Grade Seven Course Descriptions 

Language Arts/Social Studies

The seventh grade language arts and social studies program helps students develop skills for effective communication, collaboration, and analysis of content.  The underlying themes for the integrated courses are independence, change, and unity, which directly align with the students’ study of American history as well as their own developmental experiences. These three themes will expose the students to a wide variety of literature and resources, allowing them to think about literature and history through a new lens. Emphasis is also placed on helping students develop ownership of class material through real-world activities such as literature circles, peer conferences on writing, and student-led presentations. Students also use writing and the writing process to explore and express their own ideas. Seventh-grade lessons and discussions highlight creativity, connections, and critical thinking. Assignments include e-portfolio reflections, creative projects, poems, stories and academic essays. Sample units of study:
  • Story in Literature and History
  • First Contact
  • Nationhood: Revolution & Constitution
  • Civil War
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Expanding Rights: “We hold these truths to be self-evident”

Seventh Grade Mathematics

Students are introduced to and continue to develop many foundational concepts in mathematics.  They hone their skills and further enhance their understanding of concepts through cooperative problem solving, individual projects, use of technology, and continued opportunities for applications to their science curriculum, including robotics and engineering.  Sample units of study:
  • fractions and decimals
  • ratios, rates, proportions and percents
  • manipulating algebraic equations
  • statistical analysis and probability
  • geometry and spatial reasoning

Enriched Seventh Grade Mathematics

This course covers all of the topics in the regular Seventh Grade Mathematics course but at a greater depth and with student independence.  In addition, there is an emphasis on patterns, logic, lateral thinking, math applications to real world problems, opened ended problems, and spatial problem solving.

Science

Throughout the year students are challenged to use methodical, sound processes in a variety of tasks, whether applying principles of the scientific method to their own experimental design or adhering to the engineering design process by prototyping a straw earthquake tower. As students continually tweak and improve their approach to research, experiments, and projects, they develop resiliency and flexibility in their thinking, a major goal of our science program, and learn to solve problems both individually and collaboratively. The course is highlighted by an extensive robotics unit, during which students are charged with completing a series of challenges, including programming a robot to successfully navigate a maze and starting and stopping a robot with hand claps. Topics in 7th grade math are naturally woven into the science curriculum through analysis, measurement, conversion, and proportional reasoning. Sample units of study include:
  • Experimental design
  • Cosmology and scale
  • Programming and robotics
  • Structural engineering

Spanish

In seventh grade Spanish we continue vocabulary building, and grammar is emphasized in more  depth. Conversation, debates, projects, and games enliven the units of study. Students become more connected with the Spanish-speaking world through the use of technology and exposure to real world scenarios. Classes provide frequent opportunities to practice the basic skills of language acquisition: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Sample units of study:
  • School life and free-time activities
  • Comparing Mexican and Spanish foods and learning how to order in restaurants
  • Family relationships and living accommodations
  • Clothing, fashion, and shopping
  • Reading, writing, and acting out stories

French

Seventh grade French class continues the process of acquiring French, building on what was learned last year.  Most input is through the written and spoken word, but students begin to pay more attention to writing.  We will read and discuss two readers, which may include Fama va en Californie and Presque Mort.  These books will provide a platform for comparing the student lives with those in the books.  Daily conversation continues as does music. Students showcase what they have acquired with spontaneous responses and commentary as well as prepared presentations.
Additional topics can include:
  • School life and subjects
  • Family chores
  • Differences between cultures
  • Body parts and health

Performing Arts

Performing Arts
In the middle school, performing arts classes three times a week help students develop their ability to participate in music, dance, and theater. All students participate in two yearly concerts showcasing choral singing, dancing; there are also performances by hand chime groups, a dance team, the Carolina Day Choristers, and the 7th and 8th grade advanced chorus. When available, guitar, strings, brass and woodwind chamber music groups also prepare pieces for the concerts.

Music
In music, students in all three grades work toward understanding the concepts of rhythm, pitch, melody, harmony, form, dynamics, and tempo.  Genres studied are classical, musical theater, country, folk, blues, jazz, pop/rock, and world music.  Ongoing units of music study include:

  • Solfege and sight-singing
  • Performance and analysis of choral literature
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Drums (hand drums and drumset)
  • Bass
  • Hand chimes
  • Orff mallet percussion

Dance
Dance in all forms, from improvised movement to choreographed routines, is part of each Performing Arts class. Dance units include:

  • Swing
  • Salsa
  • Square dance/country line dance
  • Traditional folk dances
  • Hiphop
  • Musical theatre dance styles

Theatre
Theatre training gives every middle school student the opportunity to work on public speaking, risk-taking, and communication skills in a fun, safe setting.   Theatre units include:

  • Scene work
  • Monologue preparation
  • Improv comedy
  • Theatre games

Theatre Production
Middle School Theatre Production is an extracurricular program open to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. The annual winter musical provides an exciting opportunity for an introduction to the world of theatre. Whether students participate on stage or as part of the tech crew, they learn teamwork, communication skills, leadership, flexibility, and how to prepare for and meet deadlines.

Visual Arts

Seventh grade art students begin the process of developing skills in self-reflection and the use of visual language to critique their own work and the work of peers.  Students will become familiar with American artists, and they will use ideas and concepts from these artists to develop projects. Drawing skills are emphasized throughout the year, and students are introduced to basic photography using pinhole cameras during the third trimester, which coincides with Worldwide Pinhole day on the last Sunday of April every year.  Projects may include:
  • Spirit animal designs
  • Animation metamorphosis
  • Silkscreen
  • Ceramic relief design
  • Collage portraits

Physical Education

Students participate in physical education classes three days a week.  The program concentrates on a student’s physical fitness level with an emphasis on improvement. There is a focus on the continued development of affective and psycho-motor skills learned through competitive and cooperative games.  During seventh grade, students will build on fundamentals learned in sixth grade and begin to apply them in a more competitive environment. The students will wear pedometers as a fun way to monitor distance moved throughout the year.  Activities include:
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball

Study Support

This class provides a structured approach to learning and using effective strategies for success in the middle grades, leading students toward the practice of self-advocacy to become independent learners. Students will find and use resources, set and measure both short and long term goals, and effectively use the skills they obtain to break wholes into parts to make learning easier. The 
middle school Study Support class assists students with:
  • Organization/time management
  • Effective note taking
  • Reading comprehension strategies
  • Test preparation- how to study for a variety of tests
  • Study techniques & memory strategies

 

 

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2016-17 Course Descriptions

 

 

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