• POTENTIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL ELECTIVE OPPORTUNITIES for Rising 7th and 8th Graders  

    BUILDING LEADERS (Grade 7 ONLY) This course will introduce students to the concept of leadership and how it relates to building a stronger community. Students will identify their own leadership skills, strengthen their leadership capacity through problem-based projects while building the school community. Various forms of literature and media sources will be explored to identify the qualities of leadership and relate those to current student led initiatives around the world. As a culminating project-based learning activity, students will lead and build school culture, as well as plan and conduct a school-related service project. 

    CHANGE MAKERS This course will engage students in service learning projects that address local, national, and global issues. Students will explore various forms of literature and media sources to identify community needs and develop practical, hands-on solutions. Potential topics could involve health, environment social and/or educational projects. This course will use a project-based learning instructional model and develop skills in collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, communication, citizenship, and wellness. 

    COMPUTER SCIENCE DISCOVERIES Students will learn the essentials of programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. Lessons include website creation, app building, and game coding. A strong emphasis on computational thinking allows students to problem solve and prepare solutions using technology. 

    CREATIVE WRITING Students will use mentor texts to discover and refine a variety of writing styles to write creatively and expressively, with a focus on lively and descriptive language. Students will write a variety of creative pieces culminating in a writing portfolio. Students will peer edit and provide guidance on written papers in structured writing centers. 

    DIGITAL ART Students will learn the characteristics of visual art through a wide range of subject matter, symbols, meaningful images, and visual expressions. This beginning level course will develop computer based artistic skills and creative concepts. An introduction to color theory, as well as the elements and principles of design, will also be part of this course. 

    EXPLORING LITERARY STYLES This course will enable students to conduct a literary analysis of various genres and authors through the year. Potential units may include an author focus (Jason Reynolds, JK Rowling), cultural focus (African-American Literature, Chicano Literature), style of writing (Plays and Playwriting, Poetry in Motion), genre (Science Fiction, Mystery, Graphic Novels), or an award-winning focus (Virginia Reader’s Choice Books, Newbery Winners). Areas of focus will be selected by individual teacher and will develop multimodal literacy skills to include reading, writing, and speaking. Students will be able to recognize styles and patterns of the area of focus in order to determine common characteristics. 

    FRENCH 1 (Grade 8 ONLY) Students gain an understanding of the components of a world language and study skills necessary to learn a world language. As students begin to develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, they engage in active practice in real-life situations and in a variety of cultural contexts. 

    GERMAN 1 (Grade 8 ONLY) Students gain an understanding of the components of a world language and study skills necessary to learn a world language. As students begin to develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, they engage in active practice in real-life situations and in a variety of cultural contexts. 

    INNOVATION STUDIO This is a course for students to explore science, technology, engineering, and math all in one curriculum. Learners are presented opportunities to work in collaborative groups in order to solve relevant interdisciplinary-based problems. Robotics, coding, and prototyping provide an environment for students to demonstrate computational thinking and mastery of all-century skills. 

    INTRODUCTION TO GUITAR This course introduces students to the fundamentals of guitar. Guitar instruction emphasizes basic technique, music reading, progressions, and music theory. Music literature is selected from classical and contemporary repertoire. This course offers a comprehensive study of all musical styles. 

    LATIN EXPLORATORY (Grade 7 ONLY) This course will introduce the elements of the classical Latin language and building vocabulary in all contents. This course will develop students’ ability to identify and analyze fundamental grammatical constructions and improve their comprehension skills with a focus on root words and vocabulary structure. 

    Latin 1 (Grade 8 ONLY) Students are introduced to the basic vocabulary and grammar system of the language. Roman life, history, mythology, and English derivations are integral parts of the course. 

    MATHEMATICS PERFORMANCE LAB This course is designed to give students an opportunity to work through rich mathematical tasks and empower them to utilize critical thinking skills. Students will work cooperatively through real-world scenarios while making powerful connections between mathematics content and skills. Algebraic topics will be emphasized through a problem-center, inquiry-based learning environment. 

    MUSIC TECHNOLOGY This course allows students the opportunity to learn how to create sound maps and basic recording techniques while creating original compositions. Both "tracking" and “looping’ techniques will be explored. Students will utilize multiple software-based tools to accomplish these objectives. Some basic keyboard applications will be taught. Students will learn to collaborate with others to create a production plan for performance and recordings, microphone selection and placement, explore the use of electronic and software-based instruments to create music alongside traditional acoustic instruments. Students will become active music makers, creators, and responders to music. 

    PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS This course is designed to provide experiences to help students explore career pathways, investigate through self-discovery and project-based learning. Self- assessments will allow students to discover their interests, strengths, and select pathways for developing an "Academic and Career Plan." Through observation, project-based learning, and job shadowing, students will explore high school programs, post- secondary options, and begin investigating career opportunities in business and industry. This course will help students identify and demonstrate the workplace skills that employers desire in their future employees. Activities could include guest speakers, visits to local businesses and industries and participation in college and career fairs. 

    PUBLIC SPEAKING AND DEBATE This course will introduce students to the basics of public speaking, including debate and online formats such as podcasts and Ted Talks. Students will learn the purpose of a speech and practice various forms of public speaking and debate. This course supports critical thinking, research, writing, and public speaking. Students will participate in class presentations and debates. 

    SPANISH 1 Part A (Grade 7 ONLY) Students gain an understanding of the components of a world language and study skills necessary to learn a world language. As students develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, they engage in active practice in real-life situations in a variety of cultural context. This course is designed to be taken in two parts with Spanish Part 2 to follow. Students will receive high school credit after the successful completion of both courses. 

    STEM INNOVATION LAB In this interdisciplinary course, students will utilize the essentials of computer coding, microcontrollers, robotic design, and programming to explore real-world scenario-based problems and provide STEM solutions. Students will develop skills in critical thinking, creativity and community to process materials and crate models and prototypes to present their solutions. The design brief curriculum will reinforce appropriate science, math, engineering and technology content and skills. This elective course will model how successful teams work within the interdisciplinary field of STEM, is project-based, performance assessed and includes career pathway exploration. 

    WORLD LANGUAGE EXPLORATORY (Grade 7 ONLY) All languages taught in Stafford County- French, German, Spanish, and Latin- are introduced to students through a variety of interactive activities. There is a great focus on the cultures in which the languages are spoken. The use of technology is encouraged to enhance the student’s study. Topics include food, customs, clothing, music, art, geography, history, holidays, life-styles, and recognized contributions to the world. This will help students make an informed decision about the language they wish to study in the future. 

    WORLD MUSIC This general music course is designed to involve students in the development of music skills through singing, playing instruments, moving, and listening. Students will explore the creative aspects of music and study various cultural/historical periods of music. An introduction of musical styles and cultures from around the world will be explored, in addition to the creative aspects of world music by applying music knowledge and skills. 

    Student Course Interest Inventory