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Middle School Matters - Sep 08, 2017

General Announcements:

Volunteer! We have more than 30 openings for volunteers to help during recess time for our 5-8 students. Please consider signing up - - contact Julie DeKoster volunteer.

Hot Lunch began this past Tuesday. Please still send a snack every day with your student.

Fifth Grade:

Art: We are going outside next week to draw the landscape and the various horizon lines that we see. These drawings will be added over top our Gerhard Richter inspired painting we created this week.

Band: We can play a LOT of notes already! Practice records, music books and folders have all gone home. Now your band students need to find a regular time to practice and work on all the new things they have learned! They are doing great! Instruments need to come to school Mon/Tue/Thu each week. First QUIZ is on Cuckoo, #12 on Monday. Go band!

Bible: This week in Bible we are continuing to study the Pentateuch. We will be covering the stories of Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. Reminder that Bible Memory is due this Fri 9.08.

Language Arts: This week we made our first spelling lists. The words this week come from a 5th grade high frequency word list. After this, you will see more individualized word lists coming home. The spelling test is next Friday, September 15. We will work these words in class, but please also have your 5th grader study these words at home. Along with the list, you will see a THT (Take Home Task) that also needs to be completed by next Friday. This week the 5th graders chose their individual survival books. These books can be read at home and school.

Math: This week in math we are discussing the place value of decimals. We are also preparing for our test, which is next week Thurs 09.14.

Orchestra: These fabulous fifth grade string players have learned all 4 strings already. We have orchestra on Mon/Tue/Thu every week so be sure to bring instruments/ books and practice records to school on those 3 days. We are off to a super start- nice steady tempo and great listening. Now we start with the bow hold/bowing exercises and we will also play arco on a few lines.Try for 15 minutes of practice -most days! Thanks for all of your encouragement.

Science: Our focus question this week is “What can we infer by observing shadows?” Encourage your student to notice where shadows are and where they aren’t as you’re out and about this week.

Social Studies: We continue our unit on maps of all kind from the world down to our bedrooms. Hemispheres, continents, countries, regions, states, counties, townships, neighborhoods………. The kids will have a maps quiz next Wednesday (5HW) or Thursday (5S). 50 of the 100 points will be the US States which we’ve been reviewing in class but a lot of kids will need some work on at home. A review sheet will be given to them this Friday.  We are also creating a huge map of the world - a scale drawing project that will cover the floor in my old room - challenging, fun, and working together.

Spanish: We are wrapping up our first unit already. The first unit test will be Sept.15. Students will be given a handout that will list all the words and phrases we have been working on. The goal is comprehension and students should already be very familiar with these words. Also, you may have heard your student singing Spanish songs. Some of these songs are used as “brain breaks” and others help us with our vocabulary acquisition.

Sixth Grade:

Art: Began work on the first part of our first project in art this week and will continue working on this pattern part next week. Please check the homework calendar for the sketchbook due date. Make sure to talk with your student about their ideas for the sketchbook assignment.

Band: We have been reviewing and working on all sorts of fundamentals and skills. They are sounding great and are working really well together. Weekly practice records are due on Thursdays. Quiz on #92 on Monday. Go band!

Bible (6K & 6W): We are understanding “who we are” and “whose we are”. To help with this, students will be working on an outside/inside bag. Instructions went home this week. This is due on Oct 02. We continue to practice our Bible memory in class (1 Cor. 12:14-20).

Social Studies: We are kicking off our geography unit with an overview of the five themes of geography. This week we are focusing in on the theme of location by practicing our compass skills with Mr. Boerkoel. This Wednesday and Thursday, the students will be participating in an outdoor scavenger hunt to test out their compass skills.

Language Arts: We started Tuck Everlasting. Through this novel, we will study characterization, plot development, vocabulary, figurative language (similes, metaphors, and personification), and so much more.

Math: In math we will continue studying measurement and decimal computation. We will spend time reviewing and preparing for our first test on Thursday, Sept 14. Each student has a study guide and practice test to complete by Wednesday.

Orchestra: Wow! This group of string players is amazing and so much fun to teach! We will review lessons 31 and 32 in the brown book. Practice at least 60 minutes this week.Go strings!

Science: Laptop roll-out has delayed the start of our Diversity of Life unit. Students are now aware of their responsibilities regarding their school laptops as well as some important skills for using them effectively. We’ll get going this week on classification schemes.

Spanish: We are wrapping up our first unit already. The first unit test will be Sept.13. Students will be given a handout that will list all the words and phrases we have been working on. The goal is comprehension and students should already be very familiar with these words. Also, you may have heard your student singing Spanish songs. Some of these songs are used as “brain breaks” and others help us with our vocabulary acquisition.

