• Michigan Center High School

    Course Descriptions

  • English Language Arts

     
    English 12

    Students will focus on resume writing, college essays, and real world business writing.  Students will also read several novels to improve reading comprehension and use as the basis of their formal and informal writing.  Students will also give speeches, presentations while incorporating technology to best prepare them for college and the work world.

     

    English 11

    English 11 will focus on reading and writing in preparation for the Michigan Merit Exam and the ACT.  During the first semester, students will primarily read short texts and focus on developing expository and persuasive writing skills.  During the second semester, students will spend one marking period working on a long-term research project, and another marking period reading novels.  Novel choice may vary depending on availability and skill level of students. 

     

    English 10

    Instruction focuses on the High School Content Expectations and Common Core Standards.  The background of the course is America Literature and would include writing process, grammar, short stories, and novels.  Emphasis is centered on reading skills and strategies and writing with structure.

     

    ·         English 9

    Instruction focuses on the High School Content Expectations and Common Core Standards.  Topics covered will include the writing process, grammar, different styles of writing, ACT test preparations, short stories, and novels.  Emphasis is centered on reading skills and strategies and writing with structure.

     

    Honors English 9-11

    Honors English is designed for the stronger academic/motivated student.  It will cover all of the same High School Content Expectations and Common Core Standards but will move at a faster pace, have more reading requirements, etc.  It is expected that students in these classes will have to read at home and/or have homework 3-5 days a week to be successful in the class.  Students should be able to successfully work independently.  In order to enter these classes, students must meet minimum requirements in the following criteria: GPA, reading level, writing level, and academic motivation/responsibility

     

    AP English 12

    AP English is for seniors who are considered to be honor students in reading and writing.  With an advanced curriculum students may take a test at the end of the year with the possibility of earning college credit.  Throughout the year students will be prepped for college entry requirements and college level work in order to make their transition a successful one.  In order to be considered for AP English students must meet minimum requirements in terms of their ELA grade, ACT English score, and a placement AP test that interested students may take near the end of their junior year.

  • Math

    Algebra 1

    This class is a tour through the families of functions; quadratic, exponential, absolute value, rational, linear, and radical.  It is the bridge from the concrete to the abstract study of mathematics. The work load consists of daily assignment, presentations, and assessments. Topics include simplifying expressions, evaluating and solving equations and inequalities, and graphing linear and quadratic functions. Real world applications are presented within the course content and a function's approach is emphasized. Pre requisites are a basic understanding of number sense and graphing

     

    ·        Geometry 

    The goal of this class is to give every student a better understanding of math through step-by-step instructions so they can systematically master and apply skills of algebra, data analysis, problem solving, and geometry in their everyday lives.  This class is taught by exploration, inquiry, lecture, group work, and activities.

    Pre requisites: Algebra 1

     

    ·         Algebra II

    Algebra II is a continuation of the topics covered in Algebra I.  This class will be mainly problem-based, and will focus on the different families of functions (linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, rational, and and continuation of Geometry's introduction to trigonometric functions) and how to work with them.  Students should expect an average of 30-60 minutes of homework a night - sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on their use of class time to complete assignments.  As Algebra II is a continuation of Algebra I, a strong foundation of Algebra I concepts will be very important for success in this class. 

     

    ·         Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry

    The goal of this class is to give every student new and different algebra topics applicable in their rapidly changing data driven, technology rich society.  The curriculum integrates algebra with statistics, data analysis, functions, discrete mathematics, geometry, probability, and trigonometry. Honors credit will be given to those students who successfully complete this class.

     

    ·         Honors Calculus 

    Calculus will be offered as the next step after successful completion of Precalculus/Trigonometry.  This class will be mainly discussion and problem-based, and will focus on limits, derivations and integrals of all the families of functions.  This class is an honors class.  As such, students should expect an average of 45 minutes of homework a night, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on their use of class time to complete assignments.  Calculus will build on students mathematical knowledge from Precalculus/Trigonometry and Algebra II, and a very strong background in these two classes is encouraged to expect success in this class.

     

    ·         Probability and Statistics

    The purpose of the Probability and Statistics Curriculum is to encourage student awareness of the importance of mathematics in the modern world. This course is an introduction to the study of probability, interpretation of data, and fundamental statistical problem solving. The course will cover basic statistical concepts that will prepare the student to take a college-level statistics course in the future. Students will explore and analyze data by observing patterns or the absence of patterns, interpret information from graphical and tabular displays, apply appropriate statistical

    models to infer information from data, and learn to use technology in solving statistical problems.  Students will collect their own data to use throughout several class based projects


    ·        Personal Finance

    This class is designed to teach students everyday math skills such as balancing a checkbook, creating a budget, buying a car or home, personal record keeping and paying taxes. The goal of the course is to enable students to make educated decisions on matters of personal finance. The work load consists of daily assignment, presentations, and assessments. 

