8th Grade English & Honors English Syllabus

    Mrs DeNeal Svatek Bethke


                Welcome to 8th grade English!  The 8th grade English and Honors English courses at Industrial Jr. High are rigorous and cover many areas of learning.  It is important that we stay in contact with one another so your child may have a successful school year.


    I can be reached at the school during my conference from 9-9:30am by calling the school at 284-3326 EX 1303, or my email address is dbethke@industrialisd.org.


    Class Rules:


    1. Follow all school rules.
    2. Be prepared for class; this includes having a pen or pencil, homework, materials, novels, and library books.
    3. Respect others and always raise your hand before speaking.
    4. Stay on task at all times.
    5. No gum, candy, or drinks (water is allowed).
    6. Be in your seat at the bell.


    Areas of learning to be addressed this year:

    1. Literature: We will use the 8th grade Literature (Holt McDougal) textbook periodically. Students will be responsible for reading several different stories in class/ at home. Novels will also be part of the curriculum. Within each story, several literary elements will be reviewed or introduced: style, foreshadowing, flashback, symbolism, theme, plot diagramming, personification, characterization, irony, conflict, metaphor, allusion, etc... The novels I might use this year: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, and Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen,The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Old Yeller by Fred Gipson.
    2. A.R. Reading (60% MAJOR TEST grade): For the 8th grade English and Honors English classes, each student must earn 10 points by the given due dates: 


    October 4th            November 15th             January 24th              March 7th           April 25th          


    No late work is accepted on long range work.  Therefore, the due date is the cut-off day and whatever the point total is at that time is the grade earned.  


    The AR grading scale: 

    10 points= 100, 9 points= 90, 8 points= 80, 7 points= 70, 6 points= 60,

    5 points= 50, 4 points= 40, 3 points= 30, 2 points = 20, 1 point = 10, 0 points =0. 


    1. Lone Star Reading Requirements: The 8th grade Honors are required to read and pass at least FIVE Lone Star Award Books.  The student must AR test and pass with a 70%+.  The due date to complete the FIVE books is March 2019.  The books also count as a major test grade.  In order to attend the Lone Star Party, Regular English students must read and pass FIVE Lone Star AR tests; Honors students must read and pass SEVEN Lone Star AR tests.  Plan ahead, and check the public library for copies since the books are in high demand.


    1. DOL (Daily Oral Language): Students will record sentences from Monday – Friday in their DOL spirals.  Expect a DOL Check every so often for a daily grade.  Students will have DOL Quizzes throughout the year.  The quiz will consist of old and new sentences.  The quiz will count as a test grade (60%). 


    1. Spelling: A quiz will be given every other TUESDAY during the first semester only.  Words will be given to students at the start of school.  Not much class time will be spent on these words, so please study at home (especially on Monday nights).  The quiz is a test grade (60%).  The list of words can be found on my on-line lesson plans.  


    6.Vocabulary: Vocabulary TESTS will be administered throughout the year and will count as a major grade (60%).  We will spend some class time on these terms as well as create a study device for them to use. The list of words can be found on my on-line lesson plans.


    1. Journal Writing and Poetry: Assignments will happen on a varied basis. 


    1. Grammar: Sentence types, fragments, run-ons, subject-verb agreement, parts of a speech, etc... will be introduced through textbook lessons and writing assignments. Grammar will be addressed through Daily Oral Language, Daily Oral Grammar, the Texas Write Source and Writing and Grammar textbooks.


    1. Writing: The main focus will be working with students to write creative narrative stories and expository essays. They will learn to incorporate clever writing elements as well as learn to edit and self-correct their papers using ratiocination, elaboration, imagery, literary elements, and descriptive words. Students will also learn to write engaging introductions and conclusions to their stories.


    1. Reminder app: To receive messages about homework, tests, etc… text @dsb79 to 81010. Instructions will be sent home with your child the first day of school.


    District Grading Policy:


    Daily Work= 40%

    (daily lessons, DOL, grammar, reading, etc...)


    Major Work= 60%

    (AR Points, Vocabulary, spelling tests, end of book exams, grammar, projects, research, etc…)


    Late Work:

    See Student Handbook



    See Student Handbook


    Please return this ENTIRE page:





    Syllabus Approval Page:

    Please sign and return this page.  The signature indicates that you have read, understand, and support the policies put forth in the 8th grade English and Honors English syllabus.



    ___________________________    __________________    _____________________________________

                Parent signature                             date                           email address


    _______________________________________     _______________________________

                       Student signature                                                      date


    I’m looking forward to a great year!








    Video permission request:




    There may be a couple of videos shown this year that blend well with our English curriculum.  However, there may be some curse words or mild scenes of violence that are used throughout the movie.  Most movies we will watch are rated PG or PG 13, and if not for the language or violence, it would be the perfect movie!  Because of the content, I must ask of your permission for your child to view these movies.  If you choose for him or her not to see the movie, then I will give an extended lesson that he or she may work on in the library during the one/two days we watch the movie.



    Possible Movies/short flims: Stargirl, Freak the Mighty, The Paper Clip Project, The Wave, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Devil’s Arithmetic, The Giver, and possible others or substitutions.





    Please give your initials:


    __________ Yes, I will allow my child to watch movies connected to our curriculum.


    __________ No, my child will not be allowed to watch movies connected to our curriculum.