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Middle School Encore Course Descriptions

Sixth Grade Encore Courses

Quarter Courses (9 Weeks)

Art I

Students will focus on developing skills which include drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and collage. They will have the opportunity to experiment and refine skills using a variety of art media. Elements and principles of design will be emphasized in each project.

6th Grade PLTW - Design and Modeling (DM)PLTW1006(9 weeks)

In this course, students begin to recognize the value of an engineering notebook to document and capture their ideas. They are introduced to and use the design process to solve problems and understand the influence that creative and innovative design has on our lives. Students use industry standard 3D modeling software to create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their creative solutions. (A small lab fee is required.)

6th Grade Family & Consumer Science (FACS) Exploration(9 weeks)

This exploratory course introduces students to the Family and Consumer Science curriculum. The areas of concentration include nutrition, culinary procedures, and textile design. Students will engage in hands-on culinary and textile lab experiences, product design, and collaborative activities. An introduction to novice business skills such as promotion and determining product cost will also be integrated. (A lab fee is required.)

6th Grade General Music

Students will take a musical journey through different time periods and cultures via listening, composing, and performing. Students will also develop written and verbal skills to analyze music to become life-long consumers of this indispensable art form.

Foreign Language Experience (FLEX)

This course is an introduction to Chinese, German, French, and Spanish. It includes culture, geography, and the mastery of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. Some of the areas covered by the course include greetings, classroom, objects, commands, numbers, foods, time, colors, weather, seasons, months and days of the week. The purpose of this course is to expose students to languages that they might want to take in middle or high school.

Study Skills

The content of this course will focus on six different skill areas that fall within the vast context of Study Skills. These areas include organization, time management/personal responsibility, active listening, note taking/summarizing, test-taking skills, and goal setting. Students will participate in a variety of activities in order to strengthen their skills in each of these areas of focus and learn to apply these skills to their work in other courses.

Semester Courses (18 Weeks)

Essential Technology INST0600 (Required)

This course will focus on developing 21st Century Skills by incorporating technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students will be able to select and use district provided applications effectively and productively. Throughout the course, students will demonstrate creative thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. Course activities provide a pathway for students to assess and apply new technical knowledge. This is a one semester required course in the Middle School Instructional Technology Department.

Creative Technology INST0601 (required)

This course prepares students to use computer technology in an effective and creative manner. Students expand knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, online collaboration tools, presentations, communication, web tools, and digital media software. Students will explore digital photography, illustration, video editing, audio recording, and mobile device applications. Students establish what it means to be a good digital citizen and how to use technology creatively. Students apply skills and knowledge to real life problems to communicate ideas through quality products. This is a one semester required course in the Middle School Instructional Technology Department.

Year Long Courses (36 Weeks)

6th Grade Physical Education (27 weeks) & Health (9 weeks) (Both are Required)

Physical Education plays a major role in a student’s overall educational experience. All students are required to participate in Physical Education for 3 quarters (27 weeks). The program focuses on building a foundation for life-long learning through physical activity, fitness, wellness, and team building. These components provide an opportunity for the development of each student’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. Students will also participate in 6th Grade Health for 1 quarter (9 weeks). Health covers the different aspects of physical, mental and social health, and how these aspects affect each persons overall well being. Some areas covered include Healthy Relationships, Disease, ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs), Injury Prevention and Reproductive Wellness.

6th Grade Band

Sixth grade band is for students who have completed band during their fifth grade year. Any student who has not completed fifth grade band in District 204 must have approval from the director before enrolling in band. The class meets daily and performs approximately five times each year. Special activities are scheduled throughout the school year. In addition to the daily band rehearsal, technique classes are scheduled on a rotational basis allowing for small group instruction to improve individual instrument performance techniques. Band students will be scheduled into a technique class once per week in lieu of another class on their schedule. The rotation will ensure that no subject is missed more than once every four weeks.  Students enrolled in band may also audition to participate in Jazz Ensemble and Wind Ensemble that meet before school.

