Course Descriptions and Scheduling
2021-2022 Scheduling Essentials
Mill Creek scheduling for the 2020-2021 school year will be active in PowerSchool soon! Please be sure to schedule your child by March 19, 2021.
- Mill Creek Learning Environments
- Course Registration Instructions
- PowerSchool Single Sign On - Parent Guide
- Seventh Grade Elective Offerings
- Eight Grade Elective Offerings
- Elective Recommendation Form
- Mill Creek Elective/Course Descriptions – Students and parents/guardians should look online at electives ahead of time.
- Scheduling FAQ's
- Mill Creek Special Education Information - Parent Resource
- 8th Grade Scheduling Slideshow (click on "present")
- 8th Grade Scheduling Webinar Recording (3/3/2021)
- Where can I get my PowerSchool login and password? Contact the main office at Creekside (6th Grade) or main office at Mill Creek (7th grade.)
- Do I have to have a recommendation form even for courses I'm listing as alternates? Yes. If the computer plugs in one of the alternate selections, we will check to see that the student has a recommendation to be in the class.
- Where do I turn in the teacher recommendation form? Turn it in to the classroom teachers. They will get it delivered to Mill Creek.
- Are you more likely to get the electives you want if you schedule sooner? No. As long as you submit your electives before the end of the scheduling window (March 19) it doesn't matter when you do it.
- Can a student sign up for first semester only of choir and add the second semester later if they like it? For this class only if students sign up for Mill Creek Singers 1st semester and then decide they'd like to continue, we will allow them to go into 2nd semester choir. HOWEVER, this is a one-way door. Students cannot sign up for the year and then decide to drop choir 2nd semester.
- What grade must a student have to get high school credit for foreign language? For each semester they need to have an 80% overall in the class or pass the semester exam with a 70% or greater.
- I can't think of ten alternates I really want. What should I do? The computer will not accept your submission without the alternates. Students do sometimes get their alternate choices, so it’s important to include ones you will be okay with.
- What if I'm taking music AND foreign language? Do I still have to pick 8 electives? No, but you should still pick ten alternates in case you don't get the foreign language.
- We did our schedule but I wanted to verify that it all went through ok. The best way to check this would be to log in to power school, click on the class registration button, then go to the blue "View Course Requests" link at the top of the page right above the list of required classes. If they aren’t there, you weren’t successful.
- I forgot to print my confirmation page. What should I do? Log in to PowerSchool and go to the scheduling page. At the top of the page in small blue print is a link that says "View Future Course Requests." Clicking that link will give you a page that looks like this. Verify that the courses you selected are there and print that page as your confirmation.
- Why doesn't our confirmation sheet show a math class? All 6th grade (future 7th grade) confirmation sheets should show a math class. 7th graders (future 8th graders) will have their math class assigned at a later date based on placement results.
- What if I changed my mind and want to make some changes in my schedule after I submitted it? As long as it's before the deadline, you can log back in, make whatever changes you want, and resubmit. Changes cannot be made after the registration window is closed.
7th Grade Core Curriculum
Seventh Grade English
In all English classes, students work to improve reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing skills. In the 7th grade, students will read short stories, myths, poems and novels from genres including mystery, realistic fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, and historical fiction. In group discussion about the reading, students learn to listen to and build upon the ideas of others. Learning from each other as they share their understandings of the stories, students explain to one another what in the text led them to those ideas. Through practice and conferencing with teachers, students will improve their ability to write complete sentences, clear paragraphs, improving their grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Writing projects include the friendly letter, memoir, research essay, and short story. A variety of mini-lessons provide focused practice on word study, metacognition, writing conventions, grammar and usage. Students learn how to improve their own writing by revising each other’s work and by learning to read their own work aloud, listening for and repairing their own errors. We strive to see that every student discovers the joy of reading for pleasure or research. ELA Standards
Seventh Grade Social Studies
Students will receive a Geography Alive, Regions and People textbook and an Individual Student Notebook which are required for each class period. Students will use inquiry skills to investigate the unique features of seven world regions. For each region, students will participate in a mapping lab which will deepen student understanding of the region's population, physical features, vegetation, economic resources and climates. Through case studies of geographic issues, students will study the history and culture of each region and its people. Critical thinking questions, maps and graphics will provide the basis for in-depth classroom discussions. Each chapter will end with an exploration of an essential question on a worldwide level.
