October 6, 2023


Dear I.S. 73 Families,

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year!  Our goal in English Language Arts (ELA) is to help students develop vital reading, writing and communication skills, as well as to foster a love of literature! Success in ELA Class depends on developing skills in the areas of reading, writing and discussion. Throughout the year students will engage in the following:

  • Read, write, and discuss unit texts around a theme and essential question
  • Short and long reads connected to the unit themes, including Book Clubs
  • Use of the Fiction and Nonfiction Notice and Notice Signposts
  • Make connections to explore Social Emotional Learning by discussing how the topic is relevant to real life


At the end of each marking period, students will receive a numerical grade as well as cumulative numerical final grade in June.  The final grade will be an overall average of each marking period. Students in grades 6-8 will be graded according to the following categories: Portfolios & Writing Pieces (30%), Classwork & Participation (35%), Tests & Quizzes (25%), and

Homework (10%).


Portfolios & Writing Pieces: The ELA Portfolio will contain the students’ formal writing pieces, including organizers, drafts, and revised copies, as well as goal sheets, and exams.  Students will be required to maintain their portfolios in a neat and organized manner, including a table of contents that lists all documents contained in the portfolio.

Writing is a process and we teach students to develop effective writing habits and skills by providing specific feedback throughout the planning, drafting and revising process.  As part of their work in ELA, teachers provide specific feedback and students are expected to incorporate the feedback in their next phase of writing. Rubrics will be used to assess the multiple components of each writing task and will determine the overall task grade.

Classwork/Participation 35%: Participation is one of the most important ways a student can grow in the ELA classroom.  Student participation in academic discussions will help to develop critical thinking and communication skills, as well as create a rigorous and engaging learning environment.  In ELA class, the work students complete and the discussions they engage in are two important ways to show their learning and progress. Other forms of participation include student to teacher discourse, presenting and sharing work, whole class discussions, attendance and lateness.  The work that students complete in class enable teachers to plan for and provide support based on the needs of individual students.


Tests and Quizzes 25%: Tests and Quizzes will be 25% of each marking period grade.  Tests will consist of End of Unit Tests to assess the standards-based skills which are taught throughout the unit of study.  Quizzes are assigned at teacher discretion.  All tests and quizzes will be announced to students no later than a week in advance.


Homework 10%: All homework assignments are expected to be handed in on the day it is due. Homework will consist of work to review the day’s lesson, reinforce previous knowledge, and/or prepare for next day’s lesson.  In addition, in ELA it is always expected that students read for at least 30 minutes after school and record their reading in reading log.  In order to develop reading stamina, it is suggested that students slowly increase the number of minutes spent reading daily.


All students in District 24 will take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP Growth) Reading Assessment three times per year in order to measure Lexile levels and growth.  These assessments also provide teachers with valuable information about student progress on specific standards and skills. With this data, we also identify students who need additional screening and potential reading intervention programs. 


We look forward to our on-going partnership as we all work toward the goal of growth and success in ELA!



G. Elefther-Jerez