Woodside School offers a very broad and enriching academic program.  Below you will find information on each of the core classes offered to 7th grade students. For detailed information on each of the core subjects, please click on the links below.  The 2016-2017 Woodside School Handbook also details every course.  

English-Language ArtsTop of Page

This course builds upon all skills mastered and introduced in the 6th grade curriculum.  In furthering students' knowledge of grammar, syntax, rich vocabulary, and stylistic techniques of composition, the goal is for significant growth in students' abilities to write narrative, informational, and argument essays.  The art of summarizing will be taught, and students will also have the opportunities to learn and compose various types of poetry.  In all studies of expressive language, written or oral, students will gain an appreciation of a rich language that is deliberate, correct, and effective.  Mastery of oral language, along with listening and speaking skills, will be emphasized on a daily basis while students will strengthen their public speaking skills given the opportunities to deliver informative and persuasive speeches and engage in debate.  Complimenting teacher prepared materials, various texts are used to help students master the Common Core standards.

Along with reading many of the core literature titles listed below, students will read selections from the state adopted texts.  
  • The Circuit
  • The Outsiders
  • Chew on This
  • The House on Mango Street
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • The Hobbit
A variety of teacher prepared instruction and Columbia University's Teacher College Writing Units of Study are used to assist students in refining and practicing the process of writing to create clear and coherent pieces that engage the reader and show an awareness of audience and purpose.  The Units of Study include Personal Narrative, Literary Essay, Research-Based Information Writing, and Argument Writing.  Students will write multi-paragraph essays within these genres that contain formal introductions, detailed descriptions, and supporting textual evidence using precise language.  A variety of effective organizational structures such as comparison and contrast, categorical, spatial order, and order of importance will be used in the writing of the essays. Students will also revise essays for content, organization, word choice, and consistency of ideas, and edit for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  

MathematicsTop of Page

The 7th grade mathematics curriculum matches the school's philosophy that all students meet or exceed the California Common Core State Standards for all of 7th grade and the first half of 8th grade.  This is an accelerated course for all 7th grade students so they will be confident problem solvers, eager to learn, and inspired to pursue advanced studies in math and science.  

Additionally, a small group of 7th grade students who qualify will be eligible to advance to Algebra I in the 7th grade.  

The domains covered include:
  • Rations and Proportional Relationships
  • Number System
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability  

ScienceTop of Page

Science is the study of the patterns and rhythms of the Universe.  Through observations, using all of our five senses, we can interpret our surroundings in order to make predictions that are useful in our lives.

There are two ways to learn science.  The first is to read about the great scientific discoveries of the past.  The other is to discover the laws and facts of the world around us through investigation and experimentation.  The first leads to useful knowledge that we can apply to our lives.  The second method also produces this useful information, but has the added benefit of teaching critical thinking skills that we can use in all aspects of our lives.  

This course will allow students to use both methods of teaching science, but relies heavily on investigation and experimentation. Science students learn by doing.  In this way we give them the required knowledge and skills necessary for a productive future. 

7th grade students use the CPO program Focus on Earth Science, a guided, inquiry approach which includes hands on investigations in each chapter.  Topics include Earth's structure, plate tectonics, California geology, weathering and erosion, earthquakes and volcanoes, heat transfer, natural resources, ecosystems, weather and climate, and human impact.  Students utilize the scientific method as the framework for their discovery process.  

Social StudiesTop of Page

Students focus on the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America in the years A.D. 500-1789.  Students study the history and geography of great civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout the world during medieval and modern times.  They examine the growing economic interaction among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities.  They learn about the resulting growth of Enlightenment philosophy and the new examination of the concepts of reason and authority, the natural rights of human beings, the divine right of kings, experimentalism in science, and the dogma of belief.  
  • Developing reading comprehension
  • Formal reasoning
  • Analysis of primary and secondary sources
  • Note-taking, highlighting, outlining, concept mapping (graphic organizers)
  • Research and MLA citation
  • Oral presentations and technology-based projects
  • Current events, debates, and simulations
  • Socratic Seminar  

SpanishTop of Page

Students in 7th grade Spanish can expect to learn the vocabulary and grammar necessary to explain past experiences, as well as current events using irregular verbs.  Students will develop speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills that are appropriate for late-beginning and early-intermediate Spanish speakers.  This course will be taught in accordance with the World Language Content Standards for California Public Schools (http://clta.net/advocacy/standards/).  The class will be conducted primarily in Spanish, and mastery will be demonstrated through a series of quizzes, tests, presentations, skits, role-plays, essays, art, and cultural products.  

