Stef Helmer-Morseth
My Family
My Family at World's Largest Toy Museum


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 Student Council Advisor.  I have taught in Minneapolis since 2003, teaching 12 years of Social Studies in EBD programs.  I am a fifth-year Marcy teacher, and I am super excited and grateful to be back as a Marcy Marlin.   

Globalization and Sustainability is Our Interdisciplinary Theme this year in Global Studies. 

This year, your 7/8 grader will go more in depth with researching skills through a world-view lens.   Please NOTE that this class is a TASTE of the World.   This course is NOT meant to go in-depth on all countries and cultures.  Students will have an opportunity to master 1 country.  By mastering a country, they must know almost everything about the history, current infrastructure, resources, geography, culture, climate, politics etc. etc. etc.   At the very start of the school year, students will choose a parnter and a country, complete excessive research, and be able to participate successfully in a mini-conference on Water Stewardship in regards to the Uniited Nations Sustainable Developmental  Goals of 2030: Goal #6 Clean Water and Sanitation.    Please see Web Media Links and the Syllabus.   Throughout the year, students will study various regions of the world.  I hope to also learn from their stories also.   

Students will be using Google Classroom for daily instruction.   They will also be taking bi-weekly geography tests.  Please see the links for geography games they can start practicing online.   

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.   We use databases and Culture Grams from the Hennepin County Library Card.  

Developmentally and LIGHT

Developmentally, ages 11-16 year olds are asking questions about themselves and where they fit in their family and LOCAL worlds.   Watching them grow from 6th to 8th grade, students' curiousity turns into questions about where they fit in at a Global Level.  As teachers and parents/guardians, we have an opportunity to balance reality with idealism at the larger spheres of state, country, and world identities.  Marcy is a Peace Making site, and what I have learned, is that being a peacemaker means seeing and believing in LIGHT:  hope, possibilities, curiousity, and determination.  It is my belief that it takes home, school, and community support to showcase LIGHT, even when the world may appear dark.   Our goal is to make peace-makers, and I am excited to be apart of this, even when it's a struggle in this age group. 

Throughout the Year

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

ALL YEAR:  United Nations Country Mastery, Water/Sanitation Issue, Position Paper, Conference, Geography, and Current Events (Unit 7)
QUARTER 1-Geography (Unit 1), Americas (Unit 2), Europe/Russia and Governmental Systems (Unit 6)
QUARTER 2-East Africa and Southwest Asia (Scramble for Africa)-Unit 3 and 4
QUARTER 3-Asia and World Religions- Unit 5
QUARTER 4- United Nations Mini-Conference, Final Design Country Project with Everything Learned, Final 130 Country Test (Location on Political Map), Circle back to Americas (Unit 2)  and Europe/Russia (Unit 6)


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, Science along with extra-curricular National Junior Honor Society and Student Council 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/project in my class, but they will have to fill out a request form.   
Personal notes and quirks:  I have 2 children, Silas (10) and Jaycie (8), 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 love chewing gum, but I don't at Marcy.   I  eat oatmeal everyday.    I am an achiever, maximizer, and learner from the past. I am multi-tasking fanatic.   I love researching and learning about World Religions and have been following that passion since I've been 5 years old.    Although I highly dislike fyling on a
My Own Kids
My Own Kids
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!  I embarrass my own children, but I don't care.  I LOVE those beats!     I am new to learning about Water and Sanitation, which is what are focus is in Global Studies. So, I'm currently learning about Water Treatment (not a crowd favorite).   I also LOVE the Twins.   I'm from small towns in North Dakota, called Larimore and Emerado.  My Mom lives in Mississippi, so I have Southern Exposure.  Also, I talk to her every day.  
Okay, here's where my real passion is!   Student Council.  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 will be introduced in September.  I have room for 30 students.   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 through February.  We also meet during Tuesday lunch/recess with National Junior Honor Society.   Please see the side links.  Our main focus in WE GO GREEN and WE WALK FOR WATER.  
Dances:  We always need chaperones for hallway monitors, backpack monitors, concessions, gym monitors.  Please email me at  Our dances are $2 from 3:15-5:00.  They take place in our gym and cafeteria.    The 3 dances will be on the following dates:  September 6 (Friday), November 15 (Friday), and May 15 (Friday).   The Kick-OFF Dance is for everyone!   However, the November 15 and May 15th are behavior contingent (less than 3 referalls).  Please see Protocol Dance.  
WELCOME TO MIDDLE SCHOOL.   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). 
A TOTALLY NEW Piece this year:  FUTURE CITY!    Stay Tuned. 
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!  
Also, we will be doing 2 days of direct instruction for Social Emotional Support from Second Step Curriculum and other days with Community Building and Organization.
FYI: I check e-mails during the morning hours and my lunch break.  I do NOT check school e-mail after school.  I am a Mom, so I have to focus on my own children. 
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, the communication will be bi-weekly, gradually fading so your teen/tween learns responsibility.   In Quarter 4, I will NOT be reaching out to you.   Your child will be communicating with the family. 
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.    On Mondays, after school, I support Student Council from 3:15-5pm.
Let's showcase some MARCY PRIDE!
PDF 7/8 Global Studies Syllabus   --  Our Syllabus
PDF Dance Protocol   --  Must be filled out by Guardian/Student in order to go to the dance.
PDF Model UN Student Guide   --  Throughout the year, students will be focusing on this.