8th Grade Newsletter - February 20, 2012

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
February 20, 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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SHOCKING NEWS: 53 of this year's 8th graders are earning at least one D or F in core classes. Of these, 34 students are earning multiple D's or F's. We have never seen data like this before. We need to make a change.

The eighth grade teachers firmly believe that our students are capable of succeeding, but they must learn to

  • engage in their work
  • complete work to the best of their ability
  • turn work in
  • study for tests and quizzes
  • perform well on assessments
We, in turn, will continue to do our best to both challenge students who are excelling and to provide support for struggling students.

One change we are making immediately is in the focus of our advisory activities. Do you remember KETCHUP and RELISH from 6th grade? Welcome to the 8th grade version. On Tuesdays and Fridays students will either "KETCH UP" on work in intense study halls or "RELISH" in their success with activity choices. This will be in addition to our Thursday study halls and grade checks and our Monday planner work and weekly previews.

How can you as parents best support your child? Make sure s/he has a suitable place to do homework. Ask your child questions about content in different classes and be sure you get a knowledgeable answer. Check the portal (we update the portal frequently!). Email us if you have questions about your child's progress. Schedule a conference to talk about concerns.

It is our goal to have every eighth grader be successful, but we must all (students, teachers, parents) work hard together to make this happen.

Friday, March 2nd is a parent-teacher conference day. The 8th grade teachers are available from 7:30-3:30 to conference with students and parents. If you would like to set up a conference time, please call or email Ola Lloyd (668-3640, Ola.Lloyd@mpls.k12.mn.us

Ski Trip!

The annual 7th and 8th grade ski trip to Hyland Hills in Bloomington is Friday, March 9th. Hyland has been making snow all winter and assures us that great conditions await! Permission slips will be sent home on Tuesday, February 21st. Please return these ASAP. Questions about the trip? Please email Tracey Schultz, Tracey.Schultz@mpls.k12.mn.us

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 discussing chapters 13-15 of To Kill a Mockingbird (due Tuesday with notes for each chapter). On Wednesday we will be in the computer lab to continue work on TKAM essays begun last Friday. These essays will be continued at the end of the book, but I wanted students to work with material from the first half of the book while it is fresh in their minds.

Later in the week we move into the trial of Tom Robinson. Students will be monitoring the trial carefully--comparing testimonies and determining who comes across as a credible witness. Please check planners for assigned chapters.

Please check the portal to see how your child is performing in language arts as well as other classes.

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt
I love math

Hello Field families.

I'd like to just ask you to reread the notice at the top of this newsletter about the number of D's and F's we are seeing with our 8th graders. While I accept the fact that Algebra is a challenging subject, I refuse to accept lack of effort. Please help me help your child. Thank you.

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

The Ages of Sigma

Science ~ Ms. Schultz
View of earth from Apollo 8

Our final Earth in Space unit test is coming up quick! Students will work with their lab group to start the lab portion of the test on Wednesday (2/22). On Thursday (2/23) they will work alone to analyze the data they collected and complete the written test. Study guides were sent home last Friday. They should be completed by Tuesday (2/21) to receive full credit and so that students can ask questions in class on Tuesday before the test. Study guides completed after Tuesday (2/21) will receive half credit. Friday will be a fantastic day in 8th grade science as we host the Exploradome and travel to the edge of our universe.

What unit is next? Weather, Water, and Catastrophic Events!

U.S. History ~ Mr. Farrell

Welcome to an shortened week! Although we have only 4 days this week because of President's Day, this is probably the most important week so far for the 8th grade students. This Friday we will be having our first unit TEST. I informed the students of this last Friday so it should not be a surprise to them, but I really want the students to do well and need to stress how important the unit tests are for the students overall grades.

Summative assessments make up 30% of the overall grade for the students. This means that this test will make up 30% of the students' grades until the end of the next unit. If they want to continue to do well in social studies, they need to do well on the test on Friday. We will spend time this week reviewing and studying for the test, but I encourage students to also study outside of school. The unit has been fun, and I am confident that the students will do well on the test with a little extra work!

AVID ~ Mrs. Walker
AVID logo

School Counselor and High School Transition ~ Ms. Wolff

High School request cards are due in less than TWO WEEKS! We still have 60 Field 8th graders who have NOT submitted their requests by mail or online. We are encouraging all students to submit a request, even if they are not sure they will be attending an MPS high school next year. Please call me if you have any questions about the high school request process. 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