Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions for 2018-19

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

7th GRADE

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

8th GRADE

English

3 trimesters

English

3 trimesters

Math

3 trimesters

Math

3 trimesters

History

3 trimesters

History

3 trimesters

Science

3 trimesters

Science

3 trimesters

Physical Ed./Health

3 trimesters

Physical Ed./Health

3 trimesters

Electives

3 trimesters

Electives

3 trimesters

Zero Period: A zero period for 8th grade students who wish to take two year-long classes may be offered based on budget availability and student requests. Priority will be given to 8th grade students who are either:

Taking Orchestra or Band

Have a GPA of 3.5 and higher

REQUIRED COURSES

ENGLISH

7th GRADE - ONE YEAR

English 7 is a year-long program that emphasizes the integration of writing, communication, and reading with an emphasis on critical thinking and creativity. Students write a variety of narratives, informational and explanatory essays, research reports, and arguments. Reading texts include a thematic anthology, electronic media, and a diverse collection of fiction, nonfiction, and informational materials. Students learn to become strategic readers by annotating texts, accessing prior knowledge, and using context clues. Students develop language arts through a variety of individual and collaborative activities.

8th GRADE - ONE YEAR

English 8 is a year-long program that builds on the seventh grade skills, emphasizing the integration of writing, listening, speaking, reading, and technology. Students write a variety of narratives, responses to literature, research reports, and arguments. Reading materials include a thematic anthology, electronic media, and a diverse collection of fiction, nonfiction, and informational materials. Students respond to reading using critical, interpretive, and evaluative processes, and identify significant literary devices.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT CLASSES

7th / 8th GRADES - ONE YEAR

Students who are not native English speakers and are in the process of becoming fluent in English are screened with an ELPAC test. If needed, they are placed in English Language Development (ELD) classes based on the ELPAC results. Students receive instruction in structural analysis, vocabulary, comprehension, listening, writing, and speaking skills. English acquisition is taught by using visuals, dramatization, music, technology, and the latest methodologies. Students do not sign up for this course.


HISTORY

7th GRADE - ONE YEAR

The study of World History and Geography continues in 7th grade with an examination of social, cultural, and technological changes during the period A.D. 500 - 1789. It includes a study of contributions made by groups and individuals of both Western and non-Western civilizations. Throughout the year, students develop timelines, create world maps, analyze cultures, and compare events, ideas and beliefs of these civilizations. The arts and humanities are used to enrich the content. Improvement of basic study skills is emphasized.

8th GRADE - ONE YEAR

The study of U.S. History and Geography begins with a review of the major ideas, issues, and events preceding the founding of the nation. Students will concentrate on the critical events from the framing of the Constitution to 1914. This 8th grade course develops an understanding and appreciation of American heritage, faith in American ideals, and skills and abilities of responsible citizens. School-wide themes will stress the integration of all curricular areas and allow students to make comparisons and connections with issues in today's society.

ENGLISH / HISTORY HONORS PROGRAM

7th and 8th GRADES - ONE YEAR

English and history honors students must be skilled writers with an extensive vocabulary. Students are expected to be intrinsically motivated, focused, and comfortable in a fast-paced, rigorous learning environment. The program is a rigorous course designed for advanced students who want to combine writing skills with the study of history and the humanities. Advanced reading, writing, and time management skills required. Students are considered for placement in the Honors Program based on the following criteria: teacher recommendation, a grade of “A” in sixth-grade/seventh-grade English and history, 90% or higher on current State Standardized Tests (or equivalent testing) and a passing score on the Honors Placement Test administered at Serrano Intermediate School. Seventh grade students earning an A or B in honors courses will be placed in eighth grade honors. All other eighth grade students must meet the requirements listed above.

MATHEMATICS

7th GRADE - ONE YEAR

Math 7: This course is designed to prepare students for Math 8. In this course, students will continue to solidify their mathematical foundation by studying all operations with fractions, decimals and integers. It will also include a study of ratios, proportions, percents, statistics and probability. Students will also work on Geometry concepts such as area and perimeter of composite figures. Algebraic concepts covered in this course will include solving multi-step equations and one-step equations.

