7 - Elective Courses

  • Elective classes must have adequate registration requests to become part of this year's school schedule. Students requesting courses that are not offered due to low enrollment will be notified by their counselor and assigned their alternate elective choice.

    Fine Arts - Semester Courses
    M8410 Art 1
    Prerequisite: None

    This is a semester-long studio course where students learn to work and behave like artists. Students will make sketchbooks and learn basic skills in drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking and sculpture. We practice a creating process that helps students go from developing an idea to completing original works of art. In addition to the creation of art, students will also learn to critique a work of art. By the end of the course, students will turn in a portfolio presentation to showcase their work.

    M8450 Drama 1
    Prerequisite: None

    Drama 1 is a course that explores several aspects of drama that will enhance or develop the foundational basics of theater including:

    • scriptwriting,
    • basic theater terminology,
    • basic theater history,
    • vocal and physical warm-ups,
    • reflective writing
    • exploration of voice and body,
    • ensemble building,
    • pantomime,
    • Improvisation, and
    • reader’s theater.

    Music - Full Year Courses
    M6904 Beginning Band
    Beginning Band is a first-year band class offered to seventh and eighth grade students who have little to no experience playing a brass or woodwind instrument. 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. Regular practice outside of class is required as homework.

    M7000 Band 7
    Prerequisite: Band 6

    Band 7 is open to all students who have successfully completed Band 6. Students who are new to the district may join the Band if they have had a comparable experience in another school and complete a brief audition for the Hixson Band Directors. Seventh-Grade Band members will continue to learn new fingerings and rhythms, and will concentrate on proper tone production. Students will complete lessons in music theory, music history, music technology and will perform a variety of middle school band music. The Hixson Band will give three concerts during the school year.

    M8105 Choir
    Prerequisite: None

    Choir is open to all students. Students new to the program are encouraged to attend some help sessions to help them catch up. 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. Students will perform one mandatory concert per semester. Students who are interested in performing with WGHS choir in the future are strongly encouraged to take this class.

    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.

    Practical Arts - Semester Courses 
    M8510 Family and Consumer Science 1
    Prerequisite: None

    FACS 1 is designed to give students an introduction to Family and Consumer Sciences. Topics covered include:

    • Food Prep,
    • Nutrition,
    • Hand & Machine Sewing, and
    • Child Development/Babysitting.

    M8610 Shop 1
    Prerequisite: None

    This semester course is designed to allow students to gain hands-on experiences with power tools as well as hand tools. In the lab setting, this course will involve drafting, measurement, safety, and constructing projects. Students must pass a safety final, with 70% proficiency, before working with power tools/equipment in the lab.
    Project choices in this class may include:

    • lettering,
    • puzzle/scroll saw object,
    • truss/bridge,
    • catapult,
    • cutting board,
    • large cooking spoon or spatula,
    • triangle game, and
    • a paper towel rack.

    M0074 Computer Science 1
    Prerequisite: None

    In this experiential learning class, students with little to no circuitry or programming experience necessary will explore the foundations of Computer Science. They will learn the basics of computer hardware, software and networking, data, user centered design, physical computing, and programming with artificial intelligence. Students will create websites, apps, games, and create electronic projects with micro computers. They will learn how to complete more advanced projects using HTML & CSS, Python, and JavaScript coding languages.

    M0044 Gateway to Engineering
    Prerequisite: None

    Gateway to Engineering is a 7th and 8th grade experiential learning course covering a wide spectrum of Engineering disciplines including Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical. Topics include Design and Modeling, Automation and Robotics, Flight and Space, Magic of Electrons, and Medical Detectives.

    M0080 Sustainability: Helping Others and the Environment
    Prerequisite: None

    This experiential learning course will take an interdisciplinary approach in helping students understand inequities in our society relating to reducing environmental impact, food insecurity, and distribution of resources. Students will create environmentally sustainable solutions to community-based problems by auditing our environmental impact (ie: energy, waste, consumption etc), determining the needs of the community, and addressing those needs through community outreach. In addition, students will continue to develop the sustainable outdoor courtyard, build and maintain raised garden beds and engage in urban gardening to grow food that can be distributed within the Hixson community and/or donated to local organizations to support others in need.

