HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
April 22, 2011

Dear HFS Community Members,

Last night I glimpsed the future, but found evidence of it in the present. As we have done for many times over the course of the past 18 months, the Kindergarten Planning Team convened to plan and prepare for the opening of our kindergarten program in September. As teachers so often do, our conversation drifted from vision to anecdote and back to vision. Incoming kindergarten teacher Amy Suit’s laughter is irrepressible and completely contagious. As she shared stories of her current and past students she shared glimpses into the future of our kindergarten program. Certain recurring themes appeared throughout the stories. Those themes – development of students ownership of their educational experience; preparation of students to be good, involved, respectful, and thoughtful citizens; fostering the necessary use and exercise of student imagination; developing a sense of responsibility to self and to others – were apparent in stories of students adopting a large refrigerator box and then deciding collectively what it should become. The answer? A school bus, painted yellow (by the students) and able to transport students anywhere their imaginations would take them. She shared stories of students being so responsible for their classroom jobs that substitute teachers were amazed by the level of student leadership and follow-through without their “Miss Amy” present.  Amy also indicated that such classroom practice tended to occur in the oasis of her own classroom at other schools. As she knows well as a former HFS parent, her kindergarten class at HFS will be another integral part of the lush educational landscape. The work of Amy’s classroom will provide the foundation for the work already being done by teachers and students in grades one through eight. One current example is the work of our ad hoc Nominating Committee, led by our existing clerking team of Autumn, Morgan, and Becky, and populated by representatives from each of the school’s standing committees and from each classroom. Yesterday’s meeting of this group during lunch and recess involved students presenting and discussing names of peers for consideration as next year’s clerk’s of the Business Meeting. This year’s group has already made one landmark decision. It will consider students from all grade levels as potential clerks rather than just students in the middle school. The group felt that the qualities and characteristics it sought for those positions were not exclusive to middle school students. It also brought to its conversation an observation that in the six years of clerking teams at HFS, no boy has ever held one of the officer’s seats. Whether or not this sways the discernment process this year is still unknown. However, the fact that the group recognizes its duty within the school of selecting student leadership and is doing so with great attention to process and purpose leads me to believe that its nominations will be well-considered. The work of this group of students may not have had its basis in kindergarten, though it became clear to me last night that our kindergarten program will be laying the foundation of this process for the school for years to come, perhaps even the foundation (and imagination!) for a boy to join the ranks of the clerking team one day!

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES FROM COMMUNITY MEMBERS…

[Please Note: HFS welcomes general announcements from community members to be included in this section of the Weekly Collections, particularly if the announcements involve the extra-curricular activities of our students, families, faculty, and staff. Please be aware that not all requests can be accommodated each week and that the school reserves the right to publish information at its discretion.]

Bus Service

Registration is now open for the new HFS bus service for the 2011-2012 school year. For more information, visit our home page at www.harfordfriends.org. If interested, please return your bus service registration form as soon as possible!

Snow Make-Up Dates

As previously announced by Head of School Jonathan Huxtable, the following dates have been added to the school year in order to make-up days off for inclement weather: Monday, April 25 (snow make-up day #1) and Thursday, June 9 (snow make-up day #2). (Please note, Wednesday, June 8 is now a full-day of school as well.)

HFS Magnets

Thanks to the hard work of HFS parent Alisa K. we now have Harford Friends School magnets. Stick them on your car, your refrigerator, or your filing cabinet at work! Magnets can be purchased for $1.00 in the HFS Office.

HFS Photos

Please send any photos you have to Valerie Hartman in electronic format for the 2010-2011 school yearbook. Thank you!

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

NOTE: Items new to this week’s Collections are identified with bold type.

Items changed after an earlier posting are identified in italicized and bold type.