     

  • Science
     
    Conceptual Physics

    This class is a year-long science course which covers the basic principles and laws of Physics.  Students will investigate topics through laboratories, activities and projects to discover how the laws of physics control the world around us.  Students will also learn physics topics through notes, discussions, homework, and group work activities.  The goal of this course is to give the students the tools and ability to explain how things that we encounter in our daily lives work.  The first semester investigates the concepts of motion.  This includes topics such as: 1.) How to study motion, 2.) Graphing, describing and measuring motion, 3.) Forces that cause motion, 4.) Projectile Motion, and 5.) Newton’s Laws of Motion.  The second semester investigates the concept of energy.  This includes topics such as: 1.) Transfer of energy, 2.) Electricity, 3.) Magnetism, 4.) Waves, and 5.) Light. 

     

    ·         Biology

    Students will learn about the complex living organisms in the world.  The make-up, process, and results of these processes describe life on earth.  A strong emphasis will be placed on labs and activities in class to support written texts and resources used at home.  Internet connectivity at home is encouraged and technology integration will allow some degree of self-paced learning.  Students will be encouraged to use technology such as cell phones, ipods, ipads, and laptops when applicable.

     

    ·         Chemistry

    In this course, students learn about the basic structure of atoms, the arrangement of the elements on the periodic table, reading and writing chemical formulas, states of matter, energy in reactions, identifying acids and bases, and doing calculations to solve problems. Students will relate what they are studying in class to various lab scenarios and they will find themselves needing to study and practice the concepts learned on a daily basis in order to find success in the class. They will need to have an ability to problem solve, think critically and memorize information.

     

    ·         Honors Chemistry

    Students will learn about Atoms and how they behave and interact with other Atoms.  A strong emphasis in class is placed on labs and activities to support written texts and other sources of information.  You can expect homework on most nights and are expected to be willing to be challenged on a daily basis!  Internet connectivity at home is encouraged and technology integration will allow some degree of self-paced learning.  Students will be encouraged to use technology such as cell phones, ipods, ipads, and laptops when applicable.


    ·         Chemistry and Community

    ChemCom® takes a different approach to the learning of chemistry. Each unit revolves around a societal question. This question creates a need to know chemistry to find a solution. Units: 1) Water: Exploring solutions. 2) Materials: Structure and uses. 3) Air; Chemistry and the atmosphere. 4) Industry: Applying chemical reactions. 5) Atoms: Nuclear interactions.  It is the long term goal of the curriculum to present to the students the need and the skills to acquire technical knowledge to make intelligent decisions for themselves and for the communities in which they belong.  This class is not meant to be a college prep course but will meet MME requirements for a chemistry credit.   

     

    ·         Honors Physics

    Honors Physics is a year-long science course which provides an in-depth investigation of the principles and laws of Physics.  Students will learn how the laws of physics govern the world around us through inquiry-based investigations.  Students will investigate topics through laboratories, activities and projects to develop an understanding in the same manner that scientists do.  Students will also learn physics topics through notes, discussions, homework, and group work activities.  The goal of this course is to give students the tools they need to develop and complete investigations to answer problems they encounter in the physical world.  The first semester investigates the concepts of motion.  This includes topics such as: 1.) How to study motion, 2.) Graphing, describing and measuring motion, 3.) Forces that cause motion, 4.) Projectile Motion, and 5.) Newton’s Laws of Motion.  The second semester investigates the concept of energy.  This includes topics such as: 1.) Transfer of energy, 2.) Electricity, 3.) Magnetism, 4.) Waves, and 5.) Light. 

     

     

  • Social Studies
     
    United States History/Geography

    This course will cover major issues facing the United States from 1870-modern day.  It picks up roughly where 8th grade social studies left off.  The following are course units we cover which follow the Michigan High School Content Expectation guidelines; 6.1 Industrial Revolution, 6.2 Becoming a World Power, 6.3 Progressive Era and Reform, 7.1 Roaring 20’s and Great Depression, 7.2 World War II, 8.1&2 The Cold War, 8.3 Civil Rights Era, 9.1-3 Globalization, Changes in Americas World Role and Policy Debates.  This courses curriculum will be covered using lessons that addressing all learning styles and using various instructional strategies.

