Monday, October 31, 2011

No School For Students on Friday.

This Friday is a record keeping day for teachers. There is no school for students on Friday.

This is the end of first quarter and second quarter begins on next Monday.

Monday and week 10

What a Wild and Crazy Week we have ahead of us!

This is the last week of the 1st grading period. Traditionally that would be quarter exams in all the classes and the hurry of trying to get everything in before grades are calculated.

But this is not a typcial week. There are state Soccer Finals. That is going to cause happy confusion on two days - Tuesday and Thursday.

The only way to deal with this is to be flexible. We are trying our very best to have solidy instructional days this week. We are trying to be reasonable and logical to what is going on with our students and families. We are trying to make sense of another high school event. Make sure your students listen to instructions in every class. Each teacher will make arrangements for tests and assignments this week.

This is exciting and we are proud of the athletic efforts and victories of our students. We want to cheer for our men's soccer team. At the same time we are trying to work through these four days successfully for all students.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dr. Nelson Southwest Alumni

Dr. Nelson is a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities. He was born in Edina and grew up in Southwest Minneapolis. Dr. Nelson attended high school at Southwest High School. He went on to do his undergraduate work in biology at Colorado College and the University if St. Thomas where he graduated with honors. While in college he played hockey and lacrosse. He also work as a Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul. Dr. Nelson then completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

Dr. Nelson provides full-service family dentistry, focusing on oral health, function and esthetics His specific areas of interest are cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign Orthodontics, endodontics and oral surgery He keeps up on the latest techniques by frequently attending continuing education on a wide variety of dental disciplines.

When not practicing dentistry, he enjoys playing hockey, roller hockey, softball, golf, boating and relaxing with friends and family.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Part of the Experience

It's Friday. Lots of excitement here. End of the 1st quarter, women's volleyball in sectional play and Men's Soccer in State Quarterfinals. Cross Country runners - both men and women - still in the running, swimmers still going strrong. And the Sadies Dance is coming for just an extra bonus.

High School is important and we do have classes that require academic work and attempt to provide quality learning opportunities for all students. But we do understand.

25 years from how they probably are not going to talk about that wonderful fnial they took in class. In fact, it might be hard for them 25 years from now to see how what happened that particular day made a difference in the past 25 years.

But you do know they are going to talk about the events and happenings and who dated who and when someone tripped and all the stuff that is important to teens. We say that but every reunion class I have met still talks about these things so they must remain important as we get older.

I hope that the kids we have now have pleasant stories to tell at their 25 year reunion. I hope it is from a position of security and safety that they can recall their date at Sadies - a few will have married that same person. I hope they feel successful and satisfied with their lives 25 years from now. I want them to tell the funny stories and laugh about the good old days.

I want every day we share together to rewarding and exciting and an adventure. I want it to be memories of working together and being on teams and cheering one another on -- on the field and on the stage and in the classroom.

I wnat each to have a great experience so they can have great memories to share with others 25 years from now.

Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors: Grad Requirement

Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors:

If you have not yet passed the Written Composition test for diploma, there will only be ONE opportunity this school year to re-take it.

The other opportunity will be offered in Summer School.

We will be administering this test on, Wednesday, November 2nd starting at 8:30am –

Please check with your first hour teacher to see what test room you need to report to.

If you are uncertain whether you need to take this test or not, please contact your counselor.

Sadies Dance info and volunteer request

Sadie Hawkins Dance Information

The Sadie Hawkins dance will be held this year on Friday, November 4th, at Bunker Hills Stables, in Andover. Sixteen school buses will load from 5:15-5:45 and will then depart for the Anoka County location. (No one is allowed to drive privately to this NHS-sponsored dance.)

The barn dance hoedown will run from 7 -10 pm, with buses returning to Southwest at 11 pm. (An additional bus is scheduled to load and return students to the north side.)

There will be hayrides, bonfires, costume judging and dancing a’plenty. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Cost of tickets: $40 per couple, $25 per person.

This remains the so-called “backwards dance” in which girls invite the boys; square dancing will be part of the entertainment.

Students are urged to dress warmly as no backpacks are allowed on the bus and forecasters are predicting a cold end to the week. Parent chaperones are still badly needed. If you are available to chaperone, please e-mail Robert Rees:

Volunteer for the Sadie Hawkins Dance on Friday, Nov 4th at the Bunker Hill Park in Andover

Support your student in having a good, healthy and SAFE FUN Night!! All students will be bused to the dance site!!! (Cost of the bus is included in the ticket price)
We need 30 parent volunteers to make it happen. Parents will be asked to bus out and back with the students. It looks to be a fabulous venue on a huge grounds with lots of fun activities. Check out the website! Time Commitment: 5:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Please reply to Joan Leverenz at: if you can volunteer for the night

"Winnie/Fred" in the Black Box Nov 1 - 5 Except Friday

“Winnie/Fred” tells the story of two burnout Broadway darlings. They are stranded in the middle of nowhere, the apparent final two competitors for the title of a Reality TV competition.

What's funky though is that they can't remember a thing about this contest.

A motley cast of characters visits the two protagonists, providing-if not illumination on the mystery of it all-a heckuva good time.

With a combination of frank emotionality and delicious pizzazz, the characters of "Winnie/Fred" explore their world via reminiscence, banter, bickering, runway walk-off, lipsync performance, and more.

Written by Jake Folsom; directed by Jake Folsom and Morgan Wilcock

TUESDAY 11/1, WEDNESDAY 11/2, THURSDAY 11/3, SATURDAY 11/5... all at 7PM in the Black Box
PLEASE NOTE: we are not having a Friday show, because "Sadies" is on that night

Tuesday Nov. 1 Student Information

Southwest is providing a Soccer Fan Bus for students wanting to attend the 2:00 pm Men’s Soccer Quarterfinal game against Eastview at the Metrodome on Tuesday, November 1.

The student must have a signed permission slip and paid the $5.00 for transportation prior to riding the bus which will leave at 1:00 pm on Tuesday. The bus will return to school approximately within one hour of the end of the game. Please make arrangements to pick up your student at school if riding the fan bus.

Students need $7.00 (in addition to the $5.00 for bus) for entrance to the game at the Metrodome.

Tuesday, November 1 is a regular school day. Families that wish to share the family/school event may call the attendance telephone number 612-668-3088 or send in permission for the student to leave school due to family event. Without the telephone call or signed parent permission slip any absence will be unexcused.

Thank you,
Dr. Bill Smith
Principal, Southwest High School
Here is some athletic news for the upcoming events:

Hannah Hilden-Reid was named to the all-state soccer team this past weekend.

Ryan McClean and Garrett Powell were named to the boys all state team also.

The next round for Men's Soccer is at 2:00 on Tuesday in the dome.

Soccer Fan Bus will leave Southwest at 1:00 pm on Tuesday. Permission slips will go out today and collected Monday and and maybe Tuesday before school.

Also Robin Fassett-Carman Advanced to the state cross-country meet.
She will run at St. Olaf on 11-5 at 10am.

Girls Volleyball is in Section 1/4 finals tonight at 5:30 vs. Minnetonka, at the University of Wayzata.

Ryan Lamberty
SW Athletic Director

Conflict Resolution Workshop

Axis of Hope, a Boston-based nonprofit organization will host a one-day international conflict analysis, management and prevention workshop entitled:"Whose Jerusalem?: The Arab-Israeli Conflict," that will be held at Southwest on October 31 Monday from 8:00 am to 3:oo pm.

