HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
September 9, 2011

Dear HFS Families,

Observation and wonder. This seemingly simple skill progression lies at the root of all scientific discovery, skill mastery, self-awareness, and empathy. Students in eighth grade science this week observed the characteristics of Gummy Worms. “Gummy Worms?” you ask. “What could there be to observe about Gummy Worms?” This was the question I asked myself when eighth grade science teacher Cheryl Foley told me about the exercise. She paused the conversation long enough for me to see the simple beauty of the lesson. There is far greater depth to the world right in front of our eyes than we might recognize. By insisting students spend time observing greater awareness of the world, particularly of the qualities of the Gummy Worm, wonder was developed. Does a Gummy Worm float? How much does one weigh? What force is required to pull one apart? What effect will water have on one? Will the color bleed out of it? In seventh grade math this week students started to learn about dependent and independent variables by charting the number of jumping jacks they could complete in a set period of time. At what point did their rates diminish? What was the average number of jumping jacks per student? Could these averages be compared across various lengths of time? In 5th/6th grade Spanish students observed the telling of a story, entirely in Spanish, and deciphered the storyline and characters by integrating the storyteller’s movements, voice inflections and tone to make meaning of words of another language. Lower School students engaged in a scavenger hunt around the school to develop a familiarity and comfort level with their surroundings. In this case question-prompted wonder led to careful observation and engagement.  Kindergarteners helped Teacher Amy set-up their classroom, and also made observations about what their classroom needed. I was particularly excited to happen to drop in on the following exchange:

Teacher Amy:        How do we keep our bodies safe?

Student A:            We don’t push or hit.

Student B:            We are kind.

Student C:            Yeah, we treat each other nice.

Teacher Amy:        How do we learn?

Student A:            We listen.

Student B:            We make sure we’re doing what we should be doing.

Student C:            Yeah, we work hard.

As students responded, Amy summarized their responses and listed them as their classroom guidelines that the students agreed upon together. As eighth grade students sharpened their skills of observation and kindergarten students established a philosophy to guide individual and group activity, I was reminded once again that there is far greater depth to the world (and work) around us than we might initially understand. This is the challenge to the Friends school teacher and student. How carefully can we listen? How closely can we watch? How clearly can we understand? How do we turn that wonder and understanding into action? I am excited to know that we have a whole year together to find out!

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.]

  • Office Staffing:
    • Jennifer Button, Assistant Head of School for School Operations & Administrative Assistant to the Head of School, will be in the office Monday-Friday 7AM-1PM. In addition, correspondence may be left in her mailbox, located in the HFS office.
    • Diana Rego, Assistant Head of School for Business Operations, will be in the office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 8AM-3PM. If you need to reach her outside of those days/times, please feel free to email or phone her as needed. In addition, correspondence may be left in her mailbox, located in the HFS office.
  • Taste of Excellence tickets are on sale now through the HFS Office! This annual event is a wine-tasting to benefit the financial aid program at Harford Friends School. Held on Sunday, October 23, 2011 (1:45-4:30PM) at the MD Golf & Country Clubs in Bel Air – Advance tickets are $40, and $50 at the door. Please visit the HFS website for additional information.

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, Sept. 12 – Friday, Sept. 30 – Parent & Advisor/Homebase Conferences. Please see the Parent/Student Handbook for available appointment times to schedule with your child’s advisor or homebase teacher.
  2. Wednesday, Sept. 14 – Home & School Association meeting at HFS (7PM); All HFS parents are encouraged to attend.
  3. Friday, Sept. 16 – Back to School Picnic at Eden Mill Nature Center (3:30-7:00PM) All HFS families and faculty are invited to attend this event. Please contact the H&SA for additional details and to RSVP.
  4. Thursday, Sept. 22 – Back to School Night at HFS (7-9PM); All HFS parents and faculty are expected to attend.
  5. Monday, Sept. 26 – High School Application “How to” – An orientation to a complex process (3:00-4:30PM); 7th & 8th grade students and their parents are invited to attend this orientation to the high school application process hosted by Carmella Fifty. Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org
  6. Thursday, Sept. 29 – HFS CLOSED
  7. Friday, Sept. 30 – Field trips for all grades; Confirmed destinations and trip itineraries to be announced. Please email jbutton@harfordfriends.org if you would like to drive/chaperone your child’s class.

