In addition to grade level course work, Fisher Island Day School provides the opportunity for eligible middle-school students to receive advanced instruction in language arts and mathematics through honors coursework. The rigor and demands of such classes are taken into account, and as a result, are weighted on the overall grading via quarterly report cards.
Additionally, in 2017, Fisher Island Day School introduced the Diploma of Distinction to recognize FIDS graduates who demonstrated exemplary performance in the areas of academic performance, conduct, citizenship, and attendance. The eligibility criteria for the FIDS Diploma of Distinction are listed below:
- Eligibility: Graduating Grade 8 students.
- Enrollment: Minimum 1 full academic year at FIDS prior to graduating year.
- Grades: Cumulative average of 90% or higher for Grades 5 – 8.
- Test Scores: Average of 7.0 Stanine or higher on ERB, starting in Grade 5.
- Attendance: No more than 5 unexcused absences and 5 unexcused tardies per school year, starting in Grade 5.
- Student Conduct: No suspensions beginning in Grade 5.
- Contribution to School Life: Family giving of time and/or money; attendance at required parent conferences; involvement in the Parent Association (as a member, as a room parent); participation in the Gala; etc.
- Financial Obligations: All financial obligations have been met.
GRADE 7 OVERVIEW
Core Coursework (Required)
- English – English 7; English 8 for honors students
- Mathematics – Pre-Algebra; Algebra 1 for honors students
- Science – Life Science
- Social Studies – American History and Civics
- World Language – Spanish 2
- Art – Studio II
- Mandarin Chinese – Mandarin Chinese 7
- Music – Music 7
- Physical Education – PE 7
Additional Elective Offerings May Include:
- Independent Study
Distinctive Seventh Grade Experiences
GRADE 7 AT A GLANCE
English: English 7
The English curriculum for seventh grade provides students with a breadth of elevated and nuanced thinking opportunities across the areas of reading and writing. Literature selections will range from short stories and novels to Shakespeare and graphic novels of other classic works. The seventh-grade English program is an integrated approach to learning as students develop competencies in all facets of literacy across the course material. Writing assignments and discussions will take the form of literary analysis, research-based discourse, and opinion pieces that directly connect to textual themes being studied. Throughout this course, there is an extra emphasis placed on speaking and listening skills as students work to become thoughtful, diplomatic, and poised individuals.
Suggested Grammar Workbook: Giggly Guide to Grammar
Suggested Vocabulary Workbook: Wordly Wise Level 7
Suggested Novels: The Giver (Lowry), The Outsiders (Hinton), Characters in Conflict (Warriner), The House on Mango Street (Cisneros), Fahrenheit 451 (graphic novel – Hamilton and Bradbury), The Glory Field (Myers), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (young adult edition – Shakespeare)
The seventh-grade mathematics curriculum will prepare students for their learning journey by establishing strong study and organizational skills that are foundations for success in algebra, high school, and beyond. The goal of this pre-algebra course is to develop fluency with rational numbers and proportional relationships. Students will extend their elementary skills and begin to learn algebraic concepts that serve as a transition into formal algebra and geometry.
Students will think with flexibility about relationships among fractions, decimals, and percents. They will learn to recognize and generate equivalent expressions and solve single‐variable equations and inequalities. Additionally, students will investigate mathematics using inquiry labs that promote collaboration and critical thinking and explore mathematical ideas using technology and models to develop multiple strategies for analyzing complex situations.
Students will discover how the application of mathematical skills make meaningful connections to life’s experiences by researching 21st-century careers that highlight math skills that are needed to ensure real-world success.
Suggested Textbook: Glencoe – Math Accelerated, A Pre-Algebra Program
Science: Life Science
The life-science curriculum encourages students to explore living organisms and their life processes through reading, observing, and experimenting with facets of the living world. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of: cells and cell systems; genetics and reproduction; ecosystems; and the fundamentals and connections of organisms, energy, and matter. Students will build on basic principles related to these concepts through direct instruction and hands-on lab practicals that will include virtual dissections. Elements of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will play a critical role in student discovery and understanding life science. Additionally, students will be exposed to various note-taking and test-taking strategies that will support their growth, both inside and outside of the science classroom. Included in the seventh-grade science curriculum is also an age-appropriate unit on human growth and development.
