Emily Dill

Middle School English Language Arts - Eighth Grade Social Studies

Emily Dill

I’m in my 20-somethingth year of teaching, and I’ve never been happier with my job or the school where I work! I’ve spent about a third of my career in high school, a third in elementary school, and a little bit more than a third in middle school. I can emphatically tell you that middle school is my sweet spot! I love the kids’ enthusiasm, the way they are finding out who they are, and even the drama that comes with middle school. My strong background in camp has allowed me the chance to spend time with kids outside of the classroom, and this is where I believe my love for middle schoolers began.

I believe learning happens in so many different ways. In my classes, I try to allow that to happen naturally. We will have many routines in order to grow some good habits for high school and beyond, but we will always be trying new ideas, so we’ll always be growing and thinking. It’s my hope that kids come home with something new and positive in their mind or heart every day.

I’m a big believer in communication. I encourage the students to communicate with each other, their teachers and their parents, and I would like to encourage parents to do the same. We are a village raising these kids, and I truly think we’ll have the best results if we all work together. Please feel free to contact me about anything. Please check my blog on a daily basis if you are a middle school student or parent.

Thank you for your support in this time of awesome possibilities and transition. I know we will have a great year as we not only welcome new members into the TMCS family, but as we strive to build a strong curricular foundation around Learning Through Expeditions and offer our student’s engaging learning experiences that promote life-long learning.

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Events Calendar

February 2020

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  • 4th: Vulcan Quarry
  • 1/2 Day - 11:30 Dism…
  • Kind: Co-op leave
  • NO SCHOOL - Presiden…
  • 4th: Pisgah Forest G…
  • 3rd: Aville Museum o…
  • TMCS Board Meeting
  • 2nd: Serpentarium Ma…
  • 1/2 Day - 11:30 Dism…
  • 5th: Muddy Sneakers

Classroom FAQ

I follow the Common Core standards for ELA and the Essential Standards for 8th Grade Social Studies, which can be found on the NCDPI website.

Goals for All ELA Classes:

  • for each student to personally grow in the areas of reading, writing, oral expression and working together
  • for students to develop a love of what the written word has to offer (and what they have to offer the written word)
  • to work on developing any talents and strengthening any difficulties students may have within these areas
  • to prepare students for the demands of high school in the areas of reading, writing and oral expression

Classwork may include, but is certainly not limited to: guided novel studies, journal writing, paper/essay writing, group and / or partner work on short-term and long-term projects and other assignments, independent work; whole group seminars, small group literature circles, read aloud, small group time with teacher; silent reading; work on vocabulary and spelling; oral presentations, take AR quizzes, short stories, nonfiction and poetry studies, viewing clips and movies and responding to them

  • At least one class participation grade will be given each marking period. Students who regularly, actively participate in class work will score high in classroom participation. Students who regularly talk, read or do other things during class will score low in this area.

It is your child’s responsibility to write homework and short- and long-term assignments in his or her agenda.

  • For 6th graders, I will sign the agendas when we write homework in them. If there is no homework, the agenda will not be signed by me.
  • For 7th and 8th graders, I will only sign students’ agendas by parent request. Please contact me if you would like me to sign your child’s agenda daily.

Homework includes, but is not limited to:

  • read 2 books of choosing near your lexile per marking period & fill in one given journal per book (2 journals per marking period)
  • read assigned texts from class
  • short- and long-term project work
  • study and prepare for tests
  • study and work on vocabulary and spelling
  • finish up work that was assigned but not finished in class

Late Work Policy: All work is expected to be turned in by the assignment’s due date. Each day an assignment is late, one letter grade will be deducted. This means that all assignments only have a 3-day period until they become an F. Late work will not be accepted at the end of the marking period. Individual Education Plans will be honored. In addition, if a student is working diligently on an assignment or project and realizes he will need more time, he should come to me ASAP and I will consider an extension. Otherwise, the above policy will be followed.

Every child has the right to be able to focus and learn in class. Students are expected to behave in a manner that allows themselves and others to do just that. Behavior that interrupts the learning of oneself or others will be given a verbal warning. If distracting behavior continues, the student’s name will be written down. If the student has to be spoken to again, he or she will get a check mark next to his or her name, and will serve the next available lunch detention, and will miss out on lunch break as well, eating a silent lunch inside. The student will also call home and tell what he or she did to receive a lunch detention. Repeated offenses will result in after-school detention and / or conferences with parents.

The grading scale has changed this year. It is now a classic 10-point scale. 90-100=A; 80-89=B; 70-79=C; 60-69=D; 59 and below = F. I grade assignments with points. Different assignments and tests will be worth varying amounts of points. Most projects and tests are worth 100 points. Other assignments and homework will have varying scores.

  • Please regularly check PowerSchool to keep up with grades.
  • I am human, and I make mistakes. Keeping up with PowerSchool can not only help you stay informed, but you may see that you turned something in and it is not in the gradebook. If you point it out to me, we can figure it out together.
  • I will have high expectations for you to be doing your very best on everything you do. I will be holding you to this.

Each student will keep a portfolio of completed & graded work.  Some of the portfolio will be digital.  Students are allowed to take hard copies home to show parents, but the work must return to school ASAP to stay in the portfolio.  This portfolio will followed students all through middle school, and the work in this portfolio may be taken at the end of eighth grade to keep at home and.  The portfolio will be regularly weeded out, and students will regularly evaluate their own work and growth using the portfolio.

In order to promote student ownership of work and behavior, all students are expected to attend and lead student-led conferences with a parent or guardian in the fall and in the spring. The students will be guided and prepared on how to lead the conference.  Students will use their ELA portfolio for the ELA portion of the student-led conferences.

Most units in my classes will be mini-expeditions.  However, the middle school will be collectively doing one full extended expedition each year.  We have revised this year’s expedition, and it will center around From Surviving to Thriving.  It will begin towards the end of the first marking period, will include Adventure Treks, and will conclude by the end of the school year.  It will have a heavy emphasis on having kids evaluate where they are at at this point in their lives in many areas including school, and teaching them skills to not only survive, but to thrive in these areas.  This will be a very personal and reflective expedition, helping each child become his or her own personal best through hands-on activities, challenges and service to others.

Students will be using Chrome Books regularly at school.  They will have a secure email address and their own Google Drive to store their work on.  They must abide by our usage policy, which we will soon have ready to be signed by students and parents.  These Google accounts can also be accessed on any device that have internet connection at home or elsewhere.  We are now using Google Classroom, which will hold many assignments and rubrics.

Do you have a question or comment?

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