Our Holland Christian Middle School curriculum is a continual work in progress, as we endeavor each day of each school year to educate and engage our students in God’s world and His work around them, doing so accurately and for their futures, staying abreast of educational trends and changes, and using the gifts God blesses each individual student with. We look forward to our middle school years together and to working towards our “equipping minds and nurturing each other’s hearts” all in service for transforming the world for Christ.

/ 6th Grade Core Classes

6th Grade English

Students in 6th Grade English discover the power of both words and story as tools for nurturing the hearts and minds of others, as well as for sharing God’s amazing story with each other and those around us. In order to do that, 6th grade English students study the basic building blocks of vocabulary, grammar, writing and reading skills through a workshop method, which means as much choice as possible for topic and text are offered to students–since when students read and write on topics they are passionate about, they learn more effectively. The second semester focuses on a variety of personal and social challenges in reading and writing, and does so through literary analysis, book clubs, and historical fiction–all presented in a God-glorifying way.

6th Grade Mathematics

The goal of our 6th Grade Math class is to approach any problem with a growth mindset, understanding that learning is a process that involves many mistakes and using them as opportunities is a great way to clarify thinking. The topics, covered with the help of our Math Expressions textbook published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, are: number theory, expressions, percents, proportions, algebra, geometry and measurement. Students work to understand that our God is one who brings order out of chaos–even with math and numeric expressions!

6th Grade Science

6th Grade Science teaches students that as Christians we can better understand our Creator by understanding His world around us, and it does so starting with the MiSTAR curriculum, a primarily problem-based (PBA) curriculum that begins each unit with a particular applicable challenge for students to solve or work through. During the first semester, students use models to better understand how God created order in our world through systems like the water system, ecosystems, and our body systems. The second semester focuses on patterns in God’s world and how forces and motion work in harmony or disharmony; for example, students study food webs of our local environment and how introducing invasive species might effect local patterns .

Social Studies

6th Grade Social Studies looks at the people and places on God’s earth primarily through the lens of geography, using a variety of geography’s tools: regions, places, locations, movement of people and cultures, as well as human-environmental interactions.

6th Grade Informational Literature

6th Grade Informational Literature’s overarching goal is to promote and encourage students to be active readers and thinkers of informational text. This nine-week class is an extension of the 6th Grade English class, focusing specifically on how to read informational texts, and then writing a cause and effect essay based on student research using the informational texts of his or her choice.

6th Grade Bible

6th Grade Bible approaches the whole of the Old Testament as God’s Story, focusing in particular on God’s faithfulness to His people throughout. Throughout the year-long class, they survey everything from Genesis through the minor prophets as a foundation for studying the New Testament in 7th and 8th grades.

 

/ 7th Grade Core Classes

7th Grade English

7th Grade English is a combination of reading, writing, and presenting. We discover the power of words that are both an amazing tool and a demanding responsibility. God used words to create the world. And as humans, made in his image, we can use the power of language. In the class, we read stories of various lengths, give speeches of explanation, and write fiction, nonfiction and journals with the main objective of learning how to read, write, and present in a God-glorifying way.

7th Grade Mathematics

In 7th Grade Mathematics we explore and learn algebra, integers, measurement, ratios, rate, proportions, percents, probability, perimeter, area, volume, and scale drawings. We create games out of boxes to learn about probability, then measure probability in a real-world setting with 4th graders from Pine Ridge. We also draw floor plans of a house to learn about scale and percents.

Advanced 7th Mathematics

Advanced 7th Mathematics is offered to students who qualify determined by test scores and teacher recommendation. In 7th grade advanced math we complete both the 7th and 8th grade math standards. This is a class for students that are passionate about math and score in the top 10% of standardized tests. In the first semester we do 7th grade math where we will explore and learn algebra, integers, measurement, ratios, rate, proportions, percents, probability, perimeter, area, volume, and scale drawings. We make a game out of boxes to learn about probability. In the second semester we complete 8th grade math where we explore and learn about linear and exponential situations, symmetry, geometry, probability, statistics and the pythagorean theorem.

7th Grade Science

7th Grade Science teaches students that as Christians, we can better understand our Creator by understanding the world around us. Science topics are taught from an inquiry approach, allowing students to become the scientist as they discover and learn. Middle school science has adapted the Mi-STAR curriculum, and the topics taught in 7th grade come from a wide range of scientific disciplines In the first semester the focus is on exploring energy and matter, and it is made up of the following units: Creating an Energy Plan, Cycling of Energy and Matter by Volcanoes, Moving Thermal Energy, and Life Cycle of Building Materials. The second semester focuses on structure and function, and is made up of the following units: How Humans Affect Plant/Animal Reproduction, Genetics, Water Chemistry and Quality, and Maintaining Ecosystem Services.

Social Studies

In 7th grade our Social Studies focus is on the Eastern Hemisphere Geography, which allows for a wide array of exploration in both physical and human geography. Students will look at the physical makeup of Africa, Asia and Europe as well as the history, economies, governments and culture of the people on those continents.

Technology

7th grade Technology focuses on helping students to navigate their laptop and some of its applications. Mac basics, iMovie, Pages, Logo (a programming language), and some Google Apps, such as Google Sheets, are covered. This is a half-semester class.

7th Grade Literature

7th Literature’s overarching goal is to promote and encourage students to be active readers. This nine-week course makes a point to focus on reading strategies that students will need to for the rest of their lives. We will look at both fiction and nonfiction studying skills that will help students with their reading comprehension and analytical ability all while allowing students to enjoy the process of reading.