Suggested Textbook: Pearson – Elevate Science: Life Science
Social Studies: American History and Civics
The seventh-grade social studies program requires students to gain more in-depth understandings of the history of the United States. Topics include: the Revolutionary era; drafting and adopting the Constitution; root causes and effects of the Civil War; industrial and economic growth; the rise of imperialism and World War I; the Great Depression; root causes and effects of World War II; post-war life; a study of the Civil Rights Movement; and how the nation prepares for new challenges. Woven throughout this course are frequent studies in the rights and duties of citizens and the practical aspects of citizenship.
Suggested Textbook: Pearson – My World Interactive: American History
World Language: Spanish 2
Spanish Level 2 students will: deepen their grammatical foundation needed to communicate effectively; acquire new vocabulary to facilitate communication; amplify their ability to communicate in the present tense; and learn to express past actions using the past tense and imperfect tense of both reflexive and non-reflexive verbs. Students will communicate using direct and indirect objects; they will also use formal and informal commands, as needed, according to the cultural context. Additionally, they will explore the influence of the Hispanic culture in the United States and compare products, practices, and perspectives.
Suggested Textbooks: ¡Qué chévere! Level 2 Student Edition Print Grammar & Vocabulary Workbook; ¡Qué chévere! Level 2 Student Edition Print Workbook
RECOMMENDED GRADE 7 ELECTIVES
Art: Studio II
The student art studio is a domain of constant exploration. During Art Studio II sessions, students will be introduced to three-dimensional techniques and media via group lessons. Materials such as wood, rope, paper, wire, and clay will be explored and available for individual and group projects. Emphasis on two-dimensional work will be placed on each student’s self- portrait as a subject that allows for a continued exploration of self and style. Visiting local galleries and museums will complement the studio involvement with real world-experiences.
Mandarin Chinese: Mandarin Chinese 7
Students will learn basic Mandarin Chinese through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Participants will focus on pronunciation rules, character-writing skills through Chinese calligraphy structures, as well as reading and writing simple sentences with proper grammar. Chinese culture will be explored through story reading (Confucius thought), Chinese poetry, cooking, Chinese clothing, tea ceremony, and arts and crafts. At the conclusion of the course, students will achieve:
- Insights into Chinese culture;
- Strengthening of their overall ability to effectively communicate in Chinese;
- Ability to recognize 140-160 vocabulary words;
- Ability to write focused Chinese vocabulary;
- Ability to read 200-300 word novels.
Suggested Textbooks: Easy Steps to Chinese Level 2; Mei Zhou Hua Yu Level 2; HSK Test Preparation Book Level 2
Music: Music 7
This course is designed to give students basic to intermediate experience in all aspects of music—including music appreciation, music history, playing an instrument, critiquing, and composing. Performance etiquette and dance will also be covered, culminating in at least one song-and-dance performance each semester. General instruction will be offered in both vocal and instrumental training, with an added emphasis on harmony, group instrumentation, and introductory music theory. Additionally, students will organize and perform music in a rock- band-style small ensemble, where each participant is provided with the opportunity to specialize in an instrument of their choosing.
Physical Education: PE 7
The physical education curriculum for middle-school students stresses learning and practicing skills and game strategies for various sports such as soccer, basketball, flag football, baseball, tennis, and street hockey. Students participating in P.E. 7 will particularly focus on applying safe practices, rules, procedures, and etiquette in all physical activities. They will also be able to recognize and analyze the benefits of exercise on the body and the mind. Additionally, the
P.E. program emphasizes developing proper sportsmanship through friendly competition and incorporates cardiovascular fitness lessons, along with strength development. All students will participate in the FIDS Fitness Test which gauges: individual strengths in long distance running; quickness/reaction speed; flexibility; upper-body strength; and abdominal strength. FIDS’s athletics, sports, and fitness activities provide more than just exercise and competition; the curriculum encompasses the virtues of kindness, courage, grace, persistence, discipline, and teamwork.
Additional Elective Offerings May Include:
- Independent Study