Click to reveal navigation
Academics
Course Offerings

7th grade course selection sheet (available spring 2018)
8th grade course selection sheet (available spring 2018)
9th grade course selection sheet (available spring 2018)



7th GRADE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 2017-2018

Required Full Year Courses

ENGLISH 7

This course emphasizes the development of the student’s strategic reading skills, literary knowledge, writing abilities, oral language, and research skills. The study of grammar, along with literature, editing skills, and vocabulary, are taught as part of the writing process.

ACCELERATED ENGLISH 7

This course is aimed at helping students acquire the academic skills and habits of mind for success in college-level work and AP courses.  It encourages students to engage in active questioning while analyzing vocabulary, reading/literature, and writing/grammar. Strategies in fiction and nonfiction will be addressed while focusing on literary analysis, nonfiction analytic strategies, and the task of developing a logical and effective argument.

The course will include an increased workload, independent learning and more stringent grading system.

GEOGRAPHY

This course acquaints students with the relationship between people, the natural environment and the necessity of global interdependence. Cultural diversity, population growth, human migration, environmental protection, food and energy distribution and human rights are examined. Basic concepts include: latitude, longitude, boundaries, topography, climate, natural resources and habitat. Geographical skills of map reading and plotting as well as graph interpretation are emphasized.

ACCELERATED GEOGRAPHY

This course will explore and analyze the geographical and spatial relationships between human societies and cultures, the natural environment, and historical changes that have shaped the contemporary world.  Geographical skills involving the ability to acquire, organize, interpret, analyze, summarize, and evaluate data related to the various types of maps, charts, tables, graphs, timelines and visuals will be reinforced and expanded. The course will include an increased workload, independent learning and more stringent grading system.

PHYSICAL SCIENCE 7

This course is an exploratory science course that covers basic laboratory and measuring techniques, basic chemistry principals, physics and earth sciences.  The course uses a hands-on approach in laboratory discovery that requires students to utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills based on the scientific method.

MATH 7

This course stresses both the reading and application of mathematics.  Arithmetic principles are consolidated and integrated with concepts from algebra and geometry. Focus is placed on pre-algebra skills for preparation for eighth grade.

ADVANCED MATH 7

This course is designed for students displaying a high degree of skill and interest in mathematics, enabling capable students to make the transition from elementary school mathematics to algebra in one year.  It emphasizes pre-algebra skills and concepts, such as variables, equation solving and problem solving. The full range of topics needed for the successful study of algebra is presented.  This course will cover both Math 7 and Math 8 in one year.  Based on placement criteria.

ALGEBRA I

Students will be recommended for Algebra based on grades in 6th grade Advanced Math 100.  Completion of this course with a 70% or better on each semester will fulfill 1 credit of mathematics graduation requirements, but the grade will not be counted in the student’s high school GPA. The course stresses both the structure of algebra and the development of computational problem-solving skills.  Based on placement criteria.

Required Semester Course (20 weeks)

PHYSICAL EDUCATION/HEALTH

Students study various aspects of physical education including basketball, floor hockey, flag football, volleyball, softball, soccer and other leisure time activities.  In health, students are introduced to decision-making skills that will help them throughout life.  Units of study include:  substance abuse, emergency care, consumerism, infectious and non-infectious diseases, and systems of the body.

Exploratory Yearlong Courses (full year)

BAND

Pre-requisite – one-year elementary band experience or private lessons.