Math 7 Honors: This course is designed to prepare students for Algebra in 8th grade. All of the above-mentioned Math 7 concepts will be covered but in a more rigorous manner. In addition to all of the Math 7 concepts, students in the Honors program will be studying half of the Math 8 curriculum. Some of these Math 8 concepts are exponents, square roots, linear function, transformations, slope, and complex equations.

8th GRADE - ONE YEAR

Math 8: This course focuses on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling a relationship with equations, tables, and graphs and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations. (2) using functions to describe quantitative relationships; (3) analyzing two- and three - dimensional figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.

Algebra 1: This course includes instruction in the notion of function, solving equations (linear, quadratic, and simple exponential), rates of change and growth patterns, and graphs as representations of functions. Included is modeling with real world applications of all concepts. This class is the same course as Algebra I at the high school level and successful completion will earn high school graduation credit.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: HEALTH / PHYSICAL FITNESS

7th and 8th GRADE

The state framework is the basis for the course standards in both 7th and 8th grades. The focus is on physical fitness and skills development in a variety of team and individual sports and recreational activities. An emphasis is placed on working cooperatively, following directions, playing safely, and life long health. Students will evaluate their fitness level and learn techniques to improve areas of weakness.

The Health Education component of Healthy Kids/Healthy California is integrated into the Physical Education program. Units of study are designed to develop knowledge that will enable students to choose healthful behaviors that avoid risk situations. These include building relationships within and outside the family, caring for the human body, human growth and development, and coping with health problems in a contemporary society. Drug, alcohol, and tobacco awareness studies enable students to develop decision-making skills. Human reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, substance abuse, and the importance of practicing abstinence are among the health-related topics to be discussed.

Those desiring advanced skill work may choose to take part in the after school activity program. Uniforms are required and lockers are provided in the dressing rooms.

8th GRADE Unified Physical Education (new course)

Unified Physical Education is a fully inclusive program that combines students with disabilities and students without disabilities in a 50/50 ratio. It allows students of varying ability levels and backgrounds to come together on equal terms through ongoing fitness, sports, leadership and wellness activities. This course focuses on the physical, intellectual and social growth of all participants. Engaging in physical activity and sport alongside peers with and without disabilities helps to foster important social relationships. In addition to serving as a guide for physical education, sports and recreation activities, Unified Physical Education also supports student leadership, affect whole-school impact, and promote social justice, health and wellness. Students without disabilities are not meant to serve as helpers or mentors, but to be equitable classmates. Unified Physical Education courses can be the foundation for creating more inclusive school environments across the country where individual differences are embraced and ALL students are accepted.

SCIENCE

All science classes are transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and will incorporate technology, scientific and engineering processes and modeling as part of the course work.

7th GRADE INTEGRATED SCIENCE - ONE YEAR

The seventh grade integrated science curriculum will focus on Life Science. The curriculum will incorporate hands on investigations, which include basic science skills, scientific method, reasoning and critical thinking. Students are encouraged to investigate ideas, issues, and interests that make up our contemporary understanding of science and technology.

8th GRADE INTEGRATED SCIENCE - ONE YEAR

The eighth grade integrated science curriculum focuses on the physical sciences. The curriculum accents student involvement with hands on investigations, which include basic science skills, scientific method, reasoning and critical thinking. Students are encouraged to investigate ideas, issues, and interests that make up our contemporary understanding of science and technology. All 8th grade students will participate in the 8th Grade Science Fair.

8th GRADE HONORS SCIENCE - ONE YEAR

The eighth grade honors science covers the same curriculum that is outlined in the integrated science program. The class curriculum will be covered with more depth, independence and rigor. This will require the student to be highly motivated, well organized, self-starting, and responsible in order to be successful. The accelerated curriculum will allow the student to explore each concept deeper for a better understanding. The course will require independent reading outside of the classroom. This course will involve planning and conducting investigations, evaluating data, writing conclusions, looking for mathematical relationships, and studying current events and trends in science. Placement criteria include proficiency in math, reading comprehension and writing, and recommendation of the seventh grade science teacher.


