Stef Helmer-Morseth
Just a Small Town Girl who LOVES to Learn about the World!
Just a Small town Girl who LOVES to Learn about the World!

2017-2018

Hi Families and Community!

My name is Stefanie Morseth-Helmer, but people here at Marcy call me "Stef".  I am one of the 7/8 Global Studies Teachers, 6th Enrichment Teachers, 6/7 Advisory Teachers, and the new Student Council Advisor.  I have taught in Minneapolis since 2003, teaching Social Studies in EBD programs.  I am a third-year Marcy teacher, and I am super excited to be back as a Marcy Marlin.    

This year, your 7/8 grader will get a "taste" of different cultures: the beauty and all the mess that comes with being human.   Our Language Arts teachers, Leslie and Camille, and the Global Studies teachers, Sonya, Emma (Student Teacher), and Stef will be in constant communication with our curriculum, so the students can get in-depth learning.  Because the world is vast with many different cultures, the focus this year is on the main academic skill of summarizing, reflecting, and analyzing.  My job is to promote learning to the point where the students take it themselves outside of the classroom and make it their own.  They become the masters of an area, but it takes their own curiousity and energy to do so.  

First Quarter: Marcy has become a Spanish-Language school for middle school.  We will be focusing on the Americas for the first quarter.  We will also be inviting New Community Project to our school again and learning about Ecuador and the Amazon Rain Forest.  This information will also feed into the science Curriculum.  Emma, our student teacher, loves environmental social studies.  So, she will be coming up with amazing and energetic lessons to incorporate Latin America and the environment.  I'm super excited to be apart of this!  We will also be incorporating the Teach Peace theme of Marcy.  

Throughout the year, students will be learning about the WE Movement (see link). Student Council (look below) will be implementing this movement throughout the school year.   

Throughout the year, we will be reinforcing Human Rights that Val taught them in the 5th grade.  These are life-long rights and should be firmly implanted in our children.  

Second/Third Quarter:  The standards promote real-life experiences.  Students will be completing travel projects to certain areas in the world.  The projects are realistic, but pretend.  No, we aren't going on a class trip.  However, some students and their families have tried their projects out for real.    The students also had to follow a budget.   They will enounter many experiences and challenges when traveling outside of the country (Pretend though).  They will be researching specific areas of the world during each quarter, but will be granted choice.  

Fourth Quarter:  The students will be completing a project of their own choice on a Global Scale. In Language Arts, they will be reading about "Utopian" societies.   By this point, they may recognize that finding Utopia on Earth is challenging.  This is always a fun quarter to see ah-ha moments!

YEAR AT A GLANCE:

Unit 1: Introduction to Geography/Mapping---THIS HAPPENS ALL YEAR LONG.   GEOGRAPHY TESTS ALL YEAR LONG!  Oh-Yeah!  We're not going to be egocentric Americans anymore. We're going to be geographically-savvy.

WE Day
WE Day
 So, parents, this is also your time to study because they earth has changed with political boundaries since you've studied these.  

Unit 2: The Americas

-Multidisciplinary with Science and English Language Arts

Unit 3: Scramble for Africa

Unit 4: Asia and World Religions

Unit 5: Europe with an emphasis on Balkans

A few ways I support the OPEN Philosophy within my classroom:  
*Student assessment will be differentiated, especially in the areas of geography assessments.
*Interdisciplinary Learning:  Language Arts, Spanish, and Science will be communicating frequently to provide in-depth learning for students.
Most content areas are working together to support increased writing skills through their curriculum.
*Students will self-reflect on their learning each quarter.
*Students will create weekly goals and reflect on their goals. These goals will be in their planners.
*We will be supporting an Artist and Writer's Fair Project in which the students have choice. March 1st.  
*Students are allowed to propose their own homework in my class, but they will have to fill out a request form.   
 
Personal notes and quirks:  I have 2 children, Silas (8) and Jaycie (6), and my husband (Terry) is a good dance chaperone.  I LOVE Middle School!  During the school year, I exercise at 5am.  I love the morning!   I  eat oatmeal everyday. I was born an awful sleeper.  I do not like talking past 4pm.  I am an achiever, maximizer, and learner from the past. I am multi-tasking fanatic.  I love researching and learning about World Religions, and I am in the midst of comparing different bibles.  On Friday nights, I enjoy hanging out wiht my 78 year old neighbor.   Although I highly dislike fyling on a plane (I watched Labamba as a child), I love to travel.   I LOVE the Marcy Musical!    I did not enjoy coaching debate because I don't like to argue.  So this year, I have found my strengths and passion in Student Council.    Oh, and I LOVE to dance!
 
