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Zarate, Ms. Cheryl » 8th Grade English

8th Grade English

English/Language Arts 8



English/Language Arts 8 is taught using the California Common Core State Standards published by the California Department of Education.  These standards are divided into parts:

  • Reading Literary Text
  • Reading Informational Texts
  • Writing
  • Speaking/Listening
  • Language

The standards will be taught in conjunction with each other; no one standard will be taught in isolation.  The reason for this is because language is used as whole, never in just parts.

Therefore, in every class period, students will be reading, writing, speaking, and listening using standard academic English.

As we are an ESM school, our readings and discussions will be based on but not limited to environmental justice issues and the intersections of social justice.  We will also be reading and discussing content connected to your US history curriculum such as Native American, colonization of America, democracy, civil rights movement, etc. 

The year will be roughly divided into big units.  In each unit, students will be reading model texts, discussing their thoughts about the texts with others in small groups, as well as participating in whole class discussions.  They will write about their understanding and interpretation of the texts.  They are also expected to be able to connect the text they read to other texts and to real life.

  1. August = Launching into Readers and Writers Workshop
  2. September - Mid-October = Narrative Unit
  3. Mid-October - January = Argumentative/Persuasive 
  4. February - May = Respond to Literary text (essays, poems, novels, nonfiction, etc) 
  5. May - June = Informative/Explanatory

Potential plan of action for block scheduling







About 37 minutes 

-read alouds

-mindfulness mondays

-book talks

Period 1 H (97 minutes)

Period 5 (88 minutes)

Period 7 (88 minutes) 

Reading workshop

Period 2 H (97 minutes)

Period 8 (88 minutes) 

Reading workshop 

Period 1H (97 minutes) 

Period 5 (88 minutes)

Period 7(88 minutes)

Writing workshop 

Period 2 H (97 minutes) 

Period 8 (88 minutes)

Writing workshop 

What is reading and writing workshop?

Reading and writing workshops are deliberately designed to offer a simple and predictable environment so that the teacher can focus on the complex work of observing students' progress and teaching into their needs.

  • Each session begins with a minilesson. Kids sit with a long-term partner while in the minilesson.
  • The minilesson ends with the kids being sent off to their own independent work.
  • As students work, the teacher confers with them and leads small groups.
  • Partway through independent work time, the teacher stands and delivers a mid-workshop teaching point.
  • The workshop ends with a share

Please have ipads ready and charged every day!

Flexibility, patience and grace are key to this new environment of learning.  We will be utilizing (but not limited to ) apps such as




Google drive 

School supplies:

  • Composition notebooks (I will provide) 
  • Pen or pencil
  • Loose leaf paper
  • Coloring materials - crayons/markers
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Teacher wish list:

  • Tissue
  • Swifer floor wet wipes
  • Anti-bacterial gel
  • Clorox wipes
  • Expo markers
  • Post it notes
  • Printer paper 

Grading student work:

Common Core ELA Standards (6-8) 

ELA learning targets (click this link)

Mastery Grading:

4- Mastery - A

3- Proficient - B


1- limited -D

0- Not yet/no evidence - F