At the beginning of the conference, each of the participating SW students will be assigned membership in one of six groups, which they will represent during the daylong workshop, in an attempt to successfully and peacefully divide Jerusalem. These groups include: Hamas, Fatch, the Arab League, the Quartet, Likud and Labor. The student recommendations for the division of Jerusalem will be included in a position paper completed at the end. Copies of the position paper will be sent to President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, US Senate Foreign Relations Chair Kerry and to the special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

By using Axis of Hope's unique case-study approach, this workshop will enable Southwest students to learn about preventing conflict in ways the enliven the imagination, awaken moral reasoning, and impart social and civic skills that they can use throughout their lives. Participating students will gain important skills that will better prepare them for future challenges, as well as initiating a process of lifelong learning and responsibility as local and global citizens.

Dick Schwartz
IB Coordinator
based on prepared press release.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Men's Soccer Wins 5-1 on to the Metrodome

In a cool evening on a clear night the Southwest Men's Soccer Team defeated Anoka 5-1

On to the Metrodome for the state quarterfinals!

Game day will be Tuesday, November 1 with start time 2:00 pm

The Lakers will face Eastview.

Mark your calendars and come out to support the Lakers!

Southwest alumni in baseball

Boe knows baseball

Dennis Boe, a graduate of Minneapolis Southwest, has been around baseball along time. The retired high school coach and Twins scout now brings his experience to Ridgewater College.

The Warriors’ new head baseball coach attended North Hennepin Community College and Hamline College. His first teaching job was at Waseca where he coached freshman baseball for five years. He was the head coach of the Redwood Falls/Redwood Valley Cardinals for 29 years, ending a 34-year teaching career in 2008.

He covers the Upper Midwest for the Twins, working under the supervision of Mark Wilson and Terry Ryan. He scouts college (especially Northern Sun), high school, Legion and the Northwoods League.

He’s no stranger to Ridgewater Baseball. His son, Corey, played second based for Dwight Kotila in 2002-04 and went on to Northland College in Ashland, Wis., where he played for Joel Barta, who succeeded Kotila in 2008. Boe is replacing Barta, who resigned in September to become head coach at the University of Mary, a NCAA Division II program in North Dakota.

Boe and his wife, Katie, also have a son, Casey, who lives in New Ulm and has two children. Corey teaches and is a head baseball coach in Iowa.

Boe worked with 16 to 20 first- and second-year players over 19 practice days this fall. He expects a roster of 20-24 come January and the start of small-group practice.

“I wasn’t thinking of returning to coaching but when this opportunity came up it seemed like a good fit,” Boe said. “It seems like a nice group of boys.

Outcast United Coach Luma Mufleh at the U

Date: 11/01/2011
Time: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Ted Mann Concert Hall
Cost: Free

Free and open to the public, this presentation by soccer coach Luma Mufleh will provide insight on the challenges facing young immigrants and adults who work with young people to achieve triumphs on and off the field.

Please join the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) freshmen in reading Outcasts United, by Warren St. John. In the book, St. John expands a story that began as a 2007 New York Times article about the Fugees, a soccer program for boys from families of refugees from war-torn nations who were resettled in Clarkston, Georgia.

Luma Mufleh, the Fugee's coach, came to the U.S. from Jordan to attend Smith College and stayed in the U.S. despite her family's expectations. The book follows the challenges the coach and these young people face (which include confronting prejudice, finding funding and a field on which to practice, and living with memories of tragedy in their home countries).

The Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning and CEHD are building a year of education and events around the shared question: Can one person make a difference? As part of its nationally known First Year Experience program, the department is using Outcasts United to provide students opportunities to engage in thoughtful dialogue around central issues related to youth, sports, education, and the challenges and rewards of engaging diversity.
See this recent story about Luma on CBS Sunday Morning.

More information:

Holli Hoffman
IB MYP Coordinator
Southwest High School

SW Women's Soccer Award

Southwest Women's Soccer Hannah Hilden Reid received “Honorable Mention” by the Star Tribune early for her work as Goalie on the girls soccer team.

SW/Henry Women's Swim and Dive Champions

Southwest/Henry Women's Swim and Dive City win 2011 City Championship meet.

Awesome job Wednesday night by your SW/Henry Swimmin' Women!!! Going into the swim portion of the meet 17 points down and having to battle to earn the lead back is a sign of how much heart and dedication these ladies have towards the sport and each other. I'm extremely proud of all of them.

Thanks to all of you for your support!
Chris Aarseth
Swim Coach

Dancing across the globe

Two developments in Southwest dance this semester begin next week. With our IB World Focus our guest artists represent a variety of cultural influences.

African Dance griot and all things African comes from local dancer/choreographer/drummer and McKnight Foundation awardee, Kenna Camara Cottman. A graduate of North High, Kenna has her own local company "Voice of Culture Drum and Dance Company".

Students in my second hour will have an eight day experience throughout the month of November of drumming, singing and dancing a dance with influences from Guinea and the Gambia. That will open our show in December as dancers also learn that Africa is a land of many cultures and movement forms. Stop in 2nd hour (9:30 - 10:25) to see this work unfold.

4th and 5th hour dancers will work with "America's Got Talent" artists that originate from Mahtomedi Mn, Dario and Giselle Mejia. This Latino brother/sister duo and Juilliard graduates, made it to the finals on the TV show in September in a dance group that merged dance and technology in "Team Illuminate". Just found out yesterday they are available and interested in working with our students in their special brand of modern/hip hop and technology. Utube them.....they are amazing. Their work will also join a plethora of student work in our December show.

Stop by and see them develop their eight day residency beginning Wed. Nov. 2nd.

Colleen Callahan-Russell
Southwest Dance Teacher

Laker Champions

Men's Cross Country finished 6th in the Sections

Women's Cross Country finished 5th in Sectionals
Individual winner robin Fassett Carman

Volleyball beat St. Louis Park in 3 to advance in section.
Next game Friday 5:30 pm at Wayzata versus Minnetonka

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Study Help and Hints

This is a great site for homework help. Every subject is included and at almost any level. If you have a question about a particular problem you can find some assistance here.

Welcome to BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper. I started this site with my dad when I was 9 years old. I'm 24 now and graduated from Drexel University in Philadelphia about a year ago. I still live in Philly and am having the time of my life doing photography and video freelancing

Looking for an outing?

Some things to occupy your spare time!

7:00 Football Sections at Minnetonka High School

3:45 Cross Country Sections at Gale Woods Park
5:30 Girls Swim and Dive City Meet at St. Kate's
7:00 Volleyball Sections Vs. St. Louis Park at SW

3-6 Sports Registration for winter sports
6:20 Fan bus leaves, still have some spots for supervisors if interested
7:00 Boys State Soccer Game at Park of Cottage Grove High School Vs. Anoka

4:00 & 5:30 Middle School Volleyball Championships at Southwest
5:30 Section Volleyball if we win on Wed. at Wayzata Vs. Minnetonka

TBA: Section Football if we win tonight


Ryan Lamberty
SW Athletic Director

All-metro soccer

Congratulations Ryan McLean -- named today second team All-Metro Soccer!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Winter Sports Registration Thursday 3-6 pm

Interested in playing a winter sport? Registration is Thursday October 27 at the Southwest Atheltic Office 3 to 6:00 pm.

Forms and other information available on the Southwest web site.

Cross Country Wednesday 4:00 pm

4:00pm Cross Country: Varsity Region @ Gale Woods

Good Luck Cross Country runners.

Tuesday - Football at Minnetonka

The football team start sectional play at Minnetonka this Tuesday at 7 pm.

Men's Soccer Bus Available Thursday

The men's Soccer team plays Anoka this Thursday at Park Haven. There will be a Cheer bus and students need a permission slip and $5.00 for the bus ride and $5.00 for a ticket to the game. For a total of $10.00 the student can ride the bus and get in the 7 pm soccer game and get a ride back to the school.

