ENGLISH AND LANGUAGE ARTS
Seventh Grade students read and study: The Wednesday Wars, Devil’s Arithmetic, The Giver, A Christmas Carol, Prince Caspian, The Bronze Bow, The Hobbit, and Feathers. Additional works of literature may be studied. Students also continue their understanding of poetry by reading and analyzing some of the most well-known American and British poets Seventh grade students at Holy Trinity Middle School enjoy a varied English/Language Arts curriculum. Our belief in a literature-rich environment for our students drives the high standards we hold for both our students and our reading selections. Language Arts instruction includes: Vocabulary study focusing on Greek and Latin root words, key grammar concepts to better understand written language and improve analytical skills, and an assortment of Writer’s Workshops to improve composition skills in all genres of writing while maintaining focus on each grade level’s target standard.
The overarching theme for middle school science is “God’s splendor is shown in the energy of the earth and the universe”. Middle school is where students are exposed to science on daily basis with the goal for each student to be prepared for the rigors of a high school science curriculum. Science for all three grades is taught as integrated science which means that students are exposed to aspects of earth, life, and physical science each year. Activities, experiments, and projects are incorporated into the curriculum for hands-on learning. The cumulating learning experience for all students in middle school are the science fair, inventor’s fair, and technology fair which are held at the end of the year on a rotating basis so that a student in middle school is exposed to all three fairs. Collaborative projects involving the other middle school teachers is also a part of the science curriculum.
The concept of how God’s splendor can be seen through the energy that courses through all things continues in seventh grade. While much of what the students study can still be “seen and touched” concepts that are more abstract are introduced which continues the development of critical thinking skills. The study of energy in Earth is emphasized with volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics. Energy above Earth is studied with a unit on the atmosphere and climate. Energy in living things is studied when we look at all of the amazing organisms that God has placed on this Earth. Energy in physical science is studied in changes in states of matter, energy, thermal energy, and motion. Finally, the energy that surrounds us in the sun, the solar system and the universe is explored. During these explorations, math skills in science are also emphasized.
Our philosophy for teaching math in middle school is in line with our mission of: “Building a foundation of character and a love of learning through daily Christian fellowship in a nurturing environment that promotes academic excellence.” We believe every student can learn math and every student can reach their potential in math. We know not everyone learns the same way, and as their teacher we must find out how to get them to see math in way that makes sense to them. We allow students to work at their own pace, but they must keep up with the minimum pace of the class. We pursue two curricula simultaneously in each grade. Each student, each year, will complete their grade level for Khan Academy online with help from their teacher in class as needed. Additionally, the sixth grade completes a year of Saxon Math, whereas the 7th and 8th grade complete McGraw-Hill Math Connects. With this self-paced, individual instruction format, we continue to have students who finish their current year math curriculum and work ahead into next year’s concepts.We deliberately tie our math and science concepts whenever possible, so students have confidence in both subjects. This has proven well as we were awarded Gold status for being 100% STEM certified by the ACT based on our 8th grade students' ACT Aspire test scores.
In Social Studies at Holy Trinity, we align each grade’s curriculum to the state standards. Additionally, with a small staff that works closely together we continually tie social studies concepts across the subjects. Additionally, each year we conduct a chapter of the National Geographic geography bee. For 7th grade, the focus is on Eastern Geography to include Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and Oceania. In 7th grade, we also study the Antarctica and the scientific issues surrounding the area. With small class sizes, we can bring in some of the history of each region to understand why the map looks the way it does.