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7th Grade Learning Previews - October 2018

7th Grade Learning Previews - October 2018
Posted on 10/10/2018
Science: Mr. Mahoney, jmahoney@cpsd.us
Science class continues our study of chemistry in the unit called “How can I make new stuff from old stuff?” We have finished our learning set about the properties of matter and are now starting to investigate chemical reactions. Students first explore the qualities of substances by planning and carrying out a number of investigations of chemical reactions. Through their investigations, students learn that a chemical reaction is a process in which old substances (reactants) interact to form new substances (products) with new properties. Students use models to further develop their understanding of the particulate nature of matter in the context of these chemical reactions, learning that new substances are the result of atoms in the old substances rearranging to form new molecules/particles. Ask your student what their favorite investigation is!

Social Studies: Ms. Motto, bmotto@cpsd.us
Students will spend the next unit learning about the religion of Islam. We have already begun with the geography of the Middle East and how the Middle East is defined. Students are now moving onto Muhammad and the teachings of Islam. Towards the end of the unit, students will begin to work on writing an analytical essay (their “DBQ,” or Document Based Question) exploring their answer to the question: Why did Islam spread so quickly? By the end of the unit, students will be able to answer three essential questions: What are the stories of Muhammad and how have they shaped Islam and the world? How can religion both unite and separate people? What makes for a strong historical argument? See what your student’s answers to these questions are! 

ELA: Ms. Gonzalez, amgonzalez@cpsd.us and Mr. Mitchell 
Our first writing piece of the year is a dip into storytelling. We have explored short memoir pieces to identify how writers develop meaning through details. We have collected and brainstormed possible ideas for writing a memoir. This week, scholars will commit to drafting, revising, and editing their own 100 word memoirs. We will then share our stories with one another. Ask your student what their memoir is about and what makes something a memoir.

After this unit, we begin reading our first whole class novel of the year, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Scholars will read closely to practice citing evidence and drawing inferences from this compelling text as they begin to analyze and contrast the points of view of the two central characters, Salva and Nya. They also will read informational text to gather evidence on the perspectives of the Dinka and Nuer tribes of Southern Sudan. Note: There is some violence in this novel. It is not gruesome, but anytime we read about violence in the world, we need to be extra thoughtful to make sure everyone feels safe. We will discuss strategies we might use to support safety during difficult reading (such as taking a break from reading, talking to an adult or friend about your thoughts, journaling, or writing a note to the teacher). Please ask your child in the coming weeks about these strategies and offer your support should your child ask for it. Readers are expected to take the book home and keep up with the reading schedule. 

Math: Ms. Damiani, adamiani@cpsd.us
Students are beginning their second unit - Introducing Proportional Relationships. In this unit, students learn to understand and use the terms “proportional,” “constant of proportionality,” and “proportional relationship,” and recognize when a relationship is or is not proportional. They represent proportional relationships with tables, equations, and graphs. Students use these terms and representations in reasoning about situations that involve constant speed, unit pricing, and measurement conversions. Check out the topics yourself by visiting https://im.openupresources.org/7/families/2.html#representing-proportional-relationships. Ask your student about new 7th grade vocabulary they’ve learned to describe math that they’ve seen in years prior.