Mr. Martin Nichols (3 Years of Service) » Welcome to 7/8 English!

Welcome to 7/8 English!

Hello and welcome to the front page for my classroom! Here, you will be able to find a copy of my syllabus, and I will include any and all relevant information as it arises. New posts can be found below, and any announcements that I make as well as links to Google Classroom or Dojo can be found here as well. If you cannot find what you are looking for, or if you have any questions at all, contact me at [email protected]
Additionally, I serve as the Health, Safety, and Security Coordinator at LHS, and you can find more about me under the Leadership Team section of our website! I handle multiple different things as they relate to health, safety, and security of our students and staff. If you have questions that may pertain to these areas, my email is listed above and my extension is 134.

Mr. Nichols’s Class

7-8th Grade English Language Arts

L. Hollingworth School for the Talented and Gifted

[email protected]




“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

-Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


Hello and welcome! I am Mr. Nichols, and I am looking forward to having you in my class! This is my second year here at L. Hollingworth, and I look forward to continuing to develop new ways to learn and work together! Not everything is set in stone, and I love to try new methods, so we will approach the material with an open mind and see where it takes us. Through discussion and writing, we will discover all kinds of new things and ideas! I am looking forward to sharing what I know and have learned with you, and I am also looking forward to you sharing what you know with me to help me continue to learn more about the material and YOU! With this in mind, let’s have a great year together!




“You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 

- J.R.R. Tolkien


-My goal as your teacher is not only to educate you about English Language Arts, but also to instill an appreciation for reading, writing, and discussion. I want you to be interested in your reading, creative with your writing, and free and comfortable in your discussion of ideas and opinions. Creativity is the heart of this class, and there are many answers to the questions I will ask. It is up to you to come up with your own ideas, but I will do what I can to help you explore through the reading, writing, and discussion that you will engage with.


Things You Need to Know:


“Don’t panic.”

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


-I expect your best effort for my class. I will always provide you with my best effort and the highest level of respect, and I hope for the same in return. This year is one of the first steps you will take toward your future, wherever you may go. I hope to help guide you along whatever path you may choose as you help me down mine.

-I expect your attention when I am talking or explaining the material for the day. I will always give you my undivided attention if you have questions or need help, so I ask for yours in return when we are covering new and important information. I understand that my hilarious jokes may not always hit, and sometimes you may not like the book we are reading or the things we are writing, but I will do my best to make the information entertaining or intriguing. If you have any suggestions on how I could better adapt the material and lessons to help you (please NOT “just don’t do it,” “let me take a nap instead,” or “teach a less boring book” to name a few) I am happy to talk with you to figure out how I can improve both the material and myself! I want you to have a great time in my class, and I know we can do that if we work together.

-In the next few years, your responsibilities will be growing, so I expect you to be responsible in my class. I will treat you with respect and as the young adults you are quickly becoming, so I expect you to behave as such. Any homework, projects, tests, quizzes, assignments, group work or secret handshakes are to be completed when due. If you need help with any of your work, or even developing an enigmatic clasping of hands, you can always ask me for help, and I will be happy to oblige. Asking for help is not always easy, but know that I am always ready to help if you ask. If you prefer not to ask a question out loud in class, feel free to send me an email! My contact information can be found in the next section.

-This syllabus is subject to change depending on the needs of the class, school, district, etc.


Contact Me:


“I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about.”

-Oscar Wilde


-I am usually very quick to respond to my emails if you need to get a hold of me for any reason. I stop checking my email at 7:00pm any day of the week, and I cannot guarantee a response on the weekend. If you email me before then, I will do my best to respond as thoroughly and promptly as I am able. My email is: [email protected].

-If you need to call, the school's phone number is (419) 705-3411 where you can ask for my extension

-I stay after school until 3:30pm if you need to see me after school/class unless another pressing matter comes up for which I am unable to stay. I arrive by 7:00am every day if you need to see me before school.


Late Work:


“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

-Dr. Seuss


-Each assignment will have an expected due date for the class. That being said, a missing assignment will not be scored as a 0 until 3:00pm on the final day of the quarter. There will be penalties for turning work in late! 

