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Elective Class Descriptions


This course engages students in the exploration of multiple art forms through the California State VAPA strands. The focus of the class is on the elements of art (line, shape/form, space, texture, value, and color). Students learn various art techniques including painting, sculpting clay, drawing, and more. Creativity is a theme tying all projects together. This is a one-semester exploratory art course. There is a suggested lab contribution of $15 for this class.

Concert Band (Year Long)

For 7th grade woodwind, brass and percussion students.  This class teaches beginning to intermediate music.  Previous experience is preferred but not required.

Symphonic Band

 For 8th grade woodwind, brass and percussion students who have completed one year of Concert Band.  This class teaches intermediate to advanced music.  Previous experience is required.  Meetings from 7:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m.


For all students. This class teaches beginning vocal music. Students learn singing and music reading skills. No previous experience is required.

Orchestra (Year Long)

For 7th and 8th grade string students.  This class teaches beginning to intermediate music.  Previous experience is preferred but not required. 

Guitar Lab

For all students.  This class teaches beginning guitar.  Students learn various playing techniques and music reading skills.  Student are provided with guitars.  No previous experience is required.


The Granite Oaks Publications course is designed to provide students with the journalism skills necessary for the production of the school yearbook and the online school publication, The Bird’s Eye View. Units of study include media awareness, researching, reporting, writing, editing, photography, graphic design, and distribution. A strong commitment to publications are required in order to make an outstanding yearbook. As “reporters”, students will be expected to cover extra-curricular events after school, work independently, and be able to honor deadlines.

Exploratory Spanish

This course is an introduction to the Spanish language, culture, and history. This one-semester course will introduce the student to basic conversational Spanish. Students will gain the necessary skills to appreciate the Spanish language through grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and daily class participation. To reinforce what is being learned, students will participate in games, do group activities, have daily warm-ups, and complete art projects. You do not need to take Exploratory Spanish to take Spanish I in 8th grade.

Spanish I

Spanish I is a year-long course designed so that the student will study vocabulary, have a basic mastery of regular verb conjugations in the present tense, and be able to answer basic questions. In addition, students will develop a stronger cultural awareness, which is an essential aspect of learning a language. It is our hope that students will learn to converse with their basic Spanish rather than focusing only on the rules that govern Spanish grammar. Classroom activities will include paired and group activities, storytelling, translations, games, videos, presentations, art-related projects, daily warm-ups, book work exercises, and tests. This course uses the essential skills required by Rocklin and Whitney High School. We are using the ịEspresate! text and curriculum.
Prerequisite: 8th grade, 3.5 GPA, or higher.
*Exploratory Spanish is not required to take
Spanish I.
Note: Upon completion of Spanish I, 9th grade
students will be placed in Advanced Spanish II at
Rocklin High School only.

Manufacturing Technology

Manufacturing Technology is a course that exposes students to a variety of materials and processes used in industry to produce products. Students will draw and design four products using a computer. Students will select suitable materials and methods to manufacture the products. Hand tools, power tools, and computer-controlled equipment will be used. Students will be instructed in proper tool use, safety, measuring, finishing techniques, and quality control. Required projects include a Laser Engraved Clock, 3-D Wooden Animal, and a Sandblasted Mirror. An additional project of choice may be completed if time allows.

A donation of $15 is requested to cover consumable materials. These projects encourage problem solving and direction following skills that reinforce the elective and core curriculum.


Family and Consumer Sciences

In alignment with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences, this course teaches students a variety of essential life skills in the content area of food science and production, nutrition, consumer awareness, textile manufacturing, apparel construction, and resource management.

FCS class is divided into four unique units. In Unit 1, Fabric and Sewing Basics: students learn hand- sewing techniques by making a small, stuffed character of their choosing or personal design. In Unit 2, Basic Food Preparation: students participate in weekly food labs to cook and taste- test a variety of healthy, yet tasty food items. In Unit 3, Machine Sewing: student advance their sewing skills by machine stitching a drawstring backpack. In Unit 4, Advanced Food Techniques: students further develop their cooking skills as they participate in advanced weekly food labs. It is requested that students provide their own sewing supplies for their drawstring backpack as well as a $20.00 donation toward consumable lab materials.

Exploratory Computer Science

This is an introduction to computer science and coding by way of programming, design, and "making" (creative design and development as related to computer science). Students will be given opportunities to explore concepts and build their understanding through a variety of lessons. The goal is to develop a common foundation upon which all students in the class can develop a common foundation upon which all students in the class can construct their knowledge of computer science concepts, regardless of prior experience in this subject. 

Computer Science I

Computer Science I continues to build on topics explored in Exploratory Computer Science. In CSI, students will further explore the problem-solving process, programming concepts, web design, and “making” (creative design and development as related to computer science). Students will work through a series of in-class, project-based activities to learn about Design Thinking, physical computing (Arduino and Raspberry Pi microprocessors), robotics, along with app and game development. Students will also have access to 3D printers for “maker” projects.

Prerequisite: Exploratory Computer Science, enrollment in STEM, or teacher approval.


Media Arts

The Media Arts course is designed to introduce students to basic photography, video production, and animation.  Students will have fun exploring and developing their creative expression through a series of short projects exploring cellphone photography, digital storytelling (video production), and animation.  Each student will have their own Adobe Creative Cloud account for the semester.  The account allows access to Adobe’s entire suite of applications and project files both at school and at home.