Holdrege Middle School Home Page
« February 2016 »
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


Art Students Win Scholastic Awards
by Brandy Edgren
Ethan Twohig - Silver Key Award
Paige Hendrickson - Honorable Mention Tyler Anderson - Honorable Mention
We submitted 5 art works to the Scholastic Awards of Nebraska Contest. Over 3000 works were submitted across the state of Nebraska and three of ours were selected for awards.  Tyler Anderson and Paige Hendrickson both received an Honorable Mention.  Ethan Twohig received a Silver Key award.  His artwork will be matted and shipped to Omaha to be part of the annual Scholastic Art show.  He will also be invited to attend the opening of the exhibition on February 27th at the TAC Auditorium in Omaha.  Congratulations to these talented art students. 

Art Students Study Glass Blowing Artist Dale Chihuly
by Brandy Edgren
The students in Individual Experiences in Art start the quarter off by studying internationally known glass blowing artist, Dale Chihuly.  Mr. Chihuly changed glass blowing art dramatically in many ways.  He works with a team of artists and has changed glass art from being merely functional to actual glass sculptures that are widely accepted as fine art.  The nearest Chihuly sculpture is in Omaha's Jocelyn museum.  As a class, we also look at images from the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas where Dale created a ceiling sculpture consisting of over 2000 glass flower blossoms lit from behind in a sky light.  The project cost $10 million.  Finally, the students are fascinated by Dale's glass chandelier sculptures.  After watching a few youtube videos on the construction of these massive glass lights, the students design their own faux glass sculptures from clear acetate that can be formed into sculpture in steaming hot water.  The students use a transparent porcelain paint to finish their Chihuly inspired glass.  We have hung them in our room in a way reminiscent of Chihuly's chandeliers.  regardless of personal taste, every student enjoys the work of Dale Chihuly and is excited to complete this project.  Many dream of someday being able to work with real glass blowing. 


Eighth Grade Reading
by Renelle Hartzog
For the second year, the eighth grade has had reading class all year long. Each core teacher teaches a section and the students rotate each quarter. The first quarter, the students read and participated in The Hunger Games. Each student had a job including stylist, game maker, tribute, mentor, escort or video maker.The sections competed against each other, and the victor was Chloe Kirwan (photo below), who beat out the competition by balancing on a unicycle the longest. The second quarter, each teacher taught a different novel. The novels included: Divergent, Michael Vey: Prisoner Cell 25, Al Capone Does My Shirts and Freak the Mighty. The third quarter all sections are reading a variety of short stories, and the year will conclude with reading To Kill a Mockingbird.
Betty Bricker Receives Education Grant From Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation
On December 18, Betty Bricker received the Cornhusker Motor Club Education Grant in the amount of $1,978.00 to purchase a 3D printer for Holdrege Middle School for her Makerspace program and to collaborate with classroom teachers for 3D projects. The 3D printer will allow students to use various types of design software and create 3 dimensional objects and print them.  The students will become interactive inventors which will allow them to reach new levels of thinking and problem solving!  It encourages experimentation in their learning, without the fear of failure because they can problem solve, make adjustments to the design and print again. They will have the opportunity to transform abstract concepts into tangible objects. The possibilities are endless. Stay tuned....as students begin the printing process, you will see some of their designs posted here.

HMS Holiday Food Drive
by Jean Berreckman
Picture is of Mrs. Veal's homeroom class.
Front row:  Shay Neal,  Sabree Rath, Shaelynn Roemmich and Madi Elikins
2nd row:  Mrs. Girard - Principal, Brogan Wise, Dylan Reha, Jaydan Janssen, Treyten Sohn, Matthew Phillips and Ariana Blanchard
3rd row:  Emily Helwick, Cole Guthie, Ella Jacobson, Quinton Rapstine, Lillian Marshall and Cozmo Murray
4th row:  Mrs. Callan - Student Teacher, Mrs. Veal - Homeroom teacher, Jaxson Karn, Cade Kirwin, Ashlynn Smith, Isabelle Vap and Samantha Roach.
Holdrege Middle School Student Council and Student Body, held their Annual Holiday Food Drive from December 7th -14th. Our goal this year was to collect "2016" food items!  We ended up collecting 3,703 total food items, for reaching this goal, school will be dismissed 15 minutes early on Friday, December 18th.  Mrs. Veal's homeroom class was the overall winner with a total of 430 food items, her homeroom received the grand prize of having breakfast cooked and served by Mr. and Mrs.Girard.  The following are the top homeroom classes in each grade that brought in the most items:   6th grade was  Mr. Sanderson's homeroom with a total of 414, in 7th grade it was Mr. Petit's homeroom with a total of 409 and top in the 7th grade was Mrs. Anderson's homeroom with a total of 311. All food was donated to our local food pantry in town.  Thank you to all students, staff and parents who helped out with this great community project.

Seventh Grade Science Cell Projects
by Jack Hild
We are currently studying cells and how they work.  One project that we do with this lesson is to make a three dimensional cell.  The model must show the cell parts and tell what each part does for the cell.  It is a project that gives the students a better understanding of how cell work and why they are important to life.  The students design the cell and find household items to represent each cell part based on shape of the part or what that part of the cell does. Many are very creative with their ideas and that shows in their final product.  The pictures show what some students have done in the past with this project.

Season's Readings
by Betty Bricker
As the Christmas holiday approaches, the Middle School Media Center also got into the holiday spirit by creating a book tree!  Over 200 books were used to create the tree.  It has been a great conversation piece, and the kids love it.  They all want to pull out that book on the bottom level :) We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and the best to you in the New Year!