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Eighth graders began the year with a review of summer reading requirements in preparation for poster presentations on September 9, 10, and 12.  We will discuss both A Light in the Forest and April Morning during the next several days, culminating in an in class writing assignment next week.  Our vocabulary study kicked off with Unit I in Vocabulary Workshop.  Students wrote briefly about what they like about school and what they are looking forward to this year.  Please remember to send in the signature page from the course overview letter to parents on Friday. The eighth grade at Harford Friends is off and running, eager to learn and ready to enjoy the year!

Social Studies: The 8th graders brought a great sense of depth to Social Studies this week as we began to read about the enormous changes that were going on in the world in the 1600s.  Next week we will continue to explore the radical thoughts of that time period and the beginning of the English settlements in the new world.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: 8th grade science students carefully dissected, pulled, stretched, weighed, melted and otherwise experimented with worms (gummy!) this week as we focused on collecting and recording data.  We then began our unit on cells and genetics.  I’m really looking forward to working with the older kids this year. Course letters were due back signed today. Students should have a 3-ring binder and a composition book in class each day.

Math:  Students in Algebra I began the school year by solving algebra puzzles based on order of operations, and building algebraic expressions to unravel the mysteries of “mathe-magic” tricks on the first day of class.  We also completed an algebra pre-assessment, in order to establish a baseline of the class’s understanding of algebraic concepts.  Our first unit of study will address the manipulation of algebraic expressions, and solving linear equations.

This course is the foundation for future algebra and precalculus courses in high school.  Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to take either geometry or Algebra II.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology: For information on Computer Technology, please contact Valerie Hartman at vhartman@harfordfriends.org

Music: Information regarding Music classes will be announced once confirmed.

Physical Education: Hello, I am Ms. Laurie, the gym teacher for Harford Friends School. There is a lot planned for this school year. Students from all grades will discover a lot about themselves physically and have fun taking on the many challenges that will come their way.  One of our biggest challenges will be to run across the country by the end of the school year!  Lower school will have the opportunity to develop athletic skills and work cooperatively in large and small group activities. Middle school will work on enhancing athletic abilities and learn to set goals that will improve their level of fitness.

All students will be challenged, have fun, sweat and most importantly, gain confidence! Parents please make sure your child has appropriate active wear and running shoes for gym days. There will not be time to change clothes for class, but time to change shoes if needed. Some students kept a pair of running shoes in their cubby.

I look forward to meeting all of you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me at any time.

Ms. Laurie

laurie.cpt@gmail.com

443-528-6031

Spanish: 5th-8th grade Spanish got started on Thursday.  After getting to know each other, we saw how much we already know and we had fun putting all that together.  Be ready to add to that next week!  Adios!  Sra. Suggs

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

Students have posed excellent questions about China this week and we will continue to work on answering those questions next week as we delve into China even deeper.  I can see that the students worked hard on their summer reading projects and I can’t wait to begin working with the students on heroes of Greek mythology next week.  Thanks parents for all your hard work at home!

NOTES from Technology…

Science: 7th graders have hit the ground running with a look at our observation skills and our ability to distinguish between observation and inference.  Ask them to explain to you the magic bottle.  We then applied these skills to the beginning of our environmental science unit.  Course letters were due back signed today.  All students should have a 3-ring binder and a composition book in class each day.

Math: Hi parents!  I am very excited about the wonderful students we have in 7th grade!  They have been working hard in this first week back to school.  Continue to look for your child working on variables and patterns in math.  The students will create graphs from tables and interpret the data next week.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology: For information on Computer Technology, please contact Valerie Hartman at vhartman@harfordfriends.org

Music: Information regarding Music classes will be announced once confirmed.

Physical Education: Hello, I am Ms. Laurie, the gym teacher for Harford Friends School. There is a lot planned for this school year. Students from all grades will discover a lot about themselves physically and have fun taking on the many challenges that will come their way.  One of our biggest challenges will be to run across the country by the end of the school year!  Lower school will have the opportunity to develop athletic skills and work cooperatively in large and small group activities. Middle school will work on enhancing athletic abilities and learn to set goals that will improve their level of fitness.

All students will be challenged, have fun, sweat and most importantly, gain confidence! Parents please make sure your child has appropriate active wear and running shoes for gym days. There will not be time to change clothes for class, but time to change shoes if needed. Some students kept a pair of running shoes in their cubby.

I look forward to meeting all of you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me at any time.

