In 7th grade science, we have been studying the atmosphere and the properties of air. We began with open inquiry investigations to discover air takes up space and presses in all directions. We’ve also experimented with a vacuum pump and bell jar, placing several objects in a vacuum to witness the power of air pressure or lack thereof! Students are creating their own review poster on the web using Glogster. The poster can be printed and posted to their blog.
The tech club has created videos using the vacuum pump. The videos are posted on my new web page. These have been helpful if a student has been absent.
Don’t forget to follow along with our twitter account at @7thscience or from the web page at http://twitter.com/7thscience.
This month in seventh grade Language Arts, we are wrapping up an integrated unit on mythology. Students learned the purpose of mythology for the ancient Greeks and were exposed to a variety of myths. They were quite surprised at some of the behavior the gods displayed, and we had many discussions to explain that the gods were above the rules for mere mortals. We also read and watched a short film version of the same myth, and students learned how to organize comparison and contrast paragraphs. Included in that writing piece, students learned about transition phrases and varied vocabulary usage.
Students are exploring Google Sites to create a web page based on the nonfiction book they read. It is a learning curve for everyone, but there are many valuable skills about appropriate technology usage that can be learned while creating a web page. Students are learning how to cite sources for pictures, video and audio content. Along with the web page, students will be reading book reviews for the book they read. Students will also be writing their own review by learning how to summarize information without giving away too much information, giving a clear, concise opinion about the information, and recommending the book to a specific audience.
Social Studies classes have just finished looking at the lasting contributions made to world civilization by the Greeks. They saw how Alexander the Great took these advances in things like art, architecture, science, technology, mathematics and philosophy and spread them around the Mediterranean world. Our next topic will be Rome. While studying Rome, students will follow its rise as a democratic republic and see how the Romans transform their city-state into a massive empire. Finally we’ll trace the reasons for Rome’s downfall. During the unit, the student’s will be doing several projects including creating a large physical map of Europe and researching and writing a fictionalized Roman gladiator journal.
In 7th grade math, students have completed Module 2. In this Module students investigated the mathematics related to search and rescue operations. They saw how angles, integers, graphing and functions were used to develop search strategies. Next, students will be learning how to use spreadsheets to calculate and analyze data. They will create a spreadsheet to calculate the gains/losses for their stock portfolio.