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Middle School Matters – Oct 09, 2015

General Announcements

Thank You: Thank you, parents, for taking time out of your busy schedules to assist us in our service projects last week. These meaningful days would not be possible without parent volunteers.

Student-Teacher Conferences: Next week our MS students will meet with their homeroom teacher for a Student-Teacher Conference. This is a good opportunity for teachers and students to build a stronger school community. The conferences will focus around four key ideas: Mind (academics), Body (physical well-being), Soul (spiritual growth), and Community (relationships). We plan to help students think through some goals in these areas and challenge them to do their best in all areas of life.  

Parent-Teacher Conferences: They're coming up this week and next, Oct 15 from 5:30-8:30pm and the 20th from 4:30-7:30pm. Our 6th, 7th and 8th grade teachers conduct a “Round Robin” style of conference, with each conference lasting about 3-4 minutes. You will find each teacher at a table in the Commons. If you feel that this timeframe will not be sufficient, please contact the specific teacher in advance to request another time for a longer conference.

Mid-Point Check of Trimester 1: We have reached the halfway point for Trimester one. Please talk with your child about how things are going. If you would like help accessing your student’s grades on PowerSchool, please contact Nate Kiser.

5th Grade News

Art: 5th graders have begun the printmaking project. This project will take a while as we learn and explore the printmaking process from beginning to end.

Band: Band met only once this week for each student, so practice at home is super important.  Pages 8 and onwards would be great to do. Your student should be able to play 6-9 notes easily, and should know fingerings and what the names of all their notes are.  Please ask for a concert, and point to things in the book and see if they know what notes are, etc. (All the notes we know are listed on the top of the pages in the yellow boxes.)

Bible: We are nearing the end of our study of the Pentateuch. By now the 5th graders have a pretty good feel for the roles of each of the major people in these five books, and how they all fit together in God’s unfolding plan.  

Language Arts: We are busy honing our typing and paragraph-forming skills as we work through a variety of articles in our Survival Newspapers.  

Math: Our current math unit involves looking at different strategies that can be used to multiply numbers.  We are trying to figure out patterns in the number of zeros of the product when multiplying by powers of 10, and applying these strategies to real-word scenarios. Our chapter 2 test on multiplication strategies will be next week Tuesday. The 5th graders will review in class and there will be an online review assigned for homework on Monday.  

PE: We began our football unit this week. Next week, we will continue to practice the skills and learn the rules needed to play and understand football.

Orchestra: Practice is essential because we are learning our first scales as well as 2 and 3 line songs. Your string player should be able to name all of the notes through number 34 - so they should warm up on pages 6, 7, 8, and 9 and perform pages 10, 11 AND 12  for a  concert for you. Be sure to have them tell you note names- you can help a lot by listening to their new songs!

Science: In Science we are learning all about plants and ecosystems - what better way to learn about this than getting our hands dirty outside.  

Social Studies: In Social Studies, we are moving on to Colonial America, and learning about it through the Discovery II experience.  

Spanish: We are telling time in Spanish!

6th Grade News

Outdoor Education Workday: Next week Wednesday, Oct 14 during your child’s Bible class, either 5th (12:30-1:20pm) or 7th hour (2:10-3:00pm), your child will be working at building the split rail fence around our wetlands. We welcome parents who are willing to help with this endeavor. If you have a post hole digger that we could borrow, please label it with your name and drop it off at the science room (Room 410) in the middle school hall. Thanks in advance for your help. We would like to use the shovels and post hole diggers with other grade levels through Thursday, Oct 15. Thanks in advance for your help.

Progress Reports: Today your student was sent home with a printed copy of their grades. This progress report is intended to serve as a tool to talk with your child about how school is going and to see if they are on track. Please remember that you can login to PowerSchool and view your student’s grades at any time and that the grades are always changing. Please sign and return the bottom portion of the front page.

Art: 6th graders have begun part two of their hand project. In this second part students are working to visually show how they see God’s hand in their life.  Please check the homework calendar as there is a sketchbook assignment due next week.  

Band: Students will have the option to play a solo for a judge in November. I will tell them about this activity next week, and they may decide if they would like to do it. Practice out of the book and the sheet music too. Go team!

