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Hastings Middle School                                                                                                      Dec./Jan. Issue
Tiger Connection

A note from the Principal :
Happy holidays! I hope everyone was able to enjoy the Thanksgiving break with family and friends. It was a great chance for students and staff alike to re-charge their batteries and get ready for a strong finish to the semester. First semester ends before Winter Break, so the last day for middle school students will be Thursday, December 18. Dismissal will be at regular time that day. The first day back after break will be Monday, January 5.
      Now that we are in the colder part of the year, I wanted to remind everyone of our policy outside in the morning. When students are dropped off in the morning, they can either be dropped off at the front door for breakfast, which starts at 7:45, or at their pod area. If the temperature or wind chill is below 20 degrees, we have students come inside and sit in front of their lockers. The first bell rings at 8:05 so if students arrive before that, they will need to dress for the weather and be prepared to stand outside unless it is below 20 degrees. The other option in the morning if students arrive early is to sit in the Commons area and study or play board games. We are fortunate to have several college students who come and help supervise that area every day. The Commons area is supervised starting at 7:00 a.m. On Monday and Wednesday mornings, our 8th grade PE teachers also provide an activity time in the gym from 7:30-8:00. Everyone is welcome to attend but must be ready to participate. For school closing information in the event of bad weather, the best way to find out is from the local tv and radio stations.
      If you haven’t checked out the middle school website lately, you can view it at www.ms.hastingspublicschools.org. There are a lot of pictures and links to information on the site. Lesson plans for all classes are also available under each team link. On the left side of the website are links to individual teachers if you need to contact your child’s teacher.  There is also a link that says Bullying and School Safety Reports. By clicking on that link, anyone can report a bullying incident or a safety issue that needs attention. You can give your name or remain anonymous when filling out the report. We want all students to be safe and free from bullying and we will check out every report that is filled out. Of course, you can always call the school with concerns as well.
     We will again be participating in the “Pennies for Patients” campaign that raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  This will start after the Holiday Break and will include several different activities. Watch for more details of how students and parents can get involved. Last year, HMS was the top fundraising school in the state for this organization.
     Encourage your child to get involved in the different clubs and activities offered at HMS. Research shows that students who are involved in activities often do better in school and are happier about going to school. This can carry over to their classroom performance and other areas of life as well. Check out our daily announcements on Power School or sign up for a weekly e-mail to get the latest news. If you are not on the e-mail list, send me an e-mail, and I will get you added. You can also add grandparents or other relatives to the master list if you wish. My e-mail is dessink@esu9.org.
     Finally, I want to thank parents again for being supportive of the middle school as we work to educate your children and help them grow into productive young adults. The middle school years can be challenging and we want to work together to “assure the essential, and expand the possible.”
 
David Essink
 
6th Grade News:
            English: By the end of the quarter, we will wrap up our five paragraph
            essay.  We will start off January with descriptive writing and prepare for
            the District Writing assessment.
 
            Reading: We are wrapping up our fiction units.  We will take a test t
            assess reading comprehension at the end of the semester.
 
            Social Studies: We will study ancient Greek civilization to end the semester.
 
            Science: We are concluding our study of atoms and will discuss physical
            and chemical properties.  Ask your child about some fun experiments we
            will do this month.
 
            Math: We will continue working on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and
            dividing fractions.
 
***Watch the HMS website/6A (or 6B) lesson plans for specific dates.***
 
6A  NEWS!
Start gathering your "Fabulously Festive" or "Horrific Holiday” attire. We will have some fun with this on Thursday, Dec. 18.  Ask your child for more information as the date gets closer.  We'd love to see everyone participate and decked out in your holiday "finest."
 
 
7A News:
Science:  We just wrapped up our Ecology Unit. We are getting started on cells and cell functions.  We will be exploring microscopes and different ways to make slides.

Social Studies:  We are moving into the formation of the Thirteen Colonies and will be studying the French & Indian War.

English:  Students are finishing up their novels; they will be completing a project based on their novel.  

Reading:  Seedfolks projects were presented in class and are now on display in the library.  We are currently studying point of view, inferences, and characterization in our fiction unit.

Math:  In 7A math, students will be learning to solve two step equations.  Pre-Algebra students will be doing computation with rational numbers.  

 
 
7B News:
English:  We are almost finished reading our Literature Circle novels.  If you have not asked your child about their novel, please ask.  We have completed several writing assignments in response to the novel.  We will soon begin our final projects.  Each project will require hard work, writing, and creativity.  

Reading:  
We are headed into the final stretch of the semester with characterization and point of view being our focus.  Some of our students will be taking the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) in the library and One Pagers are due on December 5th.  We will have another One Pager due before break, and these are graded as an assessment, so ask your students if they are getting their books read.
                       
Math:  
7B math classes have been in full gear for a while now. The 2nd period class just finished up with chapter 4 which covered some new Algebraic concepts. Periods 4 and 7 just completed chapter 2 and we are jumping into chapter 3 before Thanksgiving break which is on adding and subtracting fractions. Periods 6, 8, and 9 are in the middle of chapter 4 and we are working on solving one-step equations by adding, subtracting,             multiplying, and dividing.
 
8th Grade News:
English:  December is a busy month for our 8th grade English students!  We are writing daily in preparation for the practice State Writing assessment on December 17. All of the practice will help us be ready for the Nebraska State Writing Assessment which will be on January 28.
            Please help your student by doing the following:
                            •schedule appointments for another day
                            •ask them about writing five paragraph essays
                            •encourage them to get a good night's rest before the test
                            •have your student shower the morning of the test
                            •have your student eat a healthy breakfast the day of the test
 
We will take the L to J Midterm on December 10 & 11. Your student has flashcards to study. Quizlet is also a great source to practice! Ask your student about this helpful computer site! :)
 
 We will be saying farewell to our student teachers Mr. Butler and Mr. Hoglund on December 12. We will miss them and wish them success in finding a teaching position.

