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Middle School Elective Courses

ELECTIVE COURSES: Each student is given the choice to take 1-2 elective course, depending on whether the course is yearlong or semester only. Elective courses are designed to allow students to make choices for their learning interest. Certain courses are Monday through Friday; Monday, Wednesday, Friday; or Tuesday, Thursday. Elective courses are every day from 10:05AM – 10:55AM.

 

For the elective course breakdown, click here.


Robotics, Research, and Engineering

Course Overview

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: Fall Semester
Days/Time: M/T/W/Th/F 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: None

Criteria for Enrollment: Strong interest in research and using engineering to solve real-world problems

Grade: Credit/No Credit (2)

Maximum enrollment: 20 students

Instructor: Ms. Ling Lam Email: llam@monticelloacademy.org


Robotics, Research, and Engineering is a course aligns with FIRST LEGO League elements. Guided by the teacher, students will work in teams to research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology and complete on a multiple table-top missions field. Students will continue to develop their basic STEM application, critical thinking, collaboration, and presentation skills.

 


Introduction to Design Thinking

Course Overview

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: Spring Semester
Days/Time: M/W/F 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: None

Criteria for Enrollment: Strong interest in using technology to solve real-world problems

Grade: Credit/No Credit (1)

Maximum enrollment: 20 students

Instructor: Ms. Ling Lam Email: llam@monticelloacademy.org

 

Design Thinking (DT) is a creative human-centered approach of design by an understanding of others, by designing for others and with others. It’s a process of reflecting on the experiences of others in order to design a solution to meet their needs. In this course, students will learn the fundamental principles of Design Thinking. Students will work in teams and take a design thinking approach to develop a solution that addresses community problems. Students will get exposure to the iterative process of Design Thinking in a material and concrete way, practice a mindset of embracing missteps and agility in problem-solving.
 

Speak Out
Course Overview

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: Fall or Spring Semester
Days/Time: M/W/F 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: None

Grade: Credit/No Credit (1)

Maximum enrollment: 20 students

Instructor: Ms. Vanessa Montelongo Email: vmontelongo@monticelloacademy.org


The purpose of this course is to enable students to develop and gain fundamental knowledge and skills in formal and informal oral communication, as well as in debates. The content should include, but not be limited to, the following: formal and informal communication skills; forms of oral communication; techniques for public speaking; techniques for debate; research, organization, and writing for speech and debate; parliamentary procedure; analysis of formal and informal communication.

 


Fine Arts

Course Overview

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: Fall or Spring Semester
Days/Time: M/W/F 10:00AM-10:50AM

Prerequisite: None

Maximum Enrollment: 30

Grade: Credit/No Credit (2)

Instructor: Ms. Lonie Fullerton Email: lfullerton@monticelloacademy.org


This course is for students interested in creating Fine Art and developing their skills while also learning about several artists. Students enrolled in this class will explore a variety of artistic techniques. Students will be asked to think outside the box and explore processes to get to their desired result for their art. There will be a variety of projects ranging from 2-D and 3-D artwork. This course will culminate in an art show for the school community near the end of the year.

 

Digital Video Production
Course Overview

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: Fall Semester
Days/Time: T/Th 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: None.
Grade: Letter Grade

Maximum enrollment: 12

Instructor: Arrash Jaffarzadeh Email: ajaffarzadeh@monticelloacademy.org


Students will be introduced to video and audio for multimedia production. The process of planning, filming, editing, applying visual effects to tell a story is both challenging and exciting. Participants will learn how to create storyboards, use digital cameras, lighting techniques, digital audio, and editing and visual effects software. Camera movement, shot composition, as well as the important roles involved in creating a digital video production are also introduced in this class. Lights! Camera! ACTION!


Electronics and E-Textiles
Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: Spring Semester
Days/Time: T/Th 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: None.
Grade: Letter Grade

Maximum enrollment: 12

Instructor: Arrash Jaffarzadeh Email: ajaffarzadeh@monticelloacademy.org


This course will introduce students the fundamentals of electronics, circuits, and the use of microcontrollers such as the Arduino to design, program, and construct interactive projects in physical spaces. Students will also have the opportunity to work with textiles combined with electronics engineering to create an interactive toy, plush, or other creative sewing project. This course will give students the chance to combine programming and engineering together and make their electronics inventions come to life!
 


