Monday, August 13, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Serving the Lord Through Learning


This is the slogan I've created for my classes this year. Being a student is hard work: studying, collaborating, remaining courteous, focused and organized. It is a service to the Lord.

The scripture I have chosen as our theme is Philippians 2:14-16

Philippians 2:14-16 King James Version (KJV)

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Another way to think about our verse.

Philippians 2:14-16 The Message (MSG)

14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.


Fret Not Yourself (New School Year? Be Calm and Carry On)

and don't forget to delight thyself in the Lord!


fret not
do good
commit thy way
rest
wait
cease from anger
wait upon the Lord
the meek shall inherit the earth
the Lord upholds the righteous
show mercy
the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord
depart from evil do good
speak wisdom

The Holy Bible (KJV) _ Psalms 37 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0onzQNZkQ6w 


It is a new school year--it is going to be great! Promise! MzT 8/11/18

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Greetings! It's A New School Year!

Let me introduce myself. I am Melanie Taylor, M.A.--longtime teacher, writer, gardener, mom and, most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to teach English Literature and Composition at Victor Valley Christian School. I first started teaching in Christian schools, now I'm back, and English is my first love. We will have such fun!

But first, some housekeeping. Here are links for information on how our class will run, and how we can communicate



Melanie Taylor, M. A.
English Literature, Language and Composition
August 10, 2018


Dear Parents/Guardians, Family, and Students,


  How exciting! We have a new school year and I am so pleased to be
included in the educational process here at Victor Valley Christian School,
and in a subject I really love. We have a busy year planned developing
powerful writing skills, increasing digital knowledge and confidence, and,
best of all, experiencing great literature to love and appreciate for a lifetime.
This is a solid college prep program.
We will participate with Google Classroom, as well as use my regularly
updated classroom website:  MzT’s Classroom https://www.mzteachuh.com/  
There is a matching blog, too, with pertinent information about our English program
that is also regularly updated-- MzT’s Classroom https://mztsclass.blogspot.com/  
These online resources post nothing personal about the students, but general
information about the English program, homework, and activities. If you want more
information on Reading Teams, Book Club, Writer’s Workshop, Station Rotation,
or what to study for the next test, check the website or blog.
 Courtesy and full focus on our work are the hallmarks of our classroom.
We can collaborate on classwork, discuss grading and behavior, and be assured
we have open communication and mutual support. Our class syllabus has details
about grading, classroom rules and routines, reading lists, and needed materials.
This syllabus is also online at the Mzt’s Classroom site, and blog.
 Please communicate with me through Google Classroom, or email
Melanie Taylor mtaylor@vvcs.org , call the School Office 760-241-8827,
and when I get my new smartphone, I will give you a number you can call or text.
I don’t respond during class, if you have an emergency, call the Front Office 760-241-8827.
My goal is to get back to you within a day. My Office hours are Tuesday and
Thursday  3:00-4:00 p.m..
I am generally on the run, so if you wish to speak to me in person or have a conference,
please schedule one. I don’t want to miss you!
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26
Sincerely,


Melanie Taylor, M.A.


Syllabus: English Literature, Language and Composition
https://mztsclass.blogspot.com/2018/07/syllabus-english-literature-language.html

MzT's Outside Reading



MzT's Writer's Workshop



Back-To-School Night Parent's Letter

Melanie Taylor, M. A.
English Literature, Language and Composition
August 10, 2018


Dear Parents/Guardians, Family, and Students,


  How exciting! We have a new school year and I am so pleased
to be included in the educational process here at
Victor Valley Christian School, and in a subject I really love.
We have a busy year planned to develop powerful writing skills, to
increase digital knowledge and confidence, and, best of all, to experience
great literature to love and appreciate for a lifetime.
This is a solid college prep program.
 We will participate with Google Classroom, as well as use my regularly
updated classroom website:  MzT’s Classroom https://www.mzteachuh.com/  
There is a matching blog, too, with pertinent information about our English program
that is also regularly updated-- MzT’s Classroom https://mztsclass.blogspot.com/  
These online resources post nothing personal about the students, but general
information about the English program, homework, and activities. If you want more
information on Reading Teams, Book Club, Writer’s Workshop, Station Rotation,
or what to study for the next test, check the website or blog.
 Courtesy and full focus on our work are the hallmarks of our classroom.
We can collaborate on classwork, discuss grading and behavior, and be
assured we have open communication and mutual support. Our class syllabus
has details about grading, classroom rules and routines, reading lists, and
needed materials. This syllabus is also online at the Mzt’s Classroom site,
and blog.
 Please communicate with me through Google Classroom, or email
Melanie Taylor mtaylor@vvcs.org, the School Office 760-241-8827,
and when I get my new smartphone, I will give you a number you can call or text.
I don’t respond during class, if you have an emergency, call the Front Office
760-241-8827. My goal is to get back to you within a day. My Office hours are
Tuesday and Thursday  3:00-4:00 p.m.. I am generally on the run, so if you wish
to speak to me in person or have a conference, please schedule one.
I don’t want to miss you!
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26
Sincerely,


