Skip to Main Content

Beech: ELA

Woodbury Grade 7 Team Site

About Mrs. Ritchie

Hello, my name is Rachel Ritchie and this is my third year at Woodbury. I am super excited to be on the Beech Team again this year! 

Prior to joining Team Beech, I worked on the Woodbury Title One team providing supplemental literacy support to students in that program. I have also taught in several elementary settings in both NH and SC and enjoy working with students of all ages. I have a Bachelor's degree in Education and am working on a Master's in Reading and Language from Fitchburg State University. 

I currently reside in Salem with my husband and two cats, Perseus and Arya. As a New Hampshire native, there is nothing I enjoy more than spending time outside in all of our gorgeous four seasons. Winter is my favorite time of year, and I can be found on the slopes whenever I get the chance. I also enjoy traveling with my husband and have an extensive collection of crushed pennies from all of our adventures. 

I am looking forward to a wonderful year of learning and growth!

Learning Philosophy

In our ELA classroom, we focus on the power of the word YET and realize that every day is an opportunity for growth. If we are not challenged, we will never change and grow. In our classroom, we make success happen through hard work and determination.

We understand the difference between "not knowing" and "not knowing YET". 

We learn by making mistakes and failing sometimes, but instead of focusing on our failures we understand the power of progressing towards our goals one step at a time. Mistakes are evidence that we are striving to make ourselves better through continual practice. This growth mindset will be our driving force throughout the school year.

Flexible Seating Agreement

The following is a copy of the terms each student agreed to in regards to our alternative seating choices this year:

"I promise to use our classroom seating options the way they were designed to be used. Each day, I will strategically choose a working spot and seating option that will help me stay on task and do my best. I understand that our flexible seating options are a privilege and are here to help me learn. As with all classroom materials, I will use them respectfully and tidy up my area when class is over. If Mrs. Ritchie (or any other teacher) sees that I am not following our agreement, she can and will move my seat to a spot of her choosing. I understand that this will be the consequence of not using the seating options appropriately."


Scholastic Book Order

Class code for online orders: 


Class Twitter

Year at a Glance

This year we will focus on learning skills related to informational reading and writing, narrative reading and writing, and argument/research writing. We begin the year by reviewing the strategies mastered in sixth grade in relation to reading for information and writing clearly about specific topics. These skills include organizing their writing into specific structures, analyzing the author purpose, and comparing story elements such as setting, plot, theme, and mood. Next, students take their life experiences and craft imaginative narratives using small moments in their lives. This allows students to practice developing author’s craft and appropriately utilizing the tools learned in the previous unit to create meaningful and engaging stories. To explore the above skills in action, students read Lyddie, historical fiction by Katherine Patterson, to learn about how a published author incorporates writing tools to teach her audience about life as a Lowell mill girl. In addition to reading Lyddie, students examine the life of  Cesar Chavez and the plight of the migrant farmworker in the United States. They answer the question “What are working conditions, why do they matter, and how do they change?” and investigate the relationships between workers, governments, and consumers. As a culmination of the aforementioned competencies, students work collaboratively to research and write effective arguments on current world events and issues. They organize their information into clear claims and reasons, utilizing the evidence sandwich format to coherently present and defend their positions to their peers. Students also learn to rely on the Rhetoric Toolbox to practice public speaking skills. In the second half of the year, students discover the negative effects of slavery, not only in the South but worldwide. While reading The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, they see the world through a former slave’s experiences with the American slave system. By grappling with this complex text and analyzing African American poetry, students strive to understand how one person can have a positive impact on society.

Materials for Class

Please bring the following items to class every day:

  • ELA Binder
  • ELA Notebook 
  • Pencil or Pen
  • IR Book
  • Growth Mindset

Grading Policy & Retakes

Our report cards will show both a quarter grade and a report of competencies met for each class.  In the classroom, students will be given feedback on assessments in the form of Exceeding, Meeting, Progressing Towards, Beginning to Progress, and Incomplete/Limited Evidence.  


If a student has not met a competency on an assessment, meaning he or she has scored as progressing towards, beginning to progress, or incomplete/limited evidence, a student will be eligible for a reassessment to show they have met the competency.