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Welcome to Grade 8 English Language Arts With Ms. Ricker

Welcome Class of 2023! 
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
  • Animal Farm (novel unit)
  • What Matters?
  • Decisions, Decisions
  • Rite of Passage
  • The Diary of Anne Frank (drama unit)
  • Two independent reading activities (the first one - literary fiction of any genre - will be assigned around the second week of school)
  • And more!
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
  • Headphones (I would suggest wired headphones as you will need them for online testing.)
  • Pen and/or pencil (Most materials will be delivered online, but occasionally you will need one of these old fashioned contraptions!)
  • 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.
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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 sophomore who attends 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 7th grade and also plays travel hockey throughout the year, 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 those 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. 
Most weekends during the school year, you'll find me at an ice rink somewhere in New Jersey (and sometimes out of state too!) 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]