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7th Grade — Miniterm!

December 2, 2020 | Brent Harris

December is one of my favorite months of the year. Not only is there Christmas, New Years Eve, and my birthday, but we have three weeks in school between Thanksgiving and Christmas that are a little bit different than usual.

It’s called miniterm! Miniterm provides students with a little change up from the norm. This year, the 7th graders are in their own miniterm classes, offered by our upper school’s homeroom teachers. The students are learning about things ranging from poetry to short animated films. Next year when these students find themselves in 8th grade, they will be presented with the opportunity to lead their own miniterms! I am excited to see them grow into this leadership role as the year goes on.

On top of these additional classes, Mr. Choi, Ms. McCallihan and I have all shifted our Science, Social Studies and Language Arts plans to focus on the 19th century. In Science and Social Studies, students are completing a project about a non-American or European scientist; in Language Arts, students are learning about The Brothers Grimm and their fairy tale collections. Although Disney has portrayed the fairy tales as magical and lovely, the original versions are quite a bit more gruesome and intense. 

As we go forward during this miniterm, the 7th graders will be placed in groups with some 6th and 8th graders (over Zoom, of course!) to create their own fairy tales. In their groups, students will also have to record a “Reader’s Theater” version of their story for everyone else to listen to. It should be awesome!

There’s a lot going on right now, but everything feels a little bit more relaxed and festive during miniterm. It’s a really wonderful time of the school year!

— Brent Harris

Brent Harris

Teacher, Grade 7; Language Arts, Seventh and Eighth Grades

Brent Harris has been teaching Middle School students since 2015. He loves teaching students how to understand the world through literature and writing. He teaches English Language Arts, but he likes to teach other things too! Both of Mr. Harris' parents are educators, and despite trying his hardest to avoid following in his parents’ footsteps, he graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in English Education and a Minor in Physical Education; as a result, Brent is a great argument piece for any “Nature versus Nurture” debate.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Harris enjoys playing guitar and drums, listening to music, spending time outside, playing sports, and hanging out with his kind and loving wife, Lauren. A native of Ontario, Canada, Mr. Harris stays true to all the Canadian stereotypes by being extremely kind and perpetually sorry. He has been a director and counselor at multiple children’s camps in Canada and Michigan, and he appreciates the idea of teaching students and campers in a place where there is freedom to entertain new ideas and try out new things. Mr. Harris has enjoyed coaching volleyball, soccer, and baseball, and while he loves nature, he is being slowly converted into a city boy.

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