Issaquah Middle School
2022-23 Course Descriptions
Core classes are designed to support and challenge students. Students are required to take a full-year of Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science at each grade level. Advanced and accelerated options are available to students in Language Arts, Math and Science and placement in these courses is done using an informed self-select model.
ADDITIONAL REQUIRED CLASSES
- Health and PE – Seventh and Eighth grade students are required to take one trimester of Health and two trimesters of PE each year. Sixth graders take one trimester of Health and one trimester of PE. Eighth grade students may be eligible to take Independent Health and PE 8 outside of their school day. Information about Independent Health and PE 8 can be found in the year-long elective section of this course guide and on the district website.
HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT CLASSES – IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE
Effective 2019-20, high school level credit courses (Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology, ASL, Spanish 1) taken in middle school will automatically be added to the student’s transcript. This is in accordance with District Regulation 2410. This will impact students who choose to skip CC6 in Math, choose pathway 2 in Science, or choose Spanish 1 or ASL in grade 8. Students can request to have the course transcribed only for credit toward graduation and not included in the grade in the student’s high school GPA calculation. Students can also request to have these credits removed completely from their transcript. Students should consult with their counselor to make this request, which must be done no later than the end of their junior year of high school. Please note that once the grades and/or credits are deleted from the high school transcript, the grade and credit cannot be added back and will permanently be excluded from the student’s grade point average
- Beginning Band – This class is for students who are interested in learning to play a traditional band instrument such as flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba or percussion. No prior music experience is necessary. This class will establish a foundation for students in the field of music. Students will explore the beginning elements of reading music, proper playing techniques, proper practice techniques, instrument care and maintenance. Beginning Band will be divided into two classes; Brass and Woodwinds. Instrument is required for each student and typically available to rent from a local music store or from IMS. Daily practice and participation in concerts are required and are part of the student’s grade. More information about band at IMS.
- 6th Grade Chorus – For students who love to sing! Or, who want to learn how! In this class, grade students sing in 2 parts and by the end of the year advance to some 3-part singing. Through the study of vocal technique, music theory, rehearsals, and performances of a wide variety of choral literature (including pop, jazz, blues, folk, multi-cultural, and classical), students grow in musicality. Evening school performances occur in each trimester and concert attendance is required. Students are also eligible to participate in the Eastshore Solo/Ensemble Festival. A positive attitude is the key for success in this class.
- Beginning Orchestra – Orchestra is for students who wish to develop their skills with string instruments such as violin, viola, cello and double bass. No previous experience is required. In this year-long class, students will explore a myriad of skills needed in Orchestra including; beginning elements of reading music, caring and maintaining your instrument and proper playing and practice technique. Students are required to have an instrument which can typically be rented from a music store or the school and should be willing to commit to daily practice. Participation in concerts is required and is part of the students’ grade in the course.
- Exploratory 6 – This elective option consists of 3 single-trimester electives; Introduction to Leadership, Art Exploratory, and STEM Sampler.
- Introduction to Leadership – This classes focuses on the foundational elements of leadership on both an individual and community level. In this class of individual leadership skills, students will learn and practice skills that are essential for success at the secondary level: ways to study, use of a planner, staying organized, note taking and other executive functioning skills. Community leadership skills are also honed as students are taught how to get involved in school beyond the classroom and the walls of IMS itself. Students will learn such things as what to expect in middle school outside of the classroom, welcoming new students at lunch, the importance of kindness and how to embody the “IMS Way” as well as how they can help our community and world through charitable acts and philanthropy.
- Art Exploratory – 6th grade art exploratory will be an introduction to the three core IMS art classes with 4 weeks devoted to a sampling of each class: Studio art- a drawing and painting class, 3D Art- a sculpture class, and digital photography- an introduction to photography and Photoshop.
- STEM Sampler – In this exploratory class, 6th graders will be introduced to pre-engineering, coding, and digital media concepts and will design and create projects in our school technology lab. For students who are interested in hands-on, real-life projects, this course will be a great introduction if they wish to expand their knowledge or go onto more advanced CTE electives in grade 7 and 8.
