Akers Elementary

Mrs. Camarena - Seventh Grade

Rebecca Camarena
7th grade social studies
7/8 grade knitting and Spanish

If you are new to Akers, welcome!  I teach as part of the 7th grade team, and our goal is to provide the best education for your child.

All class information and daily assignments/student emails can be found on

EMAIL:  [email protected]       TEXT:559-745-5672

7th grade social studies standards include:

  • The causes and effects of the vast expansion and ultimate disintegration of the Roman Empire.
  • The geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Islam in the Middle Ages.
  • The geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of China in the Middle Ages.
  • The geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the sub-Saharan civilizations of Ghana and Mali in Medieval Africa.
  • The geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Medieval Japan.
  • The geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Medieval Europe.
  • The origins, accomplishments, and geographic diffusion of the Renaissance.
  • The historical developments of the Reformation.
  • The historical developments of the Scientific Revolution and its lasting effect on religious, political, and cultural institutions.
  • Political and economic change in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries (the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason).


Two rules for the classroom
#1: Behave with integrity.  Do what you know is right and not what you think you can get away with.   Your behavior should always make your parents proud.
#2: Do not call attention to yourself.  You are part of a group of students, and your actions should not distract anyone from their tasks.
Storing backpacks
      Backpacks may not be kept at desks.  They must be dropped off in the marked area of the classroom. Students need to take binders and iPads to their desks.
Required items each day
      --binder with dividers and plenty of paper   --iPad, with plenty of powe
      --two pencils                                             --two pens, \        

If you are absent 
      Check your email, Showbie, or akers7.net for work.  Assignments are posted weekly online.  If there is an electronic file you need, check Showbie or your email. All work will be turned in to Showbie. Any absent assignments that you do not make up will turn to an “F” and will affect your overall grade.

Late / Missing work 
      Assignments turned in late (not because of an absence) will be given a maximum of a “D”.  Missing assignments can be found on your PowerSchool page (marked with an M and a brown box).  They must be done and turned in to Showbie.

How Reading works in 7th grade
     You will be given a reading grade from Mr. Tashima.  However, you will be completing your independent reading with your homeroom teacher. Each trimester, you are required to read two books and complete two book reports.  The form is found in Showbie.  These reports are 20% of your overall grade.
    Each week, you are required to read for one hour on your own.  You need to read for 40 minutes at home and write two responses on the SSR response log. Do not fill out an entry until you have completed   the 20 minutes of reading. The other response will be done in Ms. Orosco's room.  Your reading logs are due each Monday and are 80% of your reading grade.  The topics for the week's SSR log can be found on akers7.net or in your email.
     The book you are for your reading log should be the one that you are using for your book report.  Books for reports must be read during the trimester the report is turned in.
     The reading logs and the book report forms are found in Showbie.  When you open them, open the file and complete it in GoodNotes.  When it is done, you will turn it in through Showbie.

Textbooks / Workbooks
      All social studies textbooks must be taken home and left there to be used for homework and studying. Do not store it in your locker. Textbooks will be turned in at the end of the year.  If they are lost or destroyed, you will be billed for the replacement cost (approximately $65).

Turning in assignments
      All assignments will be turned in to Showbie.  No exceptions!  If you have a paper copy, you must take a clear picture of it and submit it in Showbie. 

Keeping track of your grades
      Grades will be continuously updated on PowerSchool.  
      Students will be given a PowerSchool login.  They need to check grades at least once a week.
The letter “M” next to agrade means that assignment was not turned in.  It can be made up for partial credit.  
An “ab” in PowerSchool means that the student was absent when the assignment was given or due.  It can be made up for full credit.
    If you have an “F” on an assignment that you are sure you turned in, check Showbie to make sure it was submitted.  Screen shot the screen that shows that date and time you submitted it, and turn the picture and the assignment back in to Showbie.

Contacting Mrs. Camarena
     You can email at any time.  The emails are at the top of page one.
     You can text before 9:00 P.M.
     I am in my classroom by 7:00 each morning, and all students are welcome to come in for extra help or just to have a quiet place to work.

