7th Grade Newsletter - May 8, 2017

Field School- 7th Grade Newsletter (050817)

May 8, 2017
Just a repeat of the statement from last week's newsletter, as we are still seeing a few students with these toys in  class...

"Fidget Spinners" and "Thinking Putty"- 
Becoming a real distraction in classes. 
While the marketers of these new toys give them names like "Fidget Spinner" and "Thinking Putty", implying that they might help children and adults with certain conditions like ADHD to concentrate and focus better in certain situations, teachers are finding that the widespread use of these toys in classes in becoming increasingly problematic and distracting to students. 
7th Grade teachers at Field are asking that students leave fidget spinners and thinking putty (or similar toys with differing names) at home. 
While we recognize that the toys are very fun to play with (we like playing with them too), rather than focusing students, they seem to be actually doing just the opposite, as students trade them, pass them around, and play with them during class when they should be engaged in classwork.
     While we recognize that having a "fidget" might help some students focus, and that some students actually have the use of a "fidget" written in to their IEP or 504-plan, we question whether these are the proper type of "fidget" for use in classroom situations. Students who have an identified need for a fidget in class will be allowed to have one, but we would prefer that it not be these particular toys, and that they not be shared with other students. Decisions in individual student cases will be made with each student's case manager, along with the school social worker and administration.
     Fidget Spinners need to be kept at home, or in students' lockers. For first infractions, spinners and putty that are brought out in classes will be confiscated by the classroom teacher, and the student may pick them up at the end of the school day.  For repeat occurrences, the toys will be confiscated, and a parent/guardian will need to pick up the toy.
     Please talk with your student, if they have any of these toys, so that they fully understand this new policy.  
     Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 - The 7th Grade Team 
    Language Arts      
mchLast week the students started their public speaking unit, I was blown away by the speeches and the amazing eye contact each had with the audience. This week we prepare a speech about a time when students were at their best. It may be academic in nature or have an outside of school theme. All are working hard and we are having a good time. 

 This week in class:
Monday: Finish giving Intro Speech
Tuesday: Discuss: feedback form, what went well, what needs improvement all in relationship to speech 1.  Intro Speech 2, At My Best
Wednesday: Ice breaker/Start writing the At My Best speech
Thursday:  Writing and transferring to note cards
Friday: Note card writing and partner practice

    - Ms. Halasz

CLICK HERE for a LINK to Ms. Halasz's WEBPAGE 

    Social Studies      
Social Studies
Students are finishing a research project on a "Progressive", a social reformer from the early 1900s.  We will spend Tuesday and Wednesday reviewing for the Unit 5 test, which will be on Thursday.  We begin the next unit on Friday with an introduction to WWI.

   - Ms. Odermatt
Current Unit: Human Body Systems

This week we will:
  • Use two differnt chemical indicators to test for the presence of starch and sugar
  • Lab: testing the enzyme amylase
  • Lab: difusion across a membrane
Homework: U6 RA3 Respiratory System will be passed out on Monday, due Friday (turn in on Tuesday for a 4% bonus).

 - 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:  http://www.bolerscience.net/

We have been working on our new unit, exploring the Pythagorean Theorem.  In this unit we have first been looking at the relationship of areas of squares and square-roots as irrational numbers. Earlier this year we talked about irrational numbers, but are now looking at them in greater depth, working on understanding how to interact with them in operations such as adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing.  Some students are struggling, a bit, with understanding this, but should make sure they are willing to ask the questions in class, or outside of class, necessary to insure that they fully understand the algorithms involved. Our first Learning target Quiz in this unit will occur this Wednesday.

Next, students will actually construct the Pythagorean Theorem themselves from exploring the concepts behind it. Once we have developed the theorem, then students will begin looking at a variety of ways in which this theorem can be applied.

      - Mr. Usem 

Any students may re-take Learning Target quizzes to try to improve their score and to receive a passing grade showing that they understand the learning target. The top grade possible on a quiz "re-take" is an 85% score (a solid "B" grade). 
* In order to do a re-take, students need to KEEP their old quiz, and BRING it in, with the correct answers (with explanations) on a SEPARATE SHEET [forms are available in Mr. Usem's room or downloadable from his webpage] on the items they missed. This will qualify them "ready to re-take" the quiz. Re-takes are to be done outside of regular class time, and can be done before-school, after-school, during recess, during Advisory study-hall on Thursdays, during the "EXPLORE Math-support" class, or during another time arranged with Mr. Usem. Students should make arrangements with Mr. Usem to do the re-takes. Students will have at least 2 weeks from when the quizzes are handed back to complete the re-take. 
- The DEADLINE for re-takes on the LT #6.2 quiz is... Friday, May 19.

- students can come and work with Mr. Usem a variety of times each day, if they need extra help. Available times are posted in the classroom, as well as on 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.
  • calendar art1MAY 29:  NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day Holiday
  • JUNE 13: Science Class Rocketry Day
  • JUNE 14:  Last Day of school - MN Zoo Field Trip

Leon Boler
Nicole Odermatt 
(Social Studies)

Mary Catherine Halasz
(Language Arts)

Mark Usem 
voicemail  612-668-7729
Heather Walker  

Other 7th Grade Advisors:

Bev Halvorson Trowbridge
(Reading Specialist)

Field School Student Resources:
Mariam Graff 
(Social Work) 
(612) 668-3640

Field School Site Council
7th Grade Parent Reps:

Karen Stremick
(612) 220-5810

Cindy Goehring

** 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 Ave.South Minneapolis, MN 55419
Telephone: 612-668-3640 | Fax: 612-668-3661

Field School & Hale/Field PTAs, 4645 Fourth Avenue South, Field PTA, Minneapolis, MN 55419
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