Core Classes

Language Arts

The Language Arts curriculum is based on state standards and engages students in reading, writing, speaking, listening and critical thinking learning experiences that build each learner’s literacy skills. Students will also be learning skills in media information literacy, technology, literacy strategies and life and organizational skills that will be applied in their core and encore courses.

Opportunities for the extension of Language Arts standards are available for all students. Our goal is to provide avenues for students to engage and demonstrate their understanding in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking experiences at a higher level and with greater depth

Supplementary support classes are also available to improve academic reading and writing. These can include focused strategy instruction to support comprehension, vocabulary development, reading fluency, awareness of language patterns and thinking and writing in response to a text.

Math

Pre-Algebra

Students will progress through Power Standards that are a prerequisite for advancing into Algebra. Concepts are introduced to students in this course to reinforce and advance their algebraic skills as 21st Century Learners. Throughout the course, these concepts are practiced, reviewed, and connected to real world situations.

Algebra 1

This class offers a steady progression through Power Standards to deliver content in a manageable way for understanding at every level. Concepts are introduced and developed in this course to reinforce and advance their algebraic skills as 21st Century Learners. Topics include solving linear equations and inequalities, graphing points and lines, finding the slope and y-intercept, working with exponent rules, manipulating polynomials (including FOILing), factoring quadratics and working with the quadratic formula.

Geometry

Prerequisite: successful completion of Algebra I

Topics include understanding the basic concepts of a theorem, conditionals, basic constructions, supplementary and complementary angles, parallel lines and transversals, slopes of perpendicular and parallel lines, applications of right triangles, theorems of 30-60-90 and 45-45-90 triangles, right triangle trigonometry, SOHCAHTOA, properties of similar and congruent triangles, formal triangle proofs, simple and complex two- and three-dimensional figures, transformations of figures and scale drawings.

PLEASE NOTE: Geometry is a full-year high school level course. Upon course completion, the course, grade and credit are permanently placed on the student’s high school transcript, which means the grade is calculated into the student’s cumulative high school grade point average (GPA).

Algebra 2

Prerequisite: successful completion of Geometry

This course covers linear and quadratic equations, exponents, radicals and special functions such as logarithmic and polynomial. Students need a graphing calculator (TI-83+ or similar is required) for function graphing, data analysis, simulation and probability.

PLEASE NOTE: Algebra 2 is a full-year high school level course. Upon course completion, the course, grade and credit are permanently placed on the student’s high school transcript, which means the grade is calculated into the student’s cumulative high school grade point average (GPA).

Secondary Math Scope and Sequence

Math is personalized. Students follow one of these pathways. They may also move between them in order to be challenged or to spend more time mastering concepts.

Pacing is driven by the student as he or she completes course standards. Students will move through the sequence (grades 6-8) as they complete course standards. Proper placement will be monitored and assessed throughout the year with the teacher, parents, administration and the Personalized Learning Coach.

* A minimum score of 3 is needed on the Advanced Placement exam to receive college credit.

Science

Foundations of Physics and Chemistry 6th Grade

Foundations of Physics and Chemistry is a study of the basic concepts of physical science, as well as chemistry.  This course includes learning in the areas of matter and its interactions, motion (forces and interactions), energy, and waves. This course will focus on developing understanding of the scientific practices of creating and using models, planning and conducting investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical/computational thinking, and constructing scientific explanations for things that take place in the physical world.

Introduction to Biology 7th Grade

This course is an introduction to cell biology, genetics, evolution, classification, microbiology, ecology, and the human body. There is a strong emphasis on problem solving, research, experimental design and other skills to mirror the practices of professional scientists.  

Earth and Space Science 8th Grade

Earth and Space Science is a study of geology, meteorology, astronomy, and hydrology (water systems). The course is organized around the concept that science is a body of knowledge as well as an investigative process. Science and engineering skills are emphasized to mirror the practices of engineers and scientists in the fields of earth and space research.

Social Studies

US History 6th Grade

Students will be learning about United States history from the Civil War to the Cold War. Minnesota history, primary source documents and the use of inquiry skills will all be embedded into the curriculum. Students will learn to think like a historian and learn about the events that impacted the United States and the state of Minnesota.

