Classroom Policies, Procedures, and Information


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"Caution: Contents under high pressure - may explode without warning."

-Gatlin





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On this page of our site you will find everything you never wanted to know about the function of our class. Listed below are alphabetized links that take you to the specific classroom policy or procedure you are looking for. Click on one of these links, or scroll down the screen to view all fifteen classroom policies and procedures. Don't fall asleep!

Absence Policy

Academic Grades

Behavior Policy and Citizenship Grades

Class Rules

Dates To Expect A Progress Report From Your Student

Food and Drink Policy

Homework Accountability Test (H.A.T.) Schedule

Homework In Our Class

How Does Spelling and Vocabulary Work?

Late Work Policy

Novel Check Out Policy

Rewards and Consequences

Tardy Policy

Top 5 Things Parents Can Do To Help Their Student In This Class

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Absence Policy:
When a student is absent he/she has 2 school days for every school day absent to complete and turn in missed work. After this time period missed work becomes late work. This includes tests and quizzes that are missed during an absence. To find out what assignments were missed a student simply has to look on the calendar below the TV in our classroom, or click on the following link for a list of this term's assignments. Please do not ask me to make an exception to this absence policy. The reason this policy exists is to be fair and equal in the treatment of all students. Breaking or bending this policy ultimately helps no one.

Academic Grades:
A student's grade will be earned in three categories:
1/3 of the grade will come from growth in reading skills.
1/3 of the grade will come from growth in writing skills.
1/3 of the grade will come from daily preparation, and growth in vocabulary and spelling.
The grading scale will be as follows:
A 100-90%
B 89-80%
C 79-65%
D 64-50%
F 49- 0%
Students who do all their work and put forth their best effort earn an A. Students who do no work and make no effort earn an F. This may sound rather obvious, but sometimes students forget they are responsible for their own grades. Click on the following link to check your current grade on our school district's 24 hour a day 7 day a week on-line grading program. Please remember that grades are not something a teacher gives, they are something students earn.

Behavior Policy and Citizenship Grades:
Every student begins the term with 100 behavior points.
Every time a student breaks a class rule they lose 5 behavior points. Click on the following link to view our
class rules.
The following grading scale is used to assign citizenship grades at the end of the term:
S= 100-80 points / S=Satisfactory
N= 79-60 points / N=Needs Improvement
U= 59-00 points / U=Unsatisfactory
If a student wants to earn back points, he/she should come in and talk to me before or after school to sign a contract that requires one week of perfect behavior to earn back 5 points. Click on the following link to download a behavior contract. Students will find it does them no good to act horrible for 8 weeks of the term and then try to be perfect for the remaining 2 weeks. The moral of the story is don't wait to be good!

Class Rules:
Our class will operate on five rules:
1- Give your best effort.
2- Be polite and kind.
3- Do not talk out of turn.
4- Stay in your seat.
5- Come to class prepared.
These rules are simple. A student's decision to follow or break them will probably determine how well the student likes or dislikes this class. Remember, attitude has a lot to do with success, and only we can control our attitudes.

Dates To Expect A Progress Report From Your Student:
Progress reports in this class will be handed out to students on 8 separate occasions this school year. Below is a list of dates parents can expect to receive a progress report from their student. Marking these dates on your calendar and following up with your student will help eliminate the problem of uninformed parents and "lost" progress reports.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Food and Drink Policy:
We have 2 classroom policies designed to take advantage of recent research regarding the function of the human brain. Listed below is the food and drink policy itself, followed by a brief discussion of this brain research.

1- Students may bring a water bottle to class, and drink from it.
2- Students may eat any fruit, vegetable, and nut (as it appears in nature) during class.

Please show common courtesy by not bothering other students with your food, or leaving behind a messy desk after class. Behavior such as squirting your neighbor with your water bottle, or chucking your banana at the girl in the front row, will result in your eating and drinking privileges being revoked.
6 reasons why research indicates I should let students eat and drink in my class:
1. Your brain must be provided with water throughout the day to maintain the correct chemical balance needed for optimal thinking.
2. Soft drinks, juice, milk, and Gatoraide-type drinks do not provide this water - in fact, these drinks often take water away from the brain.
3. You can't wait until you feel thirsty to drink water - by then the brain has lost it's optimal chemical balance.
4. Peanuts, beans, and nuts assist in creating the chemical balance your brain needs for optimal thinking.
5. Eating increased protein early in the day results in increased production of dopamine in the brain during school hours. This generates greater alertness, motivation, and mental energy in class.
6. Teenage students are growing rapidly, and their bodies need healthy snacks between meals.
These are just a few of the many significant findings from this brain research. So take advantage of the food and drink policy by bringing your water bottle, fruits, and vegetables to class. As your teacher, I am in favor of virtually anything that helps you think and learn more effectively.

