Overview of School Policies, Class Pocedures,and Curriculum

                                             Thomas   J. Waters Elementary Fine and Performing Magnet Arts School

4540 N. Campbell

Chicago, Illinois 60625

(Telephone 773 534 - 5090)

Middle School Language Arts  Reading                               

School website:  www.waterselementary.org


Literacy- My Perspectives ( Pearson) 

The primary goals of reading instruction will be to instill an enjoyment of reading, create successful life long learning habits, and to acquire/apply the higher order thinking skills needed in order to further academic knowledge. As a result, students will be equipped with the tools to monitor their own comprehension of reading material and take ownership of their own learning.

The reading selections will encompass a variety of genres and will focus on the following standards: read with understanding and fluency, apply reading strategies to improve understanding and fluency, apply word analysis and vocabulary skills to comprehend, comprehend a range of reading materials, read and comprehend literature representative of various societies, eras, and ideas, and understand how literary elements and techniques are used to convey meaning. 

Students will be introduced to each reading selection with a description of one literary analysis skill and one reading strategy in addition to vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Students will complete class work and homework assignments related to each of the skills taught in each reading selection. A variety of informal and formal assessments; i.e., .quizzes, multiple choice and essays questions, short constructed responses, end of selection assessments, and unit assessments will be administered to determine the level of understanding.


Writing with Power (Perfection Learning Textbook and Grammar Usage Mechanics Workbook) email: pgyftakos@cps.edu

This Year in Writing Class

Language Arts Textbook:  Writing with Power ( Perfection Learning)

Writing with Power along with the supplemental workbook will be

used to support classroom lessons and activities to develop

 students’ writing and grammar skills.

https://www.perfectionlearning.com/media/catalog/category/wwp-7-pe.jpg  (7th Grade)

https://www.perfectionlearning.com/media/catalog/category/wwp-8-pe.jpg  (8th Grade)


Writing Curriculum:

Throughout the writing curriculum, students will learn the skills and strategies which will enable them to write for different purposes.  They will explore the various genres of argumentative, narrative, and informative/explanatory writing.  In addition, they will learn to gather evidence from literary or informational sources to analyze texts. Students will also compose informal/ formal writing pieces and focus on the writing process. In addition, students will also be actively engaged in grammar and writing activities as well as mini lessons. Lastly, students will access online sites such as BrainPop and Flocabulary to enhance their written literacy knowledge.

Areas of Study

 Many of the skills we learn in Language Arts will be applied throughout the year. Some highlights of our learning this year will include:

Story Elements          Literary Devices       Voice               Word Choice              Analyzing Argument         Sentence Fluency        Summary              Revising                    Rhetorical Appeals

Inferences                    Organization           Main Idea         Fact & Opinion         Thesis                                 MLA                                Grammar              Sensory Details


                                                                                                                                         Writing Genres

Quarter 1: Non –Fiction Narrative Writing Genre

Quarter 2:  Argumentative Writing Genre

Quarter 3:  Argumentative/Informational/Explanatory/Poetry Writing Genre

Quarter 4:  Informational Writing Genre


Anytime students are absent, they are required to bring a letter from a parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence. Acceptable causes of absence are: family emergency/illness, religious holiday, death in the immediate family, circumstances causing reasonable concern for the student’s health or safety, and other situations out of the control of the student.  A physician's note may be required when a child is absent three or more days. If a student is absent it is his/her responsibility to make up missed class assignments/ homework and should turn in work no later than one-two days after the absence.


Purposeful assignments are given in class to reinforce the lesson’s skills and strategies.  Students are given adequate time to work on these in class; unfinished class assignments must be completed at home and turned in at the beginning of the following school day. Points will be deducted if the assignment is turned in late.

Homework Policy:

Students will receive out of class work on a regular basis.  This may be homework or projects.  Homework will consist of reading, bookwork or other reinforcement type activities. The following is the Waters School homework policy: “The purpose of homework is two-fold: to reinforce what we have learned in class and to teach responsibility.  A child who has done his/her homework is prepared in class to hear explanations of what he/she might have had trouble with at home.  If an unusual circumstance prevents your child from doing his/her homework (sickness, injury, or other serious problems), we ask that you please send a note with your child in the morning so that he/she can be excused and have an opportunity to make it up.”

  Students will be given a week from the due date or upon a return from an excused absence to make up any missing assignments or homework.   It is up to the student if they are absent, to find out what they missed and to turn the work in. Students will not be given credit for any work submitted after the one week grace period.

Class Rules and Expectations:

  • Students should arrive to school on time and come prepared to class with their supplies, books, notebooks, writing tools, assignments, and materials.
  • Students need to complete all assigned assignments.
  • Students should follow all rules listed in the Uniform Policy Handbook.
  • Students should be respectful toward fellow classmates/staff and school property.
  • Students should use appropriate language in school and listen attentively.
  • Students are expected to write down homework assignments in a planner.

Classroom Expectations

The Writing/Language Arts classroom is an opportunity for students to take responsibility for their own learning.  All students have the right to an atmosphere conducive to optimal understanding of the subject matter.  To this end, each student is expected to show kindness and respect for the well-being and idea of their classmates.  Verbal participation, active involvement in teamwork, and completion in a timely manner of classwork and homework will increase the probability of individual success

Discipline Code/Consequences:

Students not in compliance to the above rules will receive consequences in the following order:

One verbal warning - Contact with parent/guardian - Parent/teacher/administrator meeting - Detention or loss of privileges

Grading Policy                                                                                   100-90 = A

Summative 40%                                                                                    89-80 = B

Formative 25%                                                                                     79-70 = C

Class Assignments 25%                                                                          69-60 = D

Homework/Practice 10%                                                            �        59 or below = F

Procedures to Record Student Progress:

Student grades are entered in Grade Book.  The grades can be accessed through Parent Portal using the student’s ID and Pin number. In addition, school attendance is also recorded in Grade Book. Student Progress Reports are distributed to students every six weeks.  Students are required to return the Progress Reports signed by the parent/guardian. Report Cards are distributed on November 14, 2018 and April 10,2019  (Parent Teacher Conferences) and on February 10, 2017, and June 20, 2017 Report Cards are given to students.

Progress Report Card Distribution:  October 4, 2019 , December 13, 2019,   March 6 , 2020  May 22, 2020

Electronics Policy: All cell phones are collected daily by homeroom teachers. Students are requested to bring a note from the parent/guardian stating that they have permission to have a cell phone at school.  Students are not allowed to bring ipods, PSP, Nintendo DS, or other electronic devices to school.

R. O. A. R.

How do Waters Wildcats  R.O.A.R. in Reading Class?


We complete all assignments.

We come prepared to work.

We take care of all reading materials.  

We participate in all activities.


We write down all assignments and keep track of our work.       

We turn in our work on time.

We follow directions.           

We take good notes.


We can share what we learned.

We set goals.         

We fix our mistakes.

We own up to our actions.  


We respect others thoughts, ideas  and views.

We respect our class time.                 

We respect the work of others. We respect the teacher and school staff.