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Special Areas / Electives


2019-2020 PINECREST ST. ROSE MIDDLE SCHOOL ELECTIVES


Astronomy:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $10

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

Astronomy is the study of celestial objects, space and the physical universe as a whole. In class we utilize the star lab to understand the makeup and concepts as well as hands-on projects to create and learn. We focus on our solar system, constellations, universes, and other celestial phenomenon. We also delve into the myths and legends that explain the origins of the stars


Foundations of Art:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $10

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite:  N/A

This course introduces students to a multitude of techniques used to produce art. Students will use a variety of mediums to create original pieces of art through personal interpretation. Students will have an opportunity to apply the use of colored pencils, watercolor, tempera paints, chalk, clay, paper, and string to develop their own versions of an assigned project. Students will learn and understand the concepts behind shading, shadows, and dimension to add life to their works of art. At the end of this course, students will have gained exposure to and an appreciation for the various forms of artistic expression.


Art of Science:

Grade Level(s): 7-8 Course Fee: $20

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

This elective will consist of art projects related to science standards.

Students will learn the basis of Euclidean Geometry, build geometric solids with paper and mathematical sequences like the Fibonacci numbers. This will lead to the exploration of the golden ratio and rules of compositions that date from the Renaissance art.


There will be study of colors which will range from mixing pigments to the history of rare and noble colors. Students will use watercolor and tempera paint for those studies. Students will learn about light and shadow, reflection (exploring concave and convex mirrors), refraction (observation of light and image through water and through samples of optical calcite).


As new ideas and connections between art and science are added to the course, this elective continues to evolve with each new group of students.


Band:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $150 + instrument rental

Term: Yearlong Prerequisite: See details under “The Conservatory Program”


Broadcast News:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $25

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: Teacher/admin approval

Teacher (or) administrator approval is required for this elective. The digital broadcasting and journalism elective is a fast-paced course that provides students with the opportunity to develop and refine skills that relate directly to academic programs and future career tracks involving modern media. Students are tasked with writing scripts, recording news segments, and editing footage to create a cohesive and informative news broadcast. Daily newscasts are viewed by the entire middle school student body and are an integral part of campus communication. Students in this course may also have the unique opportunity to work with and interview individuals of notoriety.


Choir:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $150

Term: Yearlong Prerequisite: See details under “The Conservatory Program”


Computer Science Discoveries:

Grade Level(s): 7-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: Yearlong Prerequisite: Computer Science Applications

Computer Science Discoveries is a year-long introductory computer science course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem-solving, and fun.


Computer Science Applications (Formerly Computer Literacy):

Grade Level(s): 6-7 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: Required 6th grade

Computer Science and Applications is a one semester course required for all 6th grade students that lays the foundation of preparing students for success in future computer classes, the use of technology in secondary classes and college coursework, and career. The first half of the course focuses on relevant standards, such as Productivity Tools including Docs, Slicks, Calendars, Drawings, Maps, Sheets, and Search. The second half of the course focuses on Computational Thinking/Computer Science. This middle school course satisfies the Use of Computers half=credit requirement for high school graduation.


Conversational Spanish:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

This course introduces students to Spanish and to begin developing communicative competence in the Spanish language. Students will learn to talk and write about activities of daily life, give and follow simple oral and written instructions and commands, recognize commonly used verbs and phrases, and participate in structured conversations in a variety of topics. Students will learn about important people, holidays, geography and history of Spanish-speaking countries. By the end of this course, students should be able to write a simple narrative about a personal experience or event and be able to recognize standard rules of usage and grammar. No previous experience with Spanish is necessary to enroll in this elective. This elective is a mandatory prerequisite for Spanish 1.


Creative Writing:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

Students will explore different styles and genres of creative writing.  The main purpose of this elective is to provide students with a platform to develop their own unique voice in fictional writing by creating stories of personal interest.  Students will learn from each other by sharing their work and giving constructive feedback to help each other edit and refine their writing. The curriculum covers the writing of short stories, poetry, screenplays, and novels.  Students will have the unique opportunity to have their creative works published on a class website.



Drama:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $40

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

In this course, students will learn about various aspects of drama and performance to include acting techniques, audition rules, and the history of theater. Emphasis will be placed on developing theatrical skills such as mood, feeling, movement, and vocal expression that are used to communicate the personality or feelings of a character. Students will be graded on participation, effort and collaboration which will be evaluated through group skits, individual readings, and a final production in front of a live audience. The final production is a mandatory activity; students may participate in a technical role backstage in lieu of performing on stage. This course includes after-school rehearsals during the final production week.


