Aligning 7th Grade Math with TEKS

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching middle school math does not have to feel overwhelming! Though you have a lot to cover in a year, some strong planning can make all the difference. This lesson will help you align your seventh-grade math curriculum with the TEKS standards.

Seventh Grade Math and TEKS

Teaching math to seventh graders can feel like a big responsibility. Your students are getting closer to high school age when their instruction in math will become more specialized, and it will be taken for granted that they have internalized some basic understandings. As a seventh-grade math teacher in Texas, you are fortunate to be guided by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which offer a very clear and specific overview of what students are expected to learn over the course of the year. At the same time, these rigorous standards can feel daunting; they are stringent, detailed, and broad in nature.

One of the ways to make the most out of your work with the seventh-grade TEKS standards for math is to spend some time doing careful planning. When you know the standards well and understand the ways the different strands within them connect to each other, you are better equipped to map out your year in a way that lets you meet all of the standards while still addressing your students' individual needs as developing mathematicians.

TEKS divides seventh-grade math into four major strands. These are number and operations; proportionality; expressions, equations and relationships; and measurement and data. It is wise to organize your year into separate units on each of these strands. Begin your year with a short unit on number and operations. Proceed with a longer unit on proportionality. Once you know your students well, execute your longest unit of the year on expressions, equations, and relationships. This is the unit that will prepare your students best for algebra. Finally, end your year with a unit on measurement and data.

The remainder of this lesson offers an overview of what is expected of your students under each of these strands.

Number and Operations

Much of what you teach under number and operations will be a review for your seventh-grade students, but starting the year this way will help you identify gaps in their knowledge and will also help you prepare them to advance. In your number and operations unit, make sure your students know how to use and represent rational numbers and describe their relationships to one another. Students should be able to use all four of the basic operations fluently with rational numbers and should be able to explain their problem-solving strategies.

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