• Cupertino Middle School Elective Program

     2018-2019 Choices for Enrichment & Exploration

    Cupertino Middle School recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for you to explore your talents and interests. We strive to provide a well-rounded education by offering a wide variety of engaging and challenging choices for you. During seventh and eighth grade, we are proud to be able to offer you two elective courses per semester. You can choose from a wide range to fit your talents and interests... including world languages, music, art, technology, cooking, and much, much more.

    Life Skills

    Foods 1

    Imagine cooking and eating such tasty dishes as pizza, cheesecake, and Parmesan garlic fries, and decorating cookies and cupcakes. These are just a few of the many foods students learn to prepare and serve in Foods 1. Students learn about food and ingredients, different cooking methods, food and kitchen safety, measuring, and cooking terminology.  If you want to learn about food and cooking, this course will teach you skills that you will use for a lifetime. 

    Foods 2 (8th grade only)

    Foods 2 is designed for students interested in exploring foods beyond the basics.  Students will use their skills and creativity to prepare many delectable culinary creations. Students will also learn to appreciate diversity as they become acquainted with multicultural foods and American regional foods. Come explore a world of foods and have a fun, delicious experience. Must have completed Foods 1.

    Literature For Pleasure

    Do you read under the covers at bedtime? Do you sneak open a novel in class? Do you like escaping to the world of Ninjas, vampires, clones, and the afterlife? Are you interested in teenage topics? Then this is the class for you. Learn the strategies of great readers, and best of all you can read every single day without anyone telling you to stop. Even if you do not like reading, this class is guaranteed to spark an interest and turn you on to the world of books and the many adventures each one holds. You may take this class twice in middle school.


    Multimedia Publications (7th & 8th Grades)

    The world of reporting and delivering news has changed!  The Multimedia Publications class explores the world of broadcast and online journalism. Students will learn the ethics of reporting news accurately and presenting current events, news and information to a wide audience using a variety of media tools. Students research and prepare school wide digital media communications and news broadcasts including the morning video announcements, an online school newspaper and school website.  This class is advanced, but not limited to 8th graders.  Students enrolling in Multimedia Publications should already be somewhat fluent in using digital media technology including web page design tools and movie editing software, as these skills will not be taught at the basic level. This is a yearlong course. 


    Silicon Valley is home to the most innovative thinkers of our time, and guess what? They are all scientists with an entrepreneurial spirit. SEARCH class (Science Enrichment And ResearCH) is here to encourage the next generation of scientist entrepreneurs. If you have ever wanted to learn about business and how to design, create, test, and market a real product that solves a problem, this is the class for you. Students learn to use technology creatively and effectively - learn to 3D model and print, design apps, and more, while simultaneously working with a team to develop a real solution to a real world problem. SEARCH combines science research and business knowledge to create "start-ups" that culminate with a presentation in front of a judging panel, as well as a public showcase to demonstrate the innovative new product solutions designed by SEARCH teams. SEARCH is a one semester class for any 7th and 8th graders who are ready to take on the unique challenge of using science to develop a business.

    Computer Science (7th & 8th Grades)

    Want to get a head start on computer science before high school? This is an introductory computer science course targeted at middle school. The course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. Students are empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with Computer Science as a medium for creativity, communication, and problem solving. Students will create a multi-page website using HTML and CSS, they will also design and create computer games and develop smartphone apps that also work with the circuit playground, a micro-computer external board. Computer Science is a one semester class for any 7th and 8th graders who is ready to take on a challenge and plans to have fun.

    Industrial Arts

    Metal Shop 

    Unravel the mysteries of metal and discover how to make cool projects that will amaze you, your family, and your friends.  Did you know aluminum melts at 1200 degrees and can be poured into molds to form all kinds of awesome stuff? Learn the ancient art of blacksmithing and make a hotdog roaster you can actually use in class! This fun, hands-on class is all about making outrageous projects to enhance and develop your creative potential while introducing you to the basics of metalworking, This is a wonderful and unique opportunity to learn how to use a wide variety of shop tools and develop skills that last a lifetime. Safety is always an important part of this program and is thoroughly stressed.


    Would you like to design, make, and wear your own awesome jewelry?  If you are someone who likes creating things with your hands, this class is a wonderful opportunity to expand your creative potential and become adept at using tools while working with a wide variety of materials. Create your own beautiful glass beads, and learn to shape semi-precious wire and metals into unique pieces of jewelry.  Impress your family and friends with handmade, wearable art envisioned and crafted by you; hear your friends say, "Wow, you made that!"

