Just Because: Ranking Holiday Movies

By Brody Beaupre

There are hundreds of thousands of movies, but a select few have been categorized to be watched every year in December: holiday movies. I have ranked my personal top five favorite holiday movies. If you don’t like spoilers, you might want to stop reading! 

#5: The Polar Express – This movie is a go-to favorite and a staple to watch every year. This movie features a young boy who is failing to believe in Santa Clause, so he is picked up by the Polar Express train and after a visit to the North Pole his faith in Santa is reaffirmed overnight and he wakes up in bed the next morning to find presents waiting for him under the tree, along with a toy train.

Trailer for “The Polar Express”

#4: How the Grinch Stole Christmas – This is a live rendition of Dr. Seuss’s book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. This movie features Jim Carrey as the Grinch, a vile creature who hates being happy because his heart was two sizes too small. Through the kindness of a little girl, and the Christmas spirit of the village, his heart grew to triple the size it was. 

Trailer for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Making the top three is a somewhat controversial holiday movie, but I think it falls into the category: Die Hard – This is an action-packed movie where a cop from New Jersey saves hostages (including his wife) from terrorists trying to steal millions..all on Christmas Eve!. There is lots of cursing and blood, but that just adds to the excellence of this movie.

Trailer for “Die Hard”

#2: Rocky IV  This movie is an emotional roller coaster and features one of the single greatest training montages ever. Rocky prepares to fight for personal pride as well as revenge and he is carrying the weight of the United States on his shoulders. After a long and bloody fight, which occurs on Christmas Day, Rocky pulls out the win in the ultimate fight against the Russian machine known as Drago. 

Trailer for “Rocky IV”

And finally, the number one holiday movie of all time: Elf  This is one of those movies that can be watched year after year, while laughing at the same parts every time. After 15 years of watching this movie, I still love it just as much after seeing it for the first time. In my world, it’s the undisputable number one holiday movie ever. 

Trailer for “Elf”

Midterm Exams – What to Know

By Ella West

Midterms for Middle and Upper School students are next week. While this is the first round of final/midterm exams for the sixth graders, students in all grades may be wondering what they can do to prepare for exams, or when the exams occur, or how long an exam is, and when students should start studying. Luckily, teachers (and this article) are here to help students prepare and be informed for these exams.

In all Middle and Upper School grades, the last day for teachers to teach new content is Dec. 6, while Dec. 7 – 9 are designated as review days. Most classes will hand out study sheets for students to use at home in order to prepare for exams. 

Middle School Information
Middle School exams are classified by period and grade level, and exams are two hours long, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. 

Middle School Exam Schedule:

Dec. 12Dec. 13Dec. 14Dec. 15Dec. 16
6th gradeA periodB periodD periodE periodG period
7th gradeA periodC periodD periodF periodG period
8th gradeA periodB periodD periodE periodG period

Not every Middle School class will give an exam, however, as projects and papers are also options.

Content Areas that Assess (Exam, Paper, or Project) by Grade Level
6th Grade: English, Math, Science, Social Studies, STEM
7th and 8th Grades: English, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Language

After Middle School students have completed their exam, they can either be checked out at 11 a.m. as part of early dismissal or go to study hall until noon. Extended Day is available Monday through Thursday, but all students must be picked up by noon on Friday, Dec. 16. If your student will be in Extended Day, please note that lunch will not be served, so please pack a lunch for your student.

Upper School Information
For the Upper School students, the exam schedule is as follows:

Dec. 12Dec. 13Dec. 14Dec. 15Dec. 16
HistoryWorld LanguageScienceEnglishMath

Upper School Learning Specialist Amanda Metzler recommends using a “study map” to organize what to study and when. For example:

When studying for exams, Metzler recommends spaced repetition; a studying technique in which you go over a set of materials take a break, or look at another subject, then go over that same material again. She also sent an informative PowerPoint presentation to the Upper School students with tips and tricks: