GCISD Middles School Language Arts ElectivesBeginning in 2014-2015, students in 6th and 7th grade will have to chance to choose between the following courses for their Language Arts electives. Students in 8th grade have the option to take these courses, but are not required to take a Language Arts elective.
Middle School Language Arts Electives
ELA Elective Course
This course is designed to inspire and improve the work of aspiring writers. With practice, study, and the help of fellow writers, students will find a place to polish and then make public their creative writing. Audience and purpose will be the driving forces behind the writing students do in this class, and the instruction on skills of writing will be woven naturally into the various compositions that are created.
Young Adult Literature
In this course, students will have the opportunity to read widely in many genres and for many purposes. Choice in reading will be a key element as students will be challenged to read, discuss, and reflect on numerous books and articles throughout the course. Participants in this course run the risk of becoming addicted to the act of reading, falling in love with certain authors, and discovering things they never knew existed.
Media and Technology Literacy
In this course, students will use digital tools to study, evaluate, and create multi-media projects around topics of interest. The ELA curriculum objectives related to listening, speaking, and creating will drive the tasks in this course, and creativity and sophisticated products will be expected.
AVID is designed as a college-readiness course to support students in building skills around organization, academic behaviors, critical thinking, probing questioning, critical reading, and analytical writing. Students will be exposed to reading strategies that will assist in vocabulary building and understanding a variety of texts, and will also focus on prewriting techniques, summary writing and structural components of note-taking. The AVID curriculum is driven by the WICOR method, which stands for writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading. The tools used in this course will help students to be more successful readers, writers, and thinkers in the more rigorous courses in which they will also be expected to enroll (i.e. Pre-AP and Accelerated middle school offerings).
Future Problem Solvers - Community Problem Solvers or Global Issues
Community Problem Solving teams apply their problem solving skills to real problems in their community. A community problem is one that exists within the school, local community, region, state, nation, or the world. Teams contemplate real world, authentic concerns in the utilization of a six-step problem-solving process, which culminates in a Solutions document. Opportunities for live community presentations and competition will exist through Future Problem Solvers International. The Texas Future Problem Solving Program is the State Affiliate that sponsors the statewide competition in Austin each April with State winners progressing to the International Competition in June.
Students taking one of these courses will be required to do a rigorous level of work that will involve an outside time commitment for certain projects and competitions as well as fund-raising expectations. Interested students will complete a brief application for the course due to space limitations.
The Global Issues teams will utilize the Future Problem Solvers 6-step Problem Solving Process to investigate various futuristic scenarios and issues. Teams of students will work collaboratively through competitive instructional programs to design positive futures. Critical reading and writing skills will be honed through research and writing the Global Issues Solution document. The Texas Future Problem Solving Program is the state affiliate that sponsors the statewide competition in Austin each April with state winners progressing to the International Competition in June.
GT Independent Study
In this open-ended course offering, students will be allowed to design a project or course of learning according to their interests. The required components of this course will be research, reading, and writing. The work will culminate with a presentation of their work to an audience of peers, teachers, and middle school administrators.
*HALF YEAR (can be chosen for both semesters)
This elective is available to identified gifted and talented students. Students identified as gifted in any subject are eligible to enroll in this elective.
This course is designed to strengthen students’ reading and writing skills to ensure grade-level proficiency with academic tasks and expectations. Students enrolling in this course will have demonstrated a need for intervention on STAAR or other assessment or coursework. Through a wide variety of targeted experiences in reading and writing with authentic texts, students will build skills that will transfer to success on assessments.
*FULL OR HALF YEAR
Considerations: This course is designed to support and accelerate students who have demonstrated needs in reading and/or writing.
In this course, students new to the English language will have the opportunity to build vocabulary and strengthen their English speaking, reading, and writing abilities. The design of this course will be to support ELL students in both social/conversational language acquisition and development of English skills to support content learning in other middle school coursework.
*FULL OR HALF YEAR
This course is designed to support students who are newly acquiring the English language.