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Middle School Matters – Dec 14, 2018

General Announcements

Blue Lake: A representative from Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp will be at ACS on Mon Dec 17 to listen to our students, view their art and offer potential scholarships. The rep will be meeting with grades 5-8 during band and orchestra classes.

Exploratory Week:  Jan 29 - Feb 01 is our annual middle school Exploratory Week. Students will have a chance to sign-up for their different activities next week. Look for a packet to come tonight for 8th grade, next Monday for 7th grade, and next Wednesday for 6th grade. Students will need to get a parent signature in order to turn it in. Please note...do not send in any money at this time. Students will find out what activities they have been assigned in early January and we will collect any money that is needed then. Thanks!

7th & 8th Trip to Washington D.C.: There is still some room on the bus.  If you are still considering signing up and joining us on a great trip from June 11 - 15, please try to connect with Mr. Witte soon.  Thanks.

Fifth Grade:

Well Donations: Students have been saving their own money to donate towards wells for World Vision to provide clean water for our global community. This is optional, but donations are due Wed Dec 19. Students can start bringing in their donations the beginning of next week. Let’s see how many shares of a well we can donate money towards!

Reproductive Education: As you have some extra time with your child over Christmas break it may good opportunity to discuss Reproductive Health. At the end of May, after Spring Camp, the 5th grade team plans to begin a short unit on Reproductive Education. Miss Slauer and Mrs. Reidsma will be meeting with the girls while Mr. Hoo will be meeting with the boys. In addition to going over the physical aspects of puberty, we plan to include discussions on God’s design for our bodies and reproduction, as well as treating our bodies with dignity and respect. Please have a conversation with your child before we have this conversation at school. If any parent would like more information, let one of us know and we would be happy to talk with you.

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 Friday, 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!


Band: Thank you for coming to our concert! We will continue to work on our method books, learning fundamentals and technique, etc. :) Please encourage practice - and ask for concerts at home - we know LOTS of songs!

Bible: In Bible we wrapped up our Global Awareness unit with presentations on our countries and memorizing verses on justice from the Bible. We are beginning our Jesus Project by discussing common misconceptions regarding Jesus and his birth. Reminder that SEED applications are due Mon Dec 17.

Language Arts: We continue to read and discuss The Breadwinner. On Monday, students will take the preliminary spelling bee test. If your child desires to study, have him/her work on the 5th and 6th grade word lists (passed out in class). On Wednesday, students will have tech time and complete their memes.  

Math: We are wrapping up our Chapter 6 Multiplying and Dividing Decimals with a test next week Thurs Dec 20. If you know that your child is leaving early for Christmas break, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can give them their test early. Here is the practice test and answer key.

Orchestra: Thanks so much for attending our wonderful Christmas concert last night! We will continue to work in our technique books and also begin some new sheet music .  Set a practice goal!

Science: We will have a quiz on Wed 12.19 over what we’ve learned about mixtures and solutions so far. A review sheet is posted on our moodle page.

Social Studies: Students have embarked on a simulated voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. We will continue to “sail the high seas” together next week. Be sure to ask your child about their experiences so far!

Spanish: 5th graders have completed fabulous stories in Spanish!  They are posted in the MS hallway. I am so proud of their work and love to see their creativity with the language and their drawings.  Next week we will enjoy some Christmas culture

Sixth Grade:

Sixth Grade Caroling: On Fri Dec 21, the 6th graders will be sharing our gifts by caroling at Hope Network and Emerald Meadows. While we’re out, we will be enjoying lunch together at Culver’s restaurant. A permission/lunch order form went home with students on Wednesday. Please sign and return the form with your student’s lunch money ($6.50) by Mon Dec 17.

Auction: Students are looking forward to spending the auction points they’ve been earning in class on Friday for our 6th grade auction. If you have items you’d like to donate, please feel free to send them 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. Applications are due this coming Mon Dec 17.

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.


Band: Thank you for coming to our concert! We will continue to work on our method books, learning fundamentals and technique, etc. :) Please encourage practice - and ask for concerts at home - we know LOTS of songs!

Bible: We continue to experience advent waiting together as we contemplate Scripture foreshadowing Christ’s first and second coming.

