6 - Elective Courses

  • ELECTIVE COURSES

    Two elective courses will complete a student’s seven-period schedule. Students may choose one of the following combination of classes:
    ● two music classes,
    ● one music class and one discovery wheel, or
    ● two discovery wheels.

    An elective discovery wheel is a group of introductory or exploratory courses that are one quarter (9 weeks) in length. The courses provide 6th graders an opportunity to explore existing electives, pursue their own interests, and discover new passions. By exploring a variety of elective courses, 6th graders are able to make informed decisions about what courses they want to take in 7th and 8th grade. Students will take all four courses in a discovery wheel.

    Music
    M6002 Band 6 - Woodwind Instruments
    This course is for sixth grade students interested in playing a woodwind instrument (flute, clarinet, or oboe).
    Students start with the basics of becoming familiar with their musical instruments (assembly, proper finger placement, air flow and breathing). Students progress in their knowledge of reading music, beginning with basic note identification and ending with more complex compositions of music.

    M6004 Band 6 - Brass Instruments
    This course is for sixth grade students interested in playing a brass instrument (french horn, trumpet, trombone, or baritone). Students start with the basics of becoming familiar with their musical instruments (assembly, proper finger placement, air flow and breathing). Students progress in their knowledge of reading music, beginning with basic note identification and ending with more complex compositions of music.

    M6006 Band 6 - Percussion Instruments
    Prerequisite: Recommendation from Elementary Music teacher
    This course is for sixth grade students interested in playing a percussion instrument. Students start with the basics of becoming familiar with their musical instruments. Students progress in their knowledge of reading music, beginning with basic note identification and ending with more complex compositions of music. Percussion Class will be capped at 12 students. Please have a second choice instrument in mind.

    M6010 Choir 6
    This class is designed to strengthen individual voices, as well as develop choral singing abilities. The class will focus on learning to sight read notes and rhythms, sing in 3-4 part harmony, and sing in different styles, languages, and genres. The 6th Grade Choir class will perform one mandatory concert per semester.

    M6900 Beginning Orchestra
    Prerequisite: None
    Beginning Orchestra is a first year orchestra class offered to students who have little to no experience playing a stringed instrument. Students who are interested in playing violin, viola, cello, or stand-up bass will learn to read and play music on their instrument of choice at a beginner level. Students will be required to rent or purchase their own instrument and music book for the class. Students who choose violin or viola will bring their own instrument to class to use every day and take home for home practice. Students who choose cello or stand-up bass will use a school instrument for class and keep their personal instrument at home for home practice. Regular practice outside of class is required as homework. Orchestra students will work as a team to successfully perform three concerts a year. Students will learn how their performance literature relates to music theory, music history, and current global cultures.

    M6901 Intermediate Orchestra
    Prerequisite: District Placement Criteria
    Intermediate Orchestra is a second level orchestra. It is open to all students who have successfully completed at least one year of experience on their instrument in an orchestra class or private lessons with a certified orchestra teacher. Students are required to audition for this class with approval from the Hixson orchestra director to register. New techniques and concepts will be introduced that build on the foundational skills and knowledge previously learned in the beginning stages. Students will be required to rent or purchase their own instrument and music book for the class. Students who play violin or viola will bring their own instrument to class to use every day and take home for home practice. Students who play cello or stand-up bass will use a school instrument for class and keep their personal instrument at home for home practice. Regular practice outside of class is required as homework. Orchestra students will work as a team to successfully perform three concerts a year. Students will learn how their performance literature relates to music theory, music history, and current global cultures. Orchestra members are also invited to audition for the Hixson Honors Orchestra, an after school group that collaborates with Wind Ensemble and Choir for two Sounds of Hixson concerts per year.

