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Middle School Matters – Sept 14, 2018

General Announcements

Parent Volunteers:

- Hot Lunch


Retreat Shirts: Please keep these shirts - students might need to wear them for concerts and/or field trips/events, etc.

Concert dates for grades 5-8 7:00pm at ACS:

  • Christmas - Dec 13 
  • Spring - May 09

Picture Forms due Sept 21.

Fifth Grade:

Survival Camp: We will be at camp Sept. 27-28. Check your emails for parent lists. Survival Camp packets will come out next week Thursday or Friday. These packets will have information for parent volunteers, as well as general notes, a packing list, and a permission slip.

Getting ready for Survival Camp, this week Mr. Hoo met with 5th grade students to practice their fire starting skills. It only takes a spark to get the fire started!

5th Grade Flint
5th Grade Flint 2

Art: We will complete our first project next week.

Band: We are learning quickly! We can play 2 pages of songs now and are getting more comfortable with all the things we have to do to make music together. Lessons are available from Dr. Taylor on almost every instrument. Interested? Contact Dr. Taylor () for information and availability.

Bible: We are wrapping up our archaeology unit with archaeologist Neal Bierling. Ask your child about Mr. Bierling’s stories and artifacts. Next week we will be digging up 500-year-old Taino Indian artifacts from the Dominican Republic! Be sure your child is dressed appropriately.

Language Arts: Fifth graders are becoming familiar with ELA warm-ups, notebook expectations, spelling procedures/activities/tests, ipads, writing, and survival activities. We are busy.

Math: We wrapped up our Place Value unit with a chapter test! Next, we will be reviewing multiplication of 2-digit numbers. We also introduced ALEKS this week. ALEKS is an adaptive learning program for math. Ask your child to show you their account - they may work on this site at home if you would like to challenge your child.

Orchestra: We are playing # 1 through 23 and played the Mississippi River Duet in class today! Remember that Mon-all cello players, Tue-violins, Thursday- everyone! Lessons are available on violin, viola or cello. Just contact Mrs. Kladder for times and information.  Practice as often as you can! Go Strings!

PE: Please remember to bring your PE shoes to school. We will continue with our unit of soccer.

Science: We’re using observations about shadows to construct a model for the movement of Earth in space.

Social Studies: Students have been studying maps and how to find absolute locations using latitude and longitude. Next week, students will create their own countries!

Spanish: Three Little Pigs, Santa Clause and King Kong? Just ask your student!

Sixth Grade:

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.

Chicken Checkup & Got Yolk?: The 6th Graders have a chicken and egg business called “Got Yolk?” and will be caring for our 49 chickens and selling eggs this year. Most of these responsibilities are carried out during the school day as there is a team of students assigned to care for the chickens each week. The team is also in charge of feeding and watering the chickens once on Saturday and once on Sunday for the weekend following their week of responsibility during the school day. After determining which Team your child is on, please sign up to take care of chores on the weekend. If your child has questions, he or she should contact the “Eggsecutive Council” member on his or her team. The Eggsecutives will work closely with Mr. Hoo to keep the chickens happy and to get the business running smoothly!

Service Project: 6th Graders will be serving in our community on Thu Sept 27 and Fri Sept 28. Read more about our project. Please sign up to help make this a meaningful experience for our students.

Parent Homework: Please complete the “parent homework” and send it to school with your child. Thanks.

Art: In class we will continue work towards completing our pattern hands and then move on to creating a hand that visually shows how the artist see God in their life. Please check the homework calendar for due dates. 

Band:  We are learning quickly! Lessons are available from Dr. Taylor on almost every instrument. Interested? Contact Dr. Taylor ( for information and availability. Practice calendars are due at the end of September. Practice is a great life skill. Learning to work is super important - - make it fun and encourage your student to give you a concert!

Bible: Students will be presenting their character interview project next week Tue.

Choir: We are learning the story behind the song “It is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Spafford.

Social Studies: Students began studying regions this week, which is our second theme of geography. They will be working on their brochure project next week.

Language Arts: The 6th graders are finally figuring out the routines for class as well as how and when to use their computers. In fact, we worked on computers to bookmark helpful websites (Moodle, ConnectEd, email, etc) as well as learned how to compose an appropriate email. We continue to learn and enjoy Fish in a Tree. Next week students will review the parts of speech with books, games, songs/raps, and mad libs. Students need to have a basic understanding of all of the parts of speech before we delve into a deeper study of a few of them. They will have their first “individualized” spelling test on Friday.

Math: Next week we will begin working with fractions, decimals and percent.

Orchestra: We are making great progress in our books and sheet music also! Continue to turn in your practice record each week! Go Strings!