Graphic Design:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $20

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

This is an entry-level graphic design class. Students are introduced to the Adobe Creative Suite with a focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Students will work in these applications to plan and create graphic design projects assigned to this curriculum; students are encouraged to use imaginative and creative design ideas that reflect their unique, personal interpretation of the assigned task. While art is not a prerequisite for this class, previous art-related experience is beneficial for students interested in this semester-long elective.

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Green Architecture PLTW:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee:TBD

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

Students learn how to apply green concepts to the fields of architecture and construction. They explore dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability and apply what they have learned to design affordable housing units using Autodesk’s 3D architectural design software.


Lawyer Up - The Art of Argument:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $15

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

Through research, instruction, and practice, students will develop argumentative skill participate in argumentation and debate in class. Students will learn strategies and techniques for overcoming public-speaking fears and will learn to encourage audience participation. Students will be exposed to various styles of speeches to include impromptu, informative, demonstrative, persuasive, and extemporaneous formats. Based upon event availability, students may have an opportunity to attend a community debate or related event. Think Law builds critical thinking skills through real-life legal cases.  Students will learn how to argue both sides of cases, conduct investigations, settle disputes, make difficult decisions based on evidence and the law, and write persuasively.


Leadership/Student Council:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: Teacher/admin approval

Teacher (or) administrator approval is required for this yearlong elective. Students in this class will focus on developing themselves into effective and responsible leaders both on campus and within the community. Students will participate in interactive games and activities to cultivate team-building and communication skills; lessons and assignments will be geared toward identifying the qualities necessary to become strong, positive leaders and role-models. Students are expected to model leadership, responsibility, and cooperation by volunteering time to assist teachers and staff. An exceptional behavior record will be required throughout the year.


Math Intervention:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: Admin assigned

This intervention course in mathematics is designed for students who need traditional instruction and support to master necessary middle school mathematics concepts. This course provides additional instruction in conjunction with the students’ required mathematics course of study in grades 6, 7, and 8. The use of manipulatives, mathematical tools, and technology, including calculators and computer software, is an integral part of this courses. This course is a repeatable elective and does not fulfil the middle school mathematics requirement for promotion.


Medical Detectives PLTW:

Grade Level(s): 7/8 Course Fee: TBD

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they collect and analyze medical data to diagnose disease. They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, measure and interpret vital signs, dissect a sheep brain, investigate disease outbreaks, and explore how a breakdown within the human body can lead to dysfunction.


PE/Health:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: N/A

Students are introduced to a regular routine of physical activity and health education. Students will learn basic athletic skills in a variety of sports-related activities in addition to developing proper athletic form while exercising. Students will build an appropriate athletic and health vocabulary and will be able to articulate and demonstrate proper techniques for avoiding injury, improving athletic skill, and understanding the value of teamwork and cooperative play. The health portion of this course will focus on building and maintaining a personalized health plan for each student and recognizing the need for a physical fitness and nutrition plan during each stage of life. Students will understand the basic relationship between genetics, habits, and environmental influences on a person’s health and lifestyle choices to include the damaging and long-lasting effects of drug/alcohol abuse and improper diet. Students will complete this class with a solid foundation on which to build a healthy lifestyle that will improve performance in both their personal and professional lives.


Reading Intervention:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: Admin assigned

This intervention course in language arts is designed for students who need additional instruction and support to master necessary middle school reading and writing concepts. This course provides additional instruction in conjunction with the students’ required language arts course of study in grades 6, 7, and 8.Students will receive instruction in decoding skills, spelling, grammar, comprehension strategies, and oral reading fluency. This is a repeatable elective and does not fulfill the middle school language arts requirement for promotion.



Competitive Robotics:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $100

Term: Yearlong Prerequisite: (priority given to students in grades 7-8 & students repeating

           the course)

The objective of this course is to introduce the student to basic programming as well as problem solving strategies. This course will involve students in the development, building and programming of a robot. Students will work hands-on in teams to design, build, program, and document their progress. Topics may include motor control, gear ratios, torque, friction, sensors, timing, program loops, logic gates, decision-making, timing sequences, propulsion systems and binary number systems. Student designed robots may be programmed to compete in various competitions. Robotics is an intensive program geared toward students who crave a challenge and those who are willing to commit to the behavior, academic, and time demands of this program. Students will participate in a local competition with the potential regional, state and possibly national level (depending on how far students progress through competitions). Please note- competitions may take place on weekends and additional fees or fundraising may be necessary for travel expenses should team(s) advance to higher levels of competition.