Homework Accountability Test (H.A.T.) Schedule:
So, do you want to know what we will be reading in class before everyone else does? If so, this information is for you! Listed below is the date, story name, and page number from your literature book for every homework accountability test we will take this school year.
Remember, the secret to doing well on "H.A.T." tests is to carefully read the story making sure you understand every paragraph and every page. Once you feel like you truly comprehend the story, see if you can intelligently answer the questions that are printed at the end of most of the stories in your literature book. If you can, you are probably ready to take the test. As you take the test let the knowledge flow from your brain through your hand and onto the test paper. Be sure to show-off your vast knowledge of the story in your well thought-out answers. High quality thinking and writing will provide clear evidence that you have mastered the story, and will result in an "A" on your H.A.T. tests scores. Good luck!

#1 - August 31, 2016 = A Retrieved Reformation Pages 27-36

#2 - September 7, 2016 = A Man Who Had No Eyes Pages 6-9

#3 - September 14, 2016 = The Iditarod Trail Pages 303-311

#4 - September 21, 2016 = A Crush Pages 15-26

#5 - September 28, 2016 = Waiting Pages 37-53

#6 - October 5, 2016 = Immigrant Kids Pages 55-62

#7 - October 12, 2016 = There Is No Word For Goodbye Pages 115-120

#8 - October 19, 2016 = The War Of The Wall Pages 83-94

#9 - October 26, 2016 = Malcolm X Pages 63-69

#10 - November 2, 2016 = It Happened In Montgomery and Choices Pages 193-197

#11 - November 9, 2016 = Homeless Pages 121-127

#12 - November 16, 2016 = The Chief's Daughter Pages 259-272

#13 - November 30, 2016 = The Medicine Bag Pages 285-297

#14 - December 7, 2016 = Say It With Flowers Pages 181-192

#15 - December 14, 2016 = All Summer In A Day Pages 488-496

#16 - December 21, 2016 = The Pasture and A Time To Talk Pages 110-114

#17 - January 4, 2017 = Thank You M'am Pages 147-154

#18 - January 11, 2017 = What I Want To Be When I Grow Up Pages 321-330

#19 - January 18, 2017 = Eleanor Roosevelt Pages 203-215

#20 - January 25, 2017 = Koden Pages 331-341

#21 - February 1, 2017 = Rikki-tikki-tavi Pages 385-401

#22 - February 8, 2017 = Charles Pages 593-597

#23 - February 15, 2017 = I Am A Native Of North America Pages 342-349

#24 - February 22, 2017 = Amigo Brothers Pages 402-414

#25 - March 1, 2017 = The Noble Experiment Pages 273-284

#26 - March 8, 2017 = The Christmas Hunt Pages 455-472

#27 - March 15, 2017 = The Eternal Frontier Pages 435-440

#28 - March 22, 2017 = The Scholarship Jacket Pages 70-73

#29 - March 29, 2017 = The Charge Of The Light Brigade Pages 298-302

#30 - April 12, 2017 = Boy: Tales From Childhood Pages 473-487

#31 - April 19, 2017 = Exploring The Titanic Pages 575-592

#32 - April 26, 2017 = Commodore Perry In the Land of the Shogun Pages 505-517

#33 - May 3, 2017 = Last Cover Pages 95-107

#34 - May 10, 2017 = Graduation Morning Pages 115-120

#35 - May 17, 2017 = Hollywood and the Pits Pages 155-166

#36 - May 24, 2017 = The Smallest Dragonboy Pages 531-549

Homework In Our Class:
"But mom and dad, I don't have any homework!"
You may hear this night after night from your student. Sometimes it may be true, but often there is more to the story. Here are 5 things parents should know about homework in 7th grade English.