6th Grade Chorus

In sixth grade chorus, the singers study a variety of music from different styles and cultures. Through classroom activities and performance, these students further develop their knowledge of the elements of music, proper vocal technique, and music reading skills. Students will sing a wide variety of quality choral music and will participate in at least four performances a year. If you were not enrolled in chorus as a 5th grade student, please contact a faculty member of the Choral Department before completing the attached form.

6th Grade Orchestra

Any student who has completed orchestra during their fifth grade year is encouraged to continue their music education by enrolling in sixth grade orchestra. Any student who has not completed fifth grade orchestra in District 204 must have approval from the teacher before enrolling in sixth grade orchestra. The class meets daily and performs at least four concerts during the school year. In addition to daily orchestra class, technique classes (pull-out lessons) are scheduled on a rotational basis allowing for small group instruction to improve individual instrument performance techniques. Students will be scheduled into a technique class once per week in lieu of another class on their schedule. The rotation ensures that no subject is missed more than once every four weeks. Students enrolled in orchestra may also audition to participate in an advanced honors orchestra that meets before school. Students also may choose to take part in contests, festivals, and/or a before school fiddle group. Additional special activities are scheduled throughout the school year.

Seventh Grade Encore Courses

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Quarter Courses (9 Weeks)*

Art I*

Students will focus on developing skills which include drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and collage. They will have the opportunity to experiment and refine skills using a variety of art media. Elements and principles of design will be emphasized in each project.

Study Skills*

The content of this course will focus on six different skill areas that fall within the vast context of Study Skills. These areas include organization, time management/personal responsibility, active listening, note taking/summarizing, test-taking skills, and goal setting. Students will participate in a variety of activities in order to strengthen skills in each of these areas of focus and learn to apply these skills to their work in other courses.

 * - These courses are offered at the 7th grade level for those students in Band, Chorus, or Orchestra who did not have the opportunity to take them as 6th grade students.

Semester Courses (18 Weeks)

Art II

This class is a continuation of Art I, building on skills and concepts. Exploration of different mediums and art techniques occur while creating two-dimensional and three-dimensional art products. Hands-on activities provide students an opportunity to practice creative and critical problem-solving.

7th Grade PLTW - Automation Robotics (AR) PLTW1007 (Semester)

Students will trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation and computer control systems. Students use a robust robotics platform to design, build, and program a solution to solve an existing problem. (A small lab fee is required.)

Creative Technology INST0700 (Required)

Note that some students will complete this requirement during sixth grade.

This course prepares students to use computer technology in an effective and creative manner. Students expand knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, online collaboration tools, presentations, communication, web tools, and digital media software. Students will explore digital photography, illustration, video editing, audio recording, and mobile device applications. Students establish what it means to be a good digital citizen and how to use technology creatively. Students apply skills and knowledge to real life problems to communicate ideas through quality products. This is a one semester required course in the Middle School Instructional Technology Department.

7th Grade - Family & Consumer Science (FACS)(Semester)

FACS is an engaging, semester-long course that teaches students how to be more self-sufficient in the areas of sewing and foods. Students work independently in the sewing lab to create hand and machine sewn projects. Students use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to make smart food decisions and then put that nutrition knowledge to work while participating in a variety of cooperative food preparation labs based on the meals of the day. (A small lab fee is required.)

World Music: Culture Jam

Culture Jam is a hands-on exploration of current music from around the world. Students will create, perform, and experience music using a variety of instruments and technology.

Year Long Courses (36 Weeks)

7th Grade Physical Education (27 weeks) & Health (9 weeks) (Both are Required)
Physical Education plays a major role in a student’s overall educational experience. All students are required to participate in Physical Education for 3 quarters (27 weeks). The program focuses on building a foundation for life-long learning through physical activity, fitness, wellness, and team building. These components provide an opportunity for the development of each student’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. Students will also participate in 7th Grade Health for 1 quarter (9 weeks). Health covers the different aspects of physical, mental and social health, and how the aspects affect each persons overall well being. Some areas covered include Healthy Relationships, Emotional Empowerment, ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs), Injury Prevention and Reproductive Wellness. The subject of STIs and AIDS will be reviewed during Reproductive Wellness.

