Sierra Vista Junior High

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Welcome!

Department Chairperson - Stephanie Caneday
 
7th Grade Information
Welcome to Sierra Vista! Seventh grade marks a distinctive transition from elementary to secondary education. Although each teacher has his/her own specific teaching style, there are course objectives and standards that we all follow. Outlined below is a brief description of the objectives for 7th grade English.
 
Reading Comprehension: The 7th grade year marks a transition from learning to read to reading to learn. By the time students enter 7th grade they should have mastered reading aloud with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression. The focus in 7th grade reading materials is on expository rather than narrative text. Students will begin to develop reading skills for textbooks, magazines, newspapers, online information, instructional manuals, signs and workplace documents. Strategies for comprehending informational materials are focused on use and analysis of these documents and assessment of an author’s argument. It is necessary for students to read 1,000,000 words a year to achieve higher standards in these areas. Every student should read independently for enjoyment a minimum of 15 minutes each evening.
 
Writing: In 7th grade students are expected to continue to develop strategies for organizing and giving focus to their writing. Students are expected to write research reports and they will be instructed in all steps of the research process, from identifying topics to preparing bibliographies. Students will also learn how to access information in electronic as well as print sources. All student writing will be expected to be between 500-700 words.
 
Vocabulary: Development of vocabulary used in literary works is stressed along with idioms, analogies, metaphors and similes. Students will also continue to clarify word meanings through definition, examples, restatements and contrasts.
 
Oral Presentations: During the course of the year, students are asked to deliver oral presentations focusing on eye contact and delivery techniques. In 7th grade the focus of these oral deliveries is presentation of research and persuasive presentations.
 
Summer Reading: Sierra Vista encourages students to read during the summer! In order to promote literacy, Sierra Vista students are required to read at least two novels over the summer. This requirement is for both incoming 7th grade students and returning 8th grade students. Reading promotes greater reading comprehension, increased vocabulary, and better writing skills.
 
8th Grade Information
Welcome to our website! Eighth grade is an exciting year, filled with many opportunities for growth in and out of the classroom. Although each teacher has his/her own specific teaching style, there are course objectives and standards that we all follow. Outlined below is a brief description of the objectives for 8th grade English.
 
Reading Comprehension: Students should be able to identify the author's purpose for writing and draw conclusions based on what they've read. We focus also on the main idea in a piece of writing, cause and effect, inferences, plot development, themes and summarizing. In addition to short stories and novels (both fiction and non-fiction), we read poetry and plays and discuss the differences between genres. The Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools also suggests that we focus on different forms of expository writing such as consumer documents, directions, warranties, etc. Reading strengthens vocabulary, spelling, writing, and critical thinking skills. It is necessary for students to read 1,000,000 words a year to achieve higher standards in these areas. Every student should read independently for enjoyment a minimum of 15 minutes each evening.
 
Writing: Students are encouraged to write often in class with a strong emphasis placed on written language conventions (punctuation, grammar and usage, spelling, sentence and paragraph structure, etc.) The writing domains stressed in 8th grade include: biographies, autobiographies, short stories and narratives, responses to literature, persuasive compositions, business letters, applications and technical documents.
 
Vocabulary: Word origins and relationships are stressed along with idioms, analogies, metaphors and similes. Defining words using context clues is also a strategy for developing vocabulary.
 
Oral Presentations: During the course of the year, students are asked to deliver oral presentations focusing on eye contact and delivery techniques. In the past, local businesses have advised us that young people need to improve their speaking skills in order to gain confidence in their ability to communicate effectively. We've taken their suggestions to heart and require that students work together in groups and independently as well.
 
Summer Reading: Sierra Vista encourages students to read during the summer! In order to promote literacy, Sierra Vista students are required to read at least two novels over the summer. This requirement is for both incoming 7th grade students and returning 8th grade students. Reading promotes greater reading comprehension, increased vocabulary, and better writing skills.