Dear Future 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Students and Parents,
We are very excited to offer a wonderful selection of choice enrichment classes for the 2023-2024 school year, in addition to the new wheel system that we will be implementing. Our teachers have worked hard to offer a wide variety of classes that speak to the whole child and allow for an extensive range of interests. On the following pages, please look over which elective enrichment classes you would like to take next year. Your child will submit their top 6 choices for next year. We will try to accommodate your top selections; however, there is no guarantee that you will be enrolled in all of your selections due to class size restrictions, etc. Therefore, you may be placed into an elective that you did not sign up for. In addition, the administration and teachers may place students in the appropriate classes (e.g., support classes). Please be aware that some of the classes listed below may not be offered, depending on teacher availability, scheduling, etc. It is important to note that the electives you get enrolled in will not be changed in the Fall and that enrollments are final. Additionally, we are excited to offer optional Music classes to all 7th and 8th grade students. These Music classes will be backed up to PE and do not replace the Band elective. In our effort to complete the Upper School student schedules, it is important that we know if your 7th or 8th grade child would like PE for all five days of the week or PE for three days and Music for two days during a given week. Below is a description of the two courses:
7th Grade: Continuation of Acoustic Guitar featuring a variety of genres and styles based on individual student needs.
8th Grade: World Percussion featuring different drums (i.e., buckets) in an ensemble setting.
To recap, all incoming 6th-8th graders will rank their top 6 choices for electives next year. Additionally, all incoming 7th and 8th graders will choose if they would like to take Music or additional Physical Education classes next year.Please discuss these exciting options as a family and help your child to take note of their choices. Your child will fill out their final preferences on a Google Form in class on Friday, June 2nd. Thank you for helping your child to make these important scheduling decisions!
Elective Enrichment Class Program Description: Upper School Enrichment classes are interest-based seminars. All courses will be given letter grades. Elective grades are calculated into the grade point average; however, they are not calculated into the 8th grade Academic Award.
Placement decisions in some classes are made on a variety of criteria that include student interest as well as performance in classes throughout the year. The Woodside Middle School teachers, in consultation with the administration, determine the placement of all rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Students will be directed based on the following:
Be in good academic standing and maintain at least a C average each trimester in all core academic courses including Math, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Spanish/Mandarin, Physical Education, Art and Music.
Be mature, self-directed, and show high levels of motivation, responsibility, and reliability by maintaining a C average in all their core academic courses.
Students who are not in good academic standing and receive a grade below a C may be assigned to courses that will support improved academic achievement such as study skills. If a student’s academic performance improves by the end of the trimester, the student may be able to select from available electives.
In the event that a student’s grades deteriorate during the course of the year, the student will be removed from their electives and placed in the appropriate support classes.
Enrichment offerings vary over the course of the school year and from trimester to trimester based on students’ needs.
8th Period Elective/Enrichment Classes: *Please note that not all of these classes may take place. These are possible offerings, and final offerings will depend on interest level, teacher availability, etc.*
Art Elective (6,7,8)
Advanced Science of Food (8th only- must have taken Science of Food before)
Buddy Elective (6,7,8)
Discovering Graphic Novels (6,7,8)
Games of Strategy (6,7,8)
Intro to Government/Economics (6,7,8)
Model United Nations (6,7,8)
Modern Readers (6,7,8)
Modern U.S. History (6,7,8)
Operetta (mandatory for all 8th grade students during 3rd trimester – P/NP)
Podcasting 101 (6,7,8)
Positivity Project (6,7,8)
Public Speaking (6,7,8)
Short Stories (6,7,8)
Storytelling through Photography (6,7,8)
Strength and Conditioning (6,7,8)
Study Hall (6,7,8)
Typical Zero Period/Lunch Time Offerings (To be determined and communicated in Fall of 2023):
Music - Chamber Singers
Music - Showstoppers
Music - Jazz Band (Must Be in Band Elective to Participate)
Art Elective (Trimester long)
Students will work on advanced art projects and a mentored, project-based curriculum. This course will emphasize creative exploration and development. Students explore the structure of art, including line, texture, color, value, and space; learn basic drawing techniques; work in two and three-dimensional forms; and experiment with diverse media.
Advanced Science of Food (Trimester long)This course is for incoming 8th grade students who have already taken Science of Food and want more! This course will follow the same format as Science of Food, and you will explore new skills and recipes. For those students who want to take Science of Food for the first time, this course will now be built into our new Life Skills wheel class for all students to experience.
Band (Year-long) Students will have an opportunity to play a variety of music that ranges in time period and style. As we rehearse the music, we will build on general musical skills, and techniques specific to instruments and individuals, and work together as members of a team to create a final musical product that they will perform for the school community. 7th and 8th grade students who want to be in Jazz Band are required to be in this elective.