  1. Monday, April 25 – School in session – Snow Make-up Day
  2. Tuesday, April 26 – Home & School Association meeting (7-9PM) *To be rescheduled.
  3. Thursday, April 28-Friday, April 29 – Grade 8 overnight field trip to Washington, DC. *Note: Early drop-off at HFS is likely
  4. Friday, April 29 – Field trips for all grades – Grade 8: Washington DC (Late Return to HFS likely); Grade 7: La Tolteca (Depart 10:30AM, Return 1:30PM); Grade 5/6: Indian Steps Museum (Depart 9AM, Return 2:30PM); Grade 3/4: MD Historical Society (Depart 9AM, Return 2:30PM); Grade 1/2: Carrie Murray Nature Center (Depart 9:15AM, Return 2:30PM)
  5. Friday, April 29 – Sunday, May 1 – Flower Sale fundraiser at Broom’s Bloom Dairy sponsored by the H&SA. Please contact Dawn Tridone for additional information.
  6. Friday, May 6 – 2nd Annual 7th Inning Stretch Softball Game (1:25-2:55PM) Family members are encouraged to attend the game and cheer on students! Please contact Jennifer Button if you have gloves you can loan students for the game.
  7. Monday, May 9 – Friends School of Baltimore Admissions Representative Josh Carlin to visit with 7th grade students and families (12:40-1:25PM). Family members please RSVP to Jennifer Button by Monday, May 2.
  8. Tuesday, May 10 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:05-8:55AM) in Gunpowder Classroom. Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org by Monday May 9.
  9. Tuesday, May 10 – H&SA Meeting (7-9PM)
  10. Friday, May 13 – Field trips for all grades (8th Grade early departure/late return possible)
  11. Friday, May 20 – HFS Field Day (9AM-12PM) *There will not be a rain date for this event.
  12. Friday, May 20 – 8th grade field trip to Blue Dog Arts studio (Depart: 12:20PM, Return: 3PM)
  13. Friday, May 20 – Parent Activities Session #4 (1:25-2:55PM)
  14. Tuesday, May 24 – Blueberry Festival Meeting (7-9PM) *H&SA Meeting rescheduled for May 10.
  15. Friday, May 27 – Parent Activities Session #5 (1:25-2:55PM)
  16. Friday, May 27 – End of Year Picnic for students, families, and faculty (3:30-7:00PM) at Eden Mill Nature Center pavilion
  17. Monday, May 30 – HFS Closed for Memorial Day
  18. Wednesday, June 1 –Primary to Blue Dog Art studio; Intermediate TBD; Middle School overnight field trips depart
  19. Wednesday, June 1 – Intermediate Class overnight experience at HFS
  20. Thursday, June 2 – Lower School field trip to Ladew Gardens
  21. Friday, June 3 – Lower School field trip to Dutch Wonderland; Middle School overnight field trips return
  22. Monday, June 6 – REQUIRED student work session for any student owing work for the 4th Quarter (3-5PM)
  23. Wednesday, June 8 – Regular school hours (8AM-3PM) *Snow Make-up Date; Special Business Meeting and Presentations of Learning schedule to be announced
  24. Thursday, June 9 – Friends Cup Soccer Game for students, families, and faculty (10-11:30AM)
  25. Thursday, June 9 – Last Day of School schedule to be announced (12:00PM Dismissal); End of Semester
  26. Thursday, June 9 – Commencement Rehearsal at Deer Creek Friends Meeting (12:30-3:00PM) Required attendance for all 7th and 8th grade students
  27. Saturday, June 11 – Graduate/Alumni Breakfast (8:30-9:30AM) By invitation only
  28. Saturday, June 11 – Class 2015 Commencement Ceremony and luncheon at Deer Creek Friends Meeting (10AM-12PM)

