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Eighth Grade Artists Study Baroque Era
by Brandy Edgren

by Levi Kruse

by Makynzee Collier
The 8th grade Individual Experiences in Art Class recently studied the Baroque era of art.  Baroque art is known for its drama, its dark emotional palettes, and its sense of introspection.  We specifically looked at works by Carvaggio and Gentileschi which portrayed tenebrism.  Tenebrism is defined by exaggerated light and dark contrasts.  With these new concepts in mind, we headed as a class to the copy machine.  Each student laid their hands and face against the glass and made a dramatic self-portrait.  We then used these photo copies as a basis for a charcoal drawing.  The results were very dramatic and, honestly, somewhat creepy.  The students did a great job with this very challenging project. ​


Fifth Grade Goes 1:1 With Chromebooks
by Brook Bult
This year students in 5th grade have been issued a Chromebook for use at school. They will carry the Chromebooks from class to class, using them as is appropriate for each subject including IXL in math and language arts, accelerated reading tests, Google Classroom assignments, research projects in science and social studies along with weekly geography contests in social studies.  Students will also use them for typing training and programs such as Quizlet and Spelling City when assigned in class. Computers will not be allowed to go home with students until the 7th grade.  The students are enjoying their new responsibility!

6th Grade Science Class Experiments with Chocolate
McKaden Smith, Max Dutcher, Hannah  Swearingen, and Dylan Reha

Hershey Chocolate Density Experiment

Scientific Method Steps:

1. Ask a question

2. Do background research

3. Form a hypothesis

4. Test your hypothesis with an experiment

5. Analyze results and draw a conclusion

6. If hypothesis is true, report your results.If false, go back to step 3



We completed an experiment called “The Density of Chocolate.” The lab group consisted of McKaden Smith, Max Ducher, Hannah Swearingen, and Dylan Reha.Our research question was, “Do different sizes of of chocolate have different densities?”


Our hypothesis was: “The density of chocolate is not dependent upon the size of the piece of chocolate.”



First we had to find the mass of one piece. We used a scale to measure the mass. We then had to pour water into a graduated cylinder and make sure you REMEMBER the amount of water BEFORE you put the piece of chocolate into the graduated cylinder. Once you put the chocolate into the graduated cylinder, measure how much the water rose. Also make sure that the chocolate is fully submerged in the water. Then repeat these steps with a half bar of Hershey's chocolate and a full bar of Hershey’s chocolate. Then, record all of your data in a graph or table. After we measure the volume and mass of one piece, half of a bar, and a whole bar we could calculate the density. Density is mass divided by volume. Our data table can be seen below.



We calculated the density of Hershey’s Chocolate to be 1.3g/mL regardless of its size. This supports our initial hypothesis stating, “The density of chocolate is not dependent upon the size of the piece of chocolate.” In conclusion, the density of a substance does not depend on its size. The density of a substance depends on how tightly packed the particles of the substance are.


8th Grade Alternative to Accelerated Reader
by Brian Komenda
The 8th grade will be using an alternative to AR this year for reading.  Once a quarter each student will be responsible for a Book Share.  There are different choices (see below) for doing the Book Share.  Students will have the opportunity to be creative and excited about their book.
Book Share
Each quarter the students will be required to read ONE book approved by your reading teacher. During the last week of the quarter, they will choose to assume a role from the list below. They will be given one class period to work on the project and the rest will be finished on their own. They will then share their project with a small group in class. Teachers will use a rubric to grade the project. Make sure to check it for the specific details. Students may begin working on your project as soon as you would like, but it will not be due until the end of the quarter.

Student Role for book share:

Book Reviewer: As a reviewer, you will have a persuasive tone as you highlight reasons why someone else would enjoy or learn from your book. Some possible project ideas include but are not limited to: magazine-like review, web cast, fake newscast about the book, editorial column, campaign propaganda such as a pamphlet, or you can choose one assuming the role of reviewer
Book Marketer: As a marketer, you will design products inspired by the book. These products could be “sold” to buyers based on the book’s good ideas. Possible project ideas include but are not limited to: video or board games, movie trailer, movie story-boards, children’s books, action figure and display box based on characters,and theme-based amusement parks or restaurants.
Book Artist/Sculptor/Poet: As an artist/sculptor/poet, you will show your admiration for the book by designing a piece of art that will inspire others to want to read the book. You will have to think deeply about the plot.
Book Fan: As a fan, you will create a tribute to the book that shows devotion to the author or subject matter. Some possible projects include but are not limited to: a webpage tribute, a letter praising the author or publisher, a piece of fan fiction, a survival guide for the character, a scrapbook, write yourself into the story…
Book “Free Spirit” Agent: As an agent, you will be sharing your passion for the book by creating a project other than those suggested above. If you select this option, you will need to explain your project idea to your teacher BEFORE you begin. One possibility would be the “Crissey Character Cluster” (see Mrs. Hartzog for info).


Meet Tonya McCroden, 7th Grade English Teacher
by Tonya McCroden

Hello everyone!  My name is Mrs. McCroden and I am the new 7th grade language arts teacher!  I am excited to be a Holdrege Duster and have the chance to wear my favorite color, purple! I grew up in Abilene, Kansas, but have lived in Minden for the last 15 years.  I am married with four children ranging in age from 18 to 3 years old.  We have two dachshund puppies.  The male’s name is Mason and is long-haired and the female’s name is Daisy May.  She is a short haired dachshund. In our free time we like to camp at Harlan Lake and go out in the boat.  We love sports in my house and can’t wait until college football starts again.  I would have to say we are a house divided as I am a Kansas State University Wildcat fan and my husband is a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan.