Two Term Courses

These course meet two out of three terms and earn 10 credits. Students in grades 10-12 seeking permission for Honors work in English and/or History may do so in the first term next year.

English 10: American Literature

What does it mean to be American? From the perspectives of indigenous people to the revolution that defined our independence to slavery and its legacy to the very cases contended today in the Supreme Court, we address the range of Americanism, the beautiful and the sordid. Students read, debate, create, reflect, act, film, write, craft, and present as ways of asking big questions, answering the questions with specific evidence, and acknowledging the complexities of those answers. Readings include fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, and drama, incorporating texts that we read as a full class and texts that students choose to read in small groups.

American Morality
In this course, we turn to great American writers whose work has defined generations of American citizens, and we use these writings to ask the question: What does it really mean to be American? What choices did people make and why? How do we wrestle with our past as we consider the ways our characters face their futures?

American Identity
There are myriad tangible and intangible ways that we define ourselves — from large scale identifiers like nation and religion, to the little things, like choosing what shoes to wear in the morning. In this term, we look at identity through varied American lenses: through journey, through challenges, through place, and through choices. All of these perspectives ultimately help inform our own perspectives of who we are and why we believe the things we do.

Global History II: US and World History

From Power to Superpower (Required)

From Spanish American War to the beginning of the Cold War, this course will explore the evolution of the U.S. as a global superpower, its territorial expansion, its foreign policy and involvement in different wars and conflicts. You will examine how governments garner popular support for military and humanitarian interventions abroad and how the outcomes of these actions have affected and been affected by political decision-making and geopolitical interests.

For the second term of Global History II student choose one of the following courses:

A Time for Change

From the advent of modern steel-making and new forms of communication like the telegraph to the election of the first African American president, you will explore change and evolution in politics (role of government, gender, race), culture (music and art), and technology and examine how the U.S. developed as the nation it is today. This course is a bird’s eye view of major political, cultural, social, scientific, and technological changes that have affected the nation and the world at large.

Economic Powerhouse

With its national debt rising relative to its increasing productivity, the United States has recently been supplanted by China as the world’s largest economy. What has been the impact of the U.S. economy and its deficit on American society in terms of both growing prosperity and economic inequality? What is its role in a globalized world? How have economic interests and institutions shaped and influenced American political decision-making? You will examine the structures of the U.S. economy, their domestic and global effects, and how the U.S. became an economic powerhouse.

Math: Algebra II A and B

Algebra II is a continuation of symbolic reasoning and understanding of mathematical models from Algebra I. The first term builds on topics such as polynomials and quadratic functions. In the second term, students will extend their algebraic reasoning to include topics such as nonlinear systems of equations, logarithmic functions, and exponential relationships.

Prerequisites: Algebra I or Intermediate Algebra. Offered at the Honors and Standard levels.

Math: Geometry A & B

This course takes a discovery-based approach to the analysis of points, lines, planes, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, parallelism, congruence, similarity, area, general polygons, and volume of solids. Students develop pattern-recognition, logic skills, and visual problem-solving skills through investigation, conjecture, argument, and proof. Additional topics may include statistics and coding.

Prerequisites: Algebra I, Algebra II. Offered at the Honors and Standard levels. Honors level requires departmental permission.

Modern Language: Chinese I

This introductory course for Mandarin Chinese is designed for students who have no previous exposure to the language. It stresses the building blocks of spoken and written communication- pronunciation, tones, stroke order and radical recognition. Students will be able to engage in basic daily interactions in Chinese using speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Grammar is introduced incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: introductory greetings, family, dates and time, hobbies, visiting friends, making plans, studying Chinese and school life. Students will also study cultural and historic elements of the Chinese-speaking world. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation. By the end of the first year, students should know approximately 300 words.

Modern Language: French I

This introductory course provides students with the basic skills to read, write, speak and understand introductory-level French. The emphasis of the class is to acquire language through constant exposure to comprehensible input with the use of storytelling and reading. In the second term, the teacher uses French exclusively in class. Vocabulary will be taught communicatively through stories and with some thematic units including greetings, telling time, weather, school, sports, food, making plans, family, and clothing. Grammar will be acquired mainly through listening and reading, although there will be some direct instruction. Students completing this class will be able to comfortably use the present tense of common regular and irregular verbs, articles, subject pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, commands, question formation, possessive adjectives and more.

Modern Language: Spanish I

This introductory course provides students with the basic skills to read, to write, to speak, and to understand introductory-level Spanish. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics discussed include: introductory greetings, friendship, school, sports, leisure activities, food, family, clothing, the home, and health. Grammar is learned incrementally, and the topics introduced include: indefinite and definite articles, subject pronouns, the present tense of regular verbs, the present tense of irregular verbs, adjective agreement and placement, possessive adjectives, direct and indirect objects, and the preterit tense of regular verbs. Students also study aspects of various Spanish-speaking countries. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation.

Performing Arts: Acting - Intermediate

Intermediate Acting continues the actor’s process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games, improvisation, and scene work. Students learn to discover their inner resources and use them to inform their acting work. Students’ work will focus on actions and objectives, sense memory, subtext, and character analysis and creation. Individual and group exercises culminate in scene work from comic and dramatic plays.

