Beverly Vista School

Academics » Electives

Electives

Reading Plus Intervention
Reading Plus is a skills-based class designed to improve the reading comprehension and vocabulary skills of middle school students. It also builds self-confidence and permits students to utilize their reading time more effectively. At Beverly Vista, we have created a community of enthusiastic readers and learners who enjoy unlocking the meaning of the text together. Students who are recommended for this class will do so in lieu of one of their electives.
 
Beginning Band (6th grade)
This class is the first opportunity for BV students to learn a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument. Students will learn the basics of producing a good sound on their instruments, as well as learning how to read music. By the end of this one-year elective, band students will be able to read and perform first-year music from a variety of styles (march, classical, jazz, ethnic, and pop) as a member of a full band ensemble.
 
Beginning Orchestra
This class is the first opportunity for BV students to learn to play a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass) and play in an orchestra. The students will learn the fundamentals of producing a good tone, proper technique with use of the bow, and how to read music for their instrument. By the end of this one-year elective, orchestra students will be able to read and perform first-year orchestra music from a variety of styles (classical, dance, pop, and ethnic) as a member of a string orchestra.
 
Advanced Band (7/8)
Concert band students add to their beginning band experience by developing an advanced level of understanding and performance on their brass, woodwind, or percussion instruments. The students are challenged by playing level 1.5-3.0 (9th-10th grade) band music from a variety of styles and genre (classical, jazz, pop, ethnic, and marching band). The BV Concert band regularly performs in the community, at music festivals, Disneyland, as well as for the BV student community.
 
Advanced Orchestra (7/8)
The BV orchestra students further develop their orchestra experience by developing an advanced level of understanding and performance on their particular string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass). The students are challenged by learning and performing music at grade 2 -3 (9th and 10th grade) level from a variety of styles and genre (classical, ethnic, jazz, and pop). The BV Orchestra regularly performs in the community, at music festivals, and for the BV student community.
 
6th Grade Art
This course provides students with a variety of art experiences. Students will experiment with a variety of materials, techniques and processes to create two and three dimensional works of art. All of these experiences focus on developing problem solving and other higher level thinking skills as well as fostering self-expression. Students will also examine a variety of works of art and artists to help them recognize and better understand the artistic cultural achievements of societies. Students will focus on the advanced application of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design in conjunction with artistic behaviors to heighten thought and expression in their artwork. Knowledge gained from studying other artists and cultures will be applied in solving problems in art. Design skills will be used to solve problems based on observation and life experiences that exemplify personal critical choices. Required art vocabulary, reading and writing assignments are included in the coursework. The five components of the California State Visual and Performing Arts Framework are addressed and integrated into the curriculum.
 
Intermediate Art
This course provides students with a variety of art experiences. Students will experiment with a variety of materials, techniques and processes to create two and three dimensional works of art. All of these experiences focus on developing problem solving and other higher level thinking skills as well as fostering self-expression. Students will also examine a variety of works of art and artists to help them recognize and better understand the artistic cultural achievements of societies. Students will focus on the advanced application of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design in conjunction with artistic behaviors to heighten thought and expression in their artwork. Knowledge gained from studying other artists and cultures will be applied in solving problems in art. Design skills will be used to solve problems based on observation and life experiences that exemplify personal critical choices. Required art vocabulary, reading and writing assignments are included in the coursework. The five components of the California State Visual and Performing Arts Framework are addressed and integrated into the curriculum.
 
Art - Ceramics
This course provides students with the opportunity to learn basic skills using clay and glaze materials and to foster those skills to develop creative thinking. Students will experiment with a variety of materials, techniques and processes to create three dimensional works of art. Hand building techniques, practice on the potter's wheel and working with a variety of clay surface designs will all be explored. Students will study ceramics from other cultures, clay techniques and construction, glazing and firing. Knowledge gained from studying other artists and cultures will be applied in solving problems in ceramics. Required art vocabulary, reading and writing assignments are included in the coursework. The five components of the California State Visual and Performing Arts Framework are addressed and integrated into the curriculum.
 
Concert Choir 7- 8th grade
Concert Choir 7- 8th grade is a performing vocal music class where students will learn:
  • techniques for properly using the voice as musical instrument;
  • Music reading skills;
  • How to sing in harmony;
  • A repertoire of vocal music from a number of different time periods and cultures.
Students will participate in several concerts and music festivals throughout the school year.
 
Digital Magic
Digital Magic - these courses encompass various communication modes available in today’s rich computer environments such as digital photography, Photoshop, iMovie making, and podcasting. These are but a few we visit in order to express ourselves and impact our target audiences.
 
Math Support
Math Support is a class designed to help students access the fundamental math concepts necessary for success in Algebra I and beyond. Students study operations with rational numbers, ratio and proportion, basic geometry, and graphing. Two days per week students use a computer program called Cognitive Tutor that is able to determine areas where each individual student stands to improve. The computer is then able to provide customized instruction addressing these topics. As a student begins to demonstrate mastery of one concept, the computer recognizes this and moves onto something new. Students enrolled in the class demonstrate an interest in exploring mathematics and an open mind for examining new approaches to problem solving.
 
Study Skills
The Study Skills class is an intervention program for middle school students who show academic proficiency, yet may be failing their core academic classes or not achieving at their potential. The curriculum for the class is adapted from a program called “Why Try”. The “Why Try” program is a strength-based approach to help students overcome their challenges and improve outcomes in the areas of behavior and academics. The themes of the program are integrated into a group counseling elective to provide consistent reinforcement and daily monitoring. In addition to study skills, social and emotional principles are taught to students in a way they can understand and remember. This is accomplished using a series of visual analogies that relate to specific problems or challenges that students face in their every-day lives. Each analogy teaches a discrete principle, such as decisions and consequences, anger management, resisting peer pressure, removing negative labels, and perseverance. The analogies include various solutions and questions to help the students gain insight in dealing with their own challenges. These visual components are then reinforced through related music and experiential activities. The goal of the elective is to help the students answer the question “Why try in life?” – particularly when they are frustrated, confused, or angry with life’s pressures and challenges. Throughout the semester, the students are counseled that “yes, it is worth trying hard in life,” and that doing so will help give them more opportunity, freedom, and self-respect.