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

This week was a bit abbreviated because of my absence on Monday and Tuesday but the students got an extra working day for their research paper. As of Friday, I should have an annotated outline and an annotated bibliography. Next Wednesday, the first draft of the paper is due. We leave for D.C. next Thursday. We continued our work with Romeo and Juliet and I look forward to continued analysis of the play and its language. In the coming weeks, we will focus on the Civil War and its literature.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: We spent time with Newton’s laws of motion, universal gravitation, momentum, frames of reference, and the straightforward mathematical relationships between such things as mass, velocity, and acceleration.  These things seem not to come easily or intuitively to modern young students, who in recent decades tend to see Newtonian physics on video screens far more often than they feel it in their muscles and bones.  We examined collisions, and played a game of marbles.  Monday, students will have opportunity for in-class assembly of prototype inventions in the manner of Rube Goldberg.  Meanwhile, students have been asked to begin writing a script for a short explanatory video of each cartoon and physical invention, using appropriate words to name and describe their variety of machines and energy transfers.

Math: This Tuesday marked the end of the ERB testing for our eighth grade students, as we finished with the Algebra Component of the testing.  The students did not feel that there were any surprises on the test, and indicated to me that they felt prepared for the test.  Now that the testing is over, we will be better able to get back to our classroom procedures as we finish up our work on quadratic relationships, in our unit of study, Frogs, Fleas, and Painted Cubes.  This unit will end with a unit test on May 9.  After a challenging period of testing, the eighth graders should enjoy a restful holiday weekend.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art: For information on Art, please contact Rog Hicks at rjjhicks@comcast.net

Computer Technology: The students selected components of each student essay to build the class article. We will review cover options for the yearbook and begin planning tasks.

Music: For information on Music, please contact Bill Jenkins at wjenkins@loyola.edu

Physical Education: For the Spring…

Right now we are doing a short lesson on Body Composition. Lower school is learning what the body is made of and why a balance of exercise and healthy food is good for the body.  Upper levels are learning about making healthy choices regarding exercise and food and gaining an understanding that true health is not based on the shape or size of one’s body , but that there are many components that make a person healthy and fit.

After spring break all grades will be involved in running and field hockey. Lower school will also practice more eye/hand coordination using different types of racquets, bats and balls. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can be outside a lot!! Grades 5 – 8 will continue with SAQ (speed, agility and quickness)

Spanish: We continued using and practicing school-related vocabulary, including supplies, how we get to school, and activities we do at school. We will finish up this topic next week by taking a quiz on the school vocabulary.

NOTES from Middle School ADVISORY…

The students began their exploration of leadership this week by choosing a leader for their group, only to find out the leader would not be leading anything!  We started with this exercise in order to reflect on our feelings about leaders–what qualities are important in a leader, how should leaders be chosen, and how we feel about leading and following the direction of a leader.  Next week, the students will describe different types of leaders and look for examples in the world.  Have a great week!

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

This week was a bit abbreviated because of my absence on Monday and Tuesday but the students continued their work with India. They looked at the neighboring countries, the modern economics of the subcontinent, and the arts and literature of the subcontinent. We will have our final test on India next Friday. We also began wrapping up A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The students watched the BBC film production of the play and enjoyed seeing it performed. We also began work on an essay concerning the play within the play. I look forward to seeing these essays progress.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: The week started with the students testing out their junk keys on each other.  All of them gained an appreciation for how difficult it is to write a classification key.  We then continued our taxonomy unit with an introduction to the microscope and a look at animal and plant cells under the microscope.  On Thursday, Mr. Richard Anderson from the Snyder Foundation presented a lesson on Invasive Species in Maryland.

Math: This week we reviewed for our Geometry unit test and took the test on Wednesday. Look for these to come home for revision and a signature. At the end of the week, we began our next unit on Probability. This unit will explore simple events, tree diagrams, the Fundamental Counting Principle, permutations, combinations, theoretical and experimental probability, and independent and dependent events.

We began by learning about simple events this week, and we’ll continue next week learning about tree diagrams, the Fundamental Counting Principle, and permutations. There will be a quiz on this material on Thursday.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art: For information on Art, please contact Rog Hicks at rjjhicks@comcast.net

Computer Technology: No class due to Friday’s early dismissal.

