Welcome to My Class Webpage!


    I am very excited to be working with you this year and want you to know that I am always available for extra help before, during, and after school. Together, we are going to make this school year be the best that it can possibly be!  That being said, this webpage has a lot of valuable information including current and future homework assignments, tests/quizzes, project due dates, and all classroom handouts. Since all handouts are online or in Google Classroom, it is your responsibility to print yourself a copy if you lose the copy given to you in class.
    If you are absent from school, it is your responsibility to complete the work that you missed (one day per day absent will be given to make up missed work). All assignments are posted on the website and can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. If you do not have an internet connection at home, please see me the day that you return so that I can explain and catch you up on what you missed. Please check back often for class and assignment updates (see the class calendar at the top of this page), handouts, study guides, etc. Also, don't forget to check out Google Classroom!

    As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns throughout the school year. You can reach me by calling the main office at: 201-646-7842 and leaving a message or via email at: zluke@hackensackschools.org 


    Each unit of study will have a reading and writing component.  

    The units of study are:

    Unit 1:

    Reading Unit- The Comprehension Toolkit

    Theme- Reading for understanding/meaning

    Writing Unit- Narrative

    Unit 2:

    Reading Unit- Among the Hidden

    Theme- Coming of Age - Individual responsibility within a community. Government regulation. Dystopia.

    Writing Unit- Literary Analysis (LAT) Argumentative

    Unit 3:

    Reading Unit- The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963

    Theme- Racism, Discrimination, Prejudice, Social Justice, Coming of Age

    Writing Unit- Research Simulation Task (RST)

    Unit 4:

    Reading Unit- Out of the Dust

    Theme- Forgiveness, Survival and Courage

    Writing Unit- Narrative Writing Task (NWT) or Perspective Narrative


    Reader's Workshop:

    Since the format gives students tools for selecting and comprehending literature, students who were once reluctant to read now find themselves with the skills needed to be successful readers. Over the course of the year, students read many books and are encouraged to do as good reader's do in exploring different genres, authors, and texts.

    The program emphasizes the interaction between readers and text. Students learn to ask questions, make connections with prior knowledge and previously read texts, and ask questions to clarify faulty comprehension they recognize has occurred.

    The program includes peer conferences and teacher conferences with students but emphasizes students' independence and allows them to become successful readers outside of the classroom.


    Writer's Workshop:

    The idea behind Writer’s Workshop is simple: if we know from experience that a workshop approach to the teaching of writing works well for aspiring professional writers, why shouldn’t we use this approach in our classrooms? As in a professional writer’s workshop, each student in the class is a working author.The teacher is a writing professional and peer coach, guiding authors as they explore their craft. Instead of spending the majority of class time on spelling tests, grammar worksheets, handwriting practice, and other isolated sub-skills of writing, Writer’s Workshop is designed to emphasize the act of writing itself—students spend most of their time putting pencil to paper, not just learning about it. Over time, students learn to choose their own topics and to manage their own development as they work through a wide variety of writing projects in a sustained and self-directed way.

    In Writer’s Workshop classrooms, full class lessons are short and tightly focused on
    practical real-world issues. As in professional writing workshops, emphasis is placed on
    sharing work with the class, on peer conferencing and editing, and on the collection of a
    wide variety of work in a writing folder, and eventually in a portfolio. Teachers write
    with their students and share their own work as well. The workshop setting encourages
    students to think of themselves as writers, and to take their writing seriously. 

    (Taken from http://www.ttms.org/PDFs/05%20Writers%20Workshop%20v001%20%28Full%29.pdf)