Elective Course Descriptions - Western Middle School
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Elective Course NameGrade LevelElective Course DescriptionMichigan State Subject Area CodeTeacher Name (Last, First)
Basic Shop 66This is a hands-on program designed to motivate and enable students to learn how to safely use equipment and create projects. This class will cover several units that will require students to use various tools to create a project and/or learn new skills. This is a basic STEM class.71 - Engineering and Technology (prior to secondary)Densmore, Ted
Panther Paths6This exploratory course has been created to help 6th grade students be successful in middle school and beyond. In Panther Paths, students will learn how to develop a growth mindset, set goals, learn easy tips to get good grades, and more.72 - Miscellaneous (prior to secondary)Mifsud, David
Digital Compass 66Being a good digital citizen is more than knowing your way around the web. It's about connecting and collaborating in ways you didn't even know were possible. This class will help students learn the importance of using technology in a safe and effective way.60 - Computer and Information Sciences (prior to secondary)LaFrenier, Laura
Health 66The Michigan Model for Health Grade 6 curriculum includes lessons in Social and Emotional Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity lessons, Safety lessons, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) lessons and Personal Health and Wellness lesson. 58 - Physical, Health, and Safety Education (prior to secondary)Kelch, Kali
Physical Education 66WMS P.E. 6 is a six week activity class for non-band students. Students may have one or two blocks of P.E. 6 throughout the year which is assigned randomly. Students will need running-style shoes and socks for class daily. Within the realm of the EPEC curriculum, students will receive instruction in golf, tennis, personal conditioning, basketball and volleyball.58 - Physical, Health, and Safety Education (prior to secondary)Hoffman, Greg
Art6, 7, 8Students will develop an online art portfolio. Through this process they will be encouraged to use creative thinking skills to solve problems presented by different materials and procedures associated with drawing, painting, and sculpting. They will expand their knowledge of art through the study of aesthetics, art criticism, art history and art production. 55 - Fine and Performing Arts (prior to secondary)Clark, D'Andra and Hoffman, Greg
Band6, 7, 8, & Jazz BandWestern Middle School bands offer a chance to develop instrumental technique, music theory, and performance skills through a variety of styles and genres of music. Sixth grade band offers an opportunity to develop basic musicianship, music terms and skills, learn notes & fingerings, and basic performance. 7th and 8th grade offers higher development at each grade level and provides more opportunities for performance. Jazz Band is a chance to learn new musical styles and develop musicianship to a higher degree. Bands are team taught by Jason Cunningham and Paul Bickel.55 - Fine and Performing Arts (prior to secondary)Jason Cunningham
Career Cruising7Career Cruising will help students build a future plan for connecting school to real life. Students will explore career options provided by interest/skills surveys. Students experience job skills through hands on challenges that play out real world examples. After finding a potential career, students will experience finding a home and a car within their given budget.72 - Miscellaneous (prior to secondary)Wurmlinger, Rebekah
Coding7This course is designed to introduce middle school students to computer science and programming concepts. Using curriculum from Code.org, Scratch, and Sphero, students will create interactive games, stories, and art that they can share with anyone. At the end of the course, students will have written programs to build composite images, animations, and a complete video game of their own design, all of which can be shared to demonstrate mastery of programming.60 - Computer and Information Sciences (prior to secondary)Allison, Kimberly
Computers 77This course is a beginning computer class. The objective of this course is to provide middle school students with an introduction to the principles of computer science, internet safety, digital citizenship, internet usage and computer applications, such as word processing using Pages, spread sheets using Numbers, and presentations using Keynote. Having good keyboarding and typing skills will be essential for students not only now but in their future. Therefore, students will also work daily on their typing skills. Their progress will be monitored, and this portion of their grade will be effort based.
60 - Computer and Information Sciences (prior to secondary)Inosencio, Kelly
Creative Arts 77Mrs. Bickel's Creative Arts is an introduction to drama and team-building games for a semester. We focus on physical activities that get students moving and interacting with a variety of peers in groups. If you like being creative, being noticed, and working with others, this is the class for you. We do some creative writing and story-telling along the way, but there is very little homework. Grades are based on participation and effort. 72 - Miscellaneous (prior to secondary)Bickel, Bethany
Digital Compass 77Digital Compass 7 is designed to create learners who are ready to use technology in real world applications. Develop and enhance your digital citizenship skills through online learning, group projects, and discussion-based lessons. You will also improve your typing skills to get a higher WPM.60 - Computer and Information Sciences (prior to secondary)LaFrenier, Laura
Early American Wars7Early American Wars will take a look at many of the early wars that took place in North America and helped shape the United States of America.54 Social Sciences and History (prior to secondary)Freese, Brian
Engineering7Throughout this course students will practice the engineering design process. Students will design, research, test and evaluate their solutions to various problems or questions. Notable projects include building balsa wood truss bridges, an egg lander, magnetic-levitation cars, and Mine-craft pyramids. Students will utilize both math and science skills while designing and evaluating their projects.71 - Engineering and Technology (prior-to-secondary)Vandenburg, Jamie
Math Enrichment7This course is designed to help the students excel as we build a solid foundation of math skills that will be raised for the rest of their lives. Research says: “If your brain doesn’t have to work as hard on simple math, it has more working memory free to process the teacher’s brand new lesson on more complex math.”
