Monday - Thursday Electives

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Sample Offerings & Descriptions

6th Period | 7th Period

A sampling of classes and descriptions for Monday through Thursday electives are shown below, which run for 40 minutes per class. In contrast, Friday Electives run from 1.5 to 3+ hours, depending on the type of activity and location.

Electives are chosen during a school meeting where teachers give a presention about their classes to the students, who then make their choices, selecting three possibilites for each period, ranked first, second or third in desirability. When assigning classes, we try to give every student at least one first-choice class, but 9th graders have highest priority in cases where a class is chosen by more students than can be accommodated. Each student must choose at least one "art" and one "sport" per quarter.


Students in this beginning level class will have the opportunity to explore the intersection of art and action: animation! Using Adobe FLASH software, students will discover tools, techniques and principles of creating art that changes over time...aka: computer FUN! In following quarters students can progress in skills to programming games in Flash. Get started now!

Art Books, Journals & Boxes

An independent art class with emphasis on handmade books, art journals or self created projects. This class is great for students who are highly motivated to work on individualized projects with their own collected things as well as class materials. It’s designed to encourage and bring out the artist’s own creative style. Each person works at his or her own speed, sharing materials and ideas. One student wrote to me that she felt total success, as she never before had the opportunity to do her own style and feel confident in her ability to create a great piece.


Through guided projects, students learn essential beading techniques including crimping, wire wrapping, knot tying, proper use of tools, color and design combinations, types of clasps, and use of wire, line and string. This class is open to all skill levels as students are encouraged to design their own beaded jewelry using the skills they have learned.

Bike Monkeys 101

Students who take this class will earn the opportunity to volunteer their time and commit to serve the SBMS community, and become core leaders on our outdoor expeditions. Students will develop mechanic and diagnostic skills related to the bicycle through hands-on training using their own bike. Those who pass the written and practical tests will be eligible to enroll in the bike monkey leadership course (Bike Monkeys 201) which will take place the following semester.

Cardboard Art

Young artists create folk art out of card board and recycled items using hot glue, paint and original ideas.

Core Strength

Endurance and balance, inside and out, are important for daily living, but most especially in preparation for our SBMS expeditions! Following the routines of professional trainers on DVDs to guide us, each day we will experience exercise inside a different discipline: Monday: Aerobics; Tuesday: Pilates; Wednesday: Yoga; Thursday: Power Walking or Meditation. Sign up for this class if you are serious about strengthening your core and your mind.

Dance & Drama

An alumni, Jake Himovitz mentored by Maureen Lehman will be directing a musical. At the same time another group will be shooting a documentary of the actors and director process of putting it together.

Drawing and Painting

Drawing and Painting presents a general art experience where students explore a variety of media including pencil, color pencil, pastel, pen and ink, charcoal, watercolor, acrylic, collage and mixed media. Through the artistic process, students develop their art skills and learn technique. Focus is on the basic art elements, and a building block approach is taken where new skills are applied to ones already learned.

Fiber Arts

Fiber Arts is a hands-on arts and crafts class featuring projects utilizing cloth, yarn, dried plant fibers and paper pulp. Students learn the history of various fiber arts while developing skills and technique specific to each individual craft. Emphasis is on self-expression, craftsmanship and creativity. Projects include fabric painting and dying, weaving, applique, printing/stamp art, nature prints and papermaking.

Film Making - Independent

Young film makers and actors shoot movies and edit them. Then we view them. I give them assignments/projects to complete.

Flag Football

Students, a field and a football are all we need to capture the excitement of the professional football season! Organization, planning, strategy, tactics and teamwork are the hallmarks of this always popular class. The class is open to all skill levels and all grades.

Great Ideas - Science & Science Fiction

Explore many of the great scientific questions and their implications. A few topics will include: What existed before the Big Bang? Universe or Multiverse? What is Space? Is Time Travel Possible? How do Black Holes work? What is at the Center of our Galaxy? In addition, we will explore some science fiction and the role it plays in scientific discovery and understanding. This will involve watching documentaries and films on science and science fiction that will be followed by extensive discussion. "To infinity and beyond!"


Students will learn the basic components and parts of a Guitar. Each Student will know what each of the below terms means, and will be able to apply that knowledge when playing the Guitar. Body, Neck, Bridge, Nut, Fret, Strings, Each String’s note (E, A, D, G, B, E), Tuning Pegs, Head, Chord, Note. Each child will learn 3 different Strums, 2 Picks, 4/4 Time, 3/4 Time, Keys of: A, D, C, E and G. Every Thursday we have a “Concert” and each student plays one of the songs for the entire group. Half way through the trimester, the students begin writing their own song. At the end of the trimester, each student performs the song that they have written in front of all of their (guitar class') parents and their classmates.

Martial Arts

A mix of several fighting styles from different countries and cultures. Aikido from Japan, Tai Chi Chuan from China, Krav Maga from Israel, Kali stick fighting from the Philippines and Keyse from Spain. Self Defense is emphasized with strict rules about the seriousness of using these learned techniques.


A program designed to inspire a love for diversity of vocal styles, a wide spectrum of music including appreciation of jazz, blues, popular, Broadway, folk, standards, and current hits. Students are encouraged to bring music they love to the group and learn the art of listening to one another as well as singing together. They learn performance skills, vocal exercises and warm ups. In the second trimester we work toward our annual Song Fest event at the end of the year.


Students will...write songs! Music is at the core of SBMS journeys, stories, legends, history. We'll write about what we do. We'll explore different types of music, rhyme patterns, chord structure. Students will write and compose original songs, learn how professional songwriters practice their craft, and we will have a whole lot of fun...playing music!

Soccer - Boys

Participants will learn and practice soccer skills, strategy, and team work and implement them in games against other independent schools after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Soccer - Coed

Co-ed Soccer covers the fundamentals of individual and team soccer skills in a friendly and non-competitive environment. Fundamental concepts covered: Offense, Defense, Passing, Trapping, Striking, Midfield strategies. Course Grading: Pass/Fail


Escape from SBMS! Join speed-walking to exercise your body after exercising your brain. Following 3 routes, we will speed walk through the historic SBMS neighborhood stopping at pre-determined spots to crunch and stretch. Requirements: Tennis shoes, socks, and a desire to move your body. Optional: Pedometer and water bottle.

Teen Press

A team of student journalists will be chosen by application to represent SBMS at school

and in the world. This quarter the SBMS Teen Press will review live performance at the Lobero, travel to UC Davis & UC Berkeley to talk with SBMS alums in attendance there, and maybe stop in for a chat with the governor in Sacramento, for starters. Teen Pressers work in front and behind the camera, researching and conducting interviews of interesting people near and far. For those who are unfamiliar, discover some of the past achievements of the Teen Press at

Volleyball - Girls

Participants will learn and develop serving, passing, setting, and hitting skills as well as different styles of strategy that will all be put to the test in games against other independent schools and clubs on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school.