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Middle School Matters – Sept 13, 2019

General Announcements

Dear Middle School Parents, 

Our 56ers and 78ers enjoy fun and engaging opportunities to learn, serve, and grow throughout the school year. Some of the adventures take our students off campus. For example: 5th Grade Survival Camp, 6th Grade Service Projects, and 78er Exploratories. Parent drivers and chaperones help to make these opportunities possible. 

If you are interested in being a driver and/or chaperone for 56er and/or 78er off-campus events, we are asking you to complete and submit the required “Background Check Authorization” form found on PowerSchool by Friday, Sept 20. 

To complete the form:

By submitting this form, you are authorizing Ada Christian School to perform a Michigan History Background Check through ICHAT.

56: Keep those retreat shirts! They are Texas Orange with our logo on them - we will wear them at concerts and other events too! Please keep an eye on those shirts, and thank you! 

Middle School Chapels and Small Groups - 56 and 78 small groups will begin in October, interspersed with Chapels. Would you like to join us or actually lead a chapel? Let Mrs. VN know.  Parents are welcome to attend chapels, we ask that you sit in the back of the commons; students have assigned seating - - here is the schedule for Sep/Oct

Sept 13 - Chapel #2 - Commons

Sept 20 - Chapel/Service Project Info - 78 in Commons, 6th grade - on own for Service Talk

Sept 27 - 5-8 Gone on projects, serving, etc.

Oct 04 - Chapel #3 - response to opportunities to serve

Oct 11 - SG 01

Oct 18 -  Chapel #4

Oct 24 - No School/CEA

Concert Dates: 

Christmas: Dec 12, 5:00-8:00pm, here at school, 7:00pm start time

Spring: May 07, here at school, 7:00pm start time

Fifth Grade: 

Survival Camp: We leave for Survival Camp Sept 26-27. We will let parent volunteers know next week about whether or not you will be attending. We need more moms for Survival Camp and more dads for Spring Camp. If you volunteered to donate food for camp, please review the sign-up sheet. We will give instructions and reminders related to these items closer to camp.


Band: Mondays: Brass and Percussion. Tuesdays: Woodwinds. Thursdays: Everyone! They are learning SO QUICKLY - it’s awesome. Practice calendars came home - keep track of practice. Try to practice a little every day but at least 40 minutes per week. GO BAND!

Bible: This week we wrapped up the LA MAPS test and talked through the stories of Cain and Abel, as well as Noah. Students have been illustrating each of these stories in their “Pentateuch Books.” Isaiah 64:8 is due Wed Sept 18.

Language Arts: We continue to delve into our survival unit. The 5th graders absolutely love Gary Paulsen’s, Hatchet. Students will also pick out their own survival books to read independently next week. In addition, students will receive their first individualized spelling lists next week (no test for a bit, though). On Friday, there will be a short quiz on the coordinating conjunctions and their functions. We have learned a catchy (corny) song to help us with these conjunctions as well as the acronym FANBOYS.

Library: We kicked off the ACS Mock Newbery Club today. If your child wants to join, he or she will bring home a permission slip that must be signed by a parent. Here is a link to the books we will be reading from September to January. FYI, author Gary Schmidt will be hanging out with the Mock Newbery Club on Oct 14 to talk about his new book Pay Attention, Carter Jones. 

Math: We are finishing up our chapter on place value. The students have been doing very well! There will be a test next week Thursday since MAPS testing will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

NOTE: Homework rule - I understand schedules can be busy and that students have lives outside of school. There will be more math homework coming in the future and in order to minimize stress at home I give the students a 20 minute option rule. This means that if they work on math homework for a focused 20 minutes -and feel they are mastering it- then with an adult’s signature, they may stop the assignment. I ask that families use discretion in this system and inform me of any problems. 

Music: We are working on learning notes, songs for our school theme, STOMP - verses with basketballs….and other musical things too. 

Orchestra: Mondays- all cello players , Tuesdays all violin and viola players and Thursdays - all strings. We are off to a great beginning and even used the bow for numbers 1- 3 this week. ALL students should practice a little every day and turn in 50 minutes on Thursdays! Thanks so much for all of your encouragement.

Science: We’re beginning our unit called “Earth and Sun” this week. We are starting small (with a short study of special Earth particles like air and water) and will soon be zooming out far - even beyond our Solar System!

Social Studies: We began our Geographic Features Video Project this week. Students will continue working on these, researching and reporting what they learned using “Apple Clips” on their iPads. Ask them about it!