We spend time playing games daily as the students memorize their basic facts in multiplication, division, fractions and decimals. We have student coaches, daily All-Stars, coaching challenges on Fridays, and after the whole class makes the “20 Second Club” it’s PIZZA PARTY time!
52 - Mathematics (prior to secondary)Hinkle, Tim
Money Matters7Money Matters is an elective class that focuses on economics and money management. We will start off studying basic economic principles and terms. We will look at economics locally and globally. After we have covered economics we will move on to personal finance. For this we will use Dave Ramsey's Foundations in Personal Finance. Other resources we use are Foundations of Wealth video series, Junior Achiecement and Banzai. At the end of the semester students will have a Monopoly competition.54 Social Sciences and History (prior to secondary)Mullins, Kelly
Physical Education / Health 77Western Middle School’s Physical Education / Health class will be a combination class in which students will spend time in the gymnasium and in the classroom. The PE portion follows Michigan's EPEC curriculum and includes many life long activity skills such as tennis, basketball, volleyball, running and more. The Health portion of the class will cover state mandated topics such as Healthy Eating, Tobacco, Drug, Emotional Health and Sexual Education.58 - Physical, Health, and Safety Education (prior to secondary)Hoffman, Greg and Kelch, Kali
Speech7This elective focuses on different areas of public speaking: pace, pitch, volume, fluency, organization, facial/hand gestures, visuals, emotions, etc. The goal is to leave Speech - much more comfortable speaking in front of audiences - and learning the proper techniques in which to use in public speaking.61 - Communication and Audio/Video Technology (prior to secondary)Greenslade, Teresa
STEM 7 (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)7This program is a hands on course designed to motivate and enable students to learn about manufacturing and design. The STEM units willl include: simple machines, civil planning, measurement, and multiview drawing. Students will work in cooperative teams as well as alone throughout the semester.71 - Engineering and Technology (prior to secondary)Densmore, Ted
What's Your Greatness?7Are you a natural leader? Do you have the ability to quickly solve brainteasers? Are you great at working with other students? Do you love sharing information in a creative way? This class is for you! We will continue develop your leadership, communication, teamwork and technology skills through games, creating our WMS Student News and other problem solving activities. You will be able to use your knowledge from this class to continue to make WMS great!61 - Communication and Audio/Video Technology (prior to secondary)Adams, Lindsay
World Outside of Parma7World Outside of Parma is designed to show students what exists outside of their daily lives. Student will learn current events, human rights, and types of governments.54 - Social Sciences and History (prior to secondary)Freese, Brian
Choir7, 8Want to be part of a musical team? Choir offers a chance to bond with peers, develop singing technique, music theory, and performance skills through a variety of styles and genres of music. Seventh grade offers separate boys and girls choirs for beginners and eighth grade choir is mixed. Choirs are team taught by Bethany Bickel and Ron Rudland with accompanist Sue Griffith. 55 - Fine and Performing Arts (prior to secondary)Bickel, Bethany
Math Boost7, 8Math Boost is designed to help the student who is putting forth the effort in their regular 8th grade math class but needs additional help and support. One purpose of this class is to help students do better in their regular math class. This is accomplished by working on their homework assignments, asking questions and redoing problems the teacher has pointed out as needing to be fixed. When time permits and where appropriate students will receive extra practice on current material, preparation for tests and quizzes and pre teaching of the next lesson. There will be time set aside to emphasize basic skill practice such as rounding, integers, fractions and multiplication/division facts.52 - Mathematics (prior to secondary)Stoddard, Deb - Nicolai, Stephanie - Allison, Kim - Hinkle, Tim
Reading Boost7, 8This course is designed to assist struggling readers with reading comprehension and fluency. Students in this class will use a reading program called ReadLive. Students will be placed at a reading level that is level appropriate for them. Throughout the course of the marking period the students reading levels will improve allowing them to move their reading level up. 51 - English Language Arts and Literature (prior to secondary)Hitt, Dawn - Greenslade, Teresa - Adams, Lindsay - Hinkle, Margaret - McKibbin, Katina
Spanish Culture7, 8
Students will learn basic Spanish skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
In addition, they will develop an interest and appreciation of the Spanish language and culture.

We will use a combination of traditional and a more modern approach to teaching a new language. In addition to reading and writing, students will naturally acquire Spanish through movement, storytelling and creativity.
