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7th Grade Team

Discover what's happening in the 7th grade classes at Rye Jr. High (A Middle School) in Rye, NH, US.

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Article posted February 7, 2014 at 11:11 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 201

It's that time of year! The students created science Valentines. Each Valentine had to include a minimum of 4 science concepts that we have learned this year in class. They were also limited in colors to foster creativity. We used Pic Collage on the iPads to create the collage. All of the work can be viewed on the assignment page or on each student's blog page.


Article posted February 7, 2014 at 11:11 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 201

Article posted February 7, 2014 at 10:17 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 34

Digital Learning Day is recognized across the nation on the first Wednesday in February. Digital Learning Day is about giving every child the opportunity to learn in a robust digital environment every day, with the goal of success in college and a career.

The students created Vokis to share what they are learning in 7th grade. This simple looking cartoon character incorporates several skills, including summarizing, listening, and technology skills to create and post on the blog. View all of the Vokis at the assignment page - http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=266813&assignmentid=14770


Article posted February 7, 2014 at 10:17 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 34

Article posted January 29, 2014 at 08:54 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 34

Here are some student photos from our trip to the Discovery Center. The center is named after Christa McAuliffe and Alan Shepard, two NH astronauts!

Article posted January 29, 2014 at 08:54 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 34

Article posted December 18, 2013 at 03:25 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36

After the New Year, the seventh grade advisories will be participating in community service related projects. Our first project will be a program called “Click for Babies” which educates and raises awareness about shaken baby syndrome. We know that this is a time when children start to babysit and learn many life skills.

This will span several weeks as we first introduce the program, and then teach all students to either crochet or knit baby hats in shades of purple. We would love your help with this program in a couple of ways. We need crochet hooks (size H) and knitting needles (varying sizes). We also need help with the actual knitting and crocheting – if you are able and available to help us by volunteering your time, we would really appreciate it it. Advisory period is from 10:45 – 11:15 each Tuesday. We anticipate spending 3 – 4 weeks on this project. Please let us know by responding to this email if your child has access to knitting needles, crochet hooks and/or if you would be able to help us out. Thank you.

Classroom Update for December, 2013

LA - Students have completed the fact finding for their first research project of the year. We have revisited the Independent Investigation Method (IIM), which is the prescribed method of research and organization of material used at RJH. Students have received instruction on choosing relevant and appropriate research tools, taking notes that discourage plagiarism and organizing information into a well written, informative essay. The research is based on student selected topics in Greek mythology, a unit we are working on in conjunction with Social Studies.

We are also continuing to read Greek mythology and explore the strange and sometimes shocking world of Mt. Olympus. The students are enjoying reading and analyzing myths, and comparing different interpretations of the same myth.

In January, students will be forming smaller “book clubs” to focus on analyzing a novel by discussing character development and motivation, development of theme over time, and author’s purpose of setting and language choice. In writing, we will be working on developing our sentence structure by writing compound, complex and compound-complex sentences.

Science - We have been studying stars and in particular the Sun. The students have examined the features of the Sun and how it affects us here on Earth. You can get the current Space Weather information from http://spaceweather.com.

Many of the links we access in class can be found on my website at http://rjh7sci.weebly.com or at http://ryejrhigh.weebly.com/science.html for more science links. Heavens-Above website shows which satellites are visible at night and where to look. http://ustream.tv/nasa has a variety of channels to choose for viewing including ISS (International Space Station).

We are tweeting out from time to time. You can follow along without creating an account by visiting http://twitter.com/7thscience. You can even receive text updates by texting Follow @7thscience to 40404.

The classes also participated in the Hour of Code program. Students around the country were exposed to various programs to learn how to program on the computers. We started out with Scratch. By 2020, it’s estimated there will be 3 million computer programming jobs, but only 1 million people to fill the positions. For more information and if you want to try it, go to http://csedweek.org/.

Social Studies - The students are currently in the middle of our Greek unit. We have been using the PBS video “Greeks: Crucible of Civilization” to tell the story of the rise and fall of the Classical Greek city-states. In addition, we are taking side trips to look at the Ancient Olympics and the legacies of this important civilization on the modern world. In January, we will be moving on to Hellenistic Age and the empire of Alexander the Great.

Math - The focus during Term #1 was making the transition to Common Core State Standards and our pilot program, Math in Focus. I feel students are adjusting well to the new structure of the program and the rigor. Therefore, starting this term, students will need to complete 50 Math Points between now and the end of Term #2. This will be a single assignment worth 50 points within the Habits of Engaged Learner category. Students are welcome to go above and beyond 50 points. These math points are available in the classroom for students to choose based on tiered options. Students finished Chapter 3 Algebraic Expressions last week, reviewed for the Chapter 3 test on Monday and Tuesday, and started the Chapter 3 test on Wednesday, December 18th. I am available for extra help every Tuesday after school. In January we will begin Chapter 4 on Algebraic Equations and Inequalities.

