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Hastings Middle School                                                                                                      February Issue
Tiger Connection

A note from the Principal
The 3rd Quarter is well under way now and students are back into the routine of school. It’s been a strong start to the 2nd semester and we see students working hard to improve every day. I get to visit classrooms often and watch students and teachers in action and it is truly amazing!
By the time you get this, NeSA Writing testing should be well under way. The 8th graders are testing on January 20, the 6th graders on February 11 & 12, and the 7th graders on February 18 & 19. They will be writing descriptive essays based on a prompt provided for them. Please try to avoid scheduling appointments on the testing days.
You may have heard students talk about B.I.S.T. This stands for Behavior Intervention Support Team. We use this to help correct behavior issues at the middle school. If a student is not following classroom rules, they will get a warning first. If the inappropriate behavior continues, the student goes to the “safe seat”, which is a desk in the classroom itself. At that point, if class can continue, then the problem is solved and the student fills out a self-reflection sheet.  If the student continues to disrupt class from the safe seat, then the student is escorted by an administrator or counselor to a “buddy room”. This is another classroom at a different grade level where the student goes to wait out the rest of the period. The rest of the day continues as normal for that particular student. Before that student can get back into the class he/she was “bisted” from the day before, the student must process with the teacher. The best part about this plan is it gives the teacher and student a chance to talk through the issue without other kids around and after the emotion of the situation has settled down. Most of the time, this will fix the problem, but if not, then there may be bigger consequences.  There are a lot of checkpoints to the plan where students can turn things around and not get themselves into bigger trouble.
The Adams County Spelling Bee will be on Thursday, February 18, at Juniata. We will have 6th, 7th, and 8th graders competing again this year. At the time of this writing, students are having a spell-off to see who is going to go and represent HMS.
Quiz Bowl competition is in February as well. The 6th grade teams will be going to the ESU9 Quiz Bowl competition at the North Shore Church on Tuesday, February 9. The 7th/8th grade teams will compete at the North Shore Church on Thursday, February 11. This is open to the public, so parents are welcome to come and watch.
As a reminder, we use the 20 degree rule to decide if students are let inside in the morning. If it is 20 degrees or colder, or if the wind chill is 20 degrees or colder, students are let inside to sit by their lockers until the first bell rings.
February 19 will be a big day for 8th graders. There will be a Science Fair going on for 8th graders who wish to display their science projects and we will have a Texting/Driving simulator vehicle in the building that 8th graders will get to try out. It is sponsored by ASAAP and will help students see the dangers of texting while driving.
The office is getting a lot of calls concerning delivering messages to students during the school day. We realize that some of these can’t be avoided as issues arise, but we want to minimize the amount of times we need to interrupt classes.  We ask for your help with this as well in whatever capacity you are able to plan ahead. Thank-you!
If you haven’t been on our school website lately, check it out. Hilary Caldwell, Keyboarding teacher, is the website coordinator. She does an amazing job keeping it current and colorful! There are new things on the website all the time as well as links to teachers, lesson plans, reports, etc. The website address is www.ms.hastingspublicschools.org.
If you know of anyone who is not on the weekly email list and would like to be, email me at dessink@esu9.org or call the school at 402-461-7520.
Thanks for your continued support throughout the school year.
David Essink
News from the Classroom
6th Grade:
In sixth grade reading, we’re working with nonfiction skills to prepare our students for succeeding on the state reading test and in the nonfiction reading they do in school and life.  We’re working on text-dependent analysis questions and using information from text to support their writing.  We’ll be taking our NeSA test on March 30th - April 1st (it is now a three-day assessment).  In the world of social studies, sixth graders will be studying ancient Rome.  History Day students will be meeting every Thursday from 3:35 to 4:00 p.m.  Sixth grade English students are working hard on learning how to write a well structured, detailed essay, as well as learning a little bit more about using verbs effectively in their writing.  Math students continue to work with performing different operations with fractions, and will move on to proportions, ratios, and other number formats.  In sixth grade science, students will work with hands-on projects to explore kinetic and potential energy.
            Students on 7A are working hard. In math, 2nd period is just finishing inequalities and will be moving on to ratios. In 4th period, students are learning to find percent of change and will be taking a big test soon over chapter six. Sixth period is covering two-step equations and inequalities and will soon be tackling distributive order and reviewing a few old skills. Periods 7, 8, and 9 just completed their study of converting decimals into percent.  In science, students are just starting a unit on genetics and will be looking at the cell division processes as well as Mendelian genetics. Nonfiction is the focus of reading this semester. Students will cover main idea and details, text features, and patterns of organization. They will be studying hard for their NESA test. Lastly, students are focusing on descriptive writing in English. They are writing a place essay and an object essay. Keep up the hard work 7A!
7B math students are working their way into percents.  They will soon be learning to convert with percents, decimals, and fractions.  This will help them to be able to calculate percent of increase and decrease.  We will also spend some time talking about sales tax, tips, and discounts. 
7B pre-algebra students will continue their work with percentages and also find percents of numbers.  After percents, they will begin to solve two-step equations.  These equations will contain positive and negative fractions and decimals.
7B social studies is learning about the details of the American Revolution.
In science, students are starting a unit on genetics. They are finishing photosynthesis and cellular respiration.  Also, they will be learning their 2nd set of 50 Greek and Latin root words.