Buddy Elective (Trimester long) This class is for students who have a passion for helping younger students. You will be tasked with helping to facilitate Upper and Lower school buddy opportunities and may participate in activities such as tutoring, being a reader leader, or volunteering in various Lower School classrooms.
Discovering Graphic Novels (Trimester long) Are you an avid graphic novel reader, or someone who wants to explore literature through a visual lens? This class will explore various graphic novels, novels written in a visual or comic-like format. All are welcome to learn more about this exciting form of literature and to engage in great discussions around the texts chosen!
Games of Strategy (Trimester long) Do you enjoy a good challenge? Do you like puzzles and riddles and solving mysteries? If the answer to one or more of these questions is “yes” then this is the elective for you! In this elective, you will learn new and old games, while you challenge yourself and your classmates. You may solve a few mysteries and uncover the answer to a puzzling puzzle!
Intro to Government/Economics (Trimester Long) Students in Intro to Gov/Econ will use a project-based approach to develop a familiarity with basic economic vocabulary and theory, as well as work to understand the functions of government at a local and state level.
Model United Nations (Trimester long) Model UN is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and its other multilateral bodies where students perform an ambassador role while debating topics such as gender equality, climate action, global health, and more. Students will work in groups during the trimester to understand the roles of interactions between diplomats from around the world.
Modern Readers (Trimester long) If you wish you had more time to read books – just for fun – this is the elective for you! The class format will include one period a week for reading and one period a week of activity. In Modern Readers, we will explore new and exciting titles, discuss great literature, do book talks, make social media accounts for our favorite characters, and create a movie trailer for a book.
Modern U.S. History (Trimester long) Modern US History picks up where our existing 8th-grade history curriculum leaves off, and will focus on a condensed view of American history spanning from the late 1800s to the modern day. Students will get a preview of high school history topics such as the Gilded Age, the Cold War, and the Civil Rights Movement.
Podcasting 101 (Trimester long) We’re in a golden age of podcasts—currently about 800,000 and reach more than 60 million U.S. listeners. Audio storytelling dominates the digital media landscape, and it offers students the chance to develop vital skills in a fun, engaging way. This elective will not only teach students how to create a podcast, but help students become better writers and communicators, and improve their research skills and get them thinking like online publishers who entertain and inform.
Positivity Project (Trimester long) Do you like to make people smile? Students will meet and discuss ways to spread positivity throughout the school. We will then take action to spread a positive message to students, faculty, and staff throughout the school. This club is designed to bring joy to others.
Public Speaking (Trimester long) This elective class will emphasize the practical skill of public speaking. The goal of the class is to prepare students for success in typical public speaking situations and to provide them with the basic principles of organization and research needed for effective speeches. Students will also learn techniques to lessen speaker anxiety. They will examine the purposes, methods, and steps in preparing speeches for a variety of situations by watching public speakers and engaging in public speaking opportunities within the elective class period.
Self Defense (Trimester long) The purpose of this class is to develop basic self-defense skill development as well as awareness and avoidance techniques. This course focuses on skill improvement and overall knowledge of personal safety. Introducing the basics of self-defense and its practical applications, this course focuses on coordination, balance, agility, strength, and endurance. The course will cover both grappling and striking martial arts in a fun, safe environment.
Short Stories (Trimester long) Students will explore the world of short stories by writing creative stories of their own. Students will be encouraged to write a variety of stories, including children’s stories and fantasy. Each student will create a final project of a complete short storybook with illustrations.
Storytelling through Photography (Trimester long) This digital photography elective is designed to highlight the innate creativity of the students, build their technical skills, and enhance their understanding of the power of photography to communicate their perspectives of the world. Students will study composition and stylistic elements within multiple genres of photography. We will touch on the history of photography and its place in the timeline of art and technology. Students will practice with Exposure, Depth of Field, and Focus. Students will research accomplished photographers for inspiration and create a photography portfolio.
Strength and Conditioning (Trimester long) This course is designed for those students interested in developing strength for advanced sports skills. Students will engage in resistance training, cardiovascular conditioning and flexibility exercises. Strength and sports conditioning is athletic training aimed at greater strength, power, speed, agility, coordination, and balance. You will learn general exercise principles, nutrition, and sport-specific science, along with practical advanced training in resistance training, agility, plyometrics, balance, and sprint training for athletes.
Study Hall (Trimester long)This elective is designed for students who wish they had more time in the day to complete work or study for tests. Students will have access to a teacher for support during this time and will be able to spend time completing homework, studying for tests, or going in-depth on topics of interest. Teachers may also place students in this elective as needed. Operetta – (All 8th grade students - Trimester 3) 8th grade students will participate in one of the most enjoyable Woodside School traditions, the annual Operetta. Each spring, the Operetta stars the entire 8th grade. Each year’s musical production is a lovely farewell from the 8th grade to the entire school. 8th grade students will be enrolled in Operetta for all of their elective classes during the 3rd trimester.