8th Grade Newsletter - October 1, 2012

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
October 1, 2012
8th Grade News ~ Field Community School
in this issue...

Staff Contacts

Core & Advisory Teachers:

Alison Constant
(Language Arts; Advisory)
(612) 668-7672

Tim Jungwirth
(Reading Support; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

(Math; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

Ola Lloyd
(Behavior Support; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

Julie Peterson
(Social Worker; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

Tracey Schultz
(Science; Advisory)
(612) 668-8602

Linda Slocum
(Social Studies; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

Mike VanPatten
(Life Skills; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

Wendy Wolff
(Counselor; Advisory)
(612) 668-3640

Specialists & Support Teachers

Del Bey
(612) 668-3640

Sean Casey
(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

Site Council Representatives/PTA:

Dawn Nelson
(Site Council rep)

Mike Wedl
(Site Council rep)

Margaret Miller
(PTA Co-Chair)

Rich Flint
(Site Council community rep)

Quick Links...

Join our mailing list!

Conference Sign up news:

Have you signed up for parent-teacher conferences? They will be held Thursday, October 11 in the evening, Tuesday, October 16 in the evening, and Wednesday, October 17 during the day. You will sign up for one half hour time slot. During that time you will have a primary conference with one of the 8th grade teachers, but will be able to talk to other teachers as needed. To schedule a conference, change your time, or check your time, please contact Ola Lloyd at Ola.Lloyd@mpls.k12.mn.us or 612-668-3640.

Midquarter Grade News:

Midquarter grades grades will be submitted by Wednesday October 3, 2012. Remember, students are receiving grades for homework, tests and participation on a daily basis so progress grades can change quickly.

For the most up to date information on your child's progress, check the parent portal and click on "assignments". If you or your child are confused about an assignment or a grade, encourage them to talk with their teacher and practice some self advocacy and problem solving skills. These will be important skills to have throughout middle school and we hope all students have it perfected by the time they get to high school!

Science Bowl starting next week!

Science Bowl for 7th or 8th grade students will be starting on Monday, October 8th. Science Bowl is for students who like science and math, fast paced competitions, and working with others.

An information/sign-up form was passed out to interested students in science class last week. Please return the form by Friday October 5th. (To get a new form see one of the science teachers or download a form by going to the Field website - look for Science Bowl under the Events sidebar.)

Math MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing is Thursday, October 4, during regular math classes.

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

Language Arts - Ms. Constant

This week we will detail what qualities make the community in The Giver utopian or dystopian. We will also analyze a montage of clips from the movie "Pleasantville" to better understand some of the concepts that arise in The Giver. Later in the week we will have a graded discussion as to how the many rules in the community of The Giver influence citizens.

Students should read ch. 14-15 for Wednesday and write down 5 significant events for each chapter.

The other major assignment is to revise Jobs Essays. Directions can be found on my web page. The deadline has been extended to Tuesday, October 9, though finished essays may be turned in any time before that. It is crucial that students resubmit their original essays with my feedback when they turn in their revisions. For students who did poorly the first time around this grade is likely hurting their overall grade significantly because it is the only grade thus far in the Writing category. The revised essay grade will replace the original grade which will impact the overall grade, hopefully for the better. I encourage students to take their revision work seriously.

Parents are now allowed to give help on essays. In terms of content, the best ways to do this are to point out areas that are unclear, areas that could use more details to fully explain an idea, or areas that are not needed. In terms of mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation), I ask that if you proofread, please circle mistakes and have your child figure out how to fix them. S/he can ask for help if s/he can't figure out the correction alone.

Linear Algebra (8th Grade Algebra) ~ Mr. Leavitt

Hello Field families.

Last week, I asked, "How many distinct proofs of the Pythagorean theorem are there? I told students there were over _____." I had two really eye-opening experiences as a result of that question.

The first was an email from a father telling me his daughter didn't know - maybe a million? The second was during Advisory when I was reading our newsletter to my group. I asked them the question as I was reading the newsletter. Blank stares. Not one student knew the answer.

What is the lesson learned? Sometimes I'm not on the same wavelength as my students. I guess I knew that but this was a stark reminder. I am in love with mathematics. The fact that there are over 300 distinct proofs for the Pythagorean Theorem is, to me, astounding. I guess it's not quite as impressive to my young students. So it goes ---

On a somewhat related note, it seems like almost every student is understanding what the Pythagorean Theorem states and how to apply the theorem. I quizzed students on Friday and the results were impressive.

We will finish our studies of this important theorem on Tuesday. Wednesday will be a review day. Thursday is MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing and Friday will be the chapter test on "Looking for Pythagoras". So far, we've only had short quizzes. This is a big test. Please encourage study. Thanks.

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

Sierpinski Stages

The most avid POW solver is Ms. Constant. I'll bet she loves this one!

Fun Fact 4 (from last week)
Babies have 5 kneecaps when they're born (all made of cartilage which later fuses together).

