English Language Arts

Welcome to GAMS English Language Arts Department


Essential for future success, reading is a never-ending journey of growth and learning. We will read short stories and novels, mysteries, horror, adventure, realistic fiction, historical fiction, literary nonfiction, informational nonfiction, and more. Our goal is for each student to read 25 books each year. Students have a great deal of choice in the novels they read. We will focus on Before / During / After Comprehension Strategies for reading fiction and the Power Strategies for reading nonfiction.

 Books, I found, had the power to make time stand still,
retreat or fly into the future.  - Jim Bishop 


In today’s workplace, the greatest complaint of employers is the inability of employees to write. We focus much of our time each year on writing. We will be writing creative pieces, paragraphs, essays, research papers and poetry. Using the 6 + 1 Trait Writing Model, we focus on ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, grammatical conventions and presentation.

In order to produce quality works of writing we spend much time securing our knowledge of grammatical conventions with writing projects being scored on an “A” or “NY” scale. We desire for writings to be a quality “A” piece of writing; therefore, until each writing meets the “A” criteria on the rubric, the piece will be scored with a “NY” or “Not Yet.” The student may revise, edit and rewrite each piece as many times as necessary to achieve the quality “A” for which we are reaching.

 Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. - Sharon O'Brien 


It seems almost impossible to overstate the power of words; they literally have changed and will continue to change the course of world history. Perhaps the greatest tools we can give students for succeeding, not only in their education but more generally in life, is a large, rich vocabulary and the skills for using those words. Our language skills and word knowledge mightily affect our ability to function in today’s complex world. For this reason, we complete vocabulary exercises daily, and we use our vocabulary words daily in class. Our goal is not to memorize words for a quiz but to internalize them and make them our own.

Words—so innocent and powerless as they are, standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to choose and combine them.  - Nathaniel Hawthorne 


English Language Arts Teachers

Emily L. Brookens

Robert F. Cooper, III

Sarah L. Diller


Lacey E. Fegan

Tanya J. Forrester

Julie L. Franchi

Yvonne D. Garland

Sheila M. Keller

Raymond A. Mowery

Kelly M. Saylor

Melissa Shuey

Noelle Vo

Christine Wilkinson

Elizabeth B. Wilson

Darah Wolf

Click here for more information on the our literacy vision, mission and for parent literacy resources.