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Course Descriptions

Elective Course Descriptions

Technology (Middle School)
This course will be an introduction to media, technology and social networking ethics. Since HIS is using a Google based platform for documents and publications, students will become well versed in a number of Google applications. Also, students will become well informed and savvy media consumers, producers and be able to think of future technological trends. We will begin to address the ethics and online behaviors of social media and how these powerful tools should be used and not abused.

Creative Writing (High School)
The high school creative writing will focus on a variety of writing. Students will choose among different genre and styles, including modern media such as podcasts, blogs and underground media (zines and newspapers). A monthly focus will be to contribute articles, photography, or media for the school newspaper, Husky Tracks, and to assist with Yearbook. Students can also expect instruction and time to create their own short stories, poetry, screen or dramatic plays, as well as dabbling in other media related writing, such as commercials or short documentaries/ short films.

Media - Exploring media through the lense of documentation (High School)
Students will dig deep into the documentary tools of photography and video, podcasts, blogs, underground media (zines and newspapers) in order to observe and then broadcast the truth. One aspect of this course assumes responsibility of HIS publications, including The HIS Yearbook. Our class research and discussion on modern media itself will be a discovery of the contemporary manipulations of media for specific purpose. You will be trained to create and decode this social networking content creation and then become its master.

Outdoor Pursuits* (Gr. 9/10)
This course is a great introduction to an active lifestyle and Hokkaido nature. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, the course will be challenging and enriching. The course includes many projects and outdoor trips based on the tenets of experiential education. Final project is constructing your own kayak culminating in paddle down the Ishikari River to the ocean. Excursion fee* and lab component** required.

*Excursion Fee for Outdoor Courses
An excursion fee is necessary for both the Outdoor Pursuits and the Outdoor Leadership courses. The need for an additional fee is to help defray the cost of hiring professional guides and the rental of technical equipment. 2013-2014 excursions that require hired guides & equipment rental: OP HOA Rafting, OL NAC Ducky, OP Ropes, OL Ropes. 2013-2014 excursion fee is ¥5000 per semester.

**Lab Component for Outdoor Courses
Both the Pursuits course and Leadership course have an outdoor lab requirement. Student are required to spend 5 days each semester on excursions. Some of these excursions can be person outdoor trips. For each course, there are two required labs per semester, and one optional lab. In addition, there are numerous AdHOC trips that the student has the option to sign up for.

Outdoor Leadership* (Gr. 11/12)
The soft skills of leadership, invaluable for a 21st century citizen, and the hard skills of outdoor adventure, crucial for enjoying the true Hokkaido, is what the Outdoor Leadership course is offering. Whether you are in the natural environment hiking or white-water rafting, or in the classroom studying communication or human nature, this course is sure to be enriching and rewarding. Excursion fee* and Lab Component** required.

*Excursion Fee for Outdoor Courses
An excursion fee is necessary for both the Outdoor Pursuits and the Outdoor Leadership courses. The need for an additional fee is to help defray the cost of hiring professional guides and the rental of technical equipment. 2013-2014 excursions that require hired guides & equipment rental: OP HOA Rafting, OL NAC Ducky, OP Ropes, OL Ropes. 2013-2014 excursion fee is ¥5000 per semester.

**Lab Component for Outdoor Courses
Both the Pursuits course and Leadership course have an outdoor lab requirement. Student are required to spend 5 days each semester on excursions. Some of these excursions can be person outdoor trips. For each course, there are two required labs per semester, and one optional lab. In addition, there are numerous AdHOC trips that the student has the option to sign up for.

Social Studies - European History* (Gr. 11/12)
In European History, students will cover European history from the 1400s to the present
and students will learn about cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world. While the specific goals of the AP program are to:
(a) gain an understanding of some of the principal themes in European History, (b) an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and (c) an ability to express historical understanding in writing, those taking it at all levels will leave the course with an understanding of how Europe’s history has affected the globe in general. Class format will be a combination of discussion, project-based learning, debates, on-line activities, written responses, test taking and research skills, and present material both creatively and effectively.

