Rectory's middle school students are encouraged to explore their interests and passions, or to try something new, through our dynamic elective program. This program gives students an exploratory experience in a variety of disciplines. Middle school students are required to participate in either an elective or a performing art each trimester.
Winter 2018-2019 Elective Choices
Following are the electives that will be offered for the winter term. Check back soon for descriptions and photos.
- Brain-Based Strategies for Learning & Living
- "Change Your Words, Change Your Mindset"
- For the Love of Chocolate
- Magic: The Gathering
- Spring Musical: Once On This Island, Jr.
- Sports Medicine
- TED Talk
- Yearbook Committee
Fall 2018 Elective Choices
The focus of the chess elective is to teach students the game of chess. Instruction includes developing the right approach and etiquette for the game, learning to assess tactical situations, experimenting with various openings, and analyzing middle and end-game strategies. The term concludes with an internal chess tournament.
Rectory's middle school chorus meets three times per week for a one hour rehearsal. Participation in chorus requires no audition, just an interest in singing and a willingness to learn! Rectory's chorus is comprised of all grade levels but is a requirement in the fall term for all fifth graders; their young voices are a welcome addition to the middle school sound! Chorus rehearsals are focused on helping students understand how to sing in a healthy manner, focusing on breath control and proper vocal warmups. In addition, students are challenged to learn music of differing styles and they often sing in a variety of languages. Most of the repertoire is in three to four-part harmony, and we are very proud of the sound we have developed as a group! In the fall term, the chorus typically sings two songs in the pop genre for our annual Prism Concert. After that performance, the focus is on preparing music for the Holiday Chapel (A service of Lessons and Carols) as well as the Holiday Pops Concert.
Students pick a country or a state within the United States and earn points based on how often their states/countries are mentioned in the news. Seeing how their location stacks up against their classmates creates a fun, competitive atmosphere that encourages students to get excited about studying current events, reading the news, and learning about what is happening in the world.
Whether wanting to enhance or improve their math skills, students have the opportunity to work independently or collaboratively on a variety of math projects.
With a more developed MTB specific trail system, students focus on riding and developing skills of mountain biking. Students learn how to change a flat tire, fix a chain, navigate trail systems, bike handling, bike and trail maintenance, while having plenty of riding time.
Students write articles and create videos about topics of interest and events on the Rectory School campus to publish in the School's online student newspaper, The DiRectory. Students learn about newspaper journalism, such as the parts of a news article, the process of writing and publishing news articles, and how to conduct interviews. They read online articles from other student newspapers and online news outlets to critique them and get ideas for articles to write for our own student newspaper. In addition, students will participate in online lessons from The News Literacy Project to learn how to evaluate the news and determine what news to trust.
Rectory's middle school orchestra meets three times per week for a one hour rehearsal. It provides the unique opportunity for all students with instrumental experience on an orchestral or band instrument to play in a formal ensemble. Orchestra rehearsals focus on proper warm-up techniques, utilizing a variety of rhythmic and intonation exercises. Students in the group learn major scales in Concert Bb, F, and G, as well as how to tune their instruments by ear and with an electronic tuner. The rehearsals are then used to rehearse and learn a variety of music that is performed within the Prism, Winter Pops, and Spring concerts. Although the repertoire varies from year to year, the orchestra focuses on more popular tunes in the fall, a variety of traditional as well as uniquely orchestrated Holiday repertoire in the winter, followed by more traditional wind band and orchestra literature in the spring term. Students in this ensemble are selected to perform in one or more area festivals that are teacher-selected and/or audition-based. Students in this group will also have a variety of opportunities available to them for solos within the concert repertoire.
Students ages 9-14 engage in a competitive robotic competition and learn the basics of coding and teamwork. The elective will have equal time spent between coding and robot building and design and researching for team project presentations.
Rectory students learned the importance of knowing sign language when they competed against a team from The Learning Center For The Deaf. With a desire to communicate to their opponents, they learned how to sign a few greetings. This elective grew from this event because they discovered that sign language is a universal language. This elective focuses on finger spelling and basic communication skills to have introductory conversations.
Students learn all elements of a song: lyric, verse, hook, chorus, and melody, as well as the different genres of music before co-writing a group song about a local historical topic. Students also have the opportunity to write their own song using what they learned from the group project. No musical instrument knowledge is necessary to participate in this elective.
Students experiment with the watercolor medium. Projects include painting landscapes outside and exploring different places on campus. Students also experiment with different watercolor techniques inside the classroom.
During the fall term, students in the yearbook elective focus on becoming familiar with the Jostens Yearbook Avenue website, which is used to produce our annual yearbook. Students experiment with layout design and importing data and images. The fall term includes brainstorming and generating ideas for our question pages, as well as the yearbook dedication. Students perform all of the legwork necessary to make the yearbook a reality. At the end of the term, students engage in the process of proofing the portrait pages in anticipation of our first deadline.