Seventh Grade Science
Seventh grade science is a core class that covers geology, basic chemistry, ecosystems and environmental science. The course will provide students the opportunity to cooperatively learn while exploring many “hands-on” experiences. The seventh grade science program reflects the philosophy that science is a dynamic process that you must experience to understand. It is our goal that students will see the connections among various scientific disciplines and other curricular areas all while developing an appreciation for science. Science Standards
Seventh Grade Math
7th Grade Math is aligned with the Michigan Common Core State Standards. The curriculum emphasizes problem solving, critical thinking, making connections among mathematical topics and other areas, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, and making sense of problems and persevering in solving them. Course topics include Ratios & Proportions, Rational Number & Integer Operations, Solving Equations & Inequalities, Geometry, Statistics & Probability. Math Standards
7th Grade Enrichment Classes
The seventh grade Adolescent Health course is a required 9-week “enrichment” course. Students are heterogeneously grouped in homeroom sections. Students work toward greater self-awareness and understanding of the physical and emotional changes taking place during adolescence. During the course, they will study family and peer group relationships, have a greater awareness of self-concept, develop better decision-making skills, and learn about the effects of substance abuse. Guest speakers may include our school nurse, liaison officer, school counselor, health professionals and/or high school students. Michigan’s Seventh Grade Health Grade Level Content Expectations.
Career Awareness & Technology
Career Awareness & Technology combines career exploration and technology education in a nine week enrichment class. It is a blended online course that guides students through modules designed to teach them how to use technology while exploring career opportunities. The class is taught in a computer lab as a blended online course – course which blends an actual teacher and student interaction with online resources and collaboration. Michigan’s Educational Technology Standards for Students in Grades 6-8. This course meets the required state high school online requirement.
We will provide an engaging, responsive educational environment that develops knowledgeable, caring, adaptable, lifelong learners who will use their skills learned in Physical Education to influence positively a diverse and rapidly changing world. We would like to instill self-worth that will help students to not only become successful in physical activity but in all other areas of their lives. We would like to help them develop lifelong skills that will guide them to become better people and live successful, healthy lives. Our mission is to help and challenge all children to become physically active and healthy for a lifetime, while enjoying in a variety of fitness activities so that students never feel forced to do it! We wish to create an environment where students enjoy what they are learning, and, at the same time, they are understanding, building, and maintaining physical fitness, gaining sufficient motor skills to perform a variety of physical activities, and acquiring the knowledge to make wise choices about their lifestyle. Not only will we implement a physical education program that challenges the minds and bodies of the students in a positive way, but also for other teachers, administrators, parents, and the entire community to understand, support, and become physically fit and educated. We truly believe that healthy bodies lead to healthy minds. Michigan’s Seventh Grade Physical Education Grade Level Content Expectations.
Spanish or French(students must select a 9 week language program from one of our course offerings below) Focus on Language! Dive into the French or Spanish language and culture with this nine week course. We will learn how to greet people, introduce others, talk about the things we like and don’t like, and much more! This class is an introduction to the French or Spanish language and culture and is an opportunity for students to get a taste of the French 1 or Spanish 1 classes offered to 8th grade students at Mill Creek. Michigan’s World Language Standards and Benchmarks and Michigan’s World Langauge Michigan Merit Curriculum Credit & Experience Guidelines.
Eighth Grade Core Curriculum
Core classes are mandatory courses that meet every other day for 100 minutes. Mill Creek operates on a block schedule.
Eighth Grade English
Eighth Grade American History
The Eighth Grade Social Studies curriculum covers United States History from 1754 to 1898, with a strong focus on 1775 to 1877. Students will use a variety of media to access information from both primary and secondary sources. Critical thinking will be stressed as students analyze the acquired data, draw conclusions and make connections to the present day. Teaching methods will include role-play and simulations, cooperative group work, text-related activities, creative (visual) synthesis exercises and direct instruction. The text for the course is Prentice Hall’s The American Nation, along with TCI’s History Alive! The United States. Michigan’s Eighth Grade Grade Level Social Studies Content Expectations.
Eighth Grade Science
In 8th grade, students study topics in the Physical Sciences. The unifying theme of our work is “Energy Transformations”. One half of the year is devoted to chemistry, and the other half to physics. Activities include many labs, hands-on projects, research projects, and collaborative learning. Units of study include: scientific inquiry and investigation in a lab setting, chemical bonding, molecular motions and phase changes, electricity, forces and motion, sound and light. The content of the course is based on High School Content Expectations (HSCEs) from the high school chemistry and physics courses.
