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Eighth Grade Elective Options

Elective Classes: All 8th grade students will take 2.5 units of credit from the following options:

Introduction to Computer Science .50 (Semester)

Create your own app. The course combines the creation of mobile apps along with programming that goes beyond the virtual world into the physical world. Students are challenged to creatively use sensors and actuators to develop systems that interact with their environment. They will code and upload programs to microcontrollers to create wearable technology, interactive art, or other devices. Students will also collaboratively design and develop an android mobile app to solve a real-world problem. This course is based around the ‘App Creators’ and ‘Computer Science for Innovators and Makers’ units of the Project Lead the Way Gateway program. 

Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship .50 (Semester)

It’s been said that entrepreneurs are the ones who really change the world. Through hands-on activities and technology, students will be inspired to think like an entrepreneur. You will find solutions to real world problems using curiosity, creativity, and collaboration. Learn new ways for effective brainstorming, how to apply design thinking, conduct market research and pitch your idea. To produce promotional materials, you will also develop technology skills in graphic design. No matter your area of interest (i.e. sports, music, science, etc.), you can become an entrepreneur! Whether you want to start your own money-making business or create a non-profit to help others, this course will help you get started on your goals. 

Expanding Human Resources in FCS .50 (Semester)

Expanding Human Resources is a semester course that expands on topics including nutrition and food preparation, child development, family relationships and communication. Class projects include oral/written/research assignments and foods lab experiences.

Expanding Creative Resources in FCS .50 (Semester)

Creative Resources is a semester long course in which students will expand on Personal Finance, Textile-Clothing Construction, Interior Design, & Hospitality. Class projects include oral/written/research and real-world learning projects, and a variety of sewing opportunities.

Industrial Technology .50 (Semester)

This is the introductory course of the Industrial Technology and pre-Engineering courses. This nine-week class is a brief introduction to the hands-on activities and careers available in the field of Industrial and Engineering Technology. This course is based around the design process to solve problems and understand the influence that creative and innovative design has on our lives.

Engineering Technology .50 (Semester)

This 18-week course investigates the world of engineering. Utilizing concepts from the Project Lead the Way Design and Modeling Curriculum, students will engage in projects focused on the engineering design process, 3D sketching techniques, precise measurement, and computer-aided design (CAD).  Through project-based learning, students will also explore the areas of aerospace, civil, and electrical engineering.  This class provides a great beginning to the engineering pathway at the high school level.

8th Grade Broadcasting & Video Technology .50 (Semester)

The 8th Broadcasting & Video Technology curriculum consists of the following units of study: analysis of television viewing, the use of production equipment, the creation of projects such as: news reports, interviews, and music videos. The class provides students with an opportunity to create scripts and storyboards for productions. The students perform editing work as they create titles, use the video mixer, and add sound. As part of the curriculum, students will work in groups to create a weekly news show. Students in the class should expect to come in before and after school to complete projects. 

Speech & Theatre .50 (Semester)

The Speech and Theatre curriculum consists of the following units of study: personal communication, public speaking, and theatre  arts. The curriculum provides students with an opportunity to practice their oral and written communication skills. The projects in the class improve listening skills, increase creativity and critical thinking skills, improve vocal expression, and promote confidence in public speaking situations and theatrical performances. 

8th Grade Broadcasting: Special Projects .50 (Semester)

Placement is determined by application and teacher recommendation. Enrollment in special projects is by application only and is designed to build on the concepts and skills learned in the Intro to Broadcasting/Video Technology classes. The projects required will require higher-level skills to translate an idea into an effective video segment for the school and members of the community. Students will be expected to mentor the introduction to broadcasting and video production students and help develop their skills. 

8th Grade Art I .50 (Semester)

7th Grade art is NOT a requirement for 8th Grade Art I. 8th Grade Art I will focus on self expression and fundamental art concepts while introducing students to new media and techniques. This course is for students who enjoy making art and creative problem solving. Grades are based on mastery of art concepts per curriculum. This course can be followed by 8th Grade Art II.

8th Grade Art II .50 (Semester)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 8th Grade Art I first semester. This course is designed for students who enjoy creating and are interested in taking a full year of art in 8th grade. Students will continue to develop their skills and techniques, building on knowledge learned in 8th grade Art I while learning advanced art concepts using specialized art media, emphasizing creative thinking and problem solving. This course is recommended for students interested in preparing for the advanced art courses at the high school level. Grades are based on mastery of art concepts per curriculum. 

8th Grade Vocal Music .50 (Semester)

This 8th-Grade music course expands the fundamental skills learned in 7th grade. The basic areas of focus are ensemble singing, part singing, music literacy, music appreciation, and one required performance. This course prepares students for the entry-level choir ensembles at the High School by building fundamental skills in group singing. Students who show a desire to continue in music are recommended for Treble Choir or Tenor Bass Choir in the 9th grade. Purchase of concert attire is required for this class. 

8th Grade Select Choir .50 (Semester) Black/Gold Choir (PLMS) Summit Lakes Singers (SLMS) Concert Choir (BCMS) Concert Choir (ETMS)

PREREQUISITE: Teacher Recommendation/Audition Process. This select choir is an 8th-Grade auditioned ensemble that focuses on ensemble singing in multiple parts and music literacy. Students audition during their 7th-grade year for placement in this course. This class meets in place of 8th Grade Vocal Music and meets every other day alternating with PE to ensure yearlong skill-building in Choir. The 8th-grade select choir sings at formal concerts yearly, performs for school assemblies, participates in choir tours, and competes at a festival. These performances are a graded component of the course. Purchase of concert attire is required for this class. This course prepares students for the entry-level choir ensembles at the High School by building fundamental skills in group singing. 