 

Two Term Course

Prerequisite: Foundations of Theatre or permission of instructor

Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Choral - B-Side A Cappella

B-Side A Cappella builds on and further develops the skills from A Cappella Foundations while introducing A Cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will begin the course by developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading music, and exploring diverse repertoire. Throughout the course, they will learn how to work independently in smaller groups and will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals. The aim of the course is to prepare students to arrange and rehearse A Cappella vocal music independently and to perform in public concerts throughout the two terms. This course is a two-term commitment and can be taken more than once.

Two Term Course. Can be taken for 1 Term only if in conjunction with A Cappella Foundations.

Prerequisite: Any Upper School choral ensemble or permission of the instructor.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

Performing Arts: Instrumental Ensemble I

Instrumental Ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). This performing arts course strives to build a strong foundation for the student musician. Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Students should be capable of playing their instrument independently with at least one full year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Students who are new to Beaver will be contacted by a faculty member prior to the beginning of the school year to ensure proper ensemble placement. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

Two Term Course

Prerequisite: One year experience with private lessons and/or ensemble experience.

Open to Grade Levels: 9,10,11,12

Performing Arts: Instrumental Ensemble II

The Instrumental Ensemble II course builds on and further develops the skills introduced in Instrumental Ensemble I. This ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

 

Two Term Course

Prerequisite: Instrumental Ensemble I, Ikonoclastic or placement audition.

Open to Grade Levels: 9,10,11,12

Performing Arts: Technical Theater - Foundations of Design/Tech Theater

In this introductory course, students will begin the year using design projects and games, practical activities and scene work to develop storytelling skills. Students will learn about the design and production aspects of theatre and specific script analysis tools. Practical hands-on stagecraft is taught in the various theaters and theater-related spaces such as the scene shop and control booth. This course meets with the Foundations of Theater class, and it is meant to give students an overview of the major components of theater including acting, technical theater, public speaking, and script analysis. The aim of the course is to prepare students to implement and perform in the Ten-Minute Playfest which is a public production at the end of the spring term.

Two Term Course

This course is a prerequisite for students entering the Upper School Theater Program.

Open to Grade Levels: 9,10

Visual Art

In this class you will have the opportunity to work in all the visual art studios and with all the visual art faculty. Identify your own artistic interests, build on past creative experiences, and develop the technical skills you need to make your ideas visible. Instruction will cover a range of materials, tools, and techniques. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product. Try something new or pursue your lifelong passion.

 

This class may be taken more than once. No prerequisite

Visual Arts: Studio Practice

Culminating with the annual Senior Show, this class creates the community, structure, and space for the most serious artists to pursue their own work. Students taking this class have shown to be independent, dedicated artists who are prepared to bring their own personal interests to the class. No projects are assigned. Group critiques, research in contemporary art, readings, and documentation of the creative process will be major elements of the course.

Prerequisite: Open to 10th, 11th, 12th graders per recommendation by the Visual Art Department.
10th and 11th grades can take one or two terms, 12th graders must take both terms.


One Term Courses

These courses meet one term, Fall, winter, or spring and earn 5 credits each. English and history students seeking Honors designation sign contracts in the first term of next year to earn that credit.

BVR-X: Electronic Jewelry and Wearable Technology

Are you interested in fabricating jewelry or designing a watch that might monitor a body signal. In this course you will investigate the fundamentals of electronics, wearable technology, and jewelry design. Over the term you have the opportunity to build new skills such as metal fabrication, circuit design, and the fundamentals of sensors. Since this course will be self-paced, students who are already familiar with topics like soldering, circuits, basic code, and design will have the freedom to explore their own projects and push their understanding further.

Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders
Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Game Design

What makes a great game? The right balance of strategy and luck? A compelling story and an immersive experience? Unique rules and mechanics? In this course, after analyzing successful board games, card games, and video games, students will generate their own ideas and create virtual and/or physical prototypes. Storytelling, coding, graphic design, artificial intelligence, and systems thinking will all be incorporated within this course.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders – Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Intro to Entrepreneurship - Your idea into action!

This Introduction to Entrepreneurship course will focus on learning how to be entrepreneurial as a dispositional skill. Students will: work individually to start a project of their choice, receive mentorship from an expert in that field, participate in a community of practice with the rest of their classmates. Together, we will explore the power behind critical thinking and the transformative nature of starting something. This course provides learners with the space to rethink their strengths, motivation, and strategies to launch projects. Joining this course is making a commitment to stop talking about our ideas and start putting them into action. Think of this class as an independent study but within a larger class.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders
Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Open Challenges: Think, Design, Solve!