Permission slips aer available at the Athletic office, room 6 or from the Student Council office at lunch.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Study Help and Hints

From the bogeyman for small children to the bogies of SATs and final exams for the college-bound, stress affects kids of all ages. The first thing a parent can do to help their child manage stress is to build a strong family unit. Include your children in family discussions and be on the lookout for stress in your kids.

Recognizing Stress in Children
Especially small children with under-developed communication skills may display stress very differently than an adult does. Often kids’ stress is internalized and most noticeable in physical symptoms such as frequent flu-like symptoms including headache, stomachache, and even nausea.

Children under stress may regress to behaviors like bedwetting, clinginess, and frequent crying. Behavioral symptoms may be extreme at both ends of a behavior spectrum. A normally active child becomes either listless or hyperactive, a usually docile child has fits of anger or a child that “acts out” becomes docile and introspective.

Some signs of stress in kids are easily confused with children’s mental disorders. For instance, if schoolwork slides or your child’s circle of friends undergoes a drastic change, it isn’t a sure sign that your child is on drugs. Situations like these may simply indicate a child’s inability to handle a stressful situation.

Helping Kids Reduce Stress
Children primarily learn by example. The best way to teach your child how to manage stress is by using the tools and articles at Stress Management Tips to learn to effectively manage your stressors. In addition, you can develop skills and child-oriented stress management techniques to help your kids recognize and manage their stressors.

Eat healthy. A healthy body is better able to withstand stress-induced illness. Schedule regular meals and snack times. Don’t allow your child to skip meals.

Vigorous exercise is a good stress reliever. Just like adults, kids need time to unwind. If your kids are bound to video games, television, or a computer, get them on their feet by providing and encouraging the use of active toys like balls, punch bags, and bikes.

If your child presently appears to be stressed, make a point of playing with them. Time spent with your kids is a great vehicle for getting them to open up the lines of communication.

Be clear in setting rules and consistent with discipline. Kids live in a “black and white” world. Blurred guidelines and inconsistencies are even more confusing for them than they are for adults.

Gentle physical touch is a great healer. Sometimes a hug is worth more than a thousand words. Another physical stress reliever can be a gentle massage of your child’s neck and shoulders. Like you, your kids can also get knotted up with stress!

Learn to be a good listener. When your child wants to talk about his or her problems, don’t criticize. In addition, it isn’t always necessary to give advice. Sometimes kids just need to talk. Encourage them with open-ended questions like, “So what happened next?” “How do you feel about that?”

Teach your kids that everyone (including you) makes mistakes. A good start is admitting your mistakes to your children with an “I’m sorry” or “My mistake” when you goof-up. If the situation warrants, use personal examples of stressful situations you encountered during your childhood. Even if you were unsuccessful in dealing with your situation, you’ll teach your kids that you can learn from and even laugh at your own mistakes.

Finally, teach your kids stress relieving exercises and help them find stress reducing games they can play to reduce their stress.

Men's Soccer Thursday Oct. 27 -- 7:30 pm

The state high school brackets have been set!

Minneapolis Southwest will meet Anoka HS October 27th 7:30 pm at Park High School in Cottage Grove MN.

Anoka enters with a Sectional record of 1-0 over Brainerd, 2-0 over Moorehead, and 4-2 over STMA.

Southwest enters with a Sectional record of 3-0 over Hopkins, 3-0 over Wayzata, and 2-1 over Minneapolis South HS.

The winner of this match will take it to the dome for the semifinal: November 1 at 2:00 pm, with the State AA Championship game: November 3rd at 3:00 pm.

Let's get out and cheer on Minneapolis as we battle to take it the dome again!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Study Help and Hints

Writing under deadline
Don't panic: organize!
Whether you are meeting a publication deadline, over-booked, or procrastinating

Step 1: Get in the zone
Think about it
Mentally organize and think about developing your "story"
Turn off the cell phone when driving, walking, waiting, etc.
Keep a notebook to jot down
thoughts on development and good phrases
Talk about the topic
Your approach can benefit from having a live person react to your "story" or project
If the feedback is unclear, ask for clarification
Don't get defensive, don't argue--make a note and move on
(you don't have time to debate: it's a writing project!)
Designate a distraction-free area to help you write
Organize all you will need
to avoid hunting and disrupting your process
Make a rough schedule working backwards from the deadline
Highlight major steps: due date, revision, draft, workspace organization, resource and information gathering
If dependent on others, make your timeframe clear
Step 2: Write
It's as simple as that

Don't interrupt your writing process to edit or research
Avoid over-working a problem area and leave it to the revision
Don't get distracted by minor points--keep focus on the whole
Draw up a quick outline or concept map
Write out your thesis to be developed
Specific and suitable to the assignment
Introduce your topic sentence in the first paragraph
Build it up with basic, relevant facts and context: who, what, when, where, why, how
Appeal to and involve your readers
Anchor your paper and each paragraph with a topic sentence. Revise later.
As you write, note in bold, or color what you are unsure of
Revisit all comments when you revise
Keep the "navigation" clear
In the introduction, tell your audience what you are going to do,
then do it

Take the place of your editor or teacher: critique your own writing.
Treat your assignment as someone else's product for review
Spell check.
Use search function to find words you overuse
Print and read your project aloud
Printed text is easier to edit.
Does it sound right?
Highlight problem areas to revise after you finish.
(If you run out of breath reading a sentence, it is probably too long)
Review sentences:
Focus on one idea in each
Short, focused sentences are clearer and reduce the need for commas
Ideal structure: subject - verb - object.
Avoid too many prepositional phrases
Convert negatives to positives
Keep your voice active and verbs strong
Control/limit your vocabulary
Beware acronyms, slang, jargon
Special vocabulary should be kept limited, introduced early, defined, used consistently
Limit the use of numbers in each sentence
Double check numbers!
Add graphics, illustrations, etc. with captions.
Visual information should reinforce verbal information, and vice versa

Friday, October 21, 2011

Colleen Callahan-Russell Nat. Dance Educator of the Year

– Minneapolis Public Schools teacher Colleen Callahan-Russell today received the 2011-12 National Dance Educator of the Year Award at the National Dance Education Organization’s national conference, held at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Award recipients are chosen based on having established a record of excellence in teaching dance as an artistic discipline and having demonstrated a strong commitment to professional development.
Callahan-Russell has served as a program director and dance educator at MPS for 29 years. She spent her first 15 years at North High School and has taught for the past 14 years at Southwest High School. She is the president and founder of the Minnesota Dance Educators Coalition. Callahan-Russell’s former students now contributing to the Minneapolis dance and arts community include Stephanie Fellner (Ballet of the Dolls), Thomasina Taylor Petrus (jazz soloist), Peter Macon (national actor), Kenna Cottman (director of Voices of Culture drum and dance ensemble) and dancer/choreographer Aneka McMullen.
The National Dance Educator of the Year Award is granted on a yearly rotating basis to a dance educator from post-secondary education (2010), K-12 education (2011), private sector education (2012) and community-based education (2013).

Study Help and Hints

Some people are kinesthetic learners: people who need motion to learn. These people can’t exactly learn the best from just hearing something said or from seeing it—they need to do it. These are often called “tactile” learners, too, though on a practical level “touch” is really a distinct learning type. You can be one without being the other, so don’t be too attached to the technicalities.

The fact is, even in the overall “kinesthetic” learning type, different subtypes exist, and only partially because of different possible secondary learning type combos. Colors help some people; hinder others. Some people find themselves better oriented towards the doing aspect that teachers usually cater to; others find it better just to move.