    M0048 Introduction to Robotics
    Prerequisite: None

    This experiential learning class uses a hands-on approach to introduce the basic concepts of robotics, focusing on the construction and programming of autonomous mobile robots. Course information will be tied to lab experiments; students will work in groups to build and test increasingly more complex mobile robots, culminating in an end-of-semester robot contest. We will be using LEGO® Education SPIKETM Prime as our platform. This will allow students with both previous and no coding experience to access the curriculum. Students will be divided into groups and complete a variety of robot construction and programming activities within the confines of these groups.

    M0090 Digital Multimedia Arts
    Prerequisite: None

    Digital Multimedia Arts is a project-based course that allows students to creatively express themselves through digital graphics, print media, computer animation, and other newly emerging forms of digital media. This experiential learning class will allow students to explore a wide range of programs while considering their audience, mode of expression, and editing skills. Students will also be given the ability to facilitate meetings, serve as team leaders, manage project timelines, and produce professional products like our weekly school show, the Hixson Happenings.

    M0058 Thrive Jr
    Prerequisite: None

    This project-based course guides 7th and 8th grade students through the experience of becoming entrepreneurs to solve a problem. As students reach milestones throughout this experiential learning class, they create a portfolio that documents their journey from problem/solution ideation through evaluation of sales. Students evaluate the world around them, identify a problem to solve, create a product concept, sell this product in an e-commerce marketplace, evaluate the performance of their business idea, and iterate to incorporate learnings. With involvement of local mentors and volunteers, students experience authentic learning, providing them an opportunity to be entrepreneurs.

    World Languages - Full Year Courses
    Students who are interested in pursuing a foreign language in middle school may plan on a two-year course of study beginning in seventh grade with Level 1 and continuing with Level 2 in eighth grade. These two years count as the equivalent of Level 1 and 2 at the high school and allow a student the possibility to enroll in Level 3 as a freshman, depending on teacher recommendation. Therefore, these classes are for students who are able to manage the pace and workload of high school courses. Students may also begin a foreign language path by taking Level 1 in eighth grade or high school.

    M8210 French 1
    Prerequisite: None

    French 1 consists of a concentrated examination of the vocabulary, grammar, writing and culture of the language. Reinforcement of these concepts is achieved through conversations, games, skits, music, songs and cultural activities, in addition to textbook and workbook exercises in the target language. This course of study is for students who desire an intense view of a specific foreign language. Students completing this program may move on to a higher level upon entry to high school.

    M8400 German 1
    Prerequisite: None

    German 1 consists of a concentrated examination of the vocabulary, grammar, writing and culture of the language. Reinforcement of these concepts is achieved through conversations, games, skits, music, songs and cultural activities, in addition to written exercises in the target language. This course of study is for students who desire an intense view of a specific foreign language. Students completing this program may move on to a higher level upon entry to high school.

    M8300 Spanish 1
    Prerequisite: None

    Spanish 1 consists of a concentrated examination of the vocabulary, grammar, writing and culture of the language. Reinforcement of these concepts is achieved through conversations, games, skits, music, songs and cultural activities, in addition to textbook and workbook exercises in the target language. This course of study is for students who desire an intense view of a specific foreign language. Students completing this program may move on to a higher level upon entry to high school.

    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. 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.

    Math Electives - Full Year Courses
    M4220 Math 8
    Prerequisite: Math 6 and must be placed in Math 7

    Students who did not meet the placement criteria to enroll in Math 8 may elect to take it in place of an elective course. Instructional time will focus on three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships and (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. At the end of first semester of Math 8, students who are performing at a 75% or below will be moved out of Math 8 and will be placed in Math 7.

    M7220 Algebra
    Prerequisite: Math 6 and must be placed in Math 8

    Students who did not meet the placement criteria to enroll in Algebra may elect to take it in place of an elective course. (Students who enroll in Algebra as an elective will take two math classes.) This is the beginning course in a sequence of college preparatory courses. Topics covered include solving formulas, graphing functions, analysis of linear functions, analysis of quadratic functions, analysis of basic exponential functions, solving inequalities, solving systems of equations, and sequences. It is highly recommended that students complete Math 8 prior to enrolling in Algebra. At the end of first semester of Algebra as an elective, students who are performing at a 75% or below will be moved out of Algebra and will be placed in a different elective course.