Jefferson Middle School
CURRICULUM GUIDE 2020–2021
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SEVENTH GRADE REQUIRED COURSES
Students read a range of literature in order to improve comprehension, learn grammar through literature, develop their vocabularies, and encourage their appreciation of superior writing. Standards emphasize the connection between reading and writing and focus on developing the student’s ability to fully comprehend complex text including making connections, learning to cite evidence, and recognizing inconsistent or flawed reasoning. The reading/writing connection will be strengthened as students learn to apply critical reading skills when writing arguments, informative/explanatory essays, and narratives.
Advanced English proceeds at a more challenging pace. Sixth–grade teachers will recommend students for this course.
Advanced math proceeds at an accelerated pace. It is a pre–algebra course. Students begin eighth–grade math with an introduction to Algebra. Students evaluate algebraic expressions, solve one–and two–step equations, solve and graph inequalities, and graph functions. Instruction also includes areas such as integers, geometry, rational numbers, analyzing data, problem solving, perimeter, and area. All computational skills, such as operations with fractions, decimals, and percents, are reviewed throughout the course. Sixth–grade teachers recommend students for this course.
Algebra is a course for students showing innate talent and advanced mathematic skills. It is designed for students who have mastered arithmetic skills and who intend to pursue a four–or five–year “advanced track” math curriculum in high school. Students in Algebra are expected to maintain an average grade of “B”. If students maintain a “B” or above they are eligible to receive a high school math credit. This will not count as one of the four math classes required for graduation. Sixth–grade teachers recommend students for this course.
World History and Geography: The Middle Ages to the Exploration of the Americas-
Seventh grade students will explore the social, cultural, geographical, political and technological changes that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire and in Medieval Europe. Students will also study the period from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, including the Southwest Asia and Northern Africa, West Africa, China, and Japan, but with a heavier emphasis on western civilization in Europe during the Renaissance. Students will compare and contrast the history and geography of civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout these continents during medieval times. They will examine the growth in economic interactions among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. Students will analyze geography’s influence on the development of these civilizations as they continue their study. Seventh grade students will end the year by examining the Meso–American and Andean civilizations, and the age of European explorations.
Seventh grade science covers aspects of physical, life, and earth science.Physical science concepts include atomic structure, states of matter, substances and mixtures, and the periodic table.Cell structure, heredity, photosynthesis and respiration, and human body systems are key topics addressed in life science.Earth science concentrates on the atmosphere and human activities that affect climate.Inquiry and technology are embedded throughout the curriculum.Seventh grade science is designed as a laboratory enhanced course to offer students a variety of “hands –on” experiences.
The physical education program is an instructional class that teaches students the fundamentals of team sports, the importance of regular physical fitness, and lifetime wellness activities.Emphasis is placed on activities that condition students in physical strength and endurance as well as the development of coordination and physical skills.Students are required to have a set of physical education clothes for participation.Required PE clothes consist of mid–thigh length shorts with an elastic band or drawstring, a solid white, solid gray, solid royal blue, solid yellow, OR any Jefferson Eagles t–shirt, athletic socks, and a pair of tennis shoes.Per JMS dress code, no spandex/compression leggings, pants, or capris are allowed to be worn in PE classes.Students also have the opportunity to have their own PE locker, which requires a combination lock.Students are required to participate and dress out in proper physical education clothes.Students must have a written note from a physician to be excused from PE.
Courses Alternating with 7th grade P. E. classes:
Students learn about the elements and principles of design through analyzing famous artwork as well as their own art. Students will be required to complete a still–life drawing demonstrating their observational skills and their understanding of how the elements and principles are used in their drawing.STEM (Bridge Design)–This class will learn to utilize the 9 step design process as the students will be challenged to solve problems. The problem solving system along with hands on projects like the balsa bridge and tower will be our projects.
Creativity for Careers is designed to assist students in practicing creative skills necessary to excel in future coursework and occupations.Students will learn about existing high school, college, and career pathways, and how to successfully transition into them.In Oak Ridge schools we are implementing Project–Based Learning (PBL) as an engaging instructional approach for learning these 21st century career skills. This course will emphasize academic learning goals and competencies that focus specifically on exercising creativity in careers.
7th grade classes will rotate through the computer class for one nine week period. During the nine weeks students will learn to manipulate the following programs: MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Students will spend the 9 weeks designing and building a balsa wood tress bridge, utilizing design principles and construction techniques essential in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
SEVENTH GRADE ELECTIVE COURSES
**Attention: Elective courses are ONLY available if a student is not in the RTI (Response to Intervention) program for Reading or Math. If a student is placed in RTI, they will be removed from their elective until they have shown growth in the supported subject area. Should you have any questions concerning RTI, a student’s placement, or how a student can move out of RTI, please contact Stephanie Hope or John Smith at 865–425–9301.
Art- Year Long
Art 7 includes art production, aesthetics, criticism, and art history. Students will also have the opportunity to broaden their appreciation for visual art through a trip a local museum during the school year. Students exhibit their work in local, regional, and national exhibits and competitions. The year-long class is divided into media units: drawing, painting, sculpture, computer graphics, commercial art and printmaking.
Students with a year or more of Band experience will prepare a wide variety of band music for evening concerts, school assemblies, ball games, festivals, and competitions. Through these experiences, students will continue to develop their musicianship skills. In addition to a band method book, each student is required to have black dress pants, black socks, and black dress shoes to complete the band uniform.Percussionists must have a prescribed set of mallets and accessories.As part of the course grade, students are expected to attend all scheduled band events. Students have the opportunity to participate in East Tennessee School Band clinics, solo–ensemble and concert festivals as well as an out of town competition performance.The band instructor’s recommendation is required to take this course. Seventh graders with no prior band experience that are interested in joining band should contact the band director.