Spanish Immersion US History (at CMSW) 6th Grade

Students will be learning about United States history from the Civil War to the Cold War. Minnesota history, geography, primary and secondary source documents and the use of inquiry skills will all be embedded into the curriculum. Students will learn to think like a historian and learn about the events that impacted America and the state of Minnesota. In this year-long course, students will also further their Spanish language proficiency. More advanced elements of the Spanish language will be used to create and interpret complex expressions of thought in both written and spoken language. With a focus on Spanish literacy and fluency, students will develop biliteracy and bicultural understanding through content. This course is intended as a continuation of the two-way dual language immersion model at La Academia.

Civics 7th Grade

The focus of this course is to promote citizenship through a personal, local, and national lens. Through the incorporation of modern issues, Students will learn real life applications of government and economic issues. The citizenship focus allows students to apply each of the concepts to their lives, promoting a personalized learning environment through all aspects of the curriculum.

Spanish Immersion Civics (at CMSW) 7th Grade

The focus of this course is to promote citizenship through a personal, local, and national lens. Through the incorporation of modern issues, students will learn real life applications of government and economic issues. The citizenship focus allows students to apply each of the concepts to their lives and explore similar concepts through a comparative study of a Spanish speaking country. In this year-long course, students will further develop their Spanish language proficiency. More advanced elements of the Spanish language will be used to create and interpret complex expressions of thought through written and spoken language. With a focus on Spanish literacy and fluency, students will develop biliteracy and bicultural understanding through Social Studies.

Modern Global Studies 8th Grade

Students in Modern Global Studies will explore the human and physical regions of the world using geographic information from a variety of sources. Students will analyze important trends in the modern world through inquiry, project based learning, and participation in discussion on modern issues. Students will analyze political, cultural, and economic influences that shape the contemporary world.

Spanish Immersion Modern Global Studies (at CMSW) 8th Grade

Students in Modern Global Studies will explore the human and physical regions of the world using geographic information from a variety of sources.  Students will analyze important trends in the modern world through inquiry, project based learning, and participation in civic discussion on modern issues.  Students will analyze political, cultural, and economic influences that shape the contemporary world. In this year-long course, students will further develop their Spanish language proficiency. More advanced elements of Spanish language will be used to create and interpret complex expressions of thought through written and spoken language. With a focus on Spanish literacy and fluency, students will develop biliteracy and bicultural understanding through Social Studies.

Encore & Elective Classes

Art

Introduction to Art - 7th Grade Encore

This class will focus on exposing students to multiple studio procedures and practices through several units related to various points of world history and culture. Projects will include a wide array of media and artistic techniques.

In our changing fast-paced world of technology the visual arts have also evolved. The students will receive a brief digital arts experience that focuses on graphic design.. The goal at the end of the semester is for students to have a well-rounded art experience and to have an introduction to the rest of the elective art choices in middle school and beyond.

Studio Art, Animation and Design - 8th Grade Elective

This class will introduce you to the business world of the visual arts.  Commercial arts includes any artwork created to promote the sale or acceptance of products or services.  All of us are around advertising, animation, and digital design every day and often we don’t even notice.  Students will learn the skills necessary to create digital artwork, stop motion films and focus on art creation for a commercial purpose.

There is more to the business world of art than graphic design.  Learner’s will also explore the studio arts while creating projects by hand using traditional materials.  Projects may include: graphic illustration, product design, stop motion, logo design, portraiture, photography, ceramics, and animation.

Weird and Wacky Art - 7th Grade Elective

Find out about many of the fun, crazy, and famous artworks from around the world and throughout history. This is a class for those students who can get into the “believe it or not” of art creation. Projects will include some of your own unusual art using clay, paint, drawing, papier mache, printmaking, and collage.

Computer Technology

Multimedia Mashup - 7th Grade Elective

Gaming, videos, pictures, music, oh my! Interested in technology? Not interested in technology? If you’re interested in having fun and being creative, this class is for you.

Introduction to Computer Science - 8th Grade Encore

The goal of ICS is to excite students about programming and build students’ ability to break apart a problem and persistently build solutions in small steps. Student creativity, collaboration, and an iterative design process are emphasized. Students work with MIT App Inventor to create basic apps that rely on the concepts of event-driven programming, branching and iteration, variables, and abstraction – the building blocks of creating with code. They will also modify apps to exchange data over the Web, culminating in a lesson that creates a crowdsourcing app. Ethical and safe behavior on the Internet is developed alongside an exploration of cyber security concepts. Text-based programming is introduced with HTML and Python®.

FACS – Family and Consumer Science

Family and Consumer Sciences - 6th Grade Encore

Nutritious foods CAN taste great! You will have opportunities to participate in food labs to enhance your culinary skills. What do fun, healthy, and economical meals look like for you? You will also be exploring the world of child development and early literacy. Finally, you will learn how to safely care for and relate to young children.

