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.