Band gives students the opportunity to learn and understand musical notes, symbols and terms, and a chance to develop proficiency on their musical instruments.  All members are expected to practice regularly and give their utmost dedication to this group.  Prior musical instrument training is required for any seventh grader who would like to take this class.  Students are required to attend after school rehearsals and performances.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERIES

Computer Science Discoveries is a full-year introductory computer science survey course targeted at grades 7-9. The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as their digital footprint, programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. Students are empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with CS as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun.   For more information, please go to the following website: 

https://code.org/educate/resources/videos


Exploratory Semester Courses (20 weeks)

DIGITAL LITERACY AND MEDIA DESIGN   (Only 7th grade)

Digital Literacy & Media Design is recommended semester long foundational course to be taken in 7th grade.  Students will learn digital citizenship principles and apply that knowledge through the strategic use of digital media.  This course will provide students the opportunity to work collaboratively to enhance their understanding of communicating ideas through digital displays of information.  Students will integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

DRAWING FUNDAMENTALS

Drawing Fundamentals is a semester course, which provides students with a coaching environment to practice the perceptual skills needed to draw extraordinarily well. Right brain and left-brain concepts are studied to enhance the quality of student work. This course is recommended for students who have a desire to learn or improve upon their drawing and rendering skills at the junior high and further develop illustration skills at the high school leading to different career pathways. Beginners, as well as the more advanced, will benefit from the “tricks of the trade” taught in this course. Multiple texts will be referred to during the course. ART and DRAWING FUNDAMENTALS cannot be taken in the same year.

ART

This class puts emphasis on the basic principles of art and appreciation of the humanities.  Students use a variety of media, including pencil, paints, oil pastels, and mixed media.  Units explore drawing, color mixing and painting.  These areas are all well-mingled with discussions on art history and the role or art and the artist in our changing world. ART and DRAWING FUNDAMENTALS cannot be taken in the same year.

DRAMA

This elective allows students to learn the basics of acting and the fundamentals of stagecraft.  Students also experience working together in pairs and groups to perform scenes. The communication skills draw on the students’ resourcefulness and help build self-confidence. 

VOCAL MUSIC

Vocal Music offers students a chance to perform and enjoy group singing.  Students study singing, choreography and musical theory.  Students are required to attend after school rehearsals and performances.

EXPLORATORY DESIGN & ENGINEERING PART I

This introductory course will provide students with basic fundamentals and an appreciation for the basic knowledge of mechanical, architectural, and engineering design.  The class encompasses proper lettering, use of measuring scales, use of design equipment, single, multi view and isometric drawings, and basic residential design.  The Engineering Design Process will be followed as students identify, analyze, predict, and test solutions to problem based projects.  The students will analyze and interpret data, construct explanations, and design solutions.  This course will provide a foundation for the Design & Engineering and Architecture programs at the high school.

EXPLORATORY LANGUAGE (Only 7th grade)

The focus of this course is on introducing students to basic conversational and written phrases in French, German, Japanese and Spanish.  In addition to counting, greetings, and simple nouns, students experience basic vocabulary and practice oral recitation.  This course also includes related study of the various cultures. 



8th GRADE COURSE DESCRIPTION 2017-2018

*REQUIRED FULL YEAR COURSES

ENGLISH 8

In addition to reinforcing lessons taught in Seventh grade English, Eighth grade English builds a foundation for college and career readiness.  Students will read critically from a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging literary and informational texts.  They will write routinely and for various purposes by employing the writing process.  Students will demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking and will gather vocabulary knowledge during reading and writing activities.  Finally, they will engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions and presentations, adapting to a variety of contexts and tasks.

ACCELERATED ENGLISH 8

Accelerated English covers the standard curriculum of English 8 to a deeper extent.  Students are expected to be independent and self-directed learners.  Projects will require significant out-of-class time and there will be a required summer reading assignment given at the end of the seventh grade year.

The summer assignment can be found at this link: 8th grade summer assignment.pdf

U.S. HISTORY 8

The purpose of this course is to increase students’ knowledge of American historical events.  The course emphasizes the development of the United States through the study of people, places, events, and ideas.  Students also examine major historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.  Social studies skills such as reading for the main idea, writing, and using maps, charts, and diagrams are stressed.

