Exploratory


 Mr. Chris Lindsay   lindsayc@msd19.org Technology 
 Mr. Kent Snyder  snyderk@msd19.org  Shop
 Mrs. Theresa O'Bryan  obryant@msd19.org  Art
 Mrs. Tara Laidley  laidleyt@msd19.org  Technology
 Mrs. Pam Duitsman  duitsmanp@msd19.org  Spanish
 Mrs. Rhonda Ross  rossr@msd19.org  RTI


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Middle schools embrace exploration as a guiding principle across the school curriculum.  The exploratory offerings and academic core are complementary, and provide opportunities to relate to a core topic with a different medium.    The Exploratory Team is divided into five sections--Art, Computers, Shop, Spanish, and Technology.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in some of the sections throughout their Middle School experience.  

Art:

Mrs. O’Bryan teaches Art for the Exploratory Team.  Art at the sixth grade level is a basic, introductory, seven week course . It is designed to introduce the student to the elements and principles of design through work with a variety of media and techniques. Its intent is to develop the student’s abilities to make critical judgments about art and to appreciate the influences of art from other times and cultures. The art projects follow the basic themes in the core classes: Prehistoric, Greek, and Egyptian.  

Art at the seventh grade level is an intermediate, one-quarter course designed to build upon and increase the student's knowledge of the elements and principles of design. Familiarity with an increased variety of media and techniques is another component of the curriculum. A continued emphasis on critical judgment is accompanied by an increased focus on art from other cultures including: Panama, Africa, and Japan.

Grade Eight Art, is an advanced, one-semester course for the serious student. The course design is meant to expand the student's knowledge, abilities and critical judgment. Additionally, the students are introduced to new medium and skills with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art history.

Industrial Arts:

The 6th grade Enrichment class, taught by Mr. Snyder, is a seven-week hands-on experience.  Students will study safety and woodworking tools.  In this course students will use hand and power tools to create small projects from wood.  The projects will lead to a mass production unit.

Industrial Arts, in 7th grade, shifts focus on drafting and engineering for one quarter.  Students will study the area of pictorial drawings leading up to blueprints.

The 8th grade Industrial Arts course is an advanced, semester long, woodworking and plastics course.  Extensive safety training is required, monitored, and tested at 100% accuracy.  Projects are created that explore many different tools and require increased ability.      

Spanish:

Mrs. Duitsman teaches Spanish for the Exploratory team.  Sixth grade Spanish is taught as part of the seven-week Exploratory rotation.  Students will examine the Spanish-speaking countries and culture.  They will also learn the Spanish alphabet, numbers, greetings and goodbyes, and vocabulary used in a variety of settings.

Spanish is offered as part of the seventh grade Exploratory rotation for one quarter.  In addition to reviewing the material taught in sixth grade, seventh grade Spanish continues with basic, commonly used Spanish vocabulary.  Students explore Spanish culture and literature as well.

Spanish 1 is offered to 8th graders as a year-long course. The 8th grade Spanish 1 students follow the MHS curriculum.  Students who earn a ‘C’ or better earn high school elective credit and are eligible to take Spanish 2 as freshmen.   

Technology:

Mrs. Laidley & Mr. Lindsey teach Keyboarding and Computer Application for the Exploratory Team.  All sixth graders will learn correct keyboarding technique, and should be able to touch type the entire alphabet before the end of the two rotations.    Practice at home using correct finger positioning and correct technique is encouraged.  The course also concentrates on computer application, emphasizing on hardware and peripherals, Google Apps for Education, Microsoft Office 2010, internet safety, and internet research.   6th grade students will spend one 7 week rotation with Mr. Lindsey and one 7 week rotation with Mrs. Laidley.

The Technology course at the seventh grade level concentrates again on Microsoft Office 2010, with greater focus on Web 2.0 applications and Google Apps for Education.  Students will be introduced to new software and review the office suite throughout the quarter.  The course will review keyboarding techniques and will continue to build keyboarding speed requiring daily practice.  The course will also contain instruction in movie making software applications and audio recording.   Mrs. Laidley teaches this course each quarter.

The Eighth Grade Technology course is a more advanced semester course.   The course will continue to build good habits and techniques associated with keyboarding, as well as, building proficiency with Microsoft Office 2010 and Google Apps for Education.  The course will focus on more creative aspects of technology, spending time using Adobe Photoshop, digital photography, movie making, and web 2.0 applications.  

We look forward to a great exploration with your child and hope that these experiences will broaden their spectrum of life experiences and open their eyes to new possibilities.  



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