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Electives

6th Grade Wheel Electives:

  • Art
  • Drama / Life Skills
  • Spanish
  • Technology

*6th Grade students take each wheel elective for one quarter.

7th / 8th Grade Electives:

  • Art - In this foundational art course, you will be introduced to both two-dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) media ranging from drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and other mixed media! Students will build a strong foundation of skills using the elements of art and principles of design, relate artistic ideas and works with both historical and contemporary artists, and make personal choices about the creation of their art. Artists of all abilities and interests are welcome in this course! 
  • Art II - Are you interested in furthering your art skills that you developed in 6th and 7th grade? Then sign up for 8th grade Art II.  This year-long course adds to what you have already learned, and pushes you to think creatively and conceptually. We will also learn how to analyze our thinking process and how we begin with an idea, and end with a final product. Students will have ample opportunity to engage with art and the art world grappling with a wide range of materials in a course that emphasizes student choice. The understanding and appreciation of self and others through art is the focus of the class.
  • AVID - The mission of AVID is to prepare all students for college readiness and success in a global society.  The AVID elective helps prepare students for success in high school, college graduation, and a career. The AVID Elective is designed for students in the academic middle who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but might be falling short of their potential.  Often, they will be the first in their families to attend college or face other challenging circumstances.  In addition, the strongest candidates for the AVID elective typically have: a GPA between 2.0 and 3.5, standardized test scores that are average and above, appropriate classroom behavior, strong attendance, a willingness to accept support and work with other students, and the desire and determination to succeed.
  • Band - Students must audition for this course and have had a year of 6th Grade Band. Borel offers a Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble. Students learn Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion. We study note reading, music theory, music history and performance. The Band class will perform Winter and Spring concerts and participate in Music field trips. Sign up through Mr. Fraire!
  • Choir - No audition required. In Choir (or sometimes called Chorus) students will learn how to sing and perform on stage for an audience! Students will also learn how to train their voice to sing a range of songs from classical and folk songs to popular music and jazz. Students will learn how to read music, study Solfege and learn about the history of famous composers and performers. Students will sing in different languages and styles from around the world. The Choir class will perform a Winter and Spring concert and participate in Music field trips. Join the Choir and be ready to sing your heart out!
  • College & Career Exploration - Provide the best college and career preparation for America’s youth. Our learning systems engage students with problem-based, real-world technology. We empower students to discover their interests and aptitudes, along the pathway to post-secondary success. Our unique programs concentrate on STEM Education, Health Science Careers, and Architecture & Construction.
  • Drama - Students will learn the basics of theater through pantomime, improvisation, monologues and group scenes. Students will also examine the importance of technical theater and the use of such elements as costumes, props and scenery. We will develop an extensive vocabulary of theater terms, explore acting techniques, character work and motivation throughout the year. In addition, we will analyze and critique theatrical experiences. Class projects and performances will showcase learned skills.  This course will improve expression, teamwork, listening skills, and boost self-confidence. 
  • Leadership - Leadership is designed for students interested in developing leadership skills or interested in participating in student council. It is required of students who are student council officers. Students will use leadership skills to plan and carry out activities/events benefiting the school and our city of San Mateo community; including spirit days, fundraisers, community service opportunities, and additional grade level and school wide events. Students will celebrate diversity and promote inclusion among all Borel students. Possible leadership classroom assignments and activities may include team building; problem solving and decision making; goal setting; event planning; conflict resolution; creative thinking; time management; community service; and yearbook planning.
  • Life Skills - In this course, you will learn  life skills and practices that will help you to recognize emotions and cope with stressful situations in a healthy way.  You will learn basic breathing techniques, daily check-ins, stretches, connecting to calming music, mandala coloring, journaling, mindful games and other mindfulness based skills.  Why mindfulness?  Many schools have adopted mindfulness programs to help students better recognize their thoughts and emotions and better understand how these thoughts and feelings influence their actions. The teacher of this class, Ms. Galagali has taught mindfulness to students and adults across the world.
