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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 $20 for this class.

GOMS Music:  Start Here!

-Incoming 7th graders who were in 6th grade band should continue to Concert Band or Orchestra.
-Incoming 7th graders who were not in 6th grade band are encouraged to try Concert Band, Orchestra or Intro in Electric Guitar.
-In 8th Grade, Concert Band students proceed to Symphonic Band (0 period), providing them the opportunity to take Intro to Electric Guitar or other elective courses.

Concert Band (Year Long)

This year long class is for 7th grade woodwind, brass and percussion students.  Open to new and continuing students.

Orchestra (Year Long)

This year long class is for 7th and 8th grade string students.  Open to new and continuing students.  Students typically take this class for both their 7th and 8th grade years.

Intro to Electric Guitar

This semester long class for 7th and 8th grade students teaches beginning guitar techniques.  Electric guitars are provided.  No experience necessary!

Symphonic Band

(Prerequisite:  Concert Band)
This year long class is for the 8th grade woodwind, brass, and percussion students.  Must complete one year of Concert Band.  This class meets before school (0 period).


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 á»‹Espresate! 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 and Spanish II at Whitney High School.

Manufacturing Technology

Manufacturing Technology is an exploratory class that introduces and builds important life skills and allows students to craft with their hands.  Both hand and select power tools are utilized to build up to four projects within the shop-style class.  Hammers, hand saws, cordless drills, and band saws are just a few of the tools that you will learn to use in Man Tech.
A donation of $20 is requested to cover consumable materials. 

Advanced Manufacturing Technology

Designed for students that want to take their Man Tech skills to the next level.  Advanced Manufacturing Technology students will design and build more complex projects with an expanded repertoire of tools at their disposal.
Prerequisite:  Students must pass Manufacturing Technology with an A or B and have teacher approval due to limited space.
A donation of $20 is requested to cover consumable materials.  

Family and Consumer Sciences

In alignment with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences, this introductory course aims to enrich students’ lives through a variety of project-based learning experiences.  It acquaints students with the career pathways connected to Clothing and Textiles, as well as Foods and Nutrition. In-class learning activities allow students to develop life-enriching skills, while showcasing their creativity and individuality. Our curriculum also provides a basis to pursue culinary courses in high school.  Students will use classroom sewing equipment to design and construct their own unique products. During their study of food science and nutrition, students will prepare and taste test an assortment of foods.  Students are requested to contribute 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 cell phone 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.