8th Grade Newsletter - December 19, 2011

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
December 19, 2011
8th Grade News ~ Field Community School
in this issue...

Staff Contacts

Core & Advisory Teachers:

Sean Casey
(Advisory; Media/Tech)
(612) 668-3640

Alison Constant
(Language Arts; Advisory)
(612) 668-7672

(Math; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

Ola Lloyd
(Advisory; Behavior Support)
(612) 668-3640

Gretchen Mattson
(Advisory; Reading Support)
(612) 668-3640

Tracey Schultz
(Science; Advisory)
(612) 668-8602

Linda Slocum
(Social Studies; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

Mike VanPatten
(Advisory; Life Skills)
(612) 668-3640

Specialists & Support Teachers

Del Bey
(612) 668-3640

Marni Heck
(612) 668-3640

Kim Hotchkiss
(Band & Orchestra)
(612) 668-3640

Ruth LeMay
(Vocal Music & Guitar)
(612) 668-3640

Brenda Leviton
(612) 668-3640

Mark Usem
(Math Support)
(612) 668-3640

Heather Walker
(612) 668-3640

Administrators and Student Support:

Reggie Johnson
(Assistant Principal)
(612) 668-3640

Terry Mazig
(Parent Liaison)
(612) 668-3640

Steve Norlin-Weaver
(612) 668-3640

Julie Peterson
(Social Worker)
(612) 668-3640

Wendy Wolff
(612) 668-3640

Site Council Representatives/PTA:

Kathie Glick
(Site Council rep)

Sashank Varma
(Site Council rep)

Margaret Miller
(PTA Co-Chair)

Rich Flint
(Site Council community rep)

Quick Links...

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Hello Parents and Guardians,

From childhood to adulthood, the middle years "the teen years" can be a time of lots of questions as well as challenges. Don't worry! All these "bumps" help your teen become well adjusted adults. To assist with some of these "bumps" we will be adding a section to the weekly newsletter called "Family Focus" that will have monthly tips for raising healthy teens.

Julie Peterson, LICSW, MSW
Field School Social Worker

Office Hours: Monday - Thursday
office: 612-668-3655
fax: 612-668-3661

Missing Something?
The lost and found will be cleaned out and remaining items will be donated to a local charity on Friday, December 23. Please have your child check for lost belongings. The lost and found is located between the commons and the student restrooms.

Winter break dates
No school Monday, December 26 through Friday, January 6.
Students return to school on Monday, January 9, 2012.

Here's what's happening in eighth grade this week...

Language Arts - Ms. Constant

Students need more time with their This I Believe" essays, so we have been taking time in class to work on giving peer feedback in writing groups. This is a challenging skill, but most students have said they've received good feedback. I have overheard many strong comments from writing groups that target both authors' strengths and areas for improvement. We will be revising essays in class on Tuesday and students have until Thursday to turn in their improved essays. I will read these over break and return to students in January with further expectations for revision.

Later in the week we will be using our Charting Text skills to analyze a piece of short fiction and compare and contrast authors' purposes in fiction vs. nonfiction.

Reading Logs are due on Wednesday. Students will have a reading log over break.

I wish everyone a restful break and look forward to seeing students back in January!

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt
An unusual view of our classroom

Hello families and students.

The picture above is an unusual view of our classroom. Ask your daughter/son its significance. If s/he was on the AVID trip on Friday, s/he won't know.

Students will take the Chapter 4 test tomorrow (Tuesday). We will use the Chapter 4 Review section (pages 268-270) as review on Monday. All the answers are in the back of the book. Please encourage your daughter/son to study tonight.

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

A Holiday Gift for Grandmother Brown

There wasn't much response to last week's problem of the week so I'm repeating it again this week. It's a good problem.

Science ~ Ms. Schultz
View of earth from Apollo 8

Mark your planner - the Sun-Earth-Moon System unit test is this Wednesday and Thursday! Similar to previous unit tests, there will be both a lab and a written component to the test. The lab test will be broken into two parts, spread over two days. In part one, students will plan and conduct the experiment with their lab group. This will take place on Wednesday. In part two, students will work alone to analyze their data and write a scientific explanation for their findings. This will take place on Thursday. Students will also complete the written part of the test on Thursday. To help students prepare at home, I will make a study guide available on Monday. I will also be available for extra help during recess on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, as well as after school on Tuesday.