Foreign Language

These courses are designed as a two year course to be started in 7th grade and then completed during 8th grade.   

  • French I introduces the student to practical vocabulary and basic grammatical structures that will enable him or her to communicate in simple French. The course focuses on speaking, listening, reading, and writing, as well as various aspects of French culture. Oral communication is stressed.
  • Spanish I is designed to train the student to understand, speak, read, and write basic Spanish, as well as presenting a cultural background of the Spanish-speaking people. Oral communication is stressed.

7th Grade Band

Seventh grade band is for students who have completed band through the sixth grade. Any student who has not completed sixth grade band in District 204 must have approval from the director before enrolling in band. The class meets daily and performs approximately five times each year. Special activities are scheduled throughout the school year. In addition to the daily band rehearsal, technique classes are scheduled on a rotational basis allowing for small group instruction to improve individual instrument performance techniques. Band students will be scheduled into a technique class once per week in lieu of another class on their schedule. The rotation will ensure that no subject is missed more than once every four weeks. Students enrolled in band may also audition to participate in Jazz Ensemble and Wind Ensemble that meet before school.

7th Grade Chorus

In seventh grade chorus, the singers study a variety of music from different styles and cultures. Through classroom activities and performance, these students further develop their knowledge of the elements of music, proper vocal technique, and music reading skills. Students will sing a wide variety of quality choral music and will participate in at least four performances a year. If you were not enrolled in chorus as a 6th grade student, please contact a faculty member of the Choral Department before completing the attached form.

7th Grade Orchestra

Any student who has completed orchestra through their sixth grade year is encouraged to continue their music education by enrolling in seventh grade orchestra. Any student who has not completed sixth grade orchestra in District 204 must have approval from the teacher before enrolling in seventh grade orchestra. The class meets daily and performs at least four concerts during the school year. In addition to daily orchestra class, technique classes (pull-out lessons) are scheduled on a rotational basis allowing for small group instruction to improve individual instrument performance techniques. Students will be scheduled into a technique class once per week in lieu of another class on their schedule. The rotation ensures that no subject is missed more than once every four weeks. Students enrolled in orchestra may also audition to participate in an advanced honors orchestra that meets before school. Students also may choose to take part in contests, festivals, and/or a before school fiddle group. Additional special activities are scheduled throughout the school year.

Eighth Grade Encore Courses

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Semester Courses (18 Weeks)

Digital Media INST0801 (Semester)

This course combines visual design, computer applications, and business techniques. Students create, manipulate, and use print media, audio recordings, video recordings, and websites to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences. Possible projects include: photo manipulation, digital animations, sound bites, movie productions, and digital portfolios. This is a one semester elective course in the Middle School Instructional Technology Department

Tech Revolution INST0800 (Semester)

This course provides an introduction to computer science and software engineering. Students learn the basics of software development by making video games, developing mobile apps, and creating dynamic web sites. The course is designed to foster computational thinking and logical problem-solving. Basic computer science careers and educational options will also be explored. This is a one semester elective course in the Middle School Instructional Technology department.

Design & Sculpture (Semester)

In this course, students will focus on creative problem-solving while making three-dimensional and design-inspired art products. Emphasis is on elements of art and principles of design composition as well as sculptural techniques and materials. Media may include, but is not limited to; ceramics, wire, paper and found objects.
 

Drawing & Painting (Semester)

This course will focus on the elements of art, principles of design composition, the basic techniques and concepts of drawing and painting. Students will experiment and refine technical skills using a variety of media including, but not limited to, watercolor, acrylic paints, colored pencil, chalk, oil, pastels, and graphite.
 

8thGrade PLTW - Energy and the Environment (EE) with Automation Robotics (AR)PLTW1016 (Semester)

Students investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the environment. They design and model alternative energy sources and participate in an energy expo to demonstrate energy concepts and innovative ideas. Students evaluate ways to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency and sustainability.  Students will use a robotics platform to explore, develop, and build programs to problem solve. (A small lab fee is required.)