    M6902 Advanced Orchestra
    Prerequisite: District Placement Criteria
    Advanced Orchestra is an upper level orchestra. It is open to all students who have successfully completed at least one year of experience on their instrument in an orchestra class or private lessons with a certified orchestra teacher. Students are required to audition for this class with approval from the Hixson orchestra director to register. New techniques and concepts will be introduced that continue to build on skills and knowledge previously learned at an intermediate playing level. Students will be required to rent or purchase their own instrument and music book for the class. Students who play violin or viola will bring their own instrument to class to use every day and take home for home practice. Students who play cello or stand-up bass will use a school instrument for class and keep their personal instrument at home for home practice. Regular practice outside of class is required as homework. Orchestra students will work as a team to successfully perform three concerts a year, in addition to an orchestra tour around the district. Students will learn how their performance literature relates to music theory, music history, and current global cultures. Orchestra members are also invited to audition for the Hixson Honors Orchestra, an after school group that collaborates with Wind Ensemble and Choir for two Sounds of Hixson concerts per year.

    Humanities Discovery Wheel
    Students will take all four courses in this wheel.

    M8190 World Languages

    In this course, students will get an introduction of each of the three languages taught at Hixson (Spanish, French, and German). Students also get a sampling of world geography, families around the world, and cultural differences among countries.

    M8440 Drama Discovery
    This introductory class teaches students basic elements of the theater. Students are led through activities to foster their skills in stage presence, character development, the art of emotion in acting, plot, setting and conflict. Students work together to foster their confidence and find their voices all through the art of drama.

    M8505 Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Discovery
    6th grade FACS introduces students to hand sewing, basic food preparation techniques, and lab procedures. Students will be able to prepare a variety of foods and produce sewn items.

    M8120 Music Discovery
    In this class, students explore different genres of music and the different composers who created the pieces. Students explore their own ability to create music using a variety of musical instruments. Students are taught rhythms and patterns of music.

    STEAM Discovery Wheel
    Students will take all four courses in this wheel.

    M0060 Visual Arts
    This is a studio art class that gives students experience in a variety of mediums. In 9 weeks, students will draw, paint, make pottery, and practice problem solving skills! Each unit of study begins with skill-building techniques to support students in what they choose to make. We focus on the 8 Studio Habits of Mind as we work to become better artists and better critical thinkers. Connections to science, math, technology, and the art world are also included. This is a class that embraces mistakes... we consider them part of our learning. Students can expect to get their hands messy and to work hard every day!

    M0070 Intro to Computer Science
    Technology drives invention and innovation. It is a thinking and doing process. Students with little to no circuitry or programming experience necessary will explore the foundations of technology in this experiential learning course. Through a hands-on approach, they will learn the basics of coding, computer hardware, software and networking, user interface design, physical computing, and programming. Students will create websites, create electronic projects, and build apps throughout this class. They will also learn the basics of HTML & CSS, Python, and JavaScript coding languages.

    M0040 Elements of Engineering
    In this experiential learning class, students will be introduced to multiple Engineering disciplines, including Mechanical, Electrical, Architectural and Structural. Topics covered include tool safety, 3D modeling, dimension drawings, robotics, binary, soldering, design & measure scale models.

    M0050 Makerspace
    Design Thinking is a user-centered (understanding the context and culture of the people involved) approach to solving real-world problems through empathy, creativity, collaboration, ideating, prototyping and testing. In this experiential learning class, students will deepen their understanding of complex, real world problems through designing, experimenting, building and inventing. Their ultimate goal will be to make the world a better place. Students create their own knowledge through hands-on learning experiences and connecting with the real world.
    Gifted Fine Arts - Semester Course

    M8477 Gifted Fine Arts
    Prerequisite: District Placement Criteria
    This course offers eligible students the opportunity to explore fine arts in three areas: visual art, music and drama. Students develop skills in communication and perception, cultural and historical awareness, response and evaluation, creative expression and performance, and leadership. Students may elect to take GFA a semester or full-year course. If electing to take GFA for a semester, sixth grade students will select two classes from one of the wheels to fill the other semester. If electing to take GFA for a full-year, students will select the class twice when entering their elective requests into the Student Information System.