*Can be taken at teacher discretion at a Developing, Standard, Honors, or AP level.
AP participants will prepare for the AP European History exam in May:
http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2122.html

Social Studies - Geography* (Gr. 11/12)
Geography is more than just names on a map. In some ways, it’s one of the most important and least understood topics that can connect to every aspect of education. Centered around 5 themes, 1) Location, 2) Place, 3) Human-Environment Interaction, 4) Movement, and 5) Region, we will look at places around the world and attempt to better understand what it’s like there. Class format will be a combination of discussion, project-based learning, debates, on-line activities, written responses, test taking and research skills, and present material both creatively and effectively.

*Can be taken at teacher discretion at a Developing, Standard, Honors, or AP level.
AP participants will prepare for the AP Human Geography exam in May:
http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/8154.html

The difference between an Honors and Standard Social Studies class is the amount of work a student is expected to complete on their own. This could mean the amount of reading, working on class projects or presentations outside of class. It could also involve the level of difficulty of the reading material or the amount of pages written or vocabulary words given. The overall intention of an Honors class is to provide preparation for college level work, whether it's an upper level or AP class. The interest in the subject matter is usually the deciding factor as it's the interest that will motivate a student to want to learn more than the basic overview a Standard class would provide.

AP Physics (Gr. 11/12)
This physics course is for students that have already completed a Physics class and it aims to go into a more in depth understanding of those same topics. This course is a great choice for any students that are interested in studying Physics, or any other of the sciences, at a college level. Some algebra and basic trigonometry are required for the course and some calculus will also be introduced.

AP Chemistry (Gr. 11/12)
This course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. Students will Learn about the fundamental concepts of chemistry such as structure and states of matter, intermolecular forces, reactions, and how to use chemical calculations to solve problems.

Biology (Gr. 11/12)
This biology course introduces students to how organisms work from cellular, behavioral, ecological, hereditary and evolutionary perspectives. Students explore the relevance of biology to better understand their own health and contemporary issues in human society.

Drama
Drama in 2013-14 will focus on European Theater and probably have two major performances. We will have a Shakespeare Festival and a performance in the fall at Prea Hall. We will then work on some smaller monologue units, called Bench, a play about different people who sit on a park bench. In second semester we will work on the whole-school musical again in Prea Hall. Throughout the year, students will have an opportunity to take on a technical role, so students who are interested in sound, lighting, and backstage should also think about Drama. This class is a 6-12 class, but will have specific leadership focus, possibly in directing, for students of grade 11 and 12.

Precalculus
The goal of Precalculus is to develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the power of mathematics to model the real world. Through working on in-depth problems, the conceptual understanding and the technical skill of the student is honed to the highest level. Problems will be attacked numerically, graphically, algebraically, and verbally.

AP Calculus
Calculus is the study of accumulation and rate of change. The ideas that led to calculus were first developed in ancient Greece over 2000 years ago. Our class will study two major concepts of Calculus that were first developed in the late 1600s and have since become essential tools for understanding our world. These concepts, the derivative and the integral, are perhaps most useful in the study of biology, economics, and physics. AP Calculus is equivalent to at least one semester of college calculus.

Choir
HIS Choir will offer students the chance to sing various genres of music such as classic, jazz, pop, musical and world music. The goal in this course is touching peoples' hearts by students' performances. We are looking for students who love singing, dancing and performing.
Prerequisite: Students must be able to sing in decent pitch.

Instrumental Music Class
This class is offered for beginner students to learn basic skills of the saxophone, trumpet and trombone playing. After the students are successful in this course, they may proceed to join the HIS Jazz Band Course. Please note that students must be able to practice at home almost everyday.

Jazz Band
Students who wish to take this course should have at least one year of experience playing a jazz instrument. We need players for 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 1 baritone saxophone, 5 trumpets, 5 trombones, 1 bass guitar, 1 electric guitar and 1 drum set. Audition will be held if there are too many students interested in a particular instrument. As we have a very limited amount of school instruments, students may be asked to purchase their own instrument. Please note that students must be able to practice at home almost everyday.