Melanie Taylor, M.A.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Our Digital Classroom/Ed Tech Cafe


Our Digital Classroom

Our classroom will have Chromebooks as a digital writing
and resource tool (though not exclusively), and Google Classroom
as a communication aid. Every week we will have Ed Tech Cafe to
learn more about becoming responsible Digital Citizens and capable
digital users.

We are a digital classroom with spaces to be rearranged for
Ed Tech Cafe, research teams, and rotation stations using tech.
The tone of our digital activity is encouraging and nurturing,
emphasizing boldness with innovation and tenacity with roadblocks.

Our class uses Google Classroom therefore communication
and feedback is clear and quick. Students, teacher and parents
can collaborate on projects and learning choices.

Ed Tech Cafe is a weekly activity that discusses current topics
of digital citizenship, learns new digital innovations, teaches skills,  and
designates time for varied use of the Chromebook.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

MzT's Reading Teams And Book Club

MzT's Reading Teams and Book Clubs

Book clubs encourage book choice, the one indicator of reading improvement. My class has an outside reading requirement and if the students wish to join together to form a book club to read the same book, that's fine. Class time will be scheduled for discussion and collaboration on book assignments. A Reading Celebration will be scheduled when outside reading is due.

Reading Teams will collaborate on a variety of assignments. Digital assignments involving information material as well as literature studies will involve weekly reading teams.

MzT's Writer's Workshop


Our class will have a Writer's Workshop at least once each week. The students will choose the focus of the mini-lesson, such as paragraphing, topic sentence, punctuation, grammar, usage, sentence structure, main idea, etc. The writing teams will collaborate on improving their writing using the writing process.

The four main components of writing workshop are the mini-lesson, status of the class, writing/conferring time, and sharing. There is not a prescribed time limit for each component, rather they are meant to be flexible and determined by students’ needs on any given day. 


Students will also develop rubrics for various types of writing directives and writing specifics are identified as they write. Students will refer to The Six Traits of Writing 
 https://study.com/academy/lesson/six-traits-of-writing.html

The students will collaborate and incorporate their writing knowledge as their work with their team. Practical time spent together writing eliminates writer's anxiety and improves writing fluency.

The teacher will provide mini-conferences to help and encourage students in their writing. 

MzT's Outside Reading

MzT's Reading List isn't quite this long.
Outside Reading
Students are responsible for choosing, completing, and documenting outside reading from
this Outside Reading List. It is suggested that parents/guardians stay aware of students
choices since the lists the students may choose are from national lists and may not represent
the specific worldview of Victor Valley Christian School. Parents and students can discuss the
literature.


Students will be required to read 100 points of outside reading each semester evaluated by the teacher, satisfactorily accomplishing regular checkpoints with activities and Book Chats.  If the
student wishes to use audio versions, these must be accompanied with either a digital or hard
copy to refer to. Only Shakespeare may be included as a film viewing, but accompanied with

activities and references to digital or hard copies of the plays.

Students may also read and report on sets of speeches from American Rhetoric.

American Rhetoric List of Speeches


Reading List for Students Grade 9-12

The Ultimate AP English Literature Reading List

https://www.albert.io/blog/ultimate-ap-english-literature-reading-list/

Recommended reading list from Collegeboard.

https://www.albert.io/blog/ultimate-ap-english-literature-reading-list/

Authors List--any literature from these authors

Austen, Jane                                      Poe, Edgar Allan
Bronte, Charlotte                                Shakespeare, William
Bronte, Emily                                      Steinbeck, John
Dickens, Charles
Dickenson, Emily
Fennimore Cooper, James
Hemingway, Ernest
London, Jack

Page 2

Reading List for Grades 7 and 8

Students are responsible for choosing, completing and documenting outside reading from
this Outside Reading List. It is suggested that parents/guardians stay aware of students
choices, since the lists the students may choose are from national lists may not represent
the specific worldview of Victor Valley Christian School. Books and literature that are
discussed in class include discussion with a Christian worldview, so parents may wish
to have a discussion with your student during outside reading.