Food Company Incorporated - 7th Grade Elective

Are you a Foodie? Would you like to compete in a “Cupcake Wars” competition? Then this is the class for you! You and your team will create the ultimate business plan including an advertising campaign and nutrition label. The finale includes “Opening Day” for your food company and invited customers. Smoothies anyone?

Food Science and Global Cuisine - 8th Grade Elective

Food experiments that you can eat; the kitchen becomes a laboratory! Join us as we investigate the chemistry of foods we eat. In addition to studying food science, our global travels will explore how the world eats and lives. Cultural food labs and demonstrations will take your taste buds to a new level. Finally, this course will help you jumpstart your consumer independence.

Music

Band - Elective

Band 6

Prerequisite: Students who already play an instrument and have participated in 5th grade band. Let’s make music! In addition to our large group rehearsals, students receive a weekly group lesson. A wide range of music will be performed, from classical to popular. A variety of performance opportunities exist and concert attendance is required. You will learn the fun of making great music with your friends! This course is a year-long commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

Band 7

Prerequisite: Students who already play an instrument and have participated in Band 6. In addition to our large group rehearsals, students receive a weekly group lesson. A wide range of music will be performed, from classical to popular. A variety of performance opportunities exist and concert attendance is required. You will continue to enjoy the fun of making great music with your peers. This course is a year-long commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

Band 8

Prerequisite: Students who already play an instrument and have participated in Band 7. 8th grade band gives students an opportunity to learn music through a variety of activities. These activities include playing in a concert band, smaller chamber groups and optional extra-curricular groups such as jazz ensemble. Individuals will learn musical characteristics such as tone production, blending and working with others, pitches and rhythms, intonation and listening. Students also receive more individualized instruction through small group lessons. This instruction includes composition, improvisation, music theory and music history. The band performs three required concerts. You will improve your musicianship and continue to enjoy the fun of making great music with your peers. Band is a year-long commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

 

Choir - Elective

Choir 6

Let your voice be heard! Mixed Six is perfect for any sixth grade boy or girl who likes to sing, wants more musical smarts and enjoys making music with friends old and new. You’ll be learning many different kinds of tunes in Mixed Six. Expect to be involved in three required evening concerts during the school year to learn and have fun! This course is a year-long commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

Tenor and Bass Choir 7/8

If you’re a team player and like to have more fun than should be allowed, then join the TB (Tenor and Baritone) Choir 7/8! Being in this choir means you will increase your musical skills, improve your singing, get smart about your voice, and look good doing it! It doesn’t matter if your voice is changed, changing, or unchanged; we’ll find the right music for you! Expect to be involved in three required evening concerts throughout the school year, to learn tons and to have fun! Choir is a year-long commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

Soprano and Alto Choir 7

It’s your time to shine! This choir performs a variety of music from the beautiful, sensitive, and light-hearted to the serious and sophisticated- all designed to improve your singing voice, develop your musical ear, and learn the importance of community. SA Choir 7 is for any soprano or alto who likes to sing; wants to focus on and improve vocal technique, skills, and musical knowledge; and enjoys making music with friends. Expect to be involved in three required evening concerts throughout the school year, to learn tons and to have fun! Choir is a year-long commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

Soprano and Alto Choir 8

It’s your time to shine! This choir performs a variety of music from the beautiful, sensitive, and light-hearted to the serious and sophisticated- all designed to improve your singing voice, develop your musical ear, and learn the importance of community. SA Choir 8 is for any soprano or alto who likes to sing; wants to focus on and improve vocal technique, skills, and musical knowledge; and enjoys making music with friends. Expect to be involved in three required evening concerts throughout the school year, to learn tons and to have fun! Choir is a year-long commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

Orchestra - Elective

Orchestra 6

Orchestra gives students the opportunity to play violin, viola, cello and bass in both small and large groups.
6th graders with or without prior experience with the above-mentioned instruments may register for 6th grade orchestra. We meet on an every other day basis for rehearsal and also have small group lessons. Students have the opportunity to develop musical skills individually as well as work in an ensemble. There are a variety of performance opportunities for the orchestra, including three concerts. There will also be an instrument display night in September for parents to rent or purchase an instrument and other necessary materials. Orchestra is a year-long course commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

Orchestra 7 and 8

Prerequisite: Students with one year prior experience in
or outside the school orchestra program. Orchestra gives students the opportunity to play violin, viola, cello and bass in both small and large groups. We meet on an every other day basis for rehearsal and also have small group lessons. Students have the opportunity to develop musical skills individually as well as work in an ensemble. There are a variety of performance opportunities for the orchestra, including three concerts. There will also be an instrument display night in September for parents to rent or purchase an instrument and other necessary materials. Orchestra is a year-long course commitment and does not allow for schedule changes.

