The middle school rolled out elective options this year, which allow a student to select an elective (there are five options). One of the options students could select this year is Tutoring Lower School Students. The hope of this course is to give students the chance to experience the joy of tutoring younger students in areas of academic need. Along the way, students will learn how to help in ways that will build the confidence level and academic ability of a younger student, too.  This particular elective kick-started the year with a “cross-building” interaction of an engaging “Read Aloud.”  Eight middle school students spent time reading aloud to their younger counterparts. They spent several class periods learning the importance (and the mechanics) of reading aloud to others, as well as reading strategies which help younger students to engage in meaningful reading experiences.

Here are some quotes from the Middle School students after this experience:

“Seeing all the kids paying attention. There were no side conversations, which surprised me, because attention spans can be short.” – Eli

“ I liked how when I asked questions, the kids actually raised their hands and engaged with me!” – Elyse

“When we entered the class, the kids were surprised to see us, but they showed engagement when we started reading the book.” – Abril

“Even though the book was read the day before, they still really engaged with our reading.” – Chanelle

“When we walked in the class, they were excited to see us. After we started the book, they were engaged with the pictures and wanted to see what happened next.” – Sonora

“Even though the kids had read the book, they were still being interactive and pointing out things that I didn’t even notice when I read the book. They were being very observant. You could tell in their eyes they were excited and engaged and answering our questions. They all had different interpretations.” – Chloe

“I remember when I walked in the door, after I talked to the teacher. I sat down and asked personal questions. They were so excited and rambunctious.” – Scarlet

“It was a fun experience and the kids were engaged.” – Lauren

This elective is ideal for any student who wishes to make a difference in the lives of their younger counterparts and we are excited to develop both our confidence and become helpful support and mentors to the younger students in our Lower School.

Here are the other Elective options that students could select:

Band – 5th through 8th Graders 

(Mr. Garcia-Berguecio) 

Band is an opportunity for students to begin their journey into instrumental music. Students get a chance to choose an instrument, through guided support. The instrument selections include wind instruments like flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone or tuba.  Or they can choose percussion instruments, which include bells and drums.  Students will learn to read music and develop the skills they need to perform in an ensemble (group) setting.


(Ms. Miller)

Students will create, invent, and learn.  Projects will be presented as units of study and will be graded. Class will focus on design, electronics, 3D printing, and some woodworking. We received funding for new electronics supplies – be the first to try them out this year! 

Creative Writing 

(Mr. Siemion) 

Creative writing is an elective that explores the different genres of writing, through reading, listening, and writing, as well as the other necessary elements needed to improve writing and story development skills. This elective is designed with the goal of inspiring students to develop original pieces and ideas. Through writing and thinking, students will learn to become better readers, writers, and thinkers. The skills focused on in this elective will help students in other courses as well, especially literature. Students will have the option of writing stories in the following genres: science fiction, fairy tales, fantasy, short stories, poems, and journals. 

Coding for 5th and 6th graders 

(Mr. Hedahl) 

Students will learn how a computer works.  Activities include:

  • Learning what a computer can and cannot do.
  • Computer looping – does tasks many times as you want
  • Computer decision making – How computers ‘branch’
  • Using popular figures and animations in which the student will code the computer to follow steps, this is not a video game activity.  Students must use logic to succeed.  Animations include Star Wars, Minecraft, and many others.
  • Computer Art – using creativity to draw
  • Computer Songwriting – how computers process sound
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