During this course, students focus on developing standards of mathematical practice as well as content mastery. These practices include: making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others. Content focuses on the behavior of linear, quadratic, and exponential functions. Details of Michigan's math content and practice standards are available at Michigan's Department of Education Website(http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/K-12_MI_Math_Standards_REV_470033_7.pdf
During this course, students focus on developing standards of mathematical practice as well as content mastery. These practices include: making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly (proofs) and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others. Content focuses on transformations, congruence, trigonometry, circles, and conic sections. Details of Michigan's math content and practice standards are available at Michigan's Department of Education Website (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/K-12_MI_Math_Standards_REV_470033_7.pdf)
Eighth Grade Enrichment Classes
Mandatory nine-week courses that meet every day. Students in each grade will have four Enrichment classes throughout the year.
In Fine Art Enrichment students will learn basic techniques used to create art, and work with different types of media. Art empowers children to communicate ideas that words and numbers cannot always adequately express. Art provides opportunities to explore other cultures and times, teaching tolerance for others' heritage and belief systems while valuing the individual. Arts encourages multiple responses, respecting that the questions are often as important as the answers. In Art, there are many correct and valid responses. Art teaches flexibility in thinking, a mandate for success in a global society. Art teaches students to continue searching for meaning and understanding. You gotta have ART! Michigan’s K-12 Grade Level Content Expectations for the Arts
The Life Skills program provides students with the opportunity to explore and discuss topics that are important to teens. The curriculum varies from dealing with relationships, social situations, internet safety, nutrition, and risk taking to basic sewing skills. The eighth grade is an important transition year for students. We work on helping them develop the skills to achieve this successfully. Michigan’s Family Consumer Science Benchmarks.
Our mission is to help and challenge all children to become physically active and healthy for a lifetime, while enjoying in a variety of fitness activities so that students never feel forced to do it! We wish to create an environment where students enjoy what they are learning, and, at the same time, they are understanding, building, and maintaining physical fitness, gaining sufficient motor skills to perform a variety of physical activities, and acquiring the knowledge to make wise choices about their lifestyle. Not only will we implement a physical education program that challenges the minds and bodies of the students in a positive way, but also for other teachers, administrators, parents, and the entire community to understand, support, and become physically fit and educated. We truly believe that healthy bodies lead to healthy minds. Michigan’s Eighth Grade Physical Education Grade Level Content Expectations.
Eighth Grade Technology Education is a chance for your child to learn about technology as it relates to the seven different areas of technology: Medical, Information and Communication, Agricultural and Related Biotechnologies, Energy and Power, Transportation, Manufacturing, and Construction Technologies. We discuss the importance of technology on society, as well as giving the students a hands-on opportunity to explore how technology works and impacts their daily lives. We utilize a modular system in which students work cooperatively to complete a unit using the computers. They learn about the history of their module topic, its current impacts on society, as well as learning how to use different types of computer software. Below is a list of the modules that we currently offer at Mill Creek:
- Applied Physics
- Automation & Robotics
- Computer Aided Design
- Computer Graphics
- Controls & Sensors
- Electronic Music
- Engineering & Stress
- Exploratory Electronics
- Environmental Tech.
- Flight Simulation
- Fluid Power
As you can see by the number of different modules that we cover, topics tie into core subject areas such as Science and History. By the end of the nine weeks it is our goal that your student understands the impacts of technology, but also provides them with a little insight into many different areas of technology. Michigan’s Educational Technology Standards for Students in Grades 6-8.
Beginning instruction starts in the fifth grade and classes meet twice per week in like-instrument groups. In the sixth grade, instruction is increased to three times per week. Instrumentation is increased, allowing some students to start studying more advanced instruments like the bassoon and tuba. In grades 7-12, classes meet daily, with a focus on performance activities such as Solo and Ensemble Festival, District and State Band Festival, and several other concerts throughout the year. Seventh and Eighth graders participate in grade level bands at Mill Creek Middle School. Outgoing eighth graders are expected to possess the basic skills necessary to participate in the high school bands. At DHS students participate in one of three bands based on the results of an audition each spring: Varsity Band, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band. Dexter Bands Website
For Dexter Community Schools, orchestral studies begin in the fall of the 5th grade year. Students meet in small classes of like instruments twice a week. The 6th grade year adds an additional day of full ensemble rehearsals. Students in the Mill Creek 7th and 8th grade orchestra electives meet every day for full ensemble rehearses. The middle school years also mark the beginning of symphony orchestra and festival performances. High school orchestra students can choose to join the Dexter High School Concert Orchestra or audition to become a member of the Dexter High School Chamber Orchestra. Dexter Orchestra Website