Grade 7 Overview
Grade 7 students develop mathematical skills that are some of the most useful throughout life. Calculating discounts, taxes, and interest, for example, are activities adults do regularly. Grade 7 students learn to recognize how a percent or proportion comes about and what it means. For example, which is a better deal?: a $20 discount or a 20% discount? Letting students figure out that 20% is best for items over $100, and $20 is best for items under $100 from examples, and reasoning why this is so, leads to learning about functions. Students graph proportional relationships and understand the unit rate informally as a measure of the steepness of the related line, called the slope. They distinguish proportional relationships from other relationships.
Learning about negative numbers also has an emphasis on both context (money owed, temperatures below zero, blocks to the left and right of some landmark) and how previous arithmetic applies to it. For example, students justify why a negative times a negative must be a positive using area calculations of rectangles with negative numbers (e.g. one side is 10 + -3 =7 feet long). Algebra with linear expressions is also introduced in Grade 7.
As data is a key part of understanding the world now, this will be a focus in Grade 7. Students will look at two quantities or two populations, and try to understand not only how they are related but how certain they can be about the relationship. Probability at this grade also reinforces fraction computation.