9th Grade Curriculum

 

UTICA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS JUNIOR HIGH


NINTH GRADE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 2018-2019

 

REQUIRED FULL YEAR CLASSES

ENGLISH 9

 

Ninth grade English continues the emphasis on the development of reading and writing skills. Through writing, students practice vocabulary, punctuation, capitalization, and other standard language skills. Moreover, students develop reading skills and an appreciation and understanding of literature through a study of drama, poetry, short stories, novels, and essays.

 

HONORS ENGLISH 9

 

The course is designed for the exceptional English student. The course focuses on developing fluency in various genres of literature through including the novel, poetry, drama, short story, and non-fiction. It requires students to think, write, and speak critically. Students will be expected to compose multiple essays including impromptu writing, literary analysis and a research paper.

 

 

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 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 every-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.

WORLD HISTORY

World History and Geography 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.

 

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

This class is an academic, yearlong course designed to represent a systematic study of the earth & its inhabitants. Advanced Placement Human Geography 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.

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. Most work is done in class; therefore, good attendance is very important.

 

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. Biology can only be taken if Physical Science was completed.  Biology and Physical Science can be taken concurrently.

 

 NINTH GRADE ELECTIVES - FULL YEAR

 

ART FOUNDATIONS

 

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.

 

AVID 9 (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.**

 BAND 9

 

This course deals with methods and fundamentals that follow closely with requirements for admissions into instrumental groups at the high school level. Band affords students an opportunity to improve their skills, to acquire the techniques of ensemble playing, and to perform in concerts, band festivals, homecoming parades, and pep assemblies. 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 digital footprints, programming, physical computing, JavaScript, 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.

 

DRAMA I

 

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.

 

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.

 

 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. 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.

 

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.

 

MIXED CHORUS

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.

LIFE SKILLS 9

The Life Skills department recognizes the importance of promoting the growth of the total individual: physical, intellectual, emotional and social. It provides instruction that will enable students to improve the quality and stability of their lives in an ever-changing society. Life Skills, a career and technical education course, explores a variety of areas such as nutrition and foods, and parenting and child development.

WOODWORKING

Students will participate in a 40 week class that explores both beginner and advanced woodworking techniques.  This class will focus on general shop safety, measuring, tool identification, design features, properties of wood and wood selection, and finishing techniques.  These principals and skills will be addressed by informational text, worksheets, lectures, and demonstrations.  The students will be using both hand woodworking tools and power tools to construct their projects.  Projects include: cutting board, bean bag toss game, side table, and chest or Adirondack chair.  Students will also have the opportunity to design and build a project of their choice.

 

YEARBOOK

This course focuses on the many aspects of yearbook journalism, including photography, layout design, interviewing, writing, editing, and desktop publishing.

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.

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS

 

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.