In this design thinking class, you will tackle real-life challenges and work to problem-solve them. You will choose which challenges you want to work on, what questions you want to answer, and what ideas and designs you will present. You will put your skills to good use and will work collaboratively to explore authentic issues and create life-changing experiences.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders – Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Podcasting

In this course, students will develop and produce their own podcasts on topics of their choosing.  By listening to and studying professional podcasts, students will learn about both technical and narrative components.  We will also examine the particular challenges and opportunities presented by the podcasting format.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: The Art of Code (CS)

Have you ever thought about designing your own app? Have you ever wondered how self-driving cars work? Whether you’re an experienced coder or a complete beginner, this is a chance for you to learn more. In this self-paced course, students will complete a variety of projects that deepen their understanding of the various ways in which computers can efficiently solve problems. The course has three goals: 1) create an atmosphere in which all students feel empowered to take risks, 2) help students see how computer science can be applied in other disciplines, and 3) provide students with a solid foundation for college courses in computer science.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders
Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: The Post Truth Era - Philosophies of Reality, Fiction, and the Space Between

Scholars around the globe have asserted that society has entered a time of “post-truth,” and Oxford Dictionaries declared “post-truth” to be the word of the year for 2016. How might we navigate a society like this? In this course, students will engage with the works of philosophers from across disciplines to think critically about questions of truth. We will review and analyze multi-modal culture through the lenses of philosophy, math, science, religion, and more to ask questions about the nature of truth, how we define it, and whether or not society has actually left it behind. Students will have the opportunity to research and discuss what is perhaps the most defining characteristic of our current moment. Come to class with an open mind, curiosity, and a readiness to analyze the culture with which you engage on a daily basis.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders.
Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Universal Logic

Are there certain patterns and relationships that appear over and over again in the real world? Is there a hidden logic behind the way that things work? Do ideas evolve in the same way that living things evolve? Can we use a mix of math, science, art and code to help us see new connections, gain a deeper understanding of the world and predict the future more accurately? Topics may include biomimicry, neural networks, and genetic algorithms.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders – Prerequisites: None

Independent Study

Students have the opportunity to explore English, History, Mathematics, Science, Language, or Arts topics of interest under the supervision of a member of the appropriate department. After designing a project with a faculty member, the student presents a formal proposal to the Department Heads for approval. (An Independent Study may not duplicate the content of another course already being offered by the department because of schedule conflicts.) The student works in his or her own time and meets with the specified department member during one scheduled period per week for discussions and planning. Application forms are available from the Upper School Director. Proposals must have been submitted by the regular course selection dates.

Math: Precalculus - Functions

In this course, students will take a deeper look at various families of functions: rational, radical, exponential, logarithmic, parametric and polynomial. Students will learn about the ways in which domain, range, continuity, inverses, composition and transformation apply to those functions. Students will also have opportunities to analyze real-world data and generate predictive models. Topics from discrete math are often included in this course, as well.

Prerequisites: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry. Offered at the Honors and Standard levels. Honors level requires departmental permission.

Math: Precalculus - Trigonometry

Students in this course will learn about angle measurement, periodic behavior, and a range of applications related to both right triangle and circular trigonometry. Analytic geometry and polar coordinates are often included in this course, as well. Prerequisites: Algebra II and Geometry. Honors level requires departmental permission.

Prerequisites: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry. Offered at the Honors and Standard levels. Honors level requires departmental permission.

Modern Language: Advanced Chinese

In Advanced Chinese, students will continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater autonomy with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Grammar is studied incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: dining, shopping, asking for and giving directions, and expressing opinions. Students will study the culture and diversity of the Chinese-speaking world in the form of culturally rich images, videos, music, and some authentic texts. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, skits and presentations foster student interaction and participation.
Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate Chinese skills. Departmental Permission Required.
Course topics are briefly outlined below.

Cuisine and Culture: Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients, dining out and the kitchen. They will learn different expressions as well as units of measurement used in Chinese-speaking countries. They will also learn about the typical dining etiquette.

Travel and Transportation: Students will learn practical topical vocabulary around travel, asking for and giving directions while developing their skills of reading authentic Chinese signs, understanding Mandarin of various accents and expanding their vocabulary.

Modern Language: Advanced French

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate French skills and Departmental Permission Required.
Course topics are briefly outlined below.

French Theater:In this class, students will explore plays from various centuries and compare and contrast how French theater has evolved. What brought about these differences in both themes and in style? Students will delve into works by Marcel Pagnol, Molière and other Francophone playwrights. Students will analyze what themes came up in these plays which represented the reality in France and the world in those centuries. Through close readings of  plays, performances, videos and other sources, students will explore ways French theater has evolved.

Art Culture & Current Events of the Maghreb:This class focuses on contemporary issues taking place in the French Maghreb: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Students will use contemporary texts, films, music, and art to learn more about this region which was colonized by France. The Maghreb is a region where both Arabs and ‘Berbers’ have lived for centuries and a place that Jews and Muslims have called home. Students will engage in debates, write blog posts, keep a journal, and do presentations on various current topics such as the situation in Western Sahara, what it means to have been colonized in the Maghreb, the tension between the indigenous people of the Maghreb and the Arabs, race and identity, post colonization, the role of religion, just to name a few topics. The class will be taught entirely in French. Works studied will include stories by Tahar Ben Jelloun, Fatima Mernissi, Kiffe Kiffe Demain, and La Civilisation, Ma Mère as well as Music by Cheb Khaled and Idir, films by Yamina Benguigui and Nabil Ayouch, Art by Andre Elbaz and Yto Barrada.

