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Welcome to Grade 8 English Language Arts With Ms. Ricker

Welcome Class of 2024! 
I am so excited to be on this journey with you! For the next ten months, we'll be diving into a variety of literature through our literary units, including:
  • The Thrill of Horror (multi-text mini unit) ~ Period 5 Literacy
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell (novel unit)
  • What Matters? (multi-text mini unit)
  • Decisions, Decisions (multi-text mini unit)
  • Rite of Passage (multi-text mini unit)
  • The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (drama unit)
  • Independent reading activities (the first one - literary fiction of any genre - was assigned September 11, 2023. Student book selections were done by September 20th. Students should read about 1/4 of the book each week, for four weeks. This will leave students one final week to complete the project. Final project due date is Wednesday, October 25th!
  • And more!
Please note: Whole class novel lists will be available on individual classroom pages and will be updated, as needed.
For students in writing, we will be focusing on the three major types of writing plus a full research paper:
  • Narrative (MP1)
  • Argument (MP2)
  • Explanatory (MP3)
  • Research (MP4)
In addition, we will continue building vocabulary skills throughout the year and will be working on various independent skills through the district provided online programs. 
It will be a busy year. Be sure you are prepared for school each day. If you find yourself falling behind or just not quite understanding something, reach out sooner rather than later. 
***The best way to reach me outside of school hours is via my school email. I generally answer emails by the end of the next school day.***
Check the class needs list below. I do not require a lot in class but there are a couple necessary items. Please make sure you are prepared for class each day. 
I look forward to meeting each and every one of you and spending the next ten months exploring the written word together!
Class Needs
  • A positive attitude
  • A charged Chromebook which must be in its district provided case
  • Wired headphones (not Bluetooth)
  • Pen and/or pencil (Most materials will be delivered online, but occasionally you will need one of these old fashioned contraptions!)
  • Post-it Notes for marking passages in novels
  • A folder for loose papers (Alternatively, you can use a section of a binder you share with another class.)
  • Access to a planner - either the school provided planner OR the digital calendar and "To Do" list available on Google Classroom.
In addition, students enrolled in honors level ELA will need a composition notebook which will be used for independent reading project responses throughout the year. This should be a 100-page count composition notebook and may be either wide or college ruled, as the student prefers. 
About Ms. Ricker
After growing up in Southern California, I attended California State University, Sacramento where I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in English ('97) before moving to New Jersey in 1999. I attended Georgian Court College (now GCU) where I earned my Master's in Education ('02). I have been working as an 8th grade language arts teacher in Marlboro since 2001.
When I'm not in the classroom, grading papers, or planning lessons, I have two sons who keep me on my toes. My oldest is a junior at MAST and stays busy with both travel and high school hockey respectively throughout the year, as well as fitting in community service, his commitment to his JROTC unit at MAST, and finding time to hang out with friends while applying himself to his studies. My youngest is in 8th grade and also plays travel hockey throughout the year, is engaged in community service through National Junior Honor Society as well as his work with peers through his school's chapter of Dylan's Wings of Change "Wingman", enjoys playing Xbox with his variety of friend groups, and occasionally picks up a good book to read. 
What does this mean for me? Driving. A whole lot of driving! My summer was spent walking the county beaches during the Monmouth County Parks Beach Sweeps as my oldest worked on community service hours, driving the boys to and from throughout the summer months as they spent time with friends, and shuffling schedules to make sure both boys attended their on-ice and off-ice training. Thankfully my Kindle remains full of books to keep me occupied!
Most weekends during the school year, you'll find me at an ice rink somewhere on the east coast cheering on my sons, and in between, continuing the shuffle to and from practice!
Access Google Classroom assignments through the links provided.  
Be sure you have selected the correct class period to ensure access to the most accurate information.

Please feel free to reach me via email at [email protected]

Thank you for coming out to Back to School Night.
If you were unable to attend Back to School Night, you may view my presentation below.