Bible: Books of the Old Testament memory work is due on Wednesday. We are continuing our study of the setting of the Bible.

History: Students started working on a Google presentations using different kinds of maps and map projections. These will be due next Wednesday. Next week we will continue our study of geography by looking at landforms. This coming week we will start using Global Studies Weekly Newspapers.  Each Monday they will receive a newspaper to read, they will complete a variety of activities, and there will be an open newspaper quiz every Friday.  

Language Arts: The 6th graders are working on cohesive paragraph writing along with our reading of Tuck Everlasting. Next week we will take a look at similes and metaphors in this novel and in our everyday conversations and music. Students will also have a quiz next Friday, Oct 16 on the characters and 6 new vocabulary words (dishearten, console, irrelevant, peculiar, scornful, and shameless). All materials can be found in the “reading” section of student binders as well as on the LA Moodle page.  

Math: We are beginning to near the end of our chapter on decimals, fractions, and percents. This week we will be spending more of our time working with percents. Students will receive a study guide for the test early this week to begin studying for the test which will be early the following week.

PE: We have been evaluating our fitness levels this week through fitness testing. Next week we will wrap up our last fitness test and begin our Ultimate Frisbee unit. Students should be prepared to go outside.

Orchestra: Practice pages 9, 10 and 11 this week and focus on great intonation! Remember to work on bowing the hooked bow(dotted quarter followed by eighth notes) and be able to play number 47 - the essential elements quiz - in class!

Science: We have kicked off a study of matter. Ask your student to explain our particle model of matter and how we figured out the arrangement of particles in a solid, liquid, and a gas.

Spanish: The students are busy practicing our alfabeto and phonetics in class, so there is not much homework at this time. There were several iMovie projects that have needed to be re-done, so we are still awaiting those submissions. I will be out due to surgery for a couple weeks, and will need to grade these upon returning. Thank you for your patience.

7th Grade News

Outdoor Education Workday: Next week Thursday, Oct 15 during your child’s Bible class, either 6th hour (1:15-2:05pm) or 7th hour (2:10-3:00pm), your child will be working at building the split rail fence around our wetlands. We welcome parents who are willing to help with this endeavor. If you have a post hole digger that we could borrow, please label it with your name and drop it off at the science room (Room 410) on Tuesday morning. Thanks in advance for your help.  

Algebra (7th): We have started Chapter 3, which is solving linear equations. We will have a quiz on Friday over what we have learned so far in Chapter 3.

Art: 7th graders are completing their art element and principle project this week and will begin next week working on an abstract art project that deals with texture. Please check the homework calendar for due dates  

Band: The Solo Project has begun. This is the next major practice assignment.  Go team! Ask your student about this event.  Some did this last year, but for many this is a new and exciting (and a little scary) thing! Really looking forward to hearing them - they are such a great group!

Bible: Psalm 89:1-4 quiz on Monday. Talk with your student about the questions that have been posted on moodle in preparation for their quiz.

History: Next week we will continue our study of Religions of South Asia. On Friday we will take a quiz on the two notesheets of Beginnings of Hinduism and Beginnings of Buddhism. 

Language Arts: The seventh graders have begun the first novel study of the year, Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Throughout this unit, students will be exploring characterization; while we learn how to describe complex characters, students will also be learning about descriptive writing as well. One of the bigger themes we are discussing in this unit is the dangers of prejudice.

PE: We have been evaluating our fitness levels this week through fitness testing. Next week we will wrap up our last fitness test and begin our Ultimate Frisbee unit. Students should be prepared to go outside.

Pre-Algebra (Kiser): We will start the week with fractions having unlike denominators and variables.  We will end the week on Friday with a test on Rational Numbers. A practice test and study guide is on page 132 of the textbook.

Pre-Algebra (Holtrop): We will be having a test on Chapter 2 on Wednesday. For the remainder of the week we will be focusing on real numbers. Specifically we will be learning more about square roots and so on.

Orchestra: Solos and small ensembles will begin practicing for the big festival at our school. If your string player needs some solo/duet/trio ideas we have lots of possibilities in the orchestra room. You may supply your own piano player to accompany if you prefer- just let me know. Some students want to play 2 or 3 times(solos and groups) and that will depend on available times. Usually we have enough  time  for all groups.  

