Rio Norte Junior High

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Academic Departments » Electives » Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

YEAR LONG ELECTIVES. These classes will require an application and/or an audition.
ADVANCED ART ­ The main objective for this course is to give students that have shown and/or demonstrated that they can succeed at creating more in-depth art. Students must have the ability to work more independently. A portfolio of work must be shown prior to admittance. Emphasized is a balance of enjoyment and appreciation of the artistic process, principles of design, drawing painting, sculpture, and exhibiting art.

ADVANCED BAND ­ or Concert Band is the major instrumental ensemble at Rio Norte and is a one year commitment. This group represents the school at all major school functions including the open house, back to school night, 6th Grade Jamboree, Valencia Showcase and the Turkey Bowl game. The ensemble also joins the Valencia High Marching Band to play for a VHS football game. This ensemble performs at both local and national music festivals, including the Disneyland Music Festival, with an overnight stay at the Disney hotels. The Advanced band has two major performances. One in the Fall and the other in the Spring.

ADVANCED CHORUS ­ or Concert Choir is one ­year commitment to vocal ensemble performance. Members of the concert choir develop skills in vocal performance. Students are introduced to musical notation and basic vocal techniques. The concert choir performs various styles of choral literature for school concerts, community programs, and local choral festivals. Requirements include exemplary citizenship and a positive attitude. An audition is required for this ensemble.

ASB – Associated Student Body – Rio Norte ASB takes great pride in gathering together a group of hard working seventh and eighth graders committed to making their school a better place by serving others. ASB works during summer, before school, during breaks, after school, in the evenings, and on weekends organizing activities for both the school and the community. Students in ASB work a minimum of twenty hours outside of class time per quarter in service to the school and community.
DRAMA PRODUCTION This class is year long elective for students with some performance experience who want to develop their acting skills, their understanding of theater and for those who want to perform in front of an audience. We currently have a 7th grade group and an 8th grade group. This class focuses on exploring a range of acting skills, and improving rehearsal discipline. We often run sessions after school and do performances on evenings and weekends. If you love to perform in front of an audience, want to be part of a big Theater Family then make sure you sign up for an audition.

RIO TV - Rio Norte Advanced Video Production brings our daily morning show--RioTV--to over 1,400 students and staff on YouTube each day. Producing a daily broadcast is a lot of fun, but it's also hard work. If you visit, you'll see all the fun things that happen in front of the camera, but there is so much more that happens behind the scenes--script writing, filming, graphics, editing, organization, communication, leadership, and teamwork. Students will work during class time, and sometimes at brunch, lunch, and after school creating our show as we pursue our four-point goal to INFORM, ENGAGE, INCLUDE, and INSPIRE. RioTV is looking for students who are mature, hard-working, and who can work well together as a team.

SPANISH A/B: 8TH Grade Only. This introductory course in Spanish is designed for those who are preparing for college entrance or who want to lay the groundwork for extensive study of  Spanish. The language's basic grammatical structure and vocabulary are taught through practice in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Successful completion of Spanish 1A with a grade of “C” or better at the semester is recommended to continue with Spanish 1B.

­ YEARBOOK Students enrolled in Yearbook are responsible for preserving memories that will last a lifetime. Students will learn and practice photography, writing, layout, design, and production skills as they produce the yearbook. Students will spend much of their class time learning new skills and collaborating with other yearbook team members and are expected to spend a great deal of time outside the classroom (before school, brunch, lunch, after school, and on weekends) taking photos at school events and then working on assigned pages.

