Electives

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Elective Course Descriptions, 2016-17

English Language Development (ELD)
6th-8th (year long) Class is predetermined by Home Language Survey and English language development Testing Results
In English Language Development (ELD), students will continue building on their English skills.  Students will work on developing higher level communication skills in English using the language domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  Here they will manipulate the English language that will give the students powerful tools for communication for success in the real world.

Physical Education (PE)
The Physical Education program provides each student with the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive program consisting of skill development, lead up games, team sports, and physical fitness activities. The students receive instruction in rules, skills, and strategies associated with the different sports as well as learning experiences involving physical conditioning activities. The students will also have opportunities to become involved in life-long physical activities through individual sport units. The program promotes the spirit of cooperation, leadership, fair play, and friendly competition. The fee of $20.00 includes PE shirt/shorts. A combination lock will be provided by the school.

SPANISH 1
7th Grade (year-long):
In this year-long class, students will develop their foreign language skills by reading, writing, and speaking in Spanish.  Students will learn Spanish in context by actively listening, participating, acting out stories, and reading in Spanish every day.  This class is a pre-requisite class for Spanish 2 in 8th grade.  Students who already speak Spanish should NOT sign up for this class.

SPANISH 2
8th Grade (year-long):
This is a 2nd year Spanish class for students who have already had at least 1 year of Spanish and who are serious about acquiring the Spanish language.  Students will continue to develop their language skills by reading, writing, and speaking in Spanish 90-100% of the time.  Students will learn Spanish in context by actively listening, participating, acting out stories, and reading in Spanish every day.  We will also cover advanced grammar structures and tenses.  The goal of the class is to prepare students for upper level Spanish classes in high school.  Students who already speak Spanish should NOT sign up for this class.

Visual Arts:
Explore a variety of materials and art techniques during your time in Visual Arts! Students will need to provide a sketchbook and will use this daily for drawing exercises and planning their major projects.  Learning about and incorporating the elements and principles of art into each project will help students think critically about their artwork.  Analyzing professional pieces of art will also be a component of this Visual Arts course.

DRAMA (semester-long class)

7th Grade
Do you get called “melodramatic?” Always being told to quiet down in class? Ever wished you could just be someone else for a while? Then drama is the elective for you! Learn about much more than just acting. This class will also include costumes, scenic design, makeup and special effects, a little history, and lots of improv games! Drama has something for everyone, even if you’re a little nervous to get up there on stage!

Introduction to Theatre (year-long)
7th Grade: (teacher permission required)
Is one semester of Drama just not enough for you?  Then audition for the year-long section of Theatrical Arts, a more in depth class with more opportunities for acting, script writing, set and costume design, makeup and special effects, poster design, and play analysis!  If you really love Drama, this is the class for you!  Teacher permission is required to join this section.

Intermediate Theatre  (year-long)
8th Grade: (teacher permission required)
Is one semester of Drama just not enough for you?  Then audition for the year-long sections of Theatrical Arts, a more in depth class with more opportunities for acting, script writing, set and costume design, makeup and special effects, poster design, and play analysis!  If you really love Drama, this is the class for you!  Teacher permission is required to join this section.

STEM
Semester classes (must be taken together to continue in advanced STEM classes)
Design and Modeling: Students learn basic engineering skills, measuring, dimensioning, the design process and then use 3D software and the 3D printer to design and model:  pegboard toys, custom light switches, cell phone cases and playground equipment.

Automation and Robotics:  Students learn mechanisms, gear ratios, construction techniques and apply the design process to build and program robots that can solve real world problems.

For students that have completed the foundational units DM and AR:

STEM year 2 or 3 semester classes but can also be combined for a year
Medical Detectives: Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.
Flight and Space:  The exciting world of aerospace comes alive through Flight and Space. Students explore the science behind aeronautics and use their knowledge to design, build, and test an airfoil. Custom-built simulation software allows students to experience space travel.

STEM year 2 or 3 Year-long class

Introduction to Computer Science 1 and 2
Studies show that by 2018, 1.4 million job openings will be available for computer specialists. In this unit, students discover the principles of this fast-growing field by focusing on creativity and an iterative design process as they create their own basic apps using MIT App Inventor.