1. Chew

Does your school or situation allow you to chew gum? Do you lack braces or TMJ? Then quietly chewing a bit of gum might offer the motion stimulus you need to help you learn. Just make sure you keep your mouth closed—smacking’s a sure way of making others mad at you and maybe even of losing your gum privileges.

2. Color

Make a photocopy of your notes or the map or whatever you’re studying. Now pull out some colored pencils, highlighters, or whatever you have available, and color it! Pay attention to what you’re coloring, and the act of coloring could be your best option. It’s also possible that the mere act of color-coding your notes might be enough.

3. Jitter

This can really annoy people, but sometimes silently tapping your leg or bouncing your foot can be the stimulus you need to learn or maybe even pay attention when listening to a lecture, since it’s a healthy alternative to (rudely) picking your nails. The foot-bouncing produces less movement and less distraction to those around you than leg-bouncing does, so even those who protest leg motion might be placated with this compromise.

4. Type

Type out your notes on a computer, typewriter, or calculator (though I wouldn’t advise that last one for time reasons). Pay attention as you type, and experiment with different fonts and coloring. If this works for you, regular black type will probably be fine, but some people will find colored cursive reminiscent of their own highlighted handwriting better.

5. Walk

Some folks’ personal favorite: walking. Take your notes and repeat them to yourself while walking. If you’re in a rush, walking faster or bouncing while you walk can sometimes help, though this method’s effectiveness might vary with subject. When space is limited (or you’re in a hallway awaiting a test), a few-step pace back and forth can suffice instead of a wide circling you might prefer when you have room.

6. Write

Try writing out your notes by hand. Some people find this method the cement for their memories, especially some forms of visual learners. If trying this method, you do have to pay attention to what you’re writing and can’t just run on autopilot. Experiment with pencil and pen, polychromatic (colored) and monochromatic (black and white).

7. Yo-yo

As crazy as this might sound, some people have their best results from this one: studying while yo-yoing. The motion and sound (the yo-yo has a type of buzzing sound while twirling on the string) make this method especially useful to audio-kinesthetic learners. If you try this one, you’ll probably find yourself walking while studying, as well.

Chances are, even if you are a kinesthetic learner, some of these methods will be worthless to you—especially if you, like me, can’t yo-yo. Experiment with these methods, and pay attention to what you naturally do when trying to pay attention to someone (even if you’re usually reprimanded for doing it). Perhaps your natural tendency can be adjusted into something that won’t get you into trouble; maybe, instead of picking your nails, you can bounce your foot.

As long as you remember the substitution, of course.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How About a Trip This Summer?

Relive Greek Mythology

Feel the spirit of Athena, roam the Acropolis and discover the mysterious oracle at Delphi. Explore the former homes of Ottoman sultans in Istanbul. Greek islands, Turkish baths and years of history along the Mediterranean.

  Interested in traveling with Mr. Hoselton and Ms. Rittler to Athens and Istanbul in June of 2012?  Go to to enroll or Contact either one: or

Student Directory Here $5.00

SWHS 2011-12 Student/Family Directory have arrived!! -- $5.00

Available in the Main Office and at various parent meetings throughout the year.

Alpine Ski Info Meeting Oct. 24 7pm

co-president) at with questions.

The Minneapolis Alpine Ski Team (MAST) may be just for you.

MAST is THE downhill ski racing team of the Minneapolis Public Schools for Minneapolis students and residents in grades 7-12. No racing experience is necessary.

We offer excellent coaching and training, a fun and friendly team atmosphere, exciting competitions against other high school ski teams, and the chance to participate in the fastest, non-motorized sport in the world!

The Minneapolis Alpine Ski Team is holding an informational meeting on Monday, October 24 at 7PM at Southwest High School in the Media Center.

Learn more about MAST by checking out our website at

You can also contact our Head Coach, Mark Conway, 612-275-8392, or email It is never too soon ---or too late--- to learn to ski race.

Nordic Ski Team Info Oct. 27 - 6:30 pm

A Nordic Ski Team Informational Meeting
An informational Meeting for skiers and their parents is being held on Thursday, October 27th at 6:30 pm in the lunchroom.

We welcome all new and returning skiers of all ability levels.

Come find out more about the team, have your questions answered -- check us out!

Captains' practices begin after school on October 31st and the season starts on November 14th.

Bring on the SNOW!

Contact Heidi Johnson (booster club co-president) at with questions.

Nov. 4 Volunteers needed for Sadies Dance

Volunteer for the Sadie Hawkins Dance on Friday, Nov 4th at the Bunker Hill Park in Andover

Support your student in having a good, healthy and SAFE FUN Night!!  All students will be bused to the dance site!!! (Cost of the bus is included in the ticket price)

We need 30 parent volunteers to make it happen.  Parents will be asked to bus out and back with the students.

  It looks to be a fabulous venue on a huge grounds with lots of fun activities. Check out the website! 

Time Commitment:  5:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

  Please reply to Joan Leverenz at: if you can volunteer for the night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Study Help and Hints

Study Tips & Study Skills

Students with better study methods and strategies score higher on their exams.

Everyone is different. Different methods work for different people; the following are only suggestions on improving upon your current studying techniques.

It is best to review the material right after class when it's still fresh in your memory.

Don't try to do all your studying the night before the test. Instead space out your studying, review class materials at least several times a week, focusing on one topic at a time.

Have all of your study material in front of you: lecture notes, course textbooks, study guides and any other relevant material.

Find a comfortable and quiet place to study with good lighting and little distractions (try avoiding your own bed; it is very tempting to just lie down and take a nap).

Start out by studying the most important information.

Learn the general concepts first, don't worry about learning the details until you have learned the main ideas.

Take notes and write down a summary of the important ideas as you read through your study material.

Take short breaks frequently. Your memory retains the information that you study at the beginning and the end better than what you study in the middle.

Space out your studying, you'll learn more by studying a little every day instead of waiting to cram at the last minute. By studying every day, the material will stay in your long-term memory but if you try to study at the last moment, the material will only reside in your short-term memory that you'll easily forget.

Make sure that you understand the material well, don't just read through the material and try to memorize everything.

If you choose to study in a group, only study with others who are serious about the test.

Test yourself or have someone test you on the material to find out what your weak and strong areas are. You can use the review questions at the end of each chapter, practice tests that the teacher may give out or other pertinent materials.

Listening to relaxing music such as classical or jazz on a low volume can relieve some of the boredom of studying.

Don't study later than the time you usually go to sleep, you may fall asleep or be tempted to go to sleep, instead try studying in the afternoon or early evening. If you are a morning person try studying in the morning.

Sweep - Women's & Men's Cross Country

With a scenic setting on the shores of Lake Nokomis the Southwest Women's and Men's Cross Country teams ran away with the City Championships!

Both teams outscored second place by a bunch. It was great to see the sea of purple cross the finish line ahead of the pack. Brisk day out by the lake but plenty of celebration for spectacular vistories.

Congratulations Cross Country teams, coaches and families!

Men's Soccer Sectional Champions!

Southwest Men's Soccer defeated South for the Sectional Championship 2-1 in an exciting game at Roosevelt last evening. The cool weather did not detract from an exciting game and fantastic win!

Details for Sate play not final. Teams together for their seed and draw for the first round games.

We will know later this week the full details of when and where. The game will be the 26-28th depending on teams and location we are given.

We should have tickets available starting Monday at lunch.

Note: Quarterfinal Sites will be: (Southwest will be involved in one of these)
Hopkins High School, Hopkins, MN (Wednesday, October 26- Thursday, October 27, 2011) Park High School, Cottage Grove, MN (Thursday, October 27 ? Friday, October 28, 2011) Roseville Area High School, Roseville, MN (Thursday, October 27 ? Friday, October 28, 2011) St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN (Wednesday, October 26- Thursday, October 27, 2011)

More details as available.

