Thinking about things is an everyday occurrence at Pennfield. In the Seventh Grade, however, thinking skills are brought to new levels. In preparation for rigorous secondary schools to come, discussion takes on more meaning and thoughtful participation as both speaker and listener are developed. Throughout the year, morning assemblies are brought to life as Seventh Graders practice the art of public speaking by presenting short oral presentations to a respectful and encouraging group of teachers and fellow students.
In-depth study of world cultures and world religions weaves into all facets of the Seventh Grade curriculum – reading, literature, poetry, music, art, current events, writing and films. Students learn to write a formal research paper and the halls of the school are filled with colorful student art, representative of many of the countries and religions studied and discussed. It is an important year of developing an understanding of and appreciation for the incredible diversity in our world.
Math transitions to Pre-Algebra in preparation for Algebra in the Eighth Grade and students find meaningfulness in solving real-world problems, using graphs, equations and newly learned skills. Interactive white boards in the classroom give students and teachers an opportunity to create and solve problems interactively and to pull in outside resources instantaneously.
Spanish continues to become more conversational this year as students work to increase their vocabulary and learn important skills such as giving directions and familiar commands. More cultural exploration enters the curriculum as Puerto Rico, Spain and Ecuador are studied specifically in Spanish class.
Science lessons begin with seeing the world’s complexities and commonalities through the atom and numerous chemical reactions. Students integrate scientific understanding with national and global issues such as energy use, resources and sustainability. Then students literally take their chemistry outside into the Bistline Garden, onto the Aquidneck Island Land Trust trails and to Sandy Point Beach as they study plant science and biodiversity – in the soil, in a stream and in the Sakonnet River. They also venture out to Oakland Forest to study an old-growth forest community and to learn the importance of land conservation policies. In the classroom, they continue to hone their techniques in experimentation, analysis and communication of data.
This is a wonderful year of learning how to more thoughtfully express ideas and information in a safe and nurturing environment.