The Francophone World: Western and Central Africa<:Students will be exposed to the many identities, traditions, and cultures of the Francophone world. The course will begin with a historical review of how the Francophone world came to be, focusing on Western and Central Africa. Through film, literature and the study of current events, students will understand how the relationships between France and its former colonies have changed and continue to evolve in a post-colonial world.

The Francophone World: Québec of today and Yesterday<:In this class, students will explore Quebec’s rich history and culture. Students will use literature, current events, film, music and other resources to learn about the region of Quebec. This course will explore themes including La Révolution Tranquille, Quebecois identity today, Quebec’s indigenous population, Quebec’s relation to France today and yesterday. The course will also look at Quebec today as well as explore Quebec’s future. Students will read excerpts by Quebecois writers including Michel Tremblay, Wajdi Mouawad. This class will be taught entirely in French.

Revolutions: France, Haiti and Beyond:This course will look at Revolutions across the Francophone world and their effects on national identity. We will begin with the enlightenment philosophy that fueled the French Revolution and other revolutions since. We will look at significant moments in and the causes and aftermaths of the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution and other revolts and revolutions across the Francophone world. We will look at these revolutions through different lenses using a variety of primary and secondary sources, from official documents to novels, plays, movies and more. The class will also address current conflicts happening in the Francophone world such as in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Modern Language: Advanced Spanish

Prerequisites: Demonstration of Mastery of Intermediate Spanish skills and Departmental Permission Required.
Course topics are briefly outlined below.

Latinos in the US: This course examines different aspects of the fast-growing U.S. Latina/o population. Students will explore historical, economic, and political factors that have converged to shape the Latino identity in the United States. Through authentic resources, such as news articles, documentaries, music, poetry, and personal stories, students will have an opportunity to think critically about the pressing issues of the Latino communities in the United States. Students will examine case studies of how Latinos/as are using social media and advocacy initiatives to gain political, economic, and cultural visibility. In this course, students will continue to build on and expand their writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills. Students are expected to use previously learned grammatical structures, such as, the preterit, imperfect, and future tense.  New grammatical structures, such as the perfect tenses, will be introduced.

Environments in Crisis: This course focuses on current environmental challenges across Latin America. Students will be encouraged to analyze the connections between the social contexts and contemporary environmental crises. Through case studies, students will explore the interrelationships between human activity and environmental change. The topics to be studied will include the destruction of the rainforest, water pollution, exploitation of natural resources, habitat destruction and endangered species. Students will examine how social media, community engagement, and advocacy initiatives have played key roles in the positive outcomes of environmental problems.

Gender & Society in the Spanish Speaking World: In this course, students will study gender inequality throughout the Spanish-speaking world as well as in the United States. Some of the matters studied are: violence against women, femicide, gender inequality in the workforce, women in technology, and entrepreneurship, feminism in art and music, women’s health issues, beauty standards and beauty industry, and LGBTQ related issues in Spanish-speaking worlds. Students are expected to conduct research, ask questions, and demonstrate their ability to think critically and from multiple lenses in writing and speaking.

Social Justice in Latin America: In this course, students will investigate the key social justice issues facing the Spanish-speaking populations of the Americas. We will examine struggles for equity among various groups, including indigenous populations, political dissidents, and the poor and disenfranchised. Using a variety authentic sources from the media, such as news articles, documentaries, music, literature and poetry, we will compare and contrast the multiple perspectives of people of Latin American descent. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding and express their opinions in discussions, essays and projects. One of the goals of this course is for students to understand the societal forces that shape the beliefs and attitudes of diverse groups of people.

Modern-Day Colombia: While discovering what Colombia is like today economically, socially, and culturally, students will gain a better understanding of the country as a whole from different angles. Some of the topics that will be studied are music and regionalism, waves of immigration, faces of the political arena, soccer and Los Dos Escobares, Gabriel García Márquez, El Bogotazo, and more. Students will research and learn about the drastic changes that have taken place in the last twenty years, especially in regions like Medellín, that have revamped and revived Colombia as it stands today.

Voices from Latin America: Storytelling has long been a powerful way in which communities share, process, and reflect upon their histories and personal experiences. In this course, students will work with the Spanish language podcast Radio Ambulante (think This American Life in Spanish) as well as other narrative forms, such as oral histories, film, music, and literature to explore varied Latin American experiences through highly engaging stories. The goals of this course are to broaden and deepen our understanding of the varied Latin American experience and to explore how the medium of podcasting and other storytelling formats are used to shape and share narratives.

Current Events:This course aims at improving your knowledge and understanding of Latin American cultures. The goal is to enhance your awareness and understanding of the cultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world. The course is organized by themes based on contemporary social, political and cultural issues of Spanish-speaking societies. Class activities will consist of discussions, oral and written reports, and debates, emphasizing problem-solving and respect for the opinions of others. This course uses a large selection of materials. We will use movies, the Internet, newspapers, readings, and radio programs that will be discussed during the semester and upon which class activities are based.

