• West Briar Middle School

     

    Course Descriptions

    2019-2020

     

    Academic Classes

     

    West Briar Middle School is committed to meeting the instructional needs of all students.  Our academic classes – English, reading, math, science and social studies – offer three levels of instruction.  They are as follows: 

     

    On-Level:  instruction addresses the grade-level learning objectives as outlined by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) through the state curriculum standards know as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). 

    Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP):  instruction addresses the grade-level learning objectives along with additional skill sets and strategies designed to help students acquire analytical thinking and communication skills necessary for success in Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school.  The pacing is accelerated in Pre-AP classes so that students will be prepared to take high school courses in eighth grade.  Teachers receive on-going professional development to ensure successful implementation of this College Board program.

    Gifted and Talented (G/T):  Pre-AP instruction with differentiation for more depth, complexity and pacing is the G/T curriculum.  Students who meet district criteria for G/T identification receive Pre-AP/G/T instruction in homogeneous classroom settings.  Pre-AP curriculum for G/T students is designed to provide these students more opportunities to demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity.

     

     

     

     

     

    General Elective Classes

     

    Spanish for Spanish Speakers: (7th Grade)

    Native-Spanish-speaking students, who demonstrate fluency in Spanish oral language, will study Spanish formally in an academic setting in the same way that native-English-speaking students study English language arts.  All students receive one year of high school credit for this course.  7th grade students will proceed to AP Spanish Language in their 8th grade year.

    Prerequisite: Students must have a national percentile score (NPR) of 60% or higher on the 2012 Stanford reading test in order to take this course in place of reading.  In addition, they must also meet eligibility by taking a placement test.

     

    The Texas Middle School Program for AP® Spanish Language: (8th Grade)

    Native-Spanish-speaking students have the opportunity to use their first language in speaking and writing at an advanced level comparable to 4th or 5th year studies for a non-native speaker.  All students receive four years of high school credit upon the successful completion of this course and receiving a grade of 3 or higher on the AP Spanish Language Exam. 

    Prerequisite: Students must successfully completed the Spanish for Spanish Speakers course as a 7th grader.

     

    Spanish 7: (7th Grade)

    Students will learn basic greetings, grammar structures, verb conjugation, and will learn to communicate in Spanish.  Students will learn culture and geography about all of the Spanish-speaking countries from around the world.  Students working toward a high school foreign language credit must take Spanish 7 and then Spanish IA/IB in the 8th grade.

    Prerequisite:  Students must have a national percentile score (NPR) of 60% or higher on the 2012 Stanford reading test in order to take this course in place of reading.

     

    Spanish 1A/B: (8th Grade)

    Spanish 1A/B students will learn basic communication and reading skills in Spanish.  As well as learning conjugation, verb tenses and important grammar structures of the language, the students will also learn

    culture, geography, and festivities from all of the Spanish-speaking countries.  Quizzes, tests, projects, and oral quizzes will be used to assess students.  Students will take a final exam at the completion of each semester as part of the requirement for earning the high school credit.  The final exam will count as one-fourth of the semester grade.

    Prerequisite:  7th Grade Spanish – Full Year

     

    AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

    In this year long course, students learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and asking probing questions, get academic help, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable.  The AVID curriculum is based on best teaching practices in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading.  It is supported by state and national content standards. 

     

    MATHCOUNTS® Competition Program:  (6th – 8th Grade)

    This year-long class is a national middle school coaching and competitive mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging “bee” style contest.

     

    Art 7-8: (7th – 8th Grade:  Full Year)

    No Pre-requisite

    This class is designed to explore the elements and principles of design through 2 and 3 dimensional assignments that are based upon themes and subjects artist typically use in their art.  Major art styles and discoveries from history will be integrated within the curriculum.

     

    Art 1A/1B:  (8th Grade only:  Full Year)

    This class is the high school course and students will earn two semesters of high school credit.

     

    Theatre Arts I: (7th – 8th Grade:  Full Year)

    This is the beginning and/or intermediate level for a general exploration of performance, stage movement, improvisation, and theatre history.  No pre-requisite

     

    Advanced Theatre Arts: (8th Grade:  Full Year)

    This course is designed for the student who has developed a genuine desire to continue to study theatre and possibly audition for theatre at the high school level. Performance requirements, attending live theatre productions, and attending student funded field trips will be part of the course curriculum.

    Prerequisite: Theatre Arts I or II and teacher approval through audition. 

     

     

    Beginning Band: (6th – 8th Grade)

    This course is offered to any student interested in learning to play a band instrument for the first time.  Beginning band is a prerequisite for upper-level band classes.  Students will perform 2-3 concerts and 1-2 competitions during the school year.  Beginning Band is divided into like-instrument classes meeting throughout the day.  Instruments taught in band are flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba and percussion.  All Beginning Band students must attend an instrument selection interview where the directors guide students in selecting the instrument that is best for them.  These meetings will take place in May.  The number of students playing a particular instrument is determined by the band directors.  Information on how to obtain an instrument will be provided to parents at the selection interview.  More information is available at www.westbriarband.org

     

    Intermediate Band:  (7th – 8th Grade)

    The Intermediate Band is the next level above Beginning Band.  Student in this group have at least one year band experience and have auditioned for the directors.  Intermediate Band students are expected to participate in all scheduled performances and competitions.

     

    Advanced Band: (7th – 8th Grade)

    Symphonic Band is the top band at West Briar.  Students in this group have at least one year band experience and have auditioned for the directors.  Symphonic Band students are expected to participate in all scheduled performances and competitions.  Symphonic Band performs more often and performs music of greater difficulty than the other band classes.  In addition to their band class, Symphonic Band students are expected to attend practice at least once a week before or after school.

