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6TH GRADE ELECTIVES
6th grade students will either take a year-long music class or a combination of two semester classes Art,  Chorus, or Computers.  Students who select Band or Orchestra as one of their choices are scheduled in a year-long Band or Orchestra class that will meet every day.  Students who selected Art, Chorus or Computers as their top choices will take one of their choices in the Fall semester, then switch to another choice in the Spring semester.  If your student does not turn in an elective request sheet, he or she will be randomly assigned to either Art, Chorus or Computers.

If you have questions about your student’s elective classes please reach out to a counselor: Kristen Holland (kholland@smfcsd.net) or Carolyn World (ckoyama@smfcsd.net)

6th Grade Electives Course Descriptions 
Art 6 is a semester-long class that meets every day. This introductory course is designed to give 6th graders a sampling of art projects that emphasize the elements (line, form, color, value, texture) and principles of art (balance, variety, harmony, emphasis). Understanding and appreciation of self and others through art history, culture, and heritage is emphasized. A variety of media and techniques create an active learning experience. Cultural and historical references from 6th Grade Social Studies are an integral part of the curriculum. Students will develop creative skills through sampling a variety of experiences that may include drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, fiber arts, and book arts. Students will investigate the elements of art and principles of design and learn techniques to improve art skills. (D. Torke)

Computer/Technology Lab is a semester-long class that meets daily. Students will begin to explore concepts of computational thinking and computer science. Students will learn how to use advanced features of Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets, and will learn key aspects of digital citizenship. Students will apply basic concepts of computer language through activities including pre-scripted blocks, commands and procedures. Students will explore a variety of software applications, such as: Lightbot.com, Code.org, Blocklygames.com, and Google CS First. Extended lessons include introduction of various computer languages including HTML, Python, Java and C++. Students will also learn basic and advanced concepts of digital video and audio editing. (T. Hilborn)

6th Grade Chorus is a semester-long class that meets daily. Previous music experience is not required. This class is open to students of all varying abilities and is highly recommended for students learning English. Students will learn how to sing more powerfully, and learn how to read music. There may be opportunities to play drums, xylophones, recorders and other instruments. Concert music includes a variety of standard and pop music. The chorus performs at the Winter or Spring Concert. Groups in previous years have gone on field trips to other schools to perform. (K. Schacht)

6th Grade Band: Woodwind and Brass (Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Baritone Horn) is a year-long class that meets daily. In this course, students will learn basic technique and will learn to read music notation. Students may continue to play the instrument they played in 5th grade or may select a different brass instrument. There are instruments available for students who do not have their own instrument. There is a limited number of spots for students who desire to learn drums and percussion. Those students need to speak to the teacher in advance. Performances are a requirement of this class. (K. Schacht)

6th Grade Strings is a yearlong class that meets daily. Emphasis in the class is on playing technique and reading music notation. There will be two performances throughout the year. Students can continue playing the stringed instrument they started in 5th grade. If you did not play an instrument in the 5th grade or want to switch from one you played, you can also begin on any stringed instrument in this class. There are some instruments available to check out for students who do not have their own. (D. Torke)

7TH & 8TH GRADE ELECTIVES
Below you will find descriptions for each of the electives that may be offered for 7th and 8th graders in the 2018-19 school year.  Students will sign up for electives in early April using a Google form that will be distributed via a SchoolLoop email.  Students who do not chose an elective will be randomly assigned to two semester courses.

