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Middle School Matters – Sept 21, 2018

General Announcements

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

Digi Know? This week Apple released iOS 12 for iPhones and iPads. Protect Young Eyes has developed a guide complete with instructions on how to set up Screen Time restrictions and other parental controls.

Fifth Grade:

Survival Camp: Packets are coming home today, Sept 21. You must sign your child’s permission slip and send your child with $20 by Tue, Sept 25. Note that you will need to send your child to school with a disposable sack lunch on Thur, Sept 27.


Art: In class we will complete our 1st project and then introduce printmaking.

Band: We are learning so much! We are working on pages 8 and 9 now, with more tonguing, more new notes, more techniques too. Practice is super important to build skills!

Bible: We have been working hard to dig up Israeli homes. Lots of pots, 500-year-old Taino Indian artifacts, and bones have been found. Students have been plotting their finds on “top plans.” Here is a PowerPoint with images of the types of homes Neal Bierling modeled our dig after. Check out the pictures of our dig so far.

Language Arts: The fifth graders have been enjoying the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Through this novel we are learning and studying survival, story elements, vocabulary, figurative language, and descriptive writing. Students should be reading a survival book independently as well so that we can compare and contrast our class novel, our own survival experience (next week), and the one in our independent reading book.

Math: We are working our way through multiplication. This week we touched on exponents, powers, partial products, and the distributive property. We also finished up MAP testing in class.

Orchestra: We are using the bow about ½ of our practice times. We also learned first finger on the D string. Practice is so important! Remember to turn in a practice sheet with 20 minutes of practice time each week. Go Strings!

PE: We will wrap up our soccer unit with a test on Wed, Oct 03.

Science: We’re looking out toward our solar system in the coming week!

Social Studies: Students have been working on creating their own countries! It has been fun to see them apply all that they have learned about maps into this project. They will complete these projects next week.

Spanish: We have acted two stories and we are learning the words to describe a messy house.

Sixth Grade:

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.We really need and value your help, especially on Thursday and Friday morning.

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?: 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!

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


Art: In class we will complete working on our pattern hand and begin work on our hand that visually display how we see God in our lives. Please check the homework calendar for project and sketchbook due dates.

Band: We are working on multiple pages in our book and sheet music too. Ask for a concert! Band meets only once next week due to service projects, then the practice calendar will be due for September. Encourage practice! Go Band!

Bible: Students shared their character interviews this week and they went well! After the interviews, students were challenged to reflect on times in their own lives when God asked them to wait.

Language Arts: The spelling test has been moved to Wed, Oct 03. Next week Tue and Wed we will work on and perform our Parts of Speech group projects,.

Math: Students have worked hard memorizing fractions/decimals. We will continue to study fractions/decimals/percents and how we convert one to another.

Orchestra: We are working on pages 10,11 and 12 and we also have several pieces of sheet music! Remember to bring in 20 minutes of practice each week. Go Strings!

PE: We will wrap up our soccer unit with a test on Wed, Oct 03. Please remind your students to bring PE clothes and shoes to class.

Science: We enjoyed spending time with Kindergarten Scientists this week. We’ll continue to learn new techniques as we use microscopes to study and distinguish between living and nonliving things.

Social Studies: Students have been creating a brochure for a country, studying the physical, political, cultural, and climate regions. These region brochures are due next week Tuesday, Sept. 25. We will also begin studying landforms next week.

Seventh Grade:

Service Project: We are eagerly awaiting the service project next week Thu and Fri Sept 27 and 28. Just a few reminders. Make sure you go over the letter and permission form that was handed to your child on Wednesday.  This has a lot of valuable information for the trip and can answer many questions as well as a permission form which needs to be signed and handed in to Mr. Huttenga. There are also a few additional tools we are looking for, please look over this list to see if you can help in any way.


Algebra (7th): We continue working through chapter 3. 

Art: Students will work on completing the sculpting of their sculpture and getting gesso applied to its surface. Next, we will learn about colors and color schemes. Please check the homework calendar for project and sketchbook due dates.

