English Language Arts (Writing)

Mr./Coach Walker

Mr. Walker

I am entering my first year at Fruitvale ISD. This will be my fourth year as a teacher/coach, and I look forward to a great year getting to know each of you. I graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in History and a minor in Psychology. My wife, Seana and I have been married for 10 years and have two sons, Austin (9) and Mason (2).


In our class I 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. I have many different goals in Language Arts, which include building good work habits as well as reading and writing habits that you will use not just in Language Arts class but in all content classes as well as in high school and college. I also want to push you to read and write more than you have before, and give you the skills needed to successfully pass your STAAR exam in the spring. Get prepared for a fun and fast-paced year in English Language Arts.


Compulsory education=a period of time you are required to go to school (in the U.S. it is kindergarden through the twelfth grade.)

FYI, this is John Green, aka the author of The Fault in Our Stars.
An Open Letter to Students Returning to School


As Bobcats at Fruitvale Middle School, it is important that we are always safe, respectful, and responsible learners. This means that we come to class on time, are kind and helpful to each other, ask clarifying academic questions, participate appropriately in all activities, 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 whole reason you are at school is to add and lift the level of your knowledge. The only way we can all do this is by being safe, respectful, responsible, and learning at all times.


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 Policy: Ideally, you should use the restroom during your time between classes. But if it is an emergency then you may use the restroom. Please try to go only during during independent work time so you do not miss out on instruction, discussion, or sharing. You will need to raise your hand and get a hall pass from me to be permitted to leave class.

In-Class Reading/Writing: Students will have the opportunity to independently read and write during class time almost every day. Students are expected to work quietly until asked to stop so that I am able to work with individuals and small groups on their reading/writing skills.

Students are still expected to read and write about their reading at home as part of their homework.

Communication: There are many different ways to communicate with me throughout the school year. In terms of having a conversation you can reach me in the Remind app or visit me during my conference period (2nd period). There is also a way to communicate through google classroom. My email is walkert@fruitvaleisd.com.

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.

If you stand outside of the classroom to eat or finish your food or drink, 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.


For this class, you will need the following:

  • ONE single subject composition book--This will be your writing journal. When the semester ends, you should buy another one since you will probably run out of room and need another composition book.

**Your journals / composition books will travel to home and school every day**

  • pens in easy to read colors (blue or black)
  • multiple colors of highlighters
  • loose paper
  • 1-3" binder with dividers
  • Two novels or independent reading books (one that you are reading, and one that is on deck)

As students preparing for high school, you are expected to take responsibility for having your supplies every day. Every once in awhile, it happens to the best of us, you might forget a pen or run out of paper. It is still your responsibility to fix that problem (a suggestion might be borrowing supplies from another student in class).


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.

Grade Breakdown:

30% Class work / Participation

25% Tests

20% Quizzes

15% Project/Unit Tasks

10% Homework


Homework will consist of a variety of work including reading, writing, vocabulary, and any assignments not finished during class.

Generally, students are expected to practice reading and writing at home for at least 2 hours per week. Each student will be responsible for understanding what that looks like in their own work and how it helps them reach their goals as readers and writers. Students will track their work and progress regularly.

Homework isn't always a specific assignment, but the practice is key! Even if there isn't a worksheet or essay to complete, the reading and writing practice is critical in your overall learning. So every day, even if there is no "assignment," read something! Write something! Study your vocabulary!

Benefits Of Reading


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=5 school days

Work turned in late will receive 50% deducted from the overall grade earned by the student.

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.


1st Nine Weeks

• Classroom expectations and rules
• Active reading strategies making inferences, making connections
• Create Sensory images
• Reflective writing, generating ideas
• Writing process
• Creating a reader writer notebook
• Dictionary skills
• Main and supporting details
• Theme/Thesis/Claim
• Author’s Purpose/Intent
• Literary, Expository, and Persuasive writing
• Offer analytical statements about the big ideas offered in readings
• when writing, begin with a “big idea” and allow other choices
• Explain how perspective affects different characters to serve that idea
• Write Thematic statements/Research topic selected
• Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meaning
• Write an informational/explanatory piece

2nd Nine Weeks

• Utilize mentor texts to model structure, introductory and conclusion strategies and transition
• Focus on Mentor Text from narrative genres
• Planning process of writing/ Research Process Outline
• Organization introduction and conclusion strategies
• Personal Narrative (student choice of topic)
• Identify evidence used to support ideas, and evaluate its strength and relevance
• Look for clear connections between a big idea and the evidence used to support it
• Distinguish between factual claim and assertion
• Use reading and research to build background knowledge and gather evidence for writing
• Read mentor texts, expository and narrative
• Collect evidence, evaluate evidence, Learn which evidence are appropriate in which genres
• Write coherently, employing strong evidence to support ideas and position
• Write a letter that clearly supports an assertion/opinion with factual information

3rd Nine Weeks

• Notice how meaning is shaped as authors approach, Characteristics, Conflict ,Plot, Point of View, Figurative Language, Imagery, Word Choice, and Mood
• Read across literary genres, exploring fiction, drama, and poetry to examine the ways which meaning is both directly stated and inferred.
• Reading for deeper meaning
• Utilize knowledge of plot, conflict, characterization, imagery, and word choice to enhance writing.
• Revise narrative looking for plot, conflict, figurative language, word choice, vivid images
• Research paper

4th Nine Weeks

• Recognize ways ideas are connected
• Read genres focusing on rich pieces that require inference to understand the message
• Mythological or Heroic literature that share a common characteristics
• Compose short paragraphs analyzing passages
• Literature Circles will begin
• Research papers are due
• Literature circles major projects are due

Remind APP...

6th Grade ELA Writing code: https://www.remind.com/join/7cg299

7th Grade ELA Writing code: https://www.remind.com/join/k8684b

Challenge Class: https://www.remind.com/join/bbdech


3rd Period Writing 7B code: hrwf5y

4th Period Writing 7A code: x6hm7h2

5th Period Challenge code: e3yis50

6th Period English 6B code: v47d5t6

7th Period English 6A code: jxl9z3i


1st Period 8:00- 8:45 Athletics

2nd Period 8:55- 9:40 Conference

Advisory 9:44- 10:06 Advisory

3rd Period 10:10- 10:55 Writing 7B

4th Period 10:59-11:44 Writing 7A

Lunch 11:48- 12:14

5th Period 12:18- 1:03 Challenge 8

6th Period 1:07- 1:52 English 6B

7th Period 1:56- 2:41 English 6A

8th Period 2:45- 3:30 Athletics