Curriculum & Course Catalog

Grade 5 Curriculum

In Fifth Grade, the pre-adolescent acquires the basic higher levels of thinking and writing skills.  These skills are developed by:

Helping each child develop his/her talents and abilities in a nurturing and supportive environment.

Allowing the child to grow in self-discipline and organizations skills.

Developing higher levels of thinking skills, including analogy, inductive and deductive reasoning and logic in solving problems.
Offering time to write each day so that the child becomes a confident and competent writer.

Developing the sense that reading is both for enjoyment and learning.
Offering opportunities for each child to be involved in community outreach programs while developing social awareness.

Teaching the importance of sacraments, our Catholic heritage, our rituals and traditions.

Developing social skills which include getting along with others, developing tolerance and understanding differences and various points of view.

Students are encouraged to increase their sense of responsibility in the school community through participation, Student Leadership, band, orchestra, and athletics.

Parent-teacher communication is an essential part of our successful fifth grade program.  Student work is sent home on a regular basis and daily assignment notebooks are checked and signed by teachers and parents.

Required Courses – Grade 6

LANGUAGE ARTS
Students are given the opportunity to experiment and develop different styles of writing. The emphasis is on writing as a process including working with 6+1 Trait Writing. Grammar and sentence structure provide students with the tools needed to write fluently. Spelling and vocabulary are also incorporated in the curriculum. A portfolio of each student’s creative writing is assembled throughout the year.

LITERATURE
Students learn to appreciate good literature in many forms. Trade books, poetry, and plays are used to develop basic reading skills. Emphasis is on having students develop strategies to comprehend, analyze and use inferences to gain a better understanding of literature. Five thinking strategies are stressed: recall, analysis, inference, synthesis, and evaluation. Semantic mapping is stressed to help students organize the important facts about selections they read. Opportunities are given in units to build and develop listening skills. Time is set aside for silent reading, which is encouraged through the use of the Accelerated Reader Program.

MATH
Courses offered in Mathematics focus on: problem solving as a method of inquiry and application; communication skills and techniques for conveying mathematical ideas and concepts; reasoning experiences and processes that reinforce and extend thinking skills; investigations of mathematical connections and the interplay that mathematics has in our daily lives. Topics explored in sixth grade mathematics include measurement, fractions, decimals, percent, ratios, probability, patterns, relationships, geometry, and introduction to algebra.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Physical Education classes meet two times per week throughout the school year. All classes are coeducational. The units are designed to incorporate fundamental skills, physical fitness and knowledge of various lifelong sports. Emphasis is placed on participation, good sportsmanship and effort. Students are required to wear proper Phy-Ed clothing for each class.

RELIGION
The Hebrew Scriptures are the focal point of study in sixth grade religion. Students learn how to use the Bible and how to interpret what they read. Units also include a continuing study of the liturgical year, prayer, Catholic worship, and the history of the Bible. Students express their faith through participation in prayer services, liturgies, and retreats. Sexuality catechesis, alcohol, and other drug abuse prevention education are also a part of the religion program. The focus is on choices, consequences and Catholic moral teachings.

SCIENCE
This is a general science course with emphasis on using hands-on experience to gain a better understanding of concepts. Class participation, group work and lab activities are used to gain knowledge of science in our everyday life. This course also helps to instill a concern for our environment. Other topics covered in the curriculum are cells and microbes, matter and atoms, motion, health, the environment, and fossils.

SOCIAL STUDIES
The sixth grade social studies program focuses on Latin America, Canada, and Europe. The year begins with a brief review of map skills, followed by the settlement by the Native American peoples of Latin America and Canada. The conquests of these areas are also covered. Geography, government, economics, and the history of these areas are explored. Students then examine the history of Europe from the Middle Ages to the present. The geography of this area is also emphasized.

STUDY SKILLS
A study skills program is integrated into the core curriculum. This program was designed by St. Francis Xavier Middle School staff in consultation with the Center for the Education of the Young Adolescent at UW-Platteville. This program helps students learn organizational skills (including how to use our custom-designed assignment notebook, The Agenda), listening skills, note taking, test taking, and skills in reading in the content areas.

TECHNOLOGY
The use of technology is integrated into the core curriculum. Instruction is provided during Language Arts classes in word processing, database, spreadsheet, and presentation software applications. Students learn touch-typing and build their keyboarding skills to a goal of 20 wpm with 90% accuracy. Instruction is also provided in appropriate use of the Internet.