Year-long Music Electives
These electives are scheduled around your child’s core and other required classes. Every attempt will be made to honor elective choices however some courses may not fit in your child’s schedule and therefore, cannot be guaranteed.
- Intermediate Band – This class is for students who have completed Beginning Band or any student with prior experience playing a traditional band instrument. The majority of students in this class will be in the 7th grade. The focus of the class will be on more advanced elements of reading music, continued reinforcement of proper playing techniques, as well as introducing more advanced concert literature. An instrument is required for each student and typically available to rent from a local music store or from IMS. Daily practice and participation in concerts are required and are part of the student’s grade. More information about band at IMS.
- Concert Band – This class is for students who have completed both Beginning and Intermediate Band or who have significant prior experience on their instrument. The majority of students in this class will be in the 8th grade. Focus is placed on advanced instrument techniques, and preparing students to play advanced band literature. The Concert Band will perform at the Eastshore Region Music Festival in the spring. An instrument is required for each student and typically available to rent from a local music store or from IMS. Daily practice and participation in concerts are required and are part of the student’s grade. More information about band at IMS.
- 7th and 8th Grade Chorus – The Bass Clefs (Boys) or The Treble Clefs (Girls) – For students who love to sing! Or, who want to learn how! Seventh and eighth grade students will sing in 4 parts. Through the study of vocal technique, music theory, rehearsals, and performances of a wide variety of choral literature (pop, jazz, blues, folk, multi-cultural, and classical) students will continue to grow in musicality. Concerts include evening school performances and the Eastshore League’s Choral Festival. Concert attendance is required.
Students are also eligible to participate in the Eastshore Solo/Ensemble Festival. Every other year, this advanced Chorus class has taken a trip (along with the advanced Band and Orchestra students) to perform at Silverwood’s Music in the Park Festival (where they always come is first!) Eighth grade Chorus students may also audition to sing in Crystal Voices (see description below). A positive attitude is the key for success in this class.
Crystal Voices Program Description: Crystal Voices is an advanced choir selected by audition. This group specializes in a cappella singing and performs for special events throughout the community. Members must be in 7th/8th Grade Chorus. Crystal Voices provides an opportunity for advanced singers to excel.
- Intermediate Orchestra – This class is designed for students who wish to progress to a higher level of performance on their stringed instrument. The majority of students in this class will be in the 7th grade but any student who has completed Beginning Orchestra or has prior experience with a stringed instrument is welcome to sign up for this course. The focus of the class will be developing expressive and technical skills needed to understand and perform a more advanced variety of music. Students are required to have an instrument which can typically be rented from a music store or the school and should be willing to commit to daily practice. Participation in concerts is required and is part of the students’ grade in the course.
- Chamber Orchestra – This class is for students who have completed both Beginning and Intermediate Orchestra or who have significant prior experience with their stringed instrument. This class will be made up of primarily 8th grade students. Students will learn advanced techniques preparing them to play more advanced music. Students are required to have an instrument which can typically be rented from a music store or the school and should be willing to commit to daily practice. Participation in concerts is required and is part of the students’ grade in the course.
WORLD LANGUAGE (8th grade only)
It is strongly recommended that students taking World Language in 8th grade have a B average in 7th grade Language Arts(for Spanish 1 or a C average for American Sign Language . Students should have excellent study habits, and be willing to commit to additional daily homework. Course will cover vocabulary, conversation and composition. Students who successfully complete World Language in 8th grade will be prepared to take level 2 in grade 9. Note: World Language course offerings are dependent on instructor availability and are subject to change. The grade earned will be included on the student’s high school transcript – see information above under High School Credit Classes.