In reading, we have been reviewing point of view and character traits from first semester.  We are also looking back over figurative language.  Main ideas, supporting details, and inferencing will be our focus for the next few weeks.  We will continue to have One Pagers due each month this semester over the SSR books the students are reading.  These are considered an assessment for reading and are very important!  Please ask your student what they are reading!
We are busy writing descriptively in English class. Your child will have quite a bit of homework the next several weeks as we prepare for the district writing test. We've made goals for our next test and are currently working towards them. Once we finish with descriptive writing, we will move into research. Thank you for your continued support at home. 
8th Grade:
In 8th grade English the students have had fun practicing their writing skills in preparation for the State Writing test, which was on January 20.   We are now on to reading short stories to help prepare for the NeSa reading test. Along with short stories they will be continuing to read and respond to Articles of the Week.  L to J weekly vocabulary quizzes will continue as practice for the final test in May.  Students will need to know all 85 terms at that time.
Algebra students are finishing a unit on systems of equations and will begin learning about exponents.  Pre-Algebra students are working with inequalities and will then move on to a unit about proportions.  The annual Mathcounts competition will be held on Feb. 10th in Kearney.  Eight 8th graders have earned the right to go.  We wish them luck!
This month in science we are taking an interstellar trip through SPACE!  We are layering our Space unit, which means we will learn it in three BIG chunks, Objects in Space, Motion in Space and finally Lunar Phases. As we learn about each layer, we will demonstrate our knowledge of each layer by completing a project from our grid.  Our grid includes 12 different options to pick from.  Students get to take control of how they wish to demonstrate their knowledge using their strengths.  The grids include writing a short story, building a model, making a poster and many more options.  Also note that Trifold posters are due January 30th, all students will need a 48in x 36in trifold for their science fair experiment.  
8th Grade Social Studies:  In February, social studies classes will explore the forces of imperialism and progressivism in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  We will also learn about the role of the United States in Latin America during this time period.  Finally, we will examine the causes of World War I and the role the U.S. played in that conflict.
Last Call for Yearbooks!
It's not too late to purchase a yearbook.
Forms are in the office.
Books are $22 and will be delivered to students in May.
Forms must be turned into the office by February 15.
Questions?  Email mkerr@esu9.org or mbeave@esu9.org
Music Notes
                  Vocal Music
8th Grade Vocal Music Concert – Tuesday, March 1st, 7:00 in the HMS Commons
Featuring the 8th Grade Choir, 8th Notes, Girls’ Glee, & Boys’ Ensemble
Congratulations to the following 7th and 8th graders that were chosen to attend the Kearney Middle School Honor Band (February 6th):
Hailey Haase 
Lyndie Eddleman
Sarah Spilinek
Mathew Kleinjan
Carter Wenburg
Ashley Long
Upcoming Band Concerts:
8th Grade - March 7th, Hastings High School Auditorium, 7:30pm. 
                   ***Students will need to be ready to warm-up 
                   in the High School band room no later than 7:10pm.
7th Grade - March 8th, Hastings High School Auditorium, 7:30pm. 
                   ***Students will need to be ready to warm-up 
                        in the High School band room no later than 7:10pm.
6th Grade- April 28th, Hastings Middle School Commons, 7:00pm.
                  ***Students will need to be ready to warm-up 
                       in the Middle School band room no later than 6:40pm.
We are looking for 6th, 7th and 8th grade parent sponsors that would be interested in traveling with the Choir and Band students to Malcolm, NE, for the Malcolm Music Contest. 
The dates for this event are:
March 17th - 8th grade band, Jazz Cats, and Small Ensembles (Afternoon-Evening)
March 18th - 8th notes and Solos. (Morning-Evening)
Departing and arriving times will be sent out once we have solid times for each group. 
If you would like to be a sponsor, please contact either Mrs. Janda or Mr. Ehmke for more information. 
Meetings will take place on Thursdays from 3:35-4:00
Students will be competing in the Hastings District History Day Competition on March 9th
In honor of American Heart Month, all 6th grade students have the opportunity to participate in a dodgeball tournament to help raise money for the American Heart Association. The dodgeball tournament is happening after school on February 29 from 3:45-5:15 at HMS. Students do not need to donate to participate, however students will receive a t-shirt with a donation of at least $10. Forms with more information are being sent home with each 6th grade student interested in participating. Please have the forms and donations returned by February 12. No donation is too small! Together we can make a difference!
Mrs. Kuhlmann and Mr. Marquardt
6th Grade PE Teachers
Future Problem Solvers
The FPS students are gearing up to complete their qualifying problem on February 10th.  Their topic is “Recovering from Natural Disaster.”  The top scoring teams from throughout the state will go on to compete at the state competition in April.  Good luck!

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