ACCELERATED U.S. HISTORY 8

Accelerated History follows the same curriculum as the history course described above, with the addition of a more in-depth look at topics, additional reading and research into topics and more writing—often using a compare and contrast format, which encourages higher level thinking in students.  This course also researches colleges and leadership roles.  Students who are self-motivated and avid readers are most successful in this course.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

This is a course that covers basic laboratory and measuring techniques, basic chemical principals, ecological factors and earth sciences.  The course uses a hands-on approach in laboratory discovery that requires students to utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills based on the scientific method.    Students interested in accelerating their science instruction may take Environmental Science and Physical Science during the 8th grade in place of an elective. 

MATH 8

Mathematics 8 is a course designed to prepare students for Algebra I.   Arithmetic principles are consolidated and integrated with concepts from algebra and geometry.  An emphasis is placed on problem-solving strategies and the new common core curricular standards.

ALGEBRA I

Students who were successful in Advanced Math 7 will be recommended for Algebra I.  The course stresses both the structure of Algebra I and the development of computational problem-solving skills.  Students study the structure and properties of real numbers, equations, inequalities, functions, and statistics.  Applications of these ideas are used in solving problems which include uniform motion, multiple variables, inequalities, scatter plots and approximation, and exponential growth and decay.  Completion of this course with a 70% or better allows the student to move forward in accelerated math.  It also fulfills 1 credit of a mathematics graduation requirement, but the grade will not be counted in the student’s high school GPA.

ACCELERATED GEOMETRY

PREREQUISITE: Algebra 1. Geometry builds on a number of key geometric topics developed in the middle grades, namely relationships between angles, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, and simple three-dimensional shapes. It is expected that students beginning Geometry are able to recognize, classify, and apply properties of simple geometric shapes, know and apply basic similarity and congruence theorems, understand simple constructions with a compass and straight edge, and find area and volume of basic shapes.  This rigorous course moves more rapidly and studies the topics in greater detail than in regular Geometry. Completion of this course with a 70% or better allows the student to move forward in accelerated math.  It also fulfills 1 credit of a mathematics graduation requirement, but the grade will not be counted in the student’s high school GPA.

*ELECTIVE FULL YEAR COURSES (equals 2 choices)

BAND 8

Band gives students the opportunity to learn and understand musical notes, symbols and terms, as well as a chance to develop proficiency on their musical instruments.  Students are required to perform at band concerts, band festival, and various school functions.  Students are required to attend after school rehearsals and performances.

FRENCH I

French I is a study of the French language with equal emphasis on listening, reading, speaking, writing and culture. Learning will concentrate on bringing new vocabulary and grammar into meaningful communicative situations. Students will be introduced to the French-speaking people and their customs and traditions by means of video, audio, and computer technology.  Frequent listening activities will enhance students' ability to communicate in French. Cultural studies will include French cuisine, schools, family life, calendar, music, famous people, art, and geography.  8th graders must earn a 70% or better each semester to earn graduation credit – but the grade will not be counted in the high school GPA.

GERMAN I

This course is offered to all students and introduces the four language skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing the German language. Students will learn to talk and write about themselves, their families, and their daily lives. German-speaking countries, their people and lifestyles are studied using a variety of authentic media such as film, advertisement, and maps. Students will practice speaking German in classroom activities. They will also be exposed to German songs, festivals, and foods. Cultural topics include the home life of German teenagers, clothing, school, and leisure time activities.  Each semester 8th graders must earn a 70%or better to earn graduation credit – but the grade will not be counted in the high school GPA.