Fun Fact 5 There are __________ ridges around the outside of a dime.

Click the link above and take a guess.

Intermediate Algebra (9th Grade Algebra) ~ Mr. Leavitt & Mr. Feuling

Hello Field families.

We're tackling the concept of sampling a population to make predictions. We're using a fictitious 8th grade and the number of movies they've watched in the past month. How many people need to be sampled to give a statistically accurate picture of the population? That's the question we're trying to answer. We are also looking at different sampling techniques.

I also mentioned a major application of statistical sampling that has been getting a lot of air play at the moment. Does anyone know what I'm referring to?

Seth Leavitt and Richard Feuling

Contact information:
Seth Leavitt
Email Seth.Leavitt@mpls.k12.mn.us
My voice mail 612 668-9139

Richard Feuling
Email Richard.Feuling@mpls.k12.mn.us
Cell phone 612 747-9714

Science ~ Ms. Schultz

Science Update -

Please check the portal for the unit one test scores. The 50-point test consisted of a lab (20 points) and a written section (30 points). Students did both parts independently, no notes or cheat sheets. Students who are not satisfied with their score have the option of preparing written or verbal explanations of their mistakes - ie, identify and explain the best answer for questions that they lost points on. By sharing the revisions with me, students can earn back up to 50% of the points they lost. 8th grade lunch and recess, as well as before and after school, are great times to meet with me.

We are off and running with the second unit of chemistry, "MIXTURES AND SOLUTIONS." In the days ahead we will make many mixtures and separate many mixtures. Along our way, we will encounter many new vocabulary words (dissolve, soluble, insoluble, solvent, solute, solution, saturated, and solubility for starters!) and many new lab techniques. I hope students will be on the look out for mixtures they use in their real lives, as well as the rare examples of pure substances that we find from time to time.

No quiz this week, but do look for the next homework assignment on Tuesday, due Friday 10/5. This will involve using M & Ms for a simple set of experiments at home. No special materials required except for the candy. I will give each student a small sample of M & Ms to bring home, but I often find they are eaten between here and there. If your student tells you they need M & Ms for their homework, they are right! However, feel free to hassle them a bit about eating their homework and keep in mind that they need less than 10 M & Ms to complete the experiments.

Tracey A. Schultz

8th Grade Science Teacher

Field School, Minneapolis

(612) 668-3640

U.S. History ~ Ms. Slocum

This coming week in American History we will be working to increase our depth of knowledge about the Indians and the culture clash that happened with westward expansion. We have done some preliminary work on the topic, but will be digging deeper.

Students will be completing an open book assessment at the beginning of the week and then we will tackle the topics for the week. Students will complete work about key figures during this time period and will be mapping where the Indian tribes were initially. We will be studying the War of 1812 and by the end of the week we will be studying the USS Constitution--"Old Iron Sides".

It should be a fun and full week exploring these topics. Kids may have work to finish up on Tues. evening. Have a great week!

Reader's Workshop ~ Mr. Jungwirth

Good Reading to the Field Community!

Our focus in Reader's Workshop this week is on two new reading strategies that will assist students in understanding what they read at a deep level.

Students were assessed last week for their "Words Their Way" level. This level will help the students focus their attention on the correct place for word study. Look for more information on word study to come as the students spend time on this in Reader's Workshop.

W will begin working on a new set of short comprehension lessons this week using specific strategies to understand text deeply. Students will continue to work in partnerships to gain skills in teamwork, they will be given time to think deeply and share information about their answers prior to writing, and they will be asked to reflect on the progress they are making on their learning targets.

Learning Targets are the "I can" statements that students are able to use to describe the things they are working on in class. These are the skills they are being taught in class, are practicing with the classmates, and are being tested on.

Read a good editorial this week!!

Tim Jungwirth


News from Field School Counselor

I enjoyed working with 8th grade students last week on one of their "My Life Plan" milestones; Career Exploration. We had some rich discussion about their career interests and tying it together with what they learned from their "jobs essay" in Language Arts. Building a strong sense of self awareness will help them as they begin to choose courses for next year as well as leadership, extracurricular and community service opportunities. The world is wide open for them but it will require a good map to help them plan their future direction. "My Life Plan" is one of many maps they can use along the way.

Starting this week, I will be focused on helping students with the high school request and transition process. Stay tuned for a timeline of dates for high school open houses and important deadlines! Feel free to contact me anytime with any questions.

AVID Tip of the Week!

Interested families can find out more about AVID at Field by viewing the information and student created video on our website http://field.mpls.k12.mn.us/AVID2.html Feel free to email me or stop by if you have further questions.

School Social News and Notes

For information regarding Minneapolis Public Schools attendance policies please go to www.attendtoachieve.org.

Julie Peterson

School Social Worker

Site Council

Site Council meetings are held 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 your grade rep. to be added to the agenda.

phone: 612-668-3640

Forward email

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