7th Grade: Mr. Nicholas Leif
7th grade is an exciting year as we continue our studies at the junior high level. We also have some exciting adventures and trips, including a week-long trip to Yosemite, as well as other educational day trips.
In religion, we use the ecclesial method of Catechesis to engage the hearts, minds and souls of the students in coming to know and love their faith. We make use of the Spirit and Truth series as our main text, but we also make extensive use of the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Each week we make time for a period of Eucharistic Adoration as a class. We have the opportunity to participate in many other religious events as well, including the October Rosary Procession, Eucharistic Processions, and a Tenebrae Service on Holy Thursday morning. It is a great blessing to share our Faith with the junior high students who are so eager to know about God and their Faith.
The junior high history program at PBVM follows the diocesan standards which include "7th Grade - Medieval History from the Fall of Rome to the Enlightenment." We begin history with a discussion on what a Catholic view of history is. We see how the central point in all history is the Paschal Mystery of Christ, and that all history flows from or leads to this point. We view all history through this lens, asking how this all works into God's plan for humanity. We explore history through a variety of means and methods. Emphasis is placed on working with primary source documents in addition to textbook work. We also make use of historical fiction to learn about people, places and events. We develop projects and assessments that encourage discovery and application to our world today.
Science is presented as discipline-specific and is driven by the current NGSS standards. 7th grade focus is on the study of Life Science. Emphasis is placed on hands-on experience with a consistent focus on application of concepts in real-world situations. In this study, God is recognized as the Intelligent Designer and Creator of all. 7th grade Math instruction is leveled based upon ability/testing data, with an accelerated placement offered for algebra study and a solid, grade level placement for all other students.
Language Arts is taught with an emphasis on regular assessment and application. Daily grammar and vocabulary is expected, and a literary focus on grade appropriate material is emphasized, as well as exposure to classical works. Development of writing ability is an important part of the 7th grade language arts experience.
Knighthood Virtue Program
The 7th grade participates in the Junior High Knighthood virtue program. This program is based on the virtues and qualities of the medieval knights and ladies and how we can transfer similar virtues into our own daily lives. The students design their own personal heraldic shields to represent their qualities and the virtues they desire in their lives. Over the courses of the year, they watch their shields move up the classroom castle bulletin board as they display consistent effort in working on the virtues. Each student has a knighthood folder with a virtue checklist. In 7th grade, the students have the opportunity to become pages or squires depending upon their growth in virtue. Knighthood is reserved for 8th grade students. The Virtue Ceremony occurs at the end of the school year.