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Omega Electives

Omega electives program

Along with a rigorous curriculum delivered by the classroom teachers, Omega Middle School creates opportunities for our students to engage with diverse learning experiences that reinforce a holistic approach to education. This includes a dynamic offering of electives classes that are taught by our highly qualified teachers at Rainbow.

These courses are designed so that students can dive deep into a topic that resonates with their personal interests and skills. It also provides an opportunity rich with inquiry and wonder as it connects to new learning and the Seven Domains.

Empowering Curriculum

The year is broken up into four quarters with two blocks of instructional time in each quarter.  At this stage in their academic career, it is essential that there is a balance between guidance and choice.  As a result, there are threshold requirements that hold each student accountable to participating in a conscientious approach to all the domains.  To follow, the details of this process are defined, and reviewed at the Omega orientation in August.    

Empowering students to be scholars through selecting areas of interest provides another layer of relevance to the developmentally appropriate and personalized programming of Omega. 

Omega electives program

Along with a rigorous curriculum delivered by the classroom teachers, Omega Middle School creates opportunities for our students to engage with diverse learning experiences that reinforce a holistic approach to education. This includes a dynamic offering of electives classes that are taught by our highly qualified teachers at Rainbow.

These courses are designed so that students can dive deep into a topic that resonates with their personal interests and skills. It also provides an opportunity rich with inquiry and wonder as it connects to new learning and the Seven Domains.

Empowering Curriculum

The year is broken up into four quarters with two blocks of instructional time in each quarter. At this stage in their academic career, it is essential that there is a balance between guidance and choice. As a result, there are threshold requirements that hold each student accountable to participating in a conscientious approach to all the domains. To follow, the details of this process are defined, and reviewed at the Omega orientation in August.    

Empowering students to be scholars through selecting areas of interest provides another layer of relevance to the developmentally appropriate and personalized programming of Omega. 

Mental Domain Electives

Creative Coding & Computational Tinkering

(Quarter 1 and 4 Block A)

Like art and science? Ever wonder how a computer can make art or science better? In this basic computer science course we will explore graphic art and photo hacking then conduct science experiments using data driven design. We will learn how to use open source software to control a Micro:bit microprocessor by designing our own digital pet and making hacked toys smarter!

Equity

(Quarter 1 Block A and 3 Block B) – REQUIRED

In this class, students will be learning about equity and social justice.  These topics explore systems in society in an effort to develop understanding of how they affect a human’s access to resources, supports, and opportunities for growth.   This group will serve as changemakers, being asked to share back this information with their peers after the completion of the course.  Students interested in this class should be invested in being community leaders in creating equity within our own community and have the maturity and commitment to be called upon as a student voice and active participant in the equity and social justice programming at Rainbow.

Electronics for All

(Quarter 2 Block A)

Who was Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla and why does their work matter? In this course we will be introduced to the tools of electrical engineering and art by exploring real tools and materials. We will sew circuits into wearable art and technology and dissect a house lamp in hopes of building out own working lamps that run off of 110 volts of AC power. Learn to solder, design a lamp and debuted a nonworking circuit. Learn to up-cycle waste into something that lights up the world!

Human Evolution

(Quarter 3 Block A)

Calling all anthropologists! Ever wonder what makes humans special? Find out how and why we are similar to our closest animal relatives, the apes. Study the bones of humans in comparison to ancient hominid species by 3D printing skulls to compare. Walk in the footsteps of Lucy as we discuss the scars of human evolution, including bipedalism, tool use and language, the hallmarks of humanity.

Model United Nations

(Quarter 3 Block B)

The Model United Nations elective is a simulation of the United Nations where students play the role of delegates from different countries and attempt to solve real world issues with the policies and perspectives of their assigned country. In this class, students will work together to explore solutions to the world’s biggest challenges, from civil war and poverty, to human rights and climate change. Students will explore the field of international relations as they hone their public speaking, debate, research and writing skills. As a culminating activity, students may have the option to participate in a Middle School United Nations conference at Blue Ridge Assembly in April 2020. 

Myth & Media

(Quarter 1 Block A)

Of Myth & Media: a journey through time and culture to explore the stories we tell, the mediums with which we tell them and how they may influence us personally and sociologically. There will be research, writing, performance, and other arts involved.  

