• Welcome to the Grades 7 English Language Arts page for students enrolled in ELA classes with Mr. Abrams! 
    As technology is taking on an ever increasing role in both life and education, your child will have his/her own laptop device this year and will make use of it regularly throughout the year.  While that is so, much of what we read and write in class will still be on good old-fashioned paper. 

    One of the best things about this tech initiative though, will be an ever increasing ability for students to access course materials when absent or if they have lost copies of materials handed out in class.  Many regular items such as Vocabulary Lists will be available to students 24/7 through their Schoology Accounts. 

    GRADE PORTAL:  If you have not already done so, you can access the Grade Portal from the main Middle School web page.  Call the middle school office if you need to acquire or re-acquire a log-on code.  Parents are welcome to, and encouraged to, log on to the portal to check their child's progress.  But, even more important, I highly recommend students have the log-in information as well, as this tool is best used by KIDS in so that they can learn to monitor their grades and be proactive about issues they find with them.
    GRADE POLICY: For most homework and written responses the minimum grade I will award is a 31 if the assignment was attempted or at least partially done.  A 30 will be entered for any such assignment that was not done at all, not turned in, etc.  Think of a 30 as being the equivalent of a zero/not turned in.  Tests and quizzes will be still graded normally; a student scoring a 15 will earn exactly that. 

    Some late assignments will not be eligible for credit, and others will receive partial credit only.  For certain though, students should not be arriving on the last couple days of a quarter to make up multiple assignments unless the assignments are extremely recent.  Stay on top of your grades!

    GRADE CATEGORIES: There will be FOUR grading categories this year, each of which will count for 25% of your overall average.  Due to technological constraints, the apparent category you see on the grade portal might not make sense.  Retain and understand the following:

    1.   Anything labeled as “TEST” in the portal will actually be a Vocabulary Grade.  These will be Homework Checks, Quiz Grades, Review Activity Grades and Unit Tests.  All of these vocabulary grades will funnel into the “TEST” category and will be worth, as a group 25% of your average.

    2.   Anything labeled as “QUIZ” will be a class activity grade.  This is a catch all category that most all in class activity grades will funnel into and will, collectively, be worth 25% of your average. 

    3.   The “PROJECT” category is basically correctly labeled.  This will be for larger, long term assignments, and will collectively be worth 25%.  You will usually only see one or two of these grades per quarter.

    4.   The category “HOMEWORK” will be a participation grade, worth 25% of your average.  This is a grade assigned by your teacher based on, preparedness for class with materials, the degree to which you pay attention to instruction, the degree to which you work well in groups, and your overall respectfulness to the instructors and students within the class.  



    Students that see a grade that is potentially incorrect in the grade portal should first and foremost see me in person to discuss the grade.  If it's a mistake, we'll get it fixed immediately.  If it's not, I can discuss why with the student at that time.  If there are still questions after that, parents are certainly invited to call or email me to discuss the issue.  This teaches children to be accountable for themselves, and the vast majority of the time these are easily fixed, very minor issues.

    NINTH PERIOD:   Students are expected to make use of ninth period to rectify failing or poor course averages as best as can be accommodated by their teachers.

    Vacations Taken Within the School Year:

    Upon request, I can and will provide for students any work that I have available for completion while on vacation.  Keep a few things in mind...

    1.  I will likely not be able to send ALL the work you will miss with you.
    2.  You are 100% expected to complete any work I take the time to gather and send along.

    Outside Reading:

    Students are expected to read about 120 minutes a week "recreationally."  This means they will have a great deal of latitude regarding what they choose to read but whatever they wish to read MUST BE APPROVED BY THEIR PARENT(S) ahead of time.  Each student will be expected to keep a list of books he or she has read for the year and should be able to make that list available to me upon request.  Students should read narrative works generally, but are free to read biographies & autobiographies in addition to fiction.   Please note that… 

    1.  The book must be approved by a parent prior to the student starting it.

    2.  The books should generally be narrative in nature.  Fiction, Biographies & Autobiographies are  good examples.  Therefore, things like Almanacs, How To books, and such are not appropriate for this.   
    3.   Books read for this project should generally be being read for the FIRST TIME.  Try not re-read books previously read either for leisure OR in a classroom.  Parents, if you see your child picking up a book for the third time in hopes of counting it toward this year's ELA reading, please give your child a friendly reminder regarding this policy.
    4.   Books must be grade level appropriate.  We have moved beyond Goosebumps by Seventh Grade.  If you have doubt over whether a book is high enough level, check the inside cover for the RL and/or bring it in for me to look at.


    General Classroom Rules:


    1. Do not be disruptive to instruction.

    2. Keep bathroom visits during class to a minimum.  These should be rare. 

    3. Bring what you are required to for class...   pen, pencil, ELA binder (including loose-leaf paper), and a highlighter.  Once the bell rings to start class, what is in your locker is no longer available to you.

    4. Meet deadlines!  If there are special circumstances contributing to your being late with an assignment you should get a parent note.  A special circumstance WOULD be, for example, a death in the family.  A special circumstance would NOT be an aunt's birthday party. 

    5. Please do not come around at the five week or quarter ending point and try to hand in a pile of back work or to ask for extra credit.  While no one is perfect, in general you should be turning in your work on time throughout the marking period. 


    Hopefully, you will agree that these rules are rooted very much in common sense.  Do your work on time, be responsible for your academics and your behavior, and things will go quite well for you all year!