8th Grade Newsletter - September 6, 2011

8th Grade Newsletter 8th Grade Newsletter
August 29, 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...

Join our mailing list!

Thank you for the generous donation of tissues, clean-up supplies for the science lab, pencils, and paper. We will put these materials to good use this year!

Want to add an email address to our list? Know someone who isn't receiving this newsletter but wants to? Please send an email to alison.constant@mpls.k12.mn.us

· Picture day - September 19th
· 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

I'm enjoying getting to know the eighth graders through our class discussions and through their Reading/Writing Surveys. I'm especially excited about the energy and enthusiasm kids bring to class each day.

This week we'll begin my all-time favorite book: The Giver by Lois Lowry. The story is about a seemingly ideal community and how it attempts to improve lives for its citizens and at what costs. Jonas, the main character, is a young citizen who, as he learns more about his community, is forced to make choices that will have significant impact for all.

As we work with the novel, students will have regular reading and some writing assignments to complete at home. Please check planners for daily updates as assignments are dependent upon what we get done in class.

Looking ahead, next Wednesday students will have their first essay due. Details will be given in class later this week. Parents will have a crucial role in this essay in that they will provide the basis for the ideas students will respond to. To get started in your thinking, consider what job you would choose for your child based on his/her strengths and interests. Jobs must be beneficial to the community.

Algebra 1 ~ Mr. Leavitt
The Tower of Hanoi puzzle

Hello families and students.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first week with my new 8th grade students. I'm looking forward to a great year.

We started our study of Algebra with the Tower of Hanoi puzzle. (If you'd like to try solving it, click here. Be sure to allow time for the applet to load.) Students were engaged. Many of them figured out the mathematical pattern contained in the minimum number of moves (doubling plus one). We'll return to this puzzle when we study exponential growth in January or February.

We spent Thursday and Friday in the computer lab. I try to include as much digital resources as possible. Students logged on to the online text book, created a Sierpinski triangle using Geometer's Sketchpad, explored my web site and logged in to the 8th grade moodle. I'm deliberately not describing what those things are. Ask your son/daughter. If you have time, ask him/her to show you. If we use these tools effectively, we can move our learning way beyond the classroom. Online resources are available to students 24/7. I hope to help students learn how to use these tools to learn and enjoy mathematics..

Seth Leavitt

Problem of the Week

The Custom of Customs

Three students submitted answers to the Problem of the Week last week. I thought that was great for the first week. Let's see if we can double the number of submissions this week.

Science ~ Ms. Schultz

Science Update

We are off to a fantastic start in 8th grade science! We can now measure the mass, volume, and density of solids and liquids. This allowed us to identify mystery substances on Friday. Very impressive! Please make sure you have seen your student's copy of ScienceSaurus, checked out from the Field School library. It is a fantastic reference book meant to be kept at home all year to help with homework and studying for tests. I hope students find these useful and use them often. Speaking of using ScienceSaurus, the homework over the Labor Day weekend (due on Tuesday, 9/6) will help students learn how to use the book.

During the week ahead, we will continue learning about density. We will apply our understanding of density to sinking and floating, build a density column, and meet Archimedes. Our first quiz will be Friday (9/9). It will cover states of matter, finding mass and volume of liquids and solids, and density. Homework #3, assigned on Tuesday, due on Thursday (9/8), will help reinforce these understandings.

Please don't hesitate to email me with questions an comments related to our course.

U.S. History ~ Ms. Slocum

In American History this week we will examine the Preamble to the Constitution in depth. Students are expected to memorize the Preamble and will give it orally in class. Of course if a student is too shy to recite the Preamble to the class, they can recite it to me. I do think, that if at all possible, they should recite it to the class. It is a good experience to stretch their speaking skills. Memorizing the Preamble is the students homework for the week. Please encourage them to look it over every evening so they will be ready next week to stand and deliver. We will also be studying about the structures for our government that the Constitution established. Students will be reading background materials and viewing a video to pull the information together. I am enjoying getting to know your children. They are bright, creative and fun!

AVID ~ Mrs. Walker
Avid Logo

Advisory ~ 8th grade advisory team

Students received their Field school planners last week from their advisor. An important component of our weekly Advisory routine is the planner writing we do on Mondays (or in the case of weeks like this, Tuesdays). Each advisor reviews this email newsletter with their Advisory, helping students record important due dates and events in their planner. While we realize that some students will not use planners as adults, it is extremely beneficial to practice with this organizational tool in middle school. Please ask to see your child's planner from time to time, complement them on the writing they've done in it, and encourage them to keep it up as the year goes on.

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