- Spanish 1 – This class builds novice and intermediate skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking the Spanish language, the second most commonly spoken language in the United States. Students will be required to memorize vocabulary for accuracy and long-term retention. They will learn and apply new grammatical concepts and demonstrate competence with learned concepts in reading and writing as they apply newly learned vocabulary and conventions. They will develop listening and speaking as they use interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes of communication. Through readings, video, music and art, students will develop an understanding of the cultural practices and perspectives of Spanish-speaking countries.
- American Sign Language 1 (8th grade only) – American Sign Language 1 (ASL) introduces students to this visual/gestural language and the community of people that use it. You will learn the vocabulary, grammar, and culturally appropriate uses of ASL through natural, everyday conversational situations. In order to progress, it is important that students become comfortable using their bodies and “listening” with their eyes. To encourage and foster the development of these skills, voicing in the classroom will be minimal. Course Goals: The overall goals of ASL I are to have you appreciate and respect (1) ASL as a living, unique and wholly naturally-occurring language, and (2) Deaf people as a community with their own set of cultural traditions and values. In part, this will be accomplished by learning the communicative purposes (functions) of Deaf people’s everyday interactions.
ASB – SOUND TECHNICIANS (DMQ) – YEARBOOK
This year-long hybrid class is for students who are elected or appointed to ASB, or chosen as a Sound Technician. Admission to the class is by application and is based on student election results and teacher appointment. Information about how to apply will be available in late spring. Some students may have to drop other electives OR sign up for the Independent Health and PE 8 Option (this option is only available to grade 8). The Registrar will contact you to discuss a schedule change.
- ASB – Students become an active member of our ASB school community. Use and grow your social, artistic, technology and leadership skills as you collaborate to plan engaging activities for IMS students including assemblies, spirit days, fundraisers, the talent show, and more.
- Sound Technician (DMQ) – Yearbook – Working collaboratively in production groups, students will bring daily news and information to students and staff at IMS, take and edit pictures to capture important moments at IMS, write captions to describe photographs and help create the yearbook pages. Students will learn composition, angle, lighting and leans while using video cameras and a variety of software including Sony Vegas Movie Studio, Visual Communicator, and Adobe Photoshop. Students in this class will:
- Plan and evaluate their own work
- Enhance imagination and creativity
- Use drama as a means of confidently expressing their worldview and developing their personal “voice
INDEPENDENT HEALTH AND PE 8 (8th grade only)
Students wishing to take two full-year electives must obtain a health credit outside of the school day and fulfill a Physical Education class requirement. Full-year electives that qualify for this option are Band, Chorus, and Orchestra (providing this is not the student’s first year in a music elective) and World Language. Elected ASB officers and appointed Sound Technicians are also eligible. Students choosing this option will pay a course fee of $130 in the fall and will be issued a Health textbook. Complete Independent Health and PE information.
Trimester electives will be built as strands and will include three trimester long electives. Elective strands will include a variety of classes and students may receive electives in their strand that are not their top choices. Pick the strand that includes the electives you are most interested in as you will be expected to remain in the strand for the duration of the school year.
- Automation and Robotics – Students in this class will trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics. You will learn about mechanical systems and different types of mechanisms, energy transfer, machine automation and computer programming of robotic systems. Students will use robust robotics kits to design, build and program robotic solutions to solve existing problems. Each kit contains over 1800 parts that the students will use to build their robotics projects from scratch. This class has a $15.00 fee.
- STEM – Advanced Robotics and Automation – This class is a continuation of the concepts covered in Automation & Robotics I, focusing on using the VEX Robotics kits to solve problems in mechanics and programming. Course projects include student teams creating an assembly line that includes seven different work cells and building and programming a 4-wheeled ClawBot. Additional challenge projects will be introduced to students to solve over the course of the trimester and include concepts in advanced coding (loops and decision trees) as well as advanced motion and mechanisms. This class has a $15.00 fee.
- Backyard Forest – Go on three hikes and learn about plants, animal adaptations, glaciers, volcanoes, backcountry survival, and nature while exploring trails in the “Issaquah Alps” on Tiger and Cougar Mountains. There is a field trip fee for this class.