    Woods 1 

    Saws humming, the sound of hammers hitting nails and the rich aroma of sawdust are all part of working in wood. Learn to use the tools of the trade as Woods 1 introduces students to the safe use of hand and power tools. No previous wood experience is needed. Students will learn to build a sanding block, push/pull pasta tool, nameplate, CD box, pen, and various projects of your choice. This is a fun, hands-on class that will give the beginning wood student good basic wood skills.

    Woods 2 (8th grade only)

    Woods 2 is an extension of Woods 1 for those students with a desire to develop more advanced woodworking skills. In this class students will use their wood skills to build a jewelry box, laminating project (e.g. cutting board or skateboard), wood bank, scroll saw project, lathe project, and other projects of your choice. This is fun and challenging with more independent work time. Passing Woods 1 with a C grade or better is required.

    Model Engineering

    Do you want to have fun at school?  Do you enjoy designing, building, and testing things?  Do you like racing, flying and modifying things?  Here is your class.  We will build and fly airplanes.  Design, build and fly rockets.  Design, build, and race cars.  Build machines.  Work with robots. This class is designed to make learning fun!

    Special Note: In all Industrial Arts classes, safety is always an important part of the program and will be thoroughly stressed.

    World Languages (All classes year-long)

    French and Spanish are academic electives. Students should only sign up for a language if they are prepared to complete homework and have tests and quizzes. Successful completion of 1B in a language may allow a student to enter French 2 or Spanish 2 in high school. Remember languages are year-long electives.

    French 1A (7th Grade)

    Oh la la! Did you know that two-thirds of all academic English words (those words most useful in your study of literature, science, business, and law) come from Latin, French (through Latin), or Greek? Would you like to speak, read, and write the French language? Do you like to learn through games, simulations, art, songs, food, and fun projects? You will learn the essentials of French language and culture, tell time, greet your friends, learn to order at a French cafe, and have many cultural celebrations. These are just some of the wonderful activities that await you in French 1A.

    French 1B (8th Grade) 

    Continue your French experience in French 1B and increase your knowledge. Building upon the lessons learned in French 1A, you will learn about people, places, possessions, traveling to a French city, giving directions, leisure-time activities, meals, shopping, and more! Oral and written communication will continue to be emphasized in this course, and cultural events will continue to be celebrated. 

    Spanish 1A (7th Grade)

    ¡Hola! Do you know that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world? Do you want to communicate with friends in any of the 21 countries that speak Spanish, travel to South America, or Spain? Spanish 1A is the class for you! Spanish is an exciting, useful language that can be used abroad and here in the United States. This is the beginning of a two year program which is equivalent to one year in high school. You will learn the essentials of the Spanish language and the wonderful culture, tell time, greet your friends, learn to order at a restaurant, and have many cultural events. These are just some of the wonderful activities that await you in Spanish 1A. Along with speaking, skits, writing, and listening in Spanish, time is allowed for games, music, educational DVDs and food!

    Spanish 1B (8th Grade)

    ¡Bienvenidos! Spanish 1B is the continuation of 1A. You will continue to learn about chores, weather, hobbies, shopping. We emphasize the verbal and written use of the language as you acquire more vocabulary and grammar!  Some of the year's projects include piñata making, forecasting the weather, fashion show, and learning about different countries. Come and join in the fun! ¡Olé!

    School Service


    The Yearbook Staff is looking for dedicated and hard-working 7th and 8th grade students who love to take photos, write, and design layouts, as well as interview and work with others.  Yearbook is a production class to create the school’s 2019 yearbook.  The year is divided into four large deadlines, and within each of those, students design layout, write copy, take photographs, and put everything together using an online design program.  Yearbookers will get a real-life experience, in that they will have several deadlines within one assignment; rely upon others to complete their final product; and will have to come in under budget.  An interest in photography, design, and writing is helpful, but a mastery of these is not required.  What IS necessary is creativity, dedication, teamwork skills and the ability to meet deadlines.  The class is a good mix of challenging and fun, with the bonus of ending the year as a published writer and photographer.  You can take this YEARLONG class twice in middle school.  See Mrs. Heinke in Room 8 with any questions you have. Application required and can be found here.  