WORLD LANGUAGES
All sixth grade students take one of four languages (Chinese, French, German, and Spanish) each quarter, rotating each nine weeks. Classes meet twice per week and focus on basic language and an exposure to the cultures from which those languages originate. There are few tests or quizzes and little homework in these classes. The purpose is to better equip students to make a language choice for seventh grade.

Encore Courses – Grade 6
(All 6th Graders must choose one of the following courses)

BAND (Full Year Course)
Band rehearsals are held three days per week. Students participate in band festivals, solo-ensemble recitals and festivals, and winter and spring concerts. Students receive a weekly individual lesson. Band instruments may be rented through the school with director approval depending on availability, or from local music stores.

CHOIR (Full Year Course)
St. Francis Xavier Middle School offers a choral ensemble for each grade level. Sight singing skills and proper vocal technique are introduced. Students will compose short melodies which will be sung by the choir. Performances include a Christmas Concert in December, an optional Solo/Ensemble judging in March, and a Spring Concert in May.

GENERAL MUSIC (Full Year Course)
The general music courses will take students on a musical journey of rhythm, melody, harmony, form, timbre, dynamics, and texture. Students will explore diverse cultures, music history, music composition and musical theater. The first semester will feature World Music Drumming. During the second semester students will study the keyboard. Skills that are introduced in the first semester are built upon in the second semester.

ORCHESTRA (Full Year Course)
Orchestra is available to students in grades 6-8. If students are beginning orchestra for the first time, summer lessons are highly recommended and instructor approval is required. The course meets three times per week and each child has one 10-15 minute private lesson per week. Students perform in public performances and are required to perform at the annual Fox Valley Christian Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Required Courses – Grade 7

LANGUAGE ARTS
Language Arts at the seventh grade level continues to contribute to the student portfolio focusing on the grammar aspect of the writing process from thinking and organizing to revising and publishing, including continued use of the 6+1 Trait Writing. Grammar, oral speaking, and vocabulary instruction provide students with the tools needed to communicate effectively.

LITERATURE
This course emphasizes the skills and techniques used in evaluating and interpreting different types of written materials. Emphasis is placed on reading (silent and oral), vocabulary, and writing. Students incorporate the use of the Accelerated Reader Program to encourage a regular routine of independent reading.

MATH
This course prepares students to transition to more advanced mathematical topics such as algebra and geometry while enhancing their basic arithmetic knowledge. Students develop abstract reasoning and symbolic manipulation skills and will support answers by showing various process steps. Problem solving reinforces concepts and makes mathematical connections to their daily lives. Topics in this course include: order of operations, exponents, basic pre-algebra, integers, rational numbers (positive and negative fractions and decimals), proportions, percents, basic geometry and probability.

OR

PRE-ALGEBRA
The connection between the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and their application to algebra is explored. Topics covered in this course include problem solving, probability, measurement, and use of variables, integers, patterns, relationships and equations.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Physical Education meets two times per week throughout the school year. All classes are coeducational. The units are designed to incorporate fundamental skills, physical fitness and knowledge of various lifelong sports. Emphasis is placed on participation, good sportsmanship and effort. Students are required to wear proper Phy-Ed clothing for each class.

RELIGION
The seventh grade religion curriculum focuses on the life of Christ. Students gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a member of the Church and a follower of Christ. The study of parts of the New Testament and Corporal Works of Mercy are included in this course. Participation in prayer services, liturgies, retreats, seasonal units and activities of the Church year, as well as service projects, provide a means for students to express their faith. Sexuality catechesis, alcohol, and other drug abuse prevention education are also a part of the religion program. The focus is on choices, consequences and Catholic moral teachings.

SCIENCE
This is a Life-Science course in which students study all forms of living organisms, beginning with the most primitive and advancing to the most complex. The units covered include viruses, single-celled organisms, fungi, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. The unit on vertebrates includes a study of the human body. Ecology, food webs, etc. are discussed in relation to the other areas when applicable.