Students will be required to read 100 points of outside reading each semester evaluated
by the teacher, satisfactorily accomplishing regular checkpoints with activities and Book Chats.  
If the student wishes to use audio versions, these must be accompanied with either a digital
or hard copy to refer to. Only Shakespeare may be included as a film viewing, but
accompanied with activities and references to digital or hard copies of the plays.

The Best Books for Grades 6-8


Newbery Medal Winners, 1922 - Present



Authors List-any literature from these authors

Beverly Cleary
Robert Frost
C. S. Lewis
E.B.White
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Gary Paulsen
Gary Soto
J. R.R. Tolkien

If a book is read together in class, it stops being an outside reading book for that grade.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Syllabus: English Literature, Language and Composition

English Literature, Language, and Composition
Course Syllabus 2018-2019

Melanie Taylor, M.A.
Phone:
Classroom: G5
Email: Melanie Taylor,
mtaylor@vvcs.org
Our English classes will explore great literature, poetry, and speeches
as well as nonfiction.  
Students will develop excellent speaking and writing skills.
   
 Goals for our English Classes Grades 7-12:


Students will write well employing the writing process.
Students will locate, evaluate, and utilize viable sources for research.
Students will be capable digital citizens.
Students will conduct and present research both written and orally.
Students will write and speak using proper grammar.
Students will use new vocabulary words correctly, using context clues, knowledge of root words, and word origins as well as reference sources to decode and understand new words.
Students will read, assess, and respond to essential content in a variety of nonfiction and fiction texts and documents.
Students will define and identify literary terms.
Students will explain the format of drama and poetry/epic poetry.
Students will work collaboratively with other class members to enhance appreciation and comprehension of complex texts.



Page 2


English 7 will develop writing and speaking skills, reading for 
comprehension of both nonfiction and fiction, and use of grammar 
and literary devices. Literature will include poetry, novels, novellas,
drama, and short stories. Writing assignments will include essays,
informational, research projects and creative writing.


English 8 will develop writing and speaking skills, reading for
comprehension of both nonfiction and fiction, use of grammar
and literary devices. Literature will include poetry, novels,
novellas, drama, and short stories. Writing assignments will
include essays, informational, research projects and creative writing.


English 9 will develop writing and speaking skills, reading for
comprehension of both nonfiction and fiction, use of grammar and
literary devices. Literature will include poetry, novels, novellas,
drama, and short stories. Writing assignments will include essays,
informational, research projects and creative writing. Speaking skills
will include impromptu, extemporaneous and debate.


English 10 will study World Literature including poetry, novels,
novellas, drama, and short stories. Assignments will develop writing and
speaking skills, reading for comprehension of both nonfiction and fiction,
use of grammar and literary devices. Writing assignments will include
essays, informational, research projects and creative writing.
Speaking skills will include impromptu, extemporaneous and debate.
Students will be familiar with MLA.


English 11 will study American Literature including poetry, novels,
novellas, drama, and short stories. Assignments will develop writing
and speaking skills, reading for comprehension of both nonfiction and
fiction, use of grammar and literary devices. Writing assignments will
include essays, informational, research projects and creative writing.
Speaking skills will include impromptu, extemporaneous and debate,
and introduce American Rhetoric. Students will be familiar with MLA.


English 12: British Literature and Composition is a course designed
to prepare students for college in the areas of literary studies, vocabulary,
oral presentation, research, and writing. Curricula will include poetry,
novels,novellas, drama, and short stories and various nonfiction sources.
Assignments will develop writing and speaking skills, reading for
comprehensionof both nonfiction and fiction, use of grammar and
literary devices. Writing assignments will include essays, informational.
research projects and creative writing. Speaking skills will include
impromptu, extemporaneous and debate.
Students will be familiar with MLA.