BEGINNING ART & ANIMATION ­ Beginning Art is a semester-long creative opportunity that offers students amazing art projects which include life drawing, animation drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, composition, collage, design, technical skills, elements and principles of design and more.  Students get exposed to important artists, galleries, and museums through Internet-based teaching.
BEGINNING BAND ­ The beginning band is the first step into a larger musical world. In this class, you learn how to read music and play an instrument of the wind band. These include, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone, Tuba and Percussion. The next step from the beginning band is the Advanced band.
BEGINNING CHORUS This is a one semester vocal ensemble experience. Members of the chorus develop skills in vocal performance. Students are introduced to musical notation and basic vocal techniques. The chorus performs various styles of choral literature for school concerts. Requirements include exemplary citizenship and a positive attitude. Prior singing experience is recommended but not required.
BEGINNING DRAMA This is a semester long elective that develops confidence and creativity and introduces students to basic acting skills. We learn and develop performance skills through fun, practical activities and build our confidence towards performing in front of an audience. This is the class for you if you like working in groups, learning through practical activities and games, and want to build your confidence and share your creativity. 
BEGINNING GUITAR The beginning guitar class is designed for anyone who would like to learn to play the guitar. No previous musical experience is required just a willingness to learn. In this class you learn to read music, play melodic lines, play chords, and finger-pick. An acoustic guitar is not needed for this class, but students with their own guitar are encouraged to bring theirs.
BEGINNING VIDEO PRODUCTION ­ Beginning Video Production is a media technology class. Students will learn skills in broadcast journalism, video production, and film education. Beginning Video Production is designed for students who have or might have an interest in creating video projects and short films. Students will learn a variety of technical career skills that will help them to advance into Rio TV, high school video production, and/or in the job market after high school. Students will also be exposed to camera equipment, video editing software, computers, stage lighting, audio equipment, writing scripts/storyboarding, and directing others, etc. Students will learn to use their communication skills in writing and on camera for an audience.
CODING Is a computer programming class designed to provide students with a basic understanding of computer science and coding. Using Scratch and various other programs students will create fun and exciting projects, video presentations, and games. This class is designed for beginners but will also challenge students coming in with block programming experience.
DIGITAL ART (Priority is given to 8th-grade students and advanced art students, one semester) Students will create and explore their artistic potential through Photoshop and Illustrator. Included in this class students learn about the elements and principles of art and tools and workspace. Students will be introduced to basic digital imaging manipulation skills, visual problem solving, precise craftsmanship and creative expression. Finished artwork will be printed out on a high quality digital printer. Students will explore careers connected with Digital Art and create a website which includes a portfolio of their projects.
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY ­Students have a fantastic opportunity to take digital photography here at Rio Norte Junior High. It is an introductory semester class. Students will learn to compose images with an automatic digital operated camera to take great pictures. Aperture and Shutter Priority  will be explored with Digital SLR cameras. They will work with digital photos and explore Photoshop including photo retouch, more creative digital solutions, visual problem solving and precise craftsmanship. Many of their photos will be printed and students will create a website which includes a portfolio of their projects. 
EXPLORING CULINARY I­ (primarily an 8th grade class) provides a fun learning environment while teaching practical skills students will use for a lifetime! Before beginning to cook in class, students are introduced to important kitchen skills by learning about safety, equipment, equivalents, and measuring. Other topics covered throughout the semester include reading food labels, “MyPlate” and nutrition, the essential nutrients, table setting, and the food and culture of other nations. Students practice new food preparation techniques during a series of approximately fifteen cooking labs throughout the semester and by completing four Home Cooking Assignments.
EXPLORING CULINARY II - (primarily an 8th grade class) Exploring Culinary II is a fun and practical elective course that provides continuing experience and skills related  to food preparation and nutrition. Students will be building on the fundamentals learned in Exploring Culinary I by preparing various foods in labs designed to teach advanced cooking techniques, and participating  in culture and nutrition projects to broaden their knowledge and understanding in these areas. Requirement: successful completion of Exploring Culinary I.
CODING Is a computer programming class designed to provide students with a basic understanding of computer science and coding. Using Scratch and various other programs students will create fun and exciting projects, video presentations, and games. This class is designed for beginners but will also challenge students coming in with block programming experience.
JOURNALISM - Students will learn the basic principles of print and online journalism. Students will learn investigative skills, responsible reporting, and journalistic writing techniques as they read, respond to, and write their own news and feature articles. Students will create their own articles for the school website, create twitter updates, and a published magazine. 
SEMINAR AND COMPUTERS/KEYBOARDING- For 10 weeks, students in Seminar will discover ways to increase academic and personal success and create personal goals through self-exploration. Students will investigate the world of work in order to make informed career decisions. For 10 weeks students will explore common computer applications and skills needed for success in junior high school and beyond.
TECHNOLOGY: DESIGN & MODELING Introduces students to computer design using a modeling three-dimensional software program. Students will create a portfolio of interesting design projects. Students will have the opportunity to 3D print some of their designs using a MakerBot 3D printer.
TEEN LEADERSHIP Teen Leadership will focus on topics like personal leadership, written communication skills, public speaking, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, self-confidence, personal responsibility, branding, digital citizenship, how to communicate with adults, and much more! Coursework will also be based on the Capturing Kids’ Hearts program Lead Worthy. For more information, you can visit 
PEACE: Peace is a 10 week elective class focused on building awareness of students’ own cultural identity and family background and to learn to understand and appreciate differences.  The course will teach American beliefs, values and freedoms.  It will teach students about stereotyping, bias, bullying, cyberbullying, communication and conflict resolution. The class will empower students in creating environments of mutual respect and inclusiveness. 
SEMINAR: This 10 week class will help students make a connection to their post-secondary goals This course will assist students in making decisions about high school courses, selecting colleges and preparing for careers. Students will learn about critical topics related to self-discovery, developing success skills, exploring career options, planning for high school and post-secondary options.
TECHNOLOGY FUNDAMENTALS: This 10 week course is designed to provide students with a functional keyboarding skill emphasizing personal and occupational goals along with computer literacy. The first part of the course will focus primarily on learning the alphabetic keys and the second part of the course will focus primarily on computer literacy. Computer literacy will include the introductory concepts of word processing, spreadsheets, power point presentations, internet research,

HTML (web design), email and scanning.