Congratulations Men's Soccer Sectional Champions!

Ryan Lamberty
Southwest Athletic Director

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DPAC Area C Elections

At the October 27th meeting of the Area C Parent Advisory Council we will be electing 5 representatives and 6 alternates to the District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC).
The purpose of DPAC is to build communications and partnership between parents and administration around District policy issues related to student achievement.

We are proud of our history of strong parent involvement and hope that you will encourage a parent from your school to run for one of these positions. We have one
parent, Chris Rigert (Washburn) who will be serving her second year.

We will do our best to support them as they learn about this process. It's a good opportunity to see the district from another perspective. We often find that parents who
have or are currently serving on a school site council come prepared for this next step. It is, however, open to any parent to run. Let me know if you have any questions.


Gael Ellis
Area C (z3) Community Liaison, MPS

Study Support and Tutoring Resources

Tutoring: -- Math and Science tutors will be in E105 on Mondays and Wednesdays 3:15 – 4:30

Writing Center – Remind your students 3:15 – 4:30 Media Center (every Tu/Th)

Pick up your booklet -- Southwest High School: Academic Support, Tutoring and Study Guide Resources -- at Parent Teacher Conferences tonight or tomorrow. Several pages of time, dates and places.

Study Help and HInts

Preparing to Study: A Good Study Place

You need a good study place to be prepared to study. You should be able to answer YES to all of the following questions:
Preparing to Study: A Good Study Place, Books

1. Is my Study Place available to me whenever I need it?

Your Study Place does you little good if you cannot use it when you need it. If you are using a Study Place that you must share with others for any reason, work out a schedule so that you know when you can use it.

2. Is my Study Place free from interruptions?

It is important to have uninterrupted study time. You may have to hang a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door or take the phone off the hook.

3. Is my Study Place free from distractions?

Research shows that most students study best in a quiet environment. If you find that playing a stereo or TV improves your mood, keep the volume low.

4. Does my Study Place contain all the study materials I need?

Be sure your Study Place includes reference sources and supplies such as pens and pencils, paper, ruler, calculator, and whatever else you might need. If you use a computer for your schoolwork, it should be in your Study Place.

5. Preparing to Study: A Good Study Place, Desk and Computer Does my Study Space contain a large enough desk or table?

While working on an assignment or studying for a test, use a desk or table that is large enough to hold everything you need. Allow enough room for writing and try to avoid clutter.

6. Does my Study Place have enough storage space?

You need enough room to store your study materials. Be sure you have enough storage space to allow you to keep your desktop or other work surface clear of unnecessary materials that can get in the way.

7. Does my Study Place have a comfortable chair?

A chair that is not comfortable can cause discomfort or pain that will interfere with your studying. A chair that is too comfortable might make you sleepy. Select a chair in which you can sit for long periods while maintaining your attention.

8. Does my Study Place have enough light?

The amount of light you need depends on what you are doing. The important thing is that you can clearly see what you need to see without any strain or discomfort.

9. Does my Study Place have a comfortable temperature?

If your Study Place is too warm, you might become sleepy. If it is too cold, your thinking may slow down and become unclear. Select a temperature at which your mind and body function best.

Having a good Study Place is important for good studying

Support for Southwest Students

Without your support it is impossible to provide the quality educational programing that students deserve. Athletic booster, supporters of the Arts and Friends of Southwest make it happen.

The leaders of our community in the future sit in our classrooms today. We need to make sure they have the challenges and opportunities to enrich their high school experience.

$200. is the cost of one set of classroom furniture. A textbook (college level in most class) averages over $100. per student. Fees for Project Success, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and accreditation are fixed costs annually. Each student in the course of the year will consume over $650. in class materials. Postage for mid-terms, grades, college applications and various recommendations and references will be over $9,500 in a year. Management of the auditorium averages over $174. per regular school day.

Your support is necessary to make the Southwest experience outstanding for all our students. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation in any amount to support our future.

Southwest Education Fund
3414 West 47th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410

or go to the Achieve!Minneapolis web site and donor via credit card. Make sure you designate Minneapolis Southwest high School.

Star Tribune Athlete of the Week Ryan McLean

Outstanding men's soccer player Ryan McLean is this week's Star Tribune Athlete of the Week. With 30 goals to his record he is one away from the school record.

Tonight the Southwest Lakers team travel to Roosevelt to play for a third time South Tigers in the Class 2A Section 6 Championship. Game time is 7:00 pm

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alumni to support famine relief for Somalia

Check out Southwest Alumni -- photo of a race -- page A9 of today’s Star Tribune main section-- Run to Unite 5K run/walk. The run was sporsored by the American Refugee Committee and will support Somalia famine relief.

Bonnie Bentson, Danny Oseid and Mohamed Samatar are the three of the SW students we can identify. Please email me the name of the fourth.

Concert Moved from 18th to 25th!

The Fall Fine Arts Festival Concert, originally scheduled for tomorrow night at 7:30 (the end of conferences) is postponed to next Tuesday, Oct 25 at 7PM as part of the 8th Grade Open House.

This change will be on the website as soon as possible. The reason for this change is the conflict with the Championship soccer game against South High.

Go Lakers!!

Keith Liuzzi
Southwest Instrumental Music Teacher

Concert Changing Oct. 18 Dates

Oct. 18th was the scheduled date for the 2011 Fine Arts Festival. This includes Singers, Jazz Band, Chamber Orchestra and Dance.

Due to the soccer game at Roosevelt against South in regional play at 7 pm on the same night, the concert is moving to Oct. 25.

More details will be forthcoming.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Study Help and Hints

For students who don't believe that math, or at least high-school level math, is in their future plans, I try to emphasize that a big part of the reason for learning math is to get better at learning.

Throughout life, no matter what path they take, as humans they will need to learn new information, process it, and apply it if they hope to succeed. Learning and applying prepares you for life, even if the material you are learning doesn't seem to.

John Triscari
Mathematics Teacher, Southwest High School

Senior and need health or physical education?

Attention Seniors!
Do you need to take Health or Fitness to complete your graduation requirements? Do you want to do it online? Do you want to take if for a grade?

If you would like to complete these requirements through Minneapolis Online Learning located at 34th and Chicago you can register NOW.

Classes will start 2nd Quarter in November or 3rd Quarter in January. Do not delay in registering. Spaces are limited.

Go to

After you have registered stop by the Counseling Office to get the form you need to take to your orientation. These classes will be taken for a grade.

If you registered previously and have not heard from Minneapolis Online Learning please contact Frank Goodrich at 612-668-4136 or

Conferences Coming October 18 and 19

Conferences Coming October 18 and 19 and Quarter Grading Information
Parents and Guardians,
We want to inform you that the Minneapolis Public School District has decided to go back to Quarter Grading. With Quarter Grading, your students will be receiving four Quarter grades and four Mid-Quarter grades.

Mid-Quarter grades are grades that would reflect your students’ anticipated grade five weeks into the Quarter. For the first Mid-Quarter grade (Oct 5, 2011), of this school year, Southwest has decided to send out all Mid-Quarter grades for our parents and students. This is only an update of your students’ grades for the first five weeks of school. For the remaining three mid-term grade reporting we will only send out grades of D’s and F’s to advise parents and students of potential failures.

Mid-term grades for the rest of the school year will be mailed to you during the weeks of: Dec. 12; Feb 27th ; and May 14.

Quarter grades will be mailed to you during the weeks of: Nov. 7; Jan. 24; April 2 and June 11.