     In social studies, our district is using History Alive!; a program that truly engages students in learning. Your student will be an active participant instead of a passive observer, experiencing history through innovative teaching practices that include role playing, simulations, group projects, and writing from a historical perspective. 
     The standards for Grade 7 cover the period between ancient and modern times, or the medieval world.  Units include life in medieval Europe and the Byzantine empire; the history of Muslim empires and the rise of Islam; the cultures of West Africa; imperial China; medieval Japan; and Europe’s Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment. In History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond, as with any text covering this time period, students learn about a number of sensitive and controversial topics, including the development of different world religions. The History Alive! materials were designed to deal with these topics objectively, respectfully, and in accordance with standards set throughout the country.
     California history/social studies standards in sixth and seventh grades cover the development of major world religions. Sixth grade social studies focus on the ancient world, and standards cover the origins and central teachings of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, the major world religions that developed during that time period. Seventh grade social studies focuses on the medieval world and includes a section on the origins and central teachings of Islam. The Muslim religion is the only world religion covered in the seventh grade social studies curriculum because it was founded in the medieval era.  The other world religions are older and as such, are covered in the sixth grade standards covering the ancient world.  
     The origins of major world religions are included in California standards because it is important that  students understand perspectives and beliefs that differ from their own.  Familiarity with world religious beliefs and traditions enhances students' understanding of literature, art, architecture, culture, and history. In addition, an understanding of the histories and belief systems of a diversity of religious traditions is necessary if students are to understand the complexity of contemporary issues such as the conflicts in the Middle East, the unrest in Afghanistan, the troubles in Northern Ireland, and the continuing struggles in the Balkans. Studying the role of religion in history helps students learn to value religious liberty and respect cultural diversity, important criteria in maintaining democracy and world peace. (http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/madison/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/teachersguide.pdf)
     Please be assured that when I cover the development of the Muslim civilization, my focus is completely academic, not devotional. In addition, 
The school strives for student awareness of religions, but does not press for student acceptance of any religion.
The school sponsors study about religion, not the practice of religion. >The school may expose students to a diversity of religious views, but may not impose any particular view. 
The school educates about all religions; it does not promote or denigrate religion. 
The school informs students about various beliefs; it does not seek to conform students to any particular belief.  (http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/madison/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/teachersguide.pdf)
When teaching the history of any religion, I use phrasing such as  "According to the Quran…" or "Many Buddhists believe…" or "Early Christians taught that… "  Using such words helps to ensure that my teaching is fair and neutral.
     I have included the California standards for 6th and 7th grade covering the world religions, as well as the table of contents for both the 6th and 7th grade textbooks.
History Alive! The Ancient World (sixth grade textbook)
Table of Contents
Unit 1: Early Humans and the Rise of Civilization
1.Investigating the Past 
2.Early Hominins 
3.From Hunter Gatherers to Farmers 
4.The Rise of Sumerian City-States
5.Ancient Sumer 
6.Exploring Four Empires of Mesopotamia 
Unit 2: Ancient Egypt and the Middle East
7.Geography and the Early Settlement  
of Egypt, Kush, and Canaan
8.The Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs 
9.Daily Life in Ancient Egypt
10.The Kingdom of Kush
11.The Origins of Judaism 
12.Learning about World Religions: Judaism
Unit 3: Ancient India
13.Geography and the Early Settlement of India 
14.Unlocking the Secrets of Mohenjodaro
15.Learning about World Religions: Hinduism
16.Learning about World Religions: Buddhism 
17.The Unification of India
18.The Achievements of the Gupta Empire
Unit 4: Ancient China
19.Geography and the Early Settlement of China
20.The Shang Dynasty 
21.Three Chinese Philosophies 
22.The First Emperor of China
23.The Han Dynasty 
24.The Silk Road
Unit 5: Ancient Greece
25.Geography and the Early Settlement of Greece 
26.The Rise of Democracy
27.Life in Two City-States: Athens and Sparta
28.Fighting the Persian Wars 
29.The Golden Age of Athens
30.Alexander the Great and His Empire 
31.The Legacy of Ancient Greece  
Unit 6: Ancient Rome
32.Geography and the Early Development of Rome
33.The Rise of the Roman Republic
34.From Republic to Empire 
35.Daily Life in the Roman Empire
36.The Origins and Spread of Christianity
37.Learning about World Religions: Christianity
38.The Legacy of Rome in the Modern World

