8th Grade Newsletter - October 24, 2011

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
October 24, 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

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...

Join our mailing list!

Science Bowl is back!
Science Bowl is an afterschool science team that meets every Monday from 2:45-3:45 starting on October 31st

Math Club is back!
  • 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


  • Picture retakes - October 27th

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

Language Arts - Ms. Constant

It was great to talk with so many parents and students at conferences last week. I learned a lot about your children and how we can work together to best support them. If you weren't able to attend conferences and have questions about your child's progress, please e-mail or arrange a time to come in. I'd be happy to talk with you.

This week we will wrap up our work with The Giver. First we'll do more work with the Giver/"Pleasantville" essay. Today we'll review some common problems in terms of content and mechanics and students will have the opportunity to re-watch the "Pleasantvile" clips to glean more details. They have two days to continue revising. The final essay is due on Wednesday. They need to include the version with my feedback as well as their further revisions. Students who need to print at school should do so before class (before 8:05 for periods 1 and 3, and during advisory or recess for periods 6 and 7). Because of the extended work with this essay, I have changes the grading rubric slightly. I will go over the rubric with students today, and it is available on my website. The essay will count as a 60-point assignment in the Writing category.

Parents are now allowed--and encouraged--to help give feedback on essays. Depending on your child's willingness to let you be an editor, and your comfort level with it, there are a number of things you can provide assistance with. The key, however, is to assist your child in creating his/her own best work. It is important that the work is the student's.

For content, you can read through the essay and find parts that are confusing or need more detail to really show what the student means. Our emphasis is on proving a quality exists in each community by using details and quotes from the book/movie, and on analyzing how that quality impacts the community and its citizens both positively and negatively. You can also look at organization to make sure information is focused rather than bouncing around from idea to idea.

In terms of mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.), students should be their own first proofreaders. Once they have fixed the problems they see, they can ask for help. To help students with mechanics, I ask that parents circle any problems you see. DO NOT fix the problem for the student. Instead, let students figure out what needs to be fixed. If they don't know how to fix a problem, they can ask for help. This is a great way for students to be more diligent, and to learn mechanical skills they don't know.

On a different note, on Wednesday students will receive their first Independent Reading Log. The reading log is designed to encourage students to develop or continue the habit of reading. The more students read, the stronger readers they become. To help foster this, students are expected to read a minimum of three hours outside of school each week and to read on at least four days. Within that expectation, they may break up the reading into chunks that work well within their schedule, but a minimum of 15 minutes is needed to count for the reading log. I recommend 30 minutes minimum. Students may read books, magazines and/or newspapers of their choosing. Internet, texting, IMing, email and reading movie subtitles do not count. Unless students are assigned to read something at home for B.E.S.T. (Slocum, Constant or Mattson ONLY) homework does not count on the reading log. Reading done in class does not count. Weekly Reading Logs will be due every Wednesday that we do not have assigned reading outside of school for language arts.

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt
graph of inverse variation

Hello families and students.

We spent Friday and then Monday and Tuesday using a lot of technology to study direct and inverse variation. I thought I'd continue that style by creating a video to review these ideas for students today (Monday, Oct. 24) to bring them back up to speed.

But since it's a video, I realized, I can upload it to the web and let you watch it too. Click here to view the video. I'd love it if you watched it with your son/daughter, but that's not a requirement. We will be doing practice work with these ideas today so feel very free to ask at dinner tonight something like, "Can you give me an example of direct variation? How about inverse variation?" Who knows where the conversation will lead?

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

Building Fences

Science ~ Ms. Schultz

The unit two test on mixtures and solutions is Tuesday. We will use Monday to wrap up our work with solid solutions, answer questions, and review. Students should wrap-up their studying on Monday night so they are prepared to do their best on both the lab and written tests. Then we move on to unit three --- ELEMENTS, COMPOUNDS, AND CHEMICAL REACTIONS. This is the final (and perhaps most exciting?) part of our chemistry unit.

U.S. History ~ Ms. Slocum

This week in Social Studies we will be moving into the Civil War time period. Students will have Histofacts related to the beginnings of the Civil War and the causes of the war. We will be focusing on background information and will be reading and discussing, plus taking Cornell Notes in class.

I really enjoyed meeting with so many of the parents at conferences. I look forward to a strong end for this quarter for students. Please remind your student that they may re-work an assignment and re-take Histoquizes if they wish to raise their grade in class.

Hope you had a wonderful break. Let's have a great week!

AVID ~ Mrs. Walker
Avid Logo

School Counselor and High School Transition ~ Ms. Wolff

8th Grade Transition Announcements!

Southwest High School Information night is this Tuesday October 25 at 6:30. Also, High schools have made their family tour schedules and I want to make sure 8th grade students and their parents take advantage of this opportunity to explore their high school options. I posted the dates on the High School Information Bulletin Board and have flyers available as well if your student wants to stop by my office and pick one up- please call the school. Below is the Washburn schedule.

WASHBURN Family Tour Schedule
Every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. starting November 2, 2011
* December 9th- Freshman Musical- 7pm
* December 20th -Boys Basketball game vs. South -7pm
* January 18th-20th- Black Box Theatre Productions -7pm
* January 19th- Girls Basketball game vs. Roosevelt -7pm
* January 24th- Boys Basketball game vs. Southwest- 7pm
Contact the counseling department at 612-668-3502 to make an appointment for one of the above tour dates and receive reduced price tickets to the events!


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

High School Choice web site
High School Open House Flyer
High School Information Sessions Flyer

Advisory ~ 8th grade advisory team

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