Course Descriptions 2021-2022
The Professional Learning Community of Estes Park Middle School strives to be an excEPtional school where students achieve and enjoy learning in a safe, healthy, nurturing, and respectful environment. We work hard to foster quality parent and community involvement and are committed to authentically promoting Excellent Education for Every Child in Every Classroom Every Day!
*** Required/Core Classes***
Language Arts, Grades 6-8
Language Arts courses build upon students’ prior knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, word usage, and the mechanics of writing, and include the four aspects of language use: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Mathematics, Grades 6-8
Mathematics courses typically emphasize skills in numerical operations (including basic operations and their proper order); ratios and proportional relationships; patterns; simple functions; algebraic formulas; geometry; measurement; patterns; and concepts of data analysis, including statistics and probability.
The Algebra I course for 8th grade includes the study of properties and operations of the real number system; evaluating rational algebraic expressions; solving and graphing first-degree equations and inequalities; translating word problems into equations; operations with and factoring of polynomials; solving quadratic equations; and modeling linear data.
Science, Grades 6-8
Science courses typically include subject matter from several strands of science, including earth sciences, physical sciences, and life or environmental sciences, and may organize material around thematic units.
Social Studies, Grades 6-8
Social Studies courses provide continued development of understanding and skills in the social studies disciplines: history, geography, civics and government, and economics.
Sixth, seventh and eighth grade physical education/health is an activities based class required of all students. Emphasis is placed on participation, constant movement, skills, cooperation and sportsmanship. The purpose of physical education is for all students to learn and develop fundamental movement skills, to participate in physical activity, to know the benefits from involvement in physical activities, and to appreciate the value of physical activity as it contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Colorado health standards are also embedded in this curriculum.
6th, 7th and 8th grade visual arts covers drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, and art history. Students learn to use the visual arts as a means for expression, and communication. Students implement critical thinking skills to critique and evaluate their own artwork and other students’ artwork. In addition, students recognize and articulate the value of art to lifelong learning and the human experience.
Choir (yearlong or semester)
Choirs are divided by the three grade levels, and students sing appropriate repertoire for each age group. Music reading skills and musicianship are also integral components of choir. Four major standards are embedded within the curriculum including the expression of music, the creation of music, music theory, and aesthetic valuation of music. Students are required to sing in two concert performances each semester.
6th, 7th and 8th grade band students learn about music notation and music terminology. Students rehearse daily to prepare for two concert performances each semester. Four major standards are embedded within the curriculum including the expression of music, the creation of music, music theory, and aesthetic valuation of music. They play a wide variety of music from rock to classics.
Spanish (yearlong in 8th grade; quarter long in 6th and 7th)
6th and 7th grade Spanish is an introduction to vocabulary and phrases. This is a semester-long class. Eighth grade Spanish students will begin to use the language in more complex situations, and it is a yearlong class. Students will develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, as well as learn about Spanish-speaking cultures.
Computer Science classes for 6th grade introduces and offers students an opportunity to learn and use new technologies. With an emphasis on communicating their ideas clearly through a variety of media, the program teaches a range of skills including keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, and database management.
Robotics – Beginning and Advanced
A class/club designed to explore, create and compete with VEX Robotics. All members will have the opportunity to build a Vex Robot and explore programming in teams of 3-4 students and will participate in local scrimmages here at EPMS. Some members in the advanced class may have the opportunity to travel to several competitive tournaments in the Front Range area, if conditions allow. Members who would like to compete will also need to join the club team which will meet after school from 3:30-5:00 one day per week (TBD). All members are invited to attend matches to support their teammates and learn more about the competition process.
In Connections we do a variety of activities to promote self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and responsible decision-making skills. Students will participate in activities to understand and manage their emotions and make and achieve positive goals. This class focuses on feeling and showing empathy for others and maintaining positive relationships. Students will be offered many ways to do this collaboratively and independently. It will include reading, writing, art, and physical activity and is open to all grade levels.
Our Outdoor Education explore class is an interesting way for 6th graders to learn more about our mountain environment, and the other areas of our world. The class is a balance of learning about the environment with a focus on the Rocky Mountains, and learning skills, such as map & compass, first aid, survival, backpacking, and adventure sports, as well as reasons and opportunities to be good stewards of the natural world. Students will complete projects and have opportunities for independent study.
S.T.E.A.M. (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics) I and II
STEAM I: In this project-based course, students will learn skills such as website design, CAD and 3-D printing, and coding. Some project options are available based on student interest. Problem-solving skills and the design process are implemented throughout the course. Basic business and marketing principles are also incorporated into the course. This is a quarter long class that is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
STEAM II: Students must apply for the possibility of being in this course. Students perform advanced tasks in a variety of areas, some of which might be for real customers in our community. Driven by real-world projects, students in this class need to have good communication skills, high problem-solving skills, be able to work well with (and for) others, and be able to accept responsibility. Projects may vary greatly from semester to semester based on customer needs and the strengths of our students in the class. This is a semester class that is open to 8th graders.
Civics studies the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Citizens’ rights, duties, and responsibilities, as well as criminal and civil laws are discussed. This class will cover the Colorado state civics standards and is an option for 7th grade students.
This class for 8th grade students covers the economics and personal financial literacy standards for the state of Colorado. Students will study and understand economics to make reasoned judgments about both personal economic questions, and broader questions of economic policy. Through this class, students become competent decision makers, productive members of the workforce, and responsible citizens.
(3rd quarter only) Students will learn the basics of stagecraft including acting, direction, stage design, and costume design. Students will have the opportunity to choose, cast, rehearse, design costumes, build a set, and put on a play. This class is open to all grade levels. **Students must submit an audition video to enroll in this class.
Quest for Success
This course is a fun way to explore the options for your future! From summer jobs to careers for after graduation, you’ll find out about options you didn’t know existed. You’ll get to tour a business, meet industry experts, practice interviewing skills, build your resume, and more in this quarter long course for 8th graders.
In this class, students will use games and hands-on methods to review key topics in middle school math. The activities will draw on prior knowledge to keep material fresh for student recall. Examples of topics include the order of operations, simplifying expressions, solving 1, 2, and multi-step equations, and concepts in geometry and statistics.
Additional support classes are part of our school improvement plan and our dedication to closing the achievement gap because EVERY student deserves EVERY opportunity!
During Advisory, teachers meet with groups of students for the purpose of advising them on academic, social, or future-planning issues. Advisory acts as a student’s homeroom class.
(Embedded - not a separate course.) This program assists students of high cognitive abilities. It allows for enrichment to meet goals in students’ advanced learning plans (ALP). This is a collaborative effort involving the student, parents, teachers, and the Gifted Ed coordinator. The intent of the program is to challenge students at a higher level.
ELD – English Language Development
This class is designed to assist students in developing a foundation for acquiring English skills. Students will have a variety of opportunities to practice the areas of speaking, writing, reading, and listening to English.