SOCIAL STUDIES
Seventh grade Social Studies surveys ancient civilizations and then focuses on those countries, which are found in the Eastern Hemisphere. There is an integration of all the Social Sciences. Emphasis is placed on how inter-linked and interdependent the world has become. Skills that are taught include: locating and gathering information, interpreting different types of graphs and maps, understanding timelines and chronological relationships, and thinking critically. Emphasis is also placed on group activities and research projects. “Project Business” from Junior Achievement is a part of the seventh grade Social Studies course. This component brings members of the business community into the classroom to teach concepts basic to economics and business.

TECHNOLOGY
The use of technology is integrated into the core curriculum and consists of instruction in word processing, database, spreadsheet, and presentation software applications. In word processing instruction students will learn how to insert and delete text, search for and replace text, cut and paste blocks of text, and print formatting. In the Access program the following skills are addressed: inserting and deleting records, searching for records, and sorting records. Students use the Excel program to create spreadsheets by entering alphabetic and numeric information, using functions, and printing. Instruction is also provided in appropriate use of the Internet.

Encore Courses - Grade 7
Every seventh grader will have five core classes: math, social studies, religion, science and communication arts. Make certain you have three electives chosen for each quarter in order to fill your eight period day. Class size is limited. Note that courses are full year, semester, OR quarter length.

ART (Semester Course, may be taken both semesters, three times per week)
Art classes aim to develop student creativity, aesthetic sensibility, artistic workmanship, as well as expand the student’s understanding of art history and art theory. After classic drawing exercises that expand overall student ability, first semester seventh grade art students investigate graphic art and print making. The second term begins with art theory discussions and continues with work on visual symbolism. Independent sketchbook work is required.

BAND (Full Year Course, three times per week)
Band rehearsals are held three days per week. Students receive individual lessons weekly. Students participate in band festivals, solo ensemble recitals and festivals, winter and spring concerts, pep band, and marching with the St. Francis Xavier High School Band for a football halftime show. Students receive a weekly individual lesson. Band instruments may be rented through the school with director approval, depending on availability, or from local music stores.

CHOIR (Semester or Full Year Course, three times per week)
Seventh grade choir meets three times a week with the third class period utilized for small group lessons to enhance the overall performance of the choir. Sight singing skills and proper vocal technique introduced in sixth grade are developed throughout seventh grade. Students will compose short melodies, which will be notated in music software and sung by the choir. Performances include a Christmas Concert in December, an optional Solo/Ensemble judging in March, and a Spring Concert in May.

GENERAL MUSIC (Semester or Full Year Course, 2 times per week)
The general music course will take students on a musical journey of rhythm, melody, harmony, form, timbre, dynamics, and texture. Students will explore diverse cultures, music history, music composition and musical theater. First semester will feature a continuation of World Music Drumming. During the second semester seventh grade will learn to make and play the didgeridoo.

ORCHESTRA (Full Year Course, three times per week)
Orchestra is available to students in grades 6-8. If students are beginning orchestra for the first time, summer lessons are highly recommended and instructor approval is required. The course meets three times per week and each child has one 10-15 minute private lesson per week. Students perform in public performances and are required to perform at the annual Fox Valley Christian Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival.

WORLD LANGUAGES (Full Year Course, five times per week)
A good understanding of basic grammar is necessary for students to learn a foreign language. Therefore students must have average or better grades in language arts in sixth grade in order to take a foreign language.

Chinese Pinyin I
Chinese Pinyin I will introduce the basic Pinyin skills needed to speak and write simple Chinese. For every Chinese word, there are five different possible tones that can be pronounced, each having a different meaning. Correct pronunciation and mastery of the basic expressions most necessary for daily communication are stressed. Extra units help students understand basic Chinese customs, habits, and culture.

French I
French I will introduce students to the basic skills needed to speak and write simple French. The grammatical structures covered include verb conjugations, present tense, questions, adjectives, adverbs, and sentence structure. A basic vocabulary necessary for daily communication is continually enlarged and used in written and oral practice. Also included are various culture units designed to help students understand and appreciate the customs and habits of French-speaking people.

German I
German I will introduce students to the German language through a variety of teaching methods and activities to enable the student to speak German in a simple form and to understand it at a basic oral level. Correct pronunciation and mastery of the vocabulary most necessary for daily communication are stressed. The grammatical structures covered include verb conjugations, present tense, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and sentence structure. There are also other units that are designed to give the students an insight into the habits, customs, and culture of German-speaking people.

