SyringaMiddle School

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Class Descriptions

6th Grade Class Choices


Music Classes

Band - Band is a great way to get started at Syringa Middle School. As a beginner, you can begin to learn how to play an instrument. By joining band now, you will be able to be in the high school band and beyond. Many students are interested in joining the band but are afraid that they don’t have the skills. There is NO experience required to be in the beginning band. All you need is to have the ability to work hard and the desire to be successful.


Choir - Students in the Syringa Middle School Choir make friends for life, grow in their love for music, learn to read music, and develop singing and musical skills that will last a lifetime. In choir, we don’t sing just boring stuff. We sing a wide range of choral music ranging from classical and jazz to pop and world music. In choir, we like to have fun! If you are ready to sing, make friends, and have fun, make Choir your elective choice!


Orchestra - You have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start learning a string instrument in sixth grade! In orchestra, we learn how to play instruments, but most of all we will have fun making music together. We will even get to perform for family and friends. Students in orchestra develop life-long musical skills as well as make life-long friends. Students in Orchestra are committed to success, daily focused practice, and have a desire to push themselves to excellence.


Exploratory - If you are not interested in music, Exploratory is the elective for you! In Exploratory, you may learn about a wide variety of topics. Each year the teachers choose new and interesting subjects to focus on. Topics in the past have included: Mythology, Geography, Movie Making, Poetry, and more!





7th and 8th Grade Elective Class Summary

Music Classes

Band - Students will learn to play an instrument, beginning with either the flute, clarinet, trumpet, or trombone and progressing to other instruments including the oboe, bassoon, alto sax, tenor sax, French horn, baritone horn, and tuba. Students will play in five performances during the year. Yearlong course.


Orchestra - Students learn how to play a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, and bass), read music, and learn in a cooperative setting. Determination and a good work ethic provide many opportunities to the students. Students perform at concerts and festivals, and some work together at clinics and retreats. Previous experience required. Yearlong course.


Choir - Choir is a class where you can learn to be a part of a singing team, learn to sing well, and perform as a group in required concerts. It will teach you how to be a musician as well as a singer. If you love to sing or ever wish you could learn to be a great singer, this is the class for you! Yearlong course.



STEM Classes

Computer Tech 2 -In this class, you will become proficient in using word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. The programs that will be used are Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You will also use the Internet to accomplish various tasks. Required class for 8th graders (unless taken in 7th grade as an elective). Semester-long course.


Pre-Engineering: Design & Modeling and Automation & Robotics Pre-Engineering is a middle school course intended to prepare 8th Grade students to prepare for high school STEM electives. Design & Robotics; Modeling and Automation; Robotics are each semester-long courses and in this 8th-grade elective, we will be focused on the engineering design process. It is intended that the students can then continue learning in more depth in the high school electives.

Students will demonstrate:

-A desire to: apply knowledge of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology; identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems; desire to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; and desire to work individually as well as in cooperative groups

-An ability to communicate effectively and appropriately, and appropriately use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice 8th-grade students need to come ready to work hard, solve challenging problems, work together with an open mind, and have fun.

-A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning. 

Aside from a pencil and composition (GRAPH RULED) notebook, all supplies needed for this course will be provided for your student.


App Creator - This unit will expose students to computer science as a means of computationally analyzing and developing solutions to authentic problems through mobile app development, and will convey the positive impact of the application of computer science to other disciplines and to society. Semester-long course.


C.S. Innovator - Throughout the unit, students will learn about programming for the physical world by blending hardware design and software development, allowing students to discover computer science concepts and skills by creating personally relevant, tangible, and shareable projects. Semester-long course.



Art Classes

Art I - Students will be introduced to and use the elements and principles of design to create works of art in drawing, ceramics, color theory, and painting units. Semester-long course.


Art II - Students will continue using the elements and principles of design, with an emphasis on completing and displaying works of art in drawing, ceramics, printmaking, and painting media. Pre-requisite: Passing grade in Art I. Semester-long course.



PE Classes

Lifetime Sports - This class may be split between the classroom and the gym. Students may learn about fitness and conditioning from the health textbook and from firsthand experience. Students may take written tests, do worksheets and activities just like in other classroom classes. Expect to leave this class in better shape than when you came in. Different types of fitness testing may be done. Semester-long course.


8th Grade Athletic Fitness - This class is designed for students who also participate in at least two school or community sports. Students will get an introduction to the weight room learn proper lifting techniques and develop speed, coordination, and agility through a variety of different drills. Maximum enrollment for this class each semester will be 40-45 students. May be taken for one or two semesters. Open to 8th graders only.


Outdoor Adventure I and II - Outdoor education is designed to introduce students to the multitude of opportunities Idahoans have to enjoy life outdoors. Units on snow sports, fishing, camping, survival skills, hiking, and others are covered in the class. Most notably, students take Hunter's education and are certified through the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to be eligible to hunt in the state of Idaho.  Semester-long course.


Other Electives

Student Leadership- The mission of this class is to develop responsible student leaders. Students in this course will have the opportunity to increase their understanding and effectiveness of leadership skills and processes. We will focus on the importance of communication, character, personal growth, and building strong relationships. As representatives of SMS, students are expected to conduct themselves in a positive manner at all times, Students are also expected to have excellent attendance both during the school day and at scheduled meetings or events. Students will help plan and lead various school and community campaigns and events.


Yearbook – In this course, students will gain skills in page design, advanced publishing techniques, copywriting, editing, and photography while producing a creative, innovative yearbook that records school memories and events.