Music: For information on Music, please contact Bill Jenkins at wjenkins@loyola.edu

Physical Education: For the Spring…

Right now we are doing a short lesson on Body Composition. Lower school is learning what the body is made of and why a balance of exercise and healthy food is good for the body.  Upper levels are learning about making healthy choices regarding exercise and food and gaining an understanding that true health is not based on the shape or size of one’s body, but that there are many components that make a person healthy and fit.

After spring break all grades will be involved in running and field hockey. Lower school will also practice more eye/hand coordination using different types of racquets, bats and balls. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can be outside a lot!! Grades 5 – 8 will continue with SAQ (speed, agility and quickness)

Spanish: We continued with our unit on food/restaurants, and students practiced asking the opinion of the waiter on different foods before ordering, as well as other phrases that are useful in a restaurant. They made their own restaurant dialogues and practiced the roles of both waiter and customer.

NOTES from Middle School ADVISORY…

The students began their exploration of leadership this week by choosing a leader for their group, only to find out the leader would not be leading anything!  We started with this exercise in order to reflect on our feelings about leaders–what qualities are important in a leader, how should leaders be chosen, and how we feel about leading and following the direction of a leader.  Next week, the students will describe different types of leaders and look for examples in the world.  Have a great week!

HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

In social studies we have shifted our focus from the geography of the land to ancient Indian religions. Although students are learning that geography even effects religion. Due to the fact that the people lived along the Indus River, water became a significant factor in their religious practices. We have begun with Hinduism and have focused on the 3 major gods and the 4 basic tenets of their religion. We made golden eggs to symbolize Brahma and the belief that he emerged from a golden egg.

Enjoy the beauty of spring as you zoom around!

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Our 5/6th grade class has been busy testing various combinations of building materials in an effort to build an earthquake-proof structure. Many thanks to the Shue family for constructing an earthquake simulator for the science department.  We’ve also reviewed our entire unit of geology through a Jeopardy game, word-wall stories and a review packet.  Our test is scheduled for Monday.  Students have also been given a moon folder that contains a calendar for April and May.  Students should be recording information about the moon every night until May 17th.

Math: Sixth grade math class has been busy designing algorithms for adding and subtracting fractions. We have been working on word problems and learning to identify words that signal the operation that is to be used to solve the problem. Students designed their own word problem worksheet this week to put their new skills to work. When solving word problems it is helpful to:

  1. Circle all numbers relevant to problem.
  2. Underline the questions being asked.
  3. Decide on the correct operation by identifying signal words.

I am very pleased with the progress 6th grade math has made during our Bits and Pieces II unit!

NOTES from Explorations…

Art: For information on Art, please contact Rog Hicks at rjjhicks@comcast.net

Computer Technology: The last keyboarding homework practice sheet was assigned! Each student selected a question from their brainstorming session last week. They begin the process of interviewing classmates with their question for engaging yearbook quotes. Sample questions include “what superpower would you want and why?”, “favorite light bulb”, and “read the book or watch the movie first?” We also assessed typing speed/accuracy and went through the first round of cover selections for the yearbook.

Music: For information on Music, please contact Bill Jenkins at wjenkins@loyola.edu

Physical Education: For the Spring…

Right now we are doing a short lesson on Body Composition. Lower school is learning what the body is made of and why a balance of exercise and healthy food is good for the body.  Upper levels are learning about making healthy choices regarding exercise and food and gaining an understanding that true health is not based on the shape or size of one’s body , but that there are many components that make a person healthy and fit.

After spring break all grades will be involved in running and field hockey. Lower school will also practice more eye/hand coordination using different types of racquets, bats and balls. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can be outside a lot!! Grades 5 – 8 will continue with SAQ (speed, agility and quickness)

Spanish: We continued practicing Spring activities and saying which activities we and other people like. We also learned and mastered some clothing vocab, and designed and colored posterboard “huevos de Pascuas” (Easter eggs).

