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G Biles Locker

G Biles



Hi, Welcome to my web-site. I teach English and Yearbook at Thornton. Please feel free to contact to me via e-mail or telephone. The best time to call is before school, or after school (2:39 M, T, Th, F; 12:28 W). Please review this site and our frequent student handouts for details regarding assignments and grading. Also, be sure to check your student's Agenda for daily homework and updates. Have a great school year.

(510)793-9090 x 58015



Key Assignments / Upcoming TESTS

1) Reading Logs--weekly, and 5 days a week (excepting school holidays).

2) Remember, it is the student's responsibility to copy the homework into his or her agenda everyday. Parents should check their student's agenda to be sure that the exact words have been recorded.

3) Use the following link to preview Common Core tests:


English 7H Syllabus

Thornton Junior High School                                                                                                                                        English 7th-Honors, Syllabus Mr. Biles + School Loop


English 7H at Thornton follows the California Common Core State Standards. These standards include the areas of (1) Reading (2) Writing (3) Written and Oral Communications, and (4) Listening and Speaking.

They can be found on the website:



Students will read three assigned novels and one drama selection, during class and for homework. Assigned books include The Pearl by John Steinbeck, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett and Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. Students will also read one approved chapter-book of their own choosing per quarter. Novels and non-fiction selections are augmented with short stories, plays, short non-fiction selections, folk tales, and poetry located in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, California Collections textbook. Additional novels and reading selections may be assigned, based upon time available. All classes are supplemented with worksheets, discussions and activities, including vocabulary development, spelling, grammar, and literary analysis. The class also prepares students for English Language Arts Common Core testing, and the FUSD Writing Assessment.



Homework consists of short writing assignments or exercises (Monday-Thursday) reading logs (Monday-Friday) and quarterly essays. Please see the TJHS Agenda for exceptions. Nightly homework should not exceed 30 minutes for all class activities, and absent work must be turned in in a timely manner (students are allowed one extra day for each day of absence). 


note: The student is responsible for writing down the homework assignments in their Agenda. Daily assignments are written on the classroom whiteboard, and not posted on-line.



In order for all students to meet our national reading goal of one million words during their 7th grade year, they are required to read one chapter book per quarter, outside of class. Students may choose their fiction or non-fiction selections within our class guidelines. This reading is done in addition to other homework. Students track their progress by using a Reading Log. The Reading Log is handed out on the first day of the week (usually Monday) and collected one week later. It requires each student to report on 15 minutes of outside reading per day (5 times a week). Reading Logs which are not turned in on time are discounted 20%. The Reading Logs make up a large portion of a student’s homework grade, and they require a parent or guardian’s signature. Recommended reading selections are grade-level chapter books, approved by the teacher, or selections from the California Department of Education


Recommended Literature list. This list is found by going to:



Students will continue to learn the mechanics of good sentences and strong paragraphs, and structures for constructing basic, five-paragraph essays in the following categories: (1) argumentative essays (2) expository essays (3) narrative essays (4) and letters, research reports, and summaries. Essays and reports are to be submitted in the MLA format, consisting of typed, 12 point, Times-New-Roman font; double-spaced on white paper; with 1” margins all around. Computers and printers are available to all students, both in the classroom and in the school library.





A strong emphasis is placed on the eight parts of speech, the parts of sentences, and on writing conventions. Grammar instruction is normally a part of each daily class.



Students seeking an “A” grade must submit one, outside reading extra-credit book-report per quarter/two per semester. (This is a requirement for an “A” — not a guarantee of one). Students must complete all classwork and assigned homework at a 90% level or higher, to qualify. Students are expected to actively participate in class. An “A” is the highest grade possible for an assignment or for the class, as this grade earns the student all possible credit toward their ‘grade-point-average.’ (There are no “A+” grades).


                        Letter grades break down as follows:


“A, A-”            grades begin at, and are dependent upon obtaining a 90% cumulative score on written assignments and testing.

                         *An extra-credit book report (above) is required to earn an “A”.


