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7th Grade Learning Previews - Jan. 2019

7th Grade Learning Previews - Jan. 2019
Posted on 01/23/2019

Science
Science
Mr. Mahoney, Jmahoney@cpsd.us

As we wrapped up a mini-units on cells students were given a menu of options to show what they know about the organelles of the cell. The models, games, and puzzles they made showed the scientific information about cells in a creative way. See the photo above that captures the range of creative ways students demonstrated their understanding. This month in science we begin to work on our Physics unit and our NetPal Science Fair project. Students are now beginning the process of using the scientific method to answer their own questions, and will be producing a digital presentation as we head toward an April NetPals Science Fair. The driving question of the unit: Why do some things stop while other things keep going? We are in our first learning set which focused on what determines how fast or high an object will go. Students experience thermal, elastic, and sound energy as they address the idea that energy can be transferred between systems. Students develop Energy Transfer Diagrams as models to represent and explain energy gained or “lost” in a system. Students conduct experiments that explore swinging pendulums and how different types of balls behave when they are dropped from height. Students will carry out an investigations of energy conversions/transformations between gravitational, kinetic, elastic, and thermal energy of bouncing and colliding balls. They will analyze the relationship between temperature, thermal energy, and the kinetic energy of molecules in solids, liquids, and gases, identifying temperature and mass as the factors that determine the amount of thermal energy an object has. We are working toward an understanding as to why things eventually stop moving, which is part of the driving question for the unit. Follow details on science fair as they are incorporated into the Google classroom starting at the end of January.

Social Studies
Ms. Motto, bmotto@cpsd.us

Students have been working extremely hard on their research papers in Social Studies. It has been challenging but students have been up to the task! They have been finding credible sources, citing them, and creating notecards to help them write their paper. Students will begin writing their research paper outlines this week. Students are not required to work on their research papers at home but are welcome to. Please see my email for all research paper due dates. To support your student, as them to describe the challenges their figure faced and in what ways they persevereved. Also ask them to describe to you the research process and what has been challenging about it. 

ELA
Ms. Gonzalez, amgonzalez@cpsd.us and Mr. Mitchell

In ELA, scholars are revising and editing their literary analysis essays about their book club book. We will then begin a new unit: Identity and Transformation: Then and Now. We will explore the concept of personal identity formation and transformation in both historical and modern-day societies. It begins with an overview of what “identity” means and how it can mean different things to different people. Readers and writers did some of this work early in the year in Social Studies, and they will be building on that work by reflecting back on what they learned. They will continue to deepen their understanding of identity through talking about internal and external characteristics. For at least two weeks, readers will read first-person narratives that focus on various social identifiers—from race to gender to socioeconomic status. We will work on identifying central ideas in these texts, analyzing how an author develops his or her claims, identifying how the sections of the text interact to form those ideas, and comparing two different texts about the same topic. 

For homework, scholars are expected to be independently reading a book of their choice for 25 minutes. We will create reading goals by the end of January such as, “finish two books by the end of the month” and “read over the weekend”. Ask your scholar how much work they put into accomplishing their goal(s). Make a reading goal for the month yourself and share it with them for extra motivation!

Math 
Ms. Damiani, adamiani@cpsd.us

Students are nearing the end of our fifth unit - Rational Number Arithmetic. In this unit, students interpret signed numbers in contexts (e.g., temperature, elevation, deposit and withdrawal, position, direction, speed and velocity, percent change) together with their sums, differences, products, and quotients. (“Signed numbers” include all rational numbers, written as decimals or in the form ab.) Students use tables and number line diagrams to represent sums and differences of signed numbers or changes in quantities represented by signed numbers such as temperature or elevation, becoming more fluent in writing different numerical addition and subtraction equations that express the same relationship. They compute sums and differences of signed numbers. Students use multiplication and division equations to represent changes in position on number line diagrams or distance traveled, and interpret positive and negative velocities in context. There will be an end of unit assessment scheduled for January 29th. Study guides and review work will go home with students next week so that you can help them prepare. Please encourage students to come for help before or after school if they need it!