8th Grade Band (Full Year)

Prerequisites: Previous playing experience in this school district or consent of teacher following an audition. This band is a full year course that continues to develop the skills and proficiencies acquired in the earlier grades. Fundamentals are stressed with much time devoted to rhythmic skills, scales, dynamic contrast, intonation, ear training, breath control, musicality, articulations and music appreciation. Public performances are required. Placement is determined by director recommendation. Purchase of concert attire/uniform is required for this class. 

String Orchestra (Full Year)

PREREQUISITES: Previous playing experience in this school district or consent of teacher following an audition. String students will have the opportunity to participate in string orchestra. Music theory, music history, string orchestra literature, rhythm, chords, and melody will be studied as related to playing a string instrument. Emphasis on intonation studies, vibrato, positions, and bowing techniques will help the string student to progress to senior high. Grade requirements will be based on skill  in producing the desired sound and improvement shown when needed. Practice is essential. Several concerts will be required  during the school year. Each student should be equipped with an instrument approved by the teacher. Private lessons are helpful but not required. Purchase of concert attire/uniform is required for these classes.

French I, German I, Spanish I, Mandarin Chinese I (Full Year)

PREREQUISITE: None. Each middle school modern language class contains the same coursework as level I at the high school. Upon successful completion, the student will earn high school graduation credit and be ready to enroll in level II in the ninth grade. French I, German I, Spanish I and Mandarin Chinese I are full year courses that introduce the fundamentals of each modern language and the cultures represented by that language. Emphasis is on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through acquisition of practical  vocabulary such as greetings, school, sports, family, food, hobbies, numbers, the weather, clothing, body parts, places and the  household. Grammar will often be included as part of vocabulary stories. There will be a focus on the present tense. Semester  grades will be based on class participation, vocabulary quizzes, tests, speaking activities, writing activities, listening activities, reading activities and a final exam. The final exam will count 10% of each semester’s overall grade. These classes are not intended for native speakers. At the high school level, French, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese enrollment includes the International Baccalaureate program and options for college credit. Students successfully completing an 8th grade Modern Language course will earn a high school graduation credit. The grade earned in the 8th Modern Language course will appear on the high school transcript and the high school GPA. 

MANDARIN CHINESE FOR HERITAGE SPEAKERS (This is a full year course only offered through R7 Online Academy)

This online course is for intended to support heritage language learners who have native or near native speaking ability in Chinese Mandarin, but have little or no knowledge in written Chinese. Building upon the students’ spoken and aural skills, this course is to develop students’ communicative skills in speaking and listening for formal, colloquial and idiomatic expression of Chinese language, with special emphasis on reading and writing. Students are expected to read and write actively each week while engaging in the book discussions with the instructor and class asynchronously. Students will be selecting books to read in their level from a leveled Chinese reading platform. NOTE: Chinese for Heritage Speakers I and II will meet in combined online classes. Pre-testing results will determine the student’s placement. 

8th Grade AVID (Full Year)

This course will focus on preparation for high school. The students will regularly exhibit and utilize the skills and strategies learned in the seventh-grade AVID course. Students will refine previous goals, focusing on their transition to high school as part of a college preparatory path. Their writing will focus on completing all steps of the writing process and varying style, word choice, vocabulary, structure, and voice. Students will transition from active learners to leaders. Other areas of focus include broadening their experiences with analyzing text and utilizing appropriate reading strategies. Students will also participate in college preparatory testing and build connections with the high school they will attend.

Library Assistant .50 (Semester)

The major objective of Library class is to provide students with a foundation in library skills. Time will be devoted to specialized skills needed to work in the media center. Students will become proficient with circulation processes and with using the catalog for searching. They will also help students locate materials. Grades will be based on performance of assigned duties in the media  center and completion of individual projects. Library class can be taken during either the seventh or eighth grade year, but not both years. Students may sign up during spring enrollment and may pick up an application in the media center. The librarian will  determine final placement. Students should also choose an art or music class in the event they are not chosen to work in the library. 

Office Assistant (Must have filled out application) .50 (Semester)

Office Assistant classes offer an introduction to general office procedures and management for students with no previous training. The student will be introduced to general office procedures - operation of various office machines, filing, and miscellaneous school  errands. Grades will be based on student performance and attitude toward the assigned duties in the office. Office Assistants will  meet on alternate days of the week with Physical Education. On the days students are not in Physical Education class, they will  assume office duties. Students may sign up during spring enrollment. The principal will decide final placement. Students must  also choose an art or music class in the event they are not assigned to work in the office. *Office Assistants are not available at SLMS. 

Science Laboratory Assistant (Must have filled out application) .50 (Semester)

The science laboratory assistant classes offer an introduction to general laboratory techniques and organization. These students would be responsible for setting up and taking down labs, cleaning glassware and equipment, and maintaining an organized  stockroom. Students will also design, conduct and analyze scientific investigations. Grades will be based on performance of  assigned duties, completion of individual projects and attitude toward laboratory responsibilities. Science Laboratory Assistant class can be taken during either the seventh or eighth grade year, but not both years. Students will signup during spring  enrollment and may pick up an application from any science teacher. The lead science teacher will decide final placement. Students must also choose an art or music class in the event they are not chosen to work in the science laboratory.

Course Descriptions

Core Curriculum: 

All 8th grade students will automatically be enrolled in these classes.

Required Electives:

All students take this elective.

Elective Options:

Students select electives that equal a total of two and a half units of credit.