8th Grade Newsletter - May 29, 2012

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
May 21, 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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Thirty-two students have turned in their permission slips for Valleyfair! Is your child one of them? We want every 8th grader to be able to join us. Rain or shine (and we hope for shine) we always have a lot of fun on our last day together. Slips and payment are due to Ms. Constant this Friday, June 1.

For kids staying late, please note, we have had a change in policy. Students have to meet us at the front gate at 3:15 to check in with Ms. Constant. Your parent/chaperone does not. We MUST, however, have a written note signed by your parent, informing us you have permission to stay late. Notes MUST be given to Ms. Constant by Monday, June 4!

Calling all books!

Please help your child search at home, in the car, in backpacks--anywhere Field School books might be hiding. Now is a great time to turn in ScienceSaurus texts, books from Ms. Constant's classroom library, LA and B.E.S.T. books, and books from the media center. Algebra text books can be kept until Thursday, May 31. All books must be returned or paid for before our trip to Valleyfair!

Please join us Tuesday, June 5, from 8:15-9:15 a.m. as we celebrate the eighth graders' years at Field School. Invitations were sent to eighth grade families last week via U.S. mail. You do not need the invitation or a ticket to attend. Parents are welcome to join us, but school-age siblings should be in their respective schools/classrooms. Please email Alison Constant or your child's advisory teacher if you have any questions.

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

Language Arts - Ms. Constant

We'll wrap up this week with final debates final individual/group projects. Students have the option to do either the debates or the project; they may do both for extra credit.

In these final activities I am looking for students' best work--a true culmination of the skills they have developed this year. In debates, I am listening for strong research-based arguments and thinking; in projects I am watching and listening for research, analysis and presentation. I am very excited about the range of topics we'll be exposed to this week.

This Friday is the last day to turn in late work for language arts. Please check the portal to be sure your child has his/her work turned in!

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt

Hello Field families.

The Second Annual Field Algebra 1 Review Tournament is in full swing. Check my web page to review the standings. (Look at the notes from the last 3 days.)

We continue our Tournament (review for the final exam) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is the exam. I'm actually excited. Students are demonstrating that they know a lot about Algebra. For example, systems of equations were a struggle when we studied them. They seem to be relatively simple to most students now. It's been so gradual that students don't know how much they've learned. It's fun to watch them work on these review assignments.

My link for parent feedback is still open. I've gotten a bit of feedback but would love to hear more. I want to improve my teaching and the best feedback I can get is from my students and from their parents. Please let me know how the year went for you and for your child. Thank you.

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

The Joke

Think exponential.

Science ~ Ms. Schultz
View of earth from Apollo 8

Want to know about the pros and cons of UV radiation? What do skin cancer and cataracts have to do with UV? Do you know how to assess your risk for developing skin cancer and cataracts? Ask an 8th grader! Now, what to do with that information? Put it to the test, of course! As the week begins, we will run our controlled experiments on sun screens. Eventually we will have scores to compare each of the three brands tested (Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, and Neutrogena). Ask your student which they ranked highest. We will have all 3 available for use at Valley Fair next week, and you can find these products and more at local stores. To finish the week, we will investigate the science of roller coasters and "free fall" rides. While I won't be riding them on June 5th, I know many students will enjoy every thrill ride Valley Fair has to offer!

U.S. History ~ Mr. Farrell

We are so close to the end! The students have only 4 days left of social studies class time. Although it would be easy to check out, there is one more summative assessment remaining for the year. The final assessment will be a short exam covering our American Dream unit, and will take place on Friday, June 1. The students will have a say in exactly how much the final assessment is weighted toward their final grade, and we will continue going over most of the information for the exam in class this week.

The grades have changed a bit over the past couple weeks because of a few large assessment and the past essays. I encourage everyone to stay up to date with how they are doing. If students are worried about their grades, the final assessment is a great way to improve their overall grade in class. I am looking forward to a productive last full week together!

School Counselor and High School Transition ~ Ms. Wolff

Wendy Wolff
Field School Counselor

Family Focus

Want your teen to talk more, try listening more. One thing I've learned in my 15 years as a School Social Worker is that frequently kids just want somebody to listen to them. Many times talking through the problem or concern helps clarify the situation. While listening keep good eye contact, remain calm (as tough as this may be at times), focus only on what your teen is saying, and respond appropriately (e.g. nod head, say words like interesting, really?). Next time your teen comes to you wanting to talk try listening without offering advice, judgment or suggestions, you may be surprised at how much more your teen has to say.

Enforcing consequences can be tough - your teen needs you as a parent, not a pal! It may be hard to believe but teenagers want rules and limits set for them. Establish family rules and expectations and then set appropriate consequences for not following a rule. Teens are less likely to engage in inappropriate behavior that they have previously discussed and established clear consequences for with their parent(s). Be consistent. And most importantly, notice and acknowledge the positive.

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.

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