7th Grade Newsletter - October 7, 2013

Field School
7th Grade Newsletter  

October 7, 2013 

Students are really settling in to 7th-grade by this point. Now that they are really hitting their stride, many students are also getting much more comfortable. While a level of comfort is certainly good, we want to make sure that they don't also settle into a mindset of complacency. Make a special effort at this time to talk to your children about how to stay focused and organized, and the need to continue making a strong effort in each of their classes. 


The weather is starting to cool off a bit. Though we'll still have some patches of warm weather, make sure your students are adequately dressed as they leave home each morning with a jacket or sweatshirt. At this tie of year "layers" are a good idea. They can take off a layer and leave it in their locker once at school if it gets warmer during the day.  Remember, also, that students go out for recess each day at noon, so need to have appropriate clothing for that as well.


Students who had ordered pictures from those taken at school should have received their packet of pictures last week. For students who missed picture day, or that want to do a re-take, picture re-take day is scheduled for Oct 24.


-  The 7th Grade Team


Language Arts  


Last week the students took their first quiz. There are 134 quizes to grade and input into the computer. I am grading them as quickly as possible and should have them back to the students this week. 


We will begin our first writing project this week. Students will be drawing a map of their neighborhood and brainstorming story ideas based on events from the neighborhood. Eventually they will take one of their ideas and craft a personal narrative. 


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



We will have our Ecology Unit Test on Thursday October 10th.  Students will receive a review packet on Monday.


Homework: complete at least 70% of the review packet by Tuesday.  Study all notes, RAs, worksheets, quiz 1, and lab results.  It is better for comprehension to study 20 or more minutes each night instead of 1.5 hours the night before the test. 


Science Bowl for 7th or 8th grade students will be starting on Monday October 14th.   Science Bowl is for students who like science and math, fast paced competitions, and working with others. If you need a sign-up form see Mr. Boler.  Please return the form no later than Friday October11th


- Mr. Boler

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


Social StudiesSocial Studies



This week students will begin their introduction to 

Unit 2: Free Market Americans. 


This unit will be focusing on topics of a market economy,  supply and demand, buyers and sellers, and prices and profit.


- Ms. Odermatt





We finished our unit on circles and cylinders this last week. Students took a quiz on the last 2 learning targets for this unit. They will take a district designed "benchmark assessment" later this week on this entire unit, as well.
Most students have embraced our "new" organizational system for their math class binders, and it seems to be working well for them. Students should have either a separate binder for math, or a "dedicated section" in their larger binder for math. In this binder/section they should have a set of 5 dividers, with the first 4 sections labelled:
  1. Warmups
  2. Notes
  3. Vocabulary
  4. Classwork & Homework
  5. (...this section not yet named)
Our first set of "Ready Points" were given out last Friday for students who had their binder complete. Most students ("Ready Point" checks will be done periodically as spot-checks to see if students are keeping their binders up-to-date, and will be unannounced.)
We are now moving on to our new unit "Accentuate the Negative", which deals with integers and rational numbers. Students received their new text book today (which is 3-hole punched and will fit right inside their math binder). In CMP Math each unit has its own small text book. Students should have this book with them in class every day. If you are not familiar with how the CMP text books are organized, have your student show it to you... they should be able to describe to you how it is organized.


    - Mr. Usem


~   ~   ~ 

NOW up and active!

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. 



Readers Workshop 

with Mr. Jungwirth 


This week, we will be continuing to work on "Charting the Text".  Our focus will be on  students reading text, and identifying what the author is saying (what are the words in the text?) as well as what is the author doing (what are the words supposed to accomplish?) as students work to understand more complicated text.
Students will read a text they are familiar with, then a text that they are not familiar with (but is at an independent reading level), and then students will end with a reading of a text at their grade level.

     Also this week, students will have direct feedback on how they are doing in developing reading stamina.  Our students need to work hard on the individual skills of maintaining focus and using strategies when the text gets more difficult in order to avoid distractions and stay connected to text.  This will be a very valuable skill as students move through this school year and work to read longer and more complex stories and informational texts.

Tim Jungwirth
K-12 Reading Specialist
Field Community School

If you have not already done so, be sure to sign up for upcoming Parent/Teacher Conferences.
scheduled on 2 evenings (Tues, Oct 15 & Thurs, Oct 24), and during the day on Weds, Oct 16
Contact Mr. Usem to schedule a time, if you have not done so. 
(The best way to contact him is through email... indicate your preferences, and Mr. Usem will reply with openings.)
As of this newsletter, 
Fall conference time slots that are still open are: 
  • Tuesday, Oct 15
    • none still open 
  • Wednesday, Oct 16
    • 10:00-10:30
    • 10:30-11:00
    • 12:30-1:00
    • 1:00-1:30
    • 1:30-2:00
  • Thursday, Oct 24
    • none still open
Life in 7th Grade...

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

Dates to Remember

Dates to 




  • Oct 15: Conferences
  • Oct 16: NO SCHOOL - Conferences
  • Oct 17-18: NO SCHOOL
    - Education MN Teacher's Convention 
    (formerly the "MEA break")
  • Oct 24: Picture re-take day
  • Oct 24: Conferences
  • Oct 31: End of Quarter #1
  • Nov 1: NO SCHOOL - Record Keeping Day
  • Nov 4: Quarter #2 begins
  • Nov 19: Barnes & Noble Book Fair (5-8pm)
  • Nov 27-29: NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Holiday

Click HERE for the 




Click HERE for Mr. Usem's Webpage


from the Field School Counselor...  

Attention Field School Parents! 
- First quarter is definitely underway and staff and students are working hard!  Mid-quarter grades have been entered and are available for you to review on the parent portal.  Please look over your child's grades and recognize their hard work, as well as areas that may need some improvements.


First quarter ends November 1,  so there is still time for students to talk with teachers, review tests and turn in missing assignments before final quarter grades are entered.  Middle school is a time when students need to take more responsibility for their work and grades and set personal goals that will be challenging and realistic.  Parents can help students by asking them to:

  • reflect on their performance
  • identify areas they want to improve and
  • make a plan to achieve their quarter goals

If you have questions about grades or the parent portal, please feel free to contact me. I am at Field Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We look forward to a continued partnership with parents to help all of our students reach their full potential at Field!

Wendy Wolff

Field School Counselor

Barnes and Noble 

Book Fair!  

Nov. 19


Here is something new to put on your calendars...


Once again Field has partnered with Barnes and Noble at Galleria for a school book fair to raise funds for books and media needs for the school.  The event is scheduled on Tuesday, November 19 from 5 - 8 pm.  From 5 - 6:30 pm we will be featuring a local 'tween' author who is a fellow educator, Nick Hupton. His website is: "nickhupton.com"


Click HERE for nickhupton.com 


At 6:30 pm we will be featuring music from our wonderful music program at Field School.


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