Language Electives
Spanish 1:  Spanish 1 is a year-long class that covers beginning speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  We use textbooks, workbooks, tapes and film.  By the end of the year, students can talk about a variety of topics and readings in the present tense. (Year)

Spanish 2: Spanish 2 is a year-long class that continues where Spanish 1 left off.  Together, Spanish 1 and 2 credits students with one year of high school Spanish.  Spanish 2 covers speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  We use textbooks, workbooks, tapes and film.  By the end of the year, students can talk about a variety of topics and understand readings in the present and past tense. (Year)

STEM Electives (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Art, Games, Coding, Movies & More: If you love Art, Gaming, Graphic Design, Coding and more, then this is the class for you. Students who take AGCM will get a chance to apply their skills to learn many creative aspects of computer technology. Through comprehensive activities including graphic arts (2d & 3d), game design, app/web design, and coding, students will gain developmental concepts for unique and creative projects.  Students will have an opportunity examine and critique aspects of online social and cultural parameters by creating storyboard animations illustrating relevant issues and how they can be addressed into a positive format, and create strategies in the future to better resolve them. Students will also be creating much more advanced media projects including infographics, videos, websites and other media formats to feature the projects they created. We will also be looking at the use of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) and how it is used in today's media including movies, TV shows, advertisements, games and other media (T. Hilborn, Semester).  

Robotics: Love Legos?  Being creative?  Want to take it to the next level?  Join Robotics 1 and learn programming and engineering principles while crafting Lego robots to meet design challenges from maze racing to search and rescue.  Robotics 1 uses the NXT smartbrick and NXT visual programming language to introduce basic computer and robotic engineering design.  Students also create independent projects and presentations demonstrating aspects covered over the course. (A. Delsener, Year)

Visual & Performing Arts Electives
3-D Design is a course that involves problem solving to create sculptures.  A wide variety of materials such as cardboard, wire, paper, clay, and more will be used in this class.  You will also learn many different ways to create interesting pieces (D. Torke, Semester)

Art 1: Art & Design (Drawing and Painting) This is a foundation class in two-dimensional (2D) media: drawing, painting, printmaking, and collage. Emphasis is placed on composition, color theory and finding solutions to visual problems. Themes covered include advertising/media, abstraction, human anatomy and perspective. There is also an art history component focusing on art from the Renaissance through Impressionism. Students will work outside of class on one assignment a week and sketchbooks are required for note taking, planning and practice (K. Ayala, Semester).

Art 2: Creative Expression and Contemporary Art This course emphasizes artists and art history as inspirations for art projects. Student will create two (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) pieces that further develop the elements of art and principles of design. The understanding and appreciation of self and others through art is a focus of the class. Students will have the opportunity to make personal choices about the creation of their art. The art history component will focus on Modern and Contemporary Art (Including Pop Art and Street Art). Students will work outside of class on one assignment a week and sketchbooks are required for note taking, planning and practice. Prerequisite Is ART 1 (K. Ayala, Semester).

Biocreativity (Art and Science): Study the science of art and the art of science. -- Leonardo Da Vinci.  Do you enjoy learning about the living world? Are you interested in the ways in which Science can inform the creation of Art and the ways that Art can be used to bring Scientific concepts to non-scientific audiences? The six units of study below are some of the ways in which we will explore this connection: 1. Insect Anatomy and the Scientific Illustration 2. You Can Learn a Lot of things from the Flowers 3. Cartography with Sea Creatures (real and make-believe) 4. Animal Hybrids and Adaptations 5. Earth Art and Recycled Art/ Printing with Nature 6. Microbiology and Biography (K. Ayala, Semester)

Chorus (6th-8th Grade) is a semester-long class that meets daily. Previous music experience is not required - this class is open to students of all varying abilities.  Students will learn how to sing more powerfully, and learn how to read music. There may be opportunities to play drums, xylophones, recorders and other instruments. Concert music includes a variety of standard and pop music. The chorus performs at the Winter or Spring Concert. Groups in previous years have gone on field trips to other schools to perform. (K. Schacht)