7th Grade - As teachers, we’ve seen it all before. This is the time when grades may start to dip. As a parent, this may be disconcerting, but it is a beneficial time to allow students to learn. The students are at an age where they want to be independent, but some may not be ready for all the responsibility. You are probably seeing some of these struggles at home.

This is the time of year when students are testing their limits. As the work gets harder or more complex, they will need to exercise a variety of strategies to be successful. What worked last year, may not be good enough for now and in the future. We feel this is a perfect time to use these dips as learning experiences and figure out what will work for them. We would rather they stumble and learn to step up this year, rather than in high school. If students are not ready for this new level of independence then we will be suggesting ways for students to help themselves. We are always available for extra help (except for Thursdays) as needed.

Article posted December 18, 2013 at 03:25 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36

Article posted November 19, 2013 at 09:21 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36

The students created animations of the Moon phases using a program called Sketchy. Afterwards some created an animation of meteorites.

Article posted November 19, 2013 at 09:21 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36

Article posted October 7, 2013 at 02:37 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 39

Save the date! - November 1 for Project Safeguard! 8:30 am - 2:30 pm.

News from the classrooms:

This month in Language Arts, the focus has been on reading strategies. As a class, we are reading the novel Stargirl, which examines the choice between following the crowd and displaying your true personality. This theme is one that many seventh graders struggle with, and we have had many enlightening conversations about the behavior described in the book. Also, students are identifying literary strategies such as character development, author’s purpose, foreshadowing, developing the plot and many others. We have recently kicked off a project based on Stargirl, which will result in a mock school board meeting. Please visit my website (http://rjh7la.weebly.com) for a description of that project and an outline of the other work we are doing regarding our reading.

At the beginning of the year, we work a great deal on the organization of their writing, and using textual evidence to develop their ideas into a cohesive, professional writing sample. Students will always be required to plan out their writing before they actually begin, as this will further develop the ability to order and explain their ideas. Finally, this week students will be assigned a longer writing response based on their novel they are reading at home. A link to this work is also available on my website under the “Homework” section.

Social studies classes have finished our look at the topic of culture; what it is and how we can use it to compare the way people live. In our current unit, students are studying the development of the first civilizations of the Fertile Crescent located in today’s modern Iraq. We are examining how human society changed as a result of the development of agriculture. After a look at life in early Mesopotamia, the classes will be starting a group project on the major river civilization of the Bronze Age. Each group will be required to put together a slideshow based on one of the textbook chapters 4-8 and then present the show to teach the rest of the students about their civilizations.

Reminder: SS pts for the first half of Trimester #1 are due on Tuesday Oct 15th.

Students have finished Chapter 1 on The Real Number System and did an overall great job on the Chapter 1 test! All tests have been returned to students, please ask your child to show you his/her Chapter 1 test. If a student received a grade lower than a 75%, that assignment can be corrected with help if needed, signed by a parent, and returned to me within two weeks of receiving the assignment. Upon completion the student will be given an opportunity to reassess. Students have started Chapter 2 on Rational Number Operations. Throughout this chapter students will be adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers, fractions, and decimals. A Family Letter and Activity was sent home at the beginning of Chapter 2. There are several Hands-On Activities throughout the chapter that students will work on together in groups. NECAP testing began last week and continued into this week. Less homework was assigned during NECAP testing. Now that testing is over, we will return to our normal class schedules and assign more practice for home.

Science - The students have researched an astronomer and created a trading card with interesting facts. The cards will be displayed at Harvest Fest on Oct. 23rd. Before NECAP testing we took a walk along the road to investigate the planets. We used one scale for size and distance. If the Sun is the size of a beachball, where are all the planets and how big would they be? The planet walk starts outside our school at the sign on Washington Road. The first 4 planets are on near the school grounds, but the gas giants are beyond on Wallis Road. The names have been painted on the road (with permission) according to scale. If you have some free time, walk the solar system!


Article posted October 7, 2013 at 02:37 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 39

Article posted October 4, 2013 at 04:10 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 38

Social Studies classes kicked off the year with an examination of the different disciplines of the Social Sciences and how they are used to understand a given time period or civilization. We've now moved on to a look at concept of culture and how we use it to make comparisons about the way a given group of people lived. At the same time, the students are reviewing some of the basic geographic terms and concepts beginning with a look at relative and exact location.

Science classes have started the year with a few investigations that deal with observations. We followed up by examining how our eyes work. We have incorporated some technology standards too! You can view their work here on their own blog. Click on the assignment on the left hand side of the navigation window. We will also tweet out from time to time. If you don’t use twitter you can still follow along at http://twitter.com/7thscience.