Modern Language: Foundations of Chinese

Foundations of Chinese builds on students’ basic proficiency established in Chinese I. Students may enroll in this course having demonstrated proficiency equivalent to completion a full-year high school course. This course will continue to develop students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Grammar is studied incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: hobbies, weather, dining, celebrations, shopping and asking for directions. Students will continue to study the culture of the Chinese-speaking world in the form of language use, traditions and current events. Audio and video materials along with computer software, games, projects, and presentations will be used to foster student interaction and participation.
Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Chinese I skills and Departmental Permission Required.
Course topics are briefly outlined below.

Make a Good First Impression: Students will learn to introduce themselves in culturally appropriate ways and learn about formal and informal speech.

Friends from the Start: Students will learn vocabulary related to background information, hobbies, leisure time and celebrations.

Everyday Life: Students will get a chance to compare their life to that of teens in China and around the world today. By the end of the term, students should be comfortable describing their daily lives, from routines and schedules, to hobbies and habits.

Modern Language: Foundations of French

In Foundations of French, students will continue to develop their language skills through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Vocabulary will be taught through stories and accessible texts chosen around the themes of each one-term class. The class will be driven by comprehensible input; in other words, listening and reading that is understandable. Through readings and research students will also expand their cultural understanding of France and the Francophone world. Students completing this class will be able to comfortably use verbs in the passé composé and imperfect, direct and indirect pronouns, reflexive verbs, some relative pronouns and negative expressions. Students will show the language that they can produce creatively through writing assignments, videos and projects.
Prerequisites: French 1 or equivalent and Departmental Permission Required.
Course topics are briefly outlined below.

The Marketplace: Students will develop their oral and written skills in French as they learn about the buying and selling of goods in the French speaking world. From groceries and clothing to hotels and restaurants, students will learn to barter, compare and contrast. Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients and cooking. They will also learn about typical prepared foods that can be found in the marketplaces of francophone countries.

Everyday Life: Students will get a chance to compare their lives to those of French and Francophone teens today. By the end of the term, students should be comfortable describing their daily lives, from simple morning routines to hobbies and habits.

Social Life: Students will learn how to get to know people better through more in-depth conversations about their backgrounds and interests. They will practice necessary skills and vocabulary to plan outings, pay visits, or invite friends over for homemade meals.

Modern Language: Foundations of Spanish

In this course, students will continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way. Grammar is learned incrementally, and the topics that are discussed include: the present progressive tense, direct and indirect object pronouns, estar + adjectives, reflexive verbs, verbs like gustar, comparatives and superlatives, the imperfect tense and the preterite tense. Students will study the culture of the Spanish-speaking world in the form of language use, customs, celebrations, art, historical figures, and current contributors to Latin American and Spanish society.
Prerequisites: Spanish 1 or equivalent and Departmental Permission Required.

Social Life: Students will study vocabulary related to family, friends and social life in the Spanish-speaking world. Students will build their communication skills as they tell stories about family and friends.

Cuisine & Culture: Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients and the kitchen. They will learn different expressions as well as units of measurement used in Spanish-speaking countries. They will also learn about the typical gastronomy of different countries.

Customs and Celebrations:In this course, students will explore different traditions and celebrations practiced in Spanish-speaking countries. They will also learn to talk about their own customs in their families and from their childhood. This course focuses on traditions and customs of Mexico, as well as one of its famous artists, Frida Kahlo, reading a level-appropriate biography in Spanish.

Travel & Tourism:In this course, students will learn about important historic places in Spanish-speaking countries, both in Urban and rural environments. Through this exploration students will also learn valuable skills and vocabulary for traveling and navigating through new places in Spanish.

Home LifeIn this course, students read a novel called Bianca Nieves y sus siete toritos, which is about the life of a girl growing up in Spain whose father is a torero. They learn to understand Bianca’s complicated home life. In addition, students learn about different cultural aspects of Spain, including, but not limited to the controversy around bullfighting.

Modern Language: Intermediate Chinese

In Intermediate Chinese, students continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater autonomy with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Grammar is studied incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: making recommendations, giving directions, expressing doubt and certainty, and expressing opinions. Students will study the culture and diversity of the Chinese-speaking world in the form of culturally rich images, videos, music, and some authentic texts. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, skits and presentations foster student interaction and participation.
Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Foundations of Chinese skills and Departmental Permission Required.
Course topics are briefly outlined below.

Home, School and Work: Students will learn to talk about their life at home, school and their plans for their future education and careers. They will learn the necessary vocabulary to express their likes and dislikes concerning their present life, education and future goals.

Meeting Our Needs:Students will discover vocabulary related to people’s feelings, physical and mental states, courses of actions and routines. They will also learn about people’s lifestyles and customs in China and other Chinese-speaking regions.

Social Life: Students will learn how to get to know people better through more in-depth conversations about their backgrounds and interests. They will practice necessary skills and vocabulary to plan outings, pay visits, or invite friends over for homemade meals.