8thGrade - Manufacturing Technology TEE0802 (Semester)

Students will explore areas of manufacturing; including safety, materials, tools, machinery, processes, and related careers. Students will use wood and plastic as primary materials for the production of various projects to be taken home. (A small lab fee is required.)

8th Grade - Foods, Nutrition, & Wellness (semester)

This is a hands-on course that teaches students basic knowledge of the nutrients found in foods and the essentials of food preparation. The course framework is based on MyPlate, a tool developed by the USDA to help manage personal health. Students participate in labs that correspond with the major groups on the plate. Students also learn about food cultures from around the world and career opportunities within the food industry. (A small lab fee is required.)

8th Grade - Sewing (semester)

During this self-paced course, students of all sewing levels focus on developing their skills by creating both hand and machine sewn projects. Students also learn about clothing design, fabric purchase, use of patterns, written and verbal procedural directions, and critical thinking skills. (A small lab fee is required.)

Year Long Courses (36 Weeks)
 

8th Grade Physical Education (27 weeks) & Health (9 weeks) (Both are Required)

Physical Education plays a major role in a student’s overall educational experience. All students are required to participate in Physical Education for 3 quarters (27 weeks). The program focuses on building a foundation for life-long learning through physical activity, fitness, wellness, and team building. These components provide an opportunity for the development of each student’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. Students will also participate in 8th Grade Health for 1 quarter (9 weeks). Health covers the different aspects of physical, mental and social health, and how these aspects affect each persons overall well being. Some areas covered include Healthy Relationships, Emotional Empowerment, ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs), Healthy Eating and Reproductive Wellness. The subject of STIs and AIDS will be reviewed during Reproductive Wellness.

8th Grade Band

Eighth grade band is for students who have completed band through the seventh grade. Any student who has not completed seventh grade band in District 204 must have approval from the director before enrolling in band. The class meets daily and performs approximately five times each year. Special activities are scheduled throughout the school year. In addition to the daily band rehearsal, technique classes are scheduled on a rotational basis allowing for small group instruction to improve individual instrument performance techniques. Band students will be scheduled into a technique class once per week in lieu of another class on their schedule. The rotation will ensure that no subject is missed more than once every four weeks. Students enrolled in band may also audition to participate in Jazz Ensemble and Wind Ensemble that meet before school.

8th Grade Chorus

In eighth grade chorus, the singers study a variety of music from different styles and cultures. Through classroom activities and performance, these students further develop their knowledge of the elements of music, proper vocal technique, and music reading skills. Students will sing a wide variety of quality choral music and will participate in at least four performances a year. If you were not enrolled in chorus as a 7th grader, please contact a faculty member of the Choral Department before completing the attached form.

8th Grade Orchestra

Any student who has completed orchestra through their seventh grade year is encouraged to continue their music education by enrolling in eighth grade orchestra. Any student who has not completed seventh grade orchestra in District 204 must have approval from the teacher before enrolling in eighth grade orchestra. The class meets daily and performs at least four concerts during the school year. In addition to daily orchestra class, technique classes (pull-out lessons) are scheduled on a rotational basis allowing for small group instruction to improve individual instrument performance techniques. Students will be scheduled into a technique class once per week in lieu of another class on their schedule. The rotation ensures that no subject is missed more than once every four weeks. Students enrolled in orchestra may also audition to participate in an advanced honors orchestra that meets before school. Students also may choose to take part in contests, festivals, and/or a before school fiddle group. Additional special activities are scheduled throughout the school year. Eighth grade orchestra is a prerequisite for enrolling in high school orchestra.

Foreign Language (A student can only select a Level II course if he/she is enrolled in a Level I course during his/her 7th grade year)

These courses are designed as a two year course to be started in 7th grade and then completed during 8th grade.     

  • French II introduces the student to practical vocabulary and basic grammatical structures that will enable him or her to communicate in simple French. The course focuses on speaking, listening, reading, and writing, as well as various aspects of French culture. Oral communication is stressed.
  • Spanish II is designed to train the student to understand, speak, read, and write basic Spanish, as well as presenting a cultural background of the Spanish-speaking people. Oral communication is stressed.

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