Pinata Kevin
by Tasha Kruse
Oh, No!!! Our 7th and 8th grade reading students completely demolished, Kevin! You should have seen it! They had a blast and earned A LOT of candy! Each day, our students were given a reading challenge and if they met that challenge, they each earned a coupon ticket. On November 18th all of our students who earned 20 tickets or more participated in the dismemberment of our beloved Kevin!
May he rest in pieces
Mrs. Kruse’s Reading Class

 Stay tuned for our next challenge prize!

Sixth Graders Improve Figure Drawing Skills
by Brandy Edgren
Every grade level has been working hard and improving their art skills, but recently, I have been super impressed with the artwork by the 6th graders.  This grade level has been studying figure drawing and did a unit on drawing from a live model.  This is tough to do, but with practice everyone gets better.  Once a final drawing was completed, and they knew they were capable of drawing the human figure accurately, we decided to take on more detail and a tougher medium.  I introduced them to the artwork of Jacob Lawrence, the most important African American artist of the 20th century.  I then photographed them in "working" poses.  Next, they used a grid to enlarge the image to 10"x14" .  They were able to draw square by square what was in each photograph.  Many of the students actually found this harder than drawing from a live figure, probably because it is very exact, and there is no room for errors.  However, their results were remarkable.  All students worked on learning to see shadows and paint them by blending wet paint.  Finally, they completed details in colored pencil.  Here are the results of their hard work. ​


6th Grade Tech Students Design Cereal Boxes
by Terry Shield        
6th Grade students are busy working on their cereal box designs.  This is the project part of our communications unit.   They have been asked to come up with a new cereal name and design a box following good design practices. They will design all sides of a cereal box.  Cut and glue together a development of a cereal box and hand it in for evaluation.  The second part of the communication project is designing a single serving cereal box and development.  This is a project that will test what they have learned on the group project.  Each student will design their own.
Packaging Prototype                                           
Objectives:   YOU WILL
Use page layout software ” MicrosoftWord”  to design a package to hold one serving of cereal.
Use Word software to put your cereal box design on a single serve package.
This design must include everything that is on the front of your full size cereal box design.
Determine the size of your cereal box.  It must fit on one 8 ½” by 11” paper.
     Do not copy the one on this handout.  (It is too small)
 Design your development on graph paper. 
Cut out this design and check for fitment.  (Fold to make sure it fits correctly)
Draw/design the correct size and shape on Microsoft Word.
     1) Set margins to .25
     2) Turn on grid.
     3) Set grid to .25 vertical to .25 horizontal  (use page layout—align—grid settings)
     4) Turn on both snap to grid settings in grid settings.
     5) Use the rectangle tool with no fill to draw development.  (they should snap to the grid)
     6) Use copy and paste when it will save you time. 
Place the design items (cereal name, mascot, graphics) on the front of the development.
Must have items needed on the front: Logo, Cereal Name, Company Name  (you may add to this)
You can do the back and sides also.  (not required)
Make sure to rotate or flip information if needed.  This will depend on your development design.
Print on the laser printer in the lab to check for fitment and content. (Get permission from instructor)
Print on index paper.  (get this from your instructor)

All text is at least 1/8” from any edge.  Package assembled and glued neatly.  Overall look of package.
Color                   Readability
Space                  Balance

Unity                     Line

Look at the Rubric to make sure you have completed all requirements.

Hints:  Use the grid and rulers to help keep lines straight and lines parallel.  (view tab)
 Use Wrap text to move items.  (page layout tab)


5th Grade Science Studies States of Matter
by Melissa Ericksen
Not only do you matter, but did you know that you are made of matter?  Everything is!  The last couple of weeks in 5th grade Science students have been exploring the properties of matter.  They were able to learn about matter through different stations that included hands-on experiments, technology, matching, drawing pictures, analyzing data tables, and reading non-fiction articles.  We ended our unit by enjoying Root Beer Floats to represent the states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas).


Mrs. Well's Reading Class Creates "Hatchet" Activities
by Mallory Pfeifer
Well’s reading class read the book Hatchet in class, and we were assigned to create either a game or a diorama about the book. Our reading class got to make a detailed diorama which you had to make at least 15 items about the book and what was described in it, or in the  game you had to make questions and create an exciting board game about the book. In our diorama we included trees and the animals in the book Hatchet, you could base the game on any type of board game like Monopoly or a matching game with information about Hatchet, so it is enjoyable and entertaining to play. After we created everything we got to explore and play the games our classmates created.
Here are some examples of our creations
Makerspaces in the HMS Library
by Betty Bricker

     A Makerspace is an inquiry based space set aside for hands-on learning through construction, tinkering or play. The process is initiated by the student while the teacher acts as the facilitator of the concept while students are being challenged to find a solution to a particular challenge. It is highly individualized and requires research and a deeper thinking process which in turn promotes creative design, curiosity, innovation, collaboration and intrinsic motivation. It gives students an opportunity to collaborate and expand on topics within the current curriculum as well as investigate topics not normally covered within the typical classroom.  The theme of our makerspace is “If you can dream it, you can create it!”
     My first makerspace challenge for the students is to design the best flying paper airplane. The unit will conclude with a contest to determine which plane flies the farthest. After only a few days, I have had many students come to the library to find out what the makerspace is about. I provided paper, scissors, glue, books about flight, and books about paper airplane designs.   My only instruction to them was to design the best flying paper airplane. They could create as many models as they wished, use any materials, but could only submit one model for the contest, so they would have to determine which model they created would fly the farthest.  Students have been collaborating about their airplane designs, talking about drag, lift, thrust and weight, and how each may affect their airplane design, without me even mentioning any of those terms. They were test flying their airplanes in the library. It was so fun to witness their excitement and have them initiate their own learning!  Each quarter we will incorporate another challenge.