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Madison Metropolitan School District

Course Descriptions

2023-24 Course Descriptions

Hours 1 - 4 offer 0.5 credit, while our "Learning Labs" offer 1.5 credit.

To view a list of all course descriptions on one page use the link below.

All Semester Course Descriptions

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Advanced Portfolio

In this class students will explore college and career options in the field of art through school visits, guest speakers, and research. Students will specifically research portfolio requirements in a chosen field and then generate a portfolio featuring multiple original works. This will include making the artwork, documenting the artwork, and building a digital website to showcase the artwork. Students will also practice talking about their artwork and hearing feedback in the form of class critique. As a final project students will showcase their portfolio to a panel of art experts in order to receive meaningful feedback.

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Algebra 1

This is semester 1 of a year-long Algebra 1 course. Algebra and Geometry are required for graduation.

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Algebra 2

Algebra 2 is a part of the traditional sequence of math classes set forth by the district. This course is meant for those that are looking to prepare for college and ramping up their personal student expectation to meet a more rigorous college-prep course.

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Anatomy and Physiology

This is an introductory Biology course that will primarily focus on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous, muscular, skeletal, cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory systems. Students will take a fascinating in-depth look at the human body and be expected to engage in a variety of comparative anatomy dissections throughout the quarter.

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Art and the Mind

In this class we will explore the topics of psychology through both scientific and artistic investigation. This will include topics like history of psychology, cognition, development, emotion, personality, perception, art therapy, social, treatment, and abnormal psychology. Students will be exploring the question of how psychology and art plays a role in understanding and expressing who we are? Students will complete multiple projects that will have a social studies component and an artwork component.

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Cell Biology

Cell Biology is a semester science course intended for freshmen/sophomores. The first quarter content focuses on the study of biomolecules and the structure and function of biological cells. The second quarter focuses on cellular processes and begins to lay the foundation of understanding how cells can interact with each other to form organisms. This course is an excellent precursor to Anatomy & Physiology and Genetics.

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Ceramics and Sculpture

In this class students will explore the art form of ceramic and sculpture through artist exploration and artwork generation. Students will learn to engage in the full process a ceramic or sculpture artist goes through from generating ideas, visioning, sculpting a work using handbuilding techniques, and presenting the work to receive feedback. Students will also learn about the rich history of ceramic and sculpture artists in order to find inspiration.

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Chemistry is a year-long for students new to high school science courses. First semester focuses on the structure of atoms and the nature of chemical bonding as well as the main groups of atoms, and the meaning behind the structure of the Periodic Table of the Elements. Second semester examines the fundamentals of organic chemistry, the properties of complex polymers, and the mathematical relationships in chemical reactions and how ideal gasses interact in these reactions. A lot of time is spent on learning about and using basic study skills, developing increasing responsibility and independence, and classroom discussion skills. Credit is earned using the District expectations and assessment occurs via written assessments, in-class work, and completion of laboratory write-ups. This is not an appropriate course series for experienced science students and it is recommended that such students seek alternative science courses offered at other times or by other instructors.

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Coming of Age

What shapes who you are and what you'll become? Are you willing to push yourself physically and mentally to think about life's big questions? This class will explore how our relationship with the natural world, diverse perspectives, and philosophies of those around us shape our current and future selves. This class will use nature and a community of mentors as a tool to explore what aspects of our lives have the most impact on who we become as adults in our next phase of life. Priority for this class will be given to seniors.

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Diversity in Literature

The goal of Diversity in Literature is to explore a variety of writing genres and subject matter, focusing on the various interpretations of the word “diversity.”   Stories that lift up the experience of marginalized groups, underrepresented cultures, and experiences from around the world will be explored. In addition to subject matter, this course will look at diversity in genre, exploring styles of literature often missing from classrooms (ex. horror, bizarro, afrofuturism, fantasy, etc).  Finally, this course will explore the diversity of what it means to be a “literary text” in the 21st century (film? tweets? Tik toks?  We’ll figure it out together!). 

Students who take this course should expect to routinely read independently, discuss with classmates, and engage in written literary analysis of the texts.   

Bottom line: This will be more of a traditional English class format with nontraditional content.

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Diversity of Life

Students in this survey course will learn about the many kinds of things living on Earth with an emphasis on plants and animals. We’ll investigate the features that unite and divide these groups. Several animal and plant dissections are planned. Students will also learn how to use field guides to identify common plants and animals found in Wisconsin.

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In this class students will explore the artistic genre of drawing and the techniques needed to create a successful work of drawing. Students will practice the creative process an artist goes through by looking at both past and present artists for inspiration, sketching and planning out the work, thinking of composition, and utilizing techniques of drawing to make the work feel complete. Students will also practice giving and receiving feedback in order to refine a work of drawing. Students will display multiple works from the course in a gallery show at the end of the semester.

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Earth, Space, and Cycles

This course will be an overview of Earth and space in order to better understand the foundational environmental cycles that create our world and universe as we know it. Students will build basic science skills and understanding while exploring how these fundamental concepts influence big issues and concepts in the world around us.

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In this course students will have the opportunity to learn introductory ecology concepts while engaging in the environmental systems in the world around them first hand. Dig into the foundations of conservation, ecological cycles, and species identification while applying that knowledge through environmentalism: concern about and action aimed at protecting the environment. Students will explore how the complex dynamics of our society including race, politics, and education all tie into environmental issues and advocacy.

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