Students started 7th grade math sharing information about themselves as math learners by completing a "Mathography." Within the first week students persevered through challenging problems. This year the program we are piloting across all grade levels is the Singapore based Math in Focus series. Over the last two weeks students have been working on Chapter 1 The Real Number System. By the end of Chapter 1 students will understand that real numbers are represented as points on an infinite line and are used to count, measure, estimate, or approximate quantities. MATHCOUNTS has begun! Students meet Mondays after school from 3:00PM-3:30PM. MATHCOUNTS is an after school club that provides enrichment and challenge to any interested 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student! In February, there will be a local competition at the University of New Hampshire.

In Language Arts, students have started the year by reviewing the necessary parts of a paragraph. In order to track student progress, all students completed a short writing exercise that will be assessed by all teachers on the seventh grade team. This process ensures that students are displaying best writing practice in all areas. Students are now reading an article about dress codes in schools - a hot topic!- and discussing the importance of word choice, audience and organization in writing. They are using the article to discover the meaning of unknown words, answer comprehension questions, and write longer constructed responses. In the end, students are looking forward to a debate on the importance of dress codes. Should be interesting . . .

Article posted October 4, 2013 at 04:10 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 38

Article posted October 4, 2013 at 04:08 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 38

This year, we welcome Ms. Sarah Nice to the team. She is our new Math teacher, replacing Ms. Mary Harte. Thank you for your many years of service Ms. Harte!

This seventh grade will be using Chromebooks in their classes. A Chromebook is a small laptop computer with internet access. Each student is responsible for one computer to use as a tool. We are looking forward to using the technology to enhance the learning process.

Article posted October 4, 2013 at 04:08 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 38

Article posted May 29, 2013 at 08:34 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36

Article posted May 29, 2013 at 08:34 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 36

Article posted May 13, 2013 at 09:23 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 34

Upcoming events

  • May 24 - No School, Professional Development Day

  • May 27 - No School, Memorial Day

  • May 31 - Field Trip - Portsmouth Harbor - to kick off our Sense of Place Unit

  • June 13 - Sense of Place Presentations - 7-8 pm

  • June 19 - Funtown Field Trip

  • June 20 - Half Day, Last day of School.


Language Arts


This month in seventh grade language arts, students are investigating poetry techniques and using figurative language to add detail to writing.  The students recently found figurative language in lines from Shakespeare’s plays, and were quite surprised to find that not only could they identify similes, metaphors and hyperbole, they could actually understand the meaning behind the language! We will continue  Reading and writing poetry will finish out our year in language arts.


Social Studies


Social Studies classes have begun our Renaissance unit. The unit centers around a research project. The classes begin by watch a set of videos on the time period to learn about the isssues & events that shaped life back then.  Students are assigned a famous person to research and then portray in a mock TV show called A Meeting of the Minds. Each show begins with the students giving a short biography of their person’s life. The 2nd half of the show involves them answering questions about the major ideas, events, and inventions of the Renaissance and how they might have affected the person they are portraying. This year Ms. Gilbert (LA) will be helping the student’s to prepare their opening monologues  and  Eric Lawson (Tech Guru) will be helping to improve the technical side of filming the TV show.




Students are ending their unit on the Stock Market. They will be creating a Stock Portfolio to showcase their companies, list their gains/losses, and reflect on the experience. With the Dow at closing at 18,381 on the day they sold their stocks, most students saw significant gains. The one company that showed disappointing returns was Apple. Many students invested in this company and saw losses. Ratio, proportion and percent will be the next topics covered.




We wrapped up our chemistry unit by determining if a water sample would have been potable on the westward trails back in the 1800’s. Each student had a trail sample to test using any indicator and their notes. Of course, the pioneers had other indicators around the watering holes, such as the types of rocks, signs and animal bones!


We are now working independently on the Roadkill Project. A high number of roadkill indicates a high population of that animal. There is a serious side to this project and our numbers are available to other organizations and schools to study. Each student chose one variable they believe  would affect the roadkill numbers. Data from over 15 years is available to the students. What do you think will affect roadkill? Moon phase? Temperature? Price of gasoline? Nocturnal vs diurnal?


Token Economy

We have started this activity with the students and it will continue to the end of the year. Each student has the "job" of student and will receive a "paycheck" at the end of each week. They have the opportunity to earn bonuses and debits, which further develops their responsibility in class. Each student has a checking account and a check register. They will be balancing their checkbooks weekly. Feel free to have a look at it to see how they are progressing. At the end of the year, the students can "pay" for full privileges on our last field trip on June 19th to Funtown in Saco, ME.



Article posted May 13, 2013 at 09:23 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 34

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