Introduction to Computer Science 2
Students continue to explore the fundamentals of the stimulating career path of computer science. They venture into text programming through Python and, in the final problem, develop an app to crowd source and analyze data on a topic of their interest.

VOCAL MUSIC
7th and 8th Grade CHOIR (year-long):
In Choir, students will be exposed to vocal music from many different time periods, all around the world, and in many different styles.  Students will learn proper vocal techniques, posture, breathing control, voice projection, vowel production, and many other important elements of the human voice.  Students will explore two-part, three-part, and mixed ensemble in a variety of styles including pop, classical, traditional and world music (African, Caribbean, etc.).  Opportunities for public performance and individual student compositions will be available and a strong emphasis on music theory (how music is written) will be present.  7th and 8th Grade Choir class requires a FULL YEAR commitment to the Hill Campus Music Program.

7th Grade PIANO (semester-long)
This standards based course develops the skills necessary for playing piano literature and in reading music notation. Students study various composers and develop discrimination and critical judgment in music that is heard or produced. The course also encourages interest in music from diverse cultures and historical periods. Students will experience opportunities for growth in the understanding of musical elements (rhythm, melody, form, harmony, expressive elements, and style). This course requires a SEMESTER commitment to the Hill Campus Music Program.

7th Grade GUITAR (semester-long):
This standards based course develops the skills necessary for playing guitar literature and in reading music notation. Students study various composers and develop discrimination and critical judgment in music that is heard or produced. The course also encourages interest in music from diverse cultures and historical periods. Students will experience opportunities for growth in the understanding of musical elements (rhythm, melody, form, harmony, expressive elements, and style). This course requires a SEMESTER commitment to the Hill Campus Music Program.

8th Grade GUITAR AND PIANO (Semester-long)
This standards based course develops the skills necessary for playing piano and guitar literature and in reading music notation. Students study various composers and develop discrimination and critical judgment in music that is heard or produced. The course also encourages interest in music from diverse cultures and historical periods. Students will experience opportunities for growth in the understanding of musical elements (rhythm, melody, form, harmony, expressive elements, and style). This course requires a SEMESTER commitment to the Hill Campus Music Program.

8th Grade Music Production (Semester-long)
This course will focus on creating music using computers and other electronics. Students will use industry-standard software to create new music and reimagine existing music, and will learn the basics of electronic music recording. Music from diverse cultures will be studied. Students will experience opportunities for growth in the understanding of the popular music industry and the terminology used by professional artists in the music industry. This course requires a SEMESTER commitment to the Hill Campus Music Program.

BAND 
7th and 8th Grade (year-long): Teacher permission is required.
In band, students will learn about and develop instrumental performance techniques and knowledge of the musical world as they explore many styles of music including pop, traditional band music, classical, and world music (African, Caribbean, etc.).  The course emphasis is on learning to play a wind or percussion instrument, through a variety of band music literature. Students will also learn music theory (how music is written), instrument fundamentals and instrument care, how to create their own music, explore music of other cultures, and develop personal performance etiquette and teamwork skills. Two concerts will be scheduled throughout the year and students will have a field trip opportunity to perform in the community.  There are no guitars in band class.  Band class requires a FULL YEAR commitment to the Hill Campus Music Program.

ORCHESTRA
7th and 8th Grade (year-long): Teacher permission is required.
In orchestra, students will develop performance techniques and knowledge of the musical world including pop, traditional, classical, and world music (African, Caribbean, etc.) as they learn how to play a string instrument. The course emphasis is on learning to play a violin, viola, cello, or bass, (no guitars) through a variety of orchestra music literature. Students will also learn music theory (how music is written), instrument fundamentals and instrument care, how to create their own music, explore music of other cultures, and develop personal performance etiquette and teamwork skills. Two concerts will be scheduled throughout the year and students will have a field trip opportunity to perform in the community. Orchestra class requires a FULL YEAR commitment to the Hill Campus Music Program.

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