Nobody Said It Was Easy
For both students and teachers, seventh grade can be a complicated year. More than ever, seventh grade students are experiencing many changes. They have changes in their body and emotions, expectations, schedules, rules and responsibilities that can change from teacher to teacher. On top of that, class sizes are larger, the pace is faster and the academic goals are increased. Students are maturing at different paces, have strong likes and dislikes, while many struggle with maturity and social expectations. Overall, seventh grade can be tough, and the increased academic standards are just the tip of the iceberg.
To be considered College & Career Ready, seventh graders reading Lexile levels range between 970L to 1120L. Seventh graders are expected to read from rich and challenging texts. They are expected to make more inferences and “read between the lines” while also citing evidence from multiple sources to support their claims. They are continuing to increase vocabulary, including analyzing word choice and understanding words with Greek and Latin roots. In seventh grade, students write informative, argumentative, narrative, and research papers. The ELA Seventh Grade Curriculum Map suggests students participate in up to 7 reading texts, 6-9 writing pieces, in addition to making research connections with written responses and participating in routine writing every nine weeks.
The seventh grade ELA Milestones Blueprint tells us that students will have one 2 point constructed response item and 4 point Extended Constructed Response items for a Narrative prompt, and a 7 point Extended Writing Response for either an Informational or Opinion prompt. Because the writing and language portion will count as 47% of their overall score, it is important for students to have experience with and understand the seventh grade writing rubrics that will be used for Milestones scoring. Also note, 35-55% of the items on the seventh grade Milestones are at a DOK 3 or 4 level requiring higher cognitive demands than the previous levels.
It’s Time to Use Formative Assessment to Drive Instruction
Seventh grade teachers and students are busy! Teachers usually have several classes, many students, and a wide range of academic strengths and weakness to identify and address. Seventh grade teachers are constantly working to determine who to teach and what to teach for maximum learning gains. Often seventh grade students have learning gaps or misconceptions that make learning new grade level standards challenging. More than ever teachers need reliable data from quality formative assessments throughout the school year to pinpoint areas of concern and drive small and whole group instruction. Students need to better understand the learning expectations and specifically their mastery of standards. This is where Lennections Assesslets come in!