7th Grade Update: October 31, 2018

7th Grade Update: October 31, 2018
Posted on 10/31/2018

Since September, students have been working on identifying what makes a property a property and how we can use properties to identify different substances. We will use our knowledge of properties in order to figure out if, and how, chemical reactions take place.

Students in science have been working hard on figuring out what it means to make a strong argument. Looking at both in- and out-of-school examples, students found patterns about what made for convincing arguments and have used what they’ve learned to build stronger arguments in the classroom. We will continue to work on building strong arguments during the year, but we have already made a lot of growth in this area.

Our student have begun thinking about topics for their independent research projects, Genius Hour. A number of students have showed a lot of passion and pride in these topics, and we are all excited to learn about our topics and to eventually teach our peers about what we’ve learned!


Over the past month we have been working on our independent reading. We have just started our first class novel, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. During this unit we will discuss the motif of survival. Our essential question is: How do individuals survive challenging environments? Students will be writing an essay at the end of the unit where they will answer the essential question.

During our independent reading unit students had an opportunity to write about what made them incredible. They also drew a self portrait. Students were very introspective and some wrote about their hidden talents, while other write about skills they have learned over the years.

Students showed tons of pride when they were learning about figurative language. Students worked well in teams and battled each other as we had Figurative Language Relay Races and played Trasketball.

Social Studies 

In social studies, we have started our unit on the rise and spread of Islam from the year 500 C.E- 1500 C.E. Students started our exploration by looking at the geography of the Arabian Peninsula to determine how the location and environment promoted trade throughout the region. Now we are looking at the life of Muhammad and how his life shaped Islam and the world.

Students have shined this month by working hard on developing their writing and historical thinking skills. Students are thinking about big questions like “Why does where matter?” Why should we learn people’s stories? And “How do beliefs shape our actions?”

The core values permeate our work in social studies. So far this year students have shown passion in their pursuit of academic excellence through effective effort in their classwork. Students have shown pride in their identities through their identity projects, which engaged us as a community to see who we are as unique individuals.


Over the past month students have been refreshing math skills by working with fractions and decimals daily. They have learned a great amount about scale drawings, what they look like, and how they work. This has laid the foundation for our upcoming unit on ratios and proportions!

This month, students have been working hard to break through and push beyond their fears and struggles in math. They have been doing this both by sharpening their math skills and by pushing themselves and one another to explain their thinking and reason mathematically. I have seen many students show growth in their mathematical confidence which brings me joy for how the rest of the year will go!

Students show ownership and perseverance daily as they come prepared for class and eager to learn, even when math may be an area that is difficult for them, we work to bring a fresh start everyday and keep minds open. As students work together to find the correct answer and assist each other in finding mistakes their passions for and strength with numbers are clear.

Chinese Immersion

In October, we learned a new unit “The Rise of Islam.” We started with how geography affected patterns of life on the Arabian Peninsula in the sixth century. Students have written and illustrated a magazine article called, Six Tips for Living Large on the Arabian Peninsula. Also we are exploring Muhammad’s life and learning about the spread of Islam throughout Arabia and beyond.
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