8th Grade Newsletter - October 10, 2011

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
October 10, 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

Quick Links...

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Science Bowl is back!
Science Bowl is an after school science team that meets every Monday from 2:45-3:45 starting on October 31st. At our practices we learn to play the Science Bowl game, train for the 2012 competition, and take scientific field trips. We study all branches of science and also math. Interested students should get a flyer and an application form from Mr. Boler or Ms. Schultz, the co-coaches. Application forms should be returned ASAP to reserve your spot!

Math Club is back!
Math Club for 7th and 8th graders returns this week. This year, Mr. West and Mr. Leavitt will have Math Club two days per week.
  • Tuesday afternoon until 3:45 - this will be a homework help type of day.
  • Friday afternoon until 3:45 - this will be a challenge math day, with an eye to the MathCounts tournament in February. When Volleyball ends, Friday club will probably move to Thursday.
Students need to provide their own transportation home.

Mid quarter Progress Reports
Mid quarter Progress reports for all students will be sent out early next week to each students' home. Progress reports help students, parents and teachers get a clear picture of how students are doing in their coursework BEFORE the quarter ends November 3, 2011, while there is still time to help students improve their grades. Please take some time to talk through your child's progress report together and celebrate the areas they are finding success and discuss some strategies to help them in areas they may be struggling before their final grades are put on their transcript. Conferences are coming up soon and this will be a great time to discuss any concerns you may have about your child's progress!

Parent-Teacher Conferences begin this Thursday! If you have not yet signed up, or if you have forgotten your conference time, please contact Ola Lloyd at 668-3640 or Ola.Lloyd@mpls.k12.mn.us. You will be scheduled to begin with one core teacher, but will have a chance to speak with other teachers as desired.

The 8th grade teachers encourage students to attend their conference. Students offer valuable insights and ask meaningful questions. Their presence at the table enriches the conference!


  • Picture retakes - October 27th
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences - October 13th (evening), October 18th (evening), October 19th (7:30 am-3:30 pm)
  • No School - October 19th, 20th, and 21st
  • No Sale Fundraiser - starts October 17th

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

Language Arts - Ms. Constant

As we near the end of The Giver, Jonas continues to uncover the important truths that underlie the seeming perfection of his community. We will use what we learn in class this week to continue our discussion of utopian and dystopian qualities of the community.

Students should have read and taken notes on chapters 17 and 18 for today. We will read chapter 19 in class together later in the week. Reading and notes for chapters 20 and 21 are due on Friday.

Students will also be getting their "Giver vs. 'Pleasantville'" essays back during the week. They have until next Tuesday, October 18 to revise them and turn in the final draft. The draft with my feedback must be included.

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt
The door of the classroom on the way out of the room

Hello families and students.

Please ask your daughter/son why there is a picture of a door in today's newsletter. Write to me and let me know what she/he said. I'd love to hear student's interpretation. Seth.Leavitt@mpls.k12.mn.us

Our work this past week began building the foundation for our algebraic thinking. Ask your son/daughter to show you his/her notebook and explain what we learned. If he/she can't do a good job, tell them to stop in during recess and I'll help them understand. A strong start will contribute to a strong finish.

I look forward to meeting as many of my students' parents as possible in the next two weeks. Please try to make it to conferences (and bring your son/daughter). If you can't make it to conferences, let's try to find another time to meet. It's very important that we work together to help students succeed. If we all try our hardest, nothing can stand in our way!

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

Cherokee Creek Checkers Club

I'm going to run last week's puzzle for one more week.

Science ~ Ms. Schultz

This week we will investigate separating mixtures. We will learn several separation techniques including filtration, evaporation, and chromatography. We will also explore how we can apply what we learned about characteristic properties of matter to separating mixtures.

Homework #8 will be assigned on Tuesday, due Thursday. On Wednesday there will be a short quiz to assess students' understanding of mixtures and solutions. The quiz will focus on pages 21-26 in our Science Notebooks. Helpful items to read in ScienceSaurus include 271, 272, and 273.

I look forward to talking with everyone at our upcoming conferences. It is really helpful if students bring their science notebook to our conference (or if their parents do!).

U.S. History ~ Ms. Slocum

It looks like the students did a great job with their American Government test! That is from casual observation, as I moved between tables in the classroom while kids were working. I will try to get them corrected and returned to students as soon as I can.

This week we will take the Citizenship Test that immigrants must pass to obtain American citizenship. I think it will nicely lead into some good discussion of what citizenship is and the rights and responsibilities that accompany it. They will not be graded on their performance on this test--it's just to give them the experience and spark interest.

We will finish the week by beginning our study of the Civil War. Students will be studying the lead up issues and how these issues evolved into war. There will be NO Histofacts/Histoquiz this week, as we finish up and then begin a new unit of study. Have a great week!!

AVID ~ Mrs. Walker
Avid Logo

Mr. Kambale, our lead tutor for AVID, is currently available to help students with academic classes after school on Tues., Thurs., and Fri. from 2:40-4:40. I am usually available on these days also, as well during 7th and 8th grade lunch and recess.

I would like to encourage all AVID families to stop by the AVID room before or after your regular conference time. Conferences begin this Thursday in the evening. If you don't currently have a conference scheduled, be sure to contact the school. Conferences are an invaluable time to connect with families, even when your student is doing fantastic in all their classes. Due to the fact that I see students in three different grades, my conferences are on a drop in basis. Parents of returning AVID students should note that AVID has moved to room 117, across from the office.

School Counselor and High School Transition ~ Ms. Wolff

High School Transition Information will be posted on the bulletin board outside Mr. Leavitt's room for all 8th grade students. Please remind your child to check the board for important information. I will also be visiting 8th grade advisories to talk to students about the high school request process to help them get ready! All applications are due February 29 (149 days away!) and can be completed through the online choice website after you gather the appropriate information to make the right choice for your family. http://highschoolchoice.mpls.k12.mn.us

The Zone 3 High School Information Meeting is coming upon us quickly and is scheduled for Monday October 17 at 6:00 p.m. at Barton Open School (4237 Colfax Avenue South). Parents of 8th grade students are encouraged to attend this meeting as well as the High School Open Houses to gather as much information as possible. Each High School will also be scheduling 4 dates for Family Tours which will be a time to visit the school and get a more personalized snapshot of high schools of interest. These tours will take the place of both high school shadowing and 8th grade tours that have happened in the past. Family tour dates will be determined by individual schools and should be available by October 10. I will post all of this information on the transition bulletin board as well as 8th grade newsletters as dates are confirmed. Feel free to call me anytime with questions about the process. I am at Field Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays!

The dates for the high school open houses are as follows:
Southwest- Tues., Oct. 25
Washburn- Thurs., Oct. 27
North-Wed., Nov. 2
Roosevelt-Wed., Nov. 17 (note date change)
South-Thurs., Nov. 10
Edison-Tues., Nov. 15
Henry-Thurs., Nov.17

Wendy Wolff
Field School Counselor

Advisory ~ 8th grade advisory team

Our Second Step lessons about will continue this week. One Advisory suggested sharing the tips we are brainstorming to help fifth graders be successful in school. We will explore some ways we might connect with Field fifth graders through the use of video or even hand written letters. In another Advisory students became very interested in what it feels like to be a new student. We hope to explore this further in the weeks ahead and use our findings to make Field a more welcoming school for new students. Finally, we will continue to think about ways that we can be an ally or a leader for younger students. Being in the position of the oldest students in the school is exciting, and potentially very influential.

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