     

    Beginning Orchestra: (6th – 8th Grade)

    This class is for any student interested in learning how to play an orchestra instrument for the first time.  Beginning Orchestra is a pre-requisite for Intermediate or Advanced Orchestra.  Instruction is offered for violin, viola, cello, and bass.  All Beginning Orchestra students must attend an instrument selection interview where the director guides students in selecting the instrument that is best for them.  These meetings will take place in May.  The beginning orchestra participates in concerts throughout the year, which are held in the evening time.  The students will learn how to hold the instruments, properly pluck the strings, learn different notes and rhythms, and finally learn how to use the bow.  Information about how to obtain an instrument will be provided by the director at the instrument selection interview.

     

    Intermediate Orchestra: (6th – 8th Grade)

    Intermediate Orchestra is the second level of orchestra at West Briar.  Students must have at least one year of orchestra experience and have auditioned for the director.  Class participants will review skills and concepts learned in Beginning Orchestra and develop a more advanced skill set of finger patterns, rhythm patterns, and bowing patterns.  Basic ensemble skills are taught as well.  Performances are scheduled outside of the school day and participation in evening performances is mandatory.

     

    Advanced Orchestra: (7th – 8th Grade)

    Advanced Orchestra is the top level of orchestra at West Briar.  Students must have at least one year of orchestra experience and have auditioned for the director.  Advanced Orchestra participates in the performances scheduled throughout the year, as well as in the UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest and other competitions.

     

     

    Elective Wheel: (6th Grade)

    Students sample fine arts, technology, and foreign language in a six weeks curriculum  Throughout the year, with the beginning of each new grading cycle, students rotate through art, theatre, choir, band, technology, and Spanish. 

     

    Beginning Girls’ and Beginning Boys’ Choirs: (6th -8th Grade)

    Choir participants will have the opportunity to perform numerous times throughout the school year, on campus, as well as in the community. The choir will focus on mastering sight-singing, correct vocal production, tonal blend, and overall musicality as an ensemble as well as individually.  Participation in choir will give students the opportunity to improve their vocal skills and advance to a higher choir in 7th grade.  The choir will end the school year with a choir trip and competition.

     

    West Briar Select Singers Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs: (7th – 8th Grade)

    “Select Singers” is an audition only ensemble for advanced singers and sight-readers. It is open to boys and girls in 7th & 8th grade with teacher approval. These students will be performing concerts at West Briar as well as in and around the community. In addition to these performances, the Select Singers will be required to participate individually in the Region 23 Solo & Ensemble festival, and compete in the Region 23 Choir auditions.  Select Singers will also perform as an ensemble at UIL Concert and Sight Reading contests in early spring. Select Singers is the premiere singing ensemble at West Briar and will be the primary performance connection to the community.

     

    Beginning Dance: (6th– 8th Grade)

    Students will be introduced to dance fundamentals such as correct placement/alignment, dance terminology, technical skills and a variety of dance genres such as lyrical, Broadway, contemporary, modern, jazz, hip-hop, and cultural.  Students will build on their ability to connect movements and memorization of dance choreography.  They will have an opportunity to choreograph in small groups and submit their work before judges for the choreography showcase.  They will perform in both a Fall and Spring Dance Festival.

     

    Intermediate Dance: (7th– 8th Grade)

    Strengthen dance fundamentals learned in beginning level.  Learn dance combinations with harder movements performed faster.  Choreography assignments have more requirements in the way of creativity

     

    Kinetic Dance: (7th– 8th Grade)

    Use perfected dance fundamentals in dance class combinations and choreography assignments.  Choreograph class presentations for campus performances. Continue to learn jazz, modern dance and hip hop. Commit to the performance calendar given before the next school year. AUDITION REQUIRED.

     

     

    Drill Team: (7th – 8th Grade)

    Auditions are held in March.  Veteran team members must re-audition each year to keep their spot on the team.  The Honey Bears Drill Team will perform at various West Briar athletic events including but not limited to football, basketball games and pep rallies.  Must be able to attend morning and afternoon practices.  This is a rigorous, year- long program that includes mandatory summer camps, fall and spring athletic events, competitions, fall/spring shows and multiple outside performances. 

     

    Cheerleading:  (7th – 8th Grade)

    Auditions are held in April.  Selected students will cheer at various West Briar athletic events including but not limited to football, basketball, and wrestling games.  This is a rigorous year-long program that includes mandatory summer camps, fall and spring athletic events, competition, fall/spring shows and multiple outside performances. 

     

     

    Technical Applications / Theatre: (7th – 8th Grade)

    Technology Applications is offered to 7th, and 8th, graders. In Technology Applications students learn the fundamentals of Word Processing, Desktop Publishing, Spreadsheets, Multimedia Presentation and Database software. Students also learn how to research on the Internet and the rules behind the Copyright Laws.

     

    Computer Concepts and Computer Power: (7th – 8th Grade)

    Computer Concepts is an advanced technology class. The main focus of this course is to create well-planned websites.  During the semester, the curriculum will cover Macromedia Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Inspiration software.  Along with learning these software applications, students will also learn the principles of designing a website. 

     

     Principals of Informational Technology: (8th Grade)

    This is an introduction to informational technology and is a high school credit course. Students will earn two semesters of high school credit.

     

    Media Team: (7th Grade)

    This is technology class that spends time creating the yearbook for the school.

     

     

     

    FINAL NOTE:  ALL ELECTIVE COURSE OFFERINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON STUDENT DEMAND AND/OR BUDGET CONSTRAINTS.