     

    ·         Civics

    This class covers a range of government topics including the organization, duties and powers of all levels of nation, state and local governments.  We also cover what it means to be a citizen and how people can be involved in civic activities.  The class is based on discussion, but also has some project based learning. 

     

    ·         Economics

    This class covers both macro and microeconomic topics.  We look at both personal and business activity.  Topics like investing, saving, spending and how government and our economy are intertwined.  We accomplish these through discussion, inquiry and project based learning.  Reading and writing are stressed. 

     

    ·         World History/Geography

    World History is a comprehensive study of historical events from the collapse of classical empires to the present day.  The class incorporates a variety of teaching strategies including: lecture, note taking, read and respond, cooperative learning, hands on activities, research, and project based.  Most work is done in class, but some homework is required.  Tests, graphs, charts, and writing assignments are driven by High School Content Expectations and Michigan Merit Exam.

     

  • Foreign Language 
    Spanish I

    This is an introductory course to the Spanish language. Students will learn basic conversational skills, with special emphasis in the areas of describing people, places, school, pastimes, food and animals. In addition, students will be able to negotiate conversation with strangers in order to give and receive information. Multiple methods of delivery of the language will be used, including print, video, audio and performance both of stories developed in class and simulations of real-world situations. Students will be expected to listen, read, speak, write, utilize technology and interact with their peers and teacher using the Spanish language. Students should expect to have homework three nights a week, though daily reviewing at home is encouraged. Students can expect to have a lot of fun while learning a tremendous amount of Spanish as long as they follow instructions, complete assignments, study, review, and ask questions.

    NO PREREQUISITE

     

    Spanish II

    This second level course is designed for students who desire to further their ability to understand and speak the Spanish language. Students will improve their basic conversational skills and become more proficient in their use of the language. Students will be able to negotiate conversation with strangers in order to give and receive information. Multiple methods of delivery will be used, including print, video, audio and performance both of stories developed in class and simulations of real-world situations. Students will be expected to listen, read, speak, write, utilize technology and interact with their peers and teacher using the Spanish language. Students should expect to have homework three nights a week, though daily reviewing at home is encouraged. During this second year of study, students will work towards mastery in utilizing a variety of verb tenses. Students will continue to develop their skills through weekly mini-cuentos, songs, technology projects, reading and writing assignments, as well as cross-curricular study in history, culture and art.

    SPANISH I REQUIRED

     

    German I- (Intro to German)

    This course will introduce students to the German language and culture, taught by a combination of reading, listening and storytelling. (TPRS- Total Proficiency through Reading and Story-telling). This method of instruction encourages students to write and act out skits as a means to developing fluency.  Authentic German materials will be used as often as possible.  In addition, students will create a culture/creative project (German/Austrian/Swiss) each quarter based on their personal interest.  There is no text book for this class and most assignments are completed during class. Homework is limited to completing class assignments, learning vocabulary and working on projects. Cooperative learning and class participation are a required part of a student’s grade.

      

    German II

    Prerequisite- 2 semesters of Intro to German (German I).

    This course builds on the foundation of basic German skills, to developing fluency in the language. Class instruction is primarily a method called TPRS (Total Proficiency through Reading and Story-Telling). This method of instruction encourages students to write and act out skits as a means to developing fluency.  German II students also will develop more advanced skills in writing and grammar. This course will help prepare students for college level placement tests or travel abroad to German speaking countries.

     

  • Physical Education
     
    Weight Training

    Students will be introduced to the advanced skills of weight training as well as the other elements of fitness (Aerobic Fitness, Muscular Fitness, Plyometrics, and Core Stability,). Students will complete individualized and class workouts based on certain aspects (such as fitness levels and goals). By the completion of this course students will understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle style as well as the knowledge of how to incorporate those benefits into their everyday lives. Students in this class will learn the physical benefits of weight training to the body as well as the mental and social benefits to their lives. This course is only available for students who have passed 9th grade PE and Health (1 Semester/Full Year)

     

    Team Sports

    This elective course is geared towards team sports and is only available for students who have passed 9th grade PE and Health. This class will strictly involve team sports that require students to work cooperatively towards a common goal. Students will also develop key communication skills as well as real world application of working with people you are not familiar with and trying to achieve a common goal. Students will participate in team sports such as Soccer, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, and Hockey (the activities may vary according to availability of facilities and equipment). Assessment will include pre/post sport skills, written knowledge assessments, and ability to work cooperatively. (1 Semester/Full Year)


