Middle School Academics
The exploration of the arts, music, and technology is an integral part of the Middle School curriculum. As Warren-Walker School is committed to developing well-rounded scholars and citizens our students are required to participate in each of the following artistic disciplines on a rotating basis:
Students are required to participate in instrumental music all year at each grade level.
The entire Middle School band comes together for two annual concerts, the Holiday Tea and Artz Night.
Students are introduced to band instruments. They select an instrument that they would like to learn to play. They are taught how to assemble, hold, and produce sound on their chosen instrument. All of the musical elements previously learned in the lower grades are called upon and reinforced through playing. Production of good tone quality is taught. Ensemble playing and tuning are introduced. The discipline of routine practice is strongly stressed.
In playing their instruments, students continue to develop good tone quality and exhibit musical skills for ensemble playing. They learn to master the dynamic levels and execute articulations and other musical expressions. Routine practice is expected. Students who exhibit higher levels of achievement are asked to join the Honor Band. Those who accept the opportunity commit to extra practice and playing engagements.
As they continue playing in the concert band, students hone good tone quality and exhibit musical skills for ensemble playing. They learn to master the dynamic levels and execute articulations and other musical expressions. Routine practice is expected. Students who exhibit higher levels of achievement are asked to join the Honor Band. Those who accept the opportunity commit to extra practice and playing engagements.
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6th grade drama is a collaborative effort through which all the students participate in the creative process of producing a dramatic performance. From building sets to lighting to costuming, and performing, students learn to understand the theatre arts.
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The improv class includes all the aspects of extemporaneous acting while challenging the students to think quickly and creatively. Students learn to trust and accept their “fellow actors” by participating in various trust games and activities. Students connect physical movements with specific character traits as they explore the physical part of acting. Storytelling is an integral part of the course, as acting is just that.
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Students focus on utilizing the elements and principles of art in their own work. Art historical concepts related to each specific project is taught via slide presentations, books, field trips and current publications. Shape and form are developed through two-dimensional works on paper using charcoal and pencil. Principles of art, including composition and balance (or emphasis) are developed via work in collage and painting. Additional principles, including space, rhythm and movement, are guided through sculptural creations originating from “found objects.” Presentation, craftsmanship, and creativity are reviewed.
This class is where students begin to investigate ways in which art history relates to contemporary work. Investigation of African Art and Medieval Art are utilized in students’ creations. The elements and principles of art continue to be emphasized in all projects. Design and self-expression are further emphasized via the projects Painted African Gourds and Self Portraits, respectively. Students continue to learn about handling different materials; for example, clay. New techniques and concepts in two-dimensional dry media are also taught. These include cross-hatching, thumbnail sketches, vanishing point and perspective. Presentation, craftsmanship, and success are emphasized in project goals.
The primary purpose of this class is to expand students’ concepts of art and introduce new media. Vocabulary of art and guidelines are taught and used in discussing work. Students further develop skills introduced in the previous grades. Students will focus on printmaking, and additional work will be in clay, drawing, and design. Students are expected to work more independently as the quarter progresses and as they develop skills and individual expression. Demonstrations and individual guidance continue as methods of teaching.
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All 7th and 8th grades students will be exposed to and taught basic wood and metal working skills.
This Industrial Art Program will mirror the “Urban Trees” Program and follow the proposal requirements in order to have a Warren-Walker Middle School sculpture submitted and displayed on the Port Tidelands of San Diego Bay. Sculptures will also be designed, mounted, and be displayed around the Warren-Walker Middle School campus. Safety is a major emphasis in this course. Students will learn about and use all of the protective equipment, and the proper use of tools and materials. For example, they learn how to cut sheet metal using a plasma cutter, use a blow torch for bending and shaping metal, and follow welding techniques and procedures.
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All Middle School students are introduced to the library and computer lab for research and recreational reading.
As class projects are assigned, students visit the library to locate print and electronic resources. All the skills previously taught continue to be reinforced, especially the five-step research process. Different indexes to the Internet are taught in order to gather information efficiently. The Boolean search is taught which aids students in determining the relevancy of the information provided. These skills are refined in 7th and 8th grades.
This course includes the Modern Language Association (MLA) standard for proper report formatting, including the bibliography. Keyboarding practice strives to achieve typing speeds of 25 wpm with at least 90% accuracy, and Microsoft Word skills are further enhanced.
Seventh Grade expands upon report formats to include MLA style. Title pages, pagination, and use of bulleted and numbered lists are taught. Extensive uses of Microsoft Office tools for reports and spreadsheets are incorporated into the curriculum to enhance in-class projects. More facets of the PowerPoint program are mastered and incorporated into reports and presentations. Students also learn Excel, and Publisher is used in conjunction with the interdisciplinary unit with Science and English.
Website development and programming skills are taught and used as part of the curriculum. PowerPoint development along with presentation skills will be a focus of attention. Time permitting, students dabble in Multimedia and Photoshop. Keyboarding practice continues and students strive to achieve typing speeds of 35 wpm with 90% accuracy. There is also the expectation that the required level of proficiency for high school graduation will have been met.
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The Art of Public Speaking
This course, for 8th graders, is designed to give students the opportunity to learn about the basic skills of communication. These include voice, movement, articulation, and projection, as well as understanding the communication process, the elements of communication, and the work of speaking and listening to become competent communicators. Students learn about the different types of public communication (informative and persuasive), while learning how to find and use information, construct the speech, and deliver the speech. Impromptu speeches are scattered throughout the course where students apply the principles of effective public speaking.
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