E.E. Smith Middle School

E.E. Smith Middle School

Today's Learners and Leaders


external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQHHicQmpPTz5i8PkG66DAm8tthwpNgGfd_aAFt8kvYJlsZRI0&t=1&usg=___unOfkOmab5JrBpV2037x2vGqAI=Name: Debra Taylor                                    Email: detaylor@duplinschools.net
                                       Grade: 8                                                       Subject(s): Language Arts
Welcome to my webpage!
I have been teaching since 2001. I hold a BA Degree in Behavioral Science, a Masters Degree in Education in Cross-Cultural Teaching with an Emphasis in Cultural Language and Development and a Masters Degree in 21st Century Executive Leadership with a school administration license. I have been teaching middle school since 2003. Prior to that, I taught third grade and was a Title 1 teacher. Through the years I have been actively involved in various school leadership teams such as the School Improvement Team, PBIS Team, AVID committee, Crisis Team, School Leadership Team, Yearbook Advisor, Website Master, County PEP Committee, PTO Rep and the Data committee at school. In addition, I previously was the chair person of the Student Success Team Committee (SST).
I work hard to keep each student actively engaged. I believe every student can learn to their highest potential!
Feel free to contact me at any time.
We are a TEAM in Mrs. Taylor's Class!  This is OUR webpage, so let me know what YOU would like on it!
Welcome to Language Arts!
 (Syllabus has important upcoming dates and assignment information.)
PARENTS: Homework is a practical application of the skill learned, an assessment tool that helps guide the teacher lesson plan curriculum and a lesson in student responsibility. I fully understand what it's like to have an evening full of activities as I have four children of my own. Please ensure that homework gets completed. Thank you in advance.

Dear Parents,


I would like to welcome you to the 8th Grade Team! We are excited about the new school year. Communication between parents and teachers are essential to ensure the success of your student. In this letter, you will find an outline of rules and expectations for the upcoming school year.




What should your child expect? Students should expect the curriculum to be more challenging than it was last year. Students need to be prepared to work hard and to come to class with the necessary materials. Cooperation, a positive attitude, and good study habits are a must! I will also focus on organizational skills.  In addition, I will assist students to improve their study skills.  All students are expected to have a reading book, on their appropriate level; at all times in all classes (Magazines are not appropriate).




The students will adhere to the policies and consequences that are outlined in the Duplin County Student Handbook. Our goal is to optimize instructional time, assist you in taking responsibility for student behavior, and to reward appropriate classroom behavior.


Homework Policy:


Assignments will be given several times a week in all subject areas. Late assignments are due the following class period. All students who do not turn in missing work will receive a permanent zero. Students may also be placed in break/lunch detention as a result of missing work; this would especially affect students who enjoy intramurals/sports. We hope to instill a strong sense of responsibility and accountability as well as the importance of regularly practicing new skills through homework.


Assignment Planners:


Planners are the key to helping students stay organized and are an effective line of communication between teachers and parents. The assignments are posted on the board in each class. Students are expected to write assignments in their planner in ink. I will note missing or incomplete work as needed. I can not emphasize enough the importance of this vital tool! I encourage you to write to us about any concerns that may arise.


We look forward to hearing from you and will be glad to answer any questions you have. It will be helpful to us if you provide an email address as a means of communication.


Thank you for your support. I look forward to working with you and your child this school year. I am confident that your child will have an enjoyable and successful school year with the 8th Grade Team!




Mrs. Taylor

Grading Scales










59 and below

The Ten Study Habits of Successful Students
Successful students have good study habits. They apply these habits to all of their classes. Read about each study habit. Work to develop any study habit you do not have.
Successful students:Try not to do too much studying at one time.
If you try to do too much studying at one time, you will tire and your studying will
not be very effective. Space the work you have to do over shorter periods of time.
Taking short breaks will restore your mental energy.
Plan specific times for studying.
Study time is any time you are doing something related to schoolwork. It can be
completing assigned reading, working on a paper or project, or studying for a test.
Schedule specific times throughout the week for your study time.
Try to study at the same times each day.
Studying at the same times each day establishes a routine that becomes a regular
part of your life, just like sleeping and eating. When a scheduled study time comes
up during the day, you will be mentally prepared to begin studying.
Set specific goals for their study times.
Goals will help you stay focused and monitor your progress. Simply sitting down to
study has little value. You must be very clear about what you want to accomplish
during your study times.
Start studying when planned.
You may delay starting your studying because you don't like an assignment or think
it is too hard. A delay in studying is called "procrastination." If you procrastinate for
any reason, you will find it difficult to get everything done when you need to. You
may rush to make up the time you wasted getting started, resulting in careless work
and errors.
Work on the assignment they find most difficult first.
Your most difficult assignment will require the most effort. Start with your most
difficult assignment since this is when you have the most mental energy.
Review their notes before beginning an assignment.
Reviewing your notes can help you make sure you are doing an assignment correctly.
Also, your notes may include information that will help you complete an assignment.
Tell their friends not to call them during their study times.
Two study problems can occur if your friends call you during your study times. First,
your work is interrupted. It is not that easy to get back to what you were doing.
Second, your friends may talk about things that will distract you from what you need
to do. Here's a simple idea - turn off your cell phone during your study times.
Call another student when they have difficulty with an assignment.
This is a case where "two heads may be better than one."
Review their schoolwork over the weekend.
Yes, weekends should be fun time. But there is also time to do some review. This will
help you be ready to go on Monday morning when another school week begins.
These ten study habits can help you throughout your education. Make sure they are your 
study habits.

Strategies for parents to use in helping their child succeed in reading proficiency.
1. Read to your child and listen to your child read a variety of literature (poems, articles, fiction, non-fiction, creative stories, riddles, joke books, newspapers, catalogues, etc.).
2. Encourage your child to talk about what he/she is reading. What questions does he/she have about the story? Talking with your child about what he/she is reading will help him/her clarify thinking, form opinions, and receive answers to questions.
3. Have a variety of reading material available around your home.
4. Take trips to the library, bookstores, and museums.
5. Look for books that match your child’s interests.
6. Read the same page in the book silently and then discuss it.
7. Team up with your child in doing projects that depend on reading such as cooking, model building, and arts and crafts.
8. Keep reference books in reach. Look up things your child wants to know about.
9. Provide opportunities for your child to write (journals, lists for the store, notes back and forth between your family, a message center, family stories, photo albums with captions under the pictures, vacation logs, etc.).
10. Model reading – show how much you enjoy reading by reading yourself. Establish a daily reading routine. Build a home library. Share your favorite children’s stories frequently.
11. Read and reread. Anything worth reading once is worth reading many times. Understanding a book completely may not happen with one reading: increased enjoyment and understanding occur with increased familiarity.
12. Praise their attempts while reading and writing, and encourage them to show off their skills to family and friends!
13. Talk with your child’s teacher about more specific ways you can help at home.


Last Modified on March 31, 2017