Encore

As your child enters the Middle School, they have the opportunity to elect four Encore classes per year.  These classes are each one semester in length (18 weeks), except for Band and Choir.  Band and Choir are full-year classes and would represent two of your child’s four electives.  Other Encore classes your child may take include: Art, Communication for Life, Creative Dramatics (7&8), Forensics (8), Life Management, Technology Literacy, Writing for Publication (8) and Fit-4-Life.  Fit-4-Life is a required course.
Your child will have at least one semester of Fit-4-Life each year.  A description of each Encore class is provided below.

Art

Learning about Art is a “hands-on” experience.   Students expand their skills and imagination through the use of varied materials.  Students learn that the process of creating an art piece is as important as the pieces’ final success.   The projects are designed to be creative and give students the freedom of making choices.   It is also important for them to be comfortable with the idea that making mistakes is part of any learning process.  Famous works of art are introduced which parallel the students’ projects.  The course includes the basics of 2-D art, including shapes and line, one and two-point perspective, painting, collage, and photo imaging.  3-D art will be explored through clay projects.

Band

Mattawan Middle School has an outstanding band history, participating in District XI festivals and state festivals for over 30 years.  Band classes meet every day by grade level and instrument.  Each grade performs a holiday concert in December, a winter concert in February and a spring concert in April.  In addition, the seventh and eighth-grade bands attend a District XI Band Festival in March and are encouraged to participate in a solo and ensemble festival in April.  Eighth-grade band students have additional performance opportunities in learning to march in the annual Mattawan Middle School Walk-A-Thon, Mattawan High School Homecoming, and the Mattawan Memorial Day Parade.

Choir

The choral program at Mattawan Middle School has earned a strong reputation by receiving excellent ratings at the choral festival, preparing and performing successful concerts, attending and participating in special performances, and most importantly showcasing enthusiasm for music and demonstrating professionalism in and out of the classroom.  The sixth-grade choir has the opportunity to perform in two evening concerts, as well as Festival, and two school assemblies.  The seventh and eighth-grade choir have the opportunity to perform in three evening concerts, as well as Festival and school assemblies.  The eighth-grade choir members are invited to audition for the 8th Grade Musical in the Spring.  This class focuses on proper vocal technique, music theory,  different genres of music, and developing well-rounded musicians.

Communication for Life

This class is a one-semester elective class that will concentrate on skills in performance and interpersonal techniques.  The focus will be on listening, nonverbal, and group skills.  The concentration of skills will differ for each grade level.  Projects will range from impromptu, persuasive, informative, and demonstration speeches, debate, group, drama, and oral interpretation.

Creative Dramatics

This class focuses on acting techniques and appreciation of theatre.  It is not meant only for the serious drama student; but rather, encourages the use of spontaneity, presentational skills, and improvisation for use in classes and in the real world.  Acting techniques will include characterization, improvisation, pantomime, small scene work, voice, and auditioning.  Students will develop performance skills and will be encouraged to audition for the middle school and local productions.   Attendance at activities, including the Fall production, the Spring HS musical and/or MS musical, is encouraged.

Fit-4-Life

Fi- 4-Life is a class designed for students to engage in activities that develop and improve four components of fitness:  cardiovascular strength and endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports as well as cooperative and team building activities.  Basic skills of different sports are taught. By embedding knowledge and skills throughout the sports and fitness lessons, students experience many opportunities.  Our goal is for each student to enjoy being physically active and ultimately become “Fit 4 Life”!

Forensics

Students will be taught to successfully prepare, present, and respond to the audience within the areas of public speaking and oral interpretation. Techniques will develop and promote social confidence in the student while gaining mastery.  In the art of oral communication encountered at school, work, and in community life.  Areas to be studied include:  broadcasting, extemporaneous, informative, impromptu, oratorical, and sales speaking, dramatic, duo, poetry, prose, multiple, and storytelling interpretation.  Students may have the opportunity to participate in a Fall and/or Spring middle school competitive tournament.

Life Management

Life Management is a class offered to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.  Sixth grade Life Management topics include Nutrition, Basic Cooking, Sewing, and Consumer Education. During Nutrition and Basic Cooking, students will explore nutrients and the effects on the body, kitchen safety, food safety, safe appliance use and parts of a recipe.  During sewing instruction, students will learn the basic skills in using the sewing machine, hand sewing, and techniques in the construction process.  Responsibility for handling equipment will be stressed.  Reading directions, reasoning, and many problem-solving techniques will be utilized in a way that will be new to most students.  The expected benefits will be much more than just a finished product; more importantly, students will experience a successful learning process.  Students are required to complete one sewing project.  In the past, students have expressed a sense of satisfaction from the successful completion of their sewing project.  This is an opportunity for the students to experience the rewards of patience, effort, and persistent in completing a challenging task.  Students learn advertising, appliance care, and basic money skills in Consumer Education.

Technology Literacy

Technology Literacy promotes computer skills and the ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity and performance.  This course allows students to broaden their technology knowledge and be able to apply the components to their daily lives.  Students will learn how to use Advanced Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Slide Presentation and Video Creation programs as well as learn how to apply them to their lifelong learning.  In addition, students will learn about and use Web 2.0 Tools such as Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts.  Students will also improve on their keyboarding skills, online communication skills, and Internet Safety knowledge.  We are aiming to help students to improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the 21st century.

Writing for Publication

This course is designed to explore writing publications and develop students skills with writing through engaging activities.  Students will have the opportunity to experience different genres of writing, ending with publications of their very own.  It will surely be a great learning experience that builds student excitement in writing.