What a fun year this has been. Your children have grown so much and have shown us all they are ready to be the leaders of the school next year. I am very proud of them for how they have grown as a class. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work so closely with them.
There are many summer activities that will help the students maintain their newly learned skills and discover new ones. Playing board games and card games with siblings and friends is a great way to use higher level thinking skills and problem solving. The rewards of baking are two-fold: 1) the obvious results in the joy of eating what you created, and 2) using the skills of measuring, estimating, and creating. When students work on puzzles, there are physical, emotional, and cognitive skills involved. They are using hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills to fit pieces together, learning the rewards of patience, and solving the problem the puzzle places before them. I highly encourage jigsaw as well as crossword and math puzzles during their down time. Visiting museums and summer camps are also excellent ways to keep learning and interacting with academic subjects. One more thing to do during summer is Khan Academy. It has excellent opportunities for reinforcing old skills and learning new ones.
We will be spending the end of the year working with the foundations of geometry. We have been studying lines, angles, and plane figures. We will be wrapping up the year exploring polygons and triangles.
The end of the year has us investigating the history of life on Earth. We will be learning about the Geologic Time scale and how scientists have divided Earth’s history. We will be investigating when and where life came into existence. Each period of Earth’s history will be examined to include the plants and animals of that time and the transitions between eras. This will lead us to look at the possible future for life on Earth. SLE 2d, 3c
Religion (with Mrs. Pippin):
The seventh graders are currently completing a cumulative review of the required seventh grade religion curriculum, including: the Sacraments of service, Sacraments of initiation,and Sacraments of healing, the Ten Commandments, the Precepts of the church. (These include going to Mass, receiving Eucharist at Easter, going to confession/reconciliation once a year, observing holy days and days of fasting, and caring for the needs of the church through community service and tithing.) We have also reviewed the mysteries of the Rosary, the Nicene Creed, and the parts of the Mass. SLE 1b, 4d, 5b
On a more personal note, I have loved working with these seventh grade students this year, and, for most of the class – I’ve worked with these incredible young people for many years. They are such a great group of students, and it’s been a pleasure working with them, and you. It was a difficult decision for me to leave eighth grade, but commitments in my personal life require me to pull back a bit from so many extracurricular activities, events and obligations that accompany the position of eighth grade homeroom teacher. I know the students are in very good hands with Ms. Mosel whom they know and love. I have missed working with the “little ones,” and I am looking forward to teaching third grade next year, but I will be sad to leave this class. I wish them all well in eighth grade next year. I wish all of you a wonderful summer! -Mrs. Pippin
Literature (with Ms. Mosel):
The students will conclude Unit 4 of their StudySync textbooks with an excerpt from My Antonia by Willa Cather, a moving study of the human condition as it is influenced by the struggle to survive in a harsh, and often unforgiving, environment. Throughout this unit, the students have been exploring the many complex challenges human beings face in forming relationships with one another and with the world around them. For their last class novel of the year, the students are also reading The Outsiders by S. E Hinton. This is a highly-acclaimed coming-of-age work of fiction about friendships and life choices as they are influenced by socioeconomic challenges. It is also a character study on how one can persevere through such conflict provided they maintain a sense of humor, grit, and integrity. As they read this story, the students will participate in ongoing class discussions about literary devices and elements as they pertain to the development, style, and tone of this powerful story.
Language Arts (with Mrs. Mosel):
The students continue to revise and edit their persuasive essays during our writing workshops. They have reviewed student models, participated in both peer evaluation and self-evaluation exercises, and utilized in-depth rubrics in order to meet the required standards and content areas of argumentative writing. By the end of seventh grade, students are expected to be able to address a prompt, and develop a claim as it pertains to the prompt, with convincing and relevant analysis, domain-specific, academic language, and proper writing conventions. Throughout their writing process, they will continue to evaluate transitions and topic sentences, thesis statements, and evidence-based claims in order to ensure they are meeting such standards in preparation for their eighth grade year.
At the end of the year, the students will also have a cumulative test on all of their Unit words. This is a fun yet challenging way to acknowledge all of the wonderful vocabulary they have learned this year, and how it enriches and emboldens their literacy skills.
Spanish (with Señora Mosel)
The students recently learned about possessive adjectives and pronouns in order to express ownership. These adjectives always agree in gender and in number with the object of possession. Understanding how to use them will help the students continue to build basic conversational skills.
Throughout the year, the students have had fun building a preparatory foundation in Spanish. Hopefully, through the process of learning such fundamentals as possessive adjectives, subject pronouns, basic greetings, and some introductory vocabulary terms, they will feel more comfortable applying this language in their daily lives, and thereby continue to enrich their cultural awareness and citizenship. SLE: 2a
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