“B+, B, B-”      grades begin at 80%


“C+, C, C-”      grades begin at 70%


“D+, D, D-”     grades begin at 60%


“F”                  grades are cumulative scores below 60%


                        Grades are weighted and arrived at in the following manner:


      Assessments                             =          60% (including Tests, Quizzes, and Essays)

      Assignments                             =          25%

      Reading                                    =          10% (including Reading Logs)

      Speaking and Listening             =          5%


                         Grades can be accessed on-line, via the School-Loop program:



Testing is announced in advance, and not normally given at the beginning of, or at the end of, a school week. However, there may be some exceptions.

Quizzes are given at any time, on any day, at the teacher’s discretion.



There will be one extra-credit book report per quarter (described above). This is the only extra credit assignment and it is a requirement for an “A.” Students not seeking an “A,” who do not participate in extra-credit, will not have their (non-“A” grades) affected by not participating in extra-credit.


Late Turn-ins

Students are allowed to turn in late Reading Logs and Essays at any time, up to two weeks before the end of the grading period (the Quarter). Late work will be discounted up to 20% off of the earned grade. There is no late turn-in of daily homework assignments, except as allowed by the teacher (under special circumstances). Excused Absences allow the student one extra day per absence, to turn in late work for full credit.



All of the rules and guidelines described in the Student Agenda apply to student behavior and discipline.

Yearbook 2018-19

Hi Everyone,

We expect the Yearbook class to sell over 950 Yearbooks! Students will become proficient in state-of-the-art digital photography, journalism and website design (using eDesign, our advanced website software). We are creating an all-color, hard cover, 80+ page book, and we are looking forward to the best Thornton Yearbook ever!

Yearbook Syllabus

Thornton Junior High School                                                                                                                                   Yearbook Syllabus

Mr. Biles, + School Loop


The Yearbook Course at Thornton follows a traditional format used by all of the junior high and high schools in the Fremont Unified School District. The skills learned in the course are directly transferable to programs offered in FUSD high schools and in excellent schools and colleges across the country. The topics include (1) Journalism (2) Digital photography (3) Website building, and (4) Leadership skills. By year’s end, the students will have produced and published an eighty-page, full color, hardback book. They will have worked with a world-class publishing company (and their representatives) and have managed a $35, 000 investment.



Students begin by creating a theme for the year’s book, and then progress to designing a cover. With the aid of a professional graphic artist from publisher Herff-Jones, they finalize the design and submit it for publication. Students then create a “Ladder” for the entire book, splitting the year’s events into separate activities, with pairs of students assigned to work on segments independently. As they gather interviews, photographs and documentation from a wide range of campus activities, they submit finished pages to the publisher according to a schedule of publishing deadlines. Finally, at year’s end, the students distribute the books to their classmates in school.



Students learn that the school yearbook and newspaper require them to be able to ‘tell a story’ using photographs and text. They study examples of excellent work from other students and from professionals and then they document school events using the tools they have acquired. This work includes capturing the intensity of a science experiment, photographing the fun of learning a new dance, or describing the stress of a close game. Students constantly evaluate and improve their journalistic skills in the areas of photography and written communication.



Students learn the theory and the fundamentals of digital photography. They have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art digital cameras, including selecting of lenses and equipment for various applications. As a result, they will be able to take excellent photographs and see their own work published in the school’s yearbook and newsletter.


Website Building

By using the web-creation software e-design, students are able to build and draw from, libraries of original photographs and templates. They manipulate photographs for maximum effect, gain experience in graphic arts, use the program Photoshop, and practice printing, captioning and writing copy.


Leadership Skills

Students visit other classrooms while instruction is in progress, to take pictures and to make notes. It is their responsibility to be courteous and respectful during these visits. In addition, students are asked to interview and photograph members of the administration and the staff.



Students are graded on their participation in the class and in meeting assignment deadlines. “A” grades begin at 90%, “B” grades begin at 80%, “C” grades begin at 70% and “D” grades begin at 60%. Students are expected to actively contribute in class and on campus. Some testing will be conducted on days designated in the Student Handbook, and occasional quizzes may be given at the teacher’s discretion.

Homework and Reading Logs

Homework is assigned in class everyday, and students are expected to write the assignments in their agenda. Daily assignments are posted on the the classroom whiteboard. In addition, students are expected to read an outside chapter book (teacher/parent approved and grade-level appropriate). They need to read a minimum of 15-20 minutes each night (5 days a week, excepting holidays) from their outside reading book and complete a Reading-Log entry (signed by a parent, nightly).