Course Descriptions

Academy Prep Rockets

Course Descriptions:  2018-2019

AVID

AVID 7 & AVID 8

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The purpose of this program is to provide support so all of our students have access to rigorous classes that challenge them and prepare them for higher education. The AVID elective is a class that supports this mission by providing specialized tutorials and helping students to develop organizational skills. AVID curriculum is based on WICOR—writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading. Students will participate in lessons designed to teach these learning strategies. They learn how to apply these strategies in their other classes. Here are some of the activities they will participate in:
•Writing: Cornell focused note taking, learning logs, quick writes, reflections,process writing, peer evaluation
•Inquiry: skilled questioning techniques, Costa’s Levels of Thinking, SocraticSeminars, Tutorials (see below), questions that guide research
•Collaboration: Socratic Seminars, Tutorials, Philosophical Chairs, groupactivities and projects, peer editing groups
•Organization: Binders and organizational tools, planners, graphicorganizers, Tutorials, project planning, SMART Goals
•Reading: Deep reading strategies, note-taking, graphic organizers,vocabulary building, summarizing, and reciprocal teaching.

English

English 7 

This course will utilize grade 7 Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. The course will include writing, vocabulary, and literature. It will also incorporate listening and speaking skills. The goal of this course is to prepare students for high school, college, and careers. The Common Core State Standards can be found at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/finalelaccssstandards.pdf

English 8 

English 8 aligns with the common core standards and 21st century skills. The course focuses on interaction with fictional & nonfictional texts, writing skills, speaking skills, and listening skills while utilizing creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. Citing sources, the 5 paragraph essay, descriptive writing, argumentative writing and technology skills are some of the many skills that will be emphasized. The Common Core State Standards can be found at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/finalelaccssstandards.pdf

Gateway to Technology 7 & 8

Gateway To Technology 7 

Gateway to Technology (GTT) is a PLTW® program (visit www.pltw.org ) designed as a pre-engineering course which addresses the interest and energy of junior high students while incorporating national standards in mathematics, science, and technology. It is an activity-oriented program shows students how technology
is used in engineering to solve everyday problems. During the GTT experience, students will gain the skills they need to develop, produce, and use products and services.
The GTT curriculum provides activities-based, project-based, and problem-based learning, a hands-on approach that is exciting and challenging for the student. The curriculum relates technology to students’ daily lives. It promotes communication and collaboration by emphasizing a teamwork approach in the instructional units. This approach utilizes the strengths of each team member to accomplish the goals of the project while offering students learning challenges at all ability levels. Students acquire knowledge and skills in engineering problem solving and explore requirements for careers in engineering.

Gateway to Technology 8

This course is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) following projects from Project Lead the Way, Keystone Science School and my personal collection. We will use demonstrations, labs and projects as much as feasible to promote learning. If students are unable to complete their work when due, they will be taken off the project/build track and have alternate assignments. These alternate assignments will be less rigorous and still teach them about the unit.

Math

Mathematics 7

This course follows the Common Core State Standards adopted by California for 7th grade math. It is designed to develop students computational, problem solving and analytical skills. Areas covered will be ratios proportional relationships, the number system, expression and equations, geometry, statistic and probability. The California Content Standards can be viewed at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/ccssmathstandardaug2013.pdf

Pre-Algebra
Open to grades 7th and 8th

This course is designed to prepare students with basic math and algebra skills for high school Algebra 1 and Geometry. It covers the California Common Core standards for 8th grade. Instruction will include the following: the number system, expression and equations, functions geometry, statistic and probability. The California Content Standards can be viewed at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/ccssmathstandardaug2013.pdf

Algebra 1
Open to grades 7th and 8th
Prerequisite: Placement based on a combination of teacher recommendation, prior grades, and Algebra Placement Test.

Algebra is a full year course devoted to building algebra fundamentals. Emphasis is on building a foundation of proper solving of equations, systems, quadratics, graphing functions, and data analysis and probability. Intertwined in the curriculum is problem solving strategies and logical thinking. Technology will be used to assist with instruction through the Internet, graphing, calculators, and assistance in day-to-day organization of content.
The California Content Standards can be viewed at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/mathstandards.pdf 

Geometry
Open to 8th Grade
Prerequisite: Placement is based on a combination of teacher recommendation, prior grades, and Geometry Placement Test and completed a full year course in Algebra 1.

Geometry is a full year course devoted to building geometric skills and integrating algebra concepts into the solving of problems. The course covers reasoning and proofs, geometric objects and their properties, properties and applications of triangles, polygons, transformations, area, volume, circles, and probability. IPad technology will be used to assist with instruction through the Internet, calculators, and assistance in day to day organization of content. The California Content Standards can be viewed at:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/mathstandards.pdf

Physical Education

Physical Education 7 & 8

Physical education goals for both seventh and eighth grade students are to improve strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, coordination and balance. Students will experience team play by encouraging teamwork, cooperation, and fair play. Through physical education students will develop and encourage good sportsmanship. Skills taught through physical education can be used as foundations for lifetime sports and activities. They will also encourage good health, nutrition, and fitness habits. 7th Grade Focus- Demonstrate mature techniques, in the performance of all skills, demonstrate basic offensive and defensive strategies. 8th Grade focus- Demonstrate basic offensive and defensive skills and strategies in team physical activities. The California State Standards for junior high Physical Education can be viewed at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/pestandards.pdf

Science

Life Science 7

This course is intended as an introduction to Biology (the study of life and living things). We will use demonstrations, labs and projects as much as feasible to promote learning. Since this course is designed using projects and to prepare them for college in only 2 years, students will be expected to read and study textbook on their own time. Prerequisite for doing the labs/activities is that they have completed their note taking responsibilities. Textbook and 5th/6th grade science knowledge will be necessary for tests in addition to processing the material from class. The California State Standards for junior high Physical Science can be viewed at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/sciencestnd.pdf

Physical Science 8 

This course is intended as an introduction to chemistry (study of matter and energy) and physics (study of motion, energy and forces). We will use demonstrations, labs and projects as much as feasible to promote learning. Since this course is designed using projects and to prepare them for college NEXT year, students will be expected to read and study textbook on their own time. Prerequisite for doing the labs/activities is that they have completed their note taking responsibilities. Textbook and 6th/7th grade science knowledge will be necessary for tests in addition to processing the material from class. The California State Standards for junior high Physical Science can be viewed at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/sciencestnd.pdf

Social Studies

World History and Geography 7 

Students in grade seven study the social, cultural, and technological changes that occurred in Europe, Africa, and Asia in the years AD 500 to 1789. After reviewing the ancient world and the ways in which archaeologists and historians uncover the past, students study the history and geography of great civilizations that were developing concurrently throughout the world during medieval and early modern times. They examine the growing economic interaction among civilizations as well as the exchange of ideas, beliefs, technologies, and commodities. They learn about the resulting growth of Enlightenment philosophy and the new examination of the concepts of reason and authority, the natural rights of human beings and the divine right of kings, experimentalism in science, and the dogma of belief. Finally, students assess the political forces let loose by the Enlightenment, particularly the rise of democratic ideas, and they learn about the continuing influence of these ideas in the world today.
This course will utilize grade 7 Common Core State Standards for World History. The Common Core State Standards can be found at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/finalelaccssstandards.pdf

U.S. History and Geography 8

Students in this course study the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America's role in the war. After reviewing the Development of America's democratic institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the Development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. They make connections between the rise of industrialization and contemporary social and economic conditions. The California Content Standards can be viewed at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/histsocscistnd.pdf