Hello! My name is Ms. Martin! I earned my Bachelors of Arts in English from The College of New Jersey, my Master of Arts in English Language and Literatures from University of Maryland at College Park, and my Master of Arts in Teaching from Montclair State University. I’m looking forward to another great year at Woodcliff Middle School!
I expect that students will: (1) listen (to me, to Ms. Blackinton, and to the student currently speaking; (2) make responsible choices (choosing to focus on ELA, choosing to socialize later, and choosing to try); and (3) demonstrate respect (for our time together and for others).
Reading: At the conclusion of each unit, students complete a unit test. Unit tests include multiple choice questions and brief essays. These questions and essays require students to demonstrate their mastery of the reading and analytical skills practiced over the course of a given unit. Unit tests are generally worth approximately 100 points.
Writing: At the conclusion of each unit, students will compose a significant writing piece. Writing pieces will be assessed with an individualized rubric that outlines the skills that students should demonstrate (and students always have access to the rubric prior to the submission of their writing pieces). Writing pieces are generally worth approximately 100 points.
Grammar: Each month, students are responsible for practicing and achieving a minimum of 85% on given sets of IXL skills. For each skill that students complete with a minimum of 85%, they earn one completion point in the grade book. In the final week of each month, students complete a grammar quiz in which they demonstrate their mastery of the assigned skills; each skill on the quiz is worth two points. For example, I assign students 12 skills for the month of September. Therefore, when they achieve a minimum of 85% on IXL for all 12 skills, they earn 12 points in the gradebook, and the corresponding quiz is worth 24 points.
Independent Reading: Students are responsible for bringing a book of their choice to class every day (they will have a brief period of time to read almost every day). The only requirement is that the book must challenge them in some way–perhaps students choose to read about a new-to-them topic or try a new-to-them genre. Alternatively, they may choose to challenge themselves with longer books or books with higher lexile levels. When students read independently in class, they are responsible for logging their page numbers and composing brief, thoughtful responses to what they read (three responses per month). Students perform a self-assessment at the conclusion of each month, earning up to 20 points.
Although I do not assign a great deal of homework, I always give several days’ notice for the completion of any homework assignment. Homework is generally worth a few points in the gradebook (for example, if students are required to read a chapter in the class novel for homework, they will likely complete a 5-point reading quiz on the due date). Please note that, although students will have brief periods of time to practice IXL skills in class, they will likely have to complete at least some of the skills at home.