Spanish: Our story this week is called “Bebe Malo.” We enjoyed reading and acting our story. Ask your student if they can retell it in Spanish.

Sixth Grade:

Service Project: 6th Graders will be serving in our community on Thu Sept 26 and Fri Sept 27. Read more about our project here. Please sign up on the paper sheet given at parent info night (or email Heather Westrate) to help make this a meaningful experience for our students. We really need and value your help! Student permission forms are due Wed Sept 18.

Chicken duty: Check to to see when your family is on the schedule for weekend chores. If you have a conflict on your assigned weekend, please work in advance to switch with another family. Click here for the instructions for Weekend Chicken Checkup. Questions? Contact Bill Hoo at 616.250.0089 

Devotion Sign-up: Sign up to lead devotions for our 6th Graders on a Thursday (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!

Parent Information Night: It was great to see many of you on Tuesday evening. If you missed our meeting, your child was given a packet of information this week. Please be sure to return the signed iPad contract, Parent Homework, and Service Project forms by Wed Sept 18.


Art: 6th graders continue to work on pattern and their have been some great patterns developed.  Also, 6th graders will be or all ready are thinking about how to visually show God’s hand in their life.  Please check the homework calendar for sketchbook and project due dates.

Band: We are reviewing and remembering and playing new music too. Practice calendars came home - keep track of practice. Try to practice a little every day but at least 40 minutes per week. GO BAND!

Bible: This week we wrapped up the LA MAPS test, had a chicken check-up with Mr. Hoo, and worshiped together. Outside-In Brainstorm and Isaiah 64:8 are due Fri Sept 20 and Outside-In Bag is due Mon Oct 01.

History: We began our World Region Brochure Project this week. Students will continue working on these, researching and learning how to use “Pages” on their iPads. If you have any shoeboxes at home, please send them in with your child. We will need them for an upcoming project. Thanks!

Language Arts: We took the MAP Reading Test this past week and will return to normal reading, writing, grammar, and spelling learning next week. Students will also receive their first individualized spelling lists next week (no test for a bit, though).  

Library: We kicked off the ACS Mock Newbery Club today. If your child wants to join, he or she will bring home a permission slip that must be signed by a parent. Here is a link to the books we will be reading from September to January. FYI, author Gary Schmidt will be hanging out with the Mock Newbery Club on Oct 14 to talk about his new book Pay Attention, Carter Jones. 

Math: We are toward the end of our chapter, Computing with Multi-Digit Numbers. The students did well on their Potato Party Quiz! There will be a test next week Friday since MAPS testing will take place on Monday and Tuesday. 

NOTE: Homework rule - I understand schedules can be busy and that students have lives outside of school. There will be more math homework coming in the future and in order to minimize stress at home I give the students a 20 minute option rule. This means that if they work on math homework for a focused 20 minutes -and feel they are mastering it- then with an adult’s signature, they may stop the assignment. I ask that families use discretion in this system and inform me of any problems. 

Music: We are beginning a project about a special hymn. Ask your student about the story they heard this week! 

Orchestra: We are reviewing Lessons 31, 32 and 33 and just started lesson 34.  We are also learning some new sheet music. Be sure to practice 10 to 15 minutes per day and turn in practice records on Thursdays! Go Strings! 

Science: We’re becoming more confident using microscopes and have even made our own slides for viewing under them. Students will demonstrate their skills for using and caring for microscopes on a test coming late next week.

Spanish: We are well into our first unit of Spanish 1. Students enjoyed our Movie Talk about Wildebeests. Ask them to tell you about it in Spanish! We will have have three in-class assignments next week including a vocabulary check on Friday. While our material is review, students should look over their vocabulary list which is found in their Spanish folder and on Moodle. 

Seventh Grade:

Art: 7th graders have been working on learning about the art elements and principles of art through some notes and will soon begin focusing more closely on form, color, and line through the 1st art project inspired by artist Henry Moore. Please check the homework calendar for sketchbook and project due dates.

Band: Our first quiz was this week. We are starting to learn about our first big solo project. More details soon!

Bible: We have guest speakers coming in for our annual Devotions Week at ACS! Students will be taking notes for observations and applications to deepen their understanding of how members of our community find time to consistently commune with God and reflect on his Word.

Choir: We are doing Erie Canal projects, singing that song and many others too.

