Special Education Course Descriptions

FRESHMEN ENGLISH                           2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 809

This course of study supports students with learning disabilities to develop competence in reading and writing. In this class, students follow the general education English 12 curriculum with modified assignments at a more individualized pace. These smaller classes provide more step-by-step instruction, in-class reading, development of concrete reading skills and some independent reading. Students will practice organization and study skills, break longer assignments into manageable pieces, review ten vocabulary words per unit in class, discuss word attack skills, prepare for the MCAS, and participate appropriately. The core literary selections include "The Odyssey", "Romeo and Juliet", "To Kill a Mockingbird", classic short stories, non-fiction, and poetry. Other reading selections may include "The Chocolate War", "The Street Lawyer", "The House on Mango Street", "When I was Puerto Rican", "The Princess Bride", "Forgotten Fire" and "Witness".


SOPHOMORE ENGLISH                        2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 810

In this class, students follow the general education English 22 curriculum with modified assignments at a more individualized pace. These smaller classes provide more step-by-step instruction in-class reading, development of concrete reading skills, and some independent reading. This course is designed for students who may further their formal education or enter the work force following high school. The program integrates study of literature, vocabulary and writing skills, in practical, personal and academic realms. Composition assignments are developed from the literature, including both classic and modern fiction, poetry, non-fiction and film. Core literatures include "Oedipus Rex", "Ordinary People", "Last Days Of Summer",  "Pobby and Dingan" and "Many Stones", as well as thematically related nonfiction, short stories and poetry. Skills outlined in state curriculum frameworks are built upon to provide a solid foundation of critical thinking skills and preparation for the MCAS. Vocabulary is studied in a sequential program and includes some PSAT preparation. Students will also continue to develop specific writing skills.


JUNIOR ENGLISH                            2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 811

Designed to support students with learning disabilities, this course in American literature is approached thematically and covers major American authors such as Twain, Miller, Steinbeck and Salinger. Some core literary selections include "Death Of A Salesman", "Of Mice and Men", "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", "The Catcher in the Rye", classic short stories, non-fiction and poetry. Students will continue to work on sentence structure that incorporates phrases and varied verb tenses while writing multi-paragraph papers with emphasis on the expository paper. Students are provided a variety of opportunities to expand their vocabulary and refine their overall communication skills.


SENIOR ENGLISH                            2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 812

Designed to support students with learning disabilities, this course approaches literature by genres: short story, novel, drama, poetry, biography/autobiography and film. Some works explored include "Macbeth", "The Canterbury Tales", "Beowulf", "All Souls", "Maus I", "Floating in My Mother's Palm" and "Kindred". Students are provided a variety of opportunities to expand their vocabulary using writing exercises.


ALGEBRA I                                      2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 801

This course places a focus on the key concepts and application as outlined in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks; understanding patterns, relations and functions, represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols, use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships and analyze change in various contexts. Topics covered include: investigating patterns, linear, quadratic and exponential functional relationships, understanding various representations of a line, addition, subtraction and multiplication of polynomials, solutions to quadratic equations, solve equations and inequalities, solving everyday verbal representations of problems. Students will be introduced to basic calculator functions to assist their efforts.


GEOMETRY 07                             2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 803

This course places a focus on the key concepts and applications addressed in Geometry 22 classes. Students will develop skills and strategies to prepare for future mathematical courses, as well as standardized tests. In following the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, topics covered include: the properties and identification of common geometric figures, the calculation of perimeter, circumference and area of common geometric figures, the solution of problems involving angles formed by transversals of coplanar lines, the Pythagorean Theorem, the identification and application of similar and congruent triangles, coordinate geometry, linear equations, the calculation of slope, midpoint, distance and the determination of parallel and/or perpendicular lines. Finally, students will be briefly introduced to the concepts of proofs. The focus of this course is placed on the development of problem solving strategies utilizing the identification and application of each of the aforementioned concepts. Students will utilize calculators when appropriate.


ALGEBRA II                                   2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 830

This course places a focus on the key concepts and applications addressed in Algebra II (32) classes. Students will develop skills and strategies to prepare for future mathematical courses, as well as standardized tests. In following the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, topics covered include: real numbers and integers, sequences and series involving monomials and polynomials, systems of equations and inequalities, radical expressions and exponents, quadratic equations and basic logarithms. The focus is placed on problem solving strategies that can be applied to real world mathematics. Students learn to use a graphing calculator to apply appropriate formulae, sequence and order of operation.


INTEGRATED MATH                         2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 830

This course places a focus on the application of key concepts addressed in Algebra and Geometry classes. Students will develop skills and strategies to prepare for future mathematical courses, as well as standardized tests. In following the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, topics covered include: sequences and series, radical expressions and exponents, quadratic equations, systems of equations and inequalities for both algebra and geometry, identification and application of geometric theorems and proofs, and the use of formulae to solve a variety of mathematical problems. The focus is placed on the problem solving strategies that can be applied to real world mathematics. Students learn to use a graphing calculator to apply appropriate formulae, sequence and order of operation.


PHYSICS 07                                    2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 830

This course is designed for students who may be planning to further their education beyond high school, but who have difficulties with math and/or science classes at the middle or high school level. A focus is placed on the fundamental math skills necessary to interpret data, analyze data and apply their results. Lessons and labs focus on main concepts, with additional information provided in smaller topic worksheets and handouts. Sections will include measurement, motion in one and two dimensions, Newton's Laws of motion, circular motion, momentum and energy, heat, electromagnetism, simple harmonic motion, waves and sound.


LEARNING STRATEGIES                    2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 819

This full year course has been specifically designed for incoming freshmen in order to provide a solid foundation of study strategies and their applications. These study strategies will be incorporated and utilized throughout their high school careers and any future endeavors. Units include: Specific Learning Styles, Time Management, Organizational Strategies, Performance Management, Note Taking and Test Taking Strategies. Students will receive a grade based on their ability to demonstrate specific skills as well as apply them in all curriculum areas.


LEARNING CENTER                             1.25 Credits/Semester
Grades 9-12
Course #s 819CS, 819DB, 819JD, 819MC, 819MM, 819NK

The Learning Center is available to students who have a current Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), and who need academic support and/or positive behavioral supports to compensate for learning differences, and to experience success at Natick High School. Students are placed into Learning Center as outlined in their IEP. They are in general education classes or replacement classes for the remainder of their schedule. Special Education teacher provide review and re-teaching of key concepts in other classes, support for organizational, study and planning skills and strategies, standardized test preparation and monitoring of work completion and comprehension. The goals of Learning Center are to maximize student access to available programs at Natick High School, to assist students in reaching their fullest potential, and to support students in their efforts to effectively transition to post-graduate opportunities, including college, technical schools or career options.


READING 07                                2.5 Credits/Semester
Course # 814

This special education course is designed for students who will benefit from a program that directly and systematically teaches them to fluently and accurately decode. This code-based instruction is very interactive and multisensory. It teaches "total word construction" both encoding and decoding. It is taught within a small-group format.
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