Worcester’s premier college-preparatory co-ed day school serving students from Central MA and MetroWest, Pre-K–Grade 12
Academics

HGP: Grade 7 Courses

The goal of the 7th grade Hope Graham Program curriculum is to build academic and executive functioning skills that will begin to prepare students for work in the upper grades. Students work independently and cooperatively within our own group and with other 7th grade classes, cultivating cross-curricular connections whenever possible. Through the use of assistive technology, students are given multiple ways to access content and demonstrate their understanding. Individual growth is emphasized and monitored by both the students and teacher; students become active participants in tracking their own progress and opportunities for improvement.

Click a subject name below to learn more:


English

In HGP English 7, students work to develop fluent reading, a strong understanding of Greek and Latin roots, clear and coherent writing, and effective comprehension strategies. 

Students continue to build the reading skills addressed in previous grades, with the goal of reading fluently enough to comprehend grade-level material.  Students engage in frequent repeated readings of texts at their own independent level in order to increase their reading speed, prosody, and accuracy. Orton-Gillingham concepts and skills are addressed in both individual tutorials and through daily instruction, as students interact with connected text.  Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes are explicitly taught in order to extend students’ vocabulary knowledge, decoding skills, and automatic word recognition. 

Effective writing is crucial to success in the upper grades and is therefore an area of intense focus. At the sentence level, students learn grammatical elements with the goals of understanding complex sentences in their reading and expanding their own sentences in their writing. Grammar instruction is explicit and multisensory, ensuring that students gain a strong understanding of these abstract but important concepts. At the paragraph level, students engage in the full writing process. They carefully evaluate their writing prompts, take time to organize their ideas in graphic form, and translate their ideas to clear, well organized compositions. Once they gain proficiency at the paragraph level, students draft multi-paragraph compositions.

Students develop their reading comprehension through a workshop approach to strategy instruction. They are explicitly taught six graphic organizers to show ideas and events presented in fiction and nonfiction texts. They learn to read actively, marking their texts with notes, thoughts, and questions as they read.  Explicit instruction in plot elements enables students to understand the components of narrative text. In addition, students learn to draft clear, complete responses to complex comprehension questions, ensuring that they are able to effectively demonstrate their comprehension. 

Earth Science

This course will investigate the components that make up the dynamic Earth system. Students will study topics related to the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere in order to better understand the complex interactions that occur between these components. The goal of this course is for students to ultimately recognize that in order to sustain life on Earth, humans must make choices that will maintain the delicate balance that exists between these components.

The course will cover concepts including but not limited to: plate tectonics, minerals, rocks, weathering, erosion, weather, atmosphere, weather patterns, and water.

Students will investigate these topics through hands-on activities, experiments, discussions, readings, and projects. Lab activities and experiments will develop skills including researching, note-taking, hypothesizing, metric measuring, observing, recording data, organizing data, analyzing data, calculating, graphing, and identifying patterns or trends. Projects develop all of the previous skills as well as allow students to let their creative juices flow.

Students will design and execute an experiment that will be presented during the annual Bancroft Science Fair.

The HGP teacher accompanies students and provides added support in science class.

History

The HGP History 7 curriculum focuses on the foundations and structure of U.S. government, as well as how American history relates to civil rights and individual freedoms. Emphasis of this course is not on people and events, but rather the central documents and ideas that make up our historical narrative. Topics covered include the forms and purposes of government, the causes and effects of the American Revolution, the purpose and contents of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. 

Skill-building is an important component of HGP History 7. Students learn about nonfiction text structures and practice identifying main ideas and details. They then apply these skills to take effective two-column notes and write clear and succinct summaries. Students learn to study for tests through instruction on types of test questions, creating and using study guides, applying comprehension strategies, and evaluating their own understanding of concepts. Additionally, cross-curricular work enables students to use the expository writing skills that they learn in English 7 to draft effective paragraphs and essays. 

