Electives

Overview

Seventh and eighth grade students choose one elective to take during the school day. Please note that some electives are for a semester only; others require a commitment of the full academic year.

Returning students receive an electives enrollment packet in the spring of 6th or 7th grade. They select from the electives offered, indicating first, second, and third choices. They will see their elective listed in the course schedule they receive at the Welcome Fair before school starts.

New students will receive their electives enrollment packet from Ms. Jones when they register for school. They should complete the front page and return it to Ms. Jones.

Questions about the elective program should be directed to the student’s grade-level vice principal.

Leadership: School and Community Service

Grades 7 and 8, semester course

This course gives students the opportunity to work with their peers in a leadership role. Students plan and lead activities for the student body with the goal of developing school spirit and improving the feeling of community on campus. Students develop communication and teamwork skills as they make banners and flyers to advertise school spirit days. Students acquire the basics of film making and create films to present important school-wide topics at assemblies. Leadership students gain business skills as they plan and participate in fundraising activities to raise money for school-wide programs. In addition, the leadership class handles all decorations for the school dances. Community service is an important aspect of the leadership class, and students have opportunities to serve the school by doing recycling and peer tutoring in King classrooms once a week. The use of various media including film, print, and audio recordings help students gain awareness of work issues and feel empowered. The leadership class will maintain a web site for lessons, helpful links, class calendar, and samples of student work. Students will learn and practice cyber safety and netiquette at all times in the lab.

General Art

Grades 7 and 8, semester course

The course is designed to instruct art students in drawing, mixed media, painting, and printmaking.  Students will also work with ceramic tile processes that include glazing and firing in a kiln and plaster sculpture in hand studies. The class will become familiar with the basic principles and elements of design as well as utilizing the elements and properties of color in creating their work. Students will do projects that include graffiti art lettering, contour drawing, still life studies, traditional animation, manga style Japanese animation, masks and abstract designs from Africa, printmaking with monotypes on a printing press, and Picasso-style head studies and portraiture. They will learn basic skills and vocabulary in art and develop critical thinking skills as well as an appreciation of art.

AVID

Grades 7 and 8, full-year course

The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program is a stepping stone to prepare students to become competitive for four-year colleges and universities. It provides support for academic courses. First year AVID includes the following:

  • Career and college exploration and related vocabulary
  • Collaborative tutorial support and development of higher level questioning skills
  • Cornell Notes and Socratic seminars
  • Notebook organization, calendars, and assignment records
  • Vocabulary related to core subjects as well as SAT vocabulary
  • Study skills and test taking strategies
  • Guest speakers from the professional, educational, and business communities

Students must be invited to participate in an application and interview process in order to be a part of the AVID program. If you know you will be in an AVID class next year, please put it as your first choice. Incoming 7th grader AVID students also have the option of enrolling in an afterschool Beginning Spanish class. Current 7th graders interested in joining AVID in 8th grade can obtain an application from the 7th or 8th grade Vice Principles.

Computation and Media

Grades 7 and 8, semester course

This class offers a fun, hands-on approach to learning computational skills in a computer lab setting. Student activities will include computer science basics, computer game design, mobile app design, animation, and web page and presentation design. We will use Scratch, a free downloadable program (http://www.scrat.mit.edu) to learn programming concepts and to develop the ability to solve problems with computers. The Scratch lessons are available at http://kingmediacomputation.com/scratch/, and parents are encouraged to use the site to monitor student learning. AppInventor, another free downloadable program (http:www.appinventor.mit.edu), will also be used by students to learn how to design mobile apps. Students will access free Web 2.0 tools and work on shared documents to collaborate in real time. The crucial skill of touch typing will be taught and integrated throughout the class. A teacher web site for lessons, helpful links, class calendar, and samples of student work will guide parents and students throughout the semester. Students will learn and practice cyber safety and netiquette.

Digital Arts

Grades 7 and 8, semester course

Do you like art? Computers? Photograph? Unleash your creativity in projects such as poster design, web page design, logo design, animation, drawing in 3D, and photography. In Digital Arts, you will work in a Macintosh lab using scanners, color printers, digital cameras, and software such as PhotoShop, SketchUp, Flash, InDesign, and Illustrator. There are many possibilities for creative projects, a few of which follow. We will learn how to poster-size images and incorporate the principles of design and color theory to create original works of art with Adobe PhotoShop. We will explore the rules of photo composition and learn how to create a better image as we shoot photographs on the King campus and elsewhere. SketchUp, a free downloadable program, will be taught, and students will learn to create 3D objects and buildings. Students will access free Web 2.0 tools and work on shared documents to collaborate in real time. The Digital Arts class will maintain a web site for lessons, helpful links, class calendar, and samples of student work. Additionally, students will use Google site to create and maintain a web portfolio of their finished projects. Cyber safely and netiquette will be taught and practiced at all times in the lab.

