7th Grade Learning Previews - February 2020

7th Grade Learning Previews - February 2020
Posted on 02/11/2020
Science: Mr. Mahoney, [email protected]

We begin our astronomy unit this month. In the first part of this unit, students build upon what they learned in 5th grade Spaceship Earth to dig more deeply into the interactions and patterns of our Sun-Earth-Moon system, as well as the forces that cause them. Using data and models, they explore and explain the patterns of the moon, tides, eclipses, and the seasons. What is the role of gravity? Students learn how early astronomers began to study light, using tools like the telescope, to observe and explain phenomena in the sky. They investigate using lenses to see how light behaves and how it is used to magnify celestial objects. Ask your student to explain to you what they know about how light behaves and what the role of gravity is!

At this point, students move beyond our Sun, Earth, Moon system to begin to explore our solar system--just one of many in the universe. Are the patterns and forces they discovered in our Sun, Earth, Moon system applicable throughout the universe? They map out their galactic address and identify all the parts of the solar system, as well as its scale. Finally, we continue work on the NetPals Science Fair as students will develop their question, hypothesis, and procedure this month. Ask your student what question they are exploring.

Social Studies: Ms. Thomas, [email protected]

Students have been working extremely hard on their research papers in Social Studies about people in history who have faced persecution and persevered. 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 wrote outlines last week and are currently writing their final research papers. Students are strongly encouraged to work on their papers at home or come in for extra support. The final research paper is due Friday February 14. Have your student show you where they are in the project. If they are feeling stuck or behind, encourage them to aim to write a little bit every day. And tell them to talk to their teacher. And of course, ask them what is most inspiring about the person they have researched!

ELA: Ms. Gonzalez, [email protected], Ms.Kupchunos, and Ms. Dear (Harvard intern)

Unit Title: Book Clubs: The Plight of Refugees

In ELA, we are in book club groups reading books focused on different refugee experiences in the world. There are four different books being read: "Refugee" by Alan Gratz (historical fiction), "The Night Diary" by Veera Hiranandani (historical fiction), "Of Beetles and Angels" by Mawi Asgedom (memoir) and "How Dare The Sun Rise" by Sandra Uwiringiymana (memoir). Book club groups decided on how many pages to read each school day, in order to finish the book by Friday, March 6th. As we read, we will also be taking notes of things to discuss and write about in length. Once a week, groups will get together to discuss the book and deepen their thinking. When books are finished, all readers will be writing an analytical essay and completing a related creative project (more info on that in next learning preview!). To support your scholar at home ask them, “Is your book a memoir or historical fiction? How does this affect the way you think about the book?” And of course, engaging them in any discussion about what they read supports their understanding. Ask them which character they like the most and why, or where the book is set and what is interesting about the setting. Is there anything in the book that they connect with? Please encourage them to read their independent books at home for 30 mins. Mon.-Thurs.

Math: Mrs. Tyler, [email protected]

Unit Title: Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities

Students are in the first stage of our new unit, Expressions, Equations, & Inequalities. In this unit students are tasked with real-world representing situations with algebraic expressions and equations and using the algebraic method to solve for an unknown variable. Students see visual representations of algebraic equations with tape diagrams and hanger/balance puzzles (https://solveme.edc.org/Mobiles.html). Another major learning goal is creating equivalent expressions using algebraic properties of addition and multiplication. Check out this link to get more in depth explanations of the sections of the unit, the big idea questions, and even practice problems for you to complete with your student! (Answer Key included!) https://bit.ly/2DqQQ9p

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