Monday, August 8, 2011

So.... I'm slightly panicking...

Yes... it is that time of year when we start getting back into the classrooms, really organizing our thoughts for what is about to happen in about a month and get settled in to take a deep breath before the rush of the school year begins. It's chaotic, it's fun, and we oddly enough look forward to it every year.

I've heard of people getting room switches at the last minute or different grade assignments, but I never thought it would happen to me. As of this morning, I have been informed that I will be teaching an extra class next year - 7th grade.

The seventh grade is a grade I have never taught, and although I'm excited to see and surprise my returning 6th graders, I'm super unprepared (and the italicized 'super' is an understatement). It's an entire grade I have to come up with some kind of curriculum for in about a month! During requisition time, I obviously did not prepare or buy anything that was specifically in mind for 7th grade projects, and, I just realized that I have 7th graders all year long (on an 'A' and 'B' day rotation), as opposed to my 10 week 5th and 6th graders- aaahhhh!!!! HELP!!! Has anyone taught 7th grade? Have any amazing lessons? Care to share some insight?

Before I sit down and try to map out and organize my game plan here, I of course had to sign on to Blogger and vent. This is me taking in a deep breath.


  1. I can't say I've taught seventh, but I commend you for taking on another challenge. Whatever you do, your results will be fantastic. Don't sweat, just start out slow. I'll be on the hunt for some great lessons for you! :)


  2. I've taught 7th grade for 6 years now...keep them on a much shorter leash behavior wise than 5th and 6th graders. Mark my words. They really like to be able to make choices about the content of their art, they like incorporating song lyrics into their art in some way. Having them bring in items from home to help create the content of their art. You kids do beautiful work in 5th and 6th grade so I'm sure they will keep that.

  3. oh my goodness, I know! I was trying to explain to my husband how DIFFERENT 6th and 7th graders are- something happens to them in that summer! I often visit the art teacher who usually teaches 7th grade and it always takes me back to see my former students and how grown up they are! The drama starts, their attitudes come out, their cliques are more obvious, it's a very "me" stage, isn't it? Oh, how funny it is to see them in my "adult-teacher" viewpoint now, because honestly, when I was in 7th and 8th grade, I remember thinking I was the coolest thing ever. ha!

  4. I have an A/B schedule and I like the fact that if we don't get something done it is only a couple of days until they come back and continue or finish. My biggest grip is I use w-a-y more supplies that in previous years. Plus our classes are only 35 min long. :9( I was used to 45-60 min. But as I said I never go longer than a weekend before seeing my classes again. :) Great for continuity.

  5. I taught 7th grade for 9 years and loved every minute. They are little bundles of hormones with legs, so be prepared, but they have a great dual nature: they can be silly kids, but have the attention and ability and comprehension to do sophisticated stuff.

    My favorite things I did with them:
    *Color wheel stuff (different variation every year - so many things you can do)
    *Grid enlargements (can be anything from photos of them, to, my favorite, vegie seed packages enlarged BIG. We graphed and enlarged them and stapled them together with dried beans inside and added a wood or cardboard stick, and then, the best part, made giant papier-mache vegies to go with the giant seed packs. None of this costs much if you are lacking materials.
    *And the annual favorite - plaster bandage masks, built right on their faces - but don't do this if you aren't experienced. We did it in groups, and you could hear a pin drop in the room with a 1/2 dozen kids with plaster on their faces and the other 1/2 putting it there.

    Just remember, they are still young enough to be excited by stickers and Disney videos, but also will walk all over you if you let them. Lay down parameters from Day 1.

  6. Phyl, thanks for the ideas! I do love color theory and color wheel projects and I think I'm going to do CD covers with a grid. I stressed a little that first day I heard the news but I'm much better now :), haha. I currently don't have enough plaster to do a project for all the kids, and I just realized the clay I bought for next year will now have to be divided even more with the extra grade- bummer.

  7. Hannah: 7th grade is my FAVOURITE grade to teach!! I find Grade 8's to be much more challenging behaviour-wise. I find Grade 7's quite a bit more mature than Grade 6-ers but still retain the same enthusiasm. I've posted alot of my Gr.7 lessons on my blog here if you're interested:

  8. Thanks, Miss! Will definitely check out your blog : -).