My name is Rachel McGrane and I am so excited to be teaching at my alma mater (I graduated from St. Mary in 1998!). I graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Writing Studies. I then went on to earn a Master of Library and Information Science degree with an emphasis in Teacher Librarianship from San Jose State University. I worked at St. Therese Academy as their K-8 school librarian for six years before being hired at St. Mary. When I am not working, I love to spend time with my family, travel, go camping, attend concerts, and take walks. I have a toddler and an infant and love learning about the world through their eyes.
It is my firm belief that reading and language arts are the foundation of all learning. In middle school language arts, our primary goals are nurturing a love of reading and enhancing critical language arts skills. We will meet this goal by focusing on reading comprehension of both fiction and informational texts, grammar, increasing vocabulary, creative and academic writing, MLA format, literary analysis, critical thinking skills, and the Greek and Latin origins of words.
Novel studies will serve as the foundation of the middle school language arts program. Lessons in grammar, poetry, and academic writing will supplement the novels. We will annotate and contextualize each novel that we read to better parse meaning from the texts and to form deeper connections to it.
Methods of instruction will include group reading, independent reading, literature circles, small and large group discussions, and various writing assignments and activities.
Students will also read books of their own choosing, have access to the extensive library in the eighth grade classroom, and journal every day.