- Design and Modeling – In this elective class, students will be introduced to the design process and will use it to solve problems and understand the influence that creative and innovative design has on our lives. Students will learn to use industry standard 3D modeling software (AutoDesk Inventor Professional) to create virtual models of their designs. 3D printers will be used on some projects. Student will save their work in an electronic portfolio to showcase their creative solutions. There are many hands-on activities in this course that supplement the use of the computer modeling software. This class has a $15.00 fee.
- Digital Photography – Using digital cameras, students will learn about composition, angle, lighting and lens. Students will make a digital portfolio to demonstrate use of these four basic rules for taking pictures. Students will use Adobe Photoshop to modify their digital photos, and photos taken from the internet. This class has a supply fee.
- Principles of Flight – Get ready to take off! Investigate, innovate, and use creative thinking and problem solving to learn how scientists and engineers make traveling around the globe and beyond possible. The exciting world of aerospace comes alive through the Principles of Flight course. Students become engineers as they design, prototype, and test models to learn about the science of flight and what it takes to travel and live in space. They solve real-world aviation and space challenges and plan a mission to Mars.
- Music Exploratory – What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘music’? In this fun one-trimester course, you’ll learn about the elements of sound and how music affects our lives. You will explore elements of music like rhythm, pitch, and harmony. You will learn about different musical genres, performance practices, singing and your voice, various instruments, music editing and arranging, and be able to identify and explain what you like about certain types of music. Students will also get the chance to create music using SoundTrap, a district software program.
- Creative Writing – Students will learn to write and revise creative works such as poetry, short stories and screenplays. The class is introductory, so daily time is spent experimenting with new writing techniques. Emphasis is place on the writing process, from free-form writing through peer editing and final drafts.
- Study Skills – In this class students are guided through developing study skills to improve academic and work performance. They are provided instructions (through mini-lessons) on topics such as time management, organization, memory, self-advocacy, reading, writing, note taking, critical thinking, test taking and researching. Students have the opportunity to work with adults (teacher, para) to better understand their homework assignments and challenging concepts. This is for students who need academic or organizational help, not just quiet work time. This support class requires teacher and counselor input.
- Science Fiction – Explore outer space and possible futures on strange new worlds through popular science fiction themes in short stories, movies, and TV and radio programs. We will also examine special effects and filming techniques in films and television.
- Introduction to Spanish – This fun, interactive course for middle school students is filled with introductory language and culture activities to introduce students to communities and communication in the Spanish language. Students should expect to be actively engaged in becoming familiar with common vocabulary terms and phrases, participate in simple conversations and respond appropriately to basic conversational prompts, and experience cultural perspectives of various Spanish-speaking countries.
- Studio Art – Students will learn to use many different, exciting materials to create and display art projects. Students will express themselves through painting, drawing, ceramics, and sculpture. This course can be repeated as new projects will be available to returning students. This class has a supply fee.
- TA – Teacher (Note: Students may be assigned to the office, library or classroom and must be willing to work where assigned).
- Office – This responsible job includes assisting students, parents and staff in person and over the phone, making deliveries rain or shine, and helping with various office duties as directed. You will be expected to act in a professional manner and maintain confidentiality at all times.
- Library – TAs are responsible for many day-to-day tasks in the library. These include: checking books in and out, shelving books, making sure shelves are in order, printing overdue notices, making deliveries, processing new books and magazines and straightening and cleaning. In short, it’s like having a job, but instead of a paycheck you get a grade.
- Teacher – This responsible job involves helping a classroom teacher with a variety of tasks as directed.
Peer Tutor – This course is for students who like to work with peers that need extra help in academics and social skills. You will be working in the LRC2 class or in an elective or PE supporting your peers with their assignments or participating in physical education. If you truly want to help your fellow IMS peers that need a little extra help, this course is for you! This course requires good attendance, organizational and people skills.