PE: Please remember to bring PE clothes and shoes to class (Wed/Fri). We will continue with a unit on soccer.

Science: These 6th graders are doing a most excellent job working with microscopes. We will have a test over the parts of the microscope and how to use it this coming Wednesday. We will also enjoy viewing more complex things under the microscope and sharing our knowledge of Science tools with Kindergarten friends this week.

Spanish: What do little chickies say in Spanish? Just ask your student!

Seventh Grade:

Art:  Students will be working on caving and forming their sculptures next week. Please check the homework calendar for due dates.

Band: We are progressing through the book at a good pace, working on tone and fundamentals. Lessons are available from Dr. Taylor on almost every instrument. Interested? Contact Dr. Taylor ( for information and availability. 

Bible (Holtop/Huttenga): We’ve begun our unit on devotions. This coming week, we are honored to welcome several guest speakers (parents, grandparents, principal and even a Calvin College Prof) who will discuss the many ways that they develop a relationship with God. Students will be taking notes throughout the visits and will put what they learn from the speakers into practice.

History: We are preparing for a test next week Wed on our introduction to Geography. Students will have access to a review sheet today and they should keep studying the 50 geography terms that will be on the test this weekend. Test is scheduled for Wed.

Language Arts: 7th graders are beginning their first writing assignment. They have been assigned a wetland organism and will be conducting research to learn more about it. Once enough info has been gathered, the students will develop “voice” in writing - they will write a monologue from the perspective of their organism. This is the first step in the interdisciplinary “Organism Road Sign” project, and come April you will be able to “meet” the organisms during Fine Arts night. 

Math (Holtrop): Chapter 3 was a success and now we are beginning Chapter 1. In this chapter we will discuss ratios, rates and proportions. 

Orchestra: We are working on 3rd position fingerings and played in 3rd for the 1st quiz of the year. This week practice #5-10, also in 3rd position.

PE: Please remember to bring PE clothes and shoes to class (Wednesday/Friday). We will continue with a unit on soccer.

Pre-Algebra (Kiser): Integers! We are quickly reviewing integers. Test on Wednesday. Practice test is on p.88 in textbook.

Spanish: TEST coming up! Sept. 21st over Unit 6. See Moodle

Eighth Grade:

Yearbook Pictures: Each year, many students choose to submit a different picture for the yearbook than the one that the school photographer takes. This is optional-not a requirement. The school pictures are touched up and end up looking great. However, if you would like your student to have pictures done professionally, or if you like to take pictures yourself, you may submit a picture to Henry Witte for the yearbook ().

Here are some requirements for the yearbook picture:

  • The picture must be vertical in orientation
  • The picture should try to be mostly a head and shoulders style shot.
  • The quality of the image is very important.  Please try to take the picture at 300 dpi (or more).  If the image is measured in KB, it's too small. Good images usually range from 2 MB or higher.
  • If you are attaching the image to an email, you are often asked for which size of the image you would like to attach.  Please pick the original size.
  • Be careful to not attach a thumbnail image to your email instead of the original image.  Thumbnails are often very small files that are measure in KB. 
  • If you would like to submit your own image for the yearbook, please send it to Mr. Witte before Thanksgiving Break. Thanks!

Art: Students are working on transferring initial design to their blocks and cutting out these designs using printmaking tools. Please check the homework calendar for due dates.

Algebra: We are finishing up chapter early next week and we will take a quiz on the material on Wed.

Band: We are working on preparing for Band Festival in November. We are trying a number of marches and march style as well as fundamentals and lots of different songs in our method books. September practice calendars are due at the end of the month.

Bible (Huttenga): We will continue to read The Last Battle by CS Lewis. All the while, students are developing answers to questions about trust, authority and faith.

Bible (Van Noord): We are reading and studying the book of Matthew. We read the Sermon on the Mount together on the ACS Mountain.

Geometry: We will continue to learn about logical thinking and connecting past math skills, new geometry terms and other random facts. We will also spend time reviewing substitutions.

History: We have our first test on Tues on Chapter 5, The Road to a Revolution. Students have access to a study sheet and flashcards on moodle to help them review this material. Later next week we will learn about the Declaration of Independence.

Language Arts: Students continue to work on the National History Day project. Next week, a calendar of the project will be released. Students will begin working on a draft of an outline for their essay. 

PE: Please remember to bring PE clothes and shoes to class (Wednesday/Friday). We will continue with a unit on soccer.

Pre-Algebra: Integers! We are quickly reviewing integers. Test on Wednesday. Practice test is on p.88 in textbook.

Orchestra:  The 8th grade strings are playing some difficult music and preparing several pieces for Solo/ Ensemble Festival in Nov.

Spanish: TEST coming up! Sept. 21st over Unit 6. See Moodle.