Confused about the Core Curriculum?
South East Junior High
What is the Common Core Curriculum?
These guidelines are listed as standards and are the learning goals that you children will meet as they progress through their classes here at South East.
Why Use the Common Core Curriculum?
When schools use the Common Core Standards, parents can be sure that their children will be learning the same things as children throughout the country are. Since we use the Common Core Standards here at South East, you don't have to worry about your children not learning as much as students who attend other schools around the country.
The Core Curriculum at South East
Below is an example of the "Big Understandings" that the 7th grade science team has put together that all students will learn in the different units throughout the school. This not a list of the actual standards themselves, rather a simpler version of them that is easier for students to understand.
7th Grade Life Science "Big Understandings" List
Unit 1: Experimental Design: Studying People Scientifically
1. Well-designed experiments control variables, use a control, collect appropriate data, and are reproducible.
2. Humans as test subjects, presents unique challenges in experimental design, ethics, and the drawing of
3. Scientific investigations (especially those involving human subjects) involve trade-offs.
Unit 2: Body systems: Digestion, Circulation, Respiration
1. The body is made of systems that perform vital functions.
2. The body systems are interconnected and depend on one another.
3. The body is organized at different levels including cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems.
Unit 3: Micro Life: Germ Theory, cell biology, microbes, diseases, immunity.
1. Infectious diseases are caused by germs which are transmitted in a variety of ways.
2. Germs include bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.
3. Diseases may be prevented in a variety of ways including hand washing and the use of vaccines, antibiotics, and quarantine.
4. The use of disease prevention methods have trade-offs including the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
5. Cells are the basic unit of life.
6. The structure of cells is related to their function.
7. Microbes play a variety of roles other than as pathogens
Unit 4: Genetics: Reproduction and heredity, Predicting traits, human traits.
1. Every organism has a set of instructions for specifying its traits.
2. Genes contain hereditary information that determines traits such as blood type and eye color.
3. Reproduction is a characteristic of all living systems, and breeding experiments can provide information about
the behavior of genes.
4. Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature through observations, experiments, and theoretical and
Unit 5: Evolution: Fossil stories, natural selection
1. Most species that have once lived on this earth are extinct, and species alive today are descendants of earlier ones.
2. Geological time is vast, and microbial life has existed on Earth for much of Earth’s history.
3. Natural selection is the process by which species evolve.
4. Evolution is a continual process as environments continue to change.
5. Variation is present in any population of organisms.
Unit 6: Ecology: Plants, animals, and their environment
1. The energy driving the Earth’s ecosystems comes mainly from the sun and flows through ecosystems in one
direction; matter continuously cycles through Earth’s ecosystems.
2. Ecosystems comprise complex interactions involving both living organisms and non-living factors.
3. Humans play an increasingly significant role in all the world’s ecosystems.
4. Biodiversity ensures stability in any ecosystem, large or small, and the loss of biodiversity is a major concern.