June 21, 2018
Dear Families of Incoming Seventh Graders,
We would like to welcome you and your child to seventh grade! Seventh grade is an exciting and dynamic time. As adolescents strive for independence, mature and make more choices about their academic, personal, and social lives – becoming who they will be as adults. We anticipate having a wonderful year together. The seventh-grade teachers provide an interdisciplinary curriculum, incorporating skills across all subject areas. These skills include: debate; gathering evidence; research/data collection/analysis; essay writing; reading comprehension; and mathematics. One highlight of our interdisciplinary curriculum is an overnight trip to the Sargent Center for Outdoor Education with a Science/English focus. You will receive more information in September at our information session, immediately preceding Open House on Thursday, September 6. Please make sure you have an up-to-date physical and doctor’s note for required medications, as the trip will come up quickly (October 16-19, 2018). It will cost approximately $450.00. A financial aid application is available through Dr. Hobbs.
In English, students will be address the question, “How do texts help us understand ourselves and the world around us?” Academically, students continue to move from “learning to read” to “reading for content,” and for pleasure. In Lincoln, seventh grade is writing and vocabulary intensive. Vocabulary is taught, reviewed, and practiced in all subjects to learn new concepts and skills. Students will continue to embrace writing as a process, and many forms of creative and analytical writing, including how to write an essay for an argument. All teachers focus on using evidence/details to develop a thesis, debate, and/or respond to short answer questions. Lastly, students will learn how to use seminar to help them develop their thoughts, writing, and interpersonal skills.
In Social Studies, students learn about the ancient world using a “flipped classroom” model and technology is fully integrated into the curriculum. There is a civic learning opportunity for students through the South Sudanese Enrichment for Families and students get to meet a former “Lost Boy” of Sudan. We also work on skills to “read like a historian” using lessons from the Stanford History Educational Group (SHEG). Using reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, as well as corroborating. Students evaluate the reliability and make historical claims backed by documentary evidence.
In Mathematics, the seventh graders deepen their understanding of fundamental concepts in algebra beginning at the concrete level, then developing use of algebraic expressions to delineate real world problems, followed by a thorough study of rational numbers, including the study of integers, and representing and solving linear equations. In the spring, students master the principles of ratio and probability to explore, make predictions about, analyze and graph data. Key skills in geometry and opportunities for metacognition will be integrated throughout.
Seventh graders study Life Science (biology and ecology), Physical Science (heat energy/magnetism), and Earth Science (focusing on processes that change the surface of the earth). Each piece is broken down further, for example, in the ecology unit, students study plant, reproduction, and behavior, including adapting to changing environments (evolution by natural selection). Throughout the year, students write formal labs, use a variety of investigation techniques, and answer essential questions.
There is additional cross-curriculum and cross-grade work, such as participating in the grade 5-8 Olympic Day, African Music integration, and including 5th grade during the Nomad project. We hope that you and your family have a wonderful summer break, and we look forward to an enjoyable, productive, and rewarding school year.
The 7th Grade Teachers
We value communication and feel it is important to form a strong partnership between the school and the home. To that end, we would like to give you some information about methods of communication we have found helpful in the past. In addition to phone calls, email, websites, midterm reports, and report cards, we also use parent/teacher conferences and weekly reports (as needed) as ways to communicate information. For curriculum information, please see the Program of Studies that is handed out at Open House and also posted on the school website.
Homework Web page:
Parents can check links to nightly assignments at the Lincoln School website under the specific teacher’s name, however, we encourage seventh grader to develop independence in this area as they strive to become lifelong learners. See the Homework calendar page for brief listing of the seventh grade teacher assignments, for more details, please go directly to teacher websites. If your child is absent, please notify Jennifer Doherty firstname.lastname@example.org in the office as early as possible and request to pick up handouts after school. Ms. Doherty will email the teachers and, if there is work, it will be left in the Brooks office or available on the website.
Remember to check in at the office to receive a visitor badge if you are going into the building. If you would like to meet with a teacher, please make an appointment through Ms. Doherty as impromptu "teacher meetings" are not possible due to school responsibilities.
The Lincoln School District offers half days and an evening time for conferences in October. In addition, the 7th grade teachers maintain times for parent/teacher conferences on a "rolling" basis, scheduled as requested. Conferences are meant for the teachers to learn about your child, share information, and plan appropriate support. We plan conferences with all academic teachers present, rather than an individual teacher, as academic and social growth patterns are easier to understand (and may vary) across subject areas. This collaborative approach to conferences is the most beneficial in understanding a child’s learning needs. Please call Jennifer Doherty in the main Brooks Office if you need to schedule a conference with the teachers (English, Math, Science, and Social Studies are invited. French/Spanish teachers, specialists, and special educators, are invited upon request). The teachers may also request conferences as the need arises.
Weekly Progress Reports (as needed):
If your child demonstrates a week of difficulty with nightly work completion or missing assignments, we will send a “Weekly Progress Report” to your email address listing overdue assignments. We find that this written record is an effective means of communication to facilitate work completion. We encourage students to complete overdue work, as all assignments are important to understanding concepts and lessons in class. In addition, we emphasize the importance of maintaining a high standard for daily assignment completion. Please make sure Ms. Doherty has your most up-to-date email address on the Emergency Contact cards.
At-Home Computer Use:
Often assignments require online or computer use and Internet access. Students are given a school-based Google Drive account. If a student is unable to access a computer or the Internet, it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the teacher for access during school hours or teacher-determined alternative assignments. Students are responsible for backing up their work and passing it in on time.
As adolescents grow and change, we would like to emphasize the importance of frequent hand washing, using deodorant, coughing into one’s shoulder, having plenty of boxes of tissue, and using hand sanitizer in classrooms, especially during the winter months and flu season.
We are including a list of supplies your child will need during the school year (posted on back). Students will also receive this information at the beginning of school in their respective classes; however, if you would like to secure supplies prior to the opening of school, please refer to the enclosed list.
OPTIONAL GENERAL SUPPLIES for all seventh grade classes:
* USB “flash drive,” if no Google Drive access
* Pencil box or bag
* Small traditional pencil sharpener (non-electric)
* 1 "jelly pen" or permanent marker
* Plastic "accordion" folder (or other system) to organize homework by subject
* 100 3x5 inch index cards (to begin)
We strongly encourage students to color-code their subjects as identified below in parentheses, however, it is not required. Please write the subject name on the spine of the binder. More specific supplies needed for the following classes:
- 1” or 11/2” Binder
- 6 Notebook dividers
- 2 pocket folder
- Calculator with square root function (we use TI - 34 in class)
Social Studies (white)
- Google Drive Account
- 1 ½” Binder (white)
- 3 Notebook dividers
- 1 1/2” Binder
- Notebook paper
- Spanish/English dictionary or app for home
- 1 ½” or 2” Binder
- 6 dividers
- Composition notebook
- Packs of 3x3 post-it notes
- Colored pen(s) (red, purple, etc. for editing)
- 2” Binder
- 4 plastic folders (any color)
- 5 Notebook dividers
- Colored pencils
- 3-4 red pens for grading (not markers)
- Calculator (can be same as math)
- 1 ½ Binder
- French/English dictionary or app for home
- 6 Notebook dividers