7th Grade Newsletter - February 9, 2015

Field School
7th Grade Newsletter  

February 9, 2015 
Today is National African American Parent Involvement Day, and we look forward to having parents join us at school and in our classrooms.
Reminder... Parents must check-in at the office before going to classrooms

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Conferences are THIS WEEK... Winter conferences are scheduled by request of either teachers or parents.

Winter conferences differ from fall conferences in in that they are not necessarily scheduled for all students. Scheduled for THIS WEEK on Thursday evening Feb 12 (3:30-7:30pm) or Friday morning Feb 13 (7:30-11:30am), conferences are scheduled for students where teachers and/or parents feel there is a particular concern regarding their progress in school this year. 
- If you have received an email or a call from someone on the 7th-grade team to schedule a conference for your child, make sure that you have replied. If so, you should have received a confirmation of your conference time.
- If you didn't receive a call, but would like to schedule a conference for your child, please contact Mr. Usem, and he will arrange to see if any remaining available times work with your schedule. Any parent/guardian that wishes to have a conference for their child that cannot be accommodated during conferences scheduled this week, will have a conference arranged with teachers at another specially arranged time.

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There will be NO SCHOOL for students on this Friday, Feb 13 (due to conferences), and NO SCHOOL for students on next Monday, Feb 16 (Presidents Day Holiday)

- The 7th Grade Team 


Language Arts:
This week we are finishing our work with Shrewd Todie by writing a summary of the story. And we will be wrapping up our study of, The Quality of Mercy by Sharon Creeden. 

Next week we will begin reading The Bishop's Candlesticks from Les Miserables. 

On Wednesdays from now until Spring Vacation the students and I will be reviewing test taking strategies and brush up on a few of our basic ELA skills. Generally our Wednesday Work pages have been tied to what we are doing in class but for a short time we will change that focus with a little test prep. 

- Ms. Halasz



This week we will:
1) Design a lab to determine if mass is conserved when a solute dissolves in a solute
2) Learn about separating liquid mixtures using a filter
3) Design a lab to remove impurities from rock salt

No Homework this week.

- Mr. Boler

To review science content, make-up notebook entries, watch a video clip about any science topic of interest, - go to the 7th grade science web page at: www.bolerscience.net
Social Studies

Social Studies
During the month of February will be focused on our History Day projects.  Most weeks, we will have 2 days in the computer lab with days in between using iPads and organizing our notes.  We have a little more than 3 weeks until the big day which is Wednesday, March 4th.  

This is a short week with no school on Friday for conferences.  We will spend time learning how to write a bibliography with annotations and continue our research on History Day topics. 


- Mrs. Odermatt






Our new CMP text "Moving Straight Ahead" has been engaging for students. Last week students were working hard in class setting up tables,

graphing the results, and trying to determine equations that represent the data. This unit explores linear relationships, and students are seeing straight lines occuring in their graphs. Our goal in this unit is to help students realize the connections between the 5 representations of a "function"; they are: (1) Context, (2) Table, (3) Graph, (4) Equation, and (5) Language.


As we will be doing a lot of graphing during this unit, it is a good idea for all students to 

make sure that they have a good supply of graph paper in their folder, ready for use when they need it.


(Graph paper with lightly-colored lines works best, as it is much easier for students to see their pencil lines against such a background, and therefore easier for them to visualize and grasp the concepts we'll be studying. I know it's not the cheapest thing to purchase, but is will be helpful to students throughout this unit, and, I think, well worth the investment.)


Today students received back 2 Learning Target quizzes. students who received a score of 8 or below (out of 12) should come in to re-take the quiz with the low score. Students need to come in with a sheet showing the incorrect problems re-done correctly, which serves as their ticket to be able to re-take the quiz.

Homework completion is beginning to be a problem... please make sure that your child knows the importance of staying current on homework, in order to better understand the new concepts we're learning.

  - Mr Usem 


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Click HERE for Mr. Usem's Webpage

  The webpage lists what classwork we've done in class each day, references students' homework assignments, lists an availability schedule for students who need extra help, and has resources for parents & students. 


The Field Math Team attended the Regional MathCounts Competition last Friday at the University of Minnesota. The team consisted of all 7th-graders, due to he 8th-grade ski trip.

Mr. Leavitt is out-of-town at a math conference this week, so we hope to have results reported in next week's newsletter.

Math Team will NOT meet this week. 

Seth Leavitt, Field Math Specialist.


Contact Us
Leon Boler
Nicole Odermatt 
(Social Studies)

Mary Catherine Halasz
(Language Arts)

Mark Usem 
voicemail  612-668-7729
Heather Walker  
Other 7th Grade 

Char Swanson

Seth Leavitt


Other 7th Grade 
B.E.S.T. teachers: 

Seth Leavitt 
(Math BEST)



Bev Halvorson

(Reading BEST)






Field School 

Student Resources




Chris Yohe

(612) 668-3640




Field School Site Council

7th Grade Parent Reps


Korey Stoelzing


(612) 281-6409


Jeanne Mettner


(612) 889-8047


** Site Council meetings are held the 1st Wednesday of the month from 4:00 - 5:30 and are open to anyone wishing to attend.  If you have a topic to discuss you must be on the agenda prior to the meeting.  Please contact your grade rep. to be added to the agenda.



Field Community School
4645 Fourth Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55419


Click HERE for the 




Click HERE for Mr. Usem's Webpage


Dates to Remember

Dates to 




  • Feb 9: National African American Parent Involvement Day
  • Feb 12: Conferences
    (3:30-7:30pm, by request)
  • Feb 13: NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS - Conferences
    (7:30-11:30am, by request)
  • Feb 16: NO SCHOOL - Presidents Day Holiday
  • Mar 8: Daylight Savings Time begins (spring-forward 1-hour) 
  • Mar 26: 3rd Quarter ends
  • Mar 27: NO SCHOOL
    (Record-keeping day)
  • Mar 30- Apr 3: NO SCHOOL - Spring Break
  • Apr 6: 4th Quarter Begins



Reader's Workshop

This week in Reader's Workshop students will continue to work on a new National Geographic Science Theme Set: Cells at Work. Each theme set focuses on one of these six reading comprehension strategies:  making connections, asking questions, visualizing, making inferences, determining importance, and synthesizing.  In addition, the lessons include visual literacy skills and explicit vocabulary instruction.  Learning is extended through research and writing. 

Bev Halvorson

Reading Specialist


Student Council 
Boxtops Fundraiser
For the next month+ Advisories will be collecting Boxtops to raise money for Field Community. 
General Mills donates directly to schools at $.10 per Boxtop.  We are hoping to collect over 50 Boxtops per student!  
To encourage participation, advisories will be competing in a contest to collect the most Boxtops.  
  • The advisory with the most Boxtops on February 24th will win a pizza party sponsored by the PTA.  
  • The top 4 individual contributors will also win a gift card to Chipotle, iTunes, or Target.  
  • Student Council will count and track Boxtop collections.  
Please place them in a Ziploc bag and fill out an information sheet (# of Boxtops, Name, Advisory Teacher) to place in the bag. 

Forward email

This email was sent to seth.leavitt@mpls.k12.mn.us by mark.usem@mpls.k12.mn.us |  

Field School | 4645 Fourth Avenue South | Field PTA | Minneapolis | MN | 55419