Page 3


Materials:
Students will daily bring
3 sharpened pencils and ‘pink pet’ type eraser
Black or blue pen
5 subject notebook for Interactive Notebook, college-ruled
3 different colored highlighters
Composition book for journaling
One time donation of one packet loose leaf paper, college-ruled for class resource.




Grading
Students will be assessed through cumulative tests,
formative assessments, quizzes,  homework assignments and classroomparticipation. There will be pop quizzes.
Outside reading and an interactive notebook will also contribute to grades.
Mastery of content is our goal.


Cumulative Tests                                      45%
Formative Tests and Quizzes                   35%
Homework and Classwork                        20%
Grading Scale

A+     97.5-100
A        94.5-97.4
A-       89.5-94.3
B+      86.5-89.4
B        83.5-86.5
B-       79.5-83.4
C+      76.5-83.5
C        73.5-76.4
C-       69.5-73.5
D+      66.5-69.4
D        63.5-66.4
D-       59.5-63.5
          F 59.4 and below


Page 4


Test Retake Policy
If a student scores under a 76% or lower on a test, the student,
not the parent, will need to speak with me within 5 days of
getting the test back to discuss options for improving his/her score.
The highest score a student can receive is a 77% after a retake.


Absences
When you return from an absence, it is your responsibility to make up
the work you missed. ALWAYS copy down missed assignments from
Google Classroom or from one of your classmates. Make sure you
write “absent” on the days you were gone. Turn in assignments that
were due into the appropriate late/absent letter tray or, if appropriate,
submit online. Make sure you write “absent” on the days you were gone.

If YOU MISS:
a) Worksheet/handouts- pick up missed paperwork from the extra copies tray,
or duplicate them from online at home.
b) Notes-borrow and copy the notes from one of your classmates on your own time.
c) A TEST or Quiz- you have 5 days from the day you come back to arrange a time
to make it up with me.
If you know ahead of time that you are going to be absent for an extended period,
please give me at least 1 week notice to schedule an appropriate make-up test.
Late Work
If you do not turn in a major assignment on time, the grade you can receive
on the assignment will drop one letter grade for each day it is late. If you have a
late assignment that you have to turn in, write late on the assignment and turn it
into the appropriate late/absent tray or, if appropriate, submit online.


Page 5
Class Rules
  1. Listen and follow directions immediately.
  2. Begin each class on time with required assignments and resources.
  3. Raise hand and wait to be recognized to speak or get out of seat.
  4. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
  5. Always show courtesy to staff and peers, respect the learning environment.
  6. Bullying in all forms is forbidden.

Students will receive four points for each class period for (2 points) listening and
(2 points) participation that will be calculated as part of the academic grade.

Consequence sequence during one class period: first offense-a reminder

redirect; second offense-acknowledgment of offense, loss of point noted
in teacher records; third offense, loss of point noted in teacher record,
parent contact. Beyond three offenses in one class period will bring loss of all
class points indicating chronic misbehavior requiring parent contact and/or meeting.

Severe misbehavior, i.e., very disruptive, dangerous, or brazenly disrespectful behavior,

will result in referral to office.

Students will observe all Victor Valley Christian School Rules and Expectations.



Routines


1.  Enter class punctually, with courtesy, prepared and focused to work.

2.  Homework is due at the start of class; or submitted online at required time.


3. Outside reading assignments will always be accomplished on time.


4.  No personal technology in class. School technology is handled carefully.


5.  Bottled water only, no other drinks, food or snacks.


6.  Pencils sharpened before class or with teacher permission only.


7.  Collaborative learning will always observe courtesy and group norms.


8.  Students
will be responsible to keep classroom library books in good condition and return them on time. If lost or destroyed, the book will be replaced by student.

Consider purchasing outside reading books from the Reading List.

These are excellent selections and could come in handy for college




Teacher Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 3:00-4:00 pm.
You may text, call or email.
If an emergency, contact the school office.





Parent Communication Form

Parents:  Please provide an email address and a daytime
telephone number that you would prefer I use to contact you
regarding your student’s progress and/or behavior.  


Please read and sign below, returning with your student.


 
Thank you. Ms. Taylor






______________________________ _____________________________  
Print Student Name Student Signature
                                                         Date ________________________


______________________________ ____________________________
Print Parent/Guardian Name Parent/Guardian Signature
                                                             Date___________________________


Parent/Guardian Phone Number___________________________

Parent/Guardian E-mail Address__________________________________

Comments/Questions/Info on student

_______________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________




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