IS 73   English Language Arts Department Course Requirements



Our goal in ELA is to help students develop vital reading, writing and communication skills, as well as to foster a love of literature! Students in grades 6-8 must meet the following requirements for successful completion of the English Language Arts Curriculum:


For each thematic unit of study in ELA, students complete 2-3 Formal Writing Assessments. These writing assessments are used to showcase students’ understanding of the unit texts, concepts and themes, as well as to determine quarterly writing goals. These writing assessments are part of the student’s ELA portfolio, which comprises 30% of each marking period grade.


At the beginning of each unit of study in ELA, all students complete a multiple choice reading pre-assessment. Data from each unit pre-assessment is used to establish an individual reading goal for the unit.


At the culmination of each ELA unit of study, all students complete a multiple choice post- assessment. Data from each unit post-assessment is used to measure growth and to determine whether or not students have met their individual reading goal for the unit. Quizzes are given at teacher discretion throughout each unit of study. Tests and quizzes comprise 25% of each marking period grade.


Homework consists of 10% of each ELA marking period grade. All homework assignments are expected to be handed in on the day they are due. Homework will consist of work to review the day’s lesson, reinforce previous knowledge, and/or prepare for the next day’s lesson. In addition, in ELA it is always expected that students read a minimum of 30 minutes after school. In order to build reading stamina, students should increase independent reading time throughout the school year.


Classwork & Participation comprises 35% of each marking period grade. All students are expected to come to class prepared to work and participate in classroom activities and discussions. Participation and classwork will be based on how a student participates in class through use of teachers’ feedback, engaging in presentations, student to student discussions, student to teacher discussions, and whole-class discussions. Teachers and students will create and utilize higher level thinking questions to guide their work and discussions about ELA topics and texts.


Category/ Component

Percentage of ELA Grade

Classwork & Participation

35 %

Writing/ Portfolios

30 %

Core Unit Assessments

25 %


10 %