Grade 7

In the seventh grade, emphasis is on developing skills such as: critical thinking and reading, multiple study skills, independent learning, creative problem solving, and careful listening and speaking. Students develop time and materials management through maintaining organized binders, moving from classroom to classroom, balancing multiple homework assignments, taking timed tests, and working on long-term projects.

In their interactions with faculty and their peers, students are expected to conduct themselves with honesty and respect. Seventh graders are encouraged to seek help and take ownership of their learning whenever possible.

Grade 7 Curriculum

Mathematics

●Review operations with fractions, decimals, and percents

●Become efficient with solving and checking multi-step equations

●Solve and graph one-variable inequalities

●Explore rates, ratios, percents, and probability

●Learn rules of factoring, exponents, and square roots

●Graph linear functions; find slope and intercepts

●Introduce operations with polynomials

●Begin to explicitly focus on developing logical reasoning skills

English

●Improve reading skills by using active reading strategies

●Develop the writing process, including planning and prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading

●Explore grammar and mechanics, appropriate style, principles of organization, word choice, use of evidence and vivid language, and sentence fluency

●Facilitate thinking, ranging from the literal to the figurative

●Encourage confidence and clarity in expressing and supporting opinions

●Foster skills for doing independent work

Science

●Use the scientific method to properly conduct accurately designed experiments

●Promote a feeling of responsibility for the natural environment and know how human activity can affect it.

●Believe that scientific inquiry is a dynamic, enjoyable process and appreciate the importance of being curious in everyday life.

●Understand basic cell biology including the kingdoms of life, and the role of each in ecosystems.

●Conceptualize basic genetics, genetic engineering, and inheritance through laboratory investigations involving plant husbandry and crosses.

●PIP (Personal Interest Project) student-centered research project culminating in research paper written in scientific format, and formal oral presentation to peers.

●Investigate the human body systems including: the skeletal system, muscular system, integumentary system, circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, excretory system, nervous system, endocrine system, and reproductive system.

History

●US history covering the settling of Jamestown through the Civil War

●21st century skills are the primary focus in the study of history

●Learning to read critically to discern information that is significant to the focus of study

●Research and documentation: writing and projects

●Analytical writing introduced: skill of comparing/contrasting facts and points of view

●Note-taking skills expanded: variety of note-taking forms introduced - encourage the students to discover tool best suited for their learning style

●Study, organization and time-management skills are discussed and implemented - discover tools suited to personal learning style

●Presentation skills are honed: develop the student’s confidence and professionalism as a public speaker

●Debate skills are developed: assertions, reasoning and evidence - culminating in the execution of a live debate

●Projects and activities focus on both individual and collaborative skills

●Class discussions: ability to voice individual perspective, hear others’ perspectives and develop essential questions to propel the level of discussion/inquiry

●Assessments: variety of forms are designed to allow students to express their understanding in multiple formats

●Think critically and apply this understanding both verbally and in written form

Languages

Students may select Spanish, Latin or Coding as their language option.

Language Option - Spanish

●Class is taught mostly in Spanish; students are encouraged to speak Spanish

●Present Spanish grammar concepts in a concrete way

●Grammar concepts covered include, among others: Descriptive adjectives and adjective agreement, Possessive adjectives, Present tense of regular verbs, Present tense of stem-changing verbs, Verbs with irregular yo forms, Ser and Estar, Direct object nouns and pronouns

●Encourage oral practice of the language through group and paired activities

●Develop students’ writing abilities through short writing assignments

●Explore Spanish and Hispanic culture

●Expand students’ vocabulary


Language Option - Latin

●Become familiar with the system of Latin noun and verb endings

●Learn the nominative, genitive, dative accusative, ablative, and vocative cases of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth declension nouns

●Learn the present, imperfect, perfect and future tenses of verbs in all four conjugations in the active voice

●Learn the infinitive form of Latin verbs

●Learn the imperative mood

●Learn the present, imperfect, perfect and future tenses of six irregular verbs: velle, esse, posse, ferre, nolle and ire

●Learn other grammatical points covered in the first two books of Ecce Romani

●Develop logical skills by studying a complex language that requires scrupulous attention to detail

●Gain confidence and enjoyment that come with the ability to read Latin stories fluently


Language Option - Coding

The fundamental tools for creating content and managing information on the Internet originate from programming languages. Three of the most common, widely used web development languages are HTML, CSS(Cascading Style Sheets), and Javascript. In the first and second trimesters, students will focus on web design and development and will study these three languages.

By the end of the second trimester students will work on a comprehensive website using the skills that they learned and with attention to:

appearance, content, functionality, and usability. Students should continue to develop their website throughout the third trimester. This website will be presented as part of their final project at the end of the year. Project benchmarks will be due throughout the trimester to help students manage the development of their websites.

The programming language Python has become the language of choice for many programmers for a wide variety of projects ranging from creating video games to automating tasks to powering sites like YouTube, Google, Yahoo Maps and many others. During the third trimester, students will create games, apps, and dynamic graphics while learning Python.

As part of their final project, students will create their own product (application, game, etc.) using Python, which they will then incorporate into their websites. These websites will be due by and presented during their final exam time slot. Grading of this final project will be based on a rubric that will be available to students when they start to build their websites.

Students in this class may work at their own pace to complete a series of lessons which will be posted online and accessible to the student on any computer with an Internet connection. The lessons will be largely project-based and will challenge the students to solve problems independently and think analytically. During significant benchmarks throughout the course, students will take tests to demonstrate their knowledge of the specific topic/s that they are learning.

Integrated Technology

Upper School students’ use of information technology increases as part of their normal growth and development. Students have routine access to computer labs, laptops, and other associated resources to support their learning. Additionally, US students are expected to:

●Follow safe practices when using e-mail or other communications

●Develop appropriate skills with available software and hardware to meet academic goals

●Understand and follow ethical use of information technology, especially regarding original work

●Understand and develop personal limits regarding technology use

Chorus

All Upper School students sing in the chorus. Students focus on part singing and engage in standard choral repertoire, multi-cultural music and folk songs.

Additionally, students may participate in the a cappella Towerettes and Boys Band.

Arts Blocks

Tower’s Arts Block program provides upper school students with opportunities in technology, visual arts and musical arts classes. Recent Arts Block trimester offerings include: handbells, photography, woodworking, oil painting, technology, jazz band, marimbas, clay, sculpture, video, chorus, part singing, unaccompanied voice work, multi-cultural works, a cappella and folk groups.

Athletics

●Learn and enjoy the benefits of physical activity

●Develop a high level of sportsmanship and school spirit

●Develop leadership skills and an appreciation for the value of teamwork

●Seek personal levels of excellence

●Experience playing on a competitive team

●Identify the correlation between hard work and improvement

●Develop relevant skills connected with the sport played

Drama

The Upper School Drama program offers the opportunity for burgeoning actors and techies to spread their theatrical wings. Under the guidance of the drama directors, the students are responsible for all aspects of the production; acting, singing, dancing, costume design, set design, stage tech, and booth tech. Our goal is for the students to develop confidence in themselves, while challenging themselves to reach in new directions. Our productions are designed to highlight our upper school student’s talents in order to create a show that our entire school community can enjoy.

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