Language Arts Zavala

Mrs. Zavala's Mission Statement

I believe that children are interesting, capable individuals and each one has a tremendous potential for learning. I believe that my role is to help them feel safe, smart and supported in my classroom. I will work hard to instill in students their personal power and responsibility for achievement and tell them that their only failure is the failure to work hard. I will strive to remain excited about teaching and to stay in tune with the needs of my students. I will strive to maintain a sense of humor. I will make a point to get to know each student and make personal contact with each student every day. I will help students to make personal goals and help them to reach them by having high expectations. I won't compare any student with others, but will appreciate each student's uniqueness.

All year, students should be reading 20-30+ min. EVERY NIGHT. They should be reading even more if they struggle a bit with reading. The important thing is for students to have books that are at the correct level (comfortable to read) and interesting to the student.

During the school year students will be looking at both fiction and non-fiction texts - short stories, articles, and novels/books. Students will be looking for theme/central idea of the text and how it is conveyed through details in the text. They will also need to be able to cite evidence from the text when writing so should read certail materials more than once and, if possible, mark the text (focus on claims and evidence).

Students should also be able to write or re-tell verbally a summary of what they read.
During the 2nd and 3rd 6 weeks (semester 1) students will be working on writing informative/explantory texts examining a topic, conveying ideas, concepts and information through selection of relevant facts and placing them in a logical order (organization).

Graded areas for writing include:
Hook/Introduction (W.2a)
Topic sentence and relevant details/elaboration (W.2b)
Conclusion/final thought (W.2f)

Students are still expected to practice proper conventions (spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar) and this will be graded as well. 
During the school year students will be working on both reading and writing skills. Students are expected to complete a book report each 6 weeks (Standard RL/RI.10)

All year, students should be reading at home 20-30+ min. a night EVERY night, more if they struggle with reading. Students should be reading books that are at their level and of interest to them. Students will also be writing routinely for homework (see attachment) and should be writing most Mondays through Thursdays 3/4 of a page on a specific topic, or other pre-arranged topics. This daily homework completion results in a weekly homework grade (Standard W.10).

Reading skills include citing evidence from the text to support analysis of what the text says both explicitly and from inferences.

Students will continue to use context clues to determine meaning of unknown words and phrases, including figurative language. 

After Winter Break, students will be analyzing how two or more authors who are writing about the same topic, present their information in different ways with different evidence and/or interpretations of facts. 

Writing Skills covered this period include conducting short research projects to answer an essential question, using several sources and generating additional questions for  further research/investigation.

After Winter Break, students will introduce claims (ideas/issues), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims and organize reasons and evidence logically.