Read. Write. Speak. Listen.
Mrs. Ward's Language Arts Classroom
About Mrs. ward
I grew up in rural Iowa, graduated from PVHS (Go Spartans!), and received a degree in Secondary English Education from St. Ambrose University. I then taught 9th grade honors English, 9th grade English, Journalism, and a variety of writing intervention workshops at Davenport North High School. I began teaching at Pleasant Valley Junior High in the fall of 2016. This is my 4th year at PVJH. My husband, Joey, is a police officer. In addition to my 75 children at school, I have two of my own: Oliver John (OJ) who is 3.5 years old and Lily Jo who is 2.5 years old.
what is language arts?
In language arts, students learn how to improve the way they think, read, write, speak, view, and listen. Our work is grounded in the Iowa Common Core Curriculum. Students have a double period of language arts, so they will be in class for 93 minutes each day. This doubles the homework and learning expectations of a normal class.
Start the day off strong.
Bell Work is always the first task of the class time. There is Bell Work every day. It always will be posted in the same place on the front board. As soon as students reach their seats, they must look at the board for today's Bell Work, and get started. Bell Work consumes about the first five minutes of the class period. Consequently, students who arrive early might have eight or ten minutes to complete their Bell Work. Daily assignments could be reminders of material covered in days prior, introductions to new material, or simply a conversation check-in with Mrs. Ward.
Fuel your mind.
Students will engage in independent reading for 20 minutes each day. Independent reading books may be brought from home, borrowed from the classroom library, or checked out from the library, and students must have this book when they come to class. They are free to choose a book of any genre, including both fiction and nonfiction. Students may not read assigned texts during this time. Students will receive a grade on their independent reading progress at each quarter end. Points will be deducted each day a student comes to class without a book. Independent reading is a standing homework assignment, and students are expected to read an average of 25 minutes per day OUTSIDE of language arts. Students have a (minimum) quarterly goal of 1000 (honors requirement 1500 pages per quarter) pages per quarter. Students are required to sign up to check-in with Mrs. Ward after each 250 page checkpoint.
Vocabulary. Grammar. Greek & Latin Roots.
Vocabulary involves direct instruction of academic vocabulary (terms used when discussing reading and writing). Students will learn an abundance of new academic vocabulary through authentic experience with reading material.
Grammar and usage skills will be taught in the context of student writing, NoRedInk activities, as well as through daily language activities. Students will work on editing skills and demonstrate mastery with frequent assessments.
Greek and Latin roots will be studied frequently. Some estimate that up to 75% of the English language is derived from Greek and Latin roots. They truly are the “building blocks” of the English language and present an extremely powerful framework to nurture students' vocabulary development.