Keyboard (Maximum 7 students)
Learning keyboard will give you strong fundamentals for music learning. The goal of this course is that students will be be able to play a few music pieces for their pleasure.

We will teach beginners and intermediate leveled keyboard or piano students. In order to take this course, students should have a keyboard or piano at home. If you are going to choose music as a future career or are interested in taking AP music theory, you are strongly recommended to take this course. Please note that students should have either acoustic piano or electric piano with 88 keys. Students will be asked to practice at home almost everyday.

AP/ Music Theory 1 (High School)
This is a combined class of the Music 1 course and the AP music theory course. Music Theory 1 course will explore fundamental music theory, sight-singing, and music dictation. Students who wish to take the AP music theory in future must take this course.

In the AP Music theory course, we will be furthering study from Music 1. If you are interested, please contact Mr. Sugino before you sign up.

Physical Education (Gr. 11/12)
This course will have three main objectives as outlined below.

‘ Active for Life’

  • Learning lifelong physical activity and participation in sports.
  • The students are re-directed from competition to lifelong activities.
  • Emphasis on the management side of sports such as

(but not limited to) refereeing, coaching, and analyzing.

‘Sports Science’

  • Students learn basics of the following areas:
  1. Sports Psychology.
  2. Athletic Training.
  3. First Aid and CPR.
  4. Biomechanics.

‘Leadership Skills’

  • Students are given opportunities to develop leadership skills. Each student is expected to plan and lead the class three to four times a year.
  • Presentation and communication skills are reviewed throughout the year.
  • Students are expected to assist the elementary sporting programs.

* Those who strive for excellence in their chosen sports can utilize the sport science and athletic training sessions to learn how to optimize their performance.

AP Japanese
This course is designed to be compatible with college/university Japanese courses that represent the point at which students complete approximately 300 hours of college-level class work. Students who have completed Mirai 3 would be a candidate to take this course.

Japanese (Intro. - Mid Intermediate)
This is a multi-leveled class in which students work on different textbooks and units according to their own proficiency levels. Due to the unique setting of the class, self-discipline is required of each student in order for the class to function and for students to make steady progress efficiently. Students practice to improve all four language skills; reading, writing, speaking, and listening in communicative formats.

Japanese (High Intermediate - distinguished)
This class helps students to enhance the skills to communicate effectively in Japanese language. Enriching vocabulary is the major focus of the course while the mechanics is disciplined only in formal writing practices. The class will cover the social studies area for better understanding of the background of the language. Tasks and assessments are differentiated according to the proficiency level.

Spanish
The students study Spanish with a section of language input, this give students opportunities to comprehend new language before producing it. The students visualize presentation of vocabulary in context and reading providing wide range of comprehensible input of new language.

The students need extensive practice in using their new language to create and convey their own messages. New vocabulary and grammar are first practiced in skill-getting activities that provide concrete practice. This basic practice helps to develop accuracy in using the language and prepares students to transition into more communication tasks.

Vocabulary-grammar-culture are rooted in a context and used meaningfully. Students engage in communicative tasks that are relevant to their lives. Students work with reading, photography, and art that are authentic to the Spanish speaking world. As well as making projects to enrich their strategies of learning.

Art (Gr. 9/10) - Class Title: Expressive mark making through mimicry, study and rejection.
This class is for those artists who are afraid of making mistakes and who might want to challenge the normal methods of how they think about and practice their art. Each student will choose five artist and then begin a deep mimicry, study and ultimately a rejection of the styles, thoughts and process of the chosen artists. This class will serve as a gateway into understanding who you are and your place within the greater world through art. Creative expression and authentic ideas are the most valuable skill you can develop. This class will be your beginning point to the full comprehension into that process. We will use various techniques: painting, drawing, collage, monotype printing and presentation. Plan on creating both large and small pieces.