Modern Language: Intermediate French

In Intermediate French, students will improve their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater autonomy with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Vocabulary is acquired through exposure to authentic texts and communicative practice, and the topics that are explored include: making recommendations, expressing doubt and certainty, and expressing opinions. Grammar is refined incrementally. Students will learn a few more tenses while refining their written and oral communication. The class will use more authentic texts and documents from the Francophone world to guide both language learning and discussions. Students will study culture and diversity in the form of current events, film, music, and famous novels and stories.
Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Foundations of French skills and Departmental Permission Required.
Course topics are briefly outlined below.

France: A Nation of Regions: As a country, France is known for, among many other things, its cheese and gastronomy; but each dish and each cheese comes from its own distinct region. What makes a country roughly the size of Texas have so many distinct regions with their own distinct cultures? In this class we will look at the regions of France and see what makes them unique and proud including gastronomy, art, poetry, music, literature and history. We will look at the French idea of terroir and why the foods from one area are unique to that area and cannot be reproduced elsewhere. The class will also look at how the French government and the regions themselves attempt to preserve their cultural heritage in the face of a changing world and globalization.

Action and Romance: This course will use the abbreviated version of the classic play “Cyrano de Bergerac.” The story will act as a starting point, allowing students to build mastery in the future and conditional tenses by reworking and re-imagining the tale. Additionally, students will be exposed to new tenses and review the past tense.

Mystery and suspense: This course will use the abbreviated version of ‘The Phantom of The Opera’ and other French stories. Students will use these stories to review the past tense and learn the future and conditional tenses while working on their speaking, pronunciation, listening, reading and writing skills. Students will work on plot twists of the stories and create their own mystery and suspense stories using film, audio and other media forms.

Technology In Our Lives: Students will be introduced to the vocabulary of technology and social media. Additionally, students will be given the opportunity to research and discuss how technology and social media have affected our everyday life, the factors that have allowed for recent technological advances, as well as any moral and ethical implications. Student created products will include both written and oral communication using different platforms, allowing for a thorough review of foundational grammar, as well as future and conditional tenses.

Modern Language: Intermediate Spanish

In Intermediate Spanish, students continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater independence with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Vocabulary is acquired in a thematic and communicative way. Grammar is practiced incrementally, and the topics that are practiced include: preterite and imperfect, familiar, formal and nosotros commands, future and conditional, present subjunctive. Students also study the culture of the Spanish-speaking world in the form of authentic literature, historical and literary figures, customs, celebrations, and music. Audio and video materials, Skype conferences, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation.
Course topics are briefly outlined below.
Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Foundations of Spanish skills and Departmental Permission Required.

Health & Wellness:In this course, students will explore health-related topics including cultural context of food, access to healthcare, physical exercise, emotional well-being, and the importance of meditation and maintaining a healthy balance with technology. Through the novel that students read called Vida o muerte en el Cusco, students learn about medical emergencies, as well as what it is like to travel through Peru.

Identity in the 21st Century: In this course, students will explore their identities in the past, present, and future. They will do this by working with various themes such as important events in one’s past, dreams for the future, and communicating identity, as they establish what it means to be an individual in the 21st century.

Urban Life:In this course, students will explore various aspects of life in the city. Students will examine how topics such as pollution, accessibility, and migration shape urban settings. Students will also reflect on the causes and consequences of gentrification around the world and in our local communities

Storytelling: In this course, students will explore aspects of storytelling including short stories, journalism, poetry, and oral histories and the art of the interview.

Business & Entrepreneurship: In this course, students will explore the various aspects of business and entrepreneurship through themes such as advertisement, consumerism, and how Hispanic and Latinx businesses shape communities. Students will have the opportunity to use the tools in the R+D center to create and market a product.

Contemporary Artists of the Spanish-Speaking World:In this course, students will explore art through various modes such as music and visual art produced by contemporary Spanish-speaking artists. They will work closely with these works and use them to develop their own artistic voice.

Performing Arts: Choral - A Cappella Foundations

A Cappella Foundations will introduce students to the fundamentals of a cappella singing, including vocal technique, music literacy, and artistic expression. Students will begin the term working on developing their voices through warm-up exercises, vocal improvisation, and music reading. They will also cultivate a working knowledge of fundamental music theory. Throughout the course, students will learn how to listen for tuning and ensemble blend during rehearsal. The aim of the course is to develop confident musicians and prepare for a public concert at the end of the term.

One Term Course

Prerequisite: No prerequisite

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Choral - B-Side A Cappella

B-Side A Cappella builds on and further develops the skills from A Cappella Foundations while introducing A Cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will begin the course by developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading music, and exploring diverse repertoire. Throughout the course, they will learn how to work independently in smaller groups and will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals. The aim of the course is to prepare students to arrange and rehearse A Cappella vocal music independently and to perform in public concerts throughout the two terms. This course is a two-term commitment and can be taken more than once.

Two Term Course. Can be taken for 1 Term only if in conjunction with A Cappella Foundations.