The primary focus of Chorus 7 is performing choral music in concert. Students will learn the basics of singing in the traditional choral method, including reading and interpreting choral music notation, developing breath control, singing scales, sightsinging, harmonizing, expanding vocal range, and maintaining vocal health.As part of the course grade, students are expected to perform in concerts, some of which occur outside of school hours. All choir students are required to have black dress shoes; boys also need black dress pants. A few previously worn girls’ shoes are available to borrow.
Orchestra 7 is for students with some prior string instrument experience. Students learn bowing techniques, vibrato, shifting, good sound production, and proper intonation. Students play in performances at school and in area concerts. Orchestra students participate in East Tennessee school orchestra events as well as travel to an out–of–state orchestra competition. *The orchestra director’s recommendation is required for this class.
Introduction to Business and Marketing 7/8-
Real Life Application elective that focuses on every day skills that are needed to succeed in the business world. Students will recognize the need to set goals and will pursue those goals in their virtual world from getting their first job to retirement. Students will learn to fill out forms, apply for a job, and balance a checkbook. Students will gain an understanding of credit in activities such as buying a car and a home. Students will experience the need for creating and maintaining a budget using basic accounting skills. Students will study supply & demand, free enterprise, technological awareness, technical writing, not taking, and basic communication skills.High school credit is available for this course now upon successful completion of an end of course assessment. Students may only earn one credit for this course either as a 7th or 8th grader.
World Languages- French or Spanish
Students are able to enroll in Spanish 1 or French 1 for the 7th and 8th grade years, provided they are in strong academic standing and have received a teacher recommendation. The Level 1 course begins in 7th grade and finishes at the end of the 8th grade year*. While this course spans two academic years, it is the same course and curriculum as Level 1 Spanish or French at Oak Ridge High School. This two–year program is designed for younger students to master Level 1 proficiency at a slower pace, while maintaining the rigors of a high school course. At the end of the 8th grade year, students will take an End–of–Course exam. Passing the EOC exam and maintaining an A or B in the class will enable students to earn a high school Level 1 credit in Spanish or French**. Choosing to accept credit is optional. If the student declines credit, the student will still be able to advance to the next language level at Oak Ridge High School, provided he/she has the recommendation of his/her World Language teacher.
*Students are unable to enroll in 8th grade Spanish or French if they were not previously enrolled in the 7th grade Spanish or French class.
**Students need 2 high school language credits, of the same language as a graduation requirement. Students are highly encourage to take more than 2 years of a language, especially if they are planning on attending college.
Study Hall is designed to teach students various academic skills necessary for success at the middle school level. Students can receive help in organization, note–taking, planning study time, active study strategies, and grade averaging. They are encouraged to take increasing personal responsibility for their own learning. Small group setting allows for individual problem solving and troubleshooting with everyday academic obstacles. Students are enrolled based on greatest academic need.
Geographic Information Systems-
Starting this year, a new GIS course is being offered. This class will provide students in learning how geospatial technologies are used in multiple STEM career fields and occupations. Careers in this field are projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations with future job prospects likely to be excellent. Specifically, students will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools; such as, Google: Tours, My Maps, and Spreadsheets and ArcGIS Online, considered the world’s GIS leader, to create interactive digital maps. During the third grading period, students will create an original ArcGIS Online ‘Story Map’ that can be entered into the Tennessee Story Mapping Competition. In the past, JMS students have won this competition and received national recognition for their maps.
CLASSES RECOMMENDED BY TEACHER FOR EXTRA SUPPORT
RTI (Response to Intervention) is a multi–tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning needs.
Tier 1- The Whole Class
In the general education classroom; the teacher measures everyone’s skills. This is known as a universal screening that is given 3 times a year to the whole school (Fall, Winter, and Spring) to determine the students that fall at the 25th percentile or below for extra Tier 1 support. If your child falls at or below the 25th percentile your child will be placed in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 class in the areas of Math or English to provide more support because they are performing below their grade level. The screening helps the teacher work with students in small groups based on their skill levels. The school will let you know if your child is struggling and will update you on his/her RTI progress. In some schools, the majority of students need Tier 1 instructional support because their reading and math skills are not at grade level. During the intervention, the RTI team monitors students’ progress to see who might need additional support. Many students respond successfully to Tier 1 support and achieve grade–level expectations.
Tier 2- Small Group Interventions (25th percentile–11th percentile)
If your child isn’t making adequate progress in Tier 1, he/she will start to receive more targeted help. This is in addition to the regular classroom instruction (Tier 1), not a replacement for it. Tier 2 interventions take place every day during a designated period and students won’t miss any core instruction in the classroom. During these extra help sessions, he/she will be taught in small groups using a different method than in Tier 1 because the first method wasn’t successful. The teacher may also ask you to work with your child at home on certain skills.The school will monitor your child’s progress so it’s clear whether the Tier 2 intervention is helping through 4 ½ week progress reports sent by the school.
Tier 3: Intensive Interventions (at or below 10th percentile)
Typically, only a small percentage of the class will require Tier 3 support. In many schools, though, that number is much higher. If your child needs Tier 3 support, it will be tailored to his/her needs. Every day he/she will receive one–on–one instruction or work in very small groups.Your child will continue to spend most of the day in the general education classroom. If he/she doesn’t make adequate progress in Tier 3, it’s likely that the school will recommend an evaluation for special education services. Core Focus–(English or Math) This class is for those students that score close to the 25th percentile or the teacher has identified will benefit from extra support with current core classes. Students will be able to work on homework intermittently during the week and may need re–teaching of Tier 1 instruction.