History: We will be celebrating our learning with a test on Mesopotamia! Students will use their study guide and social studies notebook to review for the test on Wednesday, Dec 19.

Language Arts: Students have been working diligently to complete the three parts of a project.  Part two is due on Tuesday and part three is due on Thursday. On Monday, students will take the preliminary spelling bee test.  If your child desires to study, have him/her work on the 5th and 6th grade word lists (passed out in class). We are also looking forward to learning from Sasha’s day, Mike Perry, on Wednesday.  Mike is an architect with an expertise around universal design. He works with organizations all over the country helping them achieve best practices in accessibility for people, particularly physically and socially. He will share examples with the 6th graders of how his work has been implemented to create safe and attainable environments for all people. It is my hope that the 6th graders will appreciate this work even more after their experiences during the Disability Awareness Day!

Math: We will be writing and evaluating mathematical expressions containing variables.

Orchestra: Thanks so much for attending our fantastic concert last night! We enjoyed playing a few of our pieces for you. We will hand in most of our sheet music on Tuesday and begin new music.

Science: We will have a test over the first part of our force unit on Tue 12.18. A review sheet is posted on moodle. Students can use their notebooks to help them complete the review.

Spanish: Students have completed another unit in Spanish.  This time our unit was on clothing, colors, and things we like.  We will spend next week enjoying some Christmas culture!

Seventh Grade:

Algebra (7th): In the coming week we will be focusing on using the knowledge we have gained throughout this year so far and applying it to real life situations.

Band: Thank you for coming to our concert! Please encourage practice - and ask for concerts at home - we know LOTS of songs! More new music coming soon. It’s a blessing to work with your band students!!!!

Bible Holtrop: We are working on our final prayer project. We will also look at the story of Jesus birth from different perspectives.

History: We continue to work through our unit on East and Southeast Asia. Next week we will wrap up the new material and then begin reviewing. Our unit test, however, will happen after the New Year.

Math Holtrop: We will be wrapping up our chapter on expression. There will be a test on Wednesday or Thursday.

Pre-Algebra (Kiser): Up next: percent of a number, percent of change, mark-up, and discount.

Orchestra: Wow! What a terrific group of string players. We enjoyed playing a few of our pieces for you last night! We will begin new music for our next concert on FEB 28th at Grand Rapids Christian High. On that date we are joining with their orchestras to play with a jazz violinist.

Science: We will be moving into studying the properties of the states of matter.

Spanish: 7th graders have just completed a unit on looking for and finding things.  They created some funny stories about losing items. Next week we will enjoy Christmas culture - Feliz Navidad!

Eighth Grade:

Algebra: It’s been a challenging week in algebra working with inequality expressions. Next week we will finish the chapter and prepare for a test at the end of the week.

Band: Thank you for coming to our concert! Please encourage practice - and ask for concerts at home - we know LOTS of songs! More new music coming soon. It’s a blessing to work with your band students!!!!

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

Bible (Huttenga): Students took a quiz on the Reformed worldview Friday, December 14. This coming week we will be wrapping up our reading of The Last Battle by CS Lewis. Students will begin working on a project using the story as an allegory for Reformation.

Geometry: There will be a quiz on Tuesday about congruent triangles. 

History: We will take a unit test on Wednesday that covers notes we took in class from chapter 8 and 9, but I call this unit “The First Presidents.” We have been working on a review sheet in class and will continue to review in class for a couple of days next week.

Language Arts: Students must have their first spelling list determined and ready for a check-in on Tuesday, December 18 - they will have their first spelling quiz on Thursday the 20th. In the meantime, 8th graders will also be introduced to the creative nonfiction “Book of Memoirs” project that will be taking place throughout the second half of the year. 

Pre-Algebra: Up next: percent of a number, percent of change, mark-up, and discount.

Orchestra: Thanks so much for attending our Christmas concert last night. We had so much fun performing for you. Our next concert will be with a jazz violinist on FEB 28th with the orchestras of Grand Rapids Christian High. Please put this date on your calendar. We will begin the music this week for Feb 28.

Science: We will be finishing up our studies of mechanical waves and will have a science test next week Thursday.

Spanish: 8th graders have just completed a unit on looking for and finding things.  They created some funny stories about losing items. Next week we will enjoy Christmas culture - Feliz Navidad!