8th Grade Newsletter - January 6, 2014

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8th Grade News for the 
Week of January 6, 2014
The end of first semester is next Thursday, January 16, 2014 and is quickly approaching!  Over the next 5-6 days, please check your student's online portal and complete missing work/make ups for each class by the date identified by each classroom teacher.

We are 17 school days away from our 7th/8th grade Field Community School Ski Trip.  Look for information to come home very soon, and make sure that you have the date on the calendar.  This tradition is enjoyed by all!
Language Arts
Welcome back from break! We are diving into our next unit in Language Arts: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This week includes some pre-reading activities, the first chapter of the bookand a Shared Inquiry discussion. Like other units, our study of this novel will require our best critical thinking as we read, listen, write and speak every day.

Unlike earlier units, this unit demands a fair amount of work outside of class in order for students to be fully prepared to have high-quality discussions and writing in class. The goal of this unit is for students to a) understand and process the ideas in this classic novel and b) become practiced and proficient at character analysis by the time we write final essays. Please be watching for an email from me that will explain the format and expectations of our To Kill a Mockingbird unit in more depth. 
Tuesday: Pre-reading activities will direct our thinking toward the 1930s. Discussing language, historical terms, and censorship will prepare us to read the novel. We'll start with an introduction and read the first chapter in class.
Wednesday-Friday: In groups, students will read one of two non-fiction pieces about the 1930s. These interviews give the differing perspectives of white and black women growing up in that era. We will then have a Shared Inquiry discussion, where students thoughtfully prepare a response to a question about the text, and then support their ideas with textual evidence while speaking to classmates.

On Friday, students will receive their copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Each person will have a specific book and will need to take care of that copy throughout the unit. When we return books at the end of the unit, each student is responsible for returning his or her own copy. These books should be brought to class daily. 

Reading assignments will be given periodically for out-of-class work. The calendar on my website (http://mrsscheumann.weebly.com) will always post the assignments and the due dates. 

I am very much looking forward to studying this novel with you all! Please let me know if you have any questions. 

~Mrs. Merissa Scheumann~
8th Grade English Language Arts
Field Community School

Intermediate Algebra



Welcome back!  I hope you found the holidays fun and relaxing.  Before the break, students took a test and the scores have been posted to the gradebook.  Students will be able to retake learning targets on Thursday and Friday during Advisory and recess. 

Students will need to sign up on Tuesday and Wednesday for the learning targets they wish to retake.  The homework assignments will be updated by Tuesday and starting Wednesday

I will be contacting the parents/guardians of the students with three or more assignments missing.  I will also be contacting the parents of the students with a D or F and putting a plan into place to get that grade up before the end of the quarter.  

Tuesday-Pairs Activity: Systems Review
              HW: Systems #3
Wednesday-Pairs Activity: Systems and Slope Review
                  HW: Slope: Using 2 Points (3)
Thursday-Book Work: Writing Equations 
               HW: Lesson:8.3/8.5
Friday-Going Between Forms

Erin Lindsay
Field Community School


 This week will have the 8th graders studying the Earth's interior.  The week will begin with some discussion about the internal layers of the planet.  We will then move to making models of the layers and learning how scientists study earthquakes (even in MN).

No quiz this week.  Any students wishing to retake assessments or finish projects must have them completed by Thursday next week to be included in the 2nd quarter grade.


Jon I.

Global Studies  
In Global Studies we will be spending the next week and a half finishing our Africa - South of the Sahara unit.  We will especially be focused on the Sudanese and Somali diasporas (ask your student what that word means, they should know by the end of the day Tuesday).  
Also, a reminder that the end of the semester is quickly approaching. Students must have any missing work, test, or project corrections in to me by the end of the day next Thursday.  Finally, we will be having a short quiz mid-week next week regarding the material we have covered since we came back.
Tuesday:  Today we will be quickly reviewing some of the causes of problems in Africa (specifically poverty) today.  We will also be exploring the meaning of the word "diaspora" and considering how it is connected to those items.  There will be an assignment with this due on Thursday.
Wednesday and Thursday:  We will be considering the causes of the Somali diaspora.  We will look at the problems Somalia has faced, why people have left, and the experiences of Somali immigrants.
Friday:  We will be ending the week by looking at Sudan and South Sudan, and the causes of instability in those countries.  We will be looking for similarities with what we have looked at in Somalia and comparing the two cases.
Reader's Workshop
   Good morning & Happy New Year!   As we return from our break, we will be refocusing our energies on Reading like a Reader and Reading Like a Writer.  This strategy is intended to connect students to the idea that there are lots of actions that happen in our heads as we read.  We will be learning what we need to do as readers and writers using a shared text called "Eddie Takes Off" where the students will have a chance to work together to read like a reader and a writer. 

