7th Grade

NFS Curriculum Update :: May & June, 2015


The online collection of feature articles from the Class of 2016 is mere days away from being finished and ready for viewing! Keep an eye out on Facebook and the Tuesday Update for a link where you can access the seventh graders’ impressive work. Your comments are most welcome. (All comments are subject to approval and will not appear immediately.) In their final month of study, seventh grade English students will work in book clubs to explore the complex and emotional topic of slavery in America. Connecting to their work with the subject in social studies, readers will collaborate to examine conflict, theme, and the impact of author choices within their books. Selections include Coretta Scott King Award Winner Day of Tears, a fictionalized account of the largest slave auction in American history; Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains, the first book in a trilogy set during the American Revolution; Send One Angel Down, a first-person reimagining of events inspired by Julius Lester’s nonfiction To Be a Slave (another selection in itself); and 47, a sci-fi-meets-historical-fiction bestseller by Walter Mosley. Students will also complete a grammar unit on punctuation, beginning with end marks and moving through increasingly sophisticated usage.


This month the seventh grade Latin students will wrap up Lesson XIV, which has introduced them to second declension nouns and adjectives that end in –r. They will also continue to prepare for the Language Exchange Fair by researching their topics, outlining their presentations, creating their posters, and designing their creative elements. After the Language Exchange Fair, we will be ready to move on to Lesson XV, which covers two different topics. The first is the present tense conjugation of the irregular verb sum, one of the most common verbs in the Latin language. The second is the accusative of place to which, a type of prepositional phrase used to express a destination. This work will carry us through to the end of the school year.


Students are continuing to investigate and analyze linear equations by identifying information that each form provides in the equation. Relating how real-world situations can be represented algebraically and project future outcomes based on trends is an integral component to the unit. Next, the mathematicians will be working on data analysis and probability. First, students will complete a survey on Google Forms and then learn how to visually display the class’ data in a histogram, box and whisker plot, and stem and leaf plot. Students in 7-3 will investigate the standard deviation and identify any outliers from the majority. Ever wonder how many possible license plates there are in Pennsylvania or the number of possible seating arrangements in a classroom? Students will calculate the possible combinations, with (combination) and without repetition (permutation) by hand as well as learn the key sequences for the TI-84 calculators. We will end the month with exploring and investigating probability, exploring the difference between experimental and theoretical, independent and dependent events, and finding the odds in favor or against an outcome.

In preparation for the final exam, students chose a specific concept to design an instructional video, song, or board game. With the planning phase in full motion, the masterpieces will be uploaded to my YouTube channel for peers to use as a resource. Board games will be played in class.


Sarah and I have had such a wonderful time working with this cast. May is a very busy month for us. Along with our regular in class rehearsals, a small selection of cast members will have a rehearsal from 3:30-5pm on Friday, May 8th and all of us will have an all day rehearsal on Tuesday, May 19 from 8:10am-3:30pm. I can’t wait for you to see this show on Friday, May 29th! You will be receiving an email from me detailing the costuming soon. Thank you for sharing your child with us!


We will begin May with the conclusion of the badminton unit. We have worked on and practiced various aspects of the game including serving, volleying and team play and will end with a tournament. We will also review Field Day activities. The class will discuss various forms of leadership that can be seen during Field Day, good sportsmanship that should be displayed during Field Day, and the concepts teamwork, community and healthy competition. The school year will end with a unit on softball and softball type activities as well as large group outdoor games.


The seventh graders have just begun a unit called “Criminal Minerals.” During this unit, they will employ all the scientific skills they have used throughout the year to solve the problem of identifying and prosecuting twelve heinous minerals that escaped from the Rock Island Penitentiary. Each day, students will use a number of reference materials to research all types of minerals. They will also be testing all minerals for characteristic properties. The unit culminates with a science fiction paper (based in fact) that depicts how each of them either “caught” or “didn’t catch” the minerals that were in their evidence box. At the end of the month, we will review for a final examination of the concepts we covered throughout the year and take a summative test on those concepts.


In May and June the seventh students will complete our unit on the Civil War and move on to our unit on Reconstruction. We will complete a brief research presentation on historical figures who impacted the Civil War. At the conclusion of the unit we will embark on another Document-Based Question (DBQ) Essay. The seventh graders have demonstrated that they are strong writers. I am excited to continue testing their abilities. The Reconstruction Unit will serve as a bridge to the topics that the students will cover in eighth grade.


Spanish students were assigned a Spanish speaking country to research a particular cultural area in that country. In May, students will begin to construct their outlines and depict the special areas of interest in their topic and translate the information into Spanish. They will then begin to practice the information they will present to seventh grade classmates with the purpose of teaching them cultural components of their country. Students will prepare posters with images and other key captions to guide them through their oral presentations. The class will use the tenses they have learned so far to communicate their messages. The remainder of the term will be spent improving their language expression, fluidity and accuracy.


Students successfully completed basic design projects using Google SketchUp and were excited to print their creations with our MakerBot 3-d printers. This month we will be exploring LegoRobotics, specifically the WeDo kits and software. Students will work in teams to master the technology and plan a 2.5 hour hands-on robotics workshop for third graders. Our first ever NFS Robotics Day is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19th. While our peers are rehearsing Music Man Jr., we will be teaching third grade friends all about robotics. Students will document the experience using a variety of digital tools. We will end the year with time for further exploration of robotics, 3-d design, and coding.
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Monday, May 4 - Friday, May 8 - Spirit Week

Saturday, May 9 - Alumni & Family Day

Thursday, May 14 - Field Day

Tuesday, May 19 - All Day Rehearsal for Music Man Jr. & Tech Studio Robotics Day

Tuesday, May 26 - Friday, May 29 - Exams

Friday, May 29 - Music Man Jr. Show

Monday, June 1 - Alumni Breakfast for 8th Grade Students

Tuesday, June 2 - Thursday, June 4 - Williamsburg Trip

Friday, June 5 - Graduation Dance

Tuesday, June 9 - Graduation