Religious / Spiritual Studies

(Quarter 3 Block B)

An in-depth exploration of various world religious & spiritual practices can lead to dynamic conversation, foster new or more evolved perspectives, and create opportunities for personal growth.  In this course, we will review religious and spiritual studies with a focus on their histories, traditions & components.

Science & Magnetism

 We will explore just what electricity and magnetism really are and how they are always found together in nature. We will also handle actual electrical circuits and real magnets. Demonstrations will include: Volta’s homemade batteries & electroplating, Super Magnets, Faraday’s generator & motor, and Hertz’s speakers & microphones. For anyone seeking to explore science in real time with hands-on experiments that foster inquiry and intrigue, this opportunity is for you.  

Spanish: Omega Sol

(Rotating Block A and B- one year commitment)

Love Spanish? Continue learning Spanish with Lisa as we review with fun songs and games and move to more conversational practice and a focus on grammar. We will use our new grammar skills to express ourselves in complete sentences in verbal and written Spanish. In this Omega Sol class, we master the present tense and explore the present progressive and reflexive forms, while also continuing to study vocabulary and practicing conversational Spanish. This class is a great continuation of Spanish and preparation for Omega Luna Spanish and on to high school Spanish. ¡Yay, español!

 

Spanish: Omega Luna

(Rotating Block A and B- one year commitment)

Is Spanish your jam? Want to work on fluency and get a head start in language in high school? Complete your Rainbow Spanish with Lisa! We review with fun songs and games and a practice of the present tense, present progressive, and reflexive forms. Then we explore more sophisticated tenses [usually studied in high school Spanish 2] often including the future, conditional, and past tenses. Fun! Conversational skills utilizing multiple tenses and forms are a focus as well as a continued study of vocabulary. Students who complete this class are prepared to enter into Spanish 2 in high school. ¡Yay, español! 

The Art & Science of Games

(Quarter 2 Block A)

This course will explore various aspects of tabletop/cards games; from strategy, elements, mechanics, & themes, to creating one’s own game; from concept to final product.  

Natural Domain Electives

Environmental Stewardship

(Quarter 4 Block B)

Learn more about the idea of taking care of the planet and what you can do personally to create change.

Nature Awareness

(Quarter 2 Block B and Quarter 4 Block A)

Nature Awareness Program: Tapping into the connection between western science and native ways of knowing. We will engage in the study of ecology and examine the interconnected relationship around us and among us through games, wildlife observation, citizen science, and natural science experiments.  We will access our ingenuity, improvisation, and resourcefulness through exposure to outdoor living skills and survival scenarios. You will learn to execute a one-match fire, build a shelter with natural materials, orienteer using a map and compass, learn a variety of knots, explore our region’s wild edibles, learn a variety of ways to purify water and be tested through a series of skill based challenges. We will become stewards of the earth through an on campus and off campus conservation project. We will explore the spiritual connection between humans and all living things through story and myth, grounding and meditation, art and creative writing, and sensory awareness activities. 

Gardening with Patchwork Farms

(Quarter 1 Block B)

Students will partner with Patchwork Farm, a local organization whose mission is to, “provide fresh, beyond organic, Asheville grown produce to our community while creating the groundwork for a truly resilient food and farming economy.”  In engaging with this local nonprofit, students will learn the growing cycle of various vegetables on the Rainbow property, housing a Patchwork farmed plot of land. You will learn to plant, care for, harvest, and prepare organic vegetables right here on campus!

Physical Domain Electives

Football / Ultimate Frisbee

(Quarter 1 Block A)

Students will spend about 4 week on each invasion sport, so-called because they are team games in which the purpose is to invade the opponents’ territory while scoring points and keeping the opposing teams points to a minimum. We will go over the fundamentals and strategies of each sport. We will run drills and scrimmage to improve our development and understanding of both games. 

Basketball / Hockey

(Quarter 2 Block A)

Students will spend about 4 weeks on each invasion sport. We will go over the fundamentals and strategies of each sport. We will run drills and scrimmage to improve our development and understanding of both games. 

