You are here: Home / Academics / Exploratory Cycles

Exploratory Cycles and Electives

In addition to the core curriculum students at all grade levels are offered a variety of exploratory classes to enrich their academic experiences.  Exploratory classes encompass art, computer skills, drama, and nutrition. In addition, at the sixth grade level students participate in Quest, a class that equips students with skills for adolescence by addressing student self esteem, drug use, and alcohol and tobacco use prevention.

 

SIXTH GRADE EXPLORATORY CYCLE

Unless they have elected instrumental instruction, all sixth grade students take one period of an exploratory class. The students will switch classes four times.  They will start with Quest and then rotate through the three classes listed below. Students who need extra help in academics may be pulled from their exploratory class to attend ELL or Math Boosters class.

COMPUTER EDUCATION

 

In this course, students will focus on keyboarding skills and gaining a basic knowledge of a common integrated computer program, currently Microsoft Office. They will learn basic internet research skills and how to protect their identity online. Students will also develop creativity and decision-making skills using TuxPaint, PowerPoint, GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie, and possibly other programs.

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

This course presents an opportunity to learn about maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating properly, exercising daily, and making smart choices. Curriculum includes nutrition, fitness, and the personal and sociological impact of good health habits versus poor health habits. Through group projects, class discussions, research, and videos, students will learn to sustain a healthy, active routine.

NEWSPAPER

This course will offer students the experience of developing and publishing a newspaper.  Students will become familiar with the layout, sections, and vocabulary of a newspaper.  Students will write articles using Microsoft Word.  In addition, students will participate in the brainstorming of ideas, the interview process, as well as, writing and editing of articles.  Students will analyze actual newspapers to better prepare them for their own publication.

QUEST: SKILLS FOR ADOLESCENCE

Students will learn how to cope with the challenges of our complex society by developing critical thinking skills, building self-confidence through better communication, improving peer relationships, strengthening family relationships, and setting goals for healthy living. Bullying prevention, tobacco and alcohol abuse and other related problems will be addressed.

EL AND MATH BOOSTER CLASSES

 

Booster classes are developed for students needing extra assistance in English and/or Mathematics.

SEVENTH GRADE EXPLORATORY CYCLE

Seventh grade students may elect an instrumental instruction period, AVID, or to take one period of classes in an exploratory cycle. Students who wish to take either instrumental or AVID and an exploratory may do so by adding a zero period PE class.  Students who need extra help in academics may be pulled from their exploratory class to attend ELL or Math Boosters class.  For those electing the exploratory rotation, they will rotate through three or four of the following courses:

 

CAREERS

 

This class explores the relationship between education and training for future career choices. Through a California-based simulation, students will identify and explore numerous career fields and look at required education levels, skills, and training necessary to acquire each position. They will also practice completing college and job applications, discuss the path to a college career and explore college choices.

COMPUTER EDUCATION

 

In this course, students will build on the basic skills learned in the 6th grade computer class and continue to work on their keyboarding skills. A main focus of the course is the use of multimedia applications to tell stories and make presentations. Students will create slideshows in PowerPoint and iPhoto, a podcast in GarageBand, a movie in iMovie, and a newsletter using Microsoft Word.

HEALTH 7

 

This course includes topics in self-esteem, substance abuse, disease, nutrition, fitness, and major human body systems. Parent approval is required for the unit on adolescence and reproduction.

SPANISH AND CULTURE

Students will be introduced to the basics of the Spanish Language and Culture. Students will engage in activities that include basic conversation, geography, and art activities centered on Spanish speaking communities.

 

 

AVID 7 – year long course (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

AVID is a program designed to prepare students in the middle (G.P.A. between 2.0 and 3.5) to succeed in a college preparatory path for admission to four-year colleges and universities. The objectives of AVID include increasing the participants’ levels of career awareness, giving students college-level entry skills, and increasing the “coping skills” of program participants. It is a one year course and requires students to go through an application/selection process.