  • Physical Education Electives
    Health

    The essentials of health will be taught emphasizing individual responsibility for attaining wellness through preventative maintenance. The Michigan Model Health Curriculum is a comprehensive program instructed through a variety of methods designed to educate and prepare our students with the skills necessary to achieve and maintain life long health. Our curriculum includes the following areas: nutrition, emotional and personal health, the risk of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and physical activity. There is also a comprehensive education lesson regarding Sexually Transmitted Diseases, A.I.D.’S, HIV, and the reproductive organs. (1 Semester)

     

    ·         Physical Education

    Physical Education will provide basic introductions to muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular efficiency, flexibility and motor skills by highlighting safe technique and various fitness levels for future exercise classes. Students will work towards achieving or maintaining an appropriate level of fitness that will improve their overall physical health for years to come. Physical fitness levels will be assessed according to the Presidential Fitness Test standards as well as the high school Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC) will be instructed. Students will also expect and emphasize personal and social character trait skills. Evaluations will include pre/post fitness, sport skill, and written knowledge assessments. (1 Semester)

     

  • Visual, Performing and Applied Arts 
     
    High School Choir

    High School Choir is a performance-based class.  Students are required to participate (sing) in daily rehearsals and at all performances.  Grading will be based on individual written and singing grades, proper daily participation and preparation, and performances. 

     

    Senior High Band

    Grade Level: 9-12, elective

    Prerequisite: Junior High Band, director approval

    Senior High Band is a performance ensemble, and a yearlong commitment. 

    Students will develop their musical and organizational skills, develop leadership skills, and improve their interpersonal abilities through teamwork.  Service to the community and the school are part of the band’s responsibilities.  Members are also expected to attend marching band camp in August before the school year, as the band will be marching at all home football games, at the Vandercook Lake Marching Exhibition show, in the homecoming parade, at one indoor concert in October, and in the MC Holiday Parade in November.  Since football games start before the official start of school, we may need to perform at a late August or early September game, depending on the schedule.  If the football team advances in the playoffs again, the band will also perform at those games and that schedule will be made available as it develops. 

    After football season, the Symphonic Band holds formal concerts in December, March, and May, and also takes part in MSBOA District Band Festival in March.  Practicing outside of school is a requirement, and is graded with practice cards as we approach band festival.  Solo and Ensemble competition in February is also an option for all band members.  The band ends the year performing at graduation.  Members are expected to take part in every rehearsal and performance as our success is dependent on each member’s participation.


    Jazz Band
    Grade Level: 9-12, elective

    Jazz Band is a performance ensemble and a yearlong commitment.  Members are expected to take part in every performance as our success is dependent on each member’s participation.  Students will learn the basics of jazz styles, improvisation, song forms, and some basic music theory.  Formal concerts will occur in October, December, March, and May.  We will also perform at jazz festival in January and our cabaret dinner, “Spaghetti and Swing,” will take place in late March.  Home basketball games where the jazz band performs take place between December and February.  Jazz Band may require other occasional time commitments outside of school hours.


    Art I

    Art I is a class recommended for any high school student who is interested in developing skills in the visual arts.  This class consists of an introduction to the basic elements and principles of design through various projects using a variety of mediums.  Students will learn basic art skills including the use of art terms, self-critique and art history that will be expanded on through out the semester to provide the student with a basic knowledge and appreciation of the visual art field.


    Art II

    Prerequisites: 2 Semesters of Art I with at least a B average

    Teacher Recommendation

    Art II is a class recommended for art students interested in improving upon skills learned in Art I.  This class includes units on art history, multicultural art and art styles as well as a concentration on the elements and principles of design. Students will be expected to develop their skill set of various mediums throughout the semester and will be able to write self-reflections of their artwork.  Projects are constructed to further the student’s knowledge and appreciation in the field of visual art.

     


    Art III Prerequisites:  2 Semesters of Art II with at least a B average

    Teacher Recommendation

    Art III is a class recommended for students who have successfully completed two years of art.  This class is for serious art students who possess a strong work ethic and  the creativity to continue in the visual art field.  This class is run similar to a college level studio class.  Students are expected to be active participants in their artwork to create a complete and varied art portfolio.  Art III students will be required to build their portfolio through out the year which will be reviewed at the completion of the class.  Students are required to be active participants in class critiques using appropriate terminology.  This class will provide students with the skills necessary to be successful at the next level


    Media

    Media is a project-based class and produces the school announcements every day of the school year.  Students are required to be in front of (and behind) the camera, write stories for on air production, and learn the editing software to put together larger, research based projects.  Participation and attendance are an extremely important part of the grade a student receives.  Speech, interview, and technical skills will be taught.