56 - Foreign Language and Literature (prior to secondary)Mifsud, David
Study Skills Boost7, 8The main goal of this class is to teach students the skill of studying. By the end of the year students will have all the tools they need to be successful high school students. We will work daily on practicing good study skills habits. Time to work on assignments, study for tests and work on projects are incorporated into each day. Students will also be required to check in with me on a daily basis so that we can check their grades together and make a daily plan for their homework and upcoming tests.72 - Miscellaneous (prior to secondary)Hitt, Dawn
Digital Compass 88Take your computer skills a step further in Digital Compass 8. This class is designed to give students the opportunity to practice digital citizenship skills and improve skills like typing, cyber safety, word processing, spreadsheet creation, and website creation in a meaningful and authentic format through activities like building websites and group projects. This course works in harmony with the other courses in the 7th and 8th grade Computers/Technology curriculum to give students a well-rounded technology education. 60 - Computer and Information Sciences (prior to secondary)LaFrenier, Laura
Engine Technology8This is a hands-on program focusing on 2 and 4 stroke engines. Students will learn everything from carburetors to complete engine rebuild. This STEM class will include proper tool use and terminology, welding, and brake systems.71 - Engineering and Technology (prior to secondary)Densmore, Ted
French Culture8This is an exploratory class in French language and its culture. Students will study some basic introductory language units including common greetings, alphabet, numbers, how to tell time, months, days, colors and clothing in preparation as iff they might go abroad to study. Students also are exposed to French cultural aspects such as some history, art, the language around the world and holiday traditions.56 - Foreign Language and Literature (prior to secondary)Kraetzer, Lisa
Genetics8Genetics & Genealogy is a survey course that will introduce students to the basic foundations of genetics. Students will learn how the process of Meiosis leads to genetically different offspring. We will study the findings of Gregor Mendel and why he is considered the father of genetics. Students will explore the world of DNA and how testing DNA has changed the scientific world over the recent years. Students will be able to study their family to determine what traits and/or genetic disorders they could inherit. As we conclude the course, students will explore real life applications of genetics like DNA testing, cloning, stem cell research, and even how food is genetically modified.60 - Computer and Information Sciences (prior to secondary)Mulnix, Ryan
Google Classroom8Students will work on productivity tools using Google Drive as a base. Students will learn the basics of Google Drive then focus predominantly on Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets. Students will work independently as well as with groups to create projects that allow them to practice the skills needed to master Google Suites so they can be more productive in other classes. Students will also work on digital citizenship, keyboarding skills, and other miscellaneous computer skills. 60 - Computer and Information Sciences (prior to secondary)Kiebler, Kristin
Let's Talk8Students will improve their ability to talk clearly, competently, and confidently in front of others. This will be done by exploring different types of speaking such as humorous monologues, informative speaking, impromptu speaking and acting, dramatic presentations of poetry and prose, new reporting simulation, dramatic group presentations, debate, and persuasive speaking. 51 - English Language Arts and Literature (prior to secondary)Hinkle, Margaret
Milky Way to Electrons8In this science exploration class we will start learning about the universe we live in, “The Milky Way Galaxy”. We will take our exploration through the stars, planets, our earth, biomes, animals, anatomy, and atoms to electrons. Each phase of our exploration will have activities and hands on projects and experiments. Some things may even start to ooze, pop, or bang.72 - Miscellaneous (prior to secondary)Kristin Kiebler
Mindfulness8Many things are possible when you begin to practice mindfulness. It can create better self-awareness, decrease stress and anxiety, increase a sense of calm, help improve responses to difficult emotions, and increase empathy and understanding of others. In this class we will explore different exercises to promote this sense of well-being through breathing techniques, meditations, simple yoga poses, and an exploration of emotions and our individual responses to them.72 - Miscellaneous (prior to secondary)Kraetzer, Lisa
Physical Education 88Western Middle School’s Physical Education program consists of one semester for 7th and 8th graders and follows Michigan's EPEC curriculum. Students in seventh and eighth grades are expected to dress for P.E. every day and participate to the best of his/her ability. Dressing for P.E. daily includes: roomy shirt with sleeves, shorts at least fingertip length or capri/sweat pants, socks and appropriate shoes for running. Students will receive instruction in golf, tennis, personal conditioning, basketball and volleyball. Students will be pre- and post-tested in a variety of physical activities such as push ups, wall sits, abdominal crunches, and running 800 meters under five minutes. WMS provides all 7th and 8th P.E. students with a locker and a lock which must be turned in when the student has completed the WMS P.E. requirement. 58 - Physical, Health, and Safety Education (prior to secondary)Hoffman, Greg, Kelch, Kali and Stoddard, Deb
Robotics / Makerspace8This is a hands-on course focused on Robotics. The students will be building and programming robots to perform various task. This STEM class will teach students about various sensors and motors that make up automation and robotics.71 - Engineering and Technology (prior to secondary)Densmore, Ted
Storytelling8This course is intended to allow for student exploration and expression. In the study of storytelling the students will both read novels and write creatively on a daily basis. The class will also search for models of great writing and expression to analyze, try to emulate those techniques, and create individual works. 51 - English Language Arts and Literature (prior to secondary)McKibbin, Katina
What's Next?8In "What's Next?" students are going to explore the many careers that are related to science. Students will get the opportunity to meet current professionals in the related fields and have hands on experiences that relate to the careers of focus.72 - Miscellaneous (prior to secondary)Showerman, Joe
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