Prerequisite: Any Upper School choral ensemble or permission of the instructor.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

Performing Arts: Technical Theater - Mainstage Design Independent Study

Mainstage Design Independent Study is a course for students with experience in Theatrical Design who are ready to design or assistant design on a mainstage production at Beaver. Students will learn about and utilize design, rendering tools, and communication strategies while gaining an assistant designer or designer resume credit. The successful student would practice skills and strategies related to communication, planning, and collaboration, as well as exercise creative thinking and problem solving methods essential to producing a theatrical design. Students taking this course must also take the Technical Theater Afternoon Activity in the same term. This course can be taken more than once.

 

One Term Course

Prerequisite Tech Theater – Design & Tech Studio and permission of instructor.

Science: Biology Applications - Neuroscience

The most basic function of the brain is to keep you alive. Your 100 billion neurons regulate breathing, heart rate, hunger and sleep cycle. But perhaps what fascinates us the most about the human brain is how it goes beyond these basic functions and generates emotions, perceptions, and thoughts that guide behavior. In this course, we will take a deep dive into brain science, exploring everything from the biochemistry of a neuron, to the latest research on psychological disorders such as depression and addiction. Topics in this course include anatomy and physiology, synaptic transmission, neuroscience, perception and learning, behavior and cognition, and psychology.

Prerequisites: Biology Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Biology Foundations - The Structure & Function of Life

From the development of antibiotics to solar panels, the living world has provided countless solutions to the most challenging problems we have faced as a human race. This course will give students the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of life, from the whole organism down to the molecular level. In this course, we will focus on a deeper understanding of the biological concepts of biochemistry, cellular biology, genetics, evolution, and comparative anatomy and physiology. This lab based science course will further develop scientific writing skills and help incorporate strategies to process and understand complex biological concepts.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Chemistry Applications - Quantitative Analysis

In Quantitative Analysis, students will build on the basic chemical concepts and skills learned in the foundations course. The concept of a mole will be explored and students will use stoichiometry to predict and analyze products of chemical reactions. Students will be able to assess their experimental efficiency by determination of percent yield in the different reactions/experiments. Additionally, students will explore solution chemistry, including acids and bases,through both conceptual and quantitative lenses.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Chemistry Foundations - Atoms and Reactions

Chemistry Foundations covers essential core content, while providing hands on opportunities for students to learn how to think like a chemist. Students learn to use the language of chemistry to describe physical and chemical changes of matter. They explore atomic structure and theory, ionic and covalent bonding, and the structure and organization of the Periodic Table in order to understand how atoms function both individually and when bonded together. Students begin to develop skills around formalizing scientific research and writing. The course will culminate with a research project that incorporates atomic structures and applications.

Prerequisites: Conceptual Physics A & B or departmental permission. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Engineering Design Foundations - Tools and Processes

Engineering Design Foundations is designed as an introductory class that does not depend on any prior knowledge. This course provides a general introductory experience with engineering design, focusing on the creative design process and providing a strong foundation in project work. The topics studied during this term can be tailored to student interest, but will focus on core techniques and tools used in most engineering fields. Topics include the engineering design process, project management, workshop skills, electronics, and coding. This course will have several small projects designed to develop and assess the various engineering skills.

Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.
Prerequisites: None

Science: Physics and Engineering Applications

In this course, students will explore the phenomena of the mechanical world and develop the toolkit and mindset of an engineer. Learners will use their engineering skills and apply their understanding of physics to analyze situations and design new solutions.

This elective explores a selection of physics concepts (based on student interests and experience, ranging from mechanics to E&M to waves), develops foundational engineering and design approaches (ranging from research and documentation to modeling and prototyping to iteration and troubleshooting), and exposes students to a variety of tools (power tools, 3D modeling and printing, laser cutting, coding and arduinos, etc.).

This course is designed for students who (a) would like to explore physics but did not take Conceptual Physics in ninth grade, (b) would like a follow-up course to freshman physics without the mathematical rigor of Advanced Physics, (c) would like an introduction to the tools and techniques of engineering.

Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.

Prerequisites: Algebra II or equivalent.

Video Production

If you want to learn to make a short film, this class is for you. Short films are often created for screening at film festivals; they are experimental and can be unconventional in style. In this class, you will generate ideas for your film, learn to capture and edit video footage, as well as record and mix sound. Our class discussions consist of viewing, analyzing, and sharing ideas and inspiration from selective popular films, art films, and youth made video.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders.
No prerequisites.

Visual Art

In this class you will have the opportunity to work in all the visual art studios and with all the visual art faculty. Identify your own artistic interests, build on past creative experiences, and develop the technical skills you need to make your ideas visible. Instruction will cover a range of materials, tools, and techniques. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product. Try something new or pursue your lifelong passion.

 

This class may be taken more than once. No prerequisite

Visual Arts: Studio Practice

Culminating with the annual Senior Show, this class creates the community, structure, and space for the most serious artists to pursue their own work. Students taking this class have shown to be independent, dedicated artists who are prepared to bring their own personal interests to the class. No projects are assigned. Group critiques, research in contemporary art, readings, and documentation of the creative process will be major elements of the course.

