To be a more literate person, you must immerse yourself in authentic reading and writing experiences. To that end the following tasks are required of 8th Grade Advanced RLA students.

1. Outside Reading: It is difficult to find time in class for everyone to read the scope of texts that make for a literate person, therefore you will be asked to read one book per nine weeks. You may read at your own pace BUT should have about an eighth of the book read by the end of each week. The sharing of ideas about your book will take place in class. Each nine-week grading period has a theme and the books support that. Be sure to take a look at "Shoulder Shun List." For various reasons those choices are not allowed to be used for this task.

2. Blogging: This is a way for people to express themselves to a real-world audience. You are encouraged to find topics that appeal to you. You MAY NOT use this assignment or its tech tools as a topic. The key to a successful blog post is that people want to read it. That is your goal!! You should find ways to share your passions or ideas. If the post is a list of facts, then you have imitated a “Wikipedia” article. Blogging requires writer insight. If the post is a collection of opinions, then they need to be backed up by evidence. This can be anecdotal, or it might be facts, depending on the topic. You should format the blog post to encourage readership. A header photo, interesting title, correct grammar and spelling all add to readability. ALL facts and images that you used MUST be cited. This can be as simple as creating a link to the source.

3. 8th Grade Advanced RLA Class Business
Students will choose to be part of one of the departments listed below. Some class time will be allotted to these activities, BUT you may need to communicate and work out of class as well. The end product will be placed onto a website dedicated for this purpose. The goal of our class business is to reflect, challenge, and communicate our work (instruction and mastering of standards).

a. Communications Department: You will prepare a 30-60 minutes discussion that will be embedded on the Communications Department website. The discussion should center around a text that has been used in the class: song, poem, short story, article, news, or novel. The members of this department will create several open-ended questions (those that offer more than one answer) in order to lead and moderate (keep the discussion going). You are responsible for one communication session per three weeks. After each discussion, your group should reflect and use that information to conduct a better session the next time.

b. Professional Development Department: You will host an in-class professional development (learning session) once per three weeks. This activity should take between 15-30 minutes and is designed to make the class think beyond what was covered by class instruction on a topic previously discussed. This means you can work with any strategy, skill, or text we have studied. Within this activity, the department members should use creativity to seek an engaging way for the rest of the class to revisit the topic. Avoid the use of technology and look for ways to get your classmates out of their seats and active! After each discussion, your group should reflect and use that information to conduct a better session the next time.

c. Research and Development Department: You will maintain and update your department's website at least once per week to include ideas generated in class about texts that were used for discussion and instruction. You should pay attention to class discussions and the note taking. Then use that information to maintain a website that shares what the class is learning. You should keep the website current, informative, and thorough. Make sure you visit other websites to develop a style that is readable and engaging.

d. Public Relations Department: You will create a newsletter that details for stakeholders (parents, teachers, and staff) what we are learning in class, what state standards we are attempting to master, and what activities we are doing to master those standards. The newsletter should be updated every three weeks. It is important that you communicate with the other departments so that you represent their work as well. Make sure you look at other newsletters to develop a style that is readable and engaging.

Mrs. Shoulders' Books from Goodreads 2017
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