    Web Design I

    Web Design 1 takes students through the total process of creating a website. Beginning with an exploration of what makes a good and a bad website, through beginning HTML and some basic Javascript and on to being able to set up and maintain pages for district instructors, the students in this class gain a well-rounded understanding of the web design process.


    Web Design II

     

    Prerequisite:  Web Design I  

     

    Web Design II is considerably more difficult than Web Design I but takes the concept of designing for the web to a totally new level.  Students will choose a project and put the skills learned in Web Design I to work.

    Yearbook

    Yearbook students are responsible for the creation of the high school’s yearbook and also for some basic clerical duties in the library.  Students who take this course MUST have good attendance, be flexible and be available at times after school to take photos.  They must also be creative, fair, organized and reliable.  While there are many benefits to having a say in what goes into the yearbook, there is also a tremendous responsibility to include everyone and obtain photos of every event.  Students are also required to sell advertising to help cover the cost of the yearbook (so the book doesn’t end up considerably more expensive), this counts as one third of their grade.

     

     

  • Miscellaneous Electives 
    Forensics

    Forensics is a semester-long science course which provides an introduction to the study of forensic science.  Students will learn the basics of analyzing crime scenes, deciphering evidence, and solving crimes.  Principles of biology and chemistry will be used throughout the class in analyzing various types of evidence.  Students will learn topics through class discussions, notes, laboratories, group and individual activities and mock investigations.  Topics include crime scene processing, arson, impression evidence, blood, DNA, fingerprints, hair and fiber analysis, and document analysis. 

     

    Psychology

    This class studies the brain, the mind and human behavior.  We will discuss important psychological theories as well as using what we learn to better our own lives.  This class is heavily based on discussion, reading and writing. 

     

    World Studies

    To address uncovered social studies GLCE’s and HSCE’s in a semester long elective course.  In this class various films, songs and online resources will be used to explain significant historical events and make history interesting and relevant to the students involved in the course.  No media will be reused from other core social studies curriculum.  We will select one or two films from each unit to preview in class, then students will research the accuracy of the film.  After using each film there will be a writing assignment.  Students will research accuracy of films and music, write film critiques, write sequels, and write essays proposing solutions or alternate courses of action pertaining to a particular topic. In addition to covering significant historical events this course will also emphasize the importance of current events and important global issues.  It is crucial that students understand that history is being made today.  One class period per week will be dedicated to current events.


    Historical Conflicts

    The history of the world told through war.  The class will focus on important wars, battles, people, events, and weapons that changed the course of the world.  This class will go deeper than our typical history classes by focusing on the causes, effects, and consequences of wars. This is a semester class.

    E-2020 Credit Recovery

    For students in grades 9-12.  E2020 is a web-based educational program that will provide a student with classes in general education and credit recovery.  Lessons are interactive and contain lectures, topic assignments, quizzes, topic tests, a mid-term exam and a final exam.  E2020 classes are used primarily for credit recovery.

    For a list of the E2020 courses offered, please see (Note: not all courses listed are offered at Michigan Center Jr/Sr High): 

    Michigan Virtual University

    For students in grades 9-12. MVU is a web-based educational program that will provide a student advanced placement and general education classes. Lessons are interactive and contain topic assignments, quizzes, topic tests, and a mid-term exam. 

    For a complete list of MVU courses offered, please see:

    Senior Transition

    The class will be getting ready for life after high school.  Students will learn the basics in banking, taxes, life saving, marriage, cooking, college, trade school applications, resumes, vacations planning, personal safety and basic car maintenance.  Will also focus on scholarship and college applications.


    Leadership

    Prerequisite:  Junior or Senior status, complete application, pass criminal background check, in good standing academically and behaviorally and teacher recommendation

    Leadership is a community service based class in which the student will prepare themselves for various leadership roles in the school and community.  The Leadership class partner’s with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jackson County to run a full Learn-and-Serve program right here in Michigan Center.  The student will refine their definition and expectation of leadership through study, practice, and application.  Community service time may be required outside of the regular school day.  Activities include: self-assessments, research, interviews, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring, visiting a care home, running school fundraising events, helping at the elementary schools, as well as various school improvement and community service activities.  Highly motivated students required!

     

     

  • For more information and with questions about the courses offered at Michigan Center Jr/Sr High School, please contact Mrs. Angie Powers, Counselor at 517-764-1440.