Prerequisite: Open to 10th, 11th, 12th graders per recommendation by the Visual Art Department.
10th and 11th grades can take one or two terms, 12th graders must take both terms.


Three Term Courses

These course meet 4 days per week for 3 terms during G block and earn 10 credits.

Modern Language: Arabic I

In Arabic 1, students learn the alphabet as well as the following vocabulary: family, school, furniture, numbers, adjectives, prepositions, country and city vocab and colors. Students meet twice a week to learn how to speak and write Arabic. They work on collaborative projects which include videos, songs and skits. By the end of the year, students can describe themselves, their families, friends and home using written and spoken Arabic. Unlike our other languages, we do not have a full 3-year program in Arabic. This means that Foundations Arabic is open to any student, but only students who have fulfilled their language requirement may take Arabic as their only language class.

Modern Language: Foundations Arabic

In Foundations Arabic, students learn the present and past tense as well as vocabulary through stories. They work on reading, writing speaking and listening activities.Unlike our other languages, we do not offer a full 3-year program in Arabic. This means that Foundations Arabic is open to any student, but only students who have fulfilled their language requirement may take Arabic as their only language class. Other students must also be enrolled in a Spanish, French or Chinese in order to fulfill their graduation requirement. Once students progress satisfactorily through Foundations Arabic, ( they may enroll in Intermediate Arabic. Arabic classes will meet twice a week during G-block throughout the school year. Foundations and Intermediate Arabic are 5-credit classes.

Modern Language: Intermediate Arabic

A continuation of Intermediate Arabic. In Intermediate Arabic, students learn the future tense and continue to use the present and past tense with food and home vocabulary. Students continue to challenge themselves with Arabic stories, and they create their own plot twists and presentations based on readings. Unlike our other languages, we do not offer a full 3-year program in Arabic. This means that Intermediate Arabic is open to any student, but only students who have fulfilled their language requirement may take Arabic as their only language class. Other students must also be enrolled in a Spanish, French or Chinese in order to fulfill their graduation requirement. Arabic classes will meet twice a week during G-block throughout the school year. Foundations and Intermediate Arabic are 5-credit classes.

Performing Arts: Choral - Select Singers (Honors)

Select Singers is an all-year course for experienced singers to advance techniques in ensemble singing and develop independent music and leadership skills. The course will focus on advancing students’ knowledge of music theory, sight reading, and healthy vocal technique. Students should be highly motivated and committed to learning music at an accelerated pace and be prepared to sing for public concerts in smaller ensembles. Select Singers will prepare a program of repertoire for concerts at the end of each term. This course can be taken more than once.

Three Term Course

Prerequisite: Audition

Open to Grade levels: 10,11,12

Performing Arts: Costume & Fashion Design Studio

Students will develop a basic understanding of the principles of costume design and costume technology through the use of imagery, fabric, texture, shape, color and line to support and inform the theatrical storytelling process. Through a series of projects and mainstage shows students will explore how character and story can be revealed through clothing. Students will also explore the skills and techniques needed to then create the designs that best support their ideas. These techniques may include sewing, draping, pattern making, tailoring, dyeing, distressing, painting, and craft. This course can be taken more than once.

Three Term Course

No Prerequisite required

Open to Grade Levels: 9,10,11,12

Performing Arts: Dance - Choreography Foundations

This course will provide an in-depth study of movement and choreographic tools through the lens of dance as it appears in pop culture (film, live music performance, commercial hip hop, etc). Coursework will offer students the opportunity to develop a greater sense of body awareness, self-confidence, and self-discipline by learning how to express emotion and a point of view through movement. Students interested in composition work will have the opportunity to apply the elements of choreography introduced in class and discover their individual voice as part of their creative process. Coursework will culminate in a final presentation which may include original compositions by the students.

Three Term Course

No Prerequisite required.

Open to Grade Levels 9,10,11,12

Performing Arts: Instrumental - Ikonoclastic

Ikonoclastic is an ensemble for students who identify as female or non-binary and is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). This performing arts course strives to build a strong foundation for the student musician and to expand skills for returning students.. Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Students should be capable of playing their instrument independently with at least one full year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Students who are new to Beaver will be contacted by a faculty member prior to the beginning of the school year to ensure proper ensemble placement. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

Prerequisite: One year experience with private lessons and/or ensemble experience.

Open to Grade Levels: 9,10,11,12

Performing Arts: Technical Theater - Design & Tech Studio

Design & Tech Studio is a course for students interested in Technical Theater and/or Theatrical Design. Students will have the opportunity to design their own experience through a combination of projects and workshops, allowing them to learn and utilize design and production tools as well as carpentry, scenic painting, props, lighting, and sound. Students will explore how theater artists use these tools for creative problem solving and to communicate with audience members. The successful student would gain an understanding of shop and theater safe working practices, basic construction skills, knowledge of lighting and sound instrumentation and rigging, as well as how communication, planning and collaboration are central to the health of a theater production. This course can be taken more than once.

 

Three Term Course

No Prerequisites

Open to Grade Levels: 10,11,12