Seventh Grade Weekly Note

Good afternoon, Parents!

It has been a wall-to-wall week here in the seventh grade, including rock bands, robots, biome houses, presidential politics, integers, and the darkness of man’s heart. Here are some more specific highlights.

On Tuesday we walked down The Schuylkill River Trail to the Franklin Institute to see their exhibit, “The Robot Revolution.” Students explored the many ways in which robots have already entered our lives, as well as how they may continue to affect our world from drones to robo-surgery to self-driving cars. Students also had the opportunity to create robots of their own using modular robotics kits. Check out some pictures from the Institute in the Photo Gallery! Thanks again to our parent chaperones -- we couldn’t have done it without you!

Students also began designing their dream homes, nestled in a specific biome of their choice, in a joint project between science and art. Be sure to ask your child which biome they chose, what their floor plan looks like, and what specific features their home might need in order to allow them to thrive in their chosen environment. Work on this project will be ongoing over the next few weeks.

We are also hard at work on our seventh grade rock band -- another joint project between music and science in which students are tasked to cover a famous rock/pop song and transform the lyrics with vocabulary from our science curriculum. The performance for our groups is scheduled for Tuesday, November 22 at 9:00 a.m., with an encore at 10:00 a.m. Families and friends are invited and encouraged to attend!

In language arts this week, we completed our reading of Lord of the Flies. It was an emotional roller coaster (well, if the roller coaster consisted of one giant hill that crashed directly into the ground…), and students had powerful discussions about the themes and meanings of the text, as well as the unsettling connections that they were able to detect between it and our current political climate. We are gearing up over the weekend for the essay-writing process over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to ask your child what character or symbol s/he is considering writing about.

Speaking of the political climate, our cultural studies classes this week focused on local and state elections, as well as the presidential election and the mechanisms of our electoral process. Over the weekend students are writing letters to politicians whom they identified and examined during the week.

Next Wednesday, November 16, we will have staff from the Attic Youth Center, the only organization in Philadelphia exclusively serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, here at TPS to work with students and teachers on issues facing LGBTQ youth. An emphasis of the workshop is how we relate to each other -– When I say this word, how does it make my peers feel? If I’m upset at school, who should I talk to? -– as well as how we understand each other -– What does LGBTQ mean anyhow? Why does it matter to me? All trainings are adapted to optimally fit each classroom.

Thank you for the time and attention. Have a great weekend, and enjoy the photos below!

All the best,

David, Melanie, Jake, and Steve