Music and the Image: Production Studio (at CMSW) - Elective

This course will combine the interest areas of video production with music production. In the course of completing various collaborative projects, students will produce original music digitally and traditionally while other students will shoot and edit original footage. Students will then combine their talents into single projects wholly created by them. Some of these projects might include a music video, an advertisement, a jingle, mash-ups and a final biggish project.

Wide World of Music - Elective

Discover music in a way you never thought you would love! In this course, you will be introduced to many areas of music ranging from world drumming to playing the guitar. We will also explore music’s evolution – from classical music to contemporary pop music. We will create, play, reflect, and respond to music; often in unexpected ways!
*Music classes may be mixed grade level and gender based on registrations numbers at specific schools.

Personal Wellness

6th, 7th and 8th Grade - Encore

Students will have the opportunity to participate in physical activity in a variety of settings including individual and team sports, cooperative games and fitness-based activities. Every effort will be made to help each student recognize significant gains in their overall fitness level as they learn sportsmanship, improve self- esteem and have fun engaging in physical activity. In addition, students will engage in health-related curriculum including bullying, decision making, goal setting, first aid, adolescent changes and chemical awareness.

Active! For Life - 8th Grade Elective

Active! For Life is an activity-based course that will allow students to engage in a wide array of topics related to health, physical fitness and the development of a high quality lifestyle. Topics can vary based on facilities but may include: Group Fitness, Strength Training, Kickboxing, Kettlebell, Tabata, Pilates, Yoga, Basic Nutrition and Cardiovascular Training. Students will learn how being physically active affects personal health. Students will learn how to self-assess their fitness levels and eventually create a personal fitness plan for their future. Using some of the latest technology and research, students will develop a basic understanding of the biomechanics of movement and its effect on performance of the human body.

Health - 8th Grade Encore

Students will take one semester of health. The topics in this course will include: Chemical Awareness, First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Stress/ Wellness, Healthy Relationships/Abstinence, SexuallyTransmitted Infections, Sexual Harassment, Body Image, Tolerance and Diversity, Decision Making and Current Health Issues. The curriculum is age appropriate, designed to meet the needs of middle level students, and focuses on real life application.

Lifetime Recreation Activities - 7th Grade Elective

Lifetime Recreation is designed for the individual that seeks participation in activities that emphasize moderate physical activity and social interaction. Topics can vary based on facilities but may include: Team Building and Leadership Concepts, Aquatic Fitness, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Ice Skating, Tennis, Badminton, Ping Pong, Pickle Ball, Frisbee Golf, Golf, Yard Games, and Archery.

Technology Education

Engineering: Transportation Systems - 8th Grade Elective

This course provides learners the opportunity to apply multiple technologies in the areas of transportation. Learners will apply the design process to solve technical challenges and have the opportunity to use several types of hand tools and machines to complete their projects. Projects may include:  Kites, hot air balloons, rockets, planes, CO2 cars, gear cars and hovercrafts.

Engineering: Robotics and Manufacturing - 7th Grade Elective

The Robotics and Manufacturing course allows learners to explore the history, development, and influence of robotics and manufacturing as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Learners use the VEX Robotics® platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms.

This course will also provide learners the opportunity to explore a variety of manufacturing operations in the woodshop.

Engineering: Design and Modeling - 7th Grade Encore

The Design and Modeling course exposes learners to solid modeling as a fundamental component of the Engineering Design Process. Learners will learn and utilize sketching techniques, descriptive geometry as a component of design, measurement and computer modeling. Using design briefs or abstracts, students create models and document their experiences while solving problems. Projects: Computer aided drawing designs which include 3D drawings, working drawings and assembly drawings; Projects may include: Light Box, Air Powered Dragster, balsa wood structures and Gumball Machine.

Technology and Design Thinking - Encore

Technology and Design Thinking (TDT), is a course where the focus is solving problems while encouraging positive risk-taking, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity accompanied by the use of digital tools and applications. Many of the challenges and assessments of the course are centered around using the design thinking process.