The following two paragraphs give more detail to the ideas we will be asking students to connect to in the coming 7-10 days.

* Reading like a reader. We might think of this as the "normal" way of reading where we try to figure out what a piece of writing means by understanding the words a writer is using. But even this "normal" way is more complicated than it seems.  When we read like a reader we focus on Questions, Predictions, Inferences, Connections, Feelings, and Evaluations we can make.


* Reading like a writer. When we read from the perspective of a writer, we focus less on what the writer is trying to say and more on how the writer is saying it. Specifically, we look at the techniques the writer is using to get his or her message across and how those techniques affect us as we experience the text.

We really need to focus student's energy on applying the reading and writing skills we practice in their core classes.  This BEST class is intended to assist students in achieving deeper understanding in their core classes, as well as making studying and learning easier for them.   This work will also prepare us to interact with many of the Common Core State Standards!



Tim Jungwirth
K-12 Reading Specialist
Field Community School
From our Administrators:

School Counselor news from Wendy Wolff!

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The high school request center went live on December 23, 2013! It will stay open until requests are due FEBRUARY 28. Please take time to review your options and discuss important information with your child:  http://highschoolrequest.mpls.k12.mn.us
You will find information on attendance zones, transportation, and when you are ready, you can choose your top three school options.  Please feel free to call me if you have any questions!
High School Information!
Family Tours are a great way to gather information about the schools.  I will post information as it comes available on the high school information board outside the Math room.  
Washburn has scheduled their family tour dates as follows. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Rebecca Syring at refel001@mpls.k12.mn.us 
·         January 9 - 9:00-10:00 a.m.
·         January 30 - 7:00-8:00 a.m.
·         February 2 - 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the MPS High School transition process! I am at Field on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Wendy Wolff
Field School Counselor
News from Julie Peterson, School Social Worker
     Having trouble making it to school on time every day?  Then it's time to come up with a new plan!  Tardiness is a chronic problem for some students at Field School and this creates a problem for all students, as well as teachers.  An occasional tardy is not really a big problem and sometimes cannot be avoided.  However, consistent habitual tardiness is a problem. Remember that being on time means being seated in your assigned seat or space and ready to work when the second bell rings at 8:05am signaling the start of the class period.
▪ Understand the importance of being on time.  Students who are always on time earn the best grades and enjoy the most success.  The same is true in the workplace.  Start training your students to be on time now and develop this good habit that will last a lifetime.
▪ Get enough sleep.  If getting out of bed in the morning is a problem, make a serious effort to get to bed earlier.  Getting enough sleep also helps students focus better in the classroom and is important for overall good health.
▪ Prepare for school the night before.  Don't wait until you are already rushed in the morning to pack your backpack or complete homework papers.  Get it done the night before and put the backpack by the door.
▪ The start of first period is 8:05am you should plan to arrive at 7:55am.
▪ If one person in the house is running late, everyone is running late.  Make a family commitment to be on time to school every day.
Julie Peterson, LICSW, MSW
Field School Social Worker
Office Hours:  Monday - Thursday
office: 612-668-3655
fax: 612-668-3661

Dates to Remember:

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 Wednesday, January 15,  2014 School Spelling Bee 8:05 - 9:15 Media Center


Friday, January 31, 2014       7th/8th grade Ski Trip

Other important Field Community School news:
In This Issue
Language Arts
Intermediate Algebra
Reader's Workshop
School Counselor News
School Social Worker News
Other Important Field Community School
Article Headline

Quick Links

Parent portal Log-in


Field web site

Contact Info:

Language Arts 
Merissa Scheumann

Erin Lindsay

Jon Iverson

Social Studies
Brian Kafura

8th Grade AVID
Additional Advisory
Ola Lloyd
Tim Jungwirth

School Social Worker:
Julie Peterson

Linda Reiner
Susanne Koob

Reading Specialist:

Tim Jungwirth


Math Specialist:

Seth Leavitt


Site Council Representatives for 8th grade:




Main Office (and Attendance):




About the Site Council:

Site Council meetings are the 1st Wednesday of the month from 4:00 - 5:30 and are open to anyone wishing to attend.  If you have a topic to discuss you must be on the agenda prior to the meeting.  Please contact the 8th grade representative to be added to the agenda.

This email was sent to seth.leavitt@mpls.k12.mn.us by wendy.wolff@mpls.k12.mn.us |  
Field Middle School | 612-668-3640 | 4645 Fourth Avenue South | Minneapolis | MN | 55419