8th Grade Newsletter - February 13, 2012

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
February 13, 2012
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

Adam Farrell
(Social Studies; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

(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

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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The 2012 Minnesota Science Bowl was held on Saturday, February 11th at St. Thomas University. The seventh grade team of Ellie N, Jack H, Nick D, Yoko K, and Josi A, had a strong showing and gained valuable experience for next year! Both eighth grade teams advanced to the afternoon double elimination round, playing hard fought matches against excellent competition. Laura A, Leah H, Michaela V, Connor L, Ethan B, Joey M, Michael D, Maddie H, Sierra L, and Cody T represented Field School with great poise and impressive math and science expertise.

This was our culminating event and all three coaches would like to express how proud we are of all Science Bowl participants, including those of you that couldn't be with us today: eighth graders: Emma S, Harrison R, Isaac F, Lenna J, Penelope L, Rachel A, Rachel S, Ruby G, Fred A and seventh graders: Brandon G, Dayton L, Elsa D, Kaily R, Katie F, Madison B, Olivia M, Roberto S, and Shelby L.

We hope you enjoyed the Science Bowl season as much as we did. Eighth graders we encourage you to investigate and participate in similar programs at your high schools. Seventh graders we hope and plan to see you all again next year!

The 2012 City of Lakes Regional MathCounts Tournament was held Friday, February 10 at the University of Minnesota. Field was represented by eighth graders Laura A, Chloe C., Kaija D. and Connor L and seventh graders Brandon G. and Ben P. Though we competed mightily, we did not bring home a trophy. It was an enjoyable day competing with Mathletes from around the cities. We also were treated to a Chemistry demonstration put on by the Chemical Engineering students. Ask any of the above students how much energy is contained in one gummy bear.

Math Club will continue to meet for the rest of the school year on Friday afternoons. It is a drop in event - come when you can. Mr. West and Mr. Leavitt stay until 3:45 each Friday without fail. Be prepared with your own transportation home.

Mark your planner, the Exploradome is visiting Field on Friday, February 24th. This traveling planetarium will allow us to virtually travel to the edge of the universe, stopping at our Moon, various planets in our solar system, and other requested spots along the way. Our guide will share a wealth of knowledge as well as answer many questions during our journey. Students will spend their science class period in the dome, and based on previous years, will find it a very memorable trip. To pay for part of the cost for this experience, we are asking each student to contribute $5. We are very grateful to our PTA - their fundraising efforts will allow us to cover the remainder of the bill. Thank you Field families for your great support!

Have you used our online calendar? In an effort to better communicate with families we're trying to improve our online calendar to reflect the many activities going on at Field School. As we continue to develop this tool you can look here for field trip details, concert information, extracurricular activities, and more! Use the link below to access our calendar. It can also be accessed directly from our home page.

Field Calendar
Field home page

Our tissue supplies are running low. We would greatly appreciate donations of a box or two of tissues so we can keep the 8th grade classrooms stocked. Students can give boxes to their Advisor or any 8th grade core teacher. Thank you!

Click here for more information.

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

Language Arts - Ms. Constant

We begin the week with a review of Part I of To Kill a Mockingbird. Students will be identifying the ten most important events so far in terms of their influence on characters' thinking, actions and/or understanding. There is no right or wrong answer to this question but students must use detailed evidence from the text, including quotes, to prove their thinking. Students will work today on reviewing their notes in preparation for a discussion tomorrow. It is crucial that students who do not finish their prep work in class finish at home tonight. The preparation notes are due at the beginning of class tomorrow. They can not be finished later or turned in for late credit.

This week students who still have a zero or missing on any of our first quizzes will be coming in to recess with me on multiple days to take a make-up quiz using ch. 9-11. I have given students many opportunities to make up the work, both for full credit and for late credit. I have given out progress reports and talked to students individually to students at least twice. Many students took advantage of this and improved their work and their grades. Yet I still have a number of students not turning in acceptable work, and it's not because they are not capable. These students will now get to work during recess until the work is done. Please check the portal to see your child's updated grade.

For Wednesday students should read and take notes on ch. 13. For Friday they should read and take notes on ch. 14.

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt

My last two newsletter entries have been very emotional. This one will just be the cold, hard facts.

Students' grades are based on 10% Participation, 10% Homework, and 80% Tests and Quizzes. This enables students, teachers, parents and guardians to get a true picture of how well a student understands Algebra. All tests and quizzes are eligible for make-up work.

As of Sunday, February 12, there has been one test (200 points) and two quizzes (50 points and 20 points). This is a total of 270 points. The test proved to be very difficult for students so we did extra work on the material and I gave students class time to do make up work. Here are the results as they stand today. (A word of explanation - make-up grades completely replace the first attempt so in the table below, 52 students now have an A on the Chapter 5 Test 1.) Please find out which cell your son/daughter is in. If it's not a C, B, or A, please encourage make-up work. If you have any questions, please write or call. Thank you.