    Our Leadership Class is offered to 7th and 8th graders. Do you have great ideas for school events? Are you the most-spirited person on Color Clash Days? Are you willing to put in the hard-work necessary to see these events happen? The Leadership class is designed to help students develop leadership skills, improve school climate, and make positive contributions to the community.  Students will plan, promote, and execute a variety of school activities, from brunch-times and homeroom presentations, to dances, rallies, and other school-wide events.  Student Council leaders are strongly encouraged to apply.  Leadership is a yearlong commitment and students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better to be eligible.  In addition, citizenship, student applications, and teacher recommendations will be considered. Some Leadership activities occur outside of the school day and all Leadership students need to commit to attending a training in August before the start of school.  See Mr. Foerder with questions, and apply to be part of next year's Leadership class!  Application required and can be found here. 


    Students will assist teachers or the office staff with record keeping, paperwork, classroom duties, student attendance procedures, duties around campus, and other projects as assigned. Office aides will receive a letter grade; teacher aides will receive a pass/no pass grade. Teacher Recommendation is required for this course.

    Performing Arts  

    Beginning Band for 6th-8th

    This is for students who have never played a band instrument before, AND for students who played in elementary school, but have not taken band at CMS.  Students will learn to read music and play the following instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone horn, tube, and percussion.   Students will learn a variety of musical styles and perform in several concerts throughout the school year. Home practicing is required. Here's your chance to be part of the band!


    Band is open to students who played a band instrument in school for at least one year of middle school band. Students will continue developing existing skills, learn new music, and refine their musicianship. Continuing students also have the option to switch to other instruments that are not well represented in the instrumental section.  Students who would like to be considered for advanced band will need to audition with Mr. Yaeger. Please contact Mr. Yaeger for more info.


    Do you like to sing?  Do you enjoy performing?  How about a weekend choir festival at Disneyland?  Would you enjoy a field trip to see a musical or an opera?  If you answered "Yes", check out the choices in choir: Bear Chorale and Advanced Choir.  These two choirs perform Winter and Spring concerts, travel to perform in the community, sing at school assemblies, and for special occasions (i.e., Singing Valentines, Veteran's Day, etc).  All groups learn part-singing, vocal technique, music reading, ear training, and choreography.  A few nighttime and weekend performances are required. Choir has fun learning many styles of music- popular, jazz, classical, folk, and music from movies. This choir also attends performances during and outside of school.  No auditions are required to participate in Bear Chorale. All choirs are year long courses. 

    Advanced Choir

    This exciting, auditioned*, hard-working choir performs at private events, participates in choir festivals, and participates in a three-day tour to Anaheim. A-Choir performs in Disneyland and participates in a sound-recording session.  A-Choir sings all types of music.  Be willing to commit to practicing outside of class. This is a year long course.

     *Auditions for this ensemble are required, and will occur in April. Listen to the announcements for more information or contact Mr. Stern.


    "All the world's a stage" as some might choose to see it. Now is the time to follow that inner voice or nudge the person next to you who you know loves to perform, be silly and creative. Be prepared to let your imagination run wild as you work together with your classmates to bring characters, sets, and props to life in all your performance endeavors!  Flash mobs, one act plays, costume/makeup design, monologues, improv and so much more can be part of your dramatic experience, so what are you waiting for?  Come and be a STAR today! This is a semester long class. 

    Visual Arts & Crafts

    2D Art (7th & 8th grades)

    Everyone can learn to draw and have fun doing it! Two-Dimensional Art is a class for students of all levels who are interested in drawing, painting, printmaking, and more. Students will learn new techniques and skills to make realistic and abstract artwork that will amaze their friends. Materials used include charcoal, acrylic and watercolor paint, printing ink, pen and ink, scratchboard, pastels, and drawing pencils. Sample projects include graffiti art, abstract and realistic paintings, portraiture, figure drawing, linocuts, optical illusions, graphic design and more!

    3D Art (7th & 8th grades)

    Clay, paper mache, metal, wire, wood, fabric, and recycled materials! The possibilities are endless in Three-Dimensional Art. In this class, students will get a chance to build 3D projects and experiment with form, shape, and creating something in the round. Projects may include ceramic bowls, vases, and sculptures, paper mache monsters, recycled sculptures, masks, clothing project, personal treasure chests, functional items, and abstract sculpture. If you are a "hands on" type of student, this class is for you!

    Digital Photography (7th & 8th grades)

    Do you find that you take really great photographs? Do you want to know more about how to take more professional photographs without editing or filters? Digital Photo may be for you! Students will be using state-of-the-art DSLR cameras, studio equipment, and technology to learn basic photography skills and all the settings on a professional camera. Students learn to use tripods, shadow boxes, screens, and studio lights to enhance their photographs. This is a class that gives a hands-on experience for a career or hobby in photography as well as technical skills and attention to detail.