My school is a small school with only one to two classes per grade level. My 8th grade homeroom students will spend 3 hours in our room every day and my other classes of 7th and 8th grade will be with me for 90 minutes! During this time, we'll be focusing on reading, writing and discussion strategies that will make our students successful in high school. Our 8th grade students end up attending selective, private and public high schools all over the city of Chicago. Many of them earn scholarships!
To start of our 8th grade year, students will be engaging in an author study. This means they will be taking our 7th grade work together to the next level by studying authors' craft moves over the course of multiple shorts stories and novels. This moves from studying characterization in one text to investigating characterization moves across multiple texts. These novels are all fiction texts by authors who contributed to the short story anthologies we will read together as a class.
During this unit, students will work in partnerships reading novels on their "just right" level to complete an author study.
Each of these books is hand chosen to challenge students appropriately and to be representative of our students diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our theme for the year is "Windows, Mirrors, and Glass Sliding Doors" because we want to offer a library of books that give students a chance to see themselves, to see each other and to explore cultures they might not understand yet.
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