Grade First Attempt Make-up
A 21 31
B 1 5
C 3 3
D 2  
F 35  

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

Valentine's Day Candy

Science ~ Ms. Schultz
View of earth from Apollo 8

We are wrapping up our work with FOSSILS in 8th grade science. On Monday we will finish examining the relative ages of fossils and modeling molds and casts. We will sort through some major events in Earth's past on Tuesday, trying to figure out what happened and in what order. On Wednesday and Thursday we will compare Earth to the other planets in the solar system, pondering the question is Earth unique? Look for a study guide for our final unit test to go home with students on Friday so they have the long weekend to work on preparing. I am getting very excited for our upcoming science trip to the Exploradome. While we won't leave Field (the dome comes to us!), we will travel to the edge of the universe. Students will spend their regular science class period in the dome on Friday, 2/24.

U.S. History ~ Mr. Farrell

Welcome to another week in United States History! We have a busy week coming up, but I know the students will be able to handle it. The students did well on the quiz we had last week, and I am confident that the hard work will continue and we move forward in our unit.

Last week we began analyzing immigrants that came to United States during the peak years of 1890 to 1920. The students used an online museum to take a virtual tour of what tenement housing was like and get a better sense of everyday life for the immigrants as they attempted to make new lives in the United States. This week we will be using photos and other primary sources to discuss more details concerning immigrants and how they lived. We will also use a more recent newspaper article to analyze some of the current discussions that are taking place in our country surrounding immigrations.

Finally, the students will be getting their Explore Tests back on Thursday. We will take the class period to go over what the scores mean and discuss any questions. It should be another great week!

AVID ~ Mrs. Walker
AVID logo

School Counselor and High School Transition ~ Ms. Wolff

I will be working with 8th grade students THIS THURSDAY February 16 during their Social Studies period to review their EXPLORE test results. We rescheduled due the music rehearsal schedules a couple weeks ago. Your child will receive their actual test booklet with their answers, an informational booklet on their results along with their scores. PLEASE ask them about their results and review the information along with them. We hope it will spark some good conversations about their future plans, goals and interests as well as areas they may need to focus more attention. We know communication can be difficult at this age so I encourage you to dig a little.

If they do not come home with anything, please call me and I can do some detective work! The most important message I want 8th graders to hear this week is that their EXPLORE results inform them as to their college readiness and PREDICT how they may do on the 10th grade PLAN test and the ACT in 11th/12th grade . The results do NOT define them or determine whether they will be ready for college. The benefit of taking this test in 8th grade is they still have plenty of time to work harder or get extra help in the areas that they need to improve. Feel free to call me with any questions. I am at Field on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays!

Wendy Wolff
Field School Counselor

High School Choice web site

Family Focus

Dear Parents/Guardians of Field Middle School Students:

The Minnesota Twins recognize that good performance in school begins with good attendance and they're excited to team up with Minnesota Middle School Association (MMSA) to create the Perfect Attendance Incentive Program.

To become eligible, students must simply have "perfect attendance" for the 2011-2012 school year during quarters 3 & 4. The reason the Minnesota Twins and MMSA have established this program is because they recognize the importance of having students in each class every day.

What are the Twins offering? Field Middle School will select one student to attend the game against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, May 26, 2012. The Twins will provide 4 tickets for that student and up to three parents/guardians/siblings to attend. The Twins are working to develop some great activities and incentives that will take place during the game. The selected student will represent Field Middle School on the field prior to the game. In addition, one lucky eligible student will be selected to throw out the first pitch and students will be able to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. The difficult part is selecting only one student from Field Middle School! If your student is still eligible and interested in early May, they will be asked to submit an essay for judging.

We would like to thank both the MMSA and the Twins for supporting the Attendance Incentive Program and our students.

If you have any questions regarding this incentive program, please feel free to call Mr. Norlin-Weaver at 612-668-3640 or Ms. Julie Peterson at 612-668-3655.

The middle school years are a good time to start giving your teen more independence; It helps them establish their own place in the world. As your teen becomes more reliable and mature increase privileges and opportunities for independence. If they fall, they still have you to catch them and to guide them before they are out on their own. Remember some of life's most valuable lessons are learned through life experiences!

Struggling navigating through the teen years? Two Field parents developed an app that answers a lot of teens' -- and their parents'-- tough questions about things they face: relationships, mental health, substance abuse, bullying, etc. called teensphere. You can learn more about the app at teensphere.com. Check it out!

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

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