Welcome to Mrs. Banks' class! 

    Mrs. Margaret S. Banks
    8th Grade ELA Teacher
    E-mail: msbanks@ppps.org
    Phone Number: 269-415-5511
    Conference Period: 7th hour

     About Mrs. Banks
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Margaret Banks. I have been a teacher with Paw Paw Public Schools for 18 years. This is my 28th year of teaching over all. I graduated from Haslett High School, KVCC, and Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. I also attended WMU for post-graduate studies. I have one grown son, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren: Lilly (8) and Logan (5). I enjoy reading, singing, and exploring the beauty of "Up North." I am  excited to begin another great year of teaching at Paw Paw Middle School.
    Communication is a critical piece in your student's academic success. Education is a group effort between the student, the parents, and the school. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please get in touch with me. The quickest and most effective way to reach me is via e-mail. You can also call the middle school office and leave a message. Once again I am so pleased to have your students in my class. It's going to be a GREAT year!

     2017-2018 Syllabus

    Welcome to 8th grade English Language Arts! ELA classes at PPMS  are  “blocked”, which means all students will have two class periods of ELA back-to-back. This will give us more time to work on reading and writing skills, which have been proven to be essential to success in high school and beyond.



    College Career Readiness Anchor Standards

    Reading Standards                             Language Standards                      Writing Standards

    *Monitor comprehension/                *Conventions of standard            *Writing process           higher order thinking skills               English                                      *Author’s craft *Using textual evidence                    *Knowledge of language/           *Types of writing    *Infer meaning                                      vocabulary                                   - summaries         *Summarize and synthesize             * Grammar                                       - narratives     *Read grade level text material                                                                 - informational/                                                                                                                            research                                                                                                                                                                BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS:

    Students are expected to treat other students, staff, visitors, the building and its resources, and themselves with respect at all time. This includes words AND actions. We all may disagree with others from time to time, however that does not mean that their view is wrong or any less valid. We will listen to others the way we expect to be listened to. Repeated behaviors will result in either removal from the classroom, detention, or a misconduct referral depending on the severity of the behavior. No student has the right to interfere with the another student’s learning.

    As a school, we will continue to follow the PPMS Pride matrix for Positive School Climate this year. The PSC program focuses on how we can all work together as a school community to insure all who enter feel safe, respected, and heard. School-wide behavioral expectations will assure consistency for all. You can find a copy of the PPMS Pride matrix in the student handbook along with other student behavior and dress-code information.


    Students do not have an ELA textbook of their own, but they will have access to the textbook online, and there may be some available for checkout. The textbook is Holt McDougal Literature and can be found at my.hrw.com. Passcodes for the online textbook will be given to students within the first few weeks of school. Students are required to have a 3 ring binder, two pocket folder and 2 spiral notebooks, all of which they will bring to class daily.


    Assignments will be listed daily on the board and in the 8th grade Google Doc.  This document can be found at www.ppps.org. Google Classroom will also be available and codes will be given out in class the first week. By the end of the month a weekly outline will be posted on the website and on Google Classroom. Students will get their passcodes for Google Classroom in class the first week of school. Lastly, there is a link to my www.planbook.com  account on my web page if you wish to see the week ahead. It is up to the student to keep track of assignments with a planner of some kind each day. Good planning makes for less stress and fewer missed deadlines.


    Students will be well aware of due dates. Assignments which are one day late will be accepted for 80% (B-) credit. If an assignment is two days late, student will receive only 70% and must attend a ZAP session. (Watch for more information on the ZAP program. This is a whole school initiative.)


    If a student is absent they will be responsible for finding out what they missed when they return as well as picking up any handouts for that day. They will have an additional day for each day absent to make up the work and submit it to me. Assignments will be considered late after this time.


    STUDENTS EARN THEIR GRADE! Students control the grade that they earn through the effort they  put forth in classwork, participation, and homework. Due dates for major writing assignments or projects will be given well ahead of time.  Occasional, random extra credit may  be offered to the whole class, but not to only one individual student.



    100% - 93%


    76% - 73%


    92% - 90%


    72% - 70%


    89% - 87%


    69% - 67%


    86% - 83%


    66% - 63%


    82% - 80%


    62% - 60%


    79% - 77%


    59% and below

    COMMUNICATIONS: I believe that school should be a collaboration between the student, the home, and the school. Therefore. it is important for all parties to work together.  Communication is a vital part of this process. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions or wish to schedule a time for us to meet. After you have read through this information with your student, please complete this page and return it to me via your student. I am excited to share this journey with you and your student.


    NOTE: A copy of this syllabus will be sent home the first week of school. Please fill in and sign the last page and return it with your student. Thank you.