• 8th Grade English Syllabus


    Mrs. Jennings


    Phone:  209.835.3053 x1101             Email: ajennings@jsdtracy.com

    Webpage: www.jeffersonschooldistrict.com


    Dear students, parents, and guardians,


    Welcome to 8th grade English! This year will stretch your mind and will challenge you to become an improved reader, writer, and critical thinker. There is much to accomplish this year, and I am confident that we will have fun during the process.  The following information will familiarize you with the requirements and expectations of our English class.

     Classroom Responsibilities and Expectations (Jefferson Creed)

    • Be Responsible
    • Do Your Best Each Day
    • Think Before You Speak
    • Put Others First
    • Avoid Conflict

    In accordance with the classroom policy, no hats or hoods are to be worn in class.


    1. Verbal warning
    2. Seating rearrangement
    3. Sent to alternate classroom with assigned task
    4. Teacher – student conference/detention if needed
    5. Parent contact
    6. Referral to office

    Note:  Severe disregard for school or classroom guidelines (i.e. fighting, profanity, defiance) will
               result in an automatic referral to the office.


    We will read short stories, poems, and informational texts that represent various genres and time periods from the adopted curriculum and other resources in addition to core pieces of literature.  As a class, we will analyze literary elements, story structure, and work towards meeting the state Common Core Reading Standards in Literature and Informational text for 8th grade.  Students are required to read an outside text nightly.  This is a book not related to in class reading and will/may apply to the Reader’s Workshop Activity.   


    We’ll be concentrating on three types of prose: narrative, explanatory/ informative, and argumentative. Students will be required to write narratives, comparative essays, technical documents, response to literature, research reports, and persuasive/argumentative essays; in addition to, vocabulary acquisition, conventions of Standard English, and Speaking/Listening Development. Students are required to maintain a Writer’s Notebook and submit a polished Piece of Choice monthly.  All writing will be saved.


    All assignments must meet the following criteria:

    • Be written legibly – Best drafts must be typed or written very neatly in pen, all papers must be in proper MLA format for English.
    • Include proper heading with student’s name (first and last), date, and period in the upper right hand corner and the class assignment in the upper left hand corner – papers with no names will not be graded.
    • Assignments turned in late will receive partial credit up to two days late.
    • Work that is illegible, sloppy, or improperly turned in will not be given full credit or may not receive credit at all.


    Students can expect nightly work, however, not always from every subject in core.  If there are no assignments due the following day, students should read, work on a writer’s workshop piece, add to their writing notebook, or work on a project with an upcoming deadline. (Waiting to the last minute to complete a project or writing piece will more than likely result in excessive homework time.) Students are expected to write down their assignments everyday in their agendas.  As a reminder, please check your child's agenda.  Every effort is made in the classroom to ensure that the students are writing down the assignments on a nightly basis. 

     Homework Hotline/Website

    Students have daily access to their assignments by calling the homework hotline.

    • Simply dial 835.3053 x1101 after 4pm.  You will hear the teacher recite the day’s assignments and/or special announcements


    If students are absent, it is their responsibility to find out what they missed and make up all assignments, quizzes, or tests.  Assignments can be acquired by calling a fellow student or checking the assignment binder.  If students need clarification, they may see me before or after school or at lunch.  If the absence prevents students from turning in assignments, they must turn it in on the day they return.  Students have as many days as they are absent to make up any missed work only if the absence is excused. If students miss a quiz or a test due to an absence, it must be made up within a week or the student will earn a zero.


    Grades can be accessed through Aeries (online). Progress reports will be sent home officially via the school; however, unofficial reports can be obtained from the teacher.

    Grading Categories and Percentages







    In-Class practice (skills/understanding)


    In-Class practice (skills/understanding)


    At home practice (skills/understanding)


    At home practice (skills/understanding)










    Grading Scale    

       100 - 92.45%    =  A

       92.44 - 89.45% =  A-

       89.44 - 87.45%  = B+ 

       87.44 - 82.45%  = B

       82.44 - 79.45%  = B-   

       79.44- 77.45%  = C+

       77.44 - 72.45%  = C

       72.44 - 69.45%  = C-

       69.44 - 67.45%  = D+

       67.44 - 62.45%  = D

       62.44 - 59.45 % = D-

       59.44 - 0          = F

    Academic Honesty

    Honest behavior is an expectation of all students.  Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated in my classroom and will result in a zero on the assignments and the student’s situation will be referred to the Principal. 

    Required Materials

    The student’s success depends upon their ability to come to class prepared. The following items are required:

    • Pencils and pens (Black/Blue, Red & Green ink)
    • Post -it notes
    • Hi-lighters
    • Silent Reading Book


    • 2 Composition Notebooks
    • Ear Buds
    • Glue, scissors, white board marker
    • Colored Pencils



    Questions or Concerns

    If students or parents have any questions regarding assignments or expectations of this year, I am available for clarification.  Email or call and I will respond as soon as I can. Please be patient as I may need to gather information before returning messages or may have previously scheduled meetings that prevent me from responding the same day.


     I look forward to spending a wonderful 8th grade year with your student.


    Andrea Jennings


    Classroom Donations



    • Kleenex
    • Post-its
    • Copy Paper
    • College Ruled Lined Paper
    • Glue Sticks
    • # 2 Pencils
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Disinfecting Wipes
    • 3 X 5 index cards
    • Pens (Red, Green, Blue, Black)