Middle school at ACS is designed to nurture the whole child: intellectually, socially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We strive to ensure that every lesson, experience, and activity our students have helps them see and experience God, His loving presence and sovereign control in every aspect of our lives. In eighth grade, we seek to develop responsible independence and discernment in our students as they prepare to leave ACS and move on to high school.
Bible: We use the CSI curriculum Walking With God And His People. Using this curriculum, we cover broad topics: Jesus’ life, the beginning of the Church, the spread of the gospel as described in Acts, church history, and developing spiritual habits (disciplines) in our lives. In all of this we see God’s faithful, loving hand throughout the story of His people and continuing into our part of His story as well.
Language Arts: We do not use a specific curriculum but utilize lessons and concepts from several sources, including Glencoe Literature: The Reader’s Choice and Write Source. The skills and concepts we work to develop include grammar, punctuation (particularly use of commas and semicolons), and various aspects of writing. Some of the units we do include a study of Edgar Allen Poe’s writing, a study of a novel, a study of science fiction, and a research paper. Through class discussions and writing, we reflect on Christian themes present in what we read and discover how this literature is relevant to our lives as Christian young people today.
Algebra: This is one of two math options for eighth grade students. Placement is based on various criteria, including a placement test and teacher recommendation. We use Big Ideas Math algebra. The concepts covered include using algebra to describe and explain; linear equations and inequalities; linear, exponential, and quadratic relationships; powers and roots; linear systems; and polynomials and factoring. Students can earn high school credit by meeting certain requirements. As we study algebra, we are given a glimpse of the creative intricacies of our great God.
General Math: For students that have decided they are not ready for Algebra, we offer an 8th grade math class that uses Big Ideas Math Grade 8. In addition to continual review of important skills, a major focus of the year is linear relationships, including solving equations, linear systems, and linear inequalities. We also spend time exploring exponents, functions, angles and similarity, square roots and Pythagorean’s Theorem.
Science: Middle School Science is taught from the Biblical perspective of creation (Genesis 1) and God as the creator of our magnificent universe. The curriculum is a hands-on, problem-solving based curriculum, in which students learn through activities and experiments through a combination of Battle Creek Science units, nature-based experiences, and intentional faith-based reflection opportunities. The main focus for the year is God’s creation in biology. We learn about the wonderful bodies God has given us as well as the intricacies of the plants all around us.
Social Studies: (For 2019-20, ACS is switching to History Alive by TCI) Eighth grade social studies focuses on American History. Using the History Alive! Curriculum by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, we study the time period from the 13 American colonies through Reconstruction in the 19th century. Documentary films, historical fiction novels, projects, and frequent written responses enhance the curriculum throughout the school year. We also spend some time discussing current issues and commemorating historically significant days such as Veteran’s Day, 9/11, Constitution Day, etc. As we study history, we frequently make it a point to discover where God’s hand has been clearly evident throughout our history and particularly where His people have worked effectively to bring about positive change.
Art: Eighth Grade students receive one or two (student choice) fifty-minute sessions of art instruction each week. In eighth grade there is a push to produce art that is technically proficient, as well as personally satisfying. Students do many projects that involve personal choice making displaying their understanding of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design.
Music: Eighth Grade students are involved in band (55 minutes/ 2 days) and/or choir (50 minutes/ 1 day). The mission of the music program at Allendale Christian School is to allow students to discover and develop the musical gifts that God has given them through an appreciation of, enjoyment of, and success in music. In band and choir, students will develop the following musical skills through performance: creating a clear tone with voice and chosen instrument, reading pitches on the treble and bass clef, reading a variety of musical symbols, and performing contrasting parts.
Physical Education: Eighth Grade students receive one or two (student choice) fifty-minute sessions of PE each week. Students know what the correct form looks like for a skill and should be able to use it correctly in game situations. They also should be able to provide appropriate corrective feedback to others for skills. Team sports, individual sports, recreational activities, and a variety of fitness activities are used to keep students motivated and excited about physical activity.
Technology: Eighth Grade students receive one fifty minute class related to technology each week. Student learning is focused on using technology responsibly to bring glory to God. Students spend time coding, engaging in research as a part of a 'Genius Hour', discussing relevant technology issues, and implementing their technology skills in the classroom.
Extra opportunity for 7th and 8th grade students: In 7th and 8th grade, students have one 'specials choice' period where they are able to select from options that include classes include Art (clay, painting, etc.), Music (ukulele, film music, etc.) and PE (competitive sports, individuals sports, etc.). This allows students to take an extra class in an area of interest to them.