Grade 7 Course Overview
Reading is undoubtedly the mainstay of lifelong learning. In seventh grade, LA students are encouraged and taught the strategies to become proficient readers. The goal is to develop the necessary skills to build confidence when reading both fiction and non-fiction. Students are then equipped to critique author’s craft, identify themes, conduct research, analyze content, and interpret new meaning. In addition, students’ independent reading choices are used as material for discussions revolving around literary elements.
Students will also build on their skills as they work toward the goal of becoming competent writers. Developing good writing habits and working through the writing process of pre-writing, drafting, revision, editing and publishing are recurring learning opportunities in language arts.
The seventh-grade language arts curriculum is rounded out by giving the students many opportunities to practice public speaking. In small groups, large groups, in formal settings and friendly discussions, students learn and practice public speaking etiquette as well as learn the importance of being a careful listener.
Math – Math 7 or Accelerated Math 7:
Grade 7 Mathematics students focus on developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships; developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations; solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions; and working with two- and three- dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume; and drawing inferences about populations based on samples.
Accelerated Math 7
In Accelerated Math 7, students will focus on developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships; developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations; solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions; and working with two- and three- dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume; and drawing inferences about populations based on samples. The accelerated course also includes systems of linear equations, exponents and their applications, as well as functions and their representations.
The Social Studies 7 course is designed to explore the multifaceted study of world geography by investigating the following questions: What is where? Why there? Why care? Learning where places are is an important component of geography but certainly should not be the only focus. So, a review of map skills is included in the seventh-grade course. However, more important than the “where” is the “why.” Students will think critically about questions such as: Why is the world’s population so unevenly distributed? Why are there such great disparities between the rich and the poor? Why are families smaller in more developed countries than in less developed countries? Lastly, and most importantly, the course tries to encourage students to examine why it is important to care. If the students do not care about the knowledge they are acquiring, what good is it really? The course is designed to not only equip students with a better understanding of the world, but to also instill in them that they can be the change they wish to see in the world.
The Science 7 course is designed to spark student interest in science by creating a safe environment for students to “do” science. Practicing deeper thinking and increasing their detail in expression of their ideas are consistent activities throughout the year. Students will work with a varied curriculum of physical, earth science and life science. Laboratory investigations, projects, inquiry-based activities, group work, class discussions, and simulations will be some of the methods used. An exciting additional opportunity for all students to promote their creativity and problem-solving skills is the annual NESA Virtual Science Fair.
Major Concepts Studied:
- Scientific Inquiry/Scientific Method
- Weather and Atmosphere
- Characteristics and Classification of Living Things
- Cells and Cell Processes
- Environmental Science and Alternative Energy
Students in 7th and 8th grade form two Middle School Bands (Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble) based on years of experience and ability levels. The instrumental music course teaches musical concepts on woodwind, brass, percussion or string instruments and performs band music. Musical concepts include posture, tone, note reading, rhythm reading, technical precision, solo and ensemble performance practice, balance, blend, articulation, tuning, dynamics and phrasing. Most students will have had at least one year of beginning band before they enter the Wind Ensemble. Students new to an instrument will have the chance to work in small groups with a teacher while they are developing their skills to join one of the ensembles. All instruction is done in a class setting with mixed instruments.
Choir provides all students with the opportunity to appreciate the work and dedication necessary for singing in a chorus. The joy that results from connecting with a piece of music, bringing both the notes and text to life, is a feeling unique to the choral classroom. During their time in choir, students will sing in unison, two-part and three-part harmony, and will be exposed to varying musical genres, dance and movement, and a range of languages.
In 7th grade, singers begin to develop a deeper understanding of vocal technique and are exposed to more complicated two and three-part harmonies. They combine rehearsals with 8th grade singers. In addition to the formal concerts, students take part in Random Acts of Singing in the spring, during which time they are given the opportunity to share their talents and individual work with the larger community.
TAISM’s Physical Education program emphasizes the development of knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to engage in a physically active lifestyle. As a result students learn to be engaged, confident and competent movers who are intrinsically motivated to be healthy and active. Our learning progression is designed around the five standards determined by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). These standards are intended to provide students with the necessary knowledge, processes, and skills to become physically educated, physically fit, and responsible in their physical activity choices and behaviors for a lifetime.
