8th Grade Newsletter - December 5, 2011

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
December 5, 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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G.E.M.S. Family Spaghetti Dinner! Thursday, December 15th 5-7pm, at Field School, in the Commons. $6 for kids, $8for adults, $25 Family maximum. Come join the field community! Enjoy some good company, and good food, served by the group of G.E.M.S. Girls going to Costa Rica! Dinner will consist of spaghetti, salad, and bread, catered by Fat Lorenzo's! Any questions or concerns don't hesitate to contact Evelyn Blum at emb5567@yahoo.com or 612-819-5023.

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

Language Arts - Ms. Constant

I believe 8th graders are interesting people. This belief was confirmed last week while students generated and shared their lists of personal beliefs. This is the basis for our next unit, as well as much of the work we will do for the rest of the year.

Our immediate project is to read and analyze essays from NPR's "This I Believe" radio series. We will analyze message and craft, using the AVID strategy of charting the text to see what authors are saying and what they are doing. Students will also draft a number of short pieces of writing based on their personal beliefs and experiences. Next week students will choose one of these to develop into a full essay which will be recorded. We have a lot of work to do, and not much time before winter break, but with strong effort I know we can do it.

Ask your child if you can see his/her beliefs list. They are amazing. This initial work is based on an "essay" by a 5-year-old who wrote his beliefs for a kindergarten project. You can hear or read his list by clicking on the link below.

Reading Logs are due on Wednesday. Students had the option of reading extra to make up for missing reading logs from earlier this quarter. This option continues through winter break.

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt
Spaghetti Bridge

Hello families and students.

We built bridges out of spaghetti, hung a cup off the bridges, dropped in pennies and broke the bridges. Fun. We did this to create a set of real world data that simulated stress testing a bridge. Students then created a line of best fit graphically, wrote linear equations and made predictions. I thought the lesson was a nice parallel to applications of mathematics in engineering.

Students are getting better at solving equations, one of the staples of Algebra 1. Here are two good links to help students practice:
Algebra Balance Scales from the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Math.com Algebra Worksheet Builder
We'll be learning how to use these sites in the computer lab today so your daughter/son should be able to demonstrate how each of the sites works to you. Ask her/him to do that. It's really good practice.

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

Tribonacci Tribulation

Science ~ Ms. Schultz

A friendly reminder to check the portal. We are nearly half way done with second quarter! Over the weekend I entered grades for our first Earth in Space quiz and the Moon Journal homework. As this week starts we will wrap up our investigation of seasons on Earth and begin investigating lunar phases. We will get to the bottom of why we observe the moon phases we do, when we do. Homework #11 will provide additional practice with moon phases and will be assigned on Wednesday, due Friday. One last note, students are running low on pencils. This is a good time to restock the supplies!

To the families of students in my period 3 class (and any other interested folks), you can catch a glimpse of a typical day in our classroom by following the link below to the latest episode of "School Matters," produced by MPS and televised on local cable channel 15. The segment about us is about 2 minutes into the show and lasts about 2 minutes. Take look! http://vimeo.com/32793879

U.S. History ~ Ms. Slocum

AVID ~ Mrs. Walker
AVID logo

School Counselor and High School Transition ~ Ms. Wolff

There are only 66 days until High School applications are due February 29 (depending on how you count!). If your family has any questions about MPS high school choices, please call me or encourage your child to come see me anytime. I am at Field Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Jim Hoskyn's, parent liaison from Roosevelt High School will be at Field next Thursday, December 8 during Advisory to talk with any students who are interested in hearing about Roosevelt and their unique citywide programs- Health Careers and Automotive and Construction. I will talk with 8th grade students on Tuesday about this opportunity and they can sign up if they would like to meet with Mr. Hoskyns. No matter where you are in your decision making process, it can be helpful to get as much information about school options as possible.

This week is Field Spirit Week! Here is what student council has planned for each day:
Monday- Twin day
Tuesday- Pajama day
Wednesday - Wacky tacky day
Thursday- Ugly sweater day
Friday - Field spirit day

We hope students will have fun with the spirit days but appropriate dress and behavior is expected throughout the week.

A few other announcements:
The 6-8th grade "Winter Candy Land" Dance is coming up next Friday December 9! Tickets are $4 but if students bring in a non perishable can, box or bag of food, they will get $1 off their ticket. We will be donating the food to an organization called "Hope for the City" who distributes the food to people in need. If you would like more information about Hope for the City and how they distribute the food we donate, please visit their website:

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

Advisory ~ 8th grade advisory team

This Tuesday during Advisory, 8th grade students will participate in a brief presentation about sexual harassment by the Field School I (intervention) Team. We will use a chapter from a curriculum called "Let's Get Real" which is primarily about bullying but includes some information about the difference between "flirting" and "sexual harassment". We will be presenting to boys and girls separately but students will get the same message- all students need to feel safe and respected here at Field! Our hope is to work together with parents to give students effective tools to build healthy relationship - this starts with a healthy self image and self advocacy skills. If you have questions, please let us know (Steve Norlin-Weaver, Principal, Reggie Johnson Asst. Principal, Julie Peterson, School Social Worker, Leanne Hughes Hilger, School Psychologist, Wendy Wolff, School Counselor, Karen Ward, School Nurse, Ola Lloyd, School Behavior Specialist)

phone: 612-668-3640

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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