7th Grade Art

In 7th Grade Art we focus a lot on our own personal identity and celebrating the things that make us unique: Nearly every project has an aspect of the piece that represents them in some way. We learn basic techniques and skills in various media to build their confidence in their artwork. We also write and reflect on the process and end product as we go, including choosing a piece for an all-school Art Show in the spring. This is a one-semester class.

7th Grade Bible

7th Grade Bible focuses on the life and teaching of Jesus. We discuss the geographic, historical, and religious context in which Jesus lived and taught. This one semester Bible class encourages students to begin to think about Christianity at a deeper level and investigate their own faith.

 

/ 8th Grade Core Classes

8th Grade English

8th Grade English is a variety of reading, writing and speaking. We explore how we can enjoy reading text to learn about God’s world, and use writing to express ourselves clearly to be agents of light in God’s world. We will study what it means to be an independent and community reader, a reader of poetry, short stories, informational texts, and classic novels. Our writing will focus on poetry, literary essays, informational essays, and argumentative essays.

8th Grade Math

8th Grade Math explores different areas of algebra, geometry, and statistics. Students will be introduced to linear, inverse, and exponential relationships, symmetry and transformations, pythagorean theorem, and solving systems of equations. Through these different areas, students focus on problem solving strategies, estimation, and communicating mathematically with graphs, tables, and equations.

Advanced 8th Mathematics

Advanced 8th Mathematics is the first year of our high school math curriculum. In this class students collaborate to learn the math concepts. They study and learn patterns of change, patterns of data, linear and exponential functions, patterns in shapes, quadratic functions and patterns of chance. A lot of the questions in this course are related to real life situations.

8th Grade Science

8th Grade Science focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of God’s creation and sharpening our ability to think and act like scientists. Topics include sound and light waves, natural selection and adaptation, geologic time, risk management of natural risks like severe weather and earthquakes, climate, and astronomy. Through investigations, discussions, and collaborative group projects, students develop their understanding of how we are to best care for the earth and bring shalom to all parts of God’s creation.

8th Grade Social Studies

8th Grade Social Studies is a U.S. history survey course that covers from 1750-1875. Topics covered include events leading to the Revolutionary War, the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, formation of government, War of 1812, westward expansion, Industrial Revolution, Civil War, and Reconstruction.

8th Grade Bible

8th Grade Bible explores major Biblical themes and looks for applications in our daily lives. Topics such as justice, oppression, God’s Promises, redemption and restoration are studied throughout the year. An in-depth study of the book of Acts is the centerpiece of the 8th grade curriculum where the students learn about the role and work of the Holy Spirit in helping the early Church and today’s Church to live out its mission.

/ 6th-8th Grades Common Classes

All students participate in Band, Orchestra, or Choir to meet our fine arts requirement

Art

6th, 7th & 8th Grade Art classes all focus on personal identity and celebrating uniquenesses. We learn basic techniques and skills in various media to build our confidence in our artwork. Students also write and reflect on the process and end product as we go, and all contribute to an all-school art show in the spring. Each year, we add on to what we learned previously and create a digital portfolio of work.

Band

6th, 7th & 8th Grade Bands nurture a lifetime love of meaningful participation in music. We continue to expand our ability to play with good rhythm, balance, tone, intonation, and expression as we strive to praise God through music. Students experience band through large group performances, marching in the Tulip Time and Memorial Day Parades, as well as various opportunities to play solos and in smaller ensembles, including the Middle School Jazz Band.

Orchestra

In 6th, 7th & 8th Grade Orchestras we engage with God’s wonderful gift of music. We refine tone quality, intonation, balance, expression, and rhythm, and develop advanced techniques such as vibrato and shifting. We work together to bring beauty and shalom to our community through music. Students have opportunities to perform a variety of music in solo, small group, and large ensemble situations to bring God honor and glory.

Choir

In 6th, 7th & 8th Grade Choirs we learn who God created each of us to be as we discover how to use the voices he has given us. In our rehearsals, we realize the value of proper vocal technique as we learn to sing a soprano, alto or baritone vocal line. We get the opportunity to expand our knowledge of music theory, study music from different cultures, musical genres, and time periods, and work as a team to bring glory and honor to our God in our rehearsals and performances.

Spanish

The goal of Spanish at Holland Christian Middle School is to cover the material of Spanish 1 for all students. Over the course of three years students learn through speaking, writing, reading and listening how to navigate the vocabulary and structures that are common in the Spanish language. Students learn conversational questions and answers along with common vocabulary that serve as building blocks for their language knowledge. Students who are successful in both Spanish class and on the Spanish placement test at the end of their 8th grade year will move into Spanish 2 upon entering high school.

Physical Education

Holland Christian Middle School Physical Education focuses on one main concept, “This is the body the Lord game me–how can I be physically active with it?” We strive to meet that concept utilizing both Sports Activities and Fitness Workouts. During the Sport Activity Units students are challenged to refine existing skills learned in previous years, as well as expand and develop new skills and understandings. The goal of this learning process is to have students find enjoyment in a variety of different physical activities, find activities that they want to continue engaging in not only now, but into the future. Throughout the Fitness Workouts, the goal is to aid students in improving their overall health. In each semester-long PE course, students learn how and why fitness is important to them now, as well as throughout their adult years.

“I really liked the variety of classes offered and the freedom we have in picking them. Chapel is one of the best times of the week for me to just relax and hear what God is saying to me.”

-KATHERINE HEERES ’17