ELECTIVE COURSE OFFERINGS

This section describes the elective choices offered at Serrano. Students are encouraged to explore a variety of elective subjects to provide them with a wider breadth of learning experiences. Electives should be chosen carefully as they will be used to schedule the entire year. Think about allergies such as dust before choosing an elective. As you make your selections, keep in mind that the decisions you make may impact your long-range goals for high school. Choose wisely and be prepared to do your very best.

Be advised that enrollment in a particular elective is based upon several variables (i.e., number of students that choose the elective, number of periods the elective is offered, and/or a period conflict with required courses.) Every effort will be made to give students at least two of their highest requested electives.

English Support / Math Support are programs designed for students who are below grade level in English and/or math. This class may be an assigned elective.


AVID – 7th and 8th Grade (By invitation only) Yearlong Elective

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), is a college readiness elective that is designed to increase school wide learning and performance. Highly motivated students apply and interview for a space in this elective class. This elective is a yearlong class that includes a field trip to a local college. Applications and interviews required.

PAL – 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

PREREQUISITE: Teacher approval

Peer Assistance & Leadership (PAL) is a leadership class that focuses on helping students, our school, and the community. PALs are role models on campus; they don’t just represent academically, they also represent the school in spirit, citizenship, and work ethic. PALs will participate in helping with assisting new students, tutoring, recycling, special education classes, various school activities, and teambuilding opportunities.

TECHNOLOGY/COMMUNICATIONS

WEB DESIGN – 7th Grade Trimester Elective

Learn to create a personal website with HTML (programming language), create an app in Javascript and use Scratch to create an understanding of game and programming logic. The skills you learn will be an introduction to a programming career. Students will be working on the Internet. A lab fee of $5.00 to facilitate the purchasing of materials for this class will be requested.

MULTI-MEDIA – 7th Grade Trimester Elective

Learn the skills of film photography, direction, editing, music making, script writing, storyboarding and more. Use the Adobe Suite of products to make their short movies demonstrating those skills. Students will be working on the Internet. A lab fee of $5.00 to facilitate the purchasing of materials for this class will be requested.

DIGITAL MEDIA ARTS 8th Grade Trimester Elective

Students will learn techniques for every type of media: text, graphics, sound, animation, video and the Internet. These skills will be used to produce meaningful and appropriate projects that will be a strong foundation of technology skills for high school and beyond. Students may use iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, Pages/Word, Garage Band, Keynote/PowerPoint, Photoshop, Blender, Premiere, Aftereffects, and more to design their presentations with the purpose of sharing these with audiences both inside and outside our school. Students will be working on the Internet. A lab fee of $5.00 to facilitate the purchasing of materials for this class will be requested.

GMS Broadcast – 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

PREREQUISITE: Teacher approval (Multi-Media and Drama recommended)

Be part of the cast and crew of Good Morning Serrano (GMS). Create videos for the GMS broadcast show. Students will learn techniques for producing videos for broadcasts. Students will plan, script, shoot interviews and edit news and feature formatted videos. Students will become familiar and proficient with digital editing methods. Students should have the desire and ability to work well in a group atmosphere under the pressure of a daily deadline. Most assignments will take place in class, however, occasional scheduled school activities will necessitate after school work on a rotational basis. Students must complete an application; have a 2.5 GPA and no N’s or U’s in citizenship. A lab fee of $30.00 to facilitate the purchasing of materials for this class will be requested. Please note that if you are on the GMS Crew, you must be in your SEAT and ready for our broadcast by 8:10 AM! Students will be working on the Internet and will need to complete a District Media Release Form.

YEARBOOK / Publications - 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

PREREQUISITE: Teacher approval and a B or better in English class

Students will work together in all phases of yearbook planning. The course will include page layout, photography, design elements, writing copy, headlines and captions, and interviewing skills. The students will learn digital photography, Adobe Photoshop, and Studio Works (a special design program from Balfour/Taylor Publishing). Students will learn to import and edit photos and films. During the third trimester this class will produce digital movies, and Photo Story programs. Students will learn how to use digital video cameras and film editing software. Students will create the Online Seahawk News Magazine as well. We will publish 5 to 6 issues during the year to include articles, interviews, photo essays, stories, contests, and interactive pieces. Students must maintain a B or better in their English class to be in this class.