-Every day that an assignment is late, 5% will be deducted from whatever score you receive. Assignments turned in late will lose up to 40% of the final score on the assignment down to a maximum score of 60% after 8 days missing. 

-You will have plenty of time in class to complete your assignments, both classwork and assessments



Daily Agenda


“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

-J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings


-For my class, we will read and write daily. There will be ~30 minutes of independent reading, ~30 minutes of direct instruction where we cover the lesson for the day, and finally ~30 minutes for you to write or work with the day’s lesson or assignment. 

-Since much of your time in my class relies on independent reading and writing, you are expected to keep up on your reading, pay attention during direct instruction, and ask me any questions you may have to better your understanding.

-IRLA meetings will be held during our 30 minutes of reading each day. While I am meeting with other students for IRLA, it is expected that you remain silent and continue to read until I meet with you or time is up

-More directions will be posted and announced on Classroom as they come up, but this is our planned agenda for now. This agenda is subject to change.


Nichols’ Nickels:


“A man who fights for coin is loyal only to his purse.”

-George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones


-I will be running a reward system, aptly named “Nichols’ Nickels”. Each Nickel you earn can be spent in Mr. Nichols’s reward shop where you can earn anything from candy to extra Dojo Points! 

-You are responsible to keep track of your own Nichols’ Nickels if you plan to turn them in for rewards, but I will have a digital tracking system to see who earns the most by the end of each quarter. 

-How to earn Nichols’ Nickels:

-Going above and beyond in class

-Caught in the act of being respectful towards peers/teacher

-Stellar participation/discussion

-Active engagement during Silent Reading time

-At the end of the quarter, the student who earns the most will receive a $10 Gift Card for their choice of food, recognition on the Wall of Fame, and two Dress Down Passes!


Note for Parents:


“The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.”

-Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running


-In our classrooms, we want your children to develop skills both in and out of the room. We want them to become critical thinkers and learners, and we want them to understand that not everything they learn will come directly from the pages of the book they are reading, the essay they are writing, or the notes they are taking, no matter where they are in life. There are always steps to be taken to gather new information and learn independently. Your child is taking the first steps toward their future. We will work our hardest to ensure that your child gets the most from their education both in and out of the room. We are always happy to help and will be available should you or your child need to talk to us about anything. All you need to do is ask. We will check in as often as we can in class, but sometimes problems and questions come up at home, and answers are not always easy to find, so we are happy to fill in the blanks where we are able. If you need to contact any of us, more information on contact can be found below in the “Contact Me” sections of each syllabus.

-For both your child and you, we will do our best to keep everyone updated on any new information that arises when it pertains to the classroom, the school, the community, or the world as we know it. If you would like a weekly/monthly update on your child’s behavior or grades, reach out to us and we can set something up.

-Thank you for your understanding and allowing us to work with your child this year! We hope they will enjoy our classes as much as we do, and we look forward to a great semester!





Poetry Contest

Hey all,
In class, all 7th and 8th graders read The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. After this, we discussed different types of Figurative Language, and students wrote a poem of their own that was submitted to two separate contests!
The first contest is country-wide, but winners aren't announced until April should any of our students qualify.
The second contest is being held right here at LHS! Teachers and admin from around the building are in the process of reading the fantastic work that our students completed, and as soon as they finish judging the competition, those winning poems will be posted here to show off the tremendous talent our students have and the dedication to excellence that they exude! 
These should be posted before Winter Break, and I hope you are excited to see this showcase of work!

8th Grade Graduation

Hey everyone! With the help of our students and families, we put together this video showcasing just how far our 8th graders have come as they move on to big things in high school. We tried to give everyone a glimpse at how much has changed for them over the years, and we hope you enjoy seeing their progress and hearing what the Class of 2022 has to say! The video will be shown at the 8th Grade Graduation ceremony on May 26th, but if you ever want to pause on a picture, rewatch for memories, or listen to the stories they had to tell, it's here for you! Once a Patriot, ALWAYS a Patriot!