The program emphasizes broad exposure to various physical pursuits so that students will have a wide range of transferable skills. This allows them the maximum amount of choices of healthy activities when they are making lifestyle decisions on their own. The MS program strives to offer age and ability appropriate challenges which provide a physically and emotionally rewarding experience.
TAISM’s World Languages curriculum is based on the standards and benchmarks developed in the National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project. Spanish, French, Arabic Heritage Language, and Arabic as a Foreign Language are offered to sixth through eighth graders.
World Language courses are characterized by a high degree of participation in student-centered learning activities. Students spend most of their class time interacting with the teacher and with other students in order to develop communicative competence in the language.
Courses in the middle school offer a balanced approach to language learning, placing equal emphasis on the three modes of communication: Interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational, in accordance with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Focusing on the cultures of Arabic, Spanish and French-speaking countries, a major goal of the program is to foster an understanding of and an appreciation for other cultures, in general, and to cultivate within each student lifelong habits of curiosity, empathy, and intercultural awareness. The study of World Languages also aims to reinforce and endorse students’ knowledge of their native language and of other disciplines.
Arabic Heritage Language in Middle School:
TAISM offers an opportunity for heritage speakers of Arabic to study in their native language within the regular school day. A heritage speaker is an individual who has a personal interest or involvement in an ancestral language. An Arabic heritage student is a student raised in a home where Arabic is spoken, who speaks or merely understands the heritage language, and who is to some degree bilingual, but not necessarily fluent in Arabic. The results of this intensive study of the Arabic language will be improvement in students’ command of written and oral expression, which will support them in using Arabic in a practical fashion in their day-to-day lives going forward.
English Language Learners (ELL):
The English Language Learner (ELL) program at TAISM is designed to enable students to be academically successful in their regular content area classes. The course builds proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English in an academic setting.
Phonics and spelling skills: Students will explore how words work and the relationship between spelling and meaning.
Academic vocabulary: Students will study the most common academic words used across the content areas in middle and high school. They will acquire a working knowledge of word families that allows them to understand and use new vocabulary in the content areas.
Grammar: Our focus is on understanding correct grammar and using it to communicate effectively in speaking and writing. This includes studying parts of speech, verb tenses, and using a variety of sentence structures.
Comprehension: Students will learn a variety of listening and reading comprehension strategies for various texts. They will be expected to practice these strategies regularly through reading assignments at home.
Clear communication in speaking: Our goal is to build proficiency in academic speech. In class, students will participate in a wide variety of activities such as partner and small group work, reading aloud, giving short presentations, and class discussions.
Academic writing: Students will learn about organization for different types of writing, including writing paragraphs and essays. A major emphasis will be for students to edit their own work for mistakes. Again, students will be expected to practice these skills regularly through both in-class and at-home assignments.
The following three courses are one trimester (12 weeks) in length. Students rotate through the three offerings in the course of the school year.
Middle School Art is an extension of Elementary Art, in that students are continuing to expand their conceptual understanding of art and its impact on society and culture. Through the process of making art, students will continue to strengthen their ability to manipulate the Elements of Art and Principles of Design.
Much of the work within Middle School Art is intended to strengthen a student’s observational skills, thus providing students with sa broader view of their everyday world. Students will also have opportunities to problem solve and make choices and decision in regard to the direction of their work. Visual art teaches children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships, that problems can have more than one solution, and that communication is not limited to just words.
Grade Seven Focus (Proportion, Value, Texture, Contrast Rhythm, and Emphasis)
• Continual reinforcement of all Elements of Art and Principles of Design.
• Continual reinforcement of color theory.
• Learning to bypass visual preconceptions and to draw with the eye.
• Identify texture and value within artworks and the environment around them.
• Manipulating value and contrast within a variety of context.
• Defining and working with proportion to create emphasis.
• Exploration of the human form and face through various media.
• Exploration of the historical, social and cultural significance of the self–portrait and the concept of personal environment.