Shawnee Heckman » English 7 Course: Syllabus (General expectations/content)

English 7 Course: Syllabus (General expectations/content)

English 7:  Course Syllabus

Mrs. Heckman


Welcome to English 7! My name is Mrs. Heckman and I will be your teacher for the 2020-21 school year.  I am very excited about this year and I know it will be a great educational experience for you.  During the school year, we will be focused on many aspects of the English language. The following will be a brief outline of English topics and classroom expectations.  Keep this syllabus for future reference, especially in the areas of grades and homework protocol.



There are several expectations I have for classroom management.  You will find these expectations to be very similar to the expectations found in other classrooms.  When class begins, you should be in your assigned seat, ready with your pencil, planner (writing down homework assignments), your free choice book, correct textbook, and notebook paper/computer.  You will not be permitted to return to your locker once the class begins to get any of these items. There will not be any food in my class but gum and bottled WATER are permitted (unless this becomes an issue).  Respect in the classroom, both for fellow students and myself, is a major priority. Anyone being disrespectful will be warned only one time and then parents and administration will be involved.  

Library Skills

Due to the current situation, books can only be ‘checked out’ via the Destiny Discover site in our library. You will learn about how to use that and log in during the first few weeks of school. This is a changing environment and we will have to be prepared to change with it. Mrs. Smith will be your go-to person for questions about library resources.

Free Choice Books

Students are required to read 1 book for the first 9 weeks and 2 books for each of the other three 9 weeks.  While you are reading your book, you will be completing a reading log. Reading log entries must be done at least four nights a week and consist of 20 minutes of reading. A reading log will be given to you each week and there will be specific requirements for each reading. Once you finish a book, you must then take a quiz on that book. You can only take the quiz once.  There is a specific listing of books (Reading Counts) that you must choose from that match a quiz. You must receive a 70% or better on the quiz to pass. If you fail the quiz, you then have the option of writing a one-page book report. A blank book report format sheet will be shared with you at the beginning of the year. Each free choice book is worth 50 points. In the first 9 weeks, you will either receive 50 points for passing or 0 points for failing or not writing a book report. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 9 weeks will each have a total of 100 points. Not doing your free choice book will result in a considerable lowering of your grade (up to 10-15%). If you have a problem finding a book that interests you, please see Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Weaver, or myself. You should always bring your free choice book to class.  Do NOT wait until the last week to read your free choice book. Once you finish your required free choice books, you may then read any book of your choice but you are still required to complete a reading log each week. Free choice book quizzes are graded as a formative assessment while reading logs are graded as a summative assessment (this will be explained later).



We will be reading books in class as a group.  Each book will include a reading schedule and a summary packet.  You are responsible for reading the assignment and writing a brief summary of each assignment.  There will be reading quizzes and projects assigned for each book. Most reading is done outside of the classroom and students that do not keep up with the reading will not be able to do the in-class work, resulting in zeros.  Keep up with the reading; the reading assignments are usually not longer than 35-50 pages a week.


We will be reading several short stories in a variety of genres.  These stories are usually 3-5 pages long and will correlate to a classroom discussion and questions that will be answered at the end of each story.  There will also be a strong focus on the Reading Apprenticeship Program that focuses on how we read and strategies to use while we are reading.

Writing Process

We will be working on many different writing projects throughout the year.  These papers will range from three-paragraph papers to five-paragraph papers.  Topics will range from informational, argumentative, and narrative writing. You will have a short story unit that will involve a 15-20 page short story and also a letter-writing unit.  A couple of the papers will involve public speaking within the classroom and presentations. The first half of the year is focused mainly on reading while the second half of the year has more writing.


Of course, one of my favorite areas to focus on will be grammar.  We will closely examine the parts of speech and broaden our understanding of the English language and how to become better writers and speakers.  There will be a strong focus on correct punctuation and spelling. Grammar will consist of using the program Scootpad on a regular basis.


Students who turn in any assignment late for reasons other than absence, extended illness, or an approved educational trip, will have their total score penalized in the following ways:

 For formative assessments, daily assignments like reading logs or extended activities from a particular lesson, lateness will occur a 5% deduction for each day of the first 2 days but not exceeding an 11% reduction in total as stated in the handbook.

 For summative assessments, tests/projects/essays/free choice book quizzes, lateness can result in a zero for the assessment. These are assessments that must be completed in a timely fashion with specific instructions given as assignments are assigned.



This is the new learning platform that I will be using for the 20/21 school year. This platform will give us a place to have all assignments, all of the English 7 content, grades, and due dates in one place. Each class period will get their own code to login (very similar to Google Classroom). Once logged in, the main page is designed to see everything that is required for the week or day in a quick glance. Parents can request their own login information by contacting me through email. Since this platform is also new to me, we will work together to learn and grow.


Extra Support

There are several options available to you for help.  I am in my room at 7:45 AM or earlier if necessary. I usually stay after school until 4:00.  The library is also open from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. with support staff. Make arrangements with me or email me with concerns:  I will provide you with every opportunity to succeed.  Take advantage of the help that is in place. Do not wait until you are overwhelmed before you seek help.  Entering high school is an exciting time; get organized, manage your time, and work hard.