Middle School Electives Curriculum Updates - Quarter 2, 2017 - Dragons News

Monday, October 23, 2017

Middle School Electives Curriculum Updates - Quarter 2, 2017

Band / Choir

In Quarter 2, focus will be on preparing Band students for the Winter Arts Day performance. Music fundamentals of reading rhythms, proper tone production, intonation, instrumental technique, and interpretation will be stressed. Students will be assessed via scale and playing tests in person and in Schoology. Parents can help their student succeed by helping establish routine practice sessions at home, at least three times weekly.


Drama Foundations

Focus will be on mime, vocal production, and the different professions of the theatre. Students will work towards completing a performance they can perform for an audience. Parents can help by communicating the importance of Drama class to improving student self-confidence. The skills learned in Drama are transferrable to any other class at KISJ.

Drama 2

Drama 2 students have finished their Improv Unit and will begin a unit working with the text of professional playwrights. They will study plays and learn how to read and perform them.

Parents can help by asking about what is happening in Drama class. The skills learned in Drama are transferrable to any other class at KISJ, as they are about improving student self-confidence.


For Quarter 2, Yearbook students will continue learning about and applying the principles of design to layout pages. Students will continue working with their peers to take photos, develop interviews, write up event descriptions and create layouts for their assigned yearbook pages.
Students will be assessed, using ISTE technology standards, on the application of these principles by creating yearbook specific layouts. Parents can support students by allowing time for students to take photos of their assigned pages to be used in the yearbook published at the end of this year.


Discover Art classes are exploring how art can tell a story through the form of sculpture! They are also discovering how culture can be communicated through painting. The Painting class is entering the world of abstract art as well as collaborating to create a mural in the school. Ceramics classes are applying a cultural lens to their study of how to add decoration to their pottery, as well as continuing to hand build and throw on the wheel.
They will be making a coil pot and applying their researched surface decoration style to it. All students in each of these courses will be assessed through their written blog posts reflecting on their learning. Parents can help students succeed by: checking Schoology updates, looking at the student's progress on their art blog, and asking their child to discuss what they are learning in art!

Psychology and Ethics

Students will explore their thinking and decision-making processes as well as the origins and experience of their emotions in Psychology. Ethics will investigate different theories of choosing between right and wrong. Students will be assessed on written applications of ethical principles as well as the processes of their thoughts and emotions; Parents are encouraged to reflect with students about how their thinking, feeling and decision making processes as they learn about and apply them to their lives.

Design Thinking

Quarter 2 of Design Thinking begins with the use of Makey Makey and SCRATCH software, developing simple circuits that accomplish a programmed computer task. Students will be working individually and with small groups to develop three different products they will present to an Elementary School audience. From there, students will develop a product they will create to improve the school community. Students will develop a proposal for their product they will present for approval. After the proposal is approved, students will create their designed product based on what they have planned.
Students will be assessed on their final products for each of these projects using Next Generation Science Standards: Engineering Design. Each summative assessment will focus on the use of the design process in creating their final product. Parents can support their students by talking with them about their projects, asking how and why they came up with their idea and what changes they would make to their project.


In Quarter 2 of Videography students will continue making short films. In making the films, students begin by brainstorming ideas, creating a storyboard, filming based on their planning and individually editing their creations. This quarter, students are going to be creating a Public Service Announcement educating their audience about a current event, making the introduction to a television show they design, and finally completely redoing one of their video creations from this semester to make the quality of production better.
Student will be assessed on their final videos for each of these projects using the ISTE technology standards. Parents can talk to their students about what they have learned regarding the planning, production and editing process in creating a movie.

Aquatic Science

Aquatic Science is an elective unit of study that builds on key concepts in Grade 6 - 8 Science. Quarter 2 will see students studying some of the key concepts in Marine Science. Our focus is the issues that impact marine ecosystems including global warming, pollution and an increasing world population. Learning activities include literacy, group designed investigations, in-class assessments and a visit to Aqua Planet to study the diversity of marine organisms.
Students will be assessed formatively and summatively. The summative assessments will include a research project and an in-class supervised assessment. Parents can assist their students’ learning by asking clarifying questions especially about Schoology assignments and events.

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