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Middle School Matters – Dec 07, 2018

General Announcements

Christmas Concert, Dec 13: Our 5-8 Christmas Concert is 7:00pm at ACS Thur Dec 13. Call time for band/choir is 6:30pm.

56 wears retreat shirts (Starbucks Green shirts that say Wait Upon the Lord) and pants (no jeans) or skirts that are dark or khaki.

78 wears black and white - white on top, black all the way to the floor including legs/leggings/shoes and socks.

Fifth Grade:

SEED Market: We’ve had a great week of learning this week! Today, your students learned of an exciting project called “SEED - a day of Service, Entrepreneurship, Education and Design.” Please read the information sheet. Your student will be coming home with a paper copy as well. Thank you for your support in this project. Please direct questions to Anika Slauer or Heather Westrate.

Auction: Our 5th auction will be on Fri Dec 21. We are looking for donations - these can be used items from around the house that you no longer want or need (sports balls, Nerf hoops, purses, stuffed animals, etc). If you wish to donate items to our auction, please send your child with the items to give to his/her homeroom teacher.

Christmas Potluck: Parents, you are invited to join us Fri Dec 21 at 12:00pm for our Christmas Potluck! We will be gathering in the commons for a Christmas skit, followed by lunch and dessert. We need your help! Check out our Potluck Sign-up. Come one, come all!


Art: 5th grade is learning about the art of Maria Martinez and working with ceramics.  

Band: Our concert is Thursday, Dec 13. Call time is 6:30pm. 56 wears retreat shirts and pants/skirts. We are excited to sing and play for you!

Bible: This week in Bible we wrapped up our country newspapers (due Fri Dec 07), took time to practice justice memory verses (10 points due Fri Dec 14), and introduced SEED Market. Please read the SEED market information above. Also, many students have asked if we can have a mini global Thanksgiving celebration - this week Monday your child may bring in a food item from their country for the class to snack on while we hear about each other’s countries - this is optional.

Language Arts:  We have started reading The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. This is a powerful novel about an 11-year-old girl, Parvana, who is forced to make difficult and courageous choices to help her family survive.  

Math: In math we focused on multiplying decimals. Next week we will be dividing decimals. The chapter 6 test will take place the week before Christmas, along with a decimal escape room! Your child should have received a decimal help sheet, but if they lost it you may find a new one here.

Orchestra: Our concert is Thur Dec 13 and we will tune at 6:15pm in the orchestra room.

Science: We’re working on identifying properties of substances and how they could be helpful for separating mixtures and solutions.

Social Studies: The students are finishing their individual studies of world explorers. After, students are sure to get caught up in the drama of “sailing on the high seas” as they embark on a simulated voyage across the Atlantic Ocean during the time of Christopher Columbus.

Sixth Grade:

Auction: Our 6th auction will be on Fri Dec 21. We are looking for donations - these can be even be used items from around the house that are in good shape, but that you no longer want or need (sports balls, Nerf hoops, games, purses, stickers, journals, stuffed animals, etc). If you wish to donate items to our auction, please send the items to Mrs. Koetje or Mrs. Westrate.

SEED Market: 5th and 6th graders will be, once again, participating in “SEED - a day of Service, Entrepreneurship, Education and Design.” Please read the information sheet. Your student has a paper copy as well. Thank you for your support in this project. Please direct questions to Ms. Slauer or Mrs. Westrate.

6th Grade Girls Book Club: We will meet in Mrs. Westrate’s room from 3:00-3:30pm this week Mon and Thur. We will be reading/listening to Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern. 

Devotion Sign-up: Sign up to lead devotions for our 6th Graders on a Thur (8:00-8:10am) this school year. We love to have parents and guests come to share a story, song, verse, prayer or devotional with us.

Chicken Checkup & Got Yolk?: Is your child’s team “on duty” for Chicken Checkup this week? It is important to share the responsibility of taking care of our chickens on the weekend. After determining which Team your child is on, please sign up to take care of chores on Saturday and/or Sunday at some point this trimester (be sure to ask your child which team they are on to get to the correct sign up). If your child has questions, he or she should contact the “Eggsecutive Council” member on his or her team.


