UTICA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS JUNIOR HIGH
7TH GRADE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 2017-2018
REQUIRED FULL YEAR COURSES
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.
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.
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. Important themes include population, religion, human rights, developing and developed countries, colonialism, sustainability, impact of modernization, globalization of economics and cultures, political conflicts, cultural diversity, and global environmental concerns. 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.
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.
This course stresses both the reading and application of mathematics. Arithmetic principles are consolidated and integrated with concepts from algebra and geometry. An emphasis is placed on problem- solving strategies. 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 - Based on placement criteria.
Students will be recommended for Algebra based on an exceptionally high performance on an aptitude test along with high grades in mathematics enabling the most capable students to begin junior high in an algebra class. Completion of this course with a 70% or better on the final exam fulfills 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; 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.
REQUIRED SEMESTER COURSE-20 weeks
PHYSICAL EDUCATION/HEALTH 7
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 FULL YEAR COURSES
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)
AVID is a college-preparatory course for students willing to commit themselves to a rigorous curriculum, display good work habits, and appropriate classroom behavior. Students in this elective demonstrate the dedication necessary to be successful in junior high, high school, and at the college level. The course offers additional instruction in writing, reading, thinking, and communication skills. AVID provides opportunities to collaborate in a group setting, with support from college tutors. AVID also includes activities, such as field trips, campus visits, and guest speakers, which focus on preparing students for college. AVID opens up numerous opportunities for leadership in and out of the classroom.
**Enrollment in this course includes a review of academic potential and possible interview with AVID Site Team members.**
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. Members of this group are expected to develop and refine those skills that will lead to advancement into the 8th grade band. 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. All students are required to attend after school rehearsals and performances.
EXPLORATORY SEMESTER COURSES-20 weeks
(Exploratory classes may contain a combination of 7th and 8th grade students. Classes taken in the 7th grade may not be repeated in the 8th grade except for Vocal.)
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.
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.
This course is recommended for people who have a desire to learn or improve upon their drawing and rendering skills at the Jr. 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.
PHOTO & FILM
This is a semester course, which is an in-depth study of digital photography and digital video/editing, concepts of which address a variety of issues and demands that prepare students for ongoing 21st Century Skills using Digital Technology.
There would be no prerequisite; however, this course is recommended for serious students who seek to expand their proficiency in the digital arts. Students must be willing to work additional hours outside class time. They will be asked to demonstrate their understanding of the digital technologies through the use of digital cameras for photos, digital video cameras for videos, and computers for digital editing of both the photographs and videos.
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.
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
Davis Junior High is the only school in the district with a music technology lab. Students in this class learn to compose, arrange, read and notate music. With the use of computers it allows students to see each musical note displayed on the computer screen in relation to time and pitch, which allows a better understanding of how the notated composition forms music. Students will have to use the five elements of music which are melody, rhythm, harmony, form, and tone color to manipulate music as they write songs and orchestrate arrangements. Musical experience is not required for this class. Everyone in the class learns how to play piano.
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 & ENGINERRING PART I
This introductory course is designed for students who have an interest in drawing, design and engineering. The course will provide students with basic fundamentals and an appreciation for the basic knowledge of mechanical, architectural, and engineering design. This course 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 students a foundation for the Design & Engineering and Architecture programs at the high school.
DIGITAL LITERACY AND MEDIA DESIGN
Digital Literacy & Media Design is a 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.
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. Exploratory Language is a semester long course to be taken in 7th grade.