SPANISH I

Spanish I is a beginning course providing elementary practice in speaking, listening, reading, and writing the Spanish language. There is a strong emphasis on oral communication and listening comprehension through the use of varied classroom exercises as well as the use of authentic audio and video sources. This course is interwoven with much interesting information concerning school life, social life, geography, customs, songs, and foods of the many Spanish-speaking countries. The importance of Spanish to a person living in the U.S., as well as career opportunities are also discussed.  8th graders must earn a 70% or better each semester to earn graduation credit – but the grade will not be counted in the high school GPA.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERIES

Computer Science Discoveries is a full-year introductory computer science survey course targeted at grades 7-9.  The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as their digital footprint, programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data.  Students are empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with CS as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun.  For more information, please go to the following website: 

https://code.org/educate/resources/videos

LIFE SKILLS 8

Course description slide show, please click here


NINTH GRADE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS - 2017-2018

REQUIRED FULL-YEAR CLASSES

ENGLISH 9

The major emphasis in the class is on writing and reading skills through a study of drama, poetry, the short story, the novel, and the essay.  A term paper or annotated report is part of the required work in this course.

HONORS ENGLISH 9

Honors English 9 is an accelerated class. Extensive writing and reading assignments will challenge students. A summer project will be assigned. Parent signature is required on course selection sheet.

The Summer Assignment can be found at this link:  Honors Summer Reading Assignment 2017-2018.pdf

WORLD HISTORY

World History takes a global and comparative approach to studying the world and its past to develop a greater understanding of the development of worldwide events, processes, and interactions among the world’s people, culture, societies, and environment.

AP WORLD HISTORY

The AP World History course is an academic, yearlong course with an emphasis on non-Western history.  The course relies heavily on college-level texts, primary source documents, and outside readings.  Students will be required to participate in class discussions, and group and individual projects.  A special emphasis will be given to historical writing through essays and document-based questions (DBQ).  In addition, objective exams, simulations, and integrated computer-technology assignments will also be given.  A summer project will be assigned. Parent signature is required on course selection sheet.

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

This class is an academic, yearlong course designed to represent a systematic study of the earth & its inhabitants.  APHG mirrors a typical undergraduate level Introduction to Human Geography course and covers the following seven units; the geographic perspective; population; cultural patterns and processes; political organization of space; agricultural and rural land use; industrialization and economic development, and cities and urban land use.  This course should help students understand how cultural, economic and political systems relate to the distribution of human activities, the nature of places, and people’s interaction with their environment.  Parent signature is required on course selection sheet.

PHYSICAL SCIENCE

This course will go more in depth with physics and chemistry concepts learned in previous science classes. This course will cover the Michigan High School Essential Benchmarks for physics and chemistry.  The first semester is physics-based, with topics including forces and motion, work and energy, electricity, sound and waves, and light and optics.  The second semester is chemistry-based and includes the topics of matter, the periodic table, heating and cooling, and water and solutions.  The course is heavily lab-oriented, with 2-3 labs being done per week.

BIOLOGY I

This fast-paced, project-based course introduces students to the natural world.  Topics of study include cell structure and organization, genetics, evolution, classification, human body systems, and ecology.  Material will be presented by lecture and readings, as well as projects, labs and other classroom activities.  Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and utilize the accompanying textbook website. 

GEOMETRY

Geometry is a full year course designed to meet the Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements for high school Geometry.  Geometry builds on key concepts developed in the middle grades.  In our ever-increasing technological world, a rich study of logic and mathematical proof is fundamental for reasoning and good decision making.  The study of Geometry offers students the opportunity to develop skill in reasoning and formal proof.  The content expectations include reasoning about number systems, measurement, mathematical reasoning, laws of logic, proofs, figures and their properties, relationships between figures, and transformations of figures in the plane.   Geometric thinking is a powerful tool for understanding both mathematical and applied problems, and offers ways of reasoning mathematically, beyond algebra, including analytical and spatial reasoning.

ACCELERATED GEOMETRY

Accelerated Geometry is a full year course designed for students who have successfully completed Accelerated Algebra I.  This course is designed to meet the Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements for high school Geometry.  Geometry builds on key concepts developed in the middle grades.  In our ever increasing technological world, a rich study of logic and mathematical proof is fundamental for reasoning and good decision making.  The study of Geometry offers students the opportunity to develop skill in reasoning and formal proof.  The content expectations include reasoning about number systems, measurement, mathematical reasoning, laws of logic, proofs, figures and their properties, relationships between figures, and transformations of figures in the plane. 

