Language Arts -- 7th Grade

Mr. Stoddard -- Pacific Middle School

In Our Class...

During 7th grade, we will be completely focused on improving your reading and writing skills while also exposing you to different genres and forms of what you read and what you write. We have many different goals in 7th grade Language Arts, which include building school habits that you will use up until and including college, pushing you to read and write more than you have before, passing your MSP exam in the spring, and many more. Get prepared for a fun and fast-paced year in 7th grade Language Arts.

Class Expectations

As Vikings at Pacific Middle School, it is important that we always respect people, property, and learning. This means that we come to class on time, are kind and helpful to each other, ask clarifying questions, participate responsibly, finish our work, and listen to requests and directions from adults. This is true in all parts of the school, but especially in the classroom. The reason you are at school is to add to your knowledge. The only way we can all do this is by being respectful at all times.


Class Policies

Absences: If you are absent, it is your job to find out what the work was for the day and make it up. Even if there wasn't an assignment due, you need to talk to your classmates and learn any of the skills that were presented or practiced so that you can keep up with the work. If an assignment was due on the day of an absence, the assignment must be turned in the day you come back or it will be considered LATE. If you are absent the day an assignment is given, you will have the same amount of days to complete it as other students in class. It must be turned in in the specified amount of time.

Bathroom Passes: Each student will receive one slip of paper with 5 boxes that act as bathroom passes. You are responsible for putting your name on the pass and keeping it safe. You can only use your bathroom pass if it is in class with you. I suggest taping it into your planner.

Your bathroom pass may only be used during independent work time so that it doesn't interrupt instruction, discussion, or sharing. To use it, bring me the pass and a pen. No need to ask, if you bring me your bathroom pass, I know exactly what you want. I will initial one box on the pass and give it back to you. Take the paper with you. This is your hall pass.

Once you are out of boxes for me to sign, you have no more trips to the bathroom. So use them wisely. I will not let you leave class without your pass/boxes to fill out.

In-Class Reading: Students will have the opportunity to read during class time almost every day. The beginning of most periods will start with 15-20 minutes of sustained reading time. Students are expected to read quietly until asked to stop so that I am able to work with individuals and small groups on their reading skills.

Students are still expected to read at home as part of their homework.

Communication: There are many different ways to communicate. In terms of having a conversation, email works better than phone since I will be in multiple places throughout the day. We can also set up times to meet in person. Our class website is also a great option for finding answers to questions; and Edmodo is a good tool for parents and students to have more interactive communication.

Student vs. Parent Communication: We understand that parents and students are going from an elementary school environment where they work with one teacher. This transition is difficult for everyone. The hardest part for parents can sometimes be communicating with so many teachers as well as finding a balance between advocating for their child and allowing that child to start advocating for themselves.

When at all possible, encourage your student to come talk to me about missing work, assignments, grades, etc. Feel free to check in on them or let me know that they should be coming to talk to me, but it is crucial that students practice how to talk to their teachers now in order to be prepared for high school and beyond.

Food, Candy, Gum, and Drinks in Class: The only food or drink allowed in the classroom is clear water. The only exception to this would be if a student came to class to work during lunch time and brought their lunch with them or if an adult provides food or sanctions the bringing of food to class. Even on holidays, candy and food may be exchanged but not eaten in the classroom.

If you stand outside of the classroom you will be marked late. If this happens multiple times, it is considered disrespectful to the teacher and the learning of the class and yourself and you will have earned a referral.

Being Prepared to Learn

At the beginning of every class, the materials needed for the day are listed at the front of the class. Every student is expected to read this notice, remove these materials from their backpacks or retrieve them from storage in the classroom, put their backpack on the metal shelves near the classroom entrance, and begin working on the warm-up activity or be ready to listen for instructions. Our classroom is on one end of the school, far from many other classrooms, and so an extra 2 minutes will be allotted at the beginning of class to complete these entry task. A 2-minute timer will be set at the official bell to start class, at the end of which all entry tasks should be complete and students should be in their desks ready to learn.

If a student does not have these routine tasks done and is not in their seat working or ready to listen, they will be marked as tardy for the day's class. It is important to note that tardies are tracked and multiple tardies can lead to detention.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones should be left in student's backpacks, which will be stored on the metal shelves at the beginning of class. School policy is that if a phone is used during school, it will be confiscated. If confiscated, the student will have to get a form from the front office which will have to be signed by their parent or guardian. Once the form is signed and returned to the teacher, the cell phone will be returned to the student.


For this class, you will need the following

  • 3 or 5 subject notebook (we will turn the 5-subject into a 3-subject)

this will remain at school unless needed to complete the homework for the night

  • a single subject composition book

this will travel to home and school every day

  • pens in easy to read colors
  • multiple colors of highlighters
  • sticky notes
  • loose paper
  • planner (school planner or one purchased on your own)


Every student will be graded on a combination of final assessments, mid-unit assessments, homework, vocabulary, independent reading, and classwork. Other types of work may come up throughout the year that will need to be graded.

Rubrics and/or a grading scale will be provided for all assessments.

Edline Accounts

Students' grades, schedule, attendance, and discipline can be found at the following link on the Highline District's website:

Note: Technical difficulties at the start of the school year have made Edline accounts temporarily unavailable. Please keep checking back as the system should be working again soon.


Homework will consist of a variety of work including reading, writing, vocabulary, and any assignments not finished during class. Students will write down their homework every day in their planner.

Homework will very often be a specific assignment, but when it is not, students always have independent reading or writing to do.

Late Work

My best advice: Don't turn in your work late!

But if you do, you only have one week from the due date to turn it in! And there will be a penalty in your grade. One week=7 days/5 school days

Your work will be graded, but if it is one day late, your final grade will receive a deduction of 20%. Each added day will add another 10% deduction, which will max out at 50%.

One day late: 20% Two days late: 30% Three days late: 40% Four days late: 50% Five days late: 50%

If you are absent when an assignment is due, it is due the next day. If you are absent the day an assignment is given, you will have the same amount of days to complete it as other students. After that time passes, it will be late.

Units We Will Cover In This Class

Unit 1: Reading for Key Ideas in Narrative

Unit 2: Writing Expository text in Feature Article

Unit 3: Reading to Analyze an Argument

Unit 4: Writing a Formal Letter of Argument

Unit 5: Analyzing Form and Structure of Poetry

Unit 6: Writing Narrative Memoir

Common Core Standards and Pacific Middle School

The Literacy team in Highline has spent countless hours developing a curriculum that meets the very rigorous standards of the Common Core. This year, students will still be taking the MSP (based on previous state standards), but in 8th grade there will be a new standardized assessment based on complex texts and sophisticated skills. Feel free to take time to look through the standards, texts, and example work to get an idea of the high expectations set out nationally.

Common Core State Standards (6th-12th grade LA begins on page 34):

Here at Pacific, all subjects are charged with helping students succeed in Reading, Writing, Math, and Science. At Pacific, all subjects are expected to incorporate these skills to the best of their ability. We are all on the same team. The team of SUCCESS!

Sign Up for Edmodo

Edmodo is an online system that looks similar to Facebook. It is a secure way to get assignments, quizzes, and various resources. Assignments will be posted there whenever possible. You can also message the group or me directly to ask questions and get help with your work and studying at home. Parents and students can sign up separately. Sign up for Edmodo and start learning how to use it ASAP!

For codes and directions, go to:

group name: 7th Grade Language Arts @ Pacific Middle School

group code: zjtpae

Contact Mr. Stoddard

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. Email is the best way to reach me, but I can also give you a call if you email me and let me know you would like to talk on the phone. We can also set up meetings and conferences in person.

My email: