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Welcome to

8th Grade Language Arts!!

(Legacy Team)


Thursday, November 6th:
We have started a new unit recently, in which we will study text structure, tone/mood, and examining stories rooted in reality and fantasy. Our unit centers around the texts "The Tell Tale Heart" and "The Raven", by Edgar Allan Poe. We will study tone, mood, and text structure in each text, ultimately writing a compare/contrast essay examining the two texts. After Thanksgiving, we will begin reading the novel, The Outsiders.  
 Here is a list of upcoming assignments/assessments for the next week and a half:
1st & 4th Periods -
1. Vocabulary Review Quiz over Word within a Word Lists 1-3 will be next Friday, November 14th.
2. The vocabulary review crossword is due Friday - this will likely have to be finished for homework.
3. Starting Tuesday, students will be working on completing annotation and analysis of a non-fiction text every two weeks for homework. The first text will be due Friday, November 21st.
2nd Period -
1. We will have an assessment over text structure today (11/6).
2. There will be a vocabulary quiz over the Word Build unit on "Val" words next Thursday, 11/13.
           3. Starting Monday, students will be working on completing annotation and analysis of a non-fiction text every two weeks for homework. The first text will be due Friday, November 21st. 
3rd Period -  
1. We are finishing up text structure today and students will have an assessment tomorrow over text structure. 
2. We will begin a lesson on mood and tone Friday.
3. We are currently working on vocabulary - we will have a quiz by the end of next week - the date is yet to be determined. 
Tuesday, September 30th:
For periods one, two and four, we will be working on a unit on autobiography these next two weeks, first reading, then writing our own biography. Students will also create a PowerPoint or a Prezi presentation to present important events from their lives. We will begin drafting the autobiographies next week, and we will be in the computer lab next week to type them and create our digital presentation. 
For vocabulary, 1st, 2nd, and 4th periods will have a quiz on Friday over their respective units. 1st and 4th periods will need to turn in note cards Friday as well. 
3rd period will also work on the autobiography unit over the next two weeks. They will have a quiz on Thursday over their current vocabulary unit.
In Cross Country news, the NBMS boys and girls teams placed 5th out of eight teams at the mid-season all-conference meet. Congrats to individual runners, all of whom continue to make improvements from week to week!
Tuesday, September 2nd -
Today, we will be continuing our study of fiction, particularly character, point of view, and character motivation. We will be reading the short story, "The Treasure of Lemon Brown," by Walter Dean Myers. We will also study grammar through Everyday Edits and vocabulary, studying Latin/Greek roots and stems.
Cross Country - I will post the meet schedule soon for Cross Country. Meets will be held on Mondays for the next six weeks.  
Thursday, August 21st
Welcome to a new school year! I will be updating this page more in the coming days.
For Language Arts, an information sheet has been sent home describing the class and the rules/policies. The only supplies needed for now are a notebook, folder/binder, and a writing utensil. 
For those interested in Cross Country, we will have a meeting today after school from 3-330 in my room, 511. Practice begins Monday - we will practice from 3-4:15 each day; I am not yet sure of the meet days yet.  
Monday, March 24th
For 1st, 2nd, and 3rd periods, rough drafts of your "Long Night of Little Boats" essays are due Wednesday first thing. I will check these while you take your vocabulary quiz over the "Act" words (which will also be Wednesday).
As mentioned, vocabulary quiz over the "Act" words Wednesday - there will be no word banks this time, so you will need to remember the definitions and/or (preferably) know the parts and how to put the words together.
We will work on final drafts of the essays Wednesday through Friday, but they need to be completed and turned in Friday by the end of class.  
Monday, March 3rd
Students in 1st, 2nd and 5th (3rd) period classes need to complete their fable activities for Wednesday.
Progress Reports will be sent home Wednesday.
Thursday will be the high school visit as well as picture day. 
Monday, December 16th
4th Period:
You are going to create a "trading card" for Ender from the novel Ender's Game. Click on the following link and follow the directions they provide you:
It should be self-explanatory,  but let us know if you have questions.
For the picture, you will have to go to Google Images, right click and save a picture, then upload it to the trading card.  
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Periods:
In the lab today, we are going to research historical leaders mentioned in the novel Ender's Game. You should bring loose leaf paper, on which you will answer the following questions:
1. Which leader (Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon) did you choose? 
2. What major accomplishments are they known for?
3. Were they known for any negative accomplishments or actions?
4. What were some of their positive traits or qualities?
5. Were there any negative traits or qualities?
6. How did their career/life end?
For this activity, Wikipedia should be avoided. You should be able to find plenty of information on websites like, or