Spanish I
Spanish I will introduce basic Spanish verbal and written skills with an emphasis on good pronunciation and written and oral comprehension. Vocabulary is continually enlarged and grammar skills are stressed. Grammar units include verb conjugations in the present tense for regular –ar, -er and –ir verbs. Classroom work is primarily in Spanish and exams are frequent.

HEALTH (Semester Course)
Health education provides information to help students take positive action regarding their own health in three main areas: physical, mental/emotional, and social health. Students learn that good health habits can prevent illness and can also improve the way they feel about themselves. Lessons on wise decision-making, goal setting, and journaling help the student develop overall health and well-being. Units covered include: peer pressure, friends, nutrition/fitness, drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse, and first aid (including CPR).

LITERACY ELECTIVES   (Quarter Courses, five times per week)
(Literacy will be taught in the context of these special interest classes.)

ADVENTURES IN ART (May take for one or two quarters)
Students will work on art projects with literacy components (writing, speaking, acting, reading).  They will work as teams or as individuals.  Each term, course project(s) will be different, so students may sign up for up to two sessions.   Students will help establish course content from a variety of great ideas such as: drawing and painting, architectural studies and design, miniature theater, art history, illustrating Bible stories, commercial art, creating toys or games, storytelling using art, designing and building inventions that work, illustrating and writing stories, cartooning, working with 3-D images ... etc!. 
* Students may take regular seventh grade art (which focuses on communicating with visual images) AND these special art electives concurrently as well.

BACK STAGE
Back Stage is designed to introduce you to the growing technical needs and demands of our school community to its solution through learning, serving, problem solving, being creative and having fun! In this class students will work side-by-side with their teacher and peers to technically assist weekly events in our school. Some examples of these events include liturgies, concerts, talent shows, drama performances and a variety of other things.   Students will spend their days developing multi-tasking skills, audio/video and lighting skills, computer skills and the planning skills necessary to technically assist events. Students will do these things while learning and understanding how their role in technology can enhance a performance.   In Back Stage, there are few limits on creativity as well as the level of challenge. You may find yourself running the sound or light boards or creating props and painting, all the while adhering to stage etiquette in this productive environment. Students who wish to extend themselves further may apply for a position on a production running crew such as “Christmas Stars” or other Xavier related events. There are many opportunities. Please note that being a member of a running crew requires a small bit of time outside of class such as assisting the tech for an event after school hours.

COOKING WITH FRACTIONS
Hands on practice using fractions by cooking real food!  What is the difference between 1/2 and 1/3?  Do you know how to mince a carrot?  By the end of this course you’ll be a master at measuring and concocting delicious recipes.  Create your own cookbook with your favorite recipes from the class.

DISCOVER AUSTRALIA
Learn about the country down under.   This class will teach students about the culture of Australia’s people, the Aborigines.  Students will learn about Dreamtime by reading and analyzing stories.  Students will interpret the meanings of Dreamtime stories by retelling one in their own words. Aboriginal Dot Painting will be introduced and students will create one that tells their own story.  Students will experience Aboriginal music by playing and learning about the didgeridoo.  Other activities relating to the Aboriginal culture such as face painting, religious / ceremonial life, speaking like an Australian will take place as time permits.

GETTING WILD ABOUT WILDLIFE
This class will involve students in environmental action projects that benefit local wildlife.    Students will engage in making decisions that affect people, wildlife, and their shared habitat in the community.  This class will consist of four main parts:   1) awareness, 2) participatory democracy, 3) habitat exploration, and 4) taking action.     Concepts taught throughout the year will be the same, but some activities may be changed depending on the season of the year.

GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Learn about incredible people who took a stand or saw a need. They had the strength, ability, and ingenuity to make a change! Then we, as a class, will look for change(s) we can do. We will work together to make a difference in our world!

iPADS AND WRITING STYLES
Explore different genres of writing by using iPAD Apps.  Transform your writing into a comic strip or animated cartoon.  Use different editing tools to perfect your writing.

MYTHOLOGY OF THE WORLD
Learn about a time when ancient societies were learning to function, communicate, and grow.  How did all things begin?  Read the myths of the world.  Find connections to different cultures and religions.  Write your own myths.  Use Greek and Latin root words to apply to your vocabulary today. 

YEARBOOK (Third Quarter Only)
This class will create our Xavier Middle School yearbook. From the photos, to the layout, to the editing, you will be part of the publication process.