Spanish 1:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: TBD

Term: Yearlong Prerequisite: Successful completion of Conv. Spanish

This course will develop communicative competence in the Spanish language. Students will focus on refining their written and oral communication skills and gaining competency in Spanish fluency. Students will be expected to gain the linguistic skill to communicate primarily in Spanish while in the classroom. Students must have successfully completed the Conversational Spanish course in order to enroll in this elective. Students in Grade 8 may earn HS credit for successful completion (Grade average of B or higher) of the Spanish 1 elective course.


Strings:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: 150 + instrument rental

Term: Yearlong Prerequisite: See details under “The Conservatory Program”


Student Aide:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: Teacher/admin approval

Teacher (or) administrator approval is required for this semester-long elective. Students will get the chance to partner alongside an elementary teacher to assist in the day-to-day operations of the classroom. Student aides will be actively engaged in assisting younger students with learning foundational skills, working with their primary peers on letter sounds, basic math concepts, and sight words. Students will develop leadership and management skills, as well as a better understanding of their own learning strategies and styles.


Study Hall:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite:

Teacher (or) administrator approval is required for this yearlong elective. Students will have the option to use their elective time as a ‘Study Hall’ to complete Homework, work on upcoming assignments, or read. The Study Skills section of this course is designed to help students become academically organized and utilize their agendas, timelines for projects, and academic tools and technology effectively.

Travel USA - Past & Present:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $0

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite:

In this elective, students discover and experience the vast history, geography, popular culture (historical and modern), and people of American.  Students will plan a detailed road trip from Las Vegas to a variety of destinations, of the students' choosing, throughout the United States. Following the guidelines of budget,  timeframe, and site theme, students plan a day-by-day visit to locations throughout the country. Students will research destinations, transportation, places to stay, sights to see, and how to get the most out of a trip.  Students will practice "Think also..." by learning about current issues within a given region, and how to be a conscientious traveler.

Along their "travels" In students will discover what places makes some places famous, products they invented or produce, and other objects that relate to the area.  Students will gather and/or create objects to represent the places they've visited resulting in an artifact museum. For example, Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco, Texas; the first mobile telephone device was created in St. Louis, Missouri; and other inventions including the ferris wheels, light bulbs, photo paper, video game consoles; moon landers...  Students will create a digital presentation (video, slide show, interactive presentation, etc.) to present to classmates and present their artifact museums as well.

This elective class requires students who have curious minds and who are travelers, investigators, and explorers at heart!  Come "travel" and discover America with us!



Yearbook/Journalism:

Grade Level(s): 6-8 Course Fee: $20

Term: 1 semester Prerequisite: B or better in current English course

Teacher (or) administrator approval is required for this yearlong elective. Students will work throughout the 2018-19 school year to design the Pinecrest St. Rose annual yearbook. Students will actively participate in developing a ‘theme’, designing page layouts, taking pictures, and uploading photos to submit to the yearbook publisher. This elective requires that students are available to take pictures at after school events, weekend games, and other campus activities; students will also be entering classrooms during the school day and must exemplify good behavior, courtesy, and respect at all times.

Students are introduced to the historical importance of journalism in America. They study the basic principles of print and online journalism as they examine the role of news media in our society. They learn investigative skills, responsible reporting, and journalistic writing techniques as they read, respond to, and write their own news and feature articles. Students conduct interviews, research, write, and design our school’s publication.















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 Pinecrest Academy

The new “Conservatory at Pinecrest Academy” provides Nevada’s only advanced music training curriculum housed within a public middle school and high school. Some of Las Vegas’ most inspiring and sought after music educators are joining our ranks to provide a transformative music education to the students of Pinecrest Academy St. Rose, Inspirada, and Sloan Canyon. By design, this new system will build on the award winning STEAM features of our school and will nurture the creativity needed to prepare our students for the careers of tomorrow. Welcome to the Conservatory at Pinecrest Academy.

Fees associated with Conservatory Programs:

$50 Course Fee - Goes to the specific classroom needs for each program.

$100 Conservatory Fee - Goes to the general conservatory operating cost.

Total: $150 Yearlong Fee*

*Fee does not include instrument rental


The Conservatory at Pinecrest Academy Programs:

Band: Beginning Band

GRADES 6-7

Yearlong

Beginning Band students will have the opportunity to perform on the following instruments: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone/euphonium, tuba, and percussion. INSTRUMENT SELECTION PROCESS WILL TAKE PLACE THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL.

Active participation during class is essential in order for a student to learn how to play an instrument and therefore will be a substantial portion of the grade. Concert attendance  and participation is mandatory.

