Have you ever wondered what goes on in the minds of 7th graders when it comes to math? Seventh grade is an exciting time filled with transformations, both in academics and personal growth. As these young learners navigate the web of math concepts in pre-algebra, geometry, and more, they embark on a mathematical adventure that challenges their thinking and sparks new connections. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of 7th graders and how they approach math in their own unique way. Then we are going to see how we can build on their characteristics to give them an authentic 7th grade math experience by using math doodle wheels!
Characteristics of a 7th Grade Learner
The changes 7th graders go through academically and personally impact their approach to learning mathematics. Understanding 7th grade learners is essential for tailoring math instruction to their needs. All while keeping in mind that every student is unique and learns at their own pace.
Let’s explore some key characteristics of a 7th grade learner to keep in mind as we plan our 7th grade math classes:
Increase in Abstract Thinking and Logical Reasoning
Seventh graders start to think in abstract ways about math.
It’s like their brains level up! They can wrap their heads around abstract ideas like algebraic expressions, geometric proofs, and even probability theory. It’s pretty impressive to see them dive into these complex mathematical concepts and come out on top.
Additionally, their logical reasoning game becomes stronger! They become pros at breaking down math problems, spotting patterns, and using reasoning to crack equations, prove theorems, and even make mathematical guesses.
Developing Problem-Solving Skills
By the time they are in 7th grade math, our students have a toolbox of strategies they’ve learned and can apply to real-life situations. They can break the problem down into smaller, manageable steps. Then, they can figure out which mathematical operations to use to find reasonable solutions.
Students know the drill by 7th grade and start taking on more ownership in their learning!
At this point, they have one more year of middle school, and it’s off to high school, so independence and being self-reliant are focus traits to prepare for this. They have been encouraged to advocate for themselves, so we want to encourage them to ask for help and seek clarification. They also know the power of independent practice that allows them to work at their own pace and truly see what they know about the math concept.
Enhanced Spatial Awareness
Their spatial reasoning skills start to sharpen, letting them visualize and move around geometric shapes. They can see things in their mind’s eye and work their magic with transformations. Those skills come in super handy in geometry and measurement!
Growing Social Awareness
Seventh graders, as we know, are social butterflies, buzzing around and being more aware of their social surroundings. Math can help be a structured time for them to connect and interact with others! They can collaborate and communicate with their peers while working on math tasks. They even get to become leaders in learning by helping to explain mathematical concepts to their buddies. It’s like math becomes this social playground where they can share ideas, learn from each other, and have a blast while conquering math challenges together.
Varied Learning Styles
With all this being said, it’s important to keep in mind that students are all unique when it comes to their learning styles and preferences.
Students range from those who are visual learners (preferring to see things with their own eyes) to hands-on enthusiasts who learn best by touching and moving items. Sprinkle in the auditory learners who thrive on hearing explanations and it’s like a smorgasbord of learning styles! When teachers adapt math instruction to match these different styles, it can create light bulb moments all around the classroom. Understanding goes through the roof and engagement skyrockets! Our goal is to meet our students where they’re at and help each of them shine in their own way.
7th graders can be a rollercoaster of emotions. We can make a real difference in math class by creating an environment that’s supportive and positive. We can help them shake off that anxiety and develop a healthy attitude toward math. Give them a safe space to learn, grow, and take on new challenges without feeling overwhelmed. When they feel supported, their confidence soars, and they can tackle math like the rock stars they are.
An Amazing 7th Grade Math Tool
As students level up each year, the math concepts they encounter become multi-step and more complex. Keeping in mind all the characteristics of a 7th grader while wanting all students to have a seat at the table, I created math doodle wheels!
Math doodle wheels are one-sided note pages that organize and chunk class notes on the focused math concept. Your 7th graders can keep them in a math notebook or math binder. You and your students can refer back to these note pages all year for quick definitions, reminders, and mastery examples!
The middle of the wheel is where the name of the math concept goes. This allows students to be able quickly see what math skill the page is about. The other sections focus on key vocabulary and the different steps and strategies that are used to solve the problem.
In each section, students write down the main definition or step. They then complete a couple of practice problems together with the teacher/class. This provides them with guided instruction but also mastery examples they can return to throughout the unit or later in the year.
After taking notes, students go back and add color and doodles to each section. They can color in the background, create fancy fonts, and draw pictures to help them remember what they learned. The colorful doodles become memory triggers to help apply the math skills throughout the unit, or even later in the year.
In my post, Using Doodle Wheel Graphic Organizers for Math and ELA, I dive deeper into the reasons why I chose to make the switch from traditional interactive notebooks to math doodle wheels.
How Do I Get My 7th Grade Math Classes Started?
One of my goals as a math teacher is to make math approachable for all learners. The math doodle wheels can be used as an introduction to a concept and also as a review. This reference tool helps different types of learners as students will hear, see and do all in one activity. Additionally, you can tap into the social aspect by having students complete the math wheels with a partner.
Math is naturally filled with analytical and abstract thinking. As students develop these skills it is important to provide guidance and opportunities to explore. Students can do just that by taking notes and practicing new math concepts on the doodle wheel. The guided nature of the notes makes it a safe place for students to grow in these skills.
Seventh grade math doodle wheels are easy to use! The wheels are broken down into straightforward note sections that have multiple examples of the problem or step in action. These practice problems can be used for guided practice or as individual practice. To help with memory retention, students have the opportunity to color in the background and icons and also draw visuals to go along with the steps or definitions.
A Year of Math Notes at Your Fingertips
In my 7th Grade Math Doodle Wheel Bundle, you will have access to 12 different 7th grade math topics:
- Angles and Angle Relationships
- Constant of Proportionality
- Combining Like Terms
- Compound Events
- Integer Operations
- Multi-step Equations
- Percent Problems (discount, tax, tips)
- Solving 2-Step Inequalities
- Unit Rates with Fractions
Everything you need to get started with the math wheels in your 7th grade math classroom is provided for you in each file. You will receive a math wheel with the sections organized into the definitions or steps appropriate for the specific math concept. A key is provided for each one for you to refer to if needed, as well as a colored sample. Additionally, there is an editable PowerPoint file with a blank wheel that you can use to create your own math wheel with specific sections specialized to what you and your students need.
Free Math Wheels for your 7th Grade Math Classroom!
I know that these math wheels are a little different than traditional note taking methods. That’s why I want to give you the opportunity to try them out. When you sign up for these free math wheels, you will receive a Fraction Operations wheel to review all operations with your students. You will also receive 3 blank wheel templates to create your own math doodle wheels about whichever topics you want!
Save Post for Later!
Remember to save this post to your favorite math or teacher Pinterest board to return to when you are ready to take these math wheels for a spin in your 7th grade math class!