I've been having pretty good luck with 7th graders lately (knock on wood!). Take today for instance. I was warned that 5th period was a bit wound up. But somehow, they got to silence. (Well, they came in wound up, but once they got working they did it silently.) And this has not been unusual.
I had two days in a 7th grade class last week. Sure, the teacher specified silence, but they complied. That's kind of amazing. Too many times classes that were supposed to be silent weren't. And as I think over it, most of my encounters with 7th graders this year have been similar. Sure, they've been doing the middle school thing (poking each other, silly games, whining), but they've been surprisingly compliant. They've even gotten to silence most of the time.
Each year seems to have its own personality. By "year," I mean graduation year (the 7th graders are the class of 2013). Some years are better than others. Could we be in for an amazingly well-behaved year? Possible. But they'll be 8th graders next year (insert scream here).