MATH BOOSTER CLASS

 

Booster classes are developed for students needing extra assistance. These classes may be required for students who are not meeting standards.

 

EIGHTH GRADE EXPLORATORY CYCLE

In addition to core curriculum, all eighth grade students will take an instrumental, one period of classes in an exploratory cycle or a year-long elective.  The exploratory cycle rotates on the tri-mester.  Students may choose two elective classes by opting for a zero period PE.

ART

 

This course is designed to introduce various mediums and styles of art to students through hands-on experiences. Students will learn a variety of techniques used by well-known artists. This course will also provide students the opportunity for artistic exploration, self-expression, and enable them to appreciate and recognize their own talents.

COMPUTERS

In addition to building on the skills learned over the past two years, eighth grade computer students will have the opportunity to develop skills in video production. Students will learn such essential skills as script writing, storyboarding, filming, editing, interviewing, and event coverage. They will film and broadcast sports events, club and class activities, and other school events. Students choosing Computers will rotate between Drama and Computers every quarter.

DRAMA

This course provides a general overview of important facets and contributions of drama and the theatrical performing arts for the young adult. Features of the course include the study of pantomime and improvisation, public speaking skills, script writing, and dramatic performances. English standards are enriched through drama curriculum in a creative and innovative way. Field trips to plays, and/or musical theater productions may be utilized to enhance instruction.

EIGHTH GRADE ELECTIVES

AVID 8 (year-long course)

AVID is a program designed to prepare students in the middle (G.P.A. between 2.0 and 3.5) to succeed in a college preparatory path for admission to four-year colleges and universities. The objectives of AVID include increasing the participants’ levels of career awareness, giving students college-level entry skills, and increasing the “coping skills” of program participants. It is a one year course and requires students to go through an application/selection process.

LEADERSHIP (year-long course)

This year-long course is for the highly motivated student who has a real desire to become involved in student activities, student government, and school/community service. Students develop an understanding of student government, leadership styles, communication, time management, goal-setting, and decision-making. Students learn and develop their leadership skills through direct participation in planning and organizing a variety of programs. (Examples of activities are organizing noontime activities and school-wide assemblies, planning and decorating for school dances, and carrying out student and staff recognition programs.) Students will read and implement The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Teens. Enrollment is limited to 8th graders who complete the application process and have exemplar teacher recommendations.

SPANISH 1 (year-long course)

This is a full-year, college prep course equivalent to Spanish 1 at Castro Valley High School. Students will develop proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as an appreciation and understanding of Spanish speaking culture through readings, music, rhyme, and video. Communication skills are emphasized and taught through comprehensible input. Individual, paired, and grouped activities, projects, and tests should be anticipated. Comprehensible communicative activities will be practiced each day. Daily study and homework assignments are expected. Upon successful completion of this course with an “A” or “B” semester grade, and based on teacher recommendation, students may advance to Spanish 2 when entering high school.
Criteria:

Students must have a “C” or better in 7th grade English and the recommendation of their English teacher in order to enroll in this high school level course.

Strongly Recommended:
A “B” or better in English, an excellent attendance record, strong English skills, and good study skills.

YEARBOOK (year-long course)

This course focuses on four areas: layout and design, copy writing, photography, and marketing. Within these areas, students will learn the skills necessary for production of any desktop published document and will be responsible for the production of the Creekside Yearbook. Students will develop leadership skills and have the opportunity to work in an editorial position on the staff. Enrollment is open to eighth graders and is based on an application process, including teacher recommendation. Applications will be available in the spring for the following year.

Performance Data

Creekside Middle School is a high-performing school. The web sites below will provide you with additional information.

DataQuest - Find out information about any California school.

Ed-Data - Fiscal, demographic and performance data on California's K-12 schools.

Educational Results - Search for a school's performance data.

School Quality Snapshot - Multiple years of school data in a format that is easy to understand.