7th Grade

Academic Growth Chart

Benchmarks

7th Grade Academic




What You Can Do To Help Your Student

  • Math:

    Math Tips

    Think Through New Material Together

    As her assignments become more complicated, you might start to feel that your child's math homework is outpacing your comfort level. Continue to review math materials with her before class and to supervise her homework, regardless of your confidence in your own skills. Instead of trying to explain new concepts, have her explain them to you. If you are both confused, read the material and do your best to think it through and discuss it together. Go online to sites like Khan Academy, IXL, or XtraMath for extra assistance.

    Highlight Career Options That Require Math

    Mastering the math she’s studying now will mean more options in the future for college major and career choices, so encourage your child to enjoy the challenge of math. Help her become aware of the range of career paths and disciplines that incorporate math, such as engineering or economics or weather forecasting. One way to do this is by watching movies that highlight math and help your child understand how math can be put to use in the real world, such as Apollo 13 or Jurassic Park.

    Encourage Persistence

    Success in math has a lot to do with taking the time to understand a problem, thinking about different ways of solving it, and persevering if initial attempts to solve it fail. Encourage your child to stick it out with math that she finds challenging and to seek help if she needs it.

    Foster Effective Study Strategies

    Help your child learn how to study effectively for math tests. This means working through problems, not just reading through them or skimming the review sheet. The more problems your child practices, the more she'll internalize the various components. This increases speed and understanding so she can be better prepared to adjust the steps when required.

    Encourage Savvy Spending

    Shopping continues to be one of the best opportunities for your child to practice the math concepts she is learning. She can practice percentages and subtraction by calculating the exact amount you’ll save when something goes on sale and the final cost of discounted items. Have her help you calculate the tip when you eat in a restaurant. If she has a cell phone, familiarize him with the details of the cell phone bill and how much the charge is per text or per minute of usage, so that she can learn to keep track of how much she is spending.

    Discuss The News

    As you watch the news together keep track of how often statistics are cited. Discuss the details of any polls that are mentioned. Talk about how these concepts are being used and the points they are being used to support or refute.

    Calculate The Odds

    If your school is holding a raffle, discuss the details with your child. Have her find out how many tickets will be sold and how many prizes will be awarded. Then have her determine your probability of winning if you buy a ticket -- or 10 or 20.

    Do Home Improvement Projects Together

    Involve your child in big projects at home. She's building math skills that can be put to practical use, and by having her help out you reinforce what she’s learning. If you’re wallpapering or carpeting, for example, have her calculate wall or floor areas and figure out the total cost of various materials.

    Encourage Math Appreciation Through Sports

    Sports provide an engaging way of exploring a host of mathematical concepts. Any hard-core baseball fan knows that the game can’t truly be appreciated without an understanding of some essential statistics, like a player’s batting average and runs batted in. Football is also full of statistics, such as the percentage of passes a quarterback completed. If your child is passionate about a sport, encourage her to explore it through math.

    Play Games

    Play family games that help foster math skills. These include card games like Go Fish, which requires counting and sorting cards into sets, or board games like Monopoly.

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    TEASER Your 7th grader is reading from an ever broader range of sources, which he is learning to analyze and interpret in more sophisticated ways. He is honing his ability to gauge which sources can be trusted and is learning to argue persuasively and effectively—skills you may notice being put to use at home! In math, the focus continues to be on working with equations and building on the concepts learned in earlier grades.
    TITLE 7th Grade Growth Chart
    TWEETTEXT Parent Toolkit: 7th Grade: http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=59D98AB0-2131-11E3-9EC10050569A5318
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  • English Language Arts:

    English Language Arts Tips

    Foster Conversation at Home

    Encourage discussion as much as possible. Ask your child for her opinion about political and social issues, or about books, movies, and TV shows. Listen carefully and prompt her to express her ideas thoughtfully, backing up her claims with evidence. Having dinner together as a family may be harder to do as your child gets older and there are more demands on her time, but this is one of the best ways to stimulate these kinds of conversations.

    Use Texting

    Several times each week, have your child text you a full sentence summarizing a theme of something she is currently reading. Ask that she do this in a full sentence and not with texting shorthand.

    Help With Time Management

    As your child’s workload and extracurricular interests increase, the way she manages her time will become increasingly important to her academic success. Most kids aren’t naturally good at time management and have to be taught effective strategies. Help her plan ahead and make a schedule of when assignments are due, so that she isn’t always racing to complete things at the last minute.

    Help With Study Strategies

    Do your best to figure out how your child learns. Has she always been very visual, relying since early childhood on images to help retain concepts? Or does she seem to do a better job processing information she has heard? As her schoolwork becomes more difficult, helping her figure out the study techniques that work best for her will be key to her future academic success. These could include preparing flashcards or reading texts aloud to herself.

    Encourage Note-Taking

    There is strong evidence that, despite the popularity of highlighters, highlighting or underlining text as we read is not the most effective way of learning information. Encourage your child to take notes of key ideas, perhaps on Post-its or colored index cards, as she reads. When she has finished a reading assignment she can compile all these notes and she’ll have a personalized study guide.

    Help Develop a Homework Routine

    Help your child develop a consistent homework routine. Make sure that she not only reviews that was covered in school that day but also help her learn how to keep track of long-term assignments and plan ahead.

    Plan a Movie Night

    With so many popular children’s books having been made into films, there are plenty of opportunities for movie nights that allow your child to practice some of the reading skills she’s learning in school. Plan an evening around watching the film of a book she has read and ask her about the differences between the film and the book. Were key details of the plot changed? Did the characters remain true to the way they were described in the book? Why does she think these changes were made?

    Have Conversations about Historical Events

    Pay attention to upcoming historical anniversaries and try to view several media pieces related to the event. For example, there are many documentaries about the Kennedy assassination and the 9/11 attacks. As you watch these, have a family discussion about the event as well as the various interpretations of its exact sequence, contributing causes, and lasting significance. These conversations will help develop analytical literary skills.

    Encourage Accurate Descriptions

    Word precision becomes more important as teens move through middle and high school. Encourage your child to regularly describe items, locations, and events to you. Identify words that you find vague in these descriptions and ask her to think of better, more descriptive, or more accurate words to express what she is thinking.

    Promote Reliable Online Information

    Help your child become a more discerning consumer of online information. Teach her to identify reliable websites by examining where their information comes from, who sponsors them, and how current their content is. Discuss why some sites are more informative and more reliable than others. Take a look together at some sites, such as Snopes or TheStraightDope, that examine online rumors, urban legends, and other stories to see examples of how inaccurate information can become widely accepted.

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    TEASER Your 7th grader is reading from an ever broader range of sources, which he is learning to analyze and interpret in more sophisticated ways. He is honing his ability to gauge which sources can be trusted and is learning to argue persuasively and effectively—skills you may notice being put to use at home! In math, the focus continues to be on working with equations and building on the concepts learned in earlier grades.
    TITLE 7th Grade Growth Chart
    TWEETTEXT Parent Toolkit: 7th Grade: http://www.parenttoolkit.com/index.cfm?objectid=59D98AB0-2131-11E3-9EC10050569A5318
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There are many more additional resources that parents can consult when seeking support and guidance. Included here are some links that may be helpful.

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The biggest difference between elementary and middle school conferences will be the pace of the discussion. You will have less time with teachers in middle school than in elementary school.

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Other 7th Grade Growth Charts

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