meet the
specific learning needs of the class.
Unit1: Narrative
I can identify events that advance the plot and determine how
each event explains past or present action(s) or foreshadows
future action(s).
Unit1: Narrative
Unit3:Response to Lit.
I can analyze characterization as shown through a character's
thoughts, words, speech patterns, and actions; the narrator's
description; and the thoughts, words, and actions of other
Unit3:Response to Lit.
I can identify and analyze recurring themes across works (e.g., the
value of bravery, loyalty, and friendship; the effects of loneliness).
Unit2: Research
Unit3:Response to Lit.
I can identify and trace the development of an author's argument,
point of view, or perspective in text.
Unit2: Research
Unit4: Persuasion
I can assess the adequacy, accuracy, and appropriateness of the
author's evidence to support claims and assertions, noting
instances of bias and stereotyping.
Unit1: Narrative
I can write fictional or autobiographical narratives:
a. Develop a standard plot line (having a beginning, conflict, rising
action, climax, and denouement) and point of view.
b. Develop complex major and minor characters and a definite
c. Use a range of appropriate strategies (e.g., dialogue; suspense;
naming of specific narrative action, including movement, gestures,
and expressions).
Unit2: Research CCSS
I can identify topics; ask and evaluate questions; and develop
ideas leading to inquiry, investigation, and research.
Unit2: Research CCSS.
I can write research reports:
a. Pose relevant and tightly drawn questions about the topic.
b. Convey clear and accurate perspectives on the subject.
c. Include evidence compiled through the formal research process
(e.g., use of a card catalog, Reader's Guide to Periodical
Literature, a computer catalog, magazines, newspapers,
d. Document reference sources by means of footnotes and a
Unit3: Response to Lit. CCSS.
I can write responses to literature:
a. Develop interpretations exhibiting careful reading,
understanding, and insight.
b. Organize interpretations around several clear ideas, premises, or
images from the literary work.
c. Justify interpretations through sustained use of examples and
textual evidence.
Unit4: Persuasion CCSS.
I can write persuasive compositions:
a. State a clear position or perspective in support of a proposition
or proposal.
b. Describe the points in support of the proposition, employing
well-articulated evidence.
c. Anticipate and address reader concerns and counterarguments.
LT-8 I can explain what I understand about the topic being
LT-9 I can present information with supporting evidence
and cite resources during classroom discussions.
LT-10 I can spell correctly and use correct grammar and
usage when writing and speaking.
LT-11 I can explain how words and phrases are used in
different contexts and for different purposes.
Course Structure and Student Evaluation -
Mastery Learning and Grading Approach to Learning
I will be using a grading system known as Mastery Grading and Learning (MLG). The
benefits of using this standard-base grading system is that grades are based on the
level of mastery of concepts and skills. Students will receive support through consistent
feedback by the teacher on their assignments/quizzes/assessments, assignments based
on rubrics and how to improve their level of mastery, and given multiple
opportunities/retakes to apply new learning to show mastery.
Grading Practices: The 4-point scale will be used as a general guide to grade students’
progress towards meeting learning goals. A score of proficiency will be based on
multiple opportunities to apply learning goals on a specific task. Using the 4-point scale
to show overall/current proficiency in each learning goal. For example, if you score a
2,2,3,2 then base on your consistency and recent performance you would earn a 2.
Student is within the approaching level for that specific learning target. The grade will
reflect the student’s individual growth in meeting the learning goal for that reporting
period. In each grading period, about 2-3 learning targets will be taught and graded.
Mastery Grading Scale:
The learner demonstrated understanding and is able to apply the specific
knowledge and skills with fluency to any task.
The learner has demonstrated understanding of the specific knowledge and skills.
The learner has demonstrated a partial understanding of specific knowledge of
skills and approaching proficiency.
The learner has provided evidence for assessment but does not yet
demonstrate understanding for specific knowledge and skills.
No Evidence
The learner has not provided sufficient evidence to assess proficiency.
Final Grade Calculation
A final grade will be shown as a letter grade and the following rubric will be used to
determine the level of growth students made in learning grade-level standards through
learning goals. The final grade will include students’ mastery level in acquiring the 2 or 3
learning target for that reporting period. For example, in order to receive a (B) in the
class, the student should have (3) proficient in overall scores for two learning targets
and a (2) approaching for the third learning target.
Final Grading Scale:
A Demonstrates mastery level (4) in two or more of the learning targets and nothing
lower than proficiency level (3).
B Demonstrates proficient level (3) in two or more the learning targets, and
nothing lower than approaching level (2).
C Demonstrates approaching level (2) in all of the learning targets.
D Demonstrates beginning level (1) in at least one of the learning targets, and
nothing lower than beginning level (1).
F Student has not provided any evidence for a higher grade.
Work Habits and Cooperation: An excellent mark (E) is representative of a student
being consistently on task; a satisfactory (S) mark represents a student being off-task
occasionally, and an unsatisfactory (U) mark, represents a student that is often off task.
*Work Habits/Cooperation will not be part of the academic grade.
▪ Note: A score of zero will not be entered in the grade book. Students will see
(M) missing for work not turned in or (I) incomplete for partial work turned in.
Students will have an opportunity to complete the work by the end of the
semester. At the end of the semester, if the work has not been completed, the
(M) will change into a zero which can drop your grade significantly, please be
sure to communicate with your Teacher about missing work.
Attendance: Attendance is EXTREMELY important for achieving success in this class and
SBAC Testing. Please be sure to communicate with the Teacher if you know you will be
absent ahead of time. You will be expected to turn in any work due the day you missed
on Schoology, if available. Tests, in class assignments or assessments will have to be
made up in a timely manner if missed.
I have read and understand the grading and class