Body Weight Fitness

(Quarter 2 and 3 Block B)

Mark, the Body Weight Fitness instructor, is a Certified Personal trainer who works with clients in and around Asheville. Students will be led through fitness exercises that strengthen cardiovascular health, increase physical strength, and encourage more flexibility.

Pickleball / Badminton / Target Throwing Games

(Quarter 3 Block A)

These paddle sports will have you working your hand-eye coordination and perfecting your aim and technique. Perfect for experienced racquet users and newcomers alike. You are bound to enjoy these fast paced back-and-forth games.

Running Club

(Quarter 4 Block A)

Students will establish their baseline cardiovascular level and then work to improve over the quarter. We will play running games and engage in various running exercises and techniques. Students will have to be responsible because we will be leaving campus on some of our runs. Proper footwear is required. 

Soccer / Ultimate Frisbee

(Quarter 4 Block A)

Students will spend about 4 weeks on each invasion sport. We will go over the fundamentals and strategies of each sport. We will run drills and scrimmage to improve our development and understanding of both games. 

Creative Domain Electives

Chorus

(Quarter 1-3 Block B)*Quarter 2 is part of the winter performance

This class is for students who love to sing and want to improve their singing skills. In each class we will work as a group to properly warm up our voices and to improve our vocal technique. We will learn a varied repertoire of songs from rounds and simple one- part songs to more complex songs with various harmony parts. Students will have some say in what they want to learn. Depending on the interests of the group, we will possibly dive into solo work, writing our own songs and/or adding movement and body percussion to our choral pieces. 

Clay / Relief and 3 Dimensional Sculpture

(Quarter 2 Block A)

We will learn and expand skills in clay hand building that will include construction methods (coil, slab, pinch) and surface design and decoration (sgraffito, stenciling, carving, glaze application, and making our own stamps) We will also work with wire and metal, and will design an end of trimester independent study project that will incorporate your favorite materials and techniques.

Jam Room

(Quarter 3 Block A)

This class focuses on instrument playing in the context of creating & improvising music. There will be a basics of music theory involved. This class may incorporate recording the music in our on-campus mini-studio. 

Marimba

(Quarter 1-2 Block A Quarter 3 Block B) *Quarter 2 is part of the winter performance

This class is for students who love to create music with other people playing Zimbabwean style marimbas and other small percussion instruments. Students will work on proper mallet and stick technique. We will learn a variety of music from simple to complex, immersing in polyrhythms and building on skills as we go. The repertoire will include world music traditional, original and pop songs. Students will have some say in what they play. The class will include enough music theory so that we can improvise and compose our own music.

Mini-Theater Workshop

(Quarter 1 Block B) 

This class includes writing /directing / performing smaller theatrical works & performancesIt may also include elements of puppetry and costuming as time allows.

Painting and Drawing 2-D

(Quarter 1 Block A)

We will expand our drawing skills by learning how to use composition,value, shading, proportion, juxtaposition, observation and measurement through the use of pencil, marker, chalk pastel and other media. We will explore painting by learning how to mix colors, blending, shading, and application through watercolor. Together, we will design an end of trimester independent study project that will incorporate these new skills and techniques to reflect your authentic viewpoint of the world.

Portfolio

(Quarter 4 Block A) – Theme-based art in support of Imagine

This is an opportunity for students to expand their skills in a chosen art media, or try something new! We will work together to plan a project that reflects the Imagine performance theme. We sometimes make props or backgrounds if needed as well!

Yearbook

(Quarter 4 Block A)

This course will be limited to 6 participants in 7th and 8th grade. Students will work to create collage pages of classes and Rainbow community events that will be compiled into a Yearbook to be sold to help raise funds for the Omega 7/8 School trip.  Students will work with pictures provided by teachers and take photos of all staff and all students to create pages of individual shots. Course will include guidance on working with cameras and lessons on working with Picasa, the software used to create pages. 

Mixed Media Collage and Linoleum Block Printmaking

(Quarter 3 Block A)

We will explore the concepts of positive/negative space, composition and balance in creating mixed media artwork. Additionally, will learn the basics of carving linoleum blocks to add to our collage compositions as well as creating two color images.

Open House RSVP 11/12/19

Reserve your spot for the Omega Open House!
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