Please remember that current grades are always available on the Parent Portal. For information about passwords or Parent Portal registration, please call Shirley Frank or Mike Ries at 612-668-3039.

We are hoping these Mid-Quarter grades will be a useful tool for upcoming conferences, which will be held on October 18 from 4-8 and October 19 from 9-4:45pm.

SW Alumni on page A14

Mohamed Samatar is a 2010 graduate with a cause. A great young man with a four-year fantastic experience at Southwest. Joining the Debate team, competitive with the Speech team, on stage in the one-acts. Leader with student council. That smile was infectious. A serious young man with a big heart and powerful thoughts.

Checkout today's Star Tribune and page A14.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Men's Soccer Wins -- on to next round

Southwest Men's Soccer defeated Wayzata 3-0 in tournament play.

The next game will be Tuesday 7 pm at Roosevelt against South.

Go Lakers!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Study Help and Hints

Title: "Carrots and Sticks"

Carrots OR Sticks:
"If you can get your grade up to a C+ in math, I will let you take drivers ed. If you can get your grade up to a B- in math, I will pay for it."
OR "Your father and I will only pay to insure you as a driver up to the cost of the Good Student Discount.”

“Stay after school with your science teacher this week and you can have your friends over on Friday night.”
OR "You won’t be able to leave the house this weekend unless you make an appointment to meet with your teacher before school.”

“If you get all of your missing assignments in by Thursday, you won’t have to rake the yard this year.”
OR “Your cell phone will be mine until all of the missing assignments are turned in.”

Just some ideas that might help start the conversation about why the grades are not in keeping with the expectations of this family.

Film-makers Award Winner Morgan Wilcock

Southwest High School senior Morgan Wilcock’s film “This Gay and Age” won the Best Documentary Award in the 2011 Project VoiceScape Award competition, which promotes the work of aspiring documentarians, ages 14 to 19.

Morgan Wilcock

Wilcock, and two other teen filmmakers, honored at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., last week during a reception hosted by journalist Gwen Ifill and PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. The three winners were the best of 15 finalists, who each received a $2,000 grant and mentoring from a professional filmmaker for their project; 240 students competed for the national honor

“I wanted to expose the human side of the teens featured in my film – being gay or lesbian does not define who they are, even though popular culture often creates this illusion,” Wilcock said.

Wilcock interviewed students from several Minnesota high schools and gay rights activist Tammy Aaberg for the nearly 19-minute film, which garnered praise from judges for its “sophisticated and multi-layered approach, and innovative blend of personal filmmaking that also addresses a broader social issue.” Sundance award-winning director Natalia Amada served as Wilcock’s mentor.

Check out the entire story:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Runaways - Fantastic Talent -- Great Production

Only two more nights. Get your tickets while available. A song and story filled 90 minutes of entertainment. Talent packed production featuring wonderful ninth and tenth graders in the first musical of the high school season.

Runaways is a saga of being young and afraid and living in a world they cannot control and frequently do not understand. Great Production of large and small numbers with choirs and solos.

Only two nights left to see this delightful production -- Runaways.

7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights Oct 14 and 15.

A must see performance!

Study Help and Hints

The book "Switch" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath gave me a lot of insight into motivation and change. People can read the first chapter here:

Some ideas from the book:

*Lectures will not work

*Motivate the emotional side--what will success look and feel like? paint a mental picture

*Be specific about what you want the child to accomplish ("turn in all of your math work on time" is more effective than "get better grades") and start small

*Make it easy for the child to do what you want: remove obstacles (have the pencils sharpened, clear the table for work, etc.)--some may parents resist this as "enabling" but once the child has established the study habits, you can work on the rest. This is about prioritizing your goals. You can't work on everything at once.

Apart from the book, my own advice is: Take a serious look at your child's media use. I find that most of my students who are unmotivated are heavily into online gaming. They play video games all evening long, and are often up past midnight playing online with others. At school they are tired and disengaged.

Kristin Woebke
World Language Teacher
Southwest High School

Footlights Musical !! Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Have you ever dreamed of running away?
On any given night, an estimated 2,500 Minnesota youth experience homelessness.
Youth homelessness has increased 57% in the last three years.

Runaways is the first Mainstage Musical of the year at Southwest

It is about the lives of children who run away from home and live on the city streets. The characters were taken from workshops conducted in New York City with real-life runaways in the late 1970s. The show is a series of songs, monologues, scenes, poems, and dances

Performances are tonight Thursday October 13th through Saturday October 15th at 7:00 pm

Student tickets are $5

We will also be collecting non-perishable food and hygiene items at the door for the Brooklyn United Methodist Church/Emma B Howe YMCA youth food shelf

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Share your knowledge

Share your knowledge with other parents and help us create a list of Frequently Asked Questions

Respond to the Survey Monkey:

"What I know now, that I wish I would have known then" -- and share your tidbits of knowledge

Parent Teacher Conferences October 18 and 19

Conferences Coming October 18 and 19 and Quarter Grading Information

Parents and Guardians,
We want to inform you that the Minneapolis Public School District has decided to go back to Quarter Grading. With Quarter Grading, your students will be receiving four Quarter grades and four Mid-Quarter grades.

Mid-Quarter grades are grades that would reflect your students’ anticipated grade five weeks into the Quarter. For the first Mid-Quarter grade (Oct 5, 2011), of this school year, Southwest has decided to send out all Mid-Quarter grades for our parents and students. This is only an update of your students’ grades for the first five weeks of school. For the remaining three mid-term grade reporting we will only send out grades of D’s and F’s to advise parents and students of potential failures.

Mid-term grades for the rest of the school year will be mailed to you during the weeks of: Dec. 12; Feb 27th ; and May 14.

Quarter grades will be mailed to you during the weeks of: Nov. 7; Jan. 24; April 2 and June 11.

Please remember that current grades are always available on the Parent Portal. For information about passwords or Parent Portal registration, please call Shirley Frank or Mike Ries at 612-668-3039.

We are hoping these Mid-Quarter grades will be a useful tool for upcoming conferences, which will be held on October 18 from 4-8 and October 19 from 9-4:45pm.

The Minneapolis Alpine Ski Team (MAST)

The Minneapolis Alpine Ski Team (MAST) may be just for you.
MAST is THE downhill ski racing team of the Minneapolis Public Schools for Minneapolis students and residents in grades 7-12. No racing experience is necessary. We offer excellent coaching and training, a fun and friendly team atmosphere, exciting competitions against other high school ski teams, and the chance to participate in the fastest, non-motorized sport in the world!

The Minneapolis Alpine Ski Team is holding an informational meeting on Monday, October 24 at 7PM at Southwest High School in the Media Center. Learn more about MAST by checking out our website at You can also contact our Head Coach, Mark Conway, 612-275-8392, or email It is never too soon ---or too late--- to learn to ski race.


IB and AP Exam Registration for May 2012 exams is underway.

Juniors and seniors received info during their English classes this past week. IB/AP Coordinator Dick Schwartz will be visiting AP US History Classes and AP Human Geography classes the last week of October to explain the process and distribute registration forms.

Sophomores who are taking AP Calculus can stop by the IB office, room 127, to pick up a registration form and get any further information they need.

Forms and fees are due no later than November 3, to the IB office, room 127.
There is a link to the registration packet on the Southwest homepage.

If you did not also receive similar IB/AP exam information in an email from Mary Costello (via the Naviance system), please write her at so that your email can be added to the system.

Sadie Hawkins Dance Nov. 4 Preliminary Information

This is to let you know that we’re on schedule right now for the Friday, November 4 Sadie Hawkins dance, at Bunker Park Stables, in Andover. Fifteen buses have been ordered from MPS Transportation; a photographer will be on-site; a catering company has agreed to serve food that night and we have a DJ and a possible caller for the dance.