Monday, October 7th
"Message in a Bottle" projects are due today! For each day they are late, they will be 5% off. These are big grades, so make sure to get them in!
Tuesday, students will take the Explore Test. This will take about 2.5 hours.
In terms of curriculum, we are beginning our next mini-unit on persuasive techniques and persuasive writing. We will discuss propaganda and advertisements. Students will analyze commercials and create their own print advertisements. More information to follow...
Thursday, October 3rd
Periods One and Three (Lunch) have a vocabulary quiz over the "form" words Friday (tomorrow). Also, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd periods (lunch) have to finish their "Message in a Bottle" Projects for tomorrow, Friday, 10/4.  
Field Trip Permission Slips are also due tomorrow with the $10 fee.  
Friday, we will begin working on our next unit on persuasion and persuasive techniques. More details to follow. 
Monday, September 30th
Friday, October 11th, we will be traveling to the NC Arboretum for a field trip, to study freshwater ecology. Field trip permission slips are due Tuesday if a lunch from the cafeteria will be needed and Friday if students are bringing their own lunch. The fee of $10 is also due by Friday. The fee consists of the $8 the Arboretum charges per student and $2 for transportation expenses.  
This week we are wrapping up our study of character and point of view. Students are working on the "Message in a Bottle" project for one of the three stories we have read so far. These will be due Thursday. We may have time Wednesday in class to work on them.
Tuesday we will take the Common Exam over character and point of view. All 8th grade students will take this exam, to test what they have learned in our current unit.
Thursday, 1st and 3rd periods will have a vocabulary quiz over our current SAT Word List. 2nd Period will have their quiz on Wednesday. We may have a grammar quiz on Friday.
Monday, September 23rd
This week we continue to study character and character traits. We are currently reading an excerpt from a biography on Harriet Tubman, identifying character traits and finding quotes that show the identified traits. We will take an assessment on character some time in the next week or so. After that, we will continue to study literary terms primarily through short fiction. 
Monday, September 9th:
For 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (lunch) periods, there will be a vocabulary quiz over the SAT vocabulary words on Wednesday. Make sure you know the 10 words and their definitions.  
If you have not yet turned in the SAT Vocabulary Assignment, the email to Laurie's parents from the story "Charles" or the TV Show Character Assignment, they need to be turned in right ASAP to receive credit.
This week, we will be wrapping up our short stories focused on character (traits). We will conduct a short unit on 9/11 starting Wednesday, and we will head to the library to begin working on a short project related to the two short stories we've read so far.
Thursday, September 5th, 2013
For Friday, 1st and 3rd (lunch) periods are to email or bring in a typed copy of the FINAL draft of the letter from Laurie's teacher to his parents. See details from September 4th below.
Also for tomorrow, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (lunch) periods need to finish the SAT Vocabulary List One assignment - it will be graded for completeness this time around, not correctness. Do your best! 
September 4th, 2013
For my first and third (lunch) period classes: For the final draft of the email assignment related to the short story "Charles", you are to do one of the following by this FRIDAY, September 6th:
1. If you have internet access at home, you are to compose the email and send it to me to my school email address: You should compose the email using the correct format.
2. If you do not have internet access at home, you are to type the final draft and bring it in to me.
3. If you do not have computer access at home, you should neatly write a final draft by hand.
Here is the assignment: Email from Laurie's Teacher
August 30th, 2013
Don't forget to complete the TV Show Character Analysis. Here is a copy of the handout: TV Show Character Analysis
August 20th, 2013

Check back for updates in the next few days!
Welcome back to school! My name is Aaron Jennings, and I am excited to begin my 4th year at North Buncombe Middle School teaching English Language Arts. I also coach Cross Country in the fall, so if you are interested in running this fall, let me know. 
I moved to Asheville in 2010, and my wife LaShay (a Madison County native) and I were married in September of that year. We welcomed our beautiful baby girl Zoe into the world in October of 2011. I will update with a current picture soon. 

I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, so I am a big Reds, Bearcats, Bengals fan! After studying Accounting for three years, I ultimately graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in History. I then attended Xavier University, where I earned a M.Ed. in Secondary Education. I taught in Ohio for one year, Kentucky for two years, and have taught for three years here at North Buncombe Middle School. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family, reading, hiking, biking, photography, music, playing the guitar, selling things on eBay, building things (when I have the time), and working on our house (a never ending process:)).

Zoe at five months
Baby Zoe!
My wife LaShay and I

Last Modified on November 6, 2014