Art (Gr. 11/12) - Class Title: What happens if I...?
Don’t use paper as the base for my art? This class will explore applied two-dimensional crafts including embroidery, knitting and appliqué, bound fabric resist (tie dye), fabric painting, painting/drawing on plexiglass, block printing, embossing and bookmaking. The second semester may include three-dimensional craft forms such weaving, basketry, folk art sculpture, mosaics and green ware clay. Both sections will introduce students to historical, cultural, and contemporary craft movements. Students will gain an understanding of the Elements and Principles of a well-designed work of art while gaining practice and skill in technique and materials. Students will create a digital portfolio of the work that is created throughout each semester for the final exams. There will be supplemental work outside of class that is expected of each student.

AP/Honors Studio Art
The AP Studio Art portfolios are designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. AP Studio Art is not based on a written examination; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year. This will be one of the best classes of your life.

The AP Program possibly offers three portfolios: Drawing, 2-D Design, and 3-D Design. The portfolios share a basic, three-section structure, which requires the student to show a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual concerns (and methods). Each of the portfolios asks the student to demonstrate a depth of investigation and process of discovery through the Concentration section (Section II). In the Breadth section (Section III), the student is asked to demonstrate a serious grounding in visual principles and material techniques. The Quality section (Section I) permits the student to select the works that best exhibit a synthesis of form, technique, and content.

Below are the portfolio requirements for AP Studio Art:

  Drawing 2-D Design 3-D Design
Section I: Quality Five actual drawings; 
maximum size is
18" x 24"
Five actual works;
maximum size is
18" x 24"
Five works; 
two images of each one are submitted
Section II: Concentration 12 images;
some may be details
12 images;
some may be details
12 images;
some may be second views
Section III: Breadth 12 works;
one image of each is submitted
12 works;
one image of each is submitted
Eight works;
two images of each are submitted

Non Elective Courses (Honors/AP Information)

European Literature – Honors & AP (Gr. 11/12)
Running parallel with the standard European Literature class, this survey course moves quicker and continues to explore literary criticism. Simultaneously, it prepares you for the AP Literature exam by focusing on literary terminology, close reading and advanced essay skills.
It is important to note that if you choose the AP option, you are REQUIRED to take the exam.

Language Arts - Literature* ( Gr. 9/10 )
This course is skills based to ensure proper development of grammar, vocabulary, writing and reading within the context of Modern World Literature.
*If you choose Honors there will be additional readings, extended writing and an introduction to literary criticism.

Social Studies - World History* (Gr. 9/10)
World History picks up where Ancient Civilizations left off. We will continue to look at places in history that have affected the present-day. Beginning with the early 1400s, we will examine influential cultures of the present. The AP World History course content is structured around the investigation of five course themes and 19 key concepts in six different chronological periods, from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present.

Course Themes:

  1. Interaction Between Humans and the Environment
  2. Development and Interaction of Cultures
  3. State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict
  4. Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of Economic Systems
  5. Development and Transformation of Social Structures

Class format will be a combination of discussion, project-based learning, debates, on-line activities, written responses, test taking and research skills, and present material both creatively and effectively.

*Can be taken at teacher discretion at a Developing, Standard, Honors, or AP level.
AP participants will prepare for the AP World History exam in May:
http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/4484.html

Environmental Science (Gr. 9/10)
This is a science course designed to investigate the role of humans in their environment. Students develop a knowledge base about their biological and physical environment. This information leads to exploration of human dependence on, technological control over, and interactions with the environment. Emphasis is placed on sustaining resources and making informed choices concerning environmental issues.

Geometry/Trigonometry (Gr. 9)
Semester 1: Geometry with emphasis on logical thinking through proof development. Angle relationships, perpendicular and parallel lines, congruent and similar polygons make up the bulk of the content.
Semester 2: Trigonometry is the exploration of how the world is modeled using periodic functions. Right triangle relationships and vectors are also developed as tools to solve complex problems.
NOTE: Graphing Calculator is required for this course. Recommended model is TI-84 (~¥14,000).

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