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Middle School
Grade 7

In seventh grade, growth is embraced and supported both in and out of the classroom. Adolescents can feel secure as they explore all sides of themselves with confidence that they will be appreciated for who they are now as well as who they will become. As they become mature and respectful learners through their study of advanced curricular, students are encouraged to use their talents to enhance and improve their own community.

Grade 7

Grade 7 Curriculum:

English

In grade seven English, students will engage with written and spoken language in a wide variety of ways. Whether analyzing for deeper meaning or recognizing personal connections, students will engage with text throughout the year. Readings include works of classic literature, modern fiction and nonfiction, and a variety of short stories and poetry. Students will hone their own writing skills through consistent practice, with a focus on expressing ideas through a multitude of genres. Through student-led discussions, small group work, and partner projects, students will work to improve communication and interpersonal skills.

Mathematics

IB Math 3 uses the Haese Mathematics 8 (MYP Year 3) third edition textbook. Study of the integers includes prime numbers, prime factorization, divisors, multiples, the divisor theorem, positive and negative integers, absolute value, and order. Students practice the basic principles of algebraic manipulation by solving equations of one unknown, and learn about the coordinate plane. The idea of a function is informally introduced with discussing direct and inverse variation in the context of word problems. Students work with functions represented by tables, graphs, and equations. The correspondence of a function’s algebraic and graphic representations is emphasized. Geometry includes the straight line, Euclidean constructions, the circle, sectors, chords, and arc length; relations between straight lines and planes, polyhedra, solids of revolution, surface area and volume of pyramids, cones, and spheres.

Science

The seventh-grade science curriculum digs deep into topics of earth, physical, and life science. We begin with a study of plate tectonics, exploring how models informed by evidence can change our relationship to the world. Continuing on a related topic, students study how earthquake risk can be mitigated, culminating in a project in which students designing structure to bear a load and withstand a test on the shake table. Next, we study rocks and minerals, seeking to understand how chemical reactions change and develop our society. In the middle of the year, students identify a problem and work through iterative design and feedback in order to improve on their solution. Finally, we end the year with a study of how changes in nutrition can have consequences for health and well-being. During all of this, the MYP criteria form the bones of what we do. Emphasis is placed on students knowing information as well as being able to conduct rigorous experimental work and reflect on the impacts of science.

History

The concept of societal cycles of change will guide the 7th grade history study as students explore how people have come together, faced hardship and tumult, and rebuilt communities over and over again. Students will be asked to use historical facts to draw greater conclusions about why historical events occurred, and to recognize patterns over time, both globally and with a focus on the United States. Units of study include the Age of Enlightenment, revolutions around the world, establishment and structure of the US government, the US Civil War, and Reconstruction.

Spanish

In the Middle School language acquisition class, we believe language is an essential tool to develop students’ intercultural awareness. Global citizens are those who accept and respect different perspectives in order to have a better understanding of the world. Acquiring a new language is the best way to be exposed to other cultures and understand, accept, and appreciate differences. The main goal of this class is to develop all language skills: writing, listening, speaking, reading, viewing, and interpreting. Students aim to achieve communicative competence by actively participating in class using a communicative approach. Students are encouraged to use the target language in real-life contexts according to their age and proficiency level. In seventh-grade Spanish class, students will develop the language by exploring their sense of their own identity and how to relate to others in a global context. Some of the topics include School Life, Family Lives and relationships, Geographical and Cultural Diversity, Habits and Costumes. Grammar focuses on the contrast of the Preterite and Imperfect Tenses (regulars and irregulars) to express actions in the past, and reflexive verbs. Additionally, students will be introduced to the Subjunctive mode and will be able to express suggestions, and give some advice.

Strong emphasis focuses on incorporating the use of past tense and introducing commands and the subjunctive. The cultural focus stresses the influence of Latin American people in the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Music

The Madison Country Day School Music Department strives to provide a comprehensive music education for each child, promoting a balance of discipline, creativity, and aesthetic understanding.

Throughout middle school, students receive private or semi-private music lessons on their chosen instrument (piano, voice, violin, viola, cello, bass, trumpet, trombone, french horn, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, flute, or percussion). These lessons occur during the school day and are included in tuition. All seventh grade students participate in a combined seventh and eighth grade ensemble (band, choir, or orchestra) determined by their instrument. These young musicians perform in a Winter and Spring concert and can also participate in two recitals each year. Depending on their ensemble, students have other performance opportunities, both on and off campus. Seventh and eighth grade students receive designated music theory instruction time during their ensembles. Units include major vs. minor tonality, musical form, and simple vs. compound meter. A major highlight is the annual composition unit. MCDS music students grades 5-12 are given an account with Noteflight, a web-based notation software, which they use for composition as well as music assessments. Seventh grade students also have the option to participate in WSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Art

Middle school art consists of studio work with a variety of different artistic mediums, completing written artist statements for an online portfolio, and group critiques to learn how to talk about artwork. Students are able to use the elements and principles of art and design to describe their artwork as well as other students’ artwork. We will be exploring a variety of topics in art this year including, but not limited to, art history, artist studies, learning about new techniques to use with a variety of mediums, and student choice projects. These choice projects will have a theme or topic to guide students along their artistic journey. Once projects are completed, students will share how and why they chose to create their art and how it fits into the theme or topic, allowing for more individual expression and interpretation.

Physical Education

In seventh grade students will describe physical and health education, factual, procedural and conceptual knowledge, outline goals to enhance performance, demonstrate and apply a range of strategies and movement concepts, and explain and evaluate performance. Some of the activities that are covered include touch rugby, eclipse ball, track and field, basketball, soccer, dance, pickleball, handball, competitive games, health, among others. Students will also continue to further develop communication and collaboration skills and respecting others ideas.

Middle School Advisory

Advisory is a group of 10-12 students that meet once a week with a faculty member. Advisory is a student's “home” within middle school. In addition to developing closer connections with peers and teachers, seventh grade advisory helps students create a sense of community in middle school. In addition, advisory helps with organization, time management, and setting academic and community goals. Themed units on communication, healthy relationships, conflict resolution, building trust, cooperation and self-reflection help students to thrive. At the beginning of the school year, seventh graders participate in community-building events with advisors. This is an opportunity for students to get to know themselves, their peers, and their advisors outside of the school setting. 
 
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