Band
Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: This is a yearlong course.
Days/Time: M/W/F 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: Previous enrollment in band or orchestra for at least 1 year (audition may be required for new/non-Monticello students) Enrollment must be approved by the instructor.
Grade: Credit/No Credit (2)

Maximum enrollment: None

Instructor: Ms. Natalie Haworth-Liu Email: nhaworthliu@monticelloacademy.org


The Monticello Academy Band program continues the tradition of an outstanding band experience now with the addition of chamber music (small instrumental ensembles). This course runs the full year and is for students with at least one year of band or orchestra experience. There will be an opening for one pianist by audition. In addition to full band repertoire, students will have the opportunity to work in smaller chamber groups. For those new to Monticello Academy, enrollment will be provisional for the first week and an audition may be required. During rehearsals we will prepare music for two formal concerts (Winter and Spring) and 5th and 8th grade graduation. Additional performance opportunities are possible. Music theory, technique, and ear-training will also be covered. Students will have the opportunity to “self-lead” sectional and chamber rehearsals as well as work with guest teachers. Daily practice and a working instrument is required. Enrollment in three years of this program will prepare students for high school band programs.


Examples of possible chamber groups:


Winds and Piano
Mixed Winds
Trumpet Quartet
Percussion Ensemble
Saxophone Duo
Mixed Winds and Strings
Flute Choir
Eligible instruments:

Orchestral string instruments
Flute
Oboe
Clarinet
Saxophone (Alto, Tenor, or Bass)
Trumpet
Trombone
Baritone or Tuba
Percussion
Special audition: Piano



Choir
Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: This is a yearlong course.
Days/Time: T/Th 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: Previous singing experience is encouraged. Enrollment must be approved by the instructor.
Grade: Credit/No Credit (2)

Maximum enrollment: 30

Instructor: Ms. Natalie Haworth-Liu Email: nhaworthliu@monticelloacademy.org


The Monticello Academy Choir is a full year course for middle school students who wish to develop their vocal technique in a fun and encouraging environment. Students will perform as a large ensemble (choir) and have the opportunity to form small vocal groups if they wish. During rehearsals, we will prepare music for two formal concerts (Winter and Spring) and 8th-grade graduation. This class will focus on vocal technique, part-singing, performance practices, and ear-training. Enrollment in three years of Choir will prepare students for high school choral programs. All vocal ranges are welcome.

 

Theatrical Arts

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: This is a yearlong course.
Days/Time: T/TH 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: None

Criteria for Enrollment: Strong interest in performing arts, storytelling through collaboration

Grade: Credit/No Credit (2)

Maximum enrollment: 30 students

Instructor: Ms. Lonie Fullerton Email: lfullerton@monticelloacademy.org

 

This course introduces students to the art and craft of theatre. This class is for students who are interested in exploring all aspects of creating a performance of Theatrical Arts. While acting will be a primary focus other roles such as technicians, designers, and directors may also be explored. This course culminates in the production of a short theatrical performance mid-year before a live audience.. Students will be required to spend time outside of class in after school rehearsals to prepare for the performance. Students may also get the opportunity in the Spring to do some filming/video work as well.


Yearbook Production and Photography
Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

Length: This is a yearlong course.
Days/Time: TTh 10:05AM-10:55AM

Prerequisite: None

Grade: Credit/No Credit (1)

Maximum enrollment: 20 students

Instructor: Ms. Megan McMahon Email: mmcmahon@monticelloacademy.org

 

Yearbook captures memorable and unforgettable pictures that speak more than words. Students will learn the basic principal of yearbook production and will develop skills that include writing copy, captions, and headlines; digital photography; desktop publishing and using appropriate technology tools for media production. Students will work collaboratively to design the Monticello Academy Yearbook, as well as using their photography skills to capture the year’s most memorable moments. Yearbook Production supports student’s development as writers, photographers, editors, independent users of technology and as responsible contributing members of the Monticello Academy community.


Photographs play an important role in our world today. We photograph to preserve memories, document events and create artistic works. Throughout the year, students are introduced to the basics of photography, including camera functions and photo composition. Students will focus on developing their skills in the art of photography by learning about what it takes to create a good photograph and how to improve photographs taken within their world. They will also begin working with their photographs using photo-editing software. Through a variety of assigned projects in conjunction with the yearbook production, which will be completed in the middle of April, students will engage their creativity by photographing a range of subjects to create their own photo gallery, as well as learning to see the world through the lens of their cameras.