MandarinTop of Page

7th grade Mandarin class is designed for students with basic knowledge of Chinese.  The goal is expand students' vocabulary and promote their Chinese language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with an emphasis on oral communication. At the end of the school year, students are able to communicate, read, and write in Chinese on a variety of topics.  They will also gain knowledge of and develop insight into Chinese culture and important philosophical ideas and values in Chinese societies.

Students are at the speech emergence state.  They are able to understand and produce longer sentences and more complicated ideas in Mandarin.  To encourage them, emphasis is placed more on the meaning of the language rather than the forms of the language.  Both students and the teacher verbalize more in Mandarin within the classroom.  

Music - Guitar (Optional)Top of Page

7th grade students who elect to take music instead of physical fitness twice each week will develop their acoustic guitar skills. Students will learn to play single-line melodies, play chords to accompany children's songs, and understand how to read chords and tablature notation for music of their choice.  

Physical EducationTop of Page

The Woodside physical education program consists of developmentally appropriate lessons with activities that are in alignment with the California State Content Standards.  The course is designed to create maximum opportunities for development of skills, knowledge, health-related fitness and ultimately, the confidence to enjoy an active healthy lifestyle.  This course helps students develop habits for lifetime fitness and health.  The class focuses on cooperation, respect, communication, trust, and fun.  

Woodside School provides a diverse physical education program that includes cooperative activities, non-traditional games, and movement and rhythms suited to the capacities and limitations of all students.  The physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of all students is emphasized.    

The course goals are as follows:
  • Develop social skills and positive behaviors as they relate to physical education.
  • Value physical education and its lifetime importance.
  • Increase skill proficiency in various activities and games.
  • Improve self-esteem by participation in challenging activities.  
  • Build cognitive learning and problem-solving through fitness journals, written work, and projects.
  • Develop self-evaluation skills through assessment.   

Physical Fitness (Optional)Top of Page

All 7th grade students receive a diverse physical education program that includes cooperative activities, non-traditional games, and movement and rhythms suited to the capacities and limitations of all students. The physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of all students is emphasized. 

The optional Physical fitness course allows students additional time on physical education activities and personalized training on new and exciting games.  

Learning CenterTop of Page

Woodside School provides a full continuum of Special Education services when a student meets the eligibility criteria mandated by the State of California.  These services are individually designed and based on the student's unique learning needs.  The Special Education staff works closely with parents and the Woodside School Student Study Team to identify and refer students for a Special Education assessment.  

Students in the Learning Center work towards their individual goals, and they learn strategies for staying organized, time-management, completing homework assignments, task completion, researching and editing skills, comprehension strategies, and test taking skills.  

ArtTop of Page

Art education provides opportunities for creativity, self-expression, and communication.  It gives students the chance to explore, describe, analyze and interpret visual materials, and make connections to other subject areas including themselves.  Art has been the foundation of world cultures since the beginning of time.  To understand art is to understand our humanity.

The art curriculum is a sequential skills-based program that focuses on the appreciation and production of art, and the study of art history.  The art program works closely with classroom teachers to integrate art throughout the curriculum.  The following standards are covered throughout the school year:  artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing, and connections, relationships, and applications.  

Design ThinkingTop of Page

Students will use design practices to develop their abilities in understanding others, analyzing challenges, and reflecting on their own work. 

The 7th grade project is specifically designed to give students experience of the design process so that they are prepared for their 8th grade Exit Projects.  The 7th grade project focuses on the environment.  Thus far, students have interviewed either a retired Geologist, a volunteer at Grass Roots Ecology, or a third-party individual.  After taking a break to work on the STEM Fair, students will go through the first phase of prototyping and then present their projects. 

Social-Emotional LearningTop of Page

Social and Emotional Learning in the Middle School is provided through the Advisory program.  Advisory provides a supportive environment and an outlet to voice concerns and to benefit from the collective wisdom of the group.  Lessons for Advisory class focus on SEL skills and the overall concepts of Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, and Give Yourself.  After a lesson is introduced, the class is primarily student driven.

Classes meet two times per month and advisors are available on an as-needed basis for students between classes.  A grade of Pass/No Pass is given for Advisory as well as a citizenship grade.  While all students are encouraged to participate verbally, the Advisory teacher understands that students have varying levels of comfort with certain types of discussions and that students fall across a wide spectrum of introversion and extroversion.