8th Grade Curriculum

 

UTICA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS JUNIOR HIGH

8th GRADE COURSE DESCRIPTION 2019-2020


COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 8th GRADE

Full Year = 2 Semesters = 1 Credit 

1/ 2 Year = 1 Semester = 1/ 2 Credit

REQUIRED COURSES

ENGLISH 8 Full Year 1 Credit

Eighth grade English teaches and reinforces listening, speaking, writing and reading skills. The study of grammar, along with literature, editing skills, and vocabulary are taught as part of the writing process. Students develop reading skills through a study of drama, poetry, short story and the novel.

ACCELERATED ENGLISH 8 Full Year 1 Credit

Accelerated English covers the standard curriculum of English 8. The class will also address certain areas to meet the special needs of these students such as leadership, college preparation, community outreach and academic achievement. Students are expected to be independent and self-directed learners.

U.S. HISTORY 8 Full Year 1 Credit

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 Students also examine major historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.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 Full Year 1 Credit

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.

MATH 8 Full Year 1 Credit

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 calculator usage in the applications of mathematics.

ALGEBRA I Full Year 1 Credit

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, scatterplots and approximation, and exponential growth and decay. Completion of this course with a 70% or better fulfills 1 credit of a mathematics graduation requirement, but the grade will not be counted in the student’s high school GPA.

ACCELERATED GEOMETRY Full Year 1 Credit

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 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 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.

SCIENCE 8 Full Year 1 Credit

This is an exploratory course that covers basic laboratory and measuring techniques, basic chemical principles, 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.

 

ELECTIVE COURSES

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY Full Year 1 Credit 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.

BAND Full Year 1 Credit

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 Full Year 1 Credit

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. This class may contain a combination of 8th and 9th grade students. This is a first-year foreign language high school class. The level II class must be taken in consecutive years with level I course to meet graduation requirements. Utica Community Schools will award High School credit to 7th and 8th grade students that demonstrate mastery in a World Language course. In order to prove mastery, students must earn a score of 70% or higher on the semester exam. These elevated expectations meet State-level mandates.

GERMAN I Full Year 1 Credit

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. This class may contain a combination of 8th and 9th grade students. This is a first-year foreign language high school class. The level II class must be taken in consecutive years with level I course to meet graduation requirements. Utica Community Schools will award High School credit to 7th and 8th grade students that demonstrate mastery in a World Language course. In order to prove mastery, students must earn a score of 70% or higher on the semester exam. These elevated expectations meet State-level mandates.

SPANISH I Full Year 1 Credit

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 film, the student is made aware of the Hispanic lifestyle and customs. This class may contain a combination of 8th and 9th grade students. This is a first-year foreign language high school class. The level II class must be taken in consecutive years with level I course to meet graduation requirements. Utica Community Schools will award High School credit to 7th and 8th grade students that demonstrate mastery in a World Language course. In order to prove mastery, students must earn a score of 70% or higher on the semester exam. These elevated expectations meet State-level mandates.

YEARBOOK Full Year 1 Credit

This course focuses on the many aspects of yearbook journalism, including photography, layout design, interviewing, writing, editing, and desktop publishing. Current English teacher signature on the course selection sheet is required for recommendation into this course. A limited number of seats are available for this course.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERIES I 1 Semester ½ Credit Computer Science Discoveries 1 is a one semester 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, intellectual property, programming, JavaScript and HTML/CSS. Students are empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with Computer Science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Computer Science Discoveries 1 will explore the problem-solving process and the different ways humans and computers solve problems, discover the languages powering the web by building websites in HTML and CSS using Web Lab, and learn the foundational programming languages by building interactive animations and games in JavaScript using Game Lab. Implementation of this course will create a natural pathway for students to enroll in high school computer science courses.

COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERIES II 1 Semester ½ Credit

Pre-Requisite: Computer Science Discoveries I

Students are empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with Computer Science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Computer Science Discoveries 2 is a continuation of Computer Science Discoveries 1 and will follow the design process to identify and empathize with problems faced by a target audience by prototyping an app using App Lab. Students will develop binary representations of different kinds of information. They will collect, analyze, visualize, and make automated decisions using data. Finally, students will explore the relationship between hardware and software while building interactive projects using Adafruit’s Circuit Playground. Implementation of this course will create a natural pathway for students to enroll in high school computer science courses.

DRAMA 7/8 1 Semester ½ Credit

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 communications skills draw on the students’ resourcefulness and help build self-confidence.

ELEMENTS OF MUSIC 1 Semester ½ credit

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.

EXPLORATORY DESIGN & ENGINEERING 1 Semester ½ Credit 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.

EXPLORATORY DESIGN & ENGINEERING II 1 Semester ½ Credit

Exploratory Design and Engineering II will be a project-based course 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). The course will encourage students to seriously consider the CTE and STEM options that exist in high school.

EXPLORATORY LANGUAGE* 1 Semester ½ Credit

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 includes related study of the various cultures.

*This semester course is available only for those students who did not take it in the 7th grade.

INTRODUCTION TO ART 1 Semester ½ Credit

This entry level semester course is designed for students to learn the elements and principles of art and design. Students will explore but not be limited to drawing, sculpture, color theory, painting, composition and design. Students will learn about art history and art in the context of our ever-changing world.

INTRODUCTION TO DRAWING AND DESIGN 1 Semester ½ Credit

This course provides students with an environment to explore the elements of art and principles of design through various media. Students will explore styles and concepts of current and historic artists while discovering their own identity. This course is recommended for students who have a desire to learn and improve upon their two-dimensional art skills. Two-dimensional exploration includes drawing and painting. Beginners as well as the more advanced will benefit from this course.

INTRODUCTION TO PHOTO AND FILM 1 Semester ½ Credit

This course is an in-depth study of digital photography and digital video/editing concepts. During the course students will address a variety of issues and demands that prepare students for ongoing 21st Century Skills using Digital Technology. Students will be asked to demonstrate their understanding of the digital technologies through the use of digital camera, digital video, and computers for digital editing of both the photographs and videos.

LIFE SKILLS 1 Semester ½ Credit

Life Skills promotes a positive self-esteem to guide students toward effective living. Students will explore career pathways, goal setting, success skills and develop a presentation to be shared in a tradeshow format. This course includes academic links and study skills. Student success is enhanced through the use of hands-on projects and cooperative learning experiences. This semester course is available only for those students who did not take it in the 7th grade.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION 8 1 Semester ½ Credit

In this exploratory program, students become acquainted with activities which include floor hockey, flag football, volleyball, basketball, badminton, softball, track, soccer and many other facets of physical education that lead to lifelong leisure activities.

VOCAL MUSIC 1 Semester ½ Credit

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.

WOOD 8 1 Semester ½ Credit

This is a co-educational course designed to teach the principles of safety in the woodshop and the basic skills of woodworking with hand tools. These principles and skills are addressed through informational text, worksheets, lectures, and demonstrations. This course incorporates the use of mathematical skills and measurement skills. Woodshop requires proper attire.