Welcome back! It was wonderful to see so many new and smiling faces this morning for our first day of school! I am so excited to get to know your student better this school year.

Today we played a quick get to know you game and I collected composition notebooks, kleenex, hand sanitizer, language arts fees, etc. The next few days will not be the most exciting for them, however they are very important for the school year. Tomorrow we will go over some classroom rules and expectations for the school year. We will also discuss our classroom library.

I am an avid reader and have an extensive collection of young adult books that students may check out from me anytime they wish during the school year. Research has shown that there is a huge benefit for students to have a classroom library at their fingertips throughout the school year. I  have purchased many of these books myself, so I just ask that they are taken care of and returned in a timely matter when finished for someone else to enjoy. I do not “charge” a late fee for keeping a book out, however I will remind students if they have had a book out for awhile to make sure they are still reading it. If they lose the book I just ask that students pay for a replacement or buy the replacement. I get most of the books at half price or off of Amazon so no book is more than $10. Many students have donated books to me through the years as well, so if your student is cleaning out their bookshelf and would like to donate some books I am more than happy to find them a new home. 🙂

Young adult books come in a variety of “ratings.” I have everything in my library from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series to The Maze Runner, Red Queen, The Elite series, etc. I have a discussion with the students that they need to make sure they are checking out books that their parents are okay with them reading certain books. I always warn the students ahead of time that a book could be more PG-13 due to language, violence, etc. I do not want to stifle a student’s love of reading, however I also feel that  I need to keep communication as open as possible to ensure that you and your student are both comfortable with the types of books they are reading. My goal is for your student to hopefully fall in love with reading this year and see that it is not just work, but can be an entertaining and fulfilling pastime as well. I have a knack for finding “just right” books for students after a few trial and errors, so I hope to foster a love of reading in your student!

Note: Students who are in my 1st hour Language Arts class are in Advanced Language Arts. There are two sections of Advanced Language Arts. I have one class first hour on the Lion team and Mrs. Maggard has a section on the Bengals team. These students will have more complex and rigorous articles/texts to read this year and their assignments will be more complex. We may do some of the same texts, however go deeper into analyzing the text and how the author created the depth. There is no indication of this on their schedule, but I just wanted to clarify this in case you or your student was wondering. The next few days will be similar for both classes as we discuss classroom expectations, set-up our journals, etc. but we will dive right in to material as soon as possible!

If you ever have any questions or concerns, feel free to e-mail me anytime. I want this to be a successful year for your student!

Homework:

  • Bring 1 composition notebook to class by Monday, August 15.
  • Please bring a $15 check or cash for the Language Arts workbook fee.
  • Make sure you have read your summer reading book (we will talk more about this tomorrow). You were asked to read any book over 150 pages over the summer. You may want to bring the book to class next Thursday, August 18 for an in class writing assignment over your book.

~Mrs. Finley

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