8th Grade Language Arts


You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

-C.S. Lewis

In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.

-Phil Collins







1st:  8:00-8:45

2nd: 8:48-9:33

3rd: 9:36-10:21

4th: 10:24-11:07

Lunch: 11:07-11:39

Pride: 11:42-12:12

5th: 12:15-1:00

6th: 1:03-1:48

7th: 1:51-2:36

8th: 2:39-3:25


1st:  8:00-8:35

2nd: 8:38-9:13

3rd: 9:16-9:51

4th: 9:54-10:29

5th: 10:32-11:07

Lunch: 11:07-11:39

Pride: 11:40-12:10

6th: 12:13-12:48

7th: 12:51-1:26

8th: 1:29-2:04

~January ~

1/4 & 1/18:

No School



... Upcoming in February ...


2/8 & 2/10:

Parent-Teacher Conferences



(Teacher Inservice)


(President's Day)


What   We   Do...

Book Reports

This is the diorama option completed by a student for their first quarter book report.

Students complete a total of 4 book reports over the year--one per quarter.  These are novels of personal choice and are read independently. They have 8 options to choose from:

   --Book Review

   --Comic Book


   --Movie Pitch


   --Travel Brochure

   --Book Jacket

   --Book Trailer



Our classroom practices a balance of traditional AND project-based assessments. Students are regularly required to complete projects that encourage them to apply what they've learned in a unit and analyze, synthesize, and evaluate relevant information, creating something unique and personal.

This promotes higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills (and it is super fun!!)

Class Novel Studies

Touching Spirit Bear
The Giver
Diary of Anne Frank




Among traditional, formal styles of writing we cover over the year, our students also participate in some unique writing opportunities.

A few examples include:

--Six-Word Memoirs  (featured on the right) 


--Blackout Poetry   (Display wall featured below)



Assignment Calendar

Scroll the calendar :)

About Me...

My name is Raychel Swanson. This is my fourth year teaching at DC West. I teach Reading and Language Arts for all 8th graders as well as HAL, and I LOVE getting students excited about reading and writing! Reading with my students and leading them through different worlds and watching them understand, learn, and grow is my all-time favorite thing. 

I have six awesome kiddos at home (ages 19--9) and two spunky dogs: Atlas and Leena. They all keep me on my toes most days. We spend much of our time enjoying the outdoors in summer and watching movies with popcorn in the winter--dogs included! Coffee, however, is a year-round obsession of mine. 


Photo Gallery




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