ELECTIVE CLASS Descriptions

Art Exploratory : This is a trimester course designed to fulfill the California State Standards for the Visual Arts, while students learn how to follow directions. Students complete projects that define the Elements of Art and Principles of Design and assess themselves on a rubric for each project, which the instructor also uses to grade each project assignment. Art projects assigned each trimester include: drawing, painting, and 3-dimensional design, and also includes: problem solving, written reflections and the critiquing of selected pieces of artwork using the vocabulary of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Student artwork is collected and placed in a portfolio to be taken home at the end of the trimester and is reassessed by the student, according to the California State Standards for the Visual Arts.

Coding & Keyboarding: This is a trimester course for 7th & 8th graders that will enable students to learn the appropriate use of a keyboard. Students will be expected to use proper placement of fingers on the home row keys, as well as correct posture. To practice typing without looking at the keyboard is an important part of learning to type. Eventually they should become familiar enough with the keyboard to develop fluency, speed, and accuracy. This course also aims to teach basic programming and computational concepts to students with little or no previous coding experience. Students will develop confidence in their ability to apply programming techniques to solve increasingly difficult problems using Code Monkey software. This course uses the Coffee Script, Block Code, and some JavaScript programming languages.

Computer Applications: This is a trimester course for 7th & 8thgraders. Students in this class will become familiar with using word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software. They will also learn about Internet Safety and Ethics. This course will also enable students to learn the appropriate use of a keyboard. They will be expected to use proper placement of fingers on the home row keys, as well as correct posture. To practice typing without looking at the keyboard is an important part of learning to type. Eventually they should become familiar enough with the keyboard to develop fluency, speed, and accuracy.

Digital Arts: This is a trimester course for 7th & 8th graders. This course is designed to give students an understanding of and practical application of Adobe Photoshop techniques. Adobe Photoshop is one of the most powerful layout programs for professional graphic designers and photographers. This is the process of manipulating photos that look like a professionally designed and printed product, which includes inserting: photos, graphics and line drawings for the text copy. Students will produce and will be assessed on a variety of effective promotional pieces, publications and digital art. Students will learn, applications in Adobe Photoshop, as well as applications in iLife: (iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, and Garage Band)

Digital Media: This is a yearlong course for 7th & 8th graders. Students will be exposed to the importance of receiving, producing, sharing, and broadcasting information. All students will learn the basic tools and processes of production and all the tools needed to complete a project to final edit. Students will be expected to gather information and produce it to its final product to be shared by others. Media projects will be developed from concept to completion with the ultimate goal of producing a weekly video to be shared by all. Students will be producing video segments for Ustach Speaks, our weekly video. Everyone will be expected to participate in the production of the video and will, at some point, be in a video segments. Check out USTACH SPEAKS on YouTube.

Guitar for Beginners: This is a trimester course for all students. Students will learn the fundamentals of playing the guitar. Students will learn how to recognize and read basic music notation and symbols; applying this understanding to guitar performance. During this course, students will learn to read and play on all 6 strings, learn about chord playing and also learn about “tablature” (or “Tab” for short). Additionally students will have one-on-one lessons with Mr. Stone, perform periodically in formal classroom recitals and explore other aspects about the world of music.

Industrial Tech: This is a trimester course for 6th and 7th graders. We use the National Aeronautical Space Administration’s (NASA) Beginning Engineering, Science, and Technology (BEST) program. The NASA’s BEST Engineering Design Model serves as a foundation for all BEST activities. BEST Activity Guides were designed to teach students the Engineering Design Process (EDP) as a process that engineers use to guide them in problem solving. NASA Engineers ask questions, imagine solutions, plan designs, create and test models, and then make improvements. All projects and work will be done in small groups in which students will nurture development of 21st century skills including communication, collaboration, and innovation. If you wish to further explore the program, you can go to the NASA.GOV

Intervention: These classes in Language Arts and Math are for students who need a little more help academically. Students can "catch-up" their skills and then be eligible to go to other elective classes.

Introduction to Computers: This is a trimester course for 6th graders. Students in this class will become familiar with computer hardware, history, and Internet Safety. They will also learn about searching the Internet effectively and Technological Ethics. This course will also enable students to learn the appropriate use of a keyboard. They will be expected to use proper placement of fingers on the home row keys, as well as correct posture. ­­­­ Typing without looking at the keyboard is an important part of learning to type. Eventually they should become familiar enough with the keyboard to develop fluency, speed, and accuracy.

Music Exploratory Class: This is a trimester course for all students. Students will learn the fundamentals of singing and rhythm. Students will learn how to recognize and read basic music notation and symbols; applying this understanding to vocal performance. Additionally students will learn about music history, musical styles and use various technologies and media.

Woodshop: This is a trimester course for 7th and 8th graders. Students explore the process of creating projects from wood. This course stresses SAFETY FIRST. Students will explore the methods of design and production. Fundamental aspects include safety procedures, measurement, assembly, and finishing techniques. Students will learn to safely use both hand tools and power equipment in a manufacturing, hands-on, technical learning environment.

Yearbook: This is a yearlong course for 7th & 8th graders. This course has been designed to provide students with the journalism skills and the ability to apply those skills to the actual production of the yearbook. Units of study include teamwork, responsibility, brainstorming, content, coverage, concept, reporting, writing, headlines, captions, editing, photography, typography, design, graphics, and distribution. Actual work results in the current volume of the school’s yearbook.