Band: We are working on multiple pages in our book and sheet music too. Ask for a praise song concert! Band meets only once next week due to service projects, then the practice calendar will be due for September. Encourage practice! Go Band!

Bible (Holtop/Huttenga): Thanks to all the speakers who were willing to come in and share their devotional experience with the 7th graders! While we’ll only be having one Bible class this week, we will transition our focus back to writing our own devotionals.

History: We are beginning a new unit of study focusing on different world religions. We will be learning about how Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam began and how they compare to Christianity. As I tell my students, I teach this not to convert them to other religions, but rather to see the grace, hope, and peace that comes through Jesus Christ.

Language Arts: 7th graders are creating monologues for the organisms they were assigned for the intercurricular Organism Road Sign project. We’ll continue to use modifier vocabulary (adjectives & adverbs) to describe the voices of characters - but we’re also taking things a step further by noting the behaviors of these characters to explore why characters develop the voice they do. This will blend in with our overall focus of empathy.

Math (Holtrop): We will spend time learning about proportions.

Orchestra: We are expanding our skills in 3rd position and getting great tone and intonation.  Many students have pieces to work on for Solo and Ensemble Festival - Nov 08. The 7th graders have so many great pieces so be sure to ask for a concert! Turn in your practice sheet each week.

PE: We will wrap up our soccer unit with a test on Tue, Oct 02. Please remind your students to bring PE clothes and shoes to class.

Pre-Algebra (Kiser): We will be working with fractions that contain variables and integers.

Science: We will monitor our producer experiment and continue looking into the impact producers have on ecosystems. 

Spanish: The Spanish Test was today. We will start a new unit next week.

Eighth Grade:

Service Project: We are eagerly awaiting the service project next week Thu and Fri Sept 27 and 28. Just a few reminders. Make sure you go over the letter and permission form that was handed to your child on Wednesday. This has a lot of valuable information for the trip and can answer many questions as well as a permission form which needs to be signed and handed in to Mr. Huttenga. There are also a few additional tools we are looking for, please look over this list to see if you can help in any way.

Yearbook Pictures: Please remember that you may email Mr. Witte your own yearbook picture at anytime. Deadline for sending those images in is Thanksgiving Break. 


Algebra: We are working through chapter 3 learning how to solve and work with linear equations.

Art: 8th graders are working on printing their initial blocks. Please be preparing for the to be announced quiz. Please check the homework calendar for project and sketchbook due dates.

Band: We are working on multiple pages in our book and sheet music too. Ask for a praise song concert! Band meets only once next week due to service projects, then the practice calendar will be due for September. Encourage practice! Go Band!

Bible (Huttenga): We’ll only have one day of Bible this coming week due to the service project. We’ll be getting close to the end of our unit on CS Lewis’s The Last Battle.

Bible (Van Noord): Matthew, The Parables, The Lord’s Prayer, and projects related to these things. Bible meets only once next week.

Geometry: Students will be taking their Unit 2 Test on Tuesday. 

History: We are continuing our study of the American Revolution for the next couple of weeks.

Language Arts: 8th graders will be submitting the drafts of their NHD outlines to Google Classroom by Wed, Sept 26. Please be patient as Mr. Witte and Mr. Huttenga give considerable feedback to the drafts - we want to be thorough, so this process does take some time. In the meanwhile, students will be able to transition into a more “normal” LA routine. Independent reading will be a major focus this year, so students need to come prepared with a novel to read every day from here on out. If your child does not yet have a card for Kent District Libraries or Grand Rapids Public Libraries, it would be wise to get one soon.

PE: We will wrap up our soccer unit with a test on Tue, Oct 02. Please remind your students to bring PE clothes and shoes to class.

Pre-Algebra: We will be working with fractions that contain variables and integers. Chapter 2 tests were handed back to students yesterday.

Orchestra: The 8th grade orchestra is working on so many great pieces of sheet music and will select some of them for their ensemble for Solo/Ensemble  Festival on November 8th. Keep up the great practice records!  

Science: We continue our investigations of planetary science focusing on the moon next week. 

Spanish: The Spanish Test was today. We will start a new unit next week.