English/Literature (Mrs. Finnerty)

6A Language Arts & Literature

Mrs. Breigh Finnerty: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please see the 6A, 7A, & 8A Language Arts Information Sheet for more detailed information regarding the class.


  • Student planners must be used to write down assignments and other important information; planners will be brought to class daily.  
  • Google Classroom is used to communicate homework, announcements, and upcoming events. 
  • PowerSchool is used to show academic progress. 
  • The Middle School Testing Calendar holds all dates for upcoming tests. 
  • Email is the easiest way to communicate directly with me. I respond within 48 business hours -  keep weekends in mind. Please understand that teachers are with students during school hours and may not be able to read/respond to emails until after school.
  • Conferences will be held in November. These are student-led and offer the teacher, parent, and student an opportunity to check progress, ask questions, and set goals. 
  • Phone calls and meetings can be scheduled throughout the school year. Please contact me should you feel the need to make an appointment. 

Reading: Vocabulary & Literature

  • Sadlier-Oxford’s Vocabulary Workshop program will be used throughout Middle School. This year we will learn 300 vocabulary words, with 20 words per unit. Vocabulary words will be reviewed throughout the year. A terrific resource is the online component of Vocabulary Workshop; students can take a practice quiz, listen to word pronunciation, play vocabulary games, and find graphic organizers.  There will be a Cumulative Exam after every 3 units and a Final Cumulative exam on all 300 words at the end of the school year.  Therefore, it is important that each student keeps track of all of his or her vocab cards throughout the year, as we will use them in various classroom activities. Please check the Testing Calendar for test dates.
  • Holt McDougal is our reading textbook. The book is rather large and, therefore, will be kept in the classroom. This text is ideal for short stories, poetry, literary components, and much more.
  • Fiction and nonfiction chapter books will be used throughout the curriculum. Books are chosen based on student level, cross-curricular learning, interest, genre, etc. We will also be exploring shorter works such as newspaper articles, journal entries, and speeches. If your child has read a book or selection that we are studying, that is fine; we will be focusing on various aspects of the book that he or she may not have concentrated on previously.  Each student should have a binder for literature lessons. We will change the front cover of our Lit. Binder as we move to a new book. Every single paper relating to the current literature book should be placed inside this binder. We will collect the entire packet of materials after we have finished the book. The student will then receive a Lit. Binder summary grade.
  • Independent Reading is essential for student success. Research states that a child who reads 30 minutes independently each day is typically in the 85th percentile on standardized tests. Students should be reading independently on a daily basis, including weekends, school vacations, and summer.

English: Grammar & Writing

  • Voyages in English will be used for grammar instruction. This includes mastery of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, verbals, adverbs, prepositions, sentences, conjunctions, interjections, punctuation, capitalization, and diagramming sentences. The textbook does have an online component to reinforce learned skills. Each student should have a composition notebook for Grammar notes and a Voyages in English workbook for practice work. Students should expect a formative quiz on the learned lesson after reviewing homework from the night before. Summative assessments occur after every unit with cumulative assessments at the end of each Trimester.
  • Writing is essential for student success in any subject area and throughout life. We will work on perfecting our sentences, paragraphs, and essay writing. Writing genres include personal narratives, how-to articles, business letters, descriptions, expository writing, persuasive writing, argumentative writing, book reviews, creative writing, poetry, research reports, and literary analysis. Students should expect an assessment on writing skills at the end of each chapter and a formal writing prompt to craft a written piece.
  • MLA Format will be used throughout all subject areas in Middle School. Students will use MLA to head all papers, format all essays, and so on. All students have been given instruction on MLA, including a sample piece of writing. There are a variety of online resources such as the Purdue Online Reading Lab and EasyBib