Required Courses – Grade 8

ALGEBRA
This class is taught as a high school level course. Successful completion of algebra enables the student to take geometry as a freshman. Topics include: expressions, equations, functions, rational numbers, linear equations, proportions, graphing, inequalities, systems of equations, polynomials, factoring, quadratic and exponential functions, and rational and radical expressions and equations.

OR

EIGHTH GRADE MATH
This is a pre-algebra course. The connection between the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and their application to algebra is explored. Topics included in eighth grade mathematics include problem solving, probability, measurement, and use of variables, integers, patterns, relationships and equations.

COMMUNICATION ARTS
This course incorporates reading, writing, vocabulary, speaking, and language study. Grammar concepts are reviewed and expanded to achieve a mastery level of knowledge of all parts of speech. Study skills and test taking skills are reviewed and expanded. 6+1 Trait Writing is used throughout eighth grade to assess writing skills. A term paper is assigned that incorporates research, note taking, outlining, composing, and use of the Microsoft Word program. The course will emphasize the skills and techniques used in evaluating stories, poems, plays, novels, and other works of literature. Accelerated Reader work is done completely outside of class.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Physical Education meets two times per week throughout the school year. All classes are coeducational. The units are designed to incorporate fundamental skills, physical fitness and knowledge of various lifelong sports. Emphasis is placed on participation, good sportsmanship, and effort. Students are required to wear proper Phy-Ed clothing for each class.

RELIGION
This course covers the history of the Church from its beginning to the present day. Students learn when, why, and how Church traditions were formed to be able to understand and deepen their own faith. World religions, Marks of the Church, Trinity, Laws of the Church, and other doctrines are studied in the curriculum. Students express their faith through participation in prayer services, liturgies, and retreats. Sexuality catechesis, alcohol, and other drug abuse prevention education are also a part of the religion program. The focus is on choices, consequences and Catholic moral teachings.

SCIENCE
This is an Earth Science course. Topics covered include: the nature of science, matter and its changes, rocks and minerals, the changing surface of the earth, the earth’s internal processes, change and earth’s history, the earth’s air and water, astronomy and the environment. Each of these topics is covered through classroom instruction coupled with laboratory experiences. Maintaining an individual classroom notebook and a team laboratory report book is required.

SOCIAL STUDIES
This course covers American History and the following themes: 1) Environment; 2) Migration; 3) Cultural diversity; 4) Values and beliefs; 5) Free enterprise; 6) Technology; 7) Constitutional government; 8) Civil rights; 9) National identity; and 10) Cooperation and conflict. These themes are progressively developed from prehistory to the Civil War. Students learn to celebrate the multi-cultural, pluralistic nature of American society, and gain a strong sense of what it was like to live in different eras and places.

TECHNOLOGY
The use of technology is integrated into the core curriculum and consists of instruction in word processing, database, spreadsheet and presentation software. Students will become acquainted with widely used computer applications. The topics studied include: word processing-inserting and deleting text, searching for and replacing text, cutting and pasting blocks of text, and print formatting; database; inserting and deleting records, searching for records, and sorting records; spreadsheets-entering alphabetic and numeric information, using functions, and printing. Students also make use of presentation software and the Internet in the course of their studies.

Encore Courses – Grade 8

Every eighth grader will have five core classes: math, social studies, religion, science, and communication arts. Make certain you have three electives chosen for each quarter in order to fill your eight period day. Class size is limited. Note that courses are full year, semester, OR quarter length.

ART (Semester Course, may be taken both semesters, three times per week)
Art classes aim to develop student creativity, ascetic sensibility, artistic workmanship, and art theory. After classic drawing exercises, eighth grade art students study and master the complexities of one point perspective in an architectural study. Watercolor completes the first term. Art theory exercises help second semester students prepare for giant sculpture units. Various media are used. Independent sketchbook work is required.

BAND (Full Year Course)
Band rehearsals are held three days per week. Students receive individual lessons weekly. Students participate in band festivals, solo ensemble recitals and festivals, winter and spring concerts, pep band, and marching with the Xavier High School Band for a football halftime show. Band instruments may be rented through the school with director approval, depending on availability, or from local music stores.

