In 7th grade students make the move into middle school education. They move out of a single teacher classroom and begin to change classes for different subjects. They are learning to organize their materials and their time. They are adapting to varying daily schedules and the demands of a variety of teachers with different teaching styles and expectations. They are learning to use an agenda effectively to help them organize homework and project due dates. Students are also learning to study more effectively by reviewing notes and preparing on going study guides. This is a demanding year as students develop into more independent learners.
Students learn math through a problem centered curriculum. They are challenged by exploring interesting mathematics situations, reflecting on solution methods, examining why the methods work, comparing methods, and relating methods to those used in previous situations. Students study interwoven strands of number and operations; algebra and functions; statistics and probability, and geometry and measurement. They work in groups to solve real life mathematical problems through exploration, sharing of ideas and discovering a variety of solutions.
Students are not simply expected to memorize formulas, instead they are taught mathematical habits of mind which include visual thinking, recursive thinking, searching for and explaining patterns, making and checking conjectures, reasoning with multiple representations, and providing convincing arguments and proofs. They arechallenged at their level, through differentiation of the depth to which core topics are pursued and through student choice of homework tasks and projects.
7th grade students begin to explore language at a deeper level of complexity. The needs of early adolescents are a fundamental concern to seventh grade language arts teachers. Teachers attempt to meet the unique needs of these students by using curriculum concepts such as thematic organization, teaming among teachers, appropriate grouping, and interdisciplinary efforts. At the seventh grade level, we focus on reading and writing experiences that are developmentally appropriate: vocabulary instruction that distinguishes literal meanings of words from more complex meanings, comprehension that focus on text features and structures, retelling and paraphrasing, and distinguishing main idea and details. Writing instruction emphasizes personal or self connections, basic skills in analytical evaluation and assessment of writing, and editing skills that are specific and clearly delineated. The research or inquiry skills identified are fundamental to investigation of a topic or question, with basic oral and written reporting skills.
In 7th Grade Science the yearlong theme is change. How does overpopulation change the Earth? What role does genetics play in the adaptation of the species? How do bacteria and viruses change and what effect does this have on our health? Students study population dynamics and the impact of over population on the Earth. They will study the importance of conservation in order to minimize the negative effects of population growth on water resources, air quality, and habitat. In genetics they will study how our genes influence our physical traits, and how natural selection has made our genome evolve. They will also look at modern uses of genetics and the Human Genome Project. Students begin to prepare for the 8th National Exams by studying microbiology and disease. They study the causes and frequency of different types of infectious disease as well as problems related to these, such as viral and bacterial mutations, resistance to antibiotics, cures, and preventative measures such as vaccines.
In 7th grade Social Studies students see that culture encompasses similarities and differences among people including their beliefs, knowledge, changes, values, and traditions. Students will explore the different cultures of Asia and will see how the history of Ancient China and Ancient Japan influenced the culture of these countries. Students will also carry out an in depth study of the religions of the world.
Geography enables the students to see, understand and appreciate the web of relationships between people, places, and environments. Students will do study the concept of “regions”, exploring how we categorize countries into regions.
Students will study different systems of governance and will role play these systems in order to gain a deeper understanding. They will understand how cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of resources, rights, and privileges.
In 7th grade, we are studying 19th century Dominican History. During this period there was a French, and a Spanish occupation, followed by a brief independent period, and then the Haitian occupation. We study each of these periods before finally covering the causes that led to our Dominican independence. Through these studies, our students will be able to make connections in order to realize how this turbulent period influenced who we are today. Furthermore, they will analyze all these facts taking the historical context into consideration and comparing them to the independence movements that developed in other Latin-American countries.
In geography they will study the natural resources during the 19th century and will make connections with what they have learned about today’s use of resources. They will also analyze how the geography of the country (mountains, rivers, valleys, etc.) played a role in the invasions and battles of our history
Students will analyze the characteristics of the government at that given period, and its continued influence in these current times. They will also study our Dominican Constitution and compare the changes that it has gone through over the years.