Each year, Middle School students are enrolled in multiple enrichment classes. These courses are intended to complement the strong skill-based curriculum in the core classes and to provide students with opportunities to explore and hone their talents in technology and the arts.
The driving force behind this program comes directly from the work that our teachers are doing in their Professional Learning Communities. Professional Learning Communities focus on four questions: 1) What is it that we expect students to learn? 2) How will we know when they have learned it? 3) How will we respond when they don’t learn? 4) How will we respond when they already know it?
We have adopted the philosophy that every student can and will learn and that all students should be given opportunities to enrich their learning. The enrichment program will address this philosophy by providing enriching and fun educational opportunities for students wanting to challenge their own learning and extra academic support to students who are identified as needing help in reading, math, writing, and study skills.
This part of the enrichment program will provide students with the opportunity to develop the skills that they need to be successful at César Chávez Middle School and the skills necessary to be successful through out high school. We know that students who do not have a strong academic background are more likely to struggle or drop out of school.
Students will be identified for these classes through state test score information, teacher recommendation, and current work performance. We have developed a program that will provide a positive and rewarding experience for students where they will gain confidence in their learning.
This part of the enrichment program has been developed to provide students with an opportunity to take fun and exciting classes that will give them a chance to explore different topics. Class sessions will be repeated throughout the year.
This program supports personal, social and academic growth and gives times for students to complete work, communicate with teachers and take care of their academic responsibilities.
Music and Drama
A main focus in the enrichment classes is the exposure and development of students to the arts. Music classes allow students to learn the basics of reading music, understanding rhythm, and developing skills on traditional band instruments as well as percussion and guitar. Drama classes are critical to life at Cesar Chavez, equipping students with tools to develop their acting, personal, and public speaking skills.
Other Enrichment Experiences
Other enrichment experiences are designed to encourage students to develop their creative, moral, and problem-solving faculties. Research shows that arts and enrichment education improves academic performance in math and language skills, creative problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Some of the enrichment classes offered include:
- Videography and Movie Making
Students have a wide spectrum of classes designed to expose them to a variety of passions, to build life skills, and to stretch their comfort zones.
The goal of this course is to provide a comfortable environment where students can acquire keyboarding skills. Step-by-step typing instruction is provided, including proper posture, finger position, and ergonomic features. Students learn the ins and outs of word-processing, as well as skills relating to research and creating a PowerPoint presentation.
Life Skills is a class that focuses on issues related to Middle School students, while fostering a sense of community among peers. Students engage in activities and discussions that are experiential in nature and focus on character education. The course addresses issues such as empathy, friendships, respecting other cultures, prejudice, peer pressure, decision making, communication, conflict resolution, problem solving, and interpersonal relationships.
This course is designed to further develop and reinforce students’ organization, time management and study skills using both their current work and other materials. Topics include how best to use an agenda book, note-taking strategies, reading a text vs. reading a novel, memorization techniques, etc. The class covers very practical skills, such as organizing locker and binders, along with a mix of games and activities.
In this course, students learn about a wide range of technology tools and applications that are effective in both the academic setting and beyond the walls of our school. From basic typing and word processing skills to more advanced movie making skills using IMovie and on-line presentation creation, this course covers an array of topics. Appropriate Internet use and safety are incorporated throughout the curriculum. These classes meet in both computer labs where students explore the different technology tools.