NOTES from Middle School ADVISORY…

The students began their exploration of leadership this week by choosing a leader for their group, only to find out the leader would not be leading anything!  We started with this exercise in order to reflect on our feelings about leaders–what qualities are important in a leader, how should leaders be chosen, and how we feel about leading and following the direction of a leader.  Next week, the students will describe different types of leaders and look for examples in the world.  Have a great week!

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

NOTES from the 1/2 Grade Classroom…

This week the primary class learned about a new type of poetry called a cinquian, which focuses on a different number of syllables for each of the five lines.  Students wrote their own cinquian along with helping write a class cinquian about the classroom.  In theme, we continued to learn about the life cycle of a plant, specifically the different parts of the plant and why they are important.  In science, we observed two different insects the caterpillar along with the silkworm, which we eggs when we first observed them.  Next week we will be continuing our observations of these insects.  In language arts, we read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and focused on different important vocabulary along with pulling out the important facts and main ideas in the story that support the conclusion of the story.  Next Friday, April 29 we will be going to the Carrie Murray Nature Center for our field trip please remember to pack a non-microwaveable lunch and a booster seat.

NOTES from the 3/4 Grade Classroom…

The students finished reading Three Cups of Tea this week.  I am very proud of them for following this true story to its conclusion.  We will spend the next few classes summarizing and reflecting on the book.  In Writing Workshop, the students’ poetry notebooks are well underway, and their poem recitations will occur on Wednesday.  Everyone should be reading the book that they chose for the sandwich book report.  Our grammar focus of the week has been subjects and predicates, both simple and complete.  The intermediate math group has completed the unit on area, perimeter, and volume, and will focus next on division using larger divisors.  Ask your child about the Digit Throw-away game.  In Social Studies, our focus is on Industrial Maryland, during the years 1870-1945.  Our next field trip will be on Friday, April 29.  The class will visit the Maryland Historical Society Museum in Baltimore for a “Hunt for History” tour, followed by a lunch of Northern Indian food.  Menus will be sent home early in the week for your review.  Have a great week, and happy Easter!

Science-3/4: 3/4 graders have been immersed in the water cycle this week – appropriately enough for the weather we’ve been having!  We’ve learned why drinking glasses “sweat”, what it means to have high humidity and how vapor changes back to liquid.  We’ve also discovered that it is possible for ice to go directly to vapor without first melting.  Ask your child about it. On Thursday, Mr. Richard Anderson, from the Snyder Foundation, presented a lesson to the students on Mammals of Maryland.  While this has nothing to do with the water cycle, I take guest speakers when I can get them!  Next week we venture into a unit on magnetism and electricity.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art: For information on Art, please contact Rog Hicks at rjjhicks@comcast.net

Computer Technology 1/2: This week we continued typing our original poems in a word processor and experimented with formatting options. First we worked on couplets. Then we added limericks. This week we concentrated on our senses poem.

Computer Technology 3/4: This week we created a brief paragraph about different HFS field trips to be used as a caption in the yearbook. We also took a few minutes to experiment with the funky effects of Photo Booth.

Music 1/2:

Music 3/4:

Physical Education: For the Spring…

Right now we are doing a short lesson on Body Composition. Lower school is learning what the body is made of and why a balance of exercise and healthy food is good for the body.  Upper levels are learning about making healthy choices regarding exercise and food and gaining an understanding that true health is not based on the shape or size of one’s body , but that there are many components that make a person healthy and fit.

After spring break all grades will be involved in running and field hockey. Lower school will also practice more eye/hand coordination using different types of racquets, bats and balls. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can be outside a lot!! Grades 5 – 8 will continue with SAQ (speed, agility and quickness)

Spanish 1-4: This week we went over the spring vocabulary we’ve learned already and learned the names of some animals in Spanish! We learned how to say “Happy Easter” in Spanish (“Felices Pascuas”) and both classes did an Easter activity. We also continued practicing our “Sol, solecito” song.