Grade 7

Grade 7 Courses

English 7
English 7 is the continuing development of oral and written communication skills.  Emphasis is placed on proficiency in usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.  Computer techniques are utilized when appropriate.  Vocabulary skills are stressed to improve understanding of word meanings.  The study of literature includes literal and critical comprehension, and elements of character, setting, plot, and theme.
SOL Test – Reading 7  
Math 6+
Math 6+ reinforces the basic math skills taught in Math 6 and introduces students to topics covered in Math 7. Topics include applications of fractions, decimals, and percents in practical situations; estimating and computing with fractions and decimals; conversions in the metric and US systems of measurement; the study of angles and polygons; an introduction to probability; and an understanding of algebraic vocabulary.
SOL Test – Math 6 
Math 7
Seventh grade Math helps students build stronger skills for future math courses.  It achieves this through an exclusive and continuous process of building math skills and checking understanding of concepts.  The topics of discussion include the following: interpreting data and statistics; applications of decimals and fractions using proportions and percents; geometry and measurement; probability; graphing in coordinate plane; and algebra: patterns and functions, integers and equations.
SOL Test – Math 7
Math 8/Algebra Prep
This course is a class designed to reinforce skills taught in previous grade levels, while building upon and enhancing the students’ mathematical knowledge in preparation for Algebra.  Topics to be covered will include: applications of rational numbers, applying proportions, analyzing data and using statistical calculations to make generalizations about that data, finding volume and surface area of three dimensional objects, solving one and two-step  linear equations and inequalities, and graphing linear equations
SOL Test – Math 8
Algebra I
Prerequisite: Successful completion of previous math course with a “B” average or above, advanced scores on tests, and teacher recommendation. 1 Credit     State Code: 3130Algebra I is offered at THMS and at Mathews High School.  It is a high school credit class, so that the student will earn one credit upon successful completion of this course and passing the Algebra I SOL. This curriculum is designed to enhance the student's understanding and readiness in dealing with abstract mathematical concepts through practical application. Students are encouraged to discuss and reason-out logical sequences in problem solving and to determine the relationship between algebra and arithmetic, geometry, and probability and statistics. Class discussion and guided practice are aimed at enhancing student thought processes while developing greater confidence as they master basic algebraic concepts. Topics such as equations, expressions, functions, rational numbers, linear equations, and proportional reasoning are taught. Algebra I advances to the studies of linear inequalities, systems of linear equations, polynomials, quadratics, and rational and radical expressions and equations. 
SOL Test – Algebra I

Science 7 – Life Science

Life Science provides the students with the basic knowledge and appreciation of living things and their environment.  The main units covered are characteristics of living things (cells and photosynthesis), classification of living things (kingdoms), animals (invertebrates and vertebrates), heredity, and ecology.  Reading, writing, speaking, listening, and questioning are necessary for communicating effectively in the life science classroom.
No SOL Test at this time  

Civics 7

Civics 7 is designed to inform students about the American system of government.  The course moves logically from the foundations of American government to citizen involvement in the political process.  Then it proceeds to government at the national level, to state and local governments, and, finally, to government at the international level.  Also, attention is given to the American economic system.
SOL Test – Civics & Economics
Physical Education
Students attend PE for one week and then Health for one week.  In Physical Education the objective is for each student to be able to successfully demonstrate mastery of individual skills in various sports.  The students at this level should be able to play the various sports and demonstrate knowledge of their rules and regulations.  Fitness is a large portion of their grade at this level and students are given many opportunities to practice and improve their scores.
No SOL Test 
The Health curriculum rotates on a biannual schedule.  It covers the following topics:  nutrition, anatomy, body systems, drugs, safety, first aid, consumer awareness, self-esteem, and many others.  A large portion of their grade is derived from their ability to keep an organized notebook.
No SOL Test 

Elective Courses
* All Elective courses do not have SOL Tests *
Prerequisite: Students receiving teacher recommendation and/or a Reading SOL score of 415 or below.
Some students, depending on their past performance, reading levels, and test scores, may be required to take a Reading class in place of one elective. The goal of this class is to improve reading skills in order that students can comprehend core academic subjects and pass the SOL tests.
Art is an elective in the seventh and eighth grades.  The students are in classes that meet for the entire year.  They are given an opportunity to do art using as many types of media as possible while focusing on the elements and principles of art.  Art terminology and concepts of aesthetics, art criticism, art history, and art production are applied and reinforced throughout the year.  Drawing skills are emphasized.
Symphonic Band
Prerequisite: Prior band experience or lessons.
Admission to Symphonic Band is by audition only through Mr. Owens.  This ensemble is any 7th & 8th grade student who has successfully completed a year of beginning band or taken an equivalent amount of private lessons.  Symphonic Band will be the top ensemble of Thomas Hunter Middle School and will be graded on practicing, concerts, and quizzes. The group will learn and perform a variety of music genres and will participate and perform for Gloucester/Mathews Festival Band and Area Band.  The ensemble will learn and perfect the following major concert scales:  C, F, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat, G, D, A, E, and their chromatic scale in two octaves.

Beginning Guitar

This course is for any 7th or 8th grade student interested in learning how to play guitar.  Students must bring their own guitar to class.  This course is not recommended for those who took beginning guitar last year.  Parents must consult with the band director before purchasing a guitar.  Students will study basic music terminology, theory, take fingering chart tests, learn concert etiquette, and learn basic scales.  Students will also learn how to read standard music, lead sheets, and guitar tab.  The goal is to build a good foundation for aspiring musicians to perform through the guitar.  
Computer Design and Multimedia (Yearbook Class)

Prerequisite: Only by teacher recommendation.

The Computer Design and Multimedia curriculum is open to students in 7th and 8th grade.  This year long course is designed to develop and enhance skills in desktop publishing, digital photography, and computer graphics.  Within this class, students will design and produce the school yearbook.  In addition students will capture and edit digital pictures, create digital presentations, and design various desktop publishing documents.  Grades will be based on student’s performance.

Creative Writing

Prerequisite: “B” average or above in English course and teacher recommendation.

Available to students in grades 7 & 8 who demonstrate advanced writing skills.Students selected for this class will express their creativity through various methods of writing.  Included are persuasive, narrative, and personal essays; letter writing, newspaper writing, biographies, and short stories.  Poetic devices will be discussed and students will explore writing various forms of poetry.  Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary as an essential component of good writing.  

Elective Rotation

This required elective for all 7th graders includes one nine weeks of each of the following courses:

Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy is designed to reinforce Standards of Learning in the areas of mathematics and economics.  Topics discussed within this course will include economics, income, money management, spending and credit, and savings and investing. In addition, basic study skills will be taught and reinforced throughout the course.

Introduction to Drama

In this exploratory class students will learn how research, production, and performance aid in critical thinking and collaborative problem solving. Hands-on opportunities will allow students to experience the various aspects of performance and production, including research, planning, scripting, and production, as well as elements of scenery, costuming, makeup, and properties. A student-led performance will serve as a culminating class project.

Keyboarding Plus

This course focuses on reinforcing keyboarding skills learned previously with a direct emphasis on speed and accuracy and includes an introduction to the applications in Microsoft Office which will help prepare students for Computer Applications.

Teen Living

This course emphasizes responsible behavior and wise consumer practices in all areas of personal and family life.  Appropriate class activities and projects are assigned in the four basic areas of consumer marketing (foods and nutrition, clothing and textiles, family living, consumer education and home management).  Projects and class activities are selected according to the individual student’s competence levels.