Reading:  Students are busy in Reading this semester. They are beginning a study of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol during the month of December.  Students will get the opportunity to perform the play version in the classroom, just in time to get into the holiday spirit.  In addition, students are finishing their self-selected novels for the semester. They will be presenting a variety of book projects during the week of December 15-18. This is an opportunity for the students to showcase their understanding of their favorite novel read this quarter. When students return in January, they will turn their focus toward nonfiction. 
 
Algebra: Students just finished a unit on slope which included an activity where students bungeed Barbie from a balcony with rubber bands tied to her feet. Students collected data and created a line of best fit to determine how many rubber bands they should use to get Barbie closest to the ground without killing her.
 
Pre-Algebra:  We will finish the semester with a unit on the Pythagorean Theorem and begin second semester with our data unit in correspondence with the Science Fair.
 
Social Studies: 8A & B students will learn about events that led to our nation's bloodiest conflict, the Civil War.  Included in this unit of study will be lessons covering the history of slavery and three acts of Congress; the Compromises of 1820 and 1850, and the Kansas Nebraska Act, which created sectional differences that could not be overcome without bloodshed.  Other important topics studied include: the abolitionists movement and the underground railroad, Fugitive Slave act, Bleeding Kansas and John Brown, and the election of 1860 and secession. The last week before our break, students will learn essential information about the Civil War including important leaders, battles, &  the surrender plus statistics that define the war as the             costliest in American history.

 In January, students will take a close look at our government's role in American Indian wars that forced natives to move off of land provided to them through treaties, and then forcibly moved to reservations, particularly taking a close look at Lakota Sioux. Students will learn about Native American leaders, such as Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, and Crazy Horse, and the roles they played in the struggle between our government and the Sioux tribe that led to the last great battle at Wounded Knee.  Students will use the novel, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," written by Dee Brown, as their main source of information.
 
Science: Eighth grade is gearing up for the third annual science fair.  This is an opportunity for students use their curiosity and skepticism to inquire about the world around them.  Truly, the world of science is opened up to all students.  Students decided upon any branch of science in which to investigate.  The actual fair and formal  presentation will take place on February 27th, 2015.  All parents are welcome to join us in the main gym for the event.  If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to e-mail kslechta@esu9.org or bjohnson@esu9.org.
            Science Fair Time Line:
            Review Scientific Method - December 1-5th
            Select Topic: December 5th
            Procedural Steps: December 18th
            Experiment/Investigation: WINTER BREAK (Students complete the experiment outside of school)
            Analysis of Student Data: January 19th
            Class Presentations: February 17th
            Science Fair: February 27th
            Regional Competition: March 10th
            NE State Science Fair:  April 17th

 
Thank You to the Booster Club for all of the support given to the students at HMS!
            The Booster Club made a $500 donation toward the money raised during the silent auction the staff held.  The money raised is transferred to Chamber Bucks and given to students in need this holiday season.
 
HOLIDAY BAKING CLUB
            Attention all bakers!  Starting Monday, December 1st, Miss O’Neill is meeting with HMS student & teacher bakers to craft treats for the Christmas holiday. Students had to sign-up to be part of the Club.  Since November 17th, ALL students in ALL grade levels, male or female, were able to sign up for Baking Club.   Those who signed up for the club received a note on Monday/Tuesday before Thanksgiving Break that indicated what day(s) they were baking and the ingredients they needed to bring.  The club meets three times after school before Christmas, although students will not bake during every session. This is a popular club and we are thankful for all who signed up!
 
YEARBOOKS
            It’s not too late to order a yearbook for the 2014-2015 school year.  
Buy your student’s yearbook for $22 now through February 13, 2015.  Forms are available in the office and must be returned with payment by the deadline.
            Yearbooks can be ordered on-line with a credit card at http://www.jostens.com.  
Click the link for yearbooks and continue clicking to find Hastings

Middle School.
            Can’t remember if you’ve already purchased a book?  There is a list of students who have already purchased books hanging by the drinking fountains in each pod.  Your child can check that list.

            Yearbooks will be delivered in May.
 
Yikes! Found on Campus!
            Prescription pills are being picked up by teaching staff and turned into the nurse.  They were identified as medication for treatment of ADD, BiPolar Depression, mood stabilization, and anti-inflammatory meds.
            Safety for our students, your children, is a high priority at HMS. We ask that as parents you follow the policy rules regarding medications brought to school: 1. They must come in their original container with current label, 2. Have appropriate paperwork signed, and 3. Be administered in the office.
            Mornings are hectic and if we can help by giving medication(s) at school, please talk to the school nurse.
 
MUSIC NOTES
Select Group Concert
Monday, December 15th 7:00 Middle School Commons
(Minor 6th, Dominant 7ths, 8th Notes, Girls' Glee)
 
8th Grade / High School Concert
Tuesday, December 16th 7:30 High School Auditorium
(8th Grade Vocal Music Classes, 8th Notes)
 
Thank You!
Mrs. Janda and Mrs. Dowling would like to THANK the HMS 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students, staff, administrators, and parents for your encouragement, flexibility, and support during our concert preparations and performances.  We love teaching and sharing the gift of music!  During this month we hope you have time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. J Merry Christmas Fa,la,la,la,la…la,la,la,la!


 
    

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