2019-2020 Elective Course Descriptions
Elective Course Descriptions
All courses are available to 7th and 8th grade students, unless otherwise stated. Please see specific course descriptions for additional information.
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination):
Courses offered at both 7th grade and 8th grade levels (year long course)
Application Required/Teacher recommendation
AVID is an elective class offered to students who would like to prepare for four-year colleges and universities. Students must have satisfactory citizenship, good attendance, and a G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher. In AVID, students are given the support and instruction they need to succeed.
Beginning Art (7th & 8th):
Beginning art is a beginning level course in which students will develop basic skills and an understanding of art-making. drawing, 3-D art.
Advanced Art (8th):
Must have taken beginning art in 7th grade. Drawing, painting, clay, paper art, sculpture.
Beg.Drama/Adv. Drama (7th & 8th):
This course is designed for both the student new to drama and the student with a general background in the theatre. This class will cover all aspects of theatre:The play, the actor, and the audience. Group and individual work will be used to develop skills in movement, voice, story development, conflict building, characterization, use of theatre terminology, and application or production techniques. Iprovision and memorization required.
Project Lead the Way 7th Both courses will be covered in one year (year long course)
Design and Modeling Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They work in teams to design a playground and furniture, capturing research and ideas in their engineering notebooks. Using Autodesk design software, the same advanced computer tool as those used by the world’s leading engineering companies, students create a virtual 3-D image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their innovative solutions.
Automation and Robotics
Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about gears and mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics platform to design, build, and program real-world objects, such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms.
Project Lead the Way 8th Both courses will be covered in one year (year long course)
Application Required/Teacher Recommendation
Flight and Space
Students explore the science behind aircraft design and the forces of flight of hot air balloons, airplanes, helicopters, rockets, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Students design, build, test and modify their own glider using 3-D design software to optimize flight characteristics. Students design rockets and test them in a NASA simulator. After learning how people get to space, students will explore what it takes to stay and live in space. They will utilize the game Astro Engineers to experience a design challenge similar to what NASA engineers face.
Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health equilibrium.
Beginning Classical Guitar
Course Description: This course is designed for students who are new to learning music. Students will receive guidance and direction in solving problems related to playing the guitar at a beginning level and will learn many of the different styles, skills and techniques required to become a successful guitarist. Areas of focus include: correct posture, note reading, listening skills, rhythmic patterns, chord study, finger-picking styles, musical forms and performing experiences.
Course Description: This course is designed for students who enjoying singing and will enhance the musical, creative and expressive qualities of all students. Students will learn music reading skills, sight-singing skills, and performance skills. In addition students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the differences in music from other cultures and the connections music brings to people, places, and time.
7th grade computer course: is an exploratory class for basic keyboarding operation including alphabetic keyboard. Students will demonstrate competency by correctly using the touch system. Curriculum delivery supports the development of technological skills as students learn to use software designed for word processing, multimedia presentations, spreadsheets, and Internet-based research skills. Internet Safety and Cyber Citizenship will also be reviewed and incorporated into the curriculum. These tools will support the high levels of collaboration that are required in today’s classroom to prepare students with communication and collaboration skills for life.
8th grade first semester CS Discoveries A
Description for first semester:Computer Science Discoveries takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. Students engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Course A inspires students as they build their own websites and games. Internet Safety and Cyber Citizenship will also be reviewed and incorporated into the curriculum.
8th grade second semester CS Discoveries B
Description for second semester: Computer Science Discoveries takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. Students engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Course B inspires students as they build their own apps and physical computing devices. Internet Safety and Cyber Citizenship will also be reviewed and incorporated into the curriculum
Environmental Studies (year long course):
Learn how human interaction affects our environment through hands on projects, crafts and research.
Video Production (year long course):
This course will introduce the basics of video production utilizing a personal professional camcorder and other video producing equipment. Students study a vast amount of video techniques, they learn how to use and operate basic equipment (e.g. camera, boom mic, video editor, etc...), and they learn how to create storyboards and film scripts. Students work independently and in groups to create video projects. This course will also provide an understanding of the video production industry, which includes advertising and pre- and post- production as well as movie production and TV broadcasting.
Spanish (year long course): The main purpose of the course is to teach students to understand and to speak Spanish as a medium of communication through a good pronunciation and solid vocabulary. You will learn Spanish through a focus on language and culture and well as a strong emphasis on listening, speaking, reading and writing.
ASB (year long course) Application required:
ASB is the principal student government body on campus headed by six office holders (cabinet): president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, communications chair and social chair) who govern the entire student body. The leadership class consists of the ASB office holders and accepted applicants, or ASB representatives. We ask for applicants to be respectful, motivated scholars that maintain their grades and volunteer in any capacity in which the school may deem necessary. This student organization is established to govern finances, (ASB funds, fundraisers) organize activities, and represent the students of Rivera Middle School.
CADET (Must maintain a 2.0 GPA):
As a CADET you must be a Responsible, Motivated Scholar at all times. CADETS will assist in assigned locations to learn and gain experience in office procedures, office etiquette, customer service, and to gain an operating knowledge of how to effectively organize tasks. CADETS provide valuable services such as running errands, helping students, and generally assisting in the operation of the office or classroom.