Science: Continuing our study of plants on ACS campus.

Spanish: Students will have a practice test this week and should begin preparing for the test the following Tuesday, Oct 20. There are several resources on Moodle, including Flashcards for vocabulary study, and examples of the verb ESTAR. Quia assignments are always a great way to practice for the test.

8th Grade News

Outdoor Education Workday: Next week Tuesday, Oct 13 during your child’s Bible class, either 6th hour (1:15-2:05pm) or 7th hour (2:10-3:00pm), your child will be working at building the split rail fence around our wetlands. We welcome parents who are willing to help with this endeavor. If you have a post hole digger that we could borrow, please label it with your name and bring it with you or drop it off at the science room (Room 410) in the middle school hall.  If you don’t have a post hole digger, we would like your child to bring a shovel.  We would like to use the shovels and post hole diggers with other grade levels through Thursday, Oct 15. Thanks in advance for your help.

8th Grade Moms Invited: ACS has been inviting the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) to speak with our 8th grade students each spring for the Willing to Wait program. Laura Champion, one of our moms, is a board member for the PRC and would love to share more about this program with those of you who haven't had an 8th grader experience the "Willing To Wait" program, yet. If you are interested in attending the PRC's 30th anniversary Gala on Thursday, Nov 5 at the JW Marriott to learn more about the organization, their mission, and their work please email Laura Champion so she can save a seat for you.

Dessert Theatre: Most students have picked up their scripts, and there are only a few CD’s left! Visit our website for more information (auditions, rehearsals, etc.).

Algebra Enhanced: We are working through Chapter 3 this week focusing on solving multi-step equations. We are practicing good habits of showing all of our work on our assignments. 

Algebra (8th): Next week we will begin Ch 3, equations. A quick check shows that these students have a great foundation of drawing “the river” to keep things balanced as they complete each step.  

Art: 8th graders have completed their first project and will now be exploring calligraphy and illumination and some graphic design. Please check the homework calendar for due dates

Band: We are working on a number of genres... tunes including Mars by Gustav Holst, and a great march for Band Festival.

Bible: Jesus early ministry projects are due on Monday. Presentations will begin on Monday and continue through the week. Tuesday we will be helping with the Outdoor Education program, so check out the note at the top of the 8th grade section.  

Geometry: Students will have a quiz on Monday covering the first three sections of chapter 3. We will spend the remainder of the week finishing up the unit.

History: We are reviewing for a test on Chapter 6 on Wednesday. This test will focus on the events surrounding the American Revolutionary War. Later in the week we will begin looking at the Constitution. 

Language Arts: Students should have turned in their final outlines for NHD on Oct 09. The next NHD due-date is Oct 26: the first draft of the essay. More details about the requirements of this draft will be sent to parents via email in the near future.

PE: We have been evaluating our fitness levels this week through fitness testing. Next week we will wrap up our last fitness test and begin our Ultimate Frisbee unit. Students should be prepared to go outside.

Orchestra: We are making super progress on most of our pieces for string ensemble for Solo and Ensemble Festival in Nov! The 8th graders will perform 4 pieces as a group- (without a conductor). Many are also working on solos and duets and trios as well.  If you know of anyone who is willing to play the piano with these amazing students---Please let me know!

Science: A quiz was taken in class on Friday. We are looking at energy transfers this week.

Spanish: 8th graders had a practice test today (Friday) and have a big test this coming week: 8A on Monday; 8B on Tuesday. There are lots of resources on Moodle, including an expansive review sheet with examples.

Wildcats Athletics

www.adachristian.org/wildcats

Winter Basketball: Start dates are listed below.  Within the next 2 weeks you will receive an email introducing your child’s basketball coach and listing practice days and times.

5th & 6th Grade – Starting the week of Monday, Nov 09
7th & 8th Grade – Starting the week of Monday, Nov 30

Sports Physicals: Were due on Monday, Oct 05.  After this date if your student is competing in fall sports they will no longer be eligible for the season.  If your student is playing winter basketball this must be turned in before the 1st day of practice.