ACCELERATED ALGEBRA II

PREREQUISITE: 1) Geometry and Algebra I or   2) Algebra I and Accelerated Geometry

Students continue the study of function families including: quadratic, polynomial, radical, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions. The topic of conic sections fuses algebra with geometry. Units of study include sequences and iteration as well as univariate statistical applications and trigonometry. Students will develop an understanding that algebraic thinking is an accessible and powerful tool that can be used to model and solve real-world problems. This rigorous course moves more rapidly and studies the topics in greater detail than in regular Algebra II. Use of the graphing calculator is embedded in the course.

 

NINTH GRADE ELECTIVES - FULL YEAR

FRENCH I

Students are introduced to the four language skills:  listening, speaking, reading, and writing the French language.  Questions are presented in French for student responses along with special readings, vocabulary, grammar, and dictation exercises.  Considerable emphasis is placed on conversation.  An introduction to French culture is also included.

FRENCH II

This class is a continuation of French skills with an emphasis on speaking and understanding French through vocabulary building and use of technology.  Students will continue to develop proficiency in the areas of listening, reading, speaking, writing, and culture.  Culture studies include:  Paris, French cuisine, music, transportation, geography and more.  This course may be only offered at the high school.

GERMAN I

Students are introduced to the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing the German language.  Learning vocabulary words and grammar is accomplished through classroom drills, team games, homework, and dictation exercises.  Considerable emphasis is placed on conversation and on knowledge of German culture.

GERMAN II

German II is a continuation of conversational German with emphasis on speaking, reading, writing and comprehending German. Guided conversations and a variety of communicative activities continue to improve students’ pronunciation and comprehensive skills.  Topics include shopping, getting around Germany, free time activities, vacations and healthy lifestyles.  This course may be only offered at the high school.

SPANISH I

Spanish I is a beginning academic course providing elementary practice in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  There is emphasis on pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and structure of the language.  Also through reading, discussion, filmstrips, and films, the student is made aware of the Hispanic lifestyle and customs.

SPANISH II

Students have an opportunity to develop their language skills through the continued balanced presentation of the four skills.  More advanced reading passages, dialogues, and directed writings are utilized.  Oral communication and listening comprehension continue to be a vital part of daily activities.  Reading selections, class discussions, and videos portray a cross-section of Spanish culture including leisure time activities, family celebrations, school and daily life, health, shopping, travel, and food.   This course may be only offered at the high school.

GENERAL BUSINESS

General Business is a one-year course that is an introduction to the business world through various units of study. These units include business ownership, banking, credit, insurance, advertising, social security, accounting, clerical jobs, job seeking and business-oriented careers.  Personal management skills are emphasized through the study of money management.  Time is also spent learning and understanding the responsibilities of operating a small business.  We have multiple guest speakers who offer an opportunity to learn about real-life examples of what is studied in class.  The curriculum is supplemented with special projects that include starting a small business, creating a personal resume and cover letter, interview skills, as well as stock tracking and fundraising.

ART FOUNDATIONS (VPAA)

Art is designed to offer students the opportunity for continued artistic and creative growth.  Students apply design principles and elements to both two and three dimensional projects such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics.  This course is a prerequisite for many of the high school art classes.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERIES

Computer Science Discoveries is a full-year introductory computer science survey course targeted at grades 7-9.  The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as their digital footprint, programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data.  Students are empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with CS as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun.  For more information, please go to the following website: 

https://code.org/educate/resources/videos


CONCERT BAND 9 (VPAA)

PREREQUISITE: Open to any student upon recommendation of the instructor.

Concert Band is a full year course that provides the opportunity for participation, study and individual achievement to all students. Classes are devoted to further training in techniques and sight reading and to individual progress. Because this is a performing group, members will be required to attend all rehearsals and performances.