FINE ARTS

ART 7 – 7th Grade Trimester Elective

Art 7 is an introductory course which explores works of art created with pencil, colored pencils, clay and paint. The course is designed for students to learn about the elements and principles of design while having a chance to use and experiment with a variety of techniques and media. Students get a chance to create cartoon characters, clay whistles, learn how to draw faces and people while beginning to understand perspective and how to incorporate their knowledge into their own unique works of art.

Art 8 – 8th Grade Trimester Elective

This is an 8th grade course that explores various materials and processes. We will focus on drawing, painting and sculpture while incorporating some technology to produce original works of art. A lab contribution of $12.00 to facilitate the purchasing of materials for this class will be requested.

ADVANCED ART – 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

PREREQUISITE: Art 7 or teacher approval based on portfolio

This is a yearlong elective course that is designed for students with a definite interest in drawing, painting, and sculpture or any art related career. In this class students get to work on unique projects like murals around the school, larger than life size totem poles, life size sculptures, calendars, children’s books, screen printed t-shirts or mugs, musical instruments any many more. In this class, students will deepen their understanding of the world around them and begin to visually express their own unique vision through different mediums and with a variety of techniques. A lab contribution of $35.00 to facilitate the purchasing of materials for this class will be requested.

PERFORMING ARTS

INTRODUCTION TO DRAMA – 7th / 8th Grade Trimester Elective

Discover the exciting world of drama! Enhance your ability to communicate with an audience and build characters through improvisation, pantomime, theater games and scene study. Serrano’s drama class is an interactive way to learn theater vocabulary, how to perform on stage, and discover the secrets behind both stage and film productions.

THEATER PRODUCTION - 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

Theater Production is your opportunity to participate in all aspects of a play production from beginning to end. Learn what is involved in auditioning and blocking. Learn what goes on behind the scenes in publicity, sets, costumes, and props. A play will be performed for one to two evenings each trimester. Students will also perform for students and parents during the day. Student directed plays or a variety show will finish off the trimester. Some after school rehearsals may be required.

PRACTICAL ARTS

STEAM 7 – 7th Grade Trimester Elective

The first in a two course STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) offering at Serrano. STEAM 7 is the 7th grade prerequisite to the yearlong 8th grade STEAM 8. Students in STEAM 7 will experience traditional wood shop with a 21st century flair! Projects will be designed using traditional drafting, and CAD (computer aided design) software in our new computer lab. Students will then use a variety of hand, power tools and machinery (drill press and band saw with direct teacher supervision) to create them. Students will even use a 50 watt Epilog laser system! Together, STEAM 7 and STEAM 8 comprise Serrano’s STEAM Academy program, the first courses in the Engineering & Manufacturing Pathway that continues on in high school.

STEAM – 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

PREREQUISITE: STEAM 7, Teacher Approval

The second in the two course STEM/STEAM offering at Serrano. STEAM 8 is the 8th grade component of STEAM Academy, and expands upon student’s 7th grade experiences in STEAM 7/Woods. Students will continue to design projects using traditional drafting and CAD techniques, but in this course, the design process will be an integral part of the process. Building upon the tools and techniques from 7th grade, students will use a variety of manufacturing processes including 3D printing to create their projects. Programming Arduino circuits, VEX robotics and Linkbots are also a featured part of the class. Students will have the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents through a variety of challenges and competitions.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

INTRO TO SPANISH – 8th Grade Trimester Elective

Learn the basics of the Spanish language and explore the cultures of Spanish speaking countries in this introductory course. Students will expand their own world by learning to communicate in Spanish through a variety of fun activities. This trimester class will give students exposure to learning a foreign language and a head start if they choose to enroll in Spanish 1 in high school.

