Electives

Is your child an actor, a computer-wiz, an athlete, or a musician?  Will your child discover a passion for art or choir, a future career in his or her yearbook class, or will he or she just converse fluently about it all in Spanish?  The Electives Department at B. L. Gray Junior High School includes a wide variety of classes designed to provide many opportunities for academic success through the exploration of a number of disciplines. 

The elective classes - Art I, Choir and Band, Computer Applications, Physical Education and Health, Spanish for Non-Spanish Speakers, Teen Leadership, and Theatre Arts, are designed to provide students with basic skills and experiences in these areas of study. 

The advanced Elective classes, - Art II, second year Band, Boys and Girls Athletics, Computer Applications II, Yearbook, Spanish for Spanish Speakers, Speech Communications, and Tennis all feature curricula based on the in-depth exploration of  a discipline, and build a strong foundation in a subject area which might be further explored at the high school level.

In addition to providing a much-needed means of self-exploration and personal development, the electives classes strive to enrich learning in the academic subjects by linking lessons to those in other departments resulting in a richer and often more successful educational experience for the student.

We consider it a privilege to work with your children and look forward to helping them grow intellectually, academically and in self-esteem.

Sincerely,

Electives Department of B. L. Gray Junior High School

Art I
- The students will develop an awareness and sensitivity to natural and man-made environments, work with inventive and imaginative expression through art materials and tools, develop an understanding and appreciation of self and others through art culture and heritage.

Art II - The students will continue to develop the skills learned in Art I. In addition, they will recognize each principle of design in the natural environment and in works of art. They will add the principles to the accumulated knowledge of elements.

Theater Arts - In a sense, this class is about life. This class will provide opportunities for the students to get to know themselves, to involve themselves with others, to take safe risk, to actively participate in activities and projects - all of which will help them to respond to the world around them with increased energy and sensitively. This class promotes learning in the areas of artistic discipline, imagination, voice development, point of view, characterization, memory, listening, theatre terminology, history of theatre, theatre appreciation, and interpretation of literature. The skills learned in this class can be applied to other experience and situations in every day life.

  • Theatre I is a basic exposure to Theatre.  Students will learn basics about acting, the stage, theatre history, theatre conventions and theatre etiquette.  It is open to any 7th or 8th grade student.
  • Theatre II or Theatre Production focuses on performance.  Students who wish to participate in theatre productions in the fall and spring semesters must be enrolled in this class. Students in TheatreProduction learn through hands on experience.  

Computer Applications I - This class is the study of basic computer applications. It covers computer fundamentals, word processing software, spreadsheet software, presentation software, web browsing, multimedia, databases, and basic web page creation.

Computer Applications II - This class builds upon the skills learned in the basic class. It covers advanced techniques and applications such as brochures and reports (desktop publishing), photo-editing and animation using graphics programs, creating web pages with advanced web-design software, and creating multimedia and integrated documents.

Teen Leadership - This course provides opportunities to explore family relationships and personal development, personal management, and planning for the future. Emphasis is on the importance of family, effective communication skills, management skills, how to get along with others including family members and peers, decision making, acceptance of responsibility, and child care practices that promote positive development. Other content addresses positive self-image, nutrition, wellness, personal appearance, managing multiple roles, and career options.

Speech Communication - This class is designed to help students develop the skills necessary to become an effective communicator. It promotes student participation and involvement. Students will realize that learning to speak effectively will prove to be a positive asset to their everyday lives. This class will promote learning in the following areas: organizational skills, writing skills, critical thinking skills, research skills, listening skills, , and self confidence.

Spanish for Spanish Speakers - This course will concentrate on the essential grammar elements of the Spanish language. Additionally, it will focus on the use of irregular verbs that have stem changes, as well as the uses of both present and past tense verbs. It will also stress reflective, direct object, demonstrative, and possessive pronouns. Finally, it will cover comparative, adverbs, and absolute superlative. This course will also include important cultural aspects of the language such as traditions, food, celebrations, and music.

Spanish for Non-Spanish Speakers - This course will introduce students to the basic fundamentals to the Spanish language. The course will focus on relevant items such as verbs, nouns, adjectives, and basic grammar rules. In addition, this course will also make students aware of the strong cultural influence of Mexico and Spain on the Spanish language. Some of the units will include the study of important and famous places.

Yearbook - Students are given the opportunity to plan and design pages using a layout, work cooperatively with peers, and participate in planning and marketing strategies. In addition, the students will develop short and long term goals, sell a product, meet established deadlines, and work with photography equipment that involves school activities.

Physical Education/Health - This class consists of three weeks of physical education and three weeks of Health per six weeks. Each six weeks has a different theme that is integrated from the physical education class into the Health class. The Health classes consist of a chapter related to the sport or activity that is being taught in P.E.

Girls Athletics - This course is designed to develop athletic skills needed for competitive UIL sports; volleyball, basketball, cross country, soccer, and track.

Boys Athletics - This course is designed to develop athletic skills needed for competitive football, basketball, and track.

Tennis - Students will develop basic tennis skills, compete, and prepare for high school tennis teams.

Band - The program is designed to to promote and encourage students with a desire to learn and enjoy music. This is done through a quality instructional and extracurricular experience. The "Band Experience" enriches' students lives in many ways, and often for years to come after high school graduations. Their self-discipline, social and communication skills, self-concepts, cooperative talents and creative minds will all be nurtured through the study of music.

Choir 7TH & 8Th Grade (Boys/Girls)

Choir class is a performance based class.  Students spend much of the class time preparing for performances.  Students will perform throughout the school year at evening concerts, pep rallies, local businesses, elementary schools, and other special events.  Students will learn many types of music in choir class, along with basic music theory and sight-reading skills.  There are also several competitive events during the school year including Solo & Ensemble in the fall and Region Choir in the spring.  Choir students will learn how to work as part of a team by being committed to achieving common goals.