Eight grade students will read from a variety of genres. During the reading, students will maintain active reading notes, engage in both formal and informal discussions, respond to various writing prompts, and study vocabulary. In addition to the core texts, 8th graders will study several short stories, poems, and essays. Students are also expected to read from a wide variety of self-selected books once a quarter. As students build a portfolio of writing designed to help strengthen their skills, they will work closely with teachers in individual conferences. Students will scaffold to writing more than a 5 paragraph essay. Students will write literary essays in ranging length from 5 to 7 paragraphs.