Stef Helmer-Morseth
WE Movement Sisters
WE Movement Sisters


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 US HistoryTeachers, 6th Enrichment Teachers, 6/7 Advisory Teachers, and the Student Council Advisor.  I have taught in Minneapolis since 2003, teaching Social Studies in EBD programs.  I am a fourth-year Marcy teacher, and I am super excited to be back as a Marcy Marlin.   

7/8 History Day

This year, your 7/8 grader will go more in depth with researching skills through an historical lens.   Students will be required to complete a History Day Project, which will technically start in September and last until the end of February.  The theme of this year will be "Triumph and Tragedy."  Here is a link to the Triumph and Tragedy Rule Book through the National History Day website.   Students will thoroughly study a topic using a variety of sources and learn how to cite the sources.  They should pick a topic that they absolutely have a passion for.  The topic must have occurred before 1993.  At the Middle School Level, I would highly suggest studying a topic between the years of 1860s-1993 because photography and resources are move available.  At the High School Level, students will complete this project again, but may extend further into ancient history if they wanted the challenge.  

Students will have to choose between the format they want to showcase their project:  Exhibit, Documentary, Performance, Paper, or Website.    They will have deadlines throughout Quarter 1-3 to help assist them with their final project.   The school History Day is set for Wednesday, February 27th.  We are looking for judges if you would like to be a judge anytime between 8:45-3pm.   Judge Link.   The winners will then advance to the District History Day Competition for Minneapolis Public Schools on Saturday, March 23rd.   

Main Learning Targets Addressed with the help of Language Arts

1. I can write a thesis about a historical topic organize appropriate resources. (
2. I can evaluate interpretations of historical events and provide evidence to support those interpretations. (
3. I can write arguments focused on historical content. (
4. I can write informative text and narrate historical events. (,,)
5. I can use technology to produce, publish respond and provide feedback to writing. (
6. I can conduct a sustained research project to answer a question or solve a problem. (
7. I can gather relevant data from multiple sources. (
8. I can draw evidence from text to support analysis, reflection and research. (

Library Cards

Please make sure students have a Hennepin County Library Card or a county library card where the student lives.   You can apply online.   If students wear a lanyard, they can carry their library card on it (a smaller version).  I've found that way the best with Middle School Students, who are learning organization skills.    The Hennepin County Libraries will be having "Hullaballoos" throughout the school years to help students research for their History Day Project.      We will be visiting the library on 2 dates at 10:30am-12:30pm:  September 19th and September 26th.

Throughout the Year

Bi-weekly: Geography practice and Tests.  Please visit Seterra and Lizard  Point for Online Quiz Fun for the whole family.

First Quarter:  We will be studying "Expansion and Reform" and "Expanding American Identity". 1790s-1870s.  By the end of the quarter, students will have selected their topic within the theme of Triumph and Tragedy.  Here are some examples of Topics.  Students will be required to complete a project by the end of the quarter regarding the Units.   The project will be designed by my student teacher, Kayla Frank from Carelton College. 

Second Quarter:  Students will start their research for their History Day Projects.  Learning how to research and cite will be a main theme of this quarter.  The Units addressed in quarter are the continuing of "Expanstion and Reform" and "Expanding American Identity", followed by "Industrial Revolution and Immigration." 1870-1920.   

Third Quarter: Students will apply their research and create the actual Project Showcase.  February 27th is the Marcy History Day Competition.  Students will complete an annotated bibliography of their research.   The main unit to be taught is "Great Depession and Cold War 1929-1950).     Students will be required to complete a small project in regards to the years of 1929-1950, designed by my U of MN student teacher, Reya Israelson. 

Fourth Quarter:  Students

Sibling Triumph AND Tragedy
Sibling Triumph AND Tragedy
will either "Teach the Class" about the years of 1945-current, depending on what their interest is.   They will be designing formative assessments and showcasing their passion for a particular topic within the Unit of "Post WWII to Present Day."    

Open Philosophy

A few ways I support the OPEN Philosophy within my classroom:  

*Student assessment will be differentiated, especially in the areas of biweekly 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-assess about grouping strategies within projects and in-class assignments.  
*Students will self-reflect on their learning each quarter.
*We will be supporting an Artist and Writer's Fair Project in which the students have choice. 
*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 (9) and Jaycie (7), 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.   Although I highly dislike fyling on a plane, I love to travel.   I LOVE the Marcy Musical!  , I have found my strengths and passion in Student Council.  I LOVE the ages of 11-14: Full of Emotions and Identity Crisis.   Oh, and I LOVE to dance!
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.    Student Council will be fundraising throughout the year with Friday Hats.   THis money usually goes towards  a local or global need through the WE MOVEMENT.  We also use some of this money for As/Bs Quarterly Pizza Party.  We have Monday After School Meetings from 3:15-5pm.  This starts September 24th and lasts throughout the year.  We have helpers from the U of MN to assist and design lessons in leadership.  
Dances:  We always need chaperones for hallway monitors, backpack monitors, concessions, gym monitors.  Please email me at  Our dances are $2 from 3:15-5:30.  They take place in our gym and cafeteria.    The 3 dances will be on the following dates:  September 7 (Friday), November 16 (Friday), and May 17 (Friday)
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). 
We are going to be an outstanding family this year.  We will community build throughout the March school, follow  Marcy PRIDE, 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!  
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 a MORNING person, and I am at school at 6:40am.   I have to leave as soon as I am able to because I have to get home for my own kids, who get dropped off at home.   
PDF Thinking about Joining 6-8 Student Council?   --  Applications will be open during School Hours on August 27-Sept. 6. This is for equity purposes. I have 20 slots left to run an effective Student Council.
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