7th Grade Newsletter - January 8, 2014

Field School
7th Grade Newsletter  

January 8, 2014 
Happy New Year! 
Snow - Minneapolis
School just started, and we've already had 2 extra days off!

This has been a crazy long winter break, with a couple of extra days off and a bit chilly no less! This all means that we have a lot to do before the end of the quarter/semester on Thursday, Jan 16!
We have the annual 7th/8th Grade Ski Trip coming up at the end of the month on January 31st... watch for information to come home soon for this trip. (Here's hoping for just a little warmer weather for that!)
Since the cold seems to be persisting, please make sure that your child is coming to school dressed appropriately
While students do not go outside for recess if it is below zero, they do go outside if it is above zero. We want to make sure students remain safe and healthy!

-  The 7th Grade Team


Language Arts 



Happy 2014!


We are back to work and really working our brains today. Being in the middle of a book and taking a two week break is not a great idea, but for the most part the plot of Nothing But The Truth is coming back to the students. The rest of this week will be spent working on chapters 13-15 in NBT. 


Looking forward to next week the students and I will be using chapter 15 to explore the idea of radio theater. We will begin our week learning about radio theater and listening to a broadcast of a show called The Whistler. Once we have that under our belt we will reenact chapter 15 from our text. 


 **** There is a glitch in my log in and I have not updated my webpage for a few weeks. I will be working to fix the problem this week. ****

My web page is up and running. Please see the link below or access it through the Field School web page. 

Halasz Website here. 


Feel free to e-mail me if you have questions or concerns this year.  mahal001@mpls.k12.mn.us is the best address to use.


- Ms. Halasz



That break was too long!  I bet in your heart of hearts your glad to be back - yes?


Wednesday - review and prepare for Thursday's open-book quiz. The quiz will consist of two parts.  In Part 1 you will have to use your understanding of lab procedures and characteristic properties to identify a "mystery object"  In Part 2, you will answer multiple choice questions and complete three density calculations.

On Friday we will set up a lab on understanding temperature and possibly get started on it.



- Mr. Boler

  •  To increase content understanding visit the 7th grade science web site at the URL listed below.


Social StudiesSocial Studies

With the end of the quarter quickly approaching, we will be finishing the Westward Expansion unit in the next several days.  (All missing work is due Thur. Jan. 16th) Students will analyze primary sources to get an understanding of the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears that followed for the Cherokee Indians.  We will briefly look at the technology influences that promoted expansion such as the cotton gin, mechanical reaper, and the locomotive.


Students will continue to narrow their topic for History Day.  They certainly have lots of varied interests but the key is that they are able to connect the topic to the theme, "Rights and Responsiblities".  Eventually, students will develop a thesis statement which will give a better focus to their research.  Throughout the months of January and February, we will dedicate much of our classroom time to work on the History Day project.  Projects will be due in early March.





- Ms. Odermatt





We're continuing with "Comparing & Scaling"... a study of ratio, proportion, and percent. This unit requires students to remember how to work with fractions, decimals and percents.  Many students have begun to dust off skills that they haven't used for a while. Students whose fraction, decimal and percent skil
Fraction Decimal Percent
ls are not strong will want to spend some time brushing up on these skills. Practice problems can be found many places, especially on the "web". 
This week we'll introduce "unit rates", and begin working with them.  These have a lot of real-life application... from deciding which items are "best buys" in the grocery store, to seeing how efficient your car uses gas. Unit rates help make comparisons easier to understand.
    - Mr. Usem


~   ~   ~ 

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. 



- Strategy Instruction



Good morning & Happy New Year!   As we return from our break, we will be refocusing our energies on Reading like a Reader and Reading Like a Writer.  This strategy is intended to connect students to the idea that there are lots of actions that happen in our heads as we read.  We will be learning what we need to do as readers and writers using a shared text called "Eddie Takes Off" where the students will have a chance to work together to read like a reader and a writer.

Our 7th graders will then be using a new tool from MixedInk.com to write a humorous response connected to the story or to something happening in our local community.
The following two paragraphs give more detail to the ideas we will be asking students to connect to in the coming 7-10 days.

Reading like a reader. We might think of this as the "normal" way of reading where we try to figure out what a piece of writing means by understanding the words a writer is using. But even this "normal" way is more complicated than it seems.  When we read like a reader we focus on Questions, Predictions, Inferences, Connections, Feelings, and Evaluations we can make.


Reading like a writer. When we read from the perspective of a writer, we focus less on what the writer is trying to say and more on how the writer is saying it. Specifically, we look at the techniques the writer is using to get his or her message across and how those techniques affect us as we experience the text.

We really need to focus student's energy on applying the reading and writing skills we practice in their core classes.  This BEST class is intended to assist students in achieving deeper understanding in their core classes, as well as making studying and learning easier for them.   This work will also prepare us to interact with many of the Common Core State Standards!



Tim Jungwirth
K-12 Reading Specialist
Field Community School



Doing puzzles in Mr. Leavitt's room during recess

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)



Tim Jungwirth

(Reading BEST)






Field School 

Student Resources




Wendy Wolff 

(612) 668-3640




Field School Site Council

7th Grade Parent Reps


Camille Holthaus




Eric Muschler




** 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 



  • Jan 6 - 7: NO SCHOOL- Dangerously cold weather!!
  • Jan 16: Last day of 2nd Quarter
  • Jan 17: NO SCHOOL (record-keeping day)
  • Jan 20: NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Holiday
  • Jan 21: 3rd Quarter begins
  • Jan 31: 7th/8th Grade Ski Trip
from the Field School Counselor...  


Watch this space 

for messages from ............


Wendy Wolff

Field School Counselor

 Yearbooks are now on sale! 

Please go online to reserve your copy today. 
It is a super easy way to order. 

If you choose to order by check, please make your check to Hale PTA and bring it to the office, either Hale or Field. The cost is $15.00.

Please note the last day for orders is January 28, 2014. After that date any extra options such as foil stamped personalization's and icons are no longer available and the price of the yearbook will increase to $17.00.

If you have any questions please call Mike Lieb at 612-822-2064 or by email at liebc1@msn.com. 

 Having trouble making it to school on time every day? 


Then it's time to come up with a new plan!  Tardiness is a chronic problem for some students at Field School and this creates a problem for all students, as well as teachers.  An occasional tardy is not really a big problem and sometimes cannot be avoided.  However, consistent habitual tardiness is a problem.  Remember that being on time means being seated in your assigned seat or space and ready to work when the second bell rings at 8:05am signaling the start of the class period.





▪ Understand the importance of being on time.  Students who are always on time earn the best grades and enjoy the most success.  The same is true in the workplace.  Start training your students to be on time now and develop this good habit that will last a lifetime.


▪ Get enough sleep.  If getting out of bed in the morning is a problem, make a serious effort to get to bed earlier.  Getting enough sleep also helps students focus better in the classroom and is important for overall good health.


▪ Prepare for school the night before.  Don't wait until you are already rushed in the morning to pack your backpack or complete homework papers.  Get it done the night before and put the backpack by the door.


▪ The start of first period is 8:05am you should plan to arrive at 7:55am.


▪ If one person in the house is running late, everyone is running late.  Make a family commitment to be on time to school every day.


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A message from....
  Julie Peterson
  Field School Social Worker
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