MIXED CHORUS (VPAA)

This group sings a varied selection of music ranging from pop to classical.  It is a course designed for those who enjoy singing.  Several concerts are performed throughout the year.  Students study singing, choreography and musical theory.  Students are required to attend after school rehearsals and performances.

DRAMA I (VPAA)

Information essential to the staging of theatrical productions forms the basis for Drama I.  Students learn to use the actor’s tools to create dramatic expression.  Emphasis is placed on developing a strong and flexible voice and body poise and stage presence.  Time is devoted to the historical and technical aspects of the theatre.  Students will also tap leadership skills as they direct their own scenes.

LIFE SKILLS (VPAA)

Click here-Small.mov to view a student created video showcasing what Life Skills class has to offer!  Life Skills is comprised of one semester of Foods and Nutrition and one semester of Parenting and Child Development.  Student success will be achieved through hands-on learning and cooperative learning experiences.  Food preparation and consumer decision making strategies will be explored in the area of Foods and Nutrition.  In the area of Parenting and Child Development, the student will be introduced to many challenges parents face each day.

YEARBOOK (VPAA)

This course creates the school’s yearbook by focusing on the many aspects of yearbook journalism, including photography, layout design, interviewing, writing, editing, and desktop publishing.

WOODWORKING (VPAA)

This is a co-educational course designed to teach the principles of safety in the woodshop and basic skills of woodworking; hand tools, portable power tools, and industrial woodworking machines.  These principles and skills are addressed through informational text, worksheets, lectures, and demonstrations.  This course includes the use of mathematical skills, problem solving skills, and blueprint reading.  Woodshop requires proper attire.  This course is a pre-requisite for Advanced Woodworking and Construction Trade CTE courses at the high school.

 

NINTH GRADE ELECTIVES - SEMESTER CLASSES

EXPLORATORY DESIGN & ENGINEERING II (VPAA)

Exploratory Design and Engineering II will be a project-based course for 7th – 9th grade students which will focus on skills in math, science, technology, and engineering as it applies to electric vehicles.  The course will provide students with basic fundamentals and an appreciation for electronics, sources of energy, and mechanical design.  The students will further their drafting and design skills acquired in Exploratory Design and Engineering I (EDE I).  Students will design and build small electric powered vehicles with the intent of racing them in competition with other student created vehicles. In the process of building the vehicles, students will learn basic information about engineering and design processes, electrical circuits, batteries, gearing ratios, and converting electrical energy into mechanical energy.

HEALTH

This one semester required course is to be taken before high school graduation, and provides students with information that will enable them to make healthy decisions, define wellness, and deal with various health problems.  Topics will include community health services, substance abuse, mental health, chronic and communicable diseases including AIDS and other STD’s, personal safety, reproduction, and human growth and development. 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

By participating in team and lifetime activities, students will better understand that physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.  Students will learn the rules, skills, strategies, and etiquette appropriate for each activity.  Activities may include soccer, speedball, flag football, field hockey, badminton, racquetball, volleyball, floor hockey, basketball, softball, track, table tennis, golf archery, gymnastics, volleyball, paddleball, and rhythmic activities.  Students will participate in aerobic activities and each student’s individual level of physical fitness will be assessed. The course satisfies the high school graduation requirement for physical education.

DRAWING FUNDAMENTALS (VPAA)

Drawing Fundamentals is a semester course, which provides students with a coaching environment to practice the perceptual skills needed to draw extraordinarily well. Students will unveil their current conversations and limitations they have about their drawing ability and will have breakthroughs in those conversations and abilities. Right brain and left-brain concepts are studied to enhance the quality of student work.

PHOTO & FILM (VPAA)

This class is recommended for students who seek to expand their proficiency in the digital arts. Students will demonstrate their understanding of digital technologies through use of digital cameras for photos, digital video cameras for videos and computers for editing of both. Digital Elements & Principals of Design will be studied through basic photo and video assignments.

WOODWORKING (VPAA)

This semester course is similar to the full-year woodworking elective described previously.