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
Teaching Philosophy – Students learn by doing. (See: Schank, Roger C. (1995) “What We Learn When We Learn by Doing.” (Technical Report No. 60). Northwestern University, Institute for Learning Sciences.)

Report Card Skill Scores – English and Literature Skill scores are based on assessment data from STAR Reader. Typically I will award 4’s in skill categories for students who score in the 90th percentile. Skill scores of 3 are typically awarded in categories from the 75th to 90th percentile.

STAR Reader – At any point in time you can ask your student, or email me, for up-to-date STAR reader test data, including approximate reading level (by grade). It is important that your student is reading books that are in the approximate zone/level that is best for their development and progression.

RenWeb Dates – Please note that the dates you see on my RenWeb grade pages are the dates that the information was uploaded and not necessarily the date of the exam nor the date on which the assignment in question was due. You should check Schoology for accurate dates.

Unexcused Absences – In the event of an unexcused absence, students should check with other classmates for missed work, exam dates, etc. Students who miss class but are not excused will not receive one day per absent day to turn in work; rather, the timeline is at the discretion of the faculty member, in addition to whether late work will be accepted.

6-8ENG Information – Please check Schoology for detailed information on ENG assignments and exams. Please check RenWeb for updated scoring.

HomeworkHomework is practice for exams, papers, and other assessments. If you have concerns about the amount of homework that your child has for Language Arts, I encourage you to contact me. I also ask that you talk your student about whether or not they are using class-time to work when allowed and whether or not they are waiting until the night before big assignments are due to start.

6-8LIT Information

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

6LIT: Current: A Wrinkle in Time Next: Wonder

7LIT: Next: Fahrenheit 451

8LIT: Next: The Lord of the Flies

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.

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. Sometimes I do offer extra bonuses to students but this is not on a request basis. 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 earn more points is to complete all work as assigned (and perhaps some of the occasional 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 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.
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. Typically we cover 3-4 books a year. This is a good way to fulfill Accelerated Reader requirements in conjunction with group discussion of the text.
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. I closely supervise the production of the BTCSN Newsletter. Please contact me or Mrs. Slater if you have questions.
National Junior Honor Society This is a selective group that is only open to students in 7th and 8th grade who maintain a 93% average in the core subject areas. Membership is $25 a year. Meetings occur during lunch.
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.