San Pasqual Union School District


Middle School Elective Preference Form (Online/Interactive Form)

 
School Publications Newspaper and Yearbook
 
Course Description:
Students participating in School Publications will write articles, design layouts, and publish a monthly school newspaper. Students will also take photos of school events and create the annual SPU yearbook. Trimester 1 will focus on researching, drafting, and editing articles, learning elements of photography, and studying basic graphic design. Trimesters 2 and 3 will focus on storyboarding and designing pages for the yearbook, and continuing to put out a monthly newspaper. Throughout the year, students will focus on developing writing styles and critiquing work through peer review and reflection. Students will elect an editor in chief for the newspaper and an editor in chief for the yearbook to ensure that publications are credible, relevant, grammatically correct, reflective of the total student population, and printed in a timely manner.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
Students will:
  • Research and write articles that will be published
  • Edit articles to ensure they are print ready
  • Design layouts and type articles into a monthly newspaper for schoolwide distribution
  • Take photographs at school events
  • Create layouts and add photographs to yearbook pages
  • Advertise and promote the yearbook and newspaper around SPU

Movie Making Studio
 
Course Description: Students will learn about the history of film, the importance of film in culture, and be guided in the making of short movies. Students will explore beginning skills in making movies and telling a visual story, from writing scripts, to short and fun camera shooting techniques. Writing scripts, developing story plots, and researching characters and historical events will be emphasized in trimester one. A the end of trimester one, all students must submit a completed script that is ready for filming. Students will begin filming and editing during trimester two with a completion date at the end of the trimester. These films will be submitted to the I.V.I.E awards with a deadline around March 1st.
Trimester three will be committed to writing and filming a short movie related to their understanding of our world through history, literature, religion, culture, or character. The film will be produced in the format of a documentary unless otherwise permitted by the instructor.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes: Students will learn how to write scripts, film and edit movies with appropriate software.
  • Work on classroom laptops using iMovie software
  • Develop and refine basic skills in shooting and editing
  • Complete shorter film projects as their skills improve
  • Create a final film project that reflects the skills learned over the course of the year

ASB / Leadership
 
Course Description:
This class is open to students involved in ASB, as well as those looking to refine their leadership skills. We will work together on planning and production of school activities that promote citizenship, scholarship, leadership and human relations. Students will be involved in creating a variety of different events that incorporate Kindergarten through Eighth grade. Our goal is to offer service to San Pasqual through innovative activities and projects.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
  • Planning and production of school activities and events, including dances, elections, pep rallies, etc.
  • To learn and practice leadership skills which include, but are not limited to communication, problem solving techniques, brainstorming, meeting skills, group dynamics, time management, goal setting, organizational skills, project planning, delegation and public speaking.

Maker Studio
 
Course Description:
Middle School Maker Studio provides students with exposure to the engineering and design process and beginning computer coding. Activities include challenges like creating a marshmallow catapult and ping pong ball zip line using household and recycled materials. Students will be required to write out an engineering and design plan before building. The process includes:
  1. Defining the Problem and Constraints
  2. Researching and brainstorming solutions
  3. Creating and building
  4. Improving and modifying the design
Students will also learn beginning coding and be expected to complete the introductory coding course on code.org. Students will create projects using technology including MIT’s Scratch programming platform. Students will create videos and/ or slideshows to communicate learning.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
Students will :
  • Create design plans and complete challenge projects
  • Complete the Intro. of Computer Coding course on code.org
  • Complete projects using MIT’s Scratch programming platform

Exploring the Past, Present, and Future Through Technology
Course Description:
This course provides students the opportunity to use the game based learning application, Minecraft, to collaborate, research, and recreate historical models of both ancient and present day societies. Students will also explore possible futuristic societies (ex. colonies on the moon or Mars.) Students will use coding skills and mathematical and science concepts in his/her project design. Students will be required to keep a blog of his/her progress, respond to questions posed by classmates and the teacher, and present his/her final project. All projects will require a written research report as part of the final project.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will:
  • Research topics using reading, writing, and critical thinking skills
  • Develop projects using mathematical and scientific concepts
  • Create models using using computer skills and the Minecraft application
  • Present projects in written and oral forms in a clear, coherent, and organized manner
  • Collaborate effectively with others

Spanish I/II
Course Description:
Spanish I is for 7th and 8th graders who have not previously taken Spanish; 8th graders will be given priority. Spanish I provides students with a basic understanding of the Spanish language, including basic grammar and conversation, as well as exposure to Spanish speaking countries and their cultures.
 
