Mrs. Tortual's Syllabus

                                                                         Rosewood Middle School

                                                             8th Grade Language Arts


Teacher:  Mrs. Mary Tortual                                                                                                            


                  919-736-5050    ext. 3957                                                      


In 8th grade Language Arts, our focus will be to enhance the student’s level of reading comprehension.  We will challenge the students to read, write and create each and every day.  We will be writing according to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and developing our grammar and vocabulary skills in the process.

Language Arts                                                                        Novel Studies

  •       Unit 1- Fiction and Non-Fiction                                Novel:  That Was Then, This Is Now 

                                  Making Predictions                                                           by. S.E. Hinton                                    

                                  Author’s Purpose

  •       Unit 2- Short Stories                                                    Novel:  Fault in our Stars             (Girls Book Study)

                          Compare and Contrast                                                      by:  John Green

                          Making Inferences                                                        

  •       Unit 3- Types of Non-Fiction                                                  Touching Spirit Bear       (Boys Book Study)         

                          Main Idea                                                                             by: Ben Mikaelsen                                                 

                          Fact or Opinion                                                                                  

  •      Unit 4- Poetry                                                                              Explore poetry in music lyrics                                                        

                          Context Clues                                                                       


  •       Unit 5- Drama                                                                Play:  Mid Summer Night’s Dream

                          Draw Conclusions                                                       by:  William Shakespeare                                 


  •       Unit 6- Themes in American Stories                                        Novel:  Divergent                                 (

                          Summarize                               by: Veronica Roth                                                                              

                          Purpose for Reading                         


  •     Students will keep a Reading Notebook recording all reading throughout the year.


  •       Vocabulary and Grammar are on-going throughout the year.

Research Paper


  Students will be writing a 3-5 page formal research paper, MLA format, on a topic of their choice the 2nd and 3rd nine weeks of this year. This is an extremely in-depth project that will take the student through the brainstorming process, outline, notecards, works cited, rough draft, etc. 



Evaluation                                                                                                       Grading Scale:

Class work/Homework/Notebook…..…..………………..35%                     A = 90 - 100
Projects…………………………….……………………...35%                                   B = 80-89 

Test/Essays...………………………………………….......30%                                C = 70-79                                                                                                                                                                                      D = 60-69
                                                                                                         F = Below 60


We will follow the Rosewood Middle School attendance policy.  Students are responsible for securing assignments after a missed class.  Make up work and missed tests must be completed and turned in no later than five school days after the student’s return to class. Extra time will be given to students who miss more than three consecutive school days.  Students are tardy if they are not in their seat when the tardy bell rings.  The first tardy will result in a verbal warning and a parent phone call.  The second tardy will result in Teacher’s Detention, and a parent phone call.  The third tardy will result in an administrative referral and will also count as an absence from class. 

 Daily Participation/Tutoring

Unexcused absences can affect your grade as well as refusal to do work or being sent out of the classroom for disciplinary action.  Part of classroom participation depends on coming to class prepared.  If you do not come to class with the necessary supplies needed to succeed, you will be penalized.  That penalty will reflect in your grade.  Tutoring is available weekly before and after school by appointment.  Every student is encouraged to attend tutoring.


Students will need the following materials:

  1. One 1 ½ inch presentation binder w/ 8 tab dividers  
  2. Blue or black pens only…no pencil work will be accepted.  Pens will be provided if you don’t have one.
  3. Loose leaf paper- no stray edged papers will be accepted
  4. A personal dictionary (can be purchased at Dollar Tree for $1.00) A Thesaurus is highly recommended.
  5.  $20 Student fee which covers required Student Planner, Locker Rental, and DGP Workbook (Daily Grammar Practice).


Wish List:  Always appreciated, but not mandatory.

     Kleenex, Paper Towels, Clorox Wipes


Binders are to be kept by each student to include a copy of the course outline and classroom rules.  Binders will be required every day.  Binders are separated into 8 sections and are mandatory for the student’s successful participation in this class.


Novels will be assigned following the course outline.  We will be reading these novels in class and will have projects assigned throughout the reading of the novel.  There is only one classroom set of novels so students will not be permitted to take these novels home.  If your child wants a novel of their own, they may purchase one for themselves.


Students are responsible for their textbook and are required to bring it to class as directed by the teacher.  There is a board on the outside of the classroom door which tells students what books they need each day for class.  Students will not be allowed to share textbooks with a classmate.  No hall passes will be issued for students to get their textbook or other materials after class has started.  Any damages to the textbook will result in a fine for the student.

Due Dates

All assignments and projects are due on the dates indicated.  If a student is absent on a due date, bring the assignment to the instructor before school begins on the next day they return to school.  If a student is planning on going on a field trip on the day an assignment is due, it is the responsibility of the student to turn in the  assignment  before you go on the trip.  If a student comes to school late or leaves early on due dates, it is their responsibility to bring the assignment to me when they arrive or before they leave   It is the student’s responsibility to secure assignments from the teacher prior to leaving.  Please check with your instructor IN ADVANCE if you have problems accessing a computer. The day the assignment is due is not an acceptable time to notify the instructor or your concerns.  If you know you will be absent, emailing your assignment to your instructor by the due date is an acceptable alternative.

Classroom Rules

  1.  Respect

            -For self, others and property.

  2. Responsibility

            -Of ones actions, performance, and success.

  3. Rigor

        -Come to class prepared and ready to give 100% to your success.



                                                                                        Discipline Procedures

1st Offense:  Verbal Warning if Student is not adhering to classroom rules in any way.

2nd Offense:   Student sent to buddy room.

3rd Offense:  Parent contact, possible parent conference depending on the severity and frequency of the issue.

Chill Out:  Teachers discretion for major offenses such as blatant disrespect of teacher or fellow students. 


                                                                                        Classroom Procedures


All Classroom procedures will be discussed the first two weeks of class.  Students will be receiving a copy of all classroom procedures in class which should be kept in their binder.