Specialist Newsletter - September, 2014

Specialists Newsletter
September 2014

Welcome to the 2014-15 school year! 
The specialist team will send out our newsletter once a month to let you know what is going on in our classes. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Band/Orchestra - Kim Hotchkiss 



It is great to see returning musicians and new musicians joining the bands and orchestras! 

The month of September is spent making sure all musicians have an instrument, handing out music, and listening and learning about each of the groups and how to work together. 


In each of the groups we have been discussing what makes a good performance. The students came up with a great list of things that makes for a good performance. The most important things were knowing the music and playing well together. Knowing the music involves practicing outside of school so each student learns their part.


The 5/6 grade groups have received their first practice chart and should be filing it in for the month of Sept. The 7/8 graders do not have to fill out a chart but keep track for their quarterly self-evaluation forms.


The music webpage is and will be active this year so you can find information about any of the music programs, concert dates and private lesson teachers. 

You can click on the link below, or access it 'teaching teams' on the Field webpage.


Please return the registration forms handed out at open house and during the first week of school, or print them off the music webpage.


I am not available after school as I leave before 2:30 each day to teach a class over at Ramsey. I am best reached via email if you have questions.


I look forward to a great year!!

Ms. Hotchkiss



 CLICK HERE for Music Webpage


Vocal/Rock Band/Guitar - Chase Burkhartnull
 Greetings Field Parent/Guardians,
The first two weeks of school have gone well!   

It has been an absolute joy getting to know Field staff and students.   Already I feel like part of the family, and I am so excited for what we will accomplish together in the coming year.   First, updates from the classroom:

In my choir classes, we have been focusing on breathing exercises that engage the diaphragm muscles and then connecting that experience to our singing voices, training the ear using "Solfege" syllables (Do Re Mi etc.), and we have already begun learning new songs for upcoming concerts.   We have established a base choral formation (seating chart) as well as our daily class routine.   In my guitar classes, we have issued rental guitars to every student in need, and begun work learning and/or reviewing the notes in first position on the three highest strings.   In the Intermediate and advanced guitar/rock band classes, I have introduced a new method for students to tune their own guitars at the beginning of class.   Music Explorations has also got off to a good start!  We open each class with an educational music video and discuss their observations before beginning our main activity.    Our first day we jammed on various floor xylophones and hand drums, and on day 2 we reviewed note names for both treble and bass clefs.   Students really seem to be enjoying the variety!

Now, let's get down to business:

It's very important that all students enrolled in a music class have a parent/guardian fill out the forms above that apply to them to be returned to me ASAP.   There is rich music tradition here at Field that is funded directly by the families of it's participating students.   Without that support, the program suffers.   Each of these forms was printed in the Music Department Packet, and every day in each class I have been reminding students and passing out separate forms to those who didn't receive the full packet.   Every music student needs to acquire a Field Music Shirt to be worn at our performances.  Choir dues pay for new music, folders, tuning the piano, etc.    Guitar Rental fees pay for the cost of strings, repairing/maintaining school owned instruments, purchasing new instruments, etc.    We have a specific need for more full-sized and 3/4 sized guitars, as well as a half dozen that are currently in the shop being repaired.


Plans are in the works for the spring choir tour.   It has been decided that we will stay in state, and be gone a maximum of 2 days (1 night).   Our destination will be the beautiful city of Duluth, and our performances will be "music exchanges" with other public school programs in the area.  We are thinking either 2 middle schools or 1 middle school and 1 elementary school during the morning and afternoon on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.   Possible performance in a public community location plus fun and sight seeing on the saturday before coming home.   We will be participating in the same fundraisers as in the past, more information will be available in the next couple weeks.

Saturday, February 28th:  Pancake Breakfast, 8am-12 noon (Small group ensembles, some large groups)
    **date changed**

Friday-Saturday, May 22-23rd:   Spring Choir Tour  (More info TBA)

Art - Del Bey 

Greetings from the Art Room! We are looking to a great year!


5/6 grade are reviewing gesture and contour drawing. Students are creating Still Life Drawings from observation.


7/8 grade students are reviewing shading, value, and texture. Animal eyes is the theme for our major drawing project.

Please visit our online art gallery at www.artsonia.com. 20% of purchases are returned to the art room for supplies.  


Art Heals!

Ms. Del


Media/Technology - Sean Casey


My name is Sean Casey, and I am the media specialist and teacher of Media/Technology classes at Field Community School. For more information about me, please visit my webpage on our school website. For more information about the media center, please visit the media center's webpage on our school website.