Spanish II is for 7th and 8th graders who have taken Spanish previously in Elementary or MS; 8th graders will be given priority. Spanish II builds upon prior Spanish understanding to develop more conversational skills as well as more developed Reading and Writing. Spanish students will learn about various cultural celebrations throughout the year. They will learn a Mexican folklore dance and perform it for the school’s Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Students will use Rosetta Stone in class and at home in order to get regular practice at their individualized language level in Spanish. Weekly homework practicing the language on Rosetta Stone is required and essential in order to learn the language. Total time on Rosetta Stone per week should be 1 hour, 20 minutes (some of this will be done in class).
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the Spanish I student will be able to:
  1. Read in Spanish with an appropriate accent.
  2. Speak basic phrases and engage in basic conversations w/ an appropriate accent.
  3. Identify grammatical similarities and differences between English and Spanish.
  4. Understand and identify cognates.
  5. Write in Spanish using the present tense and using correct word order.
  6. Complete Rosetta Stone Level 1.
  7. Identify Spanish speaking countries in Central America & Europe.
  8. Perform a Mexican folklore dance.
Upon completion of this course, the Spanish II student will be able to:
  1. Read in Spanish with an appropriate accent and take AR tests in Spanish.
  2. Engage in basic conversations w/ an appropriate accent.
  3. Identify grammatical similarities and differences between English and Spanish.
  4. Identify and understand cognates.
  5. Write in Spanish using the present and preterite tense, using correct word order.
  6. Complete Rosetta Stone Level 2, 3 or 4 (based on prior Spanish experience).
  7. Identify Spanish speaking countries in South America.
  8. Perform a Mexican folklore dance.

Radio and Television Broadcasting
 
Course Description:
Radio and Television Broadcasting provides students with a variety of experiences in Radio and Video Production using computer technology. Keyboarding, Computer Media, and Web Design, are also covered in the course. In Video Production students interested in television and film production will increase their knowledge and gain skills and experience. Students will learn how to set up lighting and microphones, operate cameras, create storyboards, write screenplays, and edit film using computer based software. Students will create television broadcast, in its entirety, each month. This segment of the course is designed for students who are motivated in improving communication skills through visual media.
In Radio Production, students will produce and broadcast a daily “radio show” each morning for the entire school. This segment of the course focuses on improving auditory communication skills.
 
Caution: Video Production can be a time consuming. Although the editing of all video is done within the classroom, students are responsible to obtain some of their raw footage outside of class. In addition, class participation and completion of assignments is essential for succeeding in this class.
 

INTERVENTIONS / SUPPORT

 
Scholarly Saints
 
Course Description:
Scholarly Saints elective targets students in the academic middle with the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These students are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential. Scholarly Saints will shift the mindsets of these students and place them on the college track in order to enroll and succeed at every level from middleschool to college with both the mindset and disposition necessary to enable understanding.
 
Students may be placed in Scholarly Saints if the student meets one or more of the followingcriteria:
  • Academic goals relating to organization
  • a GPA of 2.0 or below
  • Teacher request for placement due to lack of organizational skills and/or poor study habits
This is a trimester long course that meets in place of a student’s elective. At each trimester, students who have shown consistent progress and are meeting grade level expectations may be exited out of the intervention class at the teacher’s discretion. Assignments include binder checks, weekly learning logs and reflections, tutorials, and individual conferences involving progress and overall grades.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
To support students in the rigorous coursework and closing the achievement gaps, the student
will be able to:
  1. Monitor his/her own academic progress
  2. Meet grade level expectations
  3. Increase organizational skills and study habits
  4. Develop critical thinking using Bloom’s Taxonomy and AVID like skills
Students will have an understanding as to what being collegeready
means, students understand what is expected in a high school and college course, can cope with the content knowledge presented, and can take away from the course the key intellectual lessons. Scholarly Saints will develop a vision for their future, gain confidence in their abilities, and take ownership of their learning through higher level thinking.

Math FIT
 
Course Description:
Students may be placed in math intervention if the student meets one or more of the
following criteria:
  • Trimester benchmark score less than 70%
  • Overall and/or classroom assessment grades lower than 70%
This is a trimester long course that meets in place of a student’s elective. At each trimester, students who have shown consistent progress and are meeting grade level standards may be exited out of the intervention class at the teacher’s discretion. Assignments include computer based practice activities and lessons based on needed skills that support a student’s success in the regular math class. This is not a study hall class. Although time may be given for students to get assistance on math homework, this is not the focus of this class. Students will conference weekly with the teacher to monitor math progress, goals, and overall academic progress.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Monitor his/her own math progress
  2. Meet grade level standards
  3. Increase fluency with operations using rational numbers

Reading FIT
 
Course Description:
Students may be placed in reading intervention if the student meets one or more of the
following criteria:
  • Trimester STAR Reading score more than 1 year below grade level target
  • Trimester ELA Benchmark score less than 70%
  • Overall and/or classroom assessment grades lower than 70%
This is a trimester long course that meets in place of a student’s elective. At each trimester, students who have shown consistent progress and are meeting grade level standards may be exited out of the intervention class at the teacher’s discretion. Lessons include computer based practice activities and targeted teacherled
literacy instruction.
Students will conference weekly with the teacher to monitor reading progress, Accelerated Reader goals, and overall academic progress.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Monitor his/her own reading progress
  2. Meet grade level literacy standards
  3. Increase reading fluency, accuracy, and comprehension skills

Study Skills
 
Course Description:
The Middle School skills class targets 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who require specialized academic instruction. This class is designed to help students gain better study techniques and to assist them in passing their core curriculum course. Students will also be supported to meet individual goals. Students will also be guided in the use of agendas, folders, and other organizational tools.
 
Learning Objectives/Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Meet individual academic and behavioral goals
  • Record assignments and due dates for all classes
  • Turn in assignments complete and on time
  • Maintain passing grades in all core classes
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