Journalism: This course will teach the foundations of journalism and reporting. Lessons will focus on all facets of journalism, from covering news to writing features, reviews (book, movie, video game, music), sports articles, and editorials and drawing comics, taking photos, copy editing, creating puzzles, and much more. While different students will play different roles everyone taking the class can expect to become both better readers and better writers. We are looking for self-motivated students who have a natural curiosity for what is going on around them and work well under deadlines. Lessons will include the following: *What is news? *How to read news *How observation leads to good story ideas *Facts versus assumptions *Photography and writing photo captions *Finding good information sources *How to conduct an interview and use direct and indirect quotes *Planning your stories *Hard versus soft news *Story angles and leads (first paragraph) *Story structure *Writing headlines *Fact checking *Copy editing (T. Callan, Semester)

 

Intermediate Band: This is a continuation of Beginning Band. Students work with Standard of Excellence, Levels 2 and 3. Students prepare a minimum of two music concert programs per year, held in Winter and Spring in evening hours. Two field trips are typically planned per year. One trip is to the high school to learn about music opportunities. The other field trip is to elementary schools to share what Band does at Abbott. (K. Schacht, year)

Orchestra: Orchestra is a year-long class for 7th and 8th graders that meets everyday.  It is meant for students who have taken Orchestra in 5th, 6th &/or 7th grade.   A wide variety of songs and genres of songs will be played.  There are two evening concerts in the year: one in December and one in the Spring.  We go on a field trip to the elementary schools for performances in the spring.  If you have never played a stringed instrument before and want to start as a 7th or 8th grader, you can sign up for Beginning Strings with the 6th grade class. (D. Torke, Year)

Other Electives:
AVID 7: The AVID program is designed to prepare students for higher education through rigorous levels of reading, writing, cooperative learning, and inquiry skills. Students complete many fun projects on various topics that utilize writing, reading, inquiry and collaborative skills needed to succeed in high school and college.  The class allows students to take ownership in their learning while working together to deepen their understanding of content area subjects. To be in AVID you must return the application packet to room 17 Tuesday, February 27. You will be notified if you have been selected for an interview in March. After interviews you will be notified if you have been selected in March. (A. Abdelmessih, Year)

AVID 8: The AVID program is designed to prepare students for higher education through rigorous levels of reading, writing, cooperative learning, and inquiry skills. Students complete many fun projects on various topics that utilize writing, reading, inquiry and collaborative skills needed to succeed in high school and college.  The class allows students to take ownership in their learning while working together to deepen their understanding of content area subjects. To be in AVID you must return the application packet to room 17 Tuesday, February 27. You will be notified if you have been selected for an interview in March. After interviews you will be notified if you have been selected in March. (L. Bollbach, Year)


History of Science-Fiction: This elective course will explore the genre of Science Fiction and give students an opportunity to write their own fiction in the genre. Students will read and watch works of science fiction (short stories, novels, television, film) and explore how the genre is connected to the history and culture it is created in. Students will also have the opportunity create their own works of science fiction that reflects the world around them. (I. Alexeeff, Semester)

Leadership: The Leadership class is responsible for organizing all student activities here at Abbott.  The students have direct input and direction over the activities that occur throughout the school year.  Also, the Leadership class reaches beyond the Abbott campus by organizing many philanthropic events during the school year.  The class is entirely student-driven, and all of the events we coordinate are run and organized by student commissioners.  The members of the Leadership class also learn a class curriculum centered on: government, civil rights, advertising, public speaking, and personal growth and leadership.  Students must apply in order to be a member of the class. To be in Leadership you must return the application packet to room 17 Friday February 23. You will be notified if you have been selected for an interview in March. After interviews you will be notified if you have been selected in March. (L. Bollbach, Year)

Yearbook: Yearbook is a year-long elective that meets every day.  Student in this class will produce the school yearbook along with weekly newspapers.  Students will be introduced to photography techniques such as rule of thirds and leading lines, interviewing skills, layout design, and editing photos and content, all of which is on the computer.  Students will critique layouts in magazines and other publications to help create a fun and interesting yearbook.  Students must be self-motivated and able to work in groups and independently.  Students must be willing to work outside of school, taking pictures at games, concerts, clubs, and activities that happen outside of the regular school day.  Students are not required to have a camera. (S. Marcone, Year)