CHOIR (Semester or Full Year Course, three times per week)
Eighth grade choir meets three times a week with the third class period utilized for small group lessons to enhance the overall performance of the choir. Sight singing skills and proper vocal technique are perfected in eighth grade. Students will compose short melodies which will be notated in music software and sung by the choir. Performances include a Christmas concert in December, an optional Solo/Ensemble judging in March, and a spring concert in May.

ORCHESTRA (Full Year Course, three times per week)
Orchestra is available to students in grades 6-8. If students are beginning orchestra for the first time, summer lessons are highly recommended and instructor approval is required. The course meets three times per week and each child has one 10-15 minute private lesson per week. Students perform in public performances and are required to perform at the annual Fox Valley Christian Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival.

GENERAL MUSIC (Semester Course of Full Year Course)
The general music course will take students on a musical journey of rhythm, melody, harmony, form, timbre, dynamics, and texture. Students will explore diverse cultures, music history, music composition and musical theater. Music theory will be structured around the playing of the guitar.

WORLD LANGUAGES (Full Year Course, five times per week)                                                                         
Students must have received passing grades in the first year of a foreign language in order to take the second year course. This two year sequence prepares the student to enter the second year of the language in high school.

Chinese Pinyin II
After reviewing the concepts of Chinese Pinyin I students continue to expand their knowledge of Chinese through Pinyin, further developing oral and listening skills. Chinese Pinyin II also exposes the students to extended reading selections where the students will be able to read Chinese books which have Pinyin. Students will continue to learn about the Chinese culture and daily conversation.

French II
After a review of French I concepts, students continue to expand their knowledge of French through vocabulary building and further development of oral and listening skills. The additional grammar concepts introduced include past tense, future tense and more complicated word structures. Students continue to learn about the French culture and are exposed to French literature. Classroom work is primarily in French.


German II
After reviewing the concepts of German I, the students continue to expand their knowledge of German through vocabulary building and further development of oral and listening skills. More advanced grammatical concepts are also introduced. The 8th grade course also exposes the students to extended reading selections where the students will read graded readers and be expected to discuss the content in German.

Spanish II
After a review of Spanish I concepts, new grammar and vocabulary units are added. Grammar units include adjectives/agreement, reflexive verbs, ser/estar, present progressive and present perfect tenses, and the related use of gerunds and past participles. Conversational skills are constantly reinforced. Frequent oral and written exams test students’ comprehension of the target language. Classroom work is primarily in Spanish.

INTRODUCTION TO SPEECH (Semester Course, Three times/week)
This course stresses good communication skills. Students learn the fundamentals of preparing and delivering different types of speeches. Students learn about effective delivery and how to analyze their audience. They participate independently and with groups to research and prepare speeches to persuade, inform, and demonstrate on various topics of their choice. The speeches include – demonstration, news reporting, and advertising (using Power Point), introductory, special occasion, and solo monologues. Examples of speeches from famous writers are used to learn the techniques of effective writing and delivery.

LITERACY ELECTIVES
(Literacy will be taught in the context of these special interest classes. The courses are one quarter in length and offered every quarter unless otherwise noted. These classes meet every day. Grading follows the same system as other classes.)

ADVENTURES IN ART  (May take for one or two quarters)
Specialty art intensive just for you!  Each term, students will work as a team or independently on art projects with meaningful communication components.  Examples from the past might help: One class decided to do service learning puppet show.  They wrote the script, created the stage, puppets, scenery and props, then worked on a film that the whole school enjoyed!  Another term students opted to take vintage clothing and make hats in a fashion design unit.  Another: art for business and marketing.  The options are limitless ... the ability to complete larger projects on a daily basis is a blessing!  *This will not include regular art projects, but will forge out into newer territory!  You may take this alone or in conjunction with regular art as well!

ART AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Whether its a blog, web page, or social media home page, people are communicating online!  In this course, students will investigate the world of social media.  They will discuss and consider the opportunities, ethics, and protocol of being a player in this world of interactive communication.  Students will apply design, marketing, and writing basics to more effectively reach their audience with their messages and hopefully achieve some pretty good goals.  So whether you want to create captivating portfolio pictures, work with photography, keep a blog, write posts and notes that matter, design pages that work, or use art and communication - with God's great blessing - to change your world ... this class might just be the choice for you!

CARPE DIEM "Seize the Day"
This class explores Social Justice & Literacy through history, the teachings of the Church, and current events/contemporary social problems. Service learning projects and the creation of a blog/website are components of this class. Special emphasis is placed on students' personal interests in changing the world and making global connections for the good of all.