So far in Media/Technology classes, students have been (re)introduced to and have practiced media center and computer lab policies and procedures, including (but not limited to) searching for and checking out books and logging into computers using their MPS usernames and passwords.


They have also been shown how to access their MPS Gmail accounts (which is where teachers will share announcements and other information with them), their MPS Google Drive accounts (which is where they will work on and save documents and presentations for many of their classes), and the MPS Student Portal (which is where they can view their class schedules, assignments, scores, grades, transcripts and more). If you have a computer with Internet access at home, please ask them to share what they have learned about these important resources with you, and to show you that they know where to find and how to log in to each of them.


In the months ahead, students will be learning about digital citizenship and information/media/technology literacy. More detailed information about these topics will be shared with you in future newsletters.


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about any of the information shared in this month's newsletter, please feel free to contact me at the email address provided below.

Sean Casey sean.casey@mpls.k12.mn.us

Media Specialist, Teacher of Media/Technology classes

Field Community School | Minneapolis Public Schools

p: 612.668.3646



"The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library." - Albert Einstein

Marni Heck - Physical Education    cartoon-sneakers.jpg


     It has been a pleasure working with your child the last two weeks.
Thank you parents for sending your child ready to participate in fitness activities.  Here are some important matters to be aware of for a great year of fitness.  1) COMMUNICATION:  Email is best.  Please report directly to me of any injuries and/or illnesses which prevents the student from active participation.  2) TENNIS SHOES (double knots) and following the proper dress code are required for active participation.  3)  PROMPTNESS:  for adequate warmup and announcements.  4) NO GUM:  Kids are craving for sweets.  But gum is a choking hazard!

 Students stated some of their favorite past fitness activities included;  table tennis, floor hockey, tennis, ultimate, modified baseball and basketball.  
These units will again be taught this year.  The current unit is soccer and proper running mechanics.  I look forward to a terrific year.  Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Mrs. Marni Heck
Physical Education 


Spanish/French/World Cultures -
Char Swanson 


Spanish 1 and French 1 students (7th/8th grade ) will start the 1st quarter reviewing basic key vocabulary and grammatical concepts learned last year through short reading, writing and listening and speaking activities. Assessment will be mainly based on classroom participation and work completion. Once students have regained confidence in recollecting and applying that knowledge, they will be introduced to the main unit of this quarter "Family."  This unit will be taught throughout this quarter and will include many other sub topics. Students will be encouraged to bring family photos in order to create a "Spanish album" that will ultimately be used for their Speaking assessment at the end of the quarter.


Spanish and French Foundation students (5th/6th grades) will start the first quarter reviewing basic vocabulary and structural concepts learned last year, through diverse activities (short reading, writing, listening and speaking activities). They will create a "personal portfolio" in which they will describe themselves and people in their community, their favorite hobbies and other interests thatt they may have. 

World Cultures students (5th - 8th grades) will spend the first 2 weeks learning about the importance of "Cultural Awareness" and "Cultural Empathy," through diverse pair and group activities and discussions. The first quarter will focus on the culture of Mexico and its people. 

Dates to Remember
  • December 9: Fall/Holiday Concert - Jazz Band, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Girls Chorale & Madrigals - 6:30 Field School
  • January 22 - 5/6 grade Band & Strings Concert - Ms. Hotchkiss groups - 6:30 Field School
  • January 29 - Choirs & Guitars Concert - Mr. Burkhart's groups - 6:30 Field School
  • February 21 -
    Jazz Band Festival at UMN
  • February 26 - 7/8 grade Band & Orchestra Concert 
  • February 28 - Pancake breakfast - Mr. Burkhart's groups.
  • March 19: Ice Cream Social- Band & Orchestra students perform solos & small ensembles. 6:30 Field School 
  • May 21:  Spring Band & Orchestra Concert - Field School in morning;  6:30 & 7:45 pm.
  • May 28: Choirs Concert 
  • May 2: Guitars & Rock Band Concert - 6:30 Field School
Contact Us
Kim Hotchkiss
Chase Burkhart
(Choir, Guitar, Rock Band)

Marni Heck
(Physical Education)

Sean Casey 
(Media Tech)
Del Bey  
(Art- M,T,Th,F) 

Char Swanson



Field Community School
4645 Fourth Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55419

Click HERE for the 




CLICK HERE for Music Webpage 



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This email was sent to seth.leavitt@mpls.k12.mn.us by kim.hotchkiss@mpls.k12.mn.us |  

Field School | 4645 Fourth Avenue South | Field PTA | Minneapolis | MN | 55419