Art: 6th grade students are working to complete their Picasso self-portraits. Next up, will be 1 final portrait linking what the students study in science with art class. Students will also have a homework assignment that requires them to watch videos about watercolor techniques and write summaries of how to complete the techniques.

Band: Our concert is Thur Dec 13. Call time is 6:30pm. 56 wears retreat shirts and pants/skirts. We are excited to sing and play for you!

Bible: We’re circling back to our school theme as we consider what it means to “wait upon the Lord” during Advent.

History: We will be discussing the beginnings of Judaism together and then wrapping up our unit on Mesopotamia.

Language Arts: Students continue to understand what life is like for people who learn differently or have physical difficulties. The 6th graders will experience the difficulties first-hand next Friday. Also, students continue to work on various reading response activities for Fish in a Tree. Independent reading books due on Mon.

Math: We will be wrapping up our unit on integers. The study guide and practice test are due Monday and the test will be on Tuesday.

PE: Please remind students to bring appropriate clothes and shoes for PE this week.

Orchestra: Our concert is Thur Dec 13 and string players will tune up at 6:15pm in the orchestra room.

Science: Our unit on force and motion is going well. We will have a test over what we’ve learned about forces on Tue, Dec 18.

Seventh Grade:

Algebra (7th): We have been mastering 3 methods of solving for linear systems: graphing, substitution, and elimination. We will have a test on chapter 7 on Wednesday.

Art: 7th grade students are beginning to work on their organism signs. Next, students will be transferring drawn sign designs to the painted sign boards. Please check the homework calendar for project and sketchbook due dates and check moodle for descriptions of sketchbook assignments.

Band and Choir: Our concert is Thur Dec 13. Call time is 6:30pm. We are excited to sing and play for you! 78 wears black and white - white on top, black all the way to the floor including legs/leggings/shoes and socks.

Bible Holtrop: Students have submitted their final devotions and prayers. Next week we will be wrapping up our unit on prayer.

Huttenga Bible: Students are doing a poetry project about sanctification.

Language Arts: The 7th graders will have a test on The Witch of Blackbird Pond Monday, December 10. This coming week we are beginning our new spelling program in which students will create their own lists and conduct spelling quizzes weekly. We are going to begin a unit on Charles Dickens’ classic allegory A Christmas Carol.

Math Holtrop: We will continue to study expressions!

Pre-Algebra (Kiser): We are finishing our work with proportions. Our test will be Wed Dec 12. Many review materials can be found on our Ch 5 Moodle page and on p243 in the textbook.

Orchestra: Our concert is Thur Dec 13. We will tune at 6:15pm in the orchestra room.

Science: We are working to understand why chemical interactions happen by gaining a deeper understanding of the periodic table.

Eighth Grade:

Art: 8th students are beginning work on learning about Frank Stella and create a family portrait using just shapes, patterns, and colors. Please check the homework calendar for project and sketchbook due dates and check moodle for descriptions of sketchbook assignments.  

Band: Our concert is Thur Dec 13. Call time is 6:30pm. We are excited to sing and play for you! 78 wears black and white - white on top, black all the way to the floor including legs/leggings/shoes and socks.

Bible(Van Noord): We are reading Matthew, and also working on a special Luke 2 project.

Bible (Huttenga): We’ve been discussing the Reformed worldview - ask your students what the art of kintsugi is and how it relates to the Holy Spirit. We are reading CS Lewis’s The Last Battle as an allegory for Reformation.

Geometry: We are beginning unit 7. In this unit we study what makes triangles congruent and how to prove it.  

Pre-Algebra: We are finishing our work with proportions. Our test will be Thur Dec 13. Many review materials can be found on our Ch 5 Moodle page and on p243 in the textbook.

Orchestra: Our concert is Thur, Dec 13 and string players will tune up at 6:15pm in the orchestra room.

Science: We continue studying waves- we will be moving into light waves.