7th Grade Core Curriculum

English

All students who are not proficient or advanced on the end of the year Virginia Standards of Learning assessment in English and writing receive a double block of English or 92 minutes of instruction daily. Reading proficiency is a priority of the Lynchburg City Schools. We expect all students to reach proficiency, on the end of the year Virginia Standards of learning assessments in English and writing and believe the extra time is essential for studetnsto master grade level standards that address reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. It is hoped that the additional time will allow English teachers to spend more time to expand the curriculum, spend more time reading, and writing on a daily basis. The time will also allow English teachers to focus on higher level thinking skills and some of the best researched based strategies to increase student achievement. English Literature 7 (971XYB): This class provides instruction in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and literature, as well as in oral communication skills. The class also focuses on the three domains of writing (composing, written expression, and usage/ mechanics) to produce multi-paragraph narratives, descriptions, and explanations. This class also includes oral communication skills. English 7A (971AY): This advanced-level class is designed to meet the needs of seventh grade students with well-developed reading and writing skills. Vocabulary, literature, language, and writing instruction are taught in one class period, and thus instruction must move at a faster pace than in the two-period format. In addition, students in the advanced level class will have opportunities for wider reading and writing experiences than required by the seventh grade English Standards of Learning. In most cases students in this course have completed the English 6A course. However, some students may be recommended for this course based on achievement in the English Literature 6 and English Writing 6 courses, the sixth grade reading SOL test, Division-Wide Assessments in sixth grade English, and their achievement in reading as demonstrated on their sixth grade Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test.

Mathematics

Math 7 (972XY): All students who are not proficient or advanced on the end of the year Virginia Standards of Learning assessment in mathematics receive a double block of mathematics or 92 minutes of instruction daily. It is hoped that the additional time will allow math teachers to spend more time explaining the concepts, helping students with guided practice, facilitating independent work as well as cooperative learning. The time will also allow math teachers to focus on some of the best researched based strategies to increase student achievement. This course covers the seventh grade math SOL, placing emphasis on solving problems involving consumer applications and proportional reasoning. Students gain an understanding of the properties of real numbers, solve linear equations and inequalities, and use data analysis techniques to make inferences and predictions. Students also identify applications of the mathematical principles that can be applied to science and other disciplines. Skills and strategies will be developed in the following areas: number and number sense, computation and estimation, measurement, geometry, probability and statistics, patterns, functions, and algebra. Appropriate technologies such as fraction calculators, computers, laser discs, and videos will also be utilized. Students take the seventh grade math SOL test upon completion of the course. Pre-Algebra (Accelerated) (972AY): This course covers the eighth grade math SOL, including content that reviews and extends the concepts and skills learned in previous grades and new content that prepares students for more abstract concepts in algebra. Students identify real-life applications of mathematical principles and their application to science and to other disciplines. A wide range of skills and strategies will be developed in the following areas: number and number sense, computation and estimation, measurement, geometry, probability and statistics, patterns, functions, and algebra. Students take the eighth grade math SOL test upon completion of this course.

Science

Physical Science (973XY): This course provides an in-depth understanding of matter and energy. Students use experiments, technology, and literature reviews to build upon their investigation skills. Students in this course study the physical science SOL. Physical Science (Advanced) (973AY): This course covers the same science SOL as the regular physical science course but moves at a faster pace to allow time for additional opportunities for enrichment of the curriculum and a solid review of previous science SOL. Students successfully completing this course take the eighth grade science SOL test. Students in the physical science classes will have the unique experience at DMS of studying the principals of light through our Laserium lab.

Social Studies/History

United States History II (974XY): This course covers the history of the United States from 1865 to the present. At the end of this course students take the American History II SOL test. United States History II (Advanced) (974AY): This course covers the same SOL as the regular American History II course but moves at a faster pace to allow time for additional opportunities for enrichment of the curriculum. At the end of this course students take the American History II SOL test.

Physical Education, Family Life, & Health

The physical education, family life, and health curriculum in the seventh grade is most often provided as a full-year course although in some cases the content is condensed and provided in conjunction with band or orchestra. Regardless of the format of the course, parents may complete an “opt-out” form and have their child receive alternate assignments in place of the family life education component of the health curriculum. The physical education curriculum in the seventh grade focuses on the development of proficiency in specific areas of physical fitness through instruction and participation in team, individual, and dual sports. Emphasis is placed on skill development, playing strategies and rules of the game, and an appreciation for the aesthetic value of body management as it relates to dance and gymnastics. Health instruction includes information on the effects of alcohol and other drugs; information on the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases; and first aid techniques. The relationship between nutrition and the development of good mental, physical, and emotional health is also covered. Family life topics include family relationships, the development of secondary sex characteristics, human sexuality and loving relationships, and the causes and treatments of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.