Based on the figures we will need 30 parent chaperones that evening, with two adults riding each bus and then walking the grounds near the barn and stables. We will also have one uniformed Anoka County deputy present and at least three or four SW teachers. Buses are expected to leave Southwest at 6 pm and will return by 11 pm; at least one bus will pick up and return students to north Minneapolis.

We are continuing to discuss what is appropriate student behavior for this dance, on the dance floor and elsewhere, and how best to deal with students who’re unprepared to meet such norms. No less important is our attempt to drum up school-wide enthusiasm and support for this event, which remains the best annual fundraiser for National Honor Society.

If you are able to chaperone please contact Mr. Robert Rees, NHS so-advisor 692-0051

Study Help and Hints.

Possible reasons a student may not be motivated:
1. It might be a 'senior' thing. Everyone reacts to leaving the school and entering different phases of life differently. Some kids talk about college applications so much that you can't stand it. Others are shutting down and refusing to acknowledge that they need to figure out some things.

2. Other students do nothing in a passive-aggressive 'lets watch the parents dance' sort of way. They really don't even know that they are doing it. There is a lot of power in doing nothing. For these students I suggest a 'give consequences to the behavior' and stay emotionally out of it. Every kid is different and the apporaches need fit the kid. If the kid wants attention from Dad... have dad give it. Mom? too involved? Have her back off. You know if you are just engaging in trench warfare -lots of attacks and no ground gained. STOP FIGHTING if it is not working.

3. Student might be depressed. Seek treatment.

4. The tasks might be too enormous to the student. Break it down into small steps. Do a step a day.

5. Have all of your actions toward the student (as a parent) say "I love you" "I want you to have every choice available to you" "I am going to push you/help you/set high standards for you".

Structural things I would encourage all parents to do:
1. Turn off the TV and video gaming systems -once in a while. Plan the watching more deliberately. Don't just have the TV on...

2. Give a dedicated homework spot. Students that do homework in their room tend to spend the night on facebook.

3. Proofread work that the student does.

4. Make sure students get enough sleep and eat properly. If you can, encourge them to go to bed WITHOUT the cell phone in the room (if they are prone to texting long into the night...) some cell phone plans have parental controls that prevent texting after a certain time...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Academically Outstanding Athletes

We are proud of our students on the playing courts and in classrooms. Here are the grade point averages (GPA) of the fall sports:

Cross Country Boys - 3.54
Cross Country Girls - 3.64
Football - 2.58
Performance Team - 3.56
Soccer Boys - 3.27
Soccer Girls 3.55
Swim and Dive Girls - 3.42
Tennis Girls 3.50
Volleyball - 3.37

Average GPA for all fall athletes -- 3.38

Great job!

Study Help and Hints

Part of a continuing series.

I am generally unmotivated to do what I'm not good at (like not ending a sentence with the word 'at'). I find that students who are unmotivated to do math usually struggle with math. Forgive the generalization, but one way to improve is to get better. One way to get better is to watch good instructional videos over and over again. One good site is Another good site is A third site (with free practice!) is

Truthfully, I rarely find students that cannot grasp big concepts. For example, most students understand that in order to keep equations equivalent, you need to do the same operation on both sides of the equation. What they struggle with is the arithmetic. When -7 - 10 is sometimes equal to -17, but other times it is -3 or perhaps even 3 or 17, algebra suddenly seems really hard...even unpredictable. If the student didn't have some of these basic number sense ideas ingrained during elementary school, families should do a lot to try to help that student. Practice needn't be punative, but it must be frequent. Flash cards actually do work. Investigating patterns (like the example below) really does help.

Why is a negative number times a negative number equal to a positive number?

4 times -4 really means -4 + -4 + -4 + -4 which is -16

3 times -4 really means -4 + -4 + -4 which is -12

2 times -4 really means -4 + -4 which is -8

1 times -4 really means -4 which is -4

The repeated sums are counting up by 4.

0 times -4 must be 0.

-1 times -4 must be 4.

-2 times -4 must be 8.

-3 times -4 must be 12.

-4 times -4 must be 16.

Notice that this is just an example, but it seems to demonstrate that a negative number times a negative number equal to a positive number.

Try stuff like that.

~David McMayer
Southwest Mathematics Teacher

"Study Help and Hints"

From time to time we will post study help and hints. A suggestion by one of our readers. How to support your daughter/son who is experiencing a momently lull in his/her scholarly efforts.

Check out the website under the parent and student section for additional ideas and a storehouse of great ideas. A website where students can take an interest inventory or a reality check -my freshmen did these last year and really liked virtually deciding their future house, family, lifestyle and seeing how much money they'll need to make to achieve these dreams and then what jobs they need to obtain to make that money.

Other ideas I liked are job shadowing or informational interviews. These are 2 brief, but experiential ways to help visualize post-secondary options. Of course, these aren't at all quick fixes for getting this weekend's homework done and raising grades before the quarter's end, but they could inspire.

I need to help him with basic organizational skills and study skills. Maybe some new tools will give a feeling of success from day to day and he won't feel so lost at the end of the week or before the tests.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hints to support your children

A blog reader suggested posting suggestions to support your children - our students. A great idea! So we will.

We will create a spot on the school web site to store the support ideas and we will also post them on this bog. In a day or two I will post th name of the spot and link.

We frequently talk about supporting our children but what does that look like. When they were little we would hold their hands when they were learning to walk or we would "fix " the bobos when they happen with cute band aides. But what about when they are older? How do I support a teenage?

Not that we have all the answers but definitely will post ideas. Our readers may have some as well. We want our children to do well. How do we support them? Keep reading and we will take the journey together.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Share the Stories and Literature

This book shelves sits next to the door to the main office in the west building. Hundreds of books move on and off the shelves in during the school year. Take a book -- Leave a book is the note on the side.

These are all donated books from delightful readers - just like you! Students and visitors stop and glance through the titles and select a good read.

Because of you and your generousity, hundreds of students and adults share in the adventures through reading. The gift of excitement and wonder is found in the pages.

If you have books that have served their purpose in your home, please share. Donate you books by dropping off the books at the volunteer center, front desk or main office. If you inventory them, drop the list in the bag with your books and we can sign and provide you with a tax-deductible receipt.

Thank you for sharing the adventures.

Friday and end of week number 5

It all goes too quickly. It seems that we just begin the process of a new school year and we are now into October.

For our students it all moves more quickly. Each day is one that cannot be repeated or a "do over." It happens and that is it. That is why every single moment, period, day and week is vital to the growth and development of our children. There is an urgency to this entire process.

School is important and the daily events within those growing years are important. One comment, one mistaken aside, one insult can change a life. Likewise one smile, one more bit of encouragement, one more moment of support and concern can change a life.

Let's celebrate the moments. Let's make them the best they can be!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Have a couple hours each week?

Volunteer! Speak Spanish, French or Japanese and want to keep up with your conversational skills? Volunteer! Math was your best subject or writing is part of your job or science was a thrill? How about sharing that passion and love for the subject with students needing confidence or just a gentle bit of encouragement? Volunteer!

If you have a few hours that you can share on a regular basis or just a couple of hours this month we would appreciate your being with us and our students. The more adults in a student's life, the more she/he connects with the real world. There is much to do and many ways to be helpful.

Volunteer! Call our Volunteer Center 612-668-3072.

Oct.11 Parents Make a Difference -- PTSA Program

Parents Make A Difference in Preventing Teen Substance Abuse
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
7:00 -8:30 pm
Southwest Media Center

Maureen Farrell, M.Ed. CPP is the presenter, MN Metro Region Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs Prevention Coordinator.

Kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not. Research shows that when parents talk openly about drugs and drinking, children have better self-control and develop more negative perceptions of these risky behaviors. There's no way you can shield your kids from finding out that illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco exist -- but you can help your child reject offers to try them.

Learn about the issues teens face and how you can be effective in helping them deal with situations related to drugs and alcohol.

Mid-Terms and Grades -- For Family and Student Information

Parents and Guardians,
We want to inform you that the Minneapolis Public School District has decided to go back to Quarter Grading. With Quarter Grading, your students will be receiving four Quarter grades and four Mid-Quarter grades.

Mid-Quarter grades are grades that would reflect your students’ anticipated grade five weeks into the Quarter. For the first Mid-Quarter grade (Oct 5, 2011), of this school year, Southwest has decided to send out all Mid-Quarter grades for our parents and students. This is only an update of your students’ grades for the first five weeks of school. For the remaining three mid-term grade reporting we will only send out grades of D’s and F’s to advise parents and students of potential failures.

Mid-term grades for the rest of the school year will be mailed to you during the weeks of: Dec. 12; Feb 27th ; and May 14.

Quarter grades will be mailed to you during the weeks of: Nov. 7; Jan. 24; April 2 and June 11.

Please remember that current grades are always available on the Parent Portal. For information about passwords or Parent Portal registration, please call Ryan Moe at 612-668-3039

We are hoping these Mid-Quarter grades will be a useful tool for upcoming conferences, which will be held on October 18 from 4-8 and October 19 from 9-4:45pm.

Hamlet - a Great Production at the Jungle

Looking for a good family event or a night away from the rest of the family. The production of Hamlet at the Jungle Theater is great. The acting is wonderful. The scenery creative and delightful.

Hamlet with a cell phone. You have to see it to believe that it works. I generally do not appreciate updated Shakespeare but this is the exceptions.

Have a great evening of theater at the Black Box here at Southwest. But since I know that will wet your appetite for more, go see Hamlet at the Jungle.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where did winter go??

The building was hot today. I know some of it had to be the change in temperatures but most of it was because it was hot! The second floor of the west building was steamy by the end of the day.

It has to be Minnesota because the weather can change drastically in a 24 hour period. Have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.

In early September we talk about water and being careful of the heat and really hot afternoons. But they are back....

Tomorrow is suppose to be a bit better. I know we have to be careful because these are the days we will be dreaming for in January.

Runaways Oct 13, 14 and 15

Mark your calendar. The Southwest Footlights Musical is Runaways. The production dates are October 13, 14 and 15. All performanced start at 7 pm.

Opening night the 13, Thursday, is preview night and all tickets are half price.

Come out and support our 9th and 10th graders.

In This Mornings Newspaper

National Achievement Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships to promising black students in the United States. – Minneapolis Southwest Elijah Fortson

MacPhail Center pick Dakota Combo 2011-12 Members of the Dakota Combo include Minneapolis Southwest Joshua Jones

Free Flu Clinic - October 11th

The Minnesota visiting Nurse Association (MVNA) in conjunction with a grant from Kohl’s Department Stores will be conducting a flu shot clinic on October 11th from 3:30-6:00 pm at Southwest (cafeteria).

Staff can get their shot right after school and families can come in until 6pm. Insurance covers the cost of the shot.

Children 6 months and up will be vaccinated for free.

Please bring your health insurance card if you have one. The mist will be available.


The registration period for both IB and AP exams begins next week. The process will be explained to juniors and seniors through their English classes --
4th, 5th and 6th hours on October 4th, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd hours on October 5th.

Students in AP Geography and AP US History will receive the info during their AP class time on either October 26 or 27.

Registration forms and fees will be due no later than November 3. If students have questions, go to the IB office, room 127. This info will also be sent to you via Naviance

Parents of 9th grade students!

Your invitation to a House Party sponsored by the Southwest Education Fund should have arrived in your mailbox this week.

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, Oct. 6, 6:30 p.m. at the home of Christa Anders and Tom McLeod. This is a parent event for those interested in meeting other Southwest parents and Principal Bill Smith, and finding out more about our fundraising campaign for Southwest High School.

Every donation in any amount is important and we value the participation of all parents.

Please email if you have questions

If you are unable to attend, please mail your donation support to Southwest High School 3414 West 47th St. Mpls,MN 55410

We need your support!

Wednesday and there are tickets left

Boeing Boeing is a comedy full of laughs, twists and turns. A fantastic display of young talent in this first Unhinged production of the 2011-12 school year. There are limited tickets still available for the remaining shows, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mid-Term Ds and Fs Mailed This Morning

Mid-terms were mailed home this morning. The only families that will receive grades in the mail are those students earning a D or and an F at this time.

All the grades are visible on the Parent Portal. The grades should reflect the first 24 days of school. This is the mid point of the first quarter. Thus, student have all of the month of October to get back on track. The first quarter ends November 3.

If your son/daughter is failing a subject, a long coversation about study habits and time management are in order. You and your daughter/son might want to schedule an appointment with the teacher to review grades and demonsstration of academic skills in the class (or lack of).

This is a time to review what is happening and what might need to change. It is also a time to reward and congratulate your son/daughter about his/her fine progress up to the point in the year.

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is important. What is actually learned is more important but the grade frequently reflects that also. Talk with your children.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Homecoming 2011 is History

Well space was not a problem. That place is huge!

With the continuing popularity space is an issue. Do you limit the number of tickets or find a bigger place. Well, the ballroom was an answer with plenty of room free parking and direct path to get there. Ok, there must be some drawbacks -- how about 23 miles outside the city?

Other than the obvious it seemed to be a great success. Lots of work on dancing and be responsible. Would have to report progress. Might not have been perfect but sure seemed different. I am sure that very few of the parents in attendance recognized a song as one played at their homecoming. But then that is what their parents said twenty years ago.

I predicted a retro look for the fashion. I was totally wrong. I do not sew a bunch but I think about 7 yards of material would have made all the dresses worn by our female lakers. There was one beautiful tan and brown long flowing dress that was the showcase for the evening. For the majority it was spandex shorts and a stretchy piece of fabric around the middle.

The circus motive for the seniors was colorful. I did look for a pair of those golden pants but was afraid of glare from the dance floor lights. The sound was very loud which for young people means normal. If it is too loud, you are too old. It did seem to be fun evening.

We will continue to work with the students about the dancing style. There are some options the students are considering. I am certain they are open to listening to your comments and suggestion.

Debate team Triumphant

Debate! Debate! Debate!

For a First in the History of Debate at Southwest in the Modern Era---
Varsity debaters Avi Gori and Sophia Deady earned a triumphant 1st place at Saturday’s debate tournament. That accomplishment is a first. The S?w Debate Team has not previously place first at the Varsity level.

Out of 44 novice teams Madeline Foster and Vienna Larche finished 5th and Henry Aoki and Logan Schade finished 14th.

Congratulate these students on their success!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Party buses and sleep overs arrowy words

Homecoming and other high school events are great fun. The stories live for years. Think back to you own high school days. Remember what you and your friends did before during and after those events?
I hear about them at reunion gatherings. Great stories at the thirty, forty and fifty year reunions.

Now that the thoughts are fresh in your mind, tonight is a grand event for your son/daughter. Has the word party bus slipped into the conversation? How about sleep over? Or a good one staying with a friend? I bet you used one of those a couple decades ago.

High school homecoming should be fun and a good time. Maybe you should have a conversation about safety and responsibility. Take a moment and have the conversation today that will make things okay on Monday.

Frequently the reunion stories are not funny for a couple of the involved persons.

Let's be safe.