2021 Middle School Supply Lists


These are the items we, the middle school teachers, are requesting to enable your student to be successful. The homeroom section will be kept in the homeroom teacher’s classroom to establish a classroom set. The lists that follow have the specific items needed for each of the student’s separate subject areas.


  • earbuds/headphones (to be left at school-these will not be shared)
  • 2 reams of copier paper
  • 2 boxes tissues
  • Clorox wipes
  • 2 pack Post-Its
  • 1 pack 4 Dry Erase markers (for classroom use)
  • 1 pack of 12 Crayola colored pencils (for classroom use)
  • 3 packs of pencils (for classroom use)
  • 1 pack of 10 Crayola Markers (for classroom use)
  • 2 glue sticks (for classroom use)

English/Language Arts (Mr. Nichols):

  • 1 composition notebook (no spirals)
  • 1 pack of loose leaf paper (college-ruled)
  • 1 pack of highlighters
  • 1 two-pocket folder

Math (Mrs. Whitehead):

  • 1 composition notebook (no spirals)
  • 1 pack loose-leaf paper
  • 1 two-pocket folder 

Science (Mr. Palik):

  • 1 ruler
  • 1 pack construction paper
  • Scissors
  • 1 large eraser
  • 1 roll aluminum foil (the student should keep this in their locker to be used for projects)
  • 1 roll duct tape (the student should keep this in their locker to be used for projects)

Social Studies (Mr. Humble):

  • 1 1.5in binder
  • 5 tabs binder tabs
  • 1 ream of lined paper
  • 1 box of 24 Crayola crayons
  • 1 large eraser

LHS Patriot Summer Camp starts next week for those who are registered! Remember attendance is mandatory! June 21- July 29 Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm with breakfast at 7:30 and grab and go lunches provided at dismissal.   Each day your child attends summer camp for the ENTIRE time, your child will be entered into a raffle to be drawn the last day of camp. See you soon!
LHS Patriot Summer Camp starts next week for those who are registered! Remember attendance is mandatory!
June 21- July 29
Monday - Thursday
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
with breakfast at 7:30 and grab and go lunches provided at dismissal.
Each day your child attends summer camp for the ENTIRE time, your child will be entered into a raffle to be drawn the last day of camp.
See you soon!

Spectacular Short Stories!

Hey everyone!
Moving into Spring Break, if you are looking for some AWESOME short stories to read, check out these student examples!
In Quarter 3, we spent a few weeks developing a unique and creative short story that contained fully developed characters and an interesting plot. The examples below are some of the final products of this project, and they are really fun! Feel free to dig in!
Lilly's Kidnapping
Hamuto Kuma
Monkey Man
Chicken nuggets are falling from the sky!
Makayla and Her Friends

D&D Club Information

If you have never played or heard of D&D before, it is all about storytelling; a group of people will get together to tell a story, create their own fantasy character that could be anyone and anything, go on a quest/adventure with whatever goal the Dungeon Master (the person who leads the story like a narrator) has for the group, and ultimately have a ton of fun doing it! 
Since it is all about group storytelling, and the story is created on the fly by everyone involved, there would be plenty of social opportunities as well to keep kids interested and social during remote learning. The character they create and use would need a backstory, a description, and plenty of other general information, so students would need to do some research, read through some reference manuals and materials that I have and would provide to them, and write their character into existence! Reading and writing would be everywhere in the game as students continue to create and design their character and the story itself.
Each session would be an hour or two, and we would meet once a week on the day that works best for the students who sign up for D&D Club. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]!
I will hold an informational meeting Friday, January 8th, in my office hour from 2:30-3:30. Students can sign in to their class's Google Meet where I will be live to answer any questions you have. Sign-up goes until Wednesday, January 13th, with the first session of Character Creation planned for office hour on Friday, January 15th. 