CREATIVE WRITING
Students will write in general interest areas as well as on such topics as social issues, opinions and humor.

FRENCH REVOLUTION AND NAPOLEON
In the aftermath of the American Revolution all of Europe became embroiled in the notion of liberty, equality and brotherhood for all.  In the chaos that followed one man rose to rule an empire.  This is their story.

HISTORY OF PIRACY
Examines piracy from the times of Julius Caesar through the “Golden Age of Piracy” up to the present day where pirates are a very real threat on the open seas.

INTRO TO ECONOMICS
Welcome to Economics! In this class we learn the value of money in very unique ways. Fundraising instills upon us how much a dollar can be “stretched” to help those less fortunate. Learning and understanding the stock market is achieved by “pretend” investing in the stocks of your choice. You will practice the act of how items were exchanged in history through bartering. How do we create a business and learn about checks and balances? We build stores and physically practice checking accounts. And…become sharks through the development of an invention or new, original idea in the mini-shark tank! This class offers some unique opportunities to enhance both your math, oral and written communication skills.

INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA AND FILM-MAKING (Semester course, five times/week)
Students will learn how to research, script, film, and edit the “Xavier Middle School Morning Edition”, a twice weekly newscast. They will also learn the basic of theatre lighting and sound and assist with activities and events in the auditorium.

JAZZ ENSEMBLE (Second Semester course, Five times/week)
This course combines rehearsing as a performing group with jazz theory and history. Students perform at a variety of events including the Xavier High School International Food Fair and a benefit concert for Dan's House of Hope. Students will use classroom time during the week to learn about music theory to assist with playing in many different styles of jazz authentically. In addition, students will study music history from the beginning of written musical notation up through modern and postmodern jazz in America. 8th grade concert band members of any instrument are welcome to join. Non-concert band members playing bass, guitar, or piano are welcome to join after an audition with the band instructor. This audition must take place before registering for the course.

LIVING HISTORY (First OR Fourth Quarter)
Adventure in the craft of re-creating history for the purposes of better understanding and education of others, Living History will be something new all the time, learning the lost trades of soldier and civilian alike. First quarter will focus on the Americas up to and including the American Revolution.  Fourth quarter will focus on the Western world in the 19th century through the American Civil War. Learn the tricks of the trade of living historians like making rope, writing with a quill pen, sewing, chandlery, drilling, pitching tents and examining real artifacts, cooking, dancing, and more! Space in this class is limited to 18 students per section.

NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE AND HISTORY
We’re on Oneida street; ever wonder where the name comes from?  This elective takes a look at the First People of North America, their culture and their heritage.  Not a version of Hollywood history.

PAPER OR PLASTIC? THE RICH HISTORY, SCIENCE, & APPLICATION OF PAPER-A RENEWABLE RESOURCE
In this quarter long class, students will learn about the history, science, and applications of papermaking. Using a combination of in-class instruction, hands-on labs, guest speakers, and field trips, students will explore the rich history of paper, its connection to the Fox River Valley, the scientific fundamentals behind papermaking, and how various grades of paper are manufactured.

SPEED, AGILITY, AND QUICKNESS
This class is a strength and agility training.   Students will not only train in our fitness center using proven training methods,  but will research and learn about total lifelong fitness.

STORIES OF MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE
The class will explore mystery stories, their origins and authors. Students will solve “mini-mysteries” within the class.

THEATER AND DRAMA (Quarters 2 and 3, five times/week)
You can dust off your ambitions in the fine arts of acting, directing stage management, property design, set design and costuming and make up! Students will produce short performances of all genres and eras of theater, learning the basics of blocking, dialects, stage presence, and production, etc. Students will have the opportunity to work with other students in Intro to Broadcasting & BackStage, as well as the other electives as we stage mysteries to solve, crime scenes to investigate, and dramatize poems, stories and plays. Any students interested in forensics or with dance, music or theater experience -- or ambition! -- are encouraged to sign up! There will be a final production in March. This class will have a larger capacity than other electives.

THE WAR OF 1812 – DEFINING AMERICA
Did you know our national anthem is set to the tune of a popular drinking song of the 1700s?  As part of the bi-centennial we look at the causes and results of a war that defined our identity as a country and gave us our national anthem.