English & Literature, Middle School

8th Grade Homeroom 2018-2019

email: digeorgio@blessedtrinitycatholicschool.org

“Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.”

– St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Jesuits: Their Spiritual Doctrine and Practice, p. 148


Sacred Heart Catholic School, 2003
Bishop John J. Snyder High School, 2007
B.A. in English Literature, University of North Florida, 2011
Honors B.A. in Philosophy with Thesis, University of North Florida, 2011
Minor Degree in Psychology, University of North Florida, 2011
M.A. in Philosophy, Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit, 2013
PhD (c) in Philosophy, Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit, 2018-9
Dissertation: A Phenomenology of Religious Conversion
Memberships: American Catholic Philosophical Association, American Philosophical Association (APA), National Honor Society, Society for Existential and Phenomenological Philosophy (SPEP), Spanish National Honor Society



6-8ENG Information:

Please check Schoology for detailed information on ENG assignments and exams.

Vocabulary work makes up a large part of the ENG score every quarter. The practice homework for vocabulary is highly differentiated. If your student continues to do poorly on the exams, you should ask him or her whether or not they’re completing any of the optional assignments for vocab each week. These assignments are not only extra practice but are worth a substantial number of additional points. I also recommend that you ask your student about their usage of Quizlet; it’s a great online resource for exam preparation, but if your student is copying workbook answers off Quizlet, this would (at least in part) account for the poor exam performance.

If you have concerns about the amount of homework that your child has for Language Arts, I encourage you to ask your student whether they are using class-time to work when allowed and whether they are waiting until the night before assignments are due to start.

6-8LIT Information:

Please check Schoology for detailed information on LIT assignments and exams.

6LITThe Incredible Journey (provided at BTCS)

7LIT: The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton, provided at BTCS)


LIT scores are determined through a combination of classwork grades, homework points, papers, small projects, and exams. The papers are (hypo)thesis papers and are the most important component of LIT. These papers prepare your student for high school writing in the humanities as well as the sciences. The LIT exams are typically selection exams (meaning multiple-choice) and are supplemented by short in-class essays.

Classroom Rules: Students should adhere to the “Five P’s”:

  1. Be PROMPT. Come in quietly read to work. Turn in whatever is due and wait at your seat. Check for Bell Work on the board.
  2. Be PREPARED. Bring all materials, necessary work, and proper uniform every day. Materials include charged iPad, notebook, and school supplies. Please note that late assignments received the next day will receive half credit for the first quarter. No late assignments accepted after the first quarter. No trips to your locker to retrieve forgotten items.
  3. Be PRODUCTIVE. Stay focused, follow directions, and remain seated.
  4. Be POLITE. Interact with one another and the faculty following the model of Christ. No heavy sighing or eye-rolling, and certainly no foul language.
  5. Be PATIENT. Wait your turn and listen to others when they are speaking.
Gradebook Scoring: Your grade will be calculated based on the total number of points you have earned. Homework often ranges from 5-20 points, drafts, peer-reviews, and quizzes are usually from 10-50 points each, and exams and papers are worth 100 each. At the end of each quarter, your letter and percentage scores will be calculated by dividing your earned points by the maximum number of possible (“attempted”) points.
Homework Notice: Homework can be found on Schoology and on the classroom whiteboard. If you’re looking for detailed information about homework assignments, please check Schoology. If an assignment is locked then I will not accept late submissions, unless there is a documented and warranted absence accounting for the late work. Students who are absent are given one day per absent day to make up work, after which point late work won’t be accepted. Please note that I do not remind students about late/missing work.
Reading Notice: There is no replacement for reading in the Language Arts courses. Reading summaries and shortcut guides are not appropriate.  If you want to use materials like these, you should understand that this is permissible only on a supplemental basis. The assessments in LIT, especially the reading quizzes, are very straightforward, and if your student is regularly doing poorly on these quizzes, the most plausible explanation is that the student isn’t actually completing (or mindfully completing) the regular reading assignments. I am working with individual students who continue to struggle on these quizzes even though they have completed the reading. The best way to improve as a reader, though, is to read more, even if it does not come easy. For maximal improvement, students should be reading books that fall within their ZPD range. Your student has this information available on Schoology and the data is regularly updated.
Extra Credit Notice: Please do not inquire about extra credit for your student. I do not inflate scores artificially, since doing so would undermine the scientific validity of our assessment data. Please be patient with your student as adjustments are made throughout the year as the content grows increasingly complex. I do give many opportunities to raise scores by way of classwork and homework, so the best way to “get more points” is to complete all work as assigned (and perhaps some of the optional assignments.) Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this policy and my expectations.
6 – 8 Language Arts Opportunity Sessions: These sessions occur every Monday from 2:50 to 3:30 in Room 208 except for on days when I am out sick, or days when the school is closed. Students who already demonstrate understanding and are completing all assignments as required should not attend. Please let me know by the Friday before if you plan to attend. If you stay you’ll need transportation home at 3:30, or you’ll have to sign into Extended Day Care at your parents’ expense. Please note that the final session will occur the week of the final exams in Language Arts.
Mr. D’s Extracurricular Groups
Advanced Reading Group: This is a free and open group. Meetings occur during lunch and are every several weeks, depending on the book we are reading. Please contact me if you have questions.
BTCS News Team: There is a $25 fee per quarter for this group, and an application is required. Meetings occur every Tuesday from 3:00-4:00. Please contact me or Mrs. Slater if you have questions.
A Student’s Prayer, St. Thomas Aquinas
Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance. Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever.
Holy Spirit Prayer, St. Augustine of Hippo
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
That I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
To defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
That I always may be holy.