Exemplar Final Projects

Throughout second quarter, all students worked on a quarter-long research project. 7th grade covered different systems of the human body, and 8th grade covered a historical figure from the Civil War. At the end of the quarter, students gathered their research and created an informational website, using Google Sites, that was all about their research topic. Check out some of the incredible final projects that students created here!
7th Grade Sites:
8th Grade Sites:

Movie Day!

Hey everyone!
In 8th Grade ELA, we have been completing projects about various historical people involved in the Civil War. As a special educational event, I would like to show the students "Harriet" on Monday and Tuesday. Many of you have given permission for your students to view PG-13 movies for educational and incentive purposes, but I wanted to be sure I let you know which movie has been chosen. 
In 7th, we have been completing projects about the systems of the Human Body, and I plan to show students "Osmosis Jones", which is rated PG. 
If you have any concerns, please reach out on Dojo, Remind, or email me at [email protected]. Thank you for your time. 
-Mr. Nichols 

Go Out and Vote! - 7/8 Student Council

Special thanks to Mrs. Claes and the middle school Student Council team for putting together this video! We encourage you to make your voice heard. Go out and vote today!

End of Quarter 1

Hey everyone!
With just one week left of Quarter 1, ending NEXT FRIDAY October 16, make sure you are checking in with your teachers on any missing work, as well as where you stand with your grade if you are unsure! We can't stress enough how important it is for you to get your work turned in so you can be successful all the way through the end of Quarter 1 as you keep that success going throughout the rest of this year!

Some people are already totally up to date on work, and that's awesome! We have others who still have a lot of work that needs to be turned in, but we are happy to help. As always, we have our office hour open from 2:30-3:30 every weekday, and we are just an email away! If you need anything from us teachers, please let us know! 

Have a great day!

Announcements for Testing Week

Happy Monday everyone!
For this week, students should be working on the "Design Your Own Book Jacket" project, due Friday to me, in person. Besides daily Reading Tickets, this is the only assignment I am giving for the entire week! If you need a refresher on what you need to do, the assignment instructions are posted under the "Projects" heading on Classroom, or you can go back and watch the "Day 4" recording. You could even go back and check out the first week of slides which are posted on Classroom as well!
We covered how to fill out Reading Tickets on Friday, and the "Day 4" video also contains this example if you need to see that again, too. Starting today, students will begin 30 minutes of Independent Reading each day, Monday through Friday, and fill out the first Daily Reading Ticket today, Non-Fiction or Fiction, and every school day moving forward. Make sure your Reading Ticket is in by 11:59pm each day so you can get credit for your Independent Reading! 
Soon, we will begin our initial IRLA meetings. More information will come later this week, but students are welcome to email me to set up a time from 1:00pm-3:30pm any day this week during my office hours. A full schedule of people I was not able to meet with either after testing in school or online will be posted this weekend to set up times for us to meet next week.
If you have any questions, email me at [email protected]. Thanks everyone, good luck on testing, and have a great week!

Middle School Tour

Come along with Mr. Claes as he runs you through a tour of the middle school hallway! We all wanted to show off our rooms to you since we have included a bit of ourselves in them, and we are hoping you are excited to see them as well! Don't forget our first day is coming up fast. This coming Tuesday, we begin school virtually. Be ready to go with all of your materials, and make sure your laptop or other device is charged and ready also! See you in a few days!

Email/Technology Expectations

Hello everyone! We created this video to overview some technology communication expectations for this school year. -Ask for one on one conversation during homeroom or office hours -Guaranteed message response from teachers 7:30 am-3:30 pm. You are free to email any time. -Emails are for academic questions and concerns only. -Please be sure to type full email in body section instead of the subject area. -Please be sure to join all 7 Google Classrooms for your school year. We encourage any and all emails with questions and concerns. All of your teachers are here to help!

Intro to Remote Learning Expectations 2020-2021

Hey everyone! Check out this awesome video your 7th/8th grade teachers made! Remote learning will continue to be different, but we are here to help. In the video, we show you some ways you should and should NOT be treating your technology, taking tests remotely, doing work, or even just attending class. Let me know if you have any questions or if you just love the video as much as we do!