History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond (seventh grade textbook)
Table of Contents
Unit 1: Europe During Medieval Times
1.The Legacy of the Roman Empire
2.The Development of Feudalism in Western Europe
3.The Roman Catholic Church in Medieval Europe
4.Life in Medieval Towns 
5.The Decline of Feudalism 
6.The Byzantine Empire 
Unit 2: Islam in Medieval Times
7.The Origins and Spread of Islam
8.Learning About World Religions: Islam
9.Muslim Innovations and Adaptations
10.From the Crusades to New Muslim Empires
Unit 3: The Culture and Kingdoms of West Africa
11.Early Societies in West Africa 
12.Ghana: A West African Trading Empire
13.The Influence of Islam on West Africa
14.The Cultural Legacy of West Africa
Unit 4: Imperial China
15.The Political Development of Imperial China
16.China Develops a New Economy
17.Chinese Discoveries and Inventions
18.China's Contacts with the Outside World
Unit 5: Japan During Medieval Times
19.The Influence of Neighboring Cultures on Japan
20.Heian-kyo: The Heart of Japan's Golden Age
21.The Rise of the Warrior Class in Japan 
Unit 6. Civilizations of the Americas
22.The Mayas
23.The Aztecs
24.Daily Life in Tenochtitlán
25.The Incas
26.Achievements of the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas
Unit 7: Europe's Renaissance and Reformation
27.The Renaissance Begins
28.Florence: The Cradle of the Renaissance
29.Leading Figures of the Renaissance
30.The Reformation Begins
31.The Spread and Impact of the Reformation
Unit 8: Europe Enters the Modern Age
32.The Age of Exploration
33.The Scientific Revolution
34.The Enlightenment
CALIFORNIA STATE STANDARDS (Standards in their entirety can be seen at http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/histsocscistnd.pdf)
6.2 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Kush.
6.3 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the Ancient Hebrews. 
Describe the origins and significance of Judaism as the first monotheistic religion based on the concept of one God who sets down moral laws for humanity.
Identify the sources of the ethical teachings and central beliefs of Judaism (the Hebrew Bible, the Commentaries): belief in God, observance of law, practice of the concepts of righteousness and justice, and importance of study; and describe how the ideas of the Hebrew traditions are reflected in the moral and ethical traditions of Western civilization. 
Explain the significance of Abraham, Moses, Naomi, Ruth, David, and Yohanan ben Zaccai in the development of the Jewish religion. 
Discuss the locations of the settlements and movements of Hebrew peoples, including the Exodus and their movement to and from Egypt, and outline the significance of the Exodus to the Jewish and other people. 
Discuss how Judaism survived and developed despite the continuing dispersion of much of the Jewish population from Jerusalem and the rest of Israel after the destruction of the second Temple in A.D. 70.
6.5 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early  ivilizations of India. 
Explain the major beliefs and practices of Brahmanism in India and how they evolved in 
Know the life and moral teachings of Buddha and how Buddhism spread in India, Ceylon, and Central Asia.to early Hinduism.
6.6 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early civilizations of China.  
Know about the life of Confucius and the fundamental teachings of Confucianism and Taoism
6.7 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures during the development of Rome.  
Note the origins of Christianity in the Jewish Messianic prophecies, the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament, and the contribution of St. Paul the Apostle to the definition and spread of Christian beliefs (e.g., belief in the Trinity, resurrection, salvation). 
Describe the circumstances that led to the spread of Christianity in Europe and other Roman territories.
7.2 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Islam in the Middle Ages.  
Trace the origins of Islam and the life and teachings of Muhammad, including Islamic teachings on the connection with Judaism and Christianity. 
Explain the significance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah as the primary sources of Islamic beliefs, practice, and law, and their influence in Muslims’ daily life.

Biographical Information
I have been teaching junior high school students for the past twenty years, and I can't imagine teaching another grade level. I am a graduate of the University of Redlands, but I grew up in the Central Valley of California.  This is my fifteenth year of teaching at Akers. 
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