2017-2018 STUDENT COUNCIL 
Okay, here's where my real passion is!   Student Council.   I encourage applications.  I am not asking for students to be exceptional academics and brainiacs.  Student Council is looking for students who love to help others, who are positive, who are reliable and committed.    Please apply if you feel this is your calling.   The application is on the sidebar. We will be the ones creating the Marcy Social Contract, which will be ready for completion at the end of September.   Student Council will be fundraising throughout the year for a local or school community project, dances, and our global project with New Community Project.   We will be attending WE Day on November 8th in St. Paul.   
Dances are: Wednesday, November 1st, Friday,  Friday, February 9th, and Friday, June 8th.  
 
4  Easy and Fun Fundraisers which help with the WE Movement
 
1. Fridays are Hat Days:  $1 to wear a hat. Check-in at advisory.   Proceeds go towards School Dances throughout the year. 
Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest
Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest
 
2. Fridays are Marlin PRIDE Memos: .50 cents to send a Marlin Memo to a classmate.  These positive notes go towards creating Marcy PRIDE and sending encouraging and thoughtful words to classmates, friends, and even people who could just use a boost through the Middle School. Marlin Memos are distributed on Tuesday Mornings.   Proceeds go towards a Local or School Community Project.  Student Council Choice.
 
3. Monthly Lotteries for Gift Cards.  $1.  Students name are drawn during Advisory over the intercom.   Proceeds go to New Community Project.   The Goal is $250 by the end of the year. 
 
4. Dances.  $2.  The $2 is to pay for our DJ.  Everything else goes towards the Student Council Funds, to be determined at the end of the year where the rest of the proceeds will go to. 
 
6th GRADE ENRICHMENT:
YEAH!  We are going to learn how to study, organize, research, build community, gain self-esteem, have self-control, organize, study, organize, research, build community, study, and organize some more.  We are going to ORGANIZE!  We are going to prepare you for some high school, college, and life time success!  Please look at the Syllabus on the sidebar.   Holly, Camille, and I have participated in a research project for 5th to 6th grade transition.   We have learned along the way, and hopefully, with the student, parent, and the teachers are on the team, the 6th grade experience will be rewarding.  Parents, please do check-ins on organization nightly (Even if you think your kid is amazingly responsible, 11/12 year olds have different brains and bodies. They NEED check-ins the first 2 quarters). 
 
ADVISORY FAMILY:
We are going to be an outstanding family this year.  We will community build throughout the March school, follow the 6-8 Social Contract, have circle, and build relationships.  We will be involved in Marcy Buddies, where you will continue to be Marcy Role Models. I will be your go-to person in times of need.  Ocassionally, we will dance and sing in class. We learn steps of maturity: respect, responsibility, self-control, etc.  Students and I will have weekly goals that we will monitor.  We will reflect upon our own behavior, emotions, academic strengths and weeknesses.  
 
Word of Caution:  The PLANNERS are your golden ticket this year.  REMEMBER YOUR PLANNER! PLANNER! PLANNER! PLANNER!  
 
COMMUNICATIONS:
Stefanie.Morseth@mpls.k12.mn.us.  
FYI: I check e-mails during the morning hours and my lunch break.  I do NOT check school e-mail after school.  
During the first 2 quarters, I will be sending weekly emails to guardians and students.  Please make sure we have your e-mails.   Throughout quarter 3 and 4, the communication will be bi-weekly, gradually fading so your teen/tween learns responsibility.   
I am here Wednesdays After-School until 4pm if you need to see me.  
 
TEACHING PEACE, MARCY MARLINS!
LOVE, 
Stef
 
 
 
 
 
PDF 6th Enrichment Syllabus   --  If you are a 6th grader taking 6th Enrichment with Holly, Camille, or Stef, please read this for 2017-2018 School Year.
document 2017-2018 Marcy Student Council Application   --  Here is the Application for Student Council. It is due by September 8th!