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Solon Middle School - Academic Programs - Specials, Exploratories & Electives

Specials, Exploratories & Electives Teachers

  • Mr. Chapa (Spanish)
  • Mr. Compton (Instrumental Music)
  • Mrs. Coons (Talented & Gifted)
  • Mrs. Frerich (Vocal Music)
  • Ms. Ruden (Art)
  • Mr. Sands (Fitness)
  • Mr. Sheeley (Gateway To Technology)
  • Mr. Williams (Physical Education)

Fifth & Sixth Grade Specials & Electives

Fifth Grade Art

Students taking art in the fifth grade focus on terminology, a variety or materials and creativity. Students are challenged to create from their imaginations while learning design basics and experiencing different materials and methods. Specifically students address color, line, movement, contrast, form, design and creative writing. Students consider different artists’ work and discuss how they will influence their own work. Fifth grade art provides the fundamentals for students to explore the creative processes and possibilities of art.

Sixth Grade Art

The sixth grade student experience in art class consists of art history and creation. Specifically students learn about the historic importance of art as well as perspective, hand building, foreshortening, and collage, as well as how to express oneself through art. Sixth grade art provides appreciation for art history and incorporates students’ selves into their work.

Fifth Grade General Music

Students in the fifth grade are required to be a part of general music. During the year they will have one required concert in which they will perform as a whole class. The concert will be applying topics discussed in class. Students will learn the names of concepts that have been discussed in earlier music classes, as well as how music fits into their lives.

Sixth Grade General Music

Sixth grade general music is required for sixth grade students. Students will learn the basics of music and how they apply to theory and the basics of music history. This class will not have a performance opportunity. Students will learn about composers, more complex rhythms, styles of music, also music history.

Instrumental Music

The fifth and sixth grade bands provide the fundamentals for good playing and music-reading. Skills such as proper mouth and hand placement, posture, breathing, basic music reading and good tone production are covered and reinforced throughout these two years. Students will have three required concerts in November, February and May. Students will have the opportunity to participate in honor bands and solo contest. The goal of this program is to prepare students for seventh and eighth grade band.

Sixth Grade Choir

Sixth grade choir has the emphasis of performing. This class is optional for students in the sixth grade. Students will work on singing 2-3 part music performing at the winter and spring concerts along with various other opportunities throughout the year. Students will learn about how their music fits into culture and history, while understanding the basic concepts of music theory and sight singing.

Physical Education

The Solon Middle School Physical Education Program is designed to provide adolescents with the knowledge and skills to enjoy a physically active, healthy lifestyle. As a result of participating in this course, students will be self-directed and responsible learners, team players and workers, efficient and effective movers, respectful and confident performers, and critical thinkers.

Fifth & Sixth Grade Fitness

During their specials rotation, fifth and sixth graders will have the opportunity to attend fitness class. Fitness class will provide students with the opportunity to develop and improve their current level of fitness. Students will be introduced to methods of determining fitness levels as well as be assisted in monitoring and assessing their own personal levels. Students will target areas such as cardiovascular endurance, strength development, and flexibility. Our goal is to help everyone understand and experience the benefits of physical activity as well as to learn to work cooperatively to help others experience success.

Seventh & Eighth Grade Exploratories & Electives

Art I

Art I is a foundational art class designed to engageseventh and eighth grade students in the study and application of art. Students will learn the "grammar" of art: the elements and principles of design, as well as how to get a reaction from an audience by thorough planning. Students will work on four major projects that include methods of drawing, design, painting, creative writing and printing.

Art II

Art II is an application of visual arts. It is a fast paced art class designed to encourage, engage, and develop students’ personal artistic expression while delving into more advanced art practices. Students will create three major projects that include subjects such as color theory, expressionism, and design as well as methods of painting, found object sculpture, digital photography, and video and audio manipulation. Students will build upon their prior knowledge of art concepts and will focus on design and problem solving while conveying some kind of deeper message or expression.

Instrumental Music

The seventh and eighth grade band is for the person who has started in the instrumental music program and would like to continue. Individual or small group lessons are required of all seventh and eighth grade band students. The band performs four concerts per year:  October, December, February and May. In the spring the band competes at Large Group Contest. Attendance at all of the previous listed events is required. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in honor bands and solo and small ensemble contest throughout the year. The goal of this program is to provide a good musical experience for students, as well as prepare them for high school band. Instrumental Music is a year-long course that meets daily.

Jazz Band

The seventh and eighth grade jazz band is for those students who wish to learn to play in the jazz style. Students who play saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass guitar and drum set are allowed to be members. Some students who do not play one of these instruments are allowed to learn a new instrument to participate in this group. All students in jazz band are required to also play in the concert band. The only exceptions to this rule are those who only play guitar and bass guitar, as those instruments are not found in a concert band. The Jazz Band performs four concerts per year, October, December, February, and May. The band will also attend a jazz band contest. All concerts and competitions are required events. Students will learn to play in the jazz style as well as how to improvise melodies, as these are the goals of the program. This band will prepare the students for high school Jazz Band.

Seventh & Eighth Grade Choir

The emphasis of this seventh and eighth grade choir is performing choral music. Students sing 3-4+ part music while understanding how the music fits into culture, history and other areas of the arts. The goals of this choir are to learn basic techniques of singing while building the group as a whole. Throughout the year, students are required to attend concerts in the fall, winter and spring along with the progressive concert and eighth grade graduation. Other performances may occur throughout the year. Students in eighth grade are required to attend six group lessons per quarter. Students in seventh grade may opt to take lessons during the school day.

Physical Education

The Solon Middle School Physical Education Program is designed to provide adolescents with the knowledge and skills to enjoy a physically active, healthy lifestyle. As a result of participating in this course, students will be self-directed and responsible learners, team players and workers, efficient and effective movers, respectful and confident performers, and critical thinkers.

Solon Middle School
313 South Iowa Street, Solon, IA 52333

319-624-3401 • 319-624-2518 (fax)

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