Middle School at ACS is designed to nurture the whole child. All aspects of the curriculum, including extracurricular opportunities, are intended to help students see and experience God in their everyday lives. In 6th grade, it is our goal to equip students to navigate the middle school years in a positive and Christ like manner, starting in the fall with an overnight camp experience and continuing throughout the entire school year as we grow together as a classroom community.
Bible: We use CSI’s newest curriculum, Walking With God and His People. Our year starts with a study of the inspiring book of Colossians, including a study of the life of Paul the Apostle and an overview of his mission to the Gentiles. We then delve into the New Testament, picking up with Jesus’ life and ministry through his death and resurrection. Following a unit on Pentecost, we explore Paul’s Missionary Journeys. Sixth graders have many opportunities for personal growth and response through writing devotionals, memorizing and reciting Bible verses, creating graphic faith expressions, completing and presenting projects, and writing in our Faith Journals.
Language Arts: This subject aims to develop strong skills in all facets of language arts. Over the course of the year, sixth graders engage in in-depth novel studies, which address a wide array of language arts skills, as well as allow for faith-based discussions. The spelling component expands on phonics skills while promoting contextual comprehension and higher-level thinking skills. Students also participate in various writing projects, such as narrative, argumentative, and informational writing. In addition, grammar studies using the Easy Grammar program and independent reading requirements all combine to provide a well-rounded language arts experience.
Math: We use Big Ideas Math: Modeling Real Life. Big Ideas offers a balance of learning procedures and conceptual understanding. The units we study in 6th grade focus on factors and multiples; using percentages; operations with fractions and decimals; shapes and angles and their relationships; and an introduction to algebra. We learn study skills and practice good habits to be successful in any math classroom. Through our study of math, we are able to learn a little more about our amazing Creator God and His orderly design.
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 Mi-STAR Science units, nature-based experiences, and intentional faith-based reflection opportunities. We use a three year rotation of topics. In year one the focus is on the water cycle, human anatomy, plant growth, and ecosystem interaction. Year two focuses on the cycling of energy in the environment through plate tectonics, cycling of energy in matter, and genetics. The final year of the rotation covers sound and light energy, gravity and the solar system, and weather. Each topic gives us the opportunity to learn more about the wonderful order in which God created the universe.
Social Studies: We begin middle school Social Studies with the TCi Geography Alive! curriculum. In sixth grade, our first unit is all about reading and creating different types of maps. We also learn how to relate multiple maps to get a better understanding of that area. We then focus on the seven regions of the world including: US & Canada, Latin America, Europe & Russia, Africa, Central Asia, Monsoon Asia and Oceania & Antarctica. In all units throughout the year, we use the lens of our Christian faith to analyze past decisions to help us learn how to make future decisions. We also compare and contrast physical geography with human geography and how our Christian lens can impact both.
Literature/Library: Sixth grade students have one fifty minute Literature class period, half of it spent in the library and half of it spent in the classroom reading. In the library, students receive tips about good reading habits, listen to read-alouds, have discussions that aim to meet sixth grade reading standards, and learn about the story God is writing. They also have time to find, read, and check-out books they want to read independently.
Physical Education: Sixth Grade students receive two fifty minute sessions of PE each week. Many different activities and sports are used in order for students to find areas they enjoy and excel. Students should be using the skills learned successfully in modified games and activities.
Art: Sixth Grade students receive forty-five minutes of art instruction each week. In sixth grade there is an emphasis on working as a team on projects. It is tricky to learn to “let go” of their own ideas and compromise as a team. This helps them start to see what is important to them in their art and what is ok to compromise.
Music: Sixth Grade students are involved in both band (50 minutes/ 3 days) and 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. Every 6th grader is required to be in band and choir. At ACS, we strongly believe that students should be exposed to both band and choir to become well rounded and discover those gifts that God has given them. 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. Students will also participate in the Annual Christmas Concert in December and the Spring Band and Choir Concert in May.
Art: Sixth Grade students receive fifty minutes of art instruction each week. In sixth grade, students are given a bit more freedom and choice to solve artistic problems. Students continue studying the Elements of Art and are introduced to the Principles of Design. They begin to internalize the concepts learned in previous years and use them in their own style.
Spanish: Sixth grade students have one fifty minute Spanish class each week. Through interactive games and activities, students begin working through the Savvas Realize curriculum. They begin with vocabulary and grammar topics related to the following units: “What do you like to do?” “And you, what are you like?” “Your day at school,” and “Your classroom.” Cultural activities and biblical instruction are woven in throughout the units. Students begin to develop listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills in the Spanish language.