Mathematics

The goal of Grade 7 Pre-Algebra is to give students a strong foundation in algebra topics while also preparing them for future study of geometry, probability, and data analysis. Students will work on effective algebraic thinking and communication skills. Students will solve increasingly complex problems this year. They will be working in such key areas as variable expressions, rational numbers, integers, ratios, percents, linear functions, and measurement.

Students will often be asked to write detailed explanations of how they got their solutions. This enables students to develop a deeper understanding of math concepts.

The course will include supplements that will further develop problem-solving expertise and real-world applications. Challenges, projects, and games will be brought into the classroom to increase the rigor and support of the content.

Cooperative Learning in the Classroom

Our class is student-centered. Students will work cooperatively in class and at times may do so on homework and other out-of-class assignments. Discussion and debate amongst peers is one of the best ways to gain complete understanding of a concept.

Curriculum

All classes use the Math in Focus curriculum.

Pacing and Support

Students are typically sectioned by their pacing abilities, and the HGP teacher accompanies students who need added support in math class.


Technology Integration

Seventh grade technology is a 10-week Arts rotation class that synthesizes, augments, and spearheads technology initiatives in the Middle School. This class covers many facets of technology from many different perspectives. Students learn the history of computers from Bletchley Park to exploring the biographies of modern tech giants such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

From another aspect, students complete projects utilizing the iPad, as well as using desktop Macs. In this venue, students focus on 21st century learning skills such as teamwork, communication, and cross-platform connectivity.

On a more day-to-day schedule, students focus on mastering the MS Office suite of software common to PCs and Macs such as Word, Pages, Numbers, and Excel. The class also focuses on trends in technology. As these shift, so do some lessons or units. In recent years units have included Audacity, iMovie, blogging, and Code Academy.

Visual Arts

The objectives of the 7th grade visual arts curriculum are to develop skills in creative and analytical thinking; to develop fine motor skills in the 2D and 3D design, painting, color, and drawing; and to develop an appreciation of art and its history and the interdisciplinary nature of the medium.

3D Sculpture Unit

  • Lecture on famous pop artists of the 20th Century (art history & appreciation)
  • Discussing and planning project
  • 2D painting of project and supply list
  • Discussion of sculptural armatures
  • Commence building sculptures
  • Refine and complete piece (3D design, 3D manipulation, crafts, color, problem solving)

2D Cartooning Unit

  • Develop cartoon characters (creativity, drawing)
  • Lecture on the origins of cartooning and some famous artists
  • Make B&W pen & ink cartoon (art history & appreciation, creativity, drawing, pen, brush and ink usage)
  • Make multi-panel water color cartoon (design, text design, composition, color)
  • Drawing lessons: review gesture & contour figure drawing (contour shapes, line quality)
  • Painting lesson (canvas board)

Drama

Middle School drama classes offer an opportunity for students to connect with their own playful spirit, find opportunities for taking creative risks, and learn acting skills that will serve them in the Bancroft performing arts productions, their eighth grade forums, and public speaking and performance opportunities in the wider community.  In drama, students intentionally create a class culture that is supportive, trustworthy, and creatively safe. In class, students work together to create original characters, develop theater games to teach acting skills to others, and learn how to study, rehearse, and perform a scripted scene. At the end of the quarter, students will have a deeper understanding of themselves and their world through studying the arts.

Music

This class has a continuous focus on listening. Students are walked through structured listening exercises relating to form, range, meter, patterns, harmony, color, social implications, and emotional effect. These exercises use American, Western Classical, and music from around the world.

By the end of the course, students are also taught to read notes in three clefs and count out rhythms containing sixteenth notes in 4/4 and 6/8 time signatures. If there is time at the end of the quarter, the class may complete a basic snare drumming unit.

Physical Education

September-November:

  • Flickerball/Ultimate Frisbee
  • Fitness
  • Pillo Polo/Tennis

November-December:

  • Korfball

January-February

  • Volleyball
  • Indoor Lacrosse

March

  • Wiffle Ball

April-May

  • Flickerball/Ultimate Frisbee
  • Fitness
  • Pillo Polo/Tennis

May

  • Ball Game Activities
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