Middle School Elective Course Descriptions
  • SEMESTER LONG COURSES

    Physical Education/Fitness

    This course provides students with the opportunity to learn a variety of sports and sports-related movements, as well as fitness concepts. Students are provided an opportunity to continue to improve and explore individual, dual, and team sports with a special focus on life-time sports. Emphasis is placed on active participation and positive social interaction. Instruction is on a group basis and encourages students to work toward personal goals and the fulfillment of their own potential. As students gain competence in a particular skill within the confines of a safe and secure environment, they experience the challenges of competition, which require discipline, responsibility, teamwork, and cooperation.

     

    Health 

    Health will focus on enhancing and strengthening skills in the areas of physical, emotional, and social wellness and using those individual skills in family, school, and community environments. In each grade, the standards ask students to deepen their understanding of ways to set and maintain healthy relationships and continue to investigate healthy eating/living habits, positive communication strategies, effective decision-making, and ways to ensure personal and community safety.

     

    Drawing and Painting

    This semester-long class is designed to give students a wide variety of 2-dimensional art experiences and to help develop self-confidence and creative thinking as well as a better understanding of aesthetics and art appreciation. Students will study and apply basic art principles while creating 2-dimensional art in a variety of drawing (pencil, charcoal, pen and ink) and painting (watercolor, tempera) media. Learning activities are based on art theories, history, subject matter, and styles of art.

     

    Ceramics and Sculpture

    This semester-long class is designed to give students a wide variety of 3-dimensional art experiences and to help develop self-confidence and creative thinking as well as a better understanding of aesthetics and art appreciation. Students will study and apply basic art principles while creating 3-dimensional art in a variety of media (clay, found objects assemblage). Students will learn construction processes and developmental techniques to create three-dimensional artwork. Learning activities are based on art theories, history, subject matter, and styles of art.

     

    Exploring International Languages

    This course is an exploratory class in International Languages. The students will be taught basic communicative phrases and vocabulary and explore the cultures where the language is spoken.

     

    Creative Writing

    Creative Writing is designed to utilize thinking skills while examining the writing process. Students will learn to write critically for a variety of purposes and audiences. There will be an emphasis on composing, from prewriting strategies to the development and organization of ideas. Additional focus will be placed on voice, word choice, and sentence fluency through the use of figurative language and other creative writing techniques. Examples of this may include the use of metaphors, similes, and symbolism. Students will be exposed to various forms of literature and asked to respond imaginatively and inventively.

     

    Publications

    This course will analyze the steps involved in the publishing process and will study various published mediums.  There will be an emphasis on writing skills such as spelling, word usage, grammar, and mechanics. Students will participate in the planning, assembling, writing, editing, and design layout that supports possible school publications such as the yearbook, newspaper, and literary magazine.

     

    Speech and Drama

    This 18-week course is designed to give students the opportunity to explore the dramatic arts. There will be an emphasis on both individual and group performance skills in creative drama and play-acting. Also, there will be exploration into the process of preparing for and delivering monologues, pantomime, improvisation, duet acting, storytelling, and oral interpretation. This course will act as preparation for actual performance and serve as an invitation to students to participate in future speech and drama coursework. Students will be assessed regularly, using a variety of methods, to determine if they are meeting the course expectations.

     

    Logic and Reasoning

    Logic and Reasoning is an 18-week course that will develop advanced thinking and reasoning skills. This course will cover thinking processes related to logic and its application to content standards. Logic is a skill, which not only can be applied to school subjects and interpersonal relationships, but also will continue to be important in college, careers, and life in general.

     

    Science Investigations and Projects

    Using research, inquiry, statistical analysis, and experimentation, students will explore their personal passion areas in science. Students will select and work with a community-based mentor to guide the inquiry process. Based on this inquiry, students will produce written and oral presentations. As students will be working on individual projects, it may be necessary for some materials to be provided by each student.

     

    Problem Solving in Math 

    This course will develop your problem-solving skills as you relate mathematics to the real world. Students will be given the opportunity to work as individuals, as well as with groups. Interesting projects that will involve patterns, data, and geometry will be developed and completed by the students. The class will utilize multiple resources in appropriate areas. Some sample activities may include creating a model structure, studying fractal geometry, creating instruments for data collection, and evaluating representations of such information, as well as other activities generated by students.

     

    Computer Science

    Utilizing a variety of web-based and hands-on tools, students in Computer science will learn the basics of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS programming languages. These opportunities will enhance their problem solving capabilities, and will lead students through the steps necessary to create webpages, smart phone applications, and online games. In subsequent semesters, students will apply their knowledge of these programming languages in the construction of

    3-D objects using advanced, programmable circuit boards. Students may join the Computer Science course in any semester, as all course-work is completed on an independent basis.

     

    Technology Applications

    Basic computer skills and keyboarding with an emphasis on word processing will for the basis for this course.  Students will also learn to use spreadsheets, databases, and drawing and painting programs. 

     

    Robotics

    This course introduces students to the opportunity of selecting and using media and technology tools to access, organize, create, communicate information in order to solve problems and construct new knowledge, products, and systems.  To meet academic and personal needs students will use an information problem-solving process to access, evaluate, apply information from a variety of sources in print, non-print, and electronic formats.  Students will apply technological and information skills to issues of personal and academic interest by demonstrating critical reading, listening, and viewing.

     

    Study Skills

    This course will allow students to develop or reinforce effective study skills including, but not limited to, note taking, informational organization, time management, and test preparation.  Students will complete a study skills inventory to identify their strengths and weaknesses.  This class will also serve as an opportunity to receive extra time and help on their course assignments.

     

    History Projects and Applications

    Historical Projects and Applications samples many eras in history. Students electing to take this course will examine themes in history and create projects reflective of that era. An emphasis on research projects, authentic assessment, and creative models will take precedence over standard examinations. During the course, students will garner an understanding of significant events, topics, people, and diversified cultures that have impacted and shaped the course of human history. Students will be required to learn how to research specific topics, discuss and debate historical world issues, and develop creative projects that reflect gained knowledge of an era or event.

     

    YEAR LONG COURSES:

    Choir

    This choir program is open to all students who wish to study and perform in a variety of vocal music experiences. Choir will stress notes, counting, and music theory. Public performances will occur throughout the year.

     

    Band 

    The band program is open to all students who wish to play a musical instrument or transfer to another instrument. Band will stress notes, counting, and music theory as related to the individual instruments. The band program provides a variety of musical experiences with emphasis on the study and performance of select musical literature representative of a wide range of periods, styles, nationalities, forms, and composers. Public performances will occur periodically throughout the year.

     

    Spanish A

    This course aims to orient the student to the language, customs, and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Students will learn to speak, understand, read, and write basic Spanish. Spanish A is a prerequisite to Eighth Grade Spanish B. Spanish A and Spanish B equal the curriculum of the high school class, Spanish 1.

    Spanish B 

    Emphasis of this full-year course is to continue to orient the student to the language, customs, and culture of the Hispanic world. Students will continue to learn to speak, understand, read, and write elementary Spanish. This course along with the Spanish A equals the curriculum of the high school class Spanish I.