Like all Middle School students, seventh graders are issued an iPad to use throughout the school day, and for homework and extended study at home. Students change classrooms at each period for study with teachers who are dedicated to a single area of study. Reading, language arts and social studies combine in the Middle School to form an integrated Humanities block. This approach allows teachers to explore subjects in more depth through a cross-curricular platform, expanding concept understanding and mastery. Latin instruction is offered four times per week.
Seventh Grade Curriculum
The seventh grade mathematics curriculum focuses on pre-algebra and geometry using the McDougal Littell Pre-Algebra textbook. Concepts include writing and solving multi-step equations and inequalities; working with measurement, area, volume and surface area; using the pythagorean theorem; analyzing data and probability; using powers and negative exponents; applying percents and interest; and representing relations and functions. Seventh and eighth grade students gifted in the area of mathematics engage in honors instruction on our campus, or may apply for matriculation in the Loyola Academy math program. Students enrolled in Loyola Math begin each day with math instruction on Loyola’s campus, returning to SFX for the remainder of the school day.
Reading & Language Arts
The seventh grade reading and language arts curriculum is based on the Reading and Writing Workshop. Each student is required to read at least forty independently selected books of specified genres, and to respond in writing to the author’s use of fictional elements in one of those novels each month. “Read-aloud” opportunities are integrated into the classroom routine, allowing students to read and discuss the necessary elements of fiction as a class. Writing as a process of prewriting, drafts, revisions, and edits are taught and modeled in the following forms: free verse poetry, National Novel Writing Month, memoir, newspaper article, persuasive writing, and ode poetry.
The social studies curriculum covers an expansive period of U.S. history. Study includes an overview of the settling of the original thirteen colonies, the movement toward independence, the American Revolution, and an in-depth study of the U.S. Constitution. We also explore the factors and influences that contributed to the growth, expansion, and ultimate division of the United States of America which led to the Civil War.
English Review Program
Every Middle School grade meets twice per week with a dedicated specialist as part of our English review program. Grammar, usage, and conventions are reinforced as an essential component to high school language success. Test taking and organizational strategies are also incorporated, teaching important skills that benefit students across all subject areas.
All Middle School students receive science instruction in the school’s science lab. As part of our science curriculum, sixth through eighth grade students are required to participate in a rigorous, annual science fair. Students research, design an experiment, and write a report in one of several scientific disciplines, which is judged by a panel of community members, teachers, and school parents. Students learn to hypothesize, manipulate variables, interpret data, and identify findings with the use of iWork’s Keynote and Numbers, both on their iPads and using the lab’s SMART Board. “Winning” presentations are eligible for participation on the Regional and State level in March and early May. Specific areas of study through Middle School include the foundations of science and experimentation, a full year of Earth Science and Biology, and a full semester of physics and chemistry, respectively. Students are introduced to each discipline with support from the Glencoe 2011 online text.
The seventh grade Latin curriculum builds incrementally and cumulatively, adding the genitive case of nouns as well as seven uses of the ablative case, the imperfect tense of verbs, the Roman number system, noun-adjective agreement, and six irregular verbs. New linguistic concepts include verb tense; previously learned sixth grade linguistic concepts are reinforced. Students explore such cultural and historical topics as Roman personal nomenclature, the monarchy and early history of Rome, as well as selected Greek and Roman myths and legends through research, writing, and presentations in various media as well as dramatic re-enactment. Students acquire an additional body of vocabulary and build upon their ability to recognize and identify Latin roots and to manipulate Greek and Roman roots and affixes commonly used in English. The textbook and workbook used are Lawall, Gilbert. Ecce Romani IA & IB (Boston: Pearson), 4th ed., 2009.
Building from a firm understanding of the Old Testament, students examine the way, the truth and the life of Christ through study of Jesus’ works and deeds in Religion. Students identify Christ’s love in the modern world through the Beatitudes and Works of Mercy. Mastery of basic prayers and an understanding of the Rosary are developed throughout the year. Every K-8 grader at SFX School plans and leads several all-school liturgies each year. Students attend Mass every week in the church.
All Middle School students are issued an iPad for their personal use throughout the school day. As in all K-8 grades at SFX, Middle School students also benefit from a SMART/Interactive White Board in every classroom, and check out other technology tools for targeted academic applications. Online resources are incorporated into all areas of curriculum.