Grade 7 students move across the driveway from the main school building to the Middle School classrooms under the church. Along with this transition comes the expectation that Grade 7 students should bring greater personal responsibility, organizational skill, and critical thinking to their learning. Highlights of the year include a hike up Mount Monadnock shortly after school begins, and the spring’s weeklong trip to Nature’s Classroom.
Each student has access to a Chromebook to use for the school year. Google Classroom is used to post class announcements; students also submit writing assignments through Google Classroom.
English Language Arts and Literature: The ELA class is based on the acclaimed Voyages in English curriculum. Development of vocabulary (Vocabulary in Action), grammar, speech, and writing skills is emphasized. Students read a variety of short stories, novels, and poetry; selections typically include Tangerine, Chains, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Through frequent writing assignments and class discussions, students further develop critical thinking skills and powers of analysis.
Social Studies: Grade 7 uses TCI’s History Alive! curriculum, first introduced in Grade 5. Beginning with an “Essential Question”―a broad idea to be investigated―each TCI lesson incorporates graphic notetaking, groupwork, and step-by-step discovery. Different learning styles are used, allowing students of many abilities to learn and succeed.
Science: Students use the Pearson Interactive Science curriculum, a comprehensive program that supports project-based inquiry and hands-on learning, engages students, and encourages abstract thinking, information analysis, problem solving with peers, and thoughtful inquiry. Lessons incorporate Next Generation Science Standards, including Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices. Every chapter includes Interdisciplinary STEM activities and projects.
Grade 7 meets four days a week for science, in blocks of 45 minutes; one of those four blocks is designated for lab time. The year’s curriculum focuses on Earth Science. Students study and experiment with rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, the history of the Earth, weather, and human impact on the Earth. Among the year’s highlights: making fossil molds, measuring out Earth’s history, and creating and reading weather instruments. Toward the end of the year, students research and model a specific volcano and present their work at the spring science fair.
Mathematics: As do all grades at Saint Peter’s, Grade 7 uses the Saxon Math Program, known for its “incremental development.” Topics are introduced to students in spaced steps; the time between steps allows students to gain confidence at one level of a topic before proceeding to the next. In every lesson, previously learned information is reviewed and practiced. Topics grow in complexity; they are not dropped, leading to systematic and sequential learning. Grade 7 students are grouped by ability and placed in either the “on level” or “above level” section, as are Grade 8 students. Significant individual attention is given to each student. Those students with exceptional math ability are encouraged to undertake more challenging assignments, and students who require additional instruction to stay “on level” are assisted accordingly.
Spanish: Mrs. Patricia Carazo teaches Spanish to Grades K1 through 8 at Saint Peter School. She focuses on not only the language but the culture of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. Grade 7 meets with Mrs. Carazo for lessons three times a week.
Technology: Technology: All grades visit the Hoff Technology Center once a week to access Library and Educational Technology resources.