• 2021-2022

    7th Grade English

    Teacher: Dr. Shurley


    Hello there!

    I am honored to be your teacher this year, and I can’t wait to learn and grow along with you. As we start our year together, there are a few things you need to know about life in Dr. Shurley’s English class. Please keep reading!

    Classroom Guidelines 

    I believe that you and your classmates are extraordinary. I want English class to be a place where you and your classmates can focus, flourish, and discover more about your wonderful selves. So, when you and your classmates are with me, we will follow these four main guidelines:

    1. We will treat each other with dignity and respect.
    2. We will follow directions the first time they are given.
    3. We will only use language that is appropriate and kind.  
    4. We will follow all BVMS rules and procedures as they are written in the student handbook.

    I will gladly give you shout-outs when you do a particularly excellent job following our classroom guidelines and procedures and work hard in class. I will also contact your parents or guardians to let them know about your awesomeness. These are my favorite phone calls and texts, and I look forward to making a lot of them!

    Nobody is perfect, so I know there will be times when we all may have trouble following these guidelines. I will always try to simply help you get back on track with your awesome participation and behavior. However, when this approach is unsuccessful, I will enforce BVMS’ series of consequences for inappropriate or defiant behavior. I owe it to you to help you be a good student in every way, and sometimes that requires “tough love.” More information about our school’s approach to discipline can be found in your student handbook, which you have received or will receive this week. 


        It would be helpful for you to have the following supplies handy:

    • A folder (or a section in a binder) for occasional handouts
    • Loose-leaf paper
    • Pencils  
    • Wired earbuds or headphones for i-Ready [**VERY IMPORTANT!**] Note: WIRELESS EARBUDS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

       Finally, PLEASE BRING A BOOK OR MAGAZINE WITH YOU EACH DAY! I hope to create lots of opportunities for you to read on your own. 

    Online Learning: Google Classroom

    • Everything we do in class will be posted in Google Classroom, and you will be able to turn in your assignments there as well. If and when you are absent, you may access all of your assignments on Google Classroom and stay up to date with the rest of your classmates.

    Our Daily Tools: Ready Workbook and i-Ready Reading; Independent Reading

    • Our primary learning tool will be the 7th-grade edition of Ready Mississippi, otherwise known as “The Workbook.” By completing daily lessons in the workbook, you will learn the important skills that all good readers and writers need. We will put these skills to practice throughout the year as we read novels, biographies, and other longer texts. 


    • i-Ready Reading is the computer program that supplements what we do in the workbook. I-Ready is catered to your specific learning needs based on the results of the i-Ready diagnostic test you’ll take this month. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EARBUDS EACH DAY FOR I-READY! If you cannot hear the tutorial at the beginning of each lesson, you may not understand the directions and thus may not do as well on the program. We want you to succeed! 


    • Any time there is “free time” in English class, WE WILL READ. TPlease bring a book or magazine from home to read in class. If you do not have a book or magazine at home, DON’T WORRY. I have some in my classroom that I can share. In fact, I have a classroom library filled with books that students may check out. These books will remain at school so that they are available to students whenever there is a free moment to read. 

    Our Longer Texts

    Each nine weeks, we will read a longer text (fiction or nonfiction) that will allow us to use the reading skills we are learning in the workbook. Each text will also be available in PDF format on Google Classroom, but you will not be allowed to copy them. Here are the titles of our texts:

    • 1st Nine Weeks: The Outsiders, by S.E. HintonPhineas Gage: A Gruesome but True story about Brain Science, by John Fleischman. 
    • 2nd Nine Weeks: Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True story about Brain Science, by John Fleischman. 
    • 3rd Nine Weeks: **To be determined (but it will be fabulous!)**
    • 4th Nine Weeks: The Giver, by Lois Lowry

              For each of these texts, you will complete guided notes that will help you focus your reading. In most cases, we will go over the answers in class. COMPLETION OF THESE NOTES EACH NINE WEEKS WILL COUNT AS AN ASSESSMENT (70%) GRADE

    Grades and Assessments

    • Daily Grades (30% of total grade): Daily grades will include homework and bellwork assignments, quizzes, and simple credit for excellent class participation (!!). You’ll earn at least one daily grade each week. 


    • Assessment Grades (70% of total grade): You’ll earn at least five assessment grades each nine weeks. These will include three DCAs (district common assessment), guided notes for the longer text we read, vocabulary and grammar tests, i-Ready completion, and projects. Notice that not every “assessment” grade will take the form of a test! Isn’t that great?!

    Grading Scale at BVMS 

    90-100% =A

    80-89% =  B

    70-79% =  C

    65-69%  = D

    Below 65% = F 

    Homework and Make-up Assignments

    • You will probably have homework assignments each week. In some cases, your assignment will be to finish whatever assignment we started in class that day, and it will be due the next day. You will have until Friday of each week to turn in homework assignments for credit. 


    • If you are absent and miss one or more assignments during the week, YOU WILL HAVE ONE DAY FOR EACH DAY ABSENT TO TURN IN YOUR WORK (for example, if you miss two days of school, you will have two days to turn in the assignments you missed while absent.)

     Questions? ASK!

    There is no such thing as a silly question. In fact, chances are good that someone else has the same questions as you. I’m always happy to answer questions.