Students will learn and exhibit proper, safe, care and maintenance of their instruments. They will play in large ensembles demonstrating appropriate ensemble techniques while following a conductor. Students perform multiple-part ensemble literature, learn music terminology, and music reading techniques. This course concentrates on the correct instrument position and placement, note-reading and aural skills, rhythmic patterns, intonation, articulation, and breath support in order to perform with a good tone quality. The importance of sustained group and individual effort is stressed. A progression of fundamental and technical proficiency is expected. This course is a preparatory course for progression to more advanced band courses.

Band: Concert Band (New for 2019-2020)

GRADES: 6-8

Yearlong

Prerequisite: 1 Year of Beginning Band & Teacher Recommendation

Concert Band is offered to students with previous band experience. This course concentrates on the development of style, articulation, pitch, dynamics, technique, advanced rhythmic patterns, and tonal recognition. A progression of technical proficiency is expected.

Students will play a carried repertoire of instrumental literature representing diverse genres and styles including both classical and popular music. Students will be able to identify the various ways that music can convey universal themes, i.e., contrast, conflict, or emotion. This course emphasizes preparing students to continue learning how a successful band functions and the continuation of success on their instrument of choice. Concert attendance and participation is mandatory.


Choir: Beginning Choir

GRADES 6-7

Yearlong

Students will learn the physical techniques involved in producing and cultivating a beautiful singing sound:  breathing and breath support, tone production, projection, diction, and physical health/care/vocal maintenance.  Students then combine their sounds to create music as a performance ensemble, learning to utilize both choral techniques that produce enjoyable and moving musical performances, as well as the finer components of presenting a stage performance.  During the course of the year, choral students will learn to read and understand written music, sight-sing, and perform in one-, two- and possibly three-part harmony. Music will include pieces drawn from standard choral repertoire, and will include music in a variety of styles, tempos and languages.  A year-long class, each semester will culminate in a full choral performance with potential solo and small-group opportunities. Concert participation and attendance are mandatory. Other opportunities for performance may also be offered throughout the year.

Choir: Intermediate Choir (New for 2019-2020)

GRADES 6-8

Yearlong

Prerequisite: 1 Year of Beginning Strings & Teacher Recommendation

An extension of the beginning choir, Intermediate Choir offers the opportunity to further hone the skills introduced in Beginning Choir, and provide a challenge for musicians seeking more advanced singing opportunities.  Increased emphasis will be placed on individual improvement and excellence, as well as responsibility as a part-singer. Studies include advanced implementation of languages, 3- and 4-part singing, sight-singing and music-reading, and the more in-depth study of dramatic interpretation and character.  Pieces will be chosen from a broader selection of styles, ranging from standard choral and classical works to popular, madrigal, jazz and Broadway repertoire. A full-year class, each semester will culminate in a full choral performance with potential solo and small-group opportunities. Concert participation and attendance are mandatory.  Other opportunities for performance may be offered throughout the year.


Strings: Beginning Strings

GRADES 6-7

Yearlong

Students learn to play a string instrument. String instruments taught will include the violin, viola, and cello. INSTRUMENT SELECTION PROCESS WILL TAKE PLACE THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL. Active participation during class is essential in order for a student to learn how to play an instrument and therefore will be a substantial portion of the grade. Concert attendance and participation is mandatory.

Students will learn and exhibit proper, safe, care and maintenance of their instruments. They will play in large ensembles demonstrating appropriate ensemble techniques while following a conductor. Students perform multiple-part ensemble literature and learn music terminology and music reading techniques. This course emphasizes the place of string music in the western musical heritage. It concentrates on the development of correct instrument position and placement, note-reading and aural skills, rhythmic patterns, intonation, and tonality inherent to string music. The importance of sustained group and individual effort is stressed. A progression of fundamental and technical proficiency is expected. This course is a preparatory course for progression to more advanced strings courses.

Strings: Intermediate Strings (New for 2019-2020)

GRADES 6-8

Yearlong

Prerequisite: 1 Year of Beginning Strings & Teacher Recommendation

Intermediate Strings is offered to students entering 6th-8th grade as a continuation for students with previous string experience. This course concentrates on the development of style, articulation, pitch, dynamics, technique, advanced rhythmic patterns and tonal recognition. A progression of technical proficiency is expected. Students will play a carried repertoire of instrumental literature representing diverse genres and styles including both classical and popular music. Students will be able to identify the various ways that music can convey universal themes, i.e., contrast, conflict, or emotion. This course emphasizes preparing students to continue learning how a successful string orchestra functions and the continuation of success on their instrument of choice. Concert participation and attendance is mandatory.