I wish everyone a restful, relaxing winter break and a very happy New Year!

U.S. History ~ Ms. Slocum

Wow-was last week hard work! Students completed a comprehensive study guide for an intense test on the Civil War Unit. I have not corrected all the work yet, but in just perusing, it looks like the kids did a great job. Students also worked on a response writing assignment about what they would do if they lived during reconstruction and were a former slave. We looked at the many choices former slaves had, but also the inhibiting factors such as no money and lack of mobility. Kids seemed tuned in and interested. I look forward to the sharing we will do (strictly voluntary) on Monday.

This week before the holidays we will be moving through the reconstruction period and examining the changes this time brought to our country. We will be doing quite a bit of reading and discussing what we've read. Students will have some written questions that they will have time to start in class, but may need to complete at home. Students will also have an Exit Visa following one of the class periods.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the time with family and friends. Rest and be well!

AVID ~ Mrs. Walker
AVID logo

We had a wonderful trip to William Mitchell College of Law on Friday. The college was thrilled to have us and truly rolled out the red carpet for our visit, despite the pressures of finals that week.

Students were welcomed by Lawrencina Mason Oramalu, who is the Assistant Dean and Director of Multicultural Affairs and STAND Faculty Advisor, and is our main contact at William Mitchell. She introduced a video about Lena Olive Smith, who was the first African American female Lawyer in Minnesota, and was our

School Counselor and High School Transition ~ Ms. Wolff

Families should receive mid quarter progress reports in the mail this week. Students still have time to improve these grades before the quarter ends January 20, 2012. Middle School is the time when students need to take more responsibility for their grades and assignments. Here are a few things parents can do to begin shifting this responsibility:

  • Have them check their student portal from home at least weekly- they can look at their current scores and missing assignments (make sure they select correct term- quarter 2)
  • When reviewing their grades, ask them what they think - are they happy with them? What areas could they improve? Are they putting forth their BEST effort?
  • Ask to see their planner periodically and talk about the importance of writing down what they are working on as well assignment due dates.
  • Set a regular "homework" time, even if they don't have homework, they can read, study notes, organize their binder or back pack and planner. This builds a habit that will be especially useful in high school.
  • Focus on positives... Students who are taking responsibility for their learning care more about their grades than their parents or teachers and are already concerned about their problem areas.
  • For 8th graders especially- talk about their GPA( grade point average) which will matter even more next year in high school in terms of post secondary opportunities and scholarships.
  • Encourage them to ask questions and seek help if they are struggling. We have many support services and staff who can help students find solutions to questions and concerns.
ALSO: As the student council advisor, I had a fabulous time working with student council to coordinate the first spirit week, food drive and school dance of the year. Thank you to everyone who helped and volunteered to make these events so successful!

Summer Job Applications for "Step Up" are available already for summer 2012! Applications are due February 3, 2012 which will come up quickly after the holidays! "Step up" is a fantastic summer job program for our students age 14-21 to help them gain valuable experience and learn about the world of work...while making some money and new friends over the summer! Check out the website for more information:

High School Choice web site
High School Open House Flyer
High School Information Sessions Flyer

Family Focus

Did you know that having an "attitude of gratitude" has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others? Try it with your family! Do one small thoughtful or generous thing for each member of your family daily; express your appreciation for someone's skills or talents.


Advisory ~ 8th grade Advisory team

This week in Advisory we will spend Tuesday and Wednesday working through a PowerPoint presentation created by the MPS counseling department. We will learn more about GPA calculation and the significance of the GPA, particularly as it applies to high school and post secondary options. We will also discuss the credit system used in high school and the credit requirements for graduation. On Friday, our last Advisory of 2011, we will offer students various activities to choose from so that students can mix with friends in other classes and select an option that they find fun!

phone: 612-668-3640

Forward email

This email was sent to seth.leavitt@mpls.k12.mn.us by alison.constant@mpls.k12.mn.us |  

Field School | 4654 Fourth Avenue South | Field PTA | Minneapolis | MN | 55419