Rachel Laughland

Current Grade/Specialty Area: 8th grade Language Arts, 8th grade Homeroom and Religion
Teacher/Staff At OLW Since: 2013 / 2018
Educator Since: 2009
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Education from Roosevelt University, 2009
Special Certificates, Licenses, Programs, Trainings: 
English as a Second Language Endorsement, Benedictine University, 2011
Middle School Endorsement, Roosevelt University, 2012

 rlaughland@olwschool.org     School Phone: (847) 255-0050          Voice Mailbox: 344

Follow me on Twitter:  @MissLaughland

I first taught at Our Lady of the Wayside from 2013-2015. After a few years teaching elsewhere, I realized that Wayside is where I am meant to be. I am thrilled to be here teaching my favorite subject, Language Arts.

Miss Laughland’s Language Arts

Language Arts class is based on the Workshop Model. Each day, students have a warm-up, mini-lesson, purposeful practice time, and time to share and reflect on their work. Students have the opportunity to work individually, with their peers, and to conference one-on-one with me.

Reading focuses on whole class novels, Literature Circles (Book Clubs), and independent novels. We also have weekly Read Alouds related to a skill or topic that we are focusing on in class. To begin each class, students read their independent reading books for ten minutes.

We will continue to use Traits Writing by Ruth Culham, focusing on seven traits that are key components when it comes to producing quality writing. The “revision traits” (Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, and Sentence Fluency) and the “editing traits” (Conventions and Presentation) are taught in conjunction with the Writing Process (Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing). Students will add to their knowledge of these traits and how to apply them to the various writing assignments that we work on throughout the year.

Grades are calculated according to total points. Larger assignments, assessments, and projects are worth significantly more points than homework and classwork.

Students are expected to have their Language Arts binder, pencil case, iPad, and an independent reading novel with them at all times.

Late work:
Late assignments will be reduced by 20%. Absent work will be discussed on an individual basis.

Google Classroom:
Information about upcoming tests, due dates, and other information is posted on Google Classroom. You can also email me at rlaughland@olwschool.org. Students: to ensure a response from me, be sure to copy a parent on any emails.



This year in Religion we are working out of the We Live Our Faith and Confirmed in the Spirit texts, learning more about how to navigate and interpret the Bible, and we are also working on team building. Class will be run according to the following guidelines:

Materials: We Live Our Faith workbook, Confirmed in the Spirit workbook, Bible, folder/binder

Assignments: All assignments are to be typed unless otherwise stated. There are a few standing assignments that you are required to complete throughout the school year. Keep in mind that these are not the only assignments that you will have, as other assignments may come up related to what we’re covering in class.

Gospel Reflections: One Friday each month questions are assigned relating to Sunday’s gospel. These will always be due on the following Monday. Gospel Reflection answers must be written in complete sentences according to the requirements stated on the Gospel Reflection handout. Bibles are necessary in order to complete this weekly assignment. This assignment is a homework grade and is worth 20 points.

Homily Evaluations:
Twice a month you are required to write an evaluation of the homily given at Mass. Please see the Homily Evaluation handout for more specific information. Homily Evaluations are considered tests, are worth 35 points, and are due at the beginning of Religion class on Tuesday morning following the weekend of the homily that you evaluate. Remember, there are at least four weekends each month in which you can complete one of your two Homily Evaluations. Make sure you plan accordingly.

Workbook Assignments:
Occasionally you will have homework to complete in your workbook. You will also be required to complete Chapter Reviews before Chapter Tests. These assignments will be counted as homework grades.

Chapter Tests:
Following the completion of a chapter, you will have a Chapter Test. This is an assessment grade. We will have time in class to review before each test, and all of the information covered on your tests is information taken directly from your workbook and our class discussions.

Confirmation Assignments:
These include selecting a sponsor, completing 20 service hours, writing a letter to the Bishop, choosing a Confirmation Saint including a paper/presentation, and a Confirmation Test.

Grades are weighted according to the following percentages:
Tests, projects, and Homily Evaluations: 60%
Homework, classwork, and Gospel Reflections: 40%

If a student is absent from class, it is his/her responsibility to make up any work missed.