Mrs. Brandy Spielman

Professional Introduction:

The 2018-2019 school year marks my tenth year teaching at WAMS, and my eleventh year teaching overall.  I graduated from Dickinson College in 2008 with a major in English and minors in education and dance/theater.  In 2015 I graduated from Wilkes University with a master’s in reading, and I am currently pursuing a second masters through Marygrove College.  In addition to teaching 8th grade ELA, I serve as the ELA curriculum writer for the middle school. I was also a runner-up for the 2018 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.

Copy of my Syllabus for the 2017-2018 School Year Introduction:

Welcome to ELA on team 8A!  My goal this year is for each of my students to grow as readers and writers through instruction that is tailored to their current individual abilities and needs.  To accomplish this goal, we will be reading and writing extensively throughout the course of the year.  Regardless of whether students traditionally excel or struggle with language arts, they will be challenged with work at their level that will allow them to leave my class a better reader or writer than they were when they began.


Reading List:

All books will be provided by the library.  Not all students will read every book here, but this is a comprehensive list of every book that could be used this year.  If parents have any questions or concerns about the novels, please contact me before September 1st in order to arrange an alternative reading selection.

The Giver  Lois Lowry Touching Spirit Bear Ben Mikaelsen Kidnapped Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson

The Outsiders S.E. Hinton Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allan Poe

Summer of my German Soldier Bette Greene Monster Walter Dean Myers



I will follow the grading policy outlined in the student handbook.  Students will receive 50% for any assignment submitted late.  They will have two days to submit late assignments for half credit.  Grades will be weighted by category with the following weights:

tests/quizzes 40% word gen writing 10%

classwork/participation 20% writing assignments/projects 20%

homework 10%


Contact Information:

I update my teacher website the first of every month with class information.  It can be found through the district webpage.  I can most easily be reached through my e-mail:  If you would like a conference, I am available to meet from 2:30-3:00 every day.  I look forward to working with parents and students closely throughout this school year!


Class Contract:

Our class operates on the basic value that all students should grow as readers and writers every day.  In order to adhere to this value, there are certain rules in place to ensure that this learning happens.


1. Students should come to class prepared.  This means having a writing implement, completed homework, a charged chromebook, and any necessary books or materials.

Why?  When students are not prepared, valuable learning time is wasted getting them ready for that day’s class.

2. Students should have their heads up and pay attention throughout the entire class.

Why?  Everyone has something to learn in this class, but it cannot  be learned if students are not mentally present.

3. Students should put forth their best effort on every assignment.

Why?  Everyone has to put in hard work in order to learn.  If students don’t do their best, people will never know what they’re capable of doing.

4. Students should accept failure in themselves and in others.

Why?  Failure is how people grow.  If students don’t occasionally make mistakes, they are not really learning anything.  If they can already do something perfectly, there is no need to do it.

5. Students should be quiet when others are talking, be it the teacher or another student.

Why?  Unnecessary chatter is a distraction to the entire class, and distracted students obviously do not learn as well.

6. Students should speak to others and participate in discussions respectfully.

Why?  Brain science shows that the brain does not work as well when it is worried about embarrassment.  Students should always feel safe to share their thoughts.

7. Students should keep their hands to themselves.

Why?  Brain science again shows that the brain does not work well when it is worried about safety of self or belongings.  Taking items from another person, even as a joke, will not be tolerated.  Pushing and shoving others, even as a joke, will not be tolerated.  

8. Students should treat the room and all materials in it respectfully.

Why?  This room is the students’ home for at least an hour every day, and it is to be a positive place where materials needed for learning can be found easily.  


This contract applies to every person in the room, students and teacher alike.  Students who struggle to comply with the contract may be placed on an individual contract as necessary.


Link to parent portal to check grades and upcoming assignments:

Link to curriculum:

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