Middle School Electives
In the Brandon Academy offers a variety of elective courses intended to enrich and enhance the students in their educational experience. Each teacher in the middle school offers a course that will allow students to learn a new subject and express their learning in different ways. These elective courses are either a semester or year in length. We offer courses such as Spanish, Yearbook, Drama, Total Sound, Visual Art, and Robotics.
MIDDLE SCHOOL ELECTIVE DESCRIPTIONS - SEMESTER 2
Spanish 2 Honors – This FULL YEAR course is the second year of Spanish. This course is open to 8th graders who have completed Spanish 1. Students taking this course will further enrich their understanding of Spanish language and the Latin Culture. This class will complete the credit for the first year Spanish class in High School. To help gain an understanding the students will host a Spanish Fiesta. This celebration allows them to understand Cinco de Mayo and taste the traditional Spanish food. This elective for Grade 8
Spanish 1 – This FULL YEAR course is a prerequisite for Spanish 2 Honors. Students in the class will learn grammar and to converse in Spanish. The student will also learn about the wide variety of the Spanish culture. To help gain an understanding the students will host a Spanish Fiesta. This celebration allows them to understand Cinco de Mayo and the Spanish culture. This elective is for Grades 7-8.
Yearbook – In this FULL YEAR course, students will design BA’s yearbook. Students will learn about the roles and responsibilities of a publisher including attractive campaigns, meeting deadlines, and working collaboratively. Students will also gain knowledge in digital photography techniques, photo editing, and layout designs. The elective is for Grades 6-8
Robotics – Ro·bot (noun) - a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer middle schooler. This is a FULL YEAR elective. Come join the rookie year of Scorpion Robotics! We will use LEGO EV3 robots and Mindstorm software to become robot engineers. To be successful in this class you must be creative, able to think outside the box, able to work with others, and be self-motivated. Students in this class will have the opportunity to compete in robotics competitions throughout the year in an after school club. This elective is for Grades 6-8.
Stock Market - This is a HALF-YEAR course. The stock market game is an online simulation of the global capital markets that engage students in the world of economics, investing and personal finance. It prepares students to be financially independent and responsible adults. The SMG teaches students how to properly invest money, so that they might grow it over time. In the SMG, students are given $100,000. With this money they will build and manage an investment portfolio in a real world, dynamic marketplace. The students will then analyze and make decisions, explore the consequences of their choices, and seek new ways to strategize for success. This elective is for Grades 6-8.
Public Relations - For this HALF-YEAR course, students will learn the importance of Public Relations. This interactive class will explore the importance of branding and public opinion. Using print, web, and video mediums we will discover how to design, create, and implement quality student made productions. This class will encompass areas such as TV Production, Public Speaking based off of Toastmasters Youth Programs, Understanding the Importance of Branding, Support the Social Media for Public Relations- Crisis Management, Product Roll-out, Re-branding simulations. NOTE: A small fee may be associated with this elective for various apps. This elective is for Grades 6-8
JA Finance Park – Remember in Fifth Grade when you train and worked at JA Biztown? Well you can have another opportunity to participate in Junior Achievement at JA Finance Park. Given a career and family situation, students use banking services, pay for housing, transportation, utilities, groceries, and health care. They also can contribute to charities and budget for education expenses. They work to create and balance a personal family budget. So with comprehensive training, students will then attend a daylong visit to this simulated, fully interactive business park that brings their in-class learning to life.
Total Sound- In this HALF-YEAR elective, the class will conduct, teach, train, and transform singers into a finely tuned, choreographed vocal ensemble. Genres to be performed in this choir will range from medleys of modern and "legit" Broadway musicals, to pop/rock, to pieces from the standard choral repertoire. This group performs in many capacities throughout the fall semester and will also include off-campus performances. There will be times during the semester when it may be necessary to rehearse outside of school hours. The elective works with Drama for Spring Musical performance in May. This elective is for Grades 6-8.
Drama – In this HALF-YEAR course, we’ll be working with all aspects of performance, from projection and enunciation to staging and sets. We’ll work on getting into character, practice improvisation skills, and building performances from first reading to after-performance critique. We’ll examine different genres and the different ways we approach them, as well as non-performance aspects such as set-building and costuming. All of this will culminate in a performance with the Total Sound elective at the end of the semester. This elective is for Grades 6-11.
Visual Art – For this HALF-YEAR course, students will explore a variety of techniques and mediums, while studying artists from around the world and across time. This course will combine both 2D arts (drawing, painting, printmaking) with 3D arts (weaving, ceramics, sculpture). Students will have the opportunity to experiment in mediums of their choosing while creating artworks surrounding broad themes and topics. The course will conclude with a formal art show representing student work. This elective is for Grades 7-10.
Coding - In this HALF-YEAR course, students will be introduced to the principles of coding. Each student will have the opportunity based on his/her skill and understanding to create various coding programs. Activities such as logic games, Compare/Contrast popular apps, utilizing coding apps like Tynker, Scratch and Hopscotch, introduction to Web Design, use of 3d Printer and lite CAD design, possible flying drones (if successful in acquiring funding via annual fundraiser or other events). NOTE: A small fee may be associated with this elective for various apps. This elective is for Grades 8-11
Intro to Film Study - This is a HALF-YEAR course. Film is the most popular artistic medium in today’s culture. Many of us do not recognize the various techniques used by directors to convey their message. This elective aims to teach students to think critically about what they see in film and to learn about the filmmaking process. This course will place films in a historical context to better understand the social issues of the movie's time and learn about why certain creative decisions were made along the way. This elective is for Grades 8-11
Physical Education – This is a HALF-YEAR course. Take one semester or two if you would like. Enjoy games, skills and fun in P.E. class. Note: you may only take P.E. once each semester. This elective is for Grades 6-8.
VIRTUAL SCHOOL ELECTIVES FOR 2017-2018
In addition to the electives by the faculty at Brandon Academy, the school offers electives through Florida Virtual School to middle school students. Six of these electives: Critical Thinking & Study Skills, Social Media 1, French I, Latin I, Chinese I, and Psychology I, will be offered to eighth grade students only. The other three choices: Business Keyboarding, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Learning Strategies and Civics may be taken by sixth, seventh or eighth graders.
A student may choose to take a Florida Virtual School elective during either the first or second elective period of the day. Also, for the half-year electives, a student may choose either 1st or 2nd semester. Please note that Civics, Reading 1, French I, Chinese 1 & Latin 1 are full year courses.
There are some things you should know before choosing a “virtual” elective. You will have access to a computer in the lab one period each day but you will also be responsible for your own computer, software and Internet service provider at home. Florida Virtual School will make class placement, teacher assignment and determine your grade and credit earned. Teachers work full time and are available to you 7 days a week, from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. If you decide to “drop” a virtual class, you must do so before 28 days in order to avoid a failing grade.
Class assessments and participation requirements are the same for each course. Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, FLVS guides students to reflect on their learning and to evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, writing assignments, projects, essays, oral assessments, and discussions. Instructors evaluate progress and provide interventions through the variety of assessments built into a course, as well as through contact with the students.
Link for MS Elective on Google Forms