  • Office Aide - Office Aides are an overall support to the office and our school. You will learn to greet the public and other students in a polite and helpful manner, and assist the office staff with daily office duties in a respectful and confidential manner. Office Aides will learn basic office tasks including: copying, simple computer skills, flier distribution, managing passes for the office, checking in students for the clinic under supervision of staff, and assessing in problem-solving.
  • Orchestra - Students must audition for this course and have had a year of 6th Grade Orchestra. Borel offers a String Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Students learn Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass. We study note reading, music theory, music history and performance. The Orchestra class will perform Winter and Spring concerts and participate in Music field trips. Sign up through Ms. Grotans!
  • Peer Advocates - Are you a person whose peers listen to your advice?  Do you want to inspire your peers by modeling healthy choices and leadership? Do you want to make a difference to others in your community??  Then join the Peer Advocates class!  This year-long elective will provide you with opportunities to develop, market, and advocate messages against bullying, harassment, and drug-use to your peers and also to the local elementary schools.  Bi-monthly field trips to the elementary schools will be part of this course.   Students will also be trained in conflict mediation to support the school community.  Students must apply, interview, and be selected to join this class.  You can MAKE a DIFFERENCE in your LIFE and in the LIVES of others!! Apply for the Peer Advocates class!!  
  • Spanish - Spanish 7 is a beginning course in Spanish language and culture. In this course, students will learn basic communication skills that are useful for daily life conversations (including greetings; telling the time, date and weather; expressing likes and dislikes; describing people, places and things; etc.). Students will develop basic proficiency in the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course also introduces the diverse cultures and history of the Spanish-speaking world, focusing on Mexico and Spain. Topics include holidays, food, family, sports, geography, Aztecs, Mayans, and Spanish art. Upon completion of this course, students will be on track to enter Spanish 8 with confidence. Spanish 8 is an in-depth beginning course in Spanish language and culture. In this course, students will learn and expand their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students will learn basic communication skills that are useful for daily life conversations and beyond, such as how to describe their daily routines, childhoods, home, family celebrations, restaurant scenes, hobbies, etc. There is a strong emphasis on vocabulary, grammar, and verb tenses in this course. Students will learn present and past tenses, reflexive, stem-changing, and irregular verbs.  In addition, students will broaden their knowledge of Spanish-speaking countries and cultures through Geography and research. The basic text is Realidades 1. Upon successful completion of this course, students can take 2nd year Spanish in high school or 1st year Spanish as a review.
  • Spanish II - This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to communicate effectively in Spanish. Advanced Spanish will focus on all components of language development: speaking, listening, writing, reading, and understanding cultures. A great deal of time will be spent practicing real life situations in Spanish with the teacher and classmates. Some themes that will be studied include: school and extracurricular activities, special events, daily routines, shopping, clothes and fashion, talking about what you did in the past, traveling, and getting around town. Students will use and build on what they learned in their  year(s) of study. This course aims to provide the student with a strong foundation upon which he/she can successfully advance to Spanish II.
  • Teacher's Aide - Are you a person who likes to help? Whether it be setting up for a lab in science class, passing out papers, or helping a peer with his reading, a Borel teacher could need you! Being a teacher’s aide is an incredible opportunity to get connected to school and a great way to be near your trusted adult on campus. Teacher’s Aides are leaders, positive role models, and exemplify our covenant of being respectful, responsible, and safe. If you are interested in becoming a teacher’s aide, please fill out an application located in the front office, or with your homeroom teacher. Next, find a teacher you are willing to be an aide for and get their signature. Please submit your application to the counseling office when it is thoroughly completed and reviewed with your parents.

  • Technology - Intermediate Art, Apps, Coding and More: If you love Art, Gaming, Graphic Design, Coding and more, then this is the class for you. Students who take AGCM will get a chance to apply their skills to learn many creative aspects of computer technology. Through comprehensive activities including graphic arts (2d & 3d), game design, app design, and coding, students will gain developmental concepts for unique and creative projects. Students will also create storyboard animations, illustrating relevant issues and how they can be addressed in a positive format, and create strategies in the future to better resolve them. These activities will also include media projects creating infographics, videos, websites and other media formats to feature the projects they created. We will also be looking at the use of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) and how it is used in today's media including movies, TV shows, advertisements, games and other media.