Journalism/Yearbook

Grades 7 and 8, full year course

This class will focus on two things: Producing a fantastic King yearbook and a top-notch student newspaper, the King Cobra. Please note that yearbook responsibilities will fall mainly to returning students in the second year of the class. The course will teach the foundations of journalism and reporting and use those lessons to make the yearbook and newspaper. 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 for both the newspaper and yearbook, everyone taking the class can expect to become both better readers and better writers. Please, only sign up for this class if you are willing to put in the work to help our school publications. 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

Drama

Grades 7 and 8, full-year course

In this full-year course, students explore many aspects of drama. “Risk and Respect” is a class motto that promotes an environment in which all students feel comfortable taking risks and trying things out. We will use a physical, vocal, and improvisational approach that emphasizes group success. There are so many things we can do in this drama elective. Here are but a few possibilities:

  • Learn how to adapt stories (our own and those of others) for the stage
  • Do scene study work where we analyze and perform scenes from existing plays
  • Work on storytelling and radio theatre plays
  • Explore mask and shadow theatre

There will also be opportunities for students to write and stage their own plays/stories/monologues. The possibilities are endless. I am very excited about this class and hope you can join me and other interested students. Students can take this class even if they have already taken it in the 7th grade as we do different activities and learn new things each year.

English Language Development through Drama

Grades 7 and 8, full-year course

In this full-year course, students learn and use the techniques and forms of drama to improve and develop their abilities in English. Students play theatre games; create scenes; work with masks, movement, and shadow puppetry; tell and listen to stories; and perform plays, as well as other drama- and theatre-related activities. It is designed for students who are currently or were formerly designated as English Language Learners (ELL). It is a great way to develop confidence and abilities with spoken and academic English for all levels of language learners.

Academic Language Development

Grades 7 and 8, full-year course

The ALD (Academic Language Development) class is designed for the ELL student (English Language Learner) to ensure proficiency in the “language of school”—the academic vocabulary, speaking, listening, and writing vital to success in middle school, high school, and beyond. It is specifically for language learners who are intermediate or higher on the CELDT (California English Language Development Test) and have been schooled in the U.S. for many years.

Double Period Math

Pre-algebra, Grade 7 (full-year course)
Double Period Algebra, Grade 8 (full-year course)

These classes are for students who are interested in getting extra support in math. They provide an extra period of math and give students double the time for instruction and to practice other the math concepts in Pre-algebra and Algebra.

Foreign Language

Beginning Spanish, Grade 7  (full-year course)

Beginning French, Grade 7 (full-year course)

Intermediate Spanish, Grade 8 (full-year course)

Intermediate French, Grade 8 (full-year course)

Do you want to be able to converse with people from faraway places (as well as from not-so-far-away places!)? Are you interested in expanding your vocabulary base and understanding of other cultures? Are you looking to increase your desirability in the job market or improve your chances of being accepted into a prestigious university? If you answer is yes, then sign up for a world language as your elective choice. King Middle School offers beginning French and Spanish to 7th grade students and intermediate French and Spanish to 8th grade students who have successfully completed the beginning course.

Leaning a second language can be fun and exciting, but it also takes some commitment. If you are up for the challenge, you will learn how to read, write, speak, and understand another language through a variety of engaging projects and hands-on activities. Through in-depth use of conversations, stories, and readings, you will increase your understanding of the language. You will also learn about the customs and cultures of the countries that speak the language you choose. You will discover that learning a second language helps you to better understand the structure of your own language as well as increase your vocabulary in English. You will also experience the joy of being able to talk to someone from somewhere else who doesn’t speak English.

Two years of middle school foreign language is equivalent to one year of high school foreign language. Students who complete both middle school years successfully can earn up to one full year of high school foreign language credit.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to expand your mind and your world!

We will also be offering a Beginning Spanish section after school. AVID students will be given priority, but we expect additional spaces will be available.

Independent Work Experience

Eighth grade students may choose to be an Independent Work Experience aide (IWE) for a specific teacher or work in the main office or library. IWEs must have a HOW average of 3.0 or better. IWE applications are available from the 7th or 8th grade Vice Principles.

Elective Classes Offered After School

Students may sign up for an after school elective in addition to the elective taken during the school day. To participate in an after school elective, a student must be enrolled in the After School program, although they do not need to pay the After School program fee if the elective is the only class in which they are participating.

Beginning Spanish

Grade 7

See above.

Theatre Ensemble

The performance wing of our drama department is available to all 7th and 8th grade students. In this program, students train together as an ensemble through voice, movement, image work, and group-based activities. After that, we will either perform an already existing play or devise an original piece of theatre that will grow out of a body of work based on our ensemble training. Students must commit to at least two days a week of training for 90 minutes after school. The specific days and times will be announced in the fall. As we get closer to productions, students will be expected to commit more time to the rehearsal and creation process.

Dance Production

Dance Production is a class for anybody who loves to dance! It is available to students from grades 6 through 8. Students will have the opportunity to perform at school events and assemblies and work with the theatre ensemble. They will learn basics in jazz and hip hop. All levels are welcome.