World Language

Registration Tips, Reminders and Considerations

  • To receive a diploma from Eastern Carver County Schools, a student must earn 2.0 credits of a world language (through Level 2 of a second language).
  • This fulfills the 2.0 credit world language requirement.
  • A student who starts a world language in middle school would be able to take 5+ years of that language through high school or could study multiple languages.
  • 4-year college admission: Level 2 of a single world language (2.0 credits) is a minimum admission requirement and level 3 may be strongly recommended (students should consult their guidance counselor regarding the acceptance of American Sign Language for college admission).
  • World Languages are a full-year high school level course. Upon course completion, the course, grade and credit are permanently placed on the student’s high school transcript, which means the grade is calculated into the student’s cumulative high school grade point average (GPA).

Which Language?

World languages offered in Eastern Carver County high schools include:

  • American Sign Language
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Considerations for choosing a language include student interest, career plans, cultural awareness, cultural heritage and world travel.

Why Study Spanish?

Spanish language skills can open the door to a variety of cultures and countries where over 250 million people speak the language. Spanish is used throughout the world in places like Spain, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Recent U.S. Census Bureau studies have found that the Latino-American population is growing three times faster than the American population overall, with over 25 million Latinos in the United States. There are over 250,000 people of Latino origin right here in Minnesota. Spoken worldwide, Spanish provides global opportunities for employment with multi-national corporations and professional career advancement. The Spanish language also offers a rich and diverse heritage in literature, art, music, film and the culinary arts.

Level 1 Spanish - Elective

Level 1 Spanish is a year-long introductory course in which students learn about the chosen language and its culture. In this class, students will learn basic vocabulary and grammar. Students will learn to read, listen, write and speak in Spanish. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to create and comprehend simple written and spoken language. Level 1 course instruction is conducted substantially in Spanish and students will be expected to use it. Language use will increase as the course progresses. Students with previous language experience (Native speakers, immersion students, heritage speakers, private/parochial students) considering this course should consult with a counselor to arrange a placement exam.

Level 2 Spanish - Elective

Prerequisite: Level 1 Spanish
Level 2 Spanish is a year-long course in which students continue to learn about the Spanish language and its culture. Building on vocabulary and grammar learned in Level 1, students will increase proficiency in reading, listening, writing and speaking in Spanish. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to understand and communicate in written and spoken Spanish with increased fluency. Level 2 course instruction is conducted substantially in Spanish and students will be expected to use it. Language use will increase as the course progresses. Students with previous language experience (Native speakers, immersion students, heritage speakers, private/parochial students) considering this course should consult with a counselor to arrange a placement exam.

Level 3 Spanish - Elective

Prerequisite: Levels 1 and 2 Spanish
Level 3 Spanish is a year-long course in which students work to further internalize the language and understand its culture, building mastery. We will begin working with the more advanced elements of the Spanish language to create and interpret complex expressions of thought in both written and spoken language. We will concentrate heavily on developing and strengthening reading and writing skills. Level 3 course instruction is conducted almost exclusively in Spanish and students will be expected to use it. Language use will increase as the course progresses. Students with previous language experience (Native speakers, immersion students, heritage speakers, private/parochial students) considering this course should consult with a counselor to arrange a placement exam.

Expresiones 1 (Spanish Immersion in 6th Grade at CMSW)

This course will provide students a continuation of their Spanish academic and social language to improve their bilingual proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening. We will look at students in terms of their full linguistic ability and potential as a bilingual learner and help students find similarities and differences across both English and Spanish.  Course work will be rigorous and interdisciplinary in nature and focus on the study of a variety of current cultural themes and authentic literature present in the global community. This course is intended as a continuation of the two-way dual language immersion model at La Academia. Opportunities will be provided for the development of advanced elements of the Spanish language and literacy skills to meet level 3 World Language standards.

Expresiones 2 (Spanish Immersion in 7th Grade at CMSW)

This course will provide students a continuation of their Spanish academic and social language to improve their bilingual proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening. We will look at students in terms of their full linguistic ability and potential as a bilingual learner and help students find similarities and differences across both English and Spanish.  While the student progresses linguistically and cognitively, the course work and content will adapt.  This course will encompass several cultural themes and examples of authentic literature regarding global communities.  This course is intended as a continuation of Expresiones 1. Opportunities will be provided for the development of advanced elements of the Spanish language and literacy skills to meet level 4 World Language Standards.

Sample Schedules

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8