SPANISH I - 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

PREREQUISITE: 7th grade GPA of 3.5 or higher

The Level I courses facilitate the exploration of the fascinating world of the Spanish speaking people. Students will enrich their own world by learning and using a new language and appreciating a new culture. Most studies are conducted in a "real world" context and speaking, listening, reading and writing skills acquired will help students develop a global understanding necessary to become effective citizens of the twenty-first century. The first year of study will also increase the student's enjoyment when traveling throughout the world where Spanish is spoken. Placement criteria include GPA of 3.0 or higher, and proficiency in English reading comprehension and writing. Upon successful completion of Spanish I (B average), students may enroll in Spanish II in high school. Level I credit applies toward high school and college.Spanish Workbook fee: $20.00.

STUDENT AIDE

CLASSROOM AIDE - 8th Grade Trimester Elective

Students have the opportunity to assist a classroom teacher where they will learn useful skills in organization and responsibility. A GPA of 2.5, no N’s or U’s citizenship, no disciplinary infractions, and teacher recommendation is required.

OFFICE AIDE - 8th Grade Trimester Elective

Students have the opportunity to assist the front office staff where they will learn useful skills in organization and responsibility. A GPA of 3.0, no N’s or U’s citizenship, no disciplinary infractions, and office staff recommendation is required.

MUSIC

CONCERT BAND (BEGINNING BAND) – 7th / 8th Grades Yearlong Elective

This performance ensemble is designed for all students wishing to learn a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. No experience is needed. The primary focus of this course is to introduce students to basic musical skills such as basic music theory, basic rhythms, and proper playing of their instrument. Three major performances are scheduled throughout the year. Attendance at all scheduled performances and rehearsals is a required part of the class. A donation of $75.00 to offset costs listed above will be requested.

CONCERT BAND (INTERMEDIATE BAND) – 7th / 8th Grades Yearlong Elective

This performance ensemble is designed for students in their 2nd to 3rd year of playing a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. The primary focus of this course is to further develop and expand musical skills such as intermediate-level music theory, basic intonation, and performing festival-appropriate level repertoire. Attendance at all rehearsals and performances is a required part of the class. Three major performances are scheduled throughout the year. A donation of $75.00 to offset costs listed above will be requested.

WIND ENSEMBLE (ADVANCED BAND) - 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

PREREQUISITE: Teacher Approval

This performance ensemble is the most advanced wind and percussion group and is only offered through audition. Students enrolled in this course work towards pursuing musical excellence in instrumental technique and gain valuable performance experience. Music includes standard band literature as well as popular music. The Wind Ensemble performs numerous times throughout the school year, participating in concerts and festivals in and outside of Orange County. Multiple major performances are scheduled throughout the year. All rehearsals and performances are a required part of this class. A donation of $100.00 to offset costs listed above will be requested.

STRING ORCHESTRA (INTERMEDIATE ORCHESTRA) – 7th / 8th Grades Yearlong Elective

This performance ensemble is designed for students in their 2nd to 3rd year of playing a string instrument. The primary focus of this course is to further develop and expand musical skills such as intermediate-level music theory, basic intonation, and performing festival-appropriate level repertoire. Attendance at all rehearsals and performances is a required part of the class. Three major performances are scheduled throughout the year. A donation of $75.00 to offset costs listed above will be requested.

CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (ADVANCED ORCHESTRA) - 8th Grade Yearlong Elective

PREREQUISITE: Teacher Approval

This performance ensemble is the most advanced string group and is only offered through audition. Students enrolled in this course work towards pursuing musical excellence in instrumental technique and gain valuable performance experience. Music includes standard string orchestra literature as well as popular music. The Chamber Orchestra performs numerous times throughout the school year, participating in concerts and festivals in and outside of Orange County. Multiple major performances are scheduled throughout the year. All rehearsals and performances are a required part of this class. A donation of $100.00 to offset costs listed above will be requested.

CHORUS – 7th / 8th Grades Yearlong Elective

This performance ensemble is designed for all students who have a desire to sing. This course focuses musical basics such as music theory, reading music, and proper signing technique. Musical selections will include music from all eras of history to modern tunes. Three major performances are scheduled throughout the year with selected festivals during the Spring trimester. All rehearsals and performances are a required part of this class. A donation of $75.00 to offset costs listed above will be requested.