8th Grade Newsletter - November 14, 2011

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter

November 14, 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)





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

Language Arts - Ms. Constant

We continue to work on reading and summarizing chapters of The Wave in class. Students have identified numerous reasons why summarizing is a useful skill, such as it makes them pay attention, and requires them to determine which ideas are most important. Students also identified that the 5-sentence requirement for summaries is in place to help some students write more to expand their ideas while forcing other students to pare down their ideas into the most significant. Last Friday we looked at the grading rubric we will use to evaluate summaries and students practiced grading their first six. While these six will be graded on whether they were done or not, the rest of the summaries will be graded on the more evaluative criteria.

Students have also worked hard at developing questions related to the text. They work in groups to determine what in each chapter is worthy of discussion and create questions in four formats: multiple choice, short-answer, long-answer, and based off a quote. In creating these questions students demonstrate their understanding of the text and challenge their own and each other's thinking. One of my favorite questions overheard in our last session was, "Do you think that's a good enough question?" The group then evaluated their work and it worthiness. In grading questions, students receive a grade based on their group's overall results and their individual contributions to the work. I compile questions and they are used to lead follow-up discussions of the chapters. This past week I checked our student-designed questions against the teacher's guide for this book and confirmed that our questions were much stronger. Kudos to our eighth graders!

Reading Logs are due on Wednesday. I added a word to the criteria for an A--that all four questions have to be answered "well"--and talked with students about what that means. Also new this week is that reading logs have to be turned in by Friday of the week they are due to count for regular late credit. After that they go down to half credit. Of course, turning them in on Wednesdays for full credit is the best plan. Looking ahead, there will be a double reading log due the Wednesday after Thanksgiving which students will receive this week. Students are expected to read a minimum of eight days and a minimum of six hours over the two weeks. It will count for 20 points.

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt
Walking Graphs

Hello families and students.

We have begun our study of lines!

The picture above shows a student's walking path, superimposed on a predetermined path she was trying to duplicate. The x-axis is time (0-6 seconds) and the y-axis is distance from the motion sensor (0-4 meters). How was the student walking? Why are the graphs straight lines? Your son or daughter should be able to answer these questions. Ask him or her.
Click here or the image above to see more walking graphs

Seth Leavitt

PS A note to students and families - I have leadership roles with organizations that advance educational and mathematical understanding. Usually, activities are in the evening or on weekends but this month is different. As a result, I will be missing a number of school days. Kris Meyer will be substituting for me most of those days, which guarantees continuity of instruction. I will do my best to prepare any other substitutes so that they can also lead students forward. While I don't like to miss school days, I think my students get a better teacher because of my involvement with professional organizations. I hope you agree.



Problem of the Week

Laser Tag


Science ~ Ms. Schultz

Properties of Matter (also known as chemistry) is coming to an end this week. The unit three test is TUESDAY! Like the previous unit tests, this one will also have both a lab and a written component. Students received their study guide on Friday and hopefully got off to a good start preparing over the weekend. We will do some additional review on Monday and I will be available during recess for extra questions/help. Before moving on to our next unit, The Earth in Space, we will spend Wednesday investigating acids and bases. This will help us understand the color changes we observed in our experiment last Friday as well as how Alka Seltzer settles an upset stomach. Then we venture into earth and space science using a brand new curriculum I am so excited to teach! Students will likely receive a homework assignment on Friday. It will involve observing the moon over the next several weeks.

Tracey A. Schultz
8th Grade Science Teacher
Field School, Minneapolis
(612) 668-3640



U.S. History ~ Ms. Slocum

AVID ~ Mrs. Walker

School Counselor and High School Transition ~ Ms. Wolff

I enjoyed working with 8th grade students during their Social Studies hour this week to discuss high school transition and the EXPLORE test. They had a lot of great questions and insights to what they will need to be successful in high school and beyond! Ask them if they learned anything new or have any new questions about the high school application process!

High School Open Houses this week! (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Feel free to call me anytime with questions. I am at Field Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays and look forward to meeting more of you!



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



Advisory ~ 8th grade advisory team

This week in Advisory we will work on our next Second Step lesson, "Negotiating and Compromising." Students will be introduced to a series of action steps to follow when faced with interpersonal problems. The steps include:

After watching a video where siblings work out a problem using these steps, we will role play with one another to get first hand practice.




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