Language Arts The purpose of the St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Grade 8 Language Arts curriculum is to provide the student with the necessary skills needed to interpret and disseminate information with accuracy; to develop an aesthetic sense through the study of good literary models; to engender critical thinking; to nurture creativity in thinking and expression. Students in the Grade 8 will continue to refine and master skills taught in the 7th grade as outlined in the Massachusetts frameworks. In addition, an intensive study of literature is presented, while reinforcing basic reading skills learned in previous years. The John Collins Writing Program is used to strengthen student writing skills by incorporating the Massachusetts Frameworks and Common Core curriculum. Mathematics The purpose of the St. Theresa of the Child Jesus School Grade 7 Math Program is to provide a complete course in Pre-Algebra concepts. The curriculum is based on a combination of computation and problem solving skills with emphasis on algebraic reasoning. These concepts and skills are directly related to real-life, everyday situations students will encounter. These skills are taught through the use of manipulatives, drill practice, cooperative learning, problem solving, and lectures. The overall goal is to prepare the students for success at the high school level and beyond in mathematics. In grade 7, instructional time focuses on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships; (2) developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations; (3) solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume; and (4) drawing inferences about populations based on samples. Religion The purpose of the Grade 7 Religion Curriculum is to teach the principle of Salvation History. The curriculum allows the students to gain knowledge on the important concepts of our faith: Creation, God, Jesus Christ, The Church, Christian Morality, the Sacraments and Salvation. The Seventh Grade Religion curriculum is taught through the use of various teaching practices and strategies such as: direct instruction, guided reading, reading from the Bible and scripture, class discussion, cooperative learning groups, individualized and special instruction, problem solving, attending Mass and applying faith to everyday situations. Also, students will complete four writing pieces that define and illustrate their catholic faith. They will complete a compare and contrast paper which compares the catholic faith with other prominent faiths. They will also write a narrative piece on how God has worked in their life. Finally, students will construct an analytical and persuasive piece that further describes and proves their faith. Science The purpose of the Grade 7 curriculum is for students to investigate science and technology/engineering using a range of skills, habits of mind, and subject matter knowledge in the area of Life Science. This education will enable students to draw on the skills, habits, and subject knowledge matter in order to participate productively in the intellectual and civic life of society and to provide the foundation for their further education. The Grade 7 science curriculum is taught through a series of instructional approaches, such as direct instruction, cooperative learning groups, small group instruction, observation journals, use of Scientific Method and experimentation. Students will also engage in hands-on activities, group projects, writing assignments through the John Collins Writing Program, Fall Plant growing project (2 month duration), Spring Science Fair Presentation, and Student Science Bowl Social Studies Grade 7 continues the sequence from grade 6, studying the development of ancient and classical civilizations and physical geography of Asia, Oceania, and Europe. Students study these topics by exploring guiding questions such as, “How did the concept of self-government develop?” and “Why do empires rise and fall?” Additional supporting questions appear under each topic. The questions are included to stimulate teachers’ and students’ own questions for discussion and research.