Academic Departments » Electives » Electives


TPMS has a number of fine electives that allow students to expand their middle school horizons. Course content will vary according to grade level. 

ART                                                                                                                                                                          Each trimester art elements, principles, and art history/art appreciation will vary with differing assignments, projects, and media. Students will work with a variety of media such as paint, pencil, ink, foil, clay, fibers, and paper. Students will learn about art appreciation and art history, while creating their own art. This class is a fun, hands-on experience. Students may enroll in art for one trimester or the entire year.

AVID                                                                                                                        Advancement Via Individual Determination - AVID is a nationwide program that prepares students for the rigor of college culture. Students gain note-taking skills, writing and reading strategies and organizational and leadership skills. College tutors are employed to tutor students twice a week during class. This elective is available to 7th and 8th grade students. Application and interview are required.

This year-long pre-AVID 6th grade academic elective promotes success in middle and high school by focusing on building a foundation in WICOR:  Writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading. It supports students in achieving their college and career readiness goals and prepares them to be leaders on campus. (Required 5th grade teacher recommendation).

Students will be assigned to teachers at Tierra Bonita Elementary School to assist with a variety of tasks throughout the semester. Due to the small number of spaces available each semester (8-10 students), selection is based on outstanding citizenship grades and strong work habits. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA.

DRAMA                                                                                                                                                                    Introduces students to the drama/theatre experience. Students participate in improvisational reader's theatre, pantomimes, scene work and monologues. After learning the basics, students are cast in a fully produced play and will be expected to memorize their parts. Performances for other students and parents provide drama students an opportunity to showcase their creativity and talent.

EXPLORATORY WHEEL - 6TH GRADE                                                                                                                        This elective will allow students to explore three different subjects, each for a period of 12 weeks. Subjects include Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM), Art, Video Production and Leadership. These are intended to be brief survey courses in which foundational skills are taught. As 7th and 8th graders, students will have an opportunity to deepen their understanding via trimester courses in the same subject areas. These classes all align with elective pathways accessible at Poway High School.

GATEWAY TO TECHNOLOGY - 6TH GRADE                                                                                                                This year-long elective is designed for students who are passionate about things like engineering, coding and robotics.  Students will learn about STEM careers and how they impact the past, present and future.  They will use the design process to solve a technical problem while learning the purpose and importance of working in a team.  They will also experience an introductory computer science course that empowers them to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving and fun.  Finally, we include a curriculum module designed to teach core computer programming logic and reasoning skills using a robotics engineering context.

GATEWAY TO TECHNOLOGY                                                                                                                                        This hands-on STEM course is designed to introduce students to basic engineering concepts and principles through fun and engaging activities. It can be taken as a trimester (if space is available).

MUSIC                                                                                                                                                                          Band This is a full-year course and is open to all students regardless of prior musical training. Students must provide their own instruments, with the exception of tubas or other large instruments. Daily practice is required. Students will perform in concerts and festivals. Two higher levels of band are offered for 7th and 8th grade students. The band director will determine the level of placement by audition. The Twin Peaks Band Student Handbook was developed to answer the most common questions of students and parents involved in our program. If you have further questions please see Andrew Moreau, Director or Gerard Nolan, Music Assistant. See the Band website.

Orchestra TPMS offers two levels of Orchestra. Sixth grade Orchestra is a full year course that is open to all students regardless of prior musical training. Students must provide their own violins and violas. The school will provide cellos and basses for school use only. Advanced Orchestra is open to 7th and 8th grade students with at least one year of experience with a stringed instrument. Please visit the Orchestra website for complete information: Orchestra Website.

                                                                                                                                                                         SPANISH                                                                                                                                                         Exploring Spanish Students will be introduced to the Spanish language and culture as they learn to speak, understand and read basic phrases and expressions through project based learning.  Major topics include greetings, clothing, family and food.  From this experience students may wish to enroll in more comprehensive foreign language course work.

Spanish 1-2 is a first year high school level foreign language course. This course offers students an opportunity to develop their skills in listening, reading, speaking, writing, and their sensitivity to cultural differences. This course contributes to meeting college entrance requirements. Enrolling students need strong basic skills in English, as well as good study habits as a prerequisite for success in this class.  

STUDENT ASSISTANT                                                                                                                                                    Students will perform a variety of responsibilities particular to their assignment. Students are placed in the following settings: the administration office, library, computer lab, or individual teacher classrooms. Students who exhibit above average citizenship, are capable of operating independently, and are self-starters do well in this position. A student assistant position fosters positive character traits necessary for success in the world of work.   

VIDEO PRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                    Video Production introduces students to the fundamentals of video production and broadcasting through a daily school television show called TPMS TV. In this introductory course, students will learn how to create a storyboard, write a script and learn basic camera techniques such as: zooming in and out, camera angles, back lighting and the rule of thirds. Students will develop an understanding of proper lighting techniques and be able to select the appropriate audio equipment to achieve the best sound quality. Students will learn how to use basic video editing software like iMovie and Movie Maker to edit their video clips. During the post production stage, students will understand how to edit video clips by adding voiceovers, music and text to their videos. During the distribution stage, students will learn how to burn their completed videos to a DVD format and other various file types. Students will have the opportunity to be a part of the TPMS TV morning broadcast and perform the basic broadcast roles of camera and lighting operator, computer technician, teleprompter, video technician, title maker, and floor manager. Students will work together to produce the highest quality student television broadcast production in an exciting, hands-on environment that requires critical thinking to real world skills.