UTICA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS JUNIOR HIGH
NINTH GRADE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 2017-2018
REQUIRED FULL YEAR CLASSES
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.
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.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT 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.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT 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. Students who elect to replace World History in their 9th grade year with AP Human Geography only will be required to take World History at the high school level as required for graduation.
PHYSICAL SCIENCE 9
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. Most work is done in class; therefore, good attendance is very important.
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 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.
PREREQUISITE: Algebra I
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. 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 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
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.**
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.
PREREQUISITE: French I or its equivalent
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.
FRENCH III (GR/MMC) – F030 9, 10, 11, 12 1.0 credit
PREREQUISITE: French II or its equivalent
French III continues a balanced skills approach to an in-depth study of the French language. The course will be conducted as much as possible in French and students will be encouraged to use French whenever they are in the classroom. Emphasis is placed on spontaneous use of the language. The study of the French speaking world and related culture will continue. Selected readings from other sources will be used to supplement the readings in the text. Regular use of the language lab will be an integral part of the curriculum when taken at the high school.
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.
PREREQUISITE: German I or its equivalent
German II is a continuation of conversational German with emphasis on speaking, reading, writing and comprehending German. The goal is for students to be able to express their own opinions in spoken and written 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.
GERMAN III (GR/MMC) – F130 9, 10, 11, 12 1.0 credit
PREREQUISITE: German II or its equivalent
German III continues the advancement of students in composition, reading, and speaking. In addition to the textbook, a variety of supplementary lessons form the basis for classroom discussions and for presentations by students. Cultural topics include folk tales, songs, influential German speakers and history as well as a more in-depth study of the cultural areas described in German I and II. Regular use of the language lab will be an integral part of the curriculum when taken at the high school.
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.
PREREQUISITE: Spanish I or its equivalent
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.
SPANISH III (GR/MMC) – F230 9, 10, 11, 12 1.0 credit
PREREQUISITE: Spanish II or its equivalent
In Spanish III there is greater use of Spanish in the classroom with concentration on developing students' confidence with the language. More advanced grammar and vocabulary items are used as a foundation to further oral and written communication in Spanish. Selected supplementary readings offer cultural insights, as well as an introduction to the art, geography and history of Spain. At the high school, regular use of the language lab will be an integral part of the curriculum when taken at the high school.
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.
CONCERT BAND 9
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.
FUNDAMENTALS 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
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.
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 9
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.
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. This course is one that will satisfy the visual/performing arts graduation requirement.
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
Exploratory Design and Engineering II will be a project-based course for 8 & 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. This class is open only for those students who did not have Exploratory Design & Engineering II in the 8th grade.
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 9
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.
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 class is open only for those students who did not have Drawing Fundamentals in the 7th or 8th grade.
PHOTO AND 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 class is open only for those students who did not have Drawing Fundamentals in the 7th or 8th grade.