Rising 7th and 8th Grade Course Information

The following documents will be used for selecting exploratory choices for the 2024/2025 school year.  Students may use these sheets to help plan out which exploratory courses they would like to choose for the upcoming school year. 

Current 6th Grade Students:

  1. Exploratory Worksheet for all 6th grade students

Current 7th Grade Students:

  1. Exploratory Worksheet for all 7th grade students
Calendar of Events:

January 29 - 31, 2024 - Counselors will visit every Language Arts class to share information about the exploratory classes students can take.  Students will then rank their exploratory choices and submit that information to us.

February - March - Counselors will review selections made with each student and make any needed changes or adjustments.  A link will be sent to families to schedule conferences to meet with School Counselors about next year’s course planning.

By March 13, 2024 - Course verification sheets will be mailed home to each student showing what courses have been selected for next school year. 

March 29th, 2024 - Course selections will be considered finalized for 24/25.  Any change requests will be subject to class availability and/or class sizes.

7th and 8th Grade Exploratory Descriptions

Art  – Students will engage in several units of study throughout the year that focus on opportunities for students to explore a variety of components.  Students in art use the elements and principles of design as the basis for various visual art projects. Students can use paint, drawing materials, collage, printmaking, and digital resources to create 2D projects. Additionally, students will learn about how mixed art media can be used in traditional and contemporary crafts. We will produce art objects that are both functional and decorative. Students will explore the tools and techniques used by many cultures, especially Native-American, Middle Eastern, and African craftsmen/artists. This class will incorporate important skills which will transfer to other disciplines, such as problem solving, critical thinking, planning, and collaboration. Students will create three-dimensional art using hand-building clay techniques as well as using sculpting techniques in other mediums to create sculptural projects. Each project will show a variety of the principles of design which includes balance, unity, rhythm, pattern, proportion, movement, emphasis, and variety.  Decorations will be added to the surfaces of the clay along with various glazes during the building process before firing.  The history of ceramics from various cultures will also be explored to give the students a basic knowledge of its importance and valid purposes to different civilizations. 

AVID - AVID is a nationally recognized program for students who have the desire to achieve in rigorous, college-preparatory courses.. The course’s focus is on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading across disciplines. The AVID exploratory provides students with academic support and motivational team-building activities.

Band  – Students who play band instruments receive more advanced, specific instruction on their instrument as well as more emphasis on playing in an ensemble setting. Selected advanced students may also participate in the county’s Honors Band Program.

Broadcast Journalism (8th grade only) - Students will work collaboratively with their peers to run WLMS - the Lakeside Middle School news and information station. Students will create and produce the school video announcements, as well as plan and produce exclusive stories.  They will learn to use a variety of broadcasting equipment and become proficient in video editing and production.

Chorus –  Students are instructed in vocal technique as well as note and rhythm recognition.  Classroom instruction focuses on posture, breathing technique, intonation, diction, dynamics, unison, harmony, and performance technique. Students are required to perform periodically as a group. Students are provided opportunities to audition for other choral opportunities throughout the school year.  

Coding, Cyber and IT Exploration - Students will be introduced to the foundations of computer science and basic programming, with an emphasis on helping students develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills.  Students will see computing as a relevant career field and experience how coding allows them to be problem solvers, creators, and innovators capable of changing the world.  This is an introductory coding course and no previous coding experience is required.

Debate - Debate teaches students how to coordinate the written and oral communication process through a study of logical thinking and research techniques culminating in written and oral presentations. A study of the national debate topic, leading to participation in interscholastic debate competition, is one strategy for accomplishing this goal.

Design & Construction Exploration – In this STEM class, students will design and build projects that explore physical science and mathematics concepts through the lens of engineering.  Each project is developed around a technology system including power & energy, transportation, and micro-controlled (robotic) systems.  This class offers students an introductory experience in both the woodshop and in the technology lab.  In the woodshop, students will be introduced to traditional woodworking tools and techniques.  While in the technology lab, students will use CAD software to design projects for the laser cutter and 3D printer as well as harness the power of code through the use of microcontrollers.  

Drama – Students who participate in drama are given instruction focusing on the following aspects of drama:  creative thinking as it pertains to individual and collaborative performances; developing acting skills; recognizing key elements of theatre production; understanding theatre arts as it relates to culture and history; evaluation skills; and applying aesthetic criteria for making artistic choices. 

Humanities - Humanities courses examine and evoke student responses to human creative efforts and the world in particular historical periods and cultures. Course content includes exploration, analysis, synthesis, and various responses to cultural traditions, including viewing, listening, speaking, reading, writing, performing and creating. The courses may also examine relationships among painting, sculpture, architecture and music.

Media, Arts & Design Exploration –  This course explores digital media through hands-on and real world application in several areas of study. Students will develop a set of skills in various major competencies, including but not limited to: graphic design, audio production, video production, web design, digital photography, and the legal and safety obligations involved in digital media. Students will utilize a variety of programs to achieve these goals, including Adobe Rush, Adobe Photoshop, Audacity, GarageBand and other platforms.

Orchestra– Students who play string instruments receive more advanced ensemble instruction and typically perform several concerts during the year.  Instruction will include music competencies such as intonation, tone, phrasing, history, and composition.  Students may have the opportunity to participate in regional orchestra and assessment events and travel for a competitive orchestra event in the spring.

Spanish I (High school credit - 8th grade only) – This course will mimic as closely as possible the process by which children acquire their first language.  The class will be made understandable to students through pictures, gestures, visual aids, and repetition. Students will develop proficiency mainly through storytelling, and will also be exposed to the diverse cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.  This is a proficiency-based program, and the course objective is for students to reach Novice High proficiency, as outlined by ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language).  Students may choose to take the STAMP test at the end of 8th grade to place into Spanish at the high school. 

Spanish 7  – Students will develop proficiency mainly through storytelling, and will also be exposed to the diverse cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.  This course will help students who choose to take Spanish I in 8th grade and serves as an introduction to the language.

Yearbook - Publication Production courses provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce the school newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, or other printed publication. Students may gain experience in several components (writing, editing, layout, production, and so on) or may focus on a single aspect while producing the publication.