History: We are still working through our introductory unit on geography. We are currently learning about different styles of maps and reading them. We are also reviewing 50 geography vocabulary words in class by playing quiz games in class.

Language Arts: If your child has not yet turned in Gary Schmidt’s, Wednesday Wars, to Mrs. Koetje, please do that soon. Thanks. 

Math - 7th:  Students did AMAZING with our review of integers - tests were passed back today. We now switch our focus to Ratios & Proportions. 

Math - Algebra:  This week we have spent a lot of time mastering absolute value equations. There are many steps that need to be considered when doing these, but your kids are crushing it! We will be finishing up MAP testing next week Monday and ending the week with our [delayed] first test. 

Math - Pre-Algebra: This Tuesday we will be taking our first test on Chapter 1. Then on Wednesday we will take our math MAP test in class. 

Orchestra: We are working on 3 new pieces and looking at many different time signatures and  accidentals. We are also working on different bowing techniques. Be sure to tackle the new sheet music and work on the most difficult sections every day to see improvement.

Science: We have spent our week reviewing our results from our time at Ada Lake and learning, in great depth, about the tests that we performed there. 

Spanish: Students are creating and acting a class story using our new vocabulary. Next week we will have three in-class assignments including a vocabulary check. Culture studies will look at Bull Fighting. Students should review their vocabulary this week. It can be found in their Spanish folder and on Moodle. 

Eighth Grade:

MAP testing has begun. 8th Graders will be taking the LA and Reading tests this coming week. Please help them to be sure to have plenty of rest and good food and come with fully charged computers each day. Thank you!


Art: 8th grade has learned about the printmaking tools and will begin the work of cutting their prints out next week.  Please check the homework calendar for sketchbook and project due dates.

Band: We have a lot of talented and capable people playing some very challenging music. It’s really cool to hear. Practice calendars came home - keep track of practice. Try to practice a little every day and at least 40+ minutes per week. GO BAND!

Bible Huttenga: We’ve begun reading The Last Battle by CS Lewis. While we continue to read in class, students will be breaking down each chapter to connect the events and characters to the “three questions” of our school theme (as them about the Reformation questions). Because of scheduling, students

Bible VN: We continue to read the book of Matthew. Ask your student what they liked from the Sermon on the Mount. They turned in wonderful papers about this.

Choir: We are doing a project that revolves around music choices. What music do you like? If you remember what you liked as an 8th grader, are you willing to share with your student? 

History: We continue to balance time in class between studying the road to the American Revolution and researching for NHD. This will continue next week with research days currently planned for Tuesday and Thursday. 8th grade has also been very helpful out by the log cabin and Indian village this week working with Mr. Hoo. Work on this will continue throughout the month.

Language Arts: Onward with NHD! Students will be able to continue researching on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this coming week. On Monday we’ll discuss assignments and check-ins, including the first in a series of weekly NHD “Progress Update” forms, and a brief conference on guiding questions - students must have them written down somewhere (more info can be found on our Moodle page). All the while we are taking serious consideration of theme, so students can refer back to the NHD 2019-2020 Theme Narrative and S.E.A.R.C.H acronym discussed in class (again, both resources on Moodle). We will start the Reading portion of MAP on Tue, Sept 17 and wrap up on Thu, Sept 19.

Math - Algebra: We are working with absolute value equations next week. Plan on a [delayed] test the end of next week or early the week after. 

Math - Geometry: After reviewing some Algebra skills we now begin Chapter 1: The Basics of Geometry. 

Math - Pre-Algebra: This Tuesday we will be taking our first test on Chapter 1. Then on Wednesday we will take our math MAP test in class. 

Orchestra: Wow- we are working on some fun but difficult music. Be sure to tackle some of the hard sections every day so that you see improvement in  your playing. This music will be for our 8th grade ensemble for Solo/ Ensemble performances.

Science: Rotation and revolution have been the key words for this week. One gives us day and night, the other summer and winter. We will be finishing up our discussions of these topics and students should plan on having a test next week Wednesday. 

Spanish: Students are working in groups to create a unique yet patterned story using our new unit vocabulary. Next week we will have three in-class assignments including a vocabulary check. Students should review their vocabulary. They can take home their Spanish folder or use Moodle.

Athletics

If you have any questions regarding your child’s sport season please contact: Angela VanDuyn (

For all up to date announcements, schedules, sport sign-ups please visit our ACS 5th-8th Grade Athletic Website.