Seventh Grade:

Algebra (7th): We will begin chapter 2 studying properties of real numbers.

Art: 7th graders are working on learning about the art elements principles and then will begin working the first project focusing on form, line, and color. Please check the homework calendar for sketchbook due dates.

Band: What a great group - reviewing, fundamentals and learning new music. SO fun!

Bible(Wanner): 7th graders worked to complete the theme banner this week and next week we will turn our attention understand what it means to evaluate this from a Christian perspective and exploring the spiritual practice of devotions. 7th graders do have another Bible memory to learn for next week Friday.  

History: We are having a good start in 7th grade history. Next week we will be studying different types of maps, studying a list of 50 geography vocab words, and playing latitude and longitude battleship as we continue to build our foundations of geography.

Math: Students will be preparing for their test on integers at the beginning of the school week. The test is planned for Tuesday. The remainder of the week will be spent on ratio and rates.

Pre-Algebra: We have completed our quick review with Chapter 1. Our test will be on Tuesday. Students are using the study guide found in their book on pages 42-44 to review.

Orchestra: We are working on notes and rhythms in the Jupiter piece and In Christ Alone. Hand in practice sheets by Monday if you forgot to bring them Thursday-- 100 minutes per week. Keep up the great work!

Science: We will have an I-Check (test) on Mon. After our I-Check is complete we will begin studying Milkweed bugs and pond ecosystems.

Spanish: We are wrapping up our first unit already. The first unit test will be Sept.13.  Unit content is posted on Moodle.  Also, you may have heard your student singing Spanish songs. Some of these songs are used as “brain breaks” and others help us with our vocabulary acquisition. This week we used MovieTalk which is a silent movie/short shown to the students and we voice over with Spanish. Finally, students completed their first embedded reading. Hopefully your students was encouraged by how much they can read and comprehend in Spanish!

Eighth Grade:

8th Grade Yearbook Pictures: Our 8th grade students will have the opportunity to submit their own yearbook picture once again this year. If this is something that your family would like to do, we would just ask that you are able to submit the photograph to Mr. Witte before Thanksgiving Break. Please make sure that the photograph is a high quality image (300 dpi or more). Usually the file size of the image is at least 2 MB. Anything less than 2MB (and everything that is KB) in size may not work well in the yearbook and look pixelated. I will work with you to make sure we have the correct quality image, but if you are able to check before submitting, that is appreciated.  

8th Grade Baby Pictures: To go along with the yearbook picture request, we also ask that you submit a baby/young child picture that we can use in the yearbook and at graduation. These images can be digital or actual photographs. If you would like to submit an actual photograph, please make sure your child’s name is on the picture or included with the picture. You can turn these pictures into Mr. Witte and he will scan the image and make it work. All digital photos can also be emailed to Mr. Witte.


Algebra: Next Tuesday we will take a test on Chapter 1.

Art: 8th graders are making progress on their project of printmaking using their initials. Next week 8th graders will begin learning about the various printmaking tools and then begin working with these tools. Please check the homework calendar for sketchbook due dates.

Band: Fundamentals, chorales, musical skills, scales, new music, new marimba! Go band! They are sounding great.

Bible(Van Noord): Multiple things are happening - reflecting on the retreat, thinking about the school theme, making a scripture rock, learning a little about Eric Liddell, prepping for a chapel and more.

Geometry: We are preparing for our first unit test this coming Tuesday. For the remainder of the week we will be learning about conditionals and other geometry logic.

History: We will review chapter 5 as we prepare for a test on Thursday covering the events that lead into the American Revolution and a couple of the early battles.

Pre-Algebra: We have completed our quick review with Chapter 1. Our test will be on Tuesday. Students are using the study guide found in their book on pages 42-44 to review.

Orchestra: We will sight read more pieces and review Jupiter and Star Wars. Bring in 120 minutes of practice on your practice sheets. Parents, please sign your initials each week to verify times. Thanks for the super work!

Science: We will continue our study of planetary science. There will be an Inv 1&2 I-Check on Thursday.

Spanish: We are wrapping up our first unit already. The first unit test will be Sept.15.  Unit content is posted on Moodle.  Also, you may have heard your student singing Spanish songs. Some of these songs are used as “brain breaks” and others help us with our vocabulary acquisition. This week we used MovieTalk which is a silent movie/short shown to the students and we voice over with Spanish. Finally, students completed their first embedded reading. Hopefully your students was encouraged by how much they can read and comprehend in Spanish!