1- Students get assigned a "homework accountability" story from their blue literature book every Monday. They read this story as homework Monday and Tuesday nights, and then take a comprehension test on the story in class every Wednesday. Click on the following link
homework accountability test schedule for a complete list of reading homework dates, stories, and page numbers for the entire school year.
2- Every school day students are given one new spelling / vocabulary word. A spelling / vocabulary test is given every Friday on the current week's five words, and on the previous three weeks words (for a total of 20 words). Click on the following link for a list of this term's spelling and vocabulary words. Every week we drop the five oldest words and pick up five new words. Reviewing these words for a few minutes every day is far better than cramming for hours the night before the test.
3- Every term students receive a poem to memorize. Students will become familiar with this poetry mainly on their own time - as homework. Click on the following link for a list of poetry you need to know. Like the spelling / vocabulary tests, poetry is best memorized for a few minutes every day instead of cramming for hours the night before the test.
4- Throughout the year students will be participating in a variety of writing units and other homework. Current assignments are always accessible on our class web site www.mrbuck.org. I encourage parents to regularly visit our class web site to keep up to date with their student's current assignments. On our site there is also a link to our school district's online grading program (click on this link for instant access) where you can view all of your student's current grades.
5- Students set a reading homework goal for themselves every month. Depending on the student, goals often range from 2-20 hours of outside reading a week. Click on the following link monthly reading report for more information. Students are able to count any material read outside of school hours toward the fulfillment of their goal.

How Does Spelling and Vocabulary Work?:
1- Every school day students are given one new spelling / vocabulary word. Click on the following link for a list of
this term's spelling and vocabulary words.
2- Every school day we review this one new word and it's meaning in class.
3- Every school day students should take a few minutes on their own to study their new word. 4- Every Friday a spelling / vocabulary test is given on the current week's five words, and on the previous three weeks words (for a total of 20 words).
5- Every week we drop the five oldest words and pick up five new words.
*A few minutes of daily review is better than cramming for hours the night before the test.*

Late Work Policy:
Work turned in late will be accepted with a 10% reduction in points for every school day it is late. An assignment turned in one school day late will be docked 10%, an assignment turned in two school days late will be docked 20%, etc. After the ninth school day an assignment is late, it will no longer be accepted. Like the policy for absences, please do not ask me to make an exception to the late work policy. The reason this policy exists is to be fair and equal in the treatment of all students. Breaking or bending this policy ultimately helps no one.

Novel Check Out Policy:
In our classroom we have one set of each novel that we read. This means that each student does not have their own individual copy of the novels we read in our class. However, students are welcome to check out novels overnight as often as needed. Please ensure that any checked out novels are returned before first period the next school day in order to allow other students to use them during school hours.

Rewards and Consequences:
Rules work better when there are rewards and consequences attached to them. In this class students are rewarded for keeping the class rules and likewise face consequences if they don't.

Tardy Policy:
A student is tardy when he/she is not sitting in his/her seat by the time the tardy bell finishes ringing. Students may use their Diamondback Card for 3 free tardies each term. After these "free tardies" have been used, our school requires tardy students to serve a 45 minute after school detention.

Top 5 Things Parents Can Do To Help Their Student In This Class:
5- Ensure that your student reads and comprehends the weekly "homework accountability" story students are assigned from their blue literature book every Monday. This story is read as homework on Monday and Tuesday nights, and then a comprehension test on the story is taken in class every Wednesday (click on the following link
homework accountability test schedule for a complete list of reading homework dates, stories, and page numbers for the entire school year).
4- Help your student study for the weekly spelling and vocabulary test held every Friday. Students receive one new word every school day that they write in their school planner. Click on the following link for a list of this term's spelling and vocabulary words. A few minutes of daily review will help your student learn these words.
3- Check in on your student's progress. Is your student keeping up with their work, turning in assignments, studying for quizzes and tests, and attending class? Click on the following link to check your student's progress by utilizing our school district's 24 hour a day 7 day a week on-line grading program.
2- Expect excellent behavior from your student. As a teacher I will not allow one student to disrupt an entire class, and I expect parents will support this effort.
1- Expect the best work from your student. Teachers and parents do students no favors by accepting less than their best work.