Ms. Laurie

laurie.cpt@gmail.com

443-528-6031

Spanish: 5th-8th grade Spanish got started on Thursday.  After getting to know each other, we saw how much we already know and we had fun putting all that together.  Be ready to add to that next week!  Adios!  Sra. Suggs

HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

The 5th/6th grade Humanities class has done a great job getting organized for the year and setting personal goals. They have been introduced to our first Social Studies unit: Ancient Greece. They have also started reading Greek myths in Language Arts. Next week we plan to examine the geography of Greece and start discovering aspects of the earliest forms of Greek culture.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Our 5/6th graders will begin the year with a study of weather and climate.  How appropriate with all of the craziness we have been experiencing of late!  Today’s class began with some concentrated thought about our atmosphere.  Course letters are due back signed on Monday. All students should have a 3-ring binder and a composition book in class each day.

Math: The Math 6 class has been preparing to jump into our first unit: Prime Time. The students have been hard at work reviewing their multiplication facts. They should keep practicing at home to strengthen their skills so they can be prepared to continue Prime Time and start the “My Special Number” project.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology: For information on Computer Technology, please contact Valerie Hartman at vhartman@harfordfriends.org

Music: Information regarding Music classes will be announced once confirmed.

Physical Education: Hello, I am Ms. Laurie, the gym teacher for Harford Friends School. There is a lot planned for this school year. Students from all grades will discover a lot about themselves physically and have fun taking on the many challenges that will come their way.  One of our biggest challenges will be to run across the country by the end of the school year!  Lower school will have the opportunity to develop athletic skills and work cooperatively in large and small group activities. Middle school will work on enhancing athletic abilities and learn to set goals that will improve their level of fitness.

All students will be challenged, have fun, sweat and most importantly, gain confidence! Parents please make sure your child has appropriate active wear and running shoes for gym days. There will not be time to change clothes for class, but time to change shoes if needed. Some students kept a pair of running shoes in their cubby.

I look forward to meeting all of you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me at any time.

Ms. Laurie

laurie.cpt@gmail.com

443-528-6031

Spanish: 5th-8th grade Spanish got started on Thursday.  After getting to know each other, we saw how much we already know and we had fun putting all that together.  Be ready to add to that next week!  Adios!  Sra. Suggs

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

NOTES from the 3/4 Grade Classroom…

The school year is off to an excellent start!  The intermediate class impressed me at Genesee Valley with their teamwork and cooperation, and I look forward to this same enthusiasm during the school year.  While we are spending a portion of our time getting to know the routines of the intermediate classroom, the students are already hard at work in several areas.  In Writing Workshop, students were asked to bring in an item that is associated with a summer memory, which will be the starting point for their first personal narrative of the year.  In Spelling and Reading, the students are reviewing their skills and showing me what they know.  In Math, the class is working together and individually to solve problems.  In Science and Social Studies, students have launched their first units, Ideas and Inventions and Native Americans of the Piedmont.  Next week, the students will begin new Spelling and Reading units.   There is some homework for parents, too.  Please read and become familiar with the Student Handbook and the welcome letter, and then sign in acknowledgement of these items.  I will be in touch with you shortly to schedule parent conferences between Monday, September 12 and Friday, September 30.  Have a great weekend!

NOTES from the 1/2 Grade Classroom…

The Primary class started off the school year with a wonderful adventure at Genesee Valley!  They enjoyed the rain, boat adventures, and jumping over snakes (a rope) in the barn.  The Primary class is beginning to get settled into the school year. They have developed a set of classroom rules, shared written pieces not only from the summer but also from our field trip, and explored the school and its changes through a scavenger hunt.  Next week the Primary class will begin a more consistent routine with Language Arts, Math, Science and Theme.  The first science unit we will be doing during the fall season is Air and Weather. In theme we will be learning about the Sun, Moon, and Shadows, first discussing the “light within” – a Quaker belief that everyone has something special within themselves. We will be relating this idea to friendship.  Please don’t forget to schedule a beginning of the school year conference with me.  If you have any questions please email me at mgrossman@harfordfriends.org.

NOTES from the Kindergarten Classroom…

The Kindergartners were wet chickens at Genesee Valley on Tuesday, developing skills of independence, working with the first and second graders as a team, and solving problems together.  They have been learning their classroom routines, where items belong in the room, how to participate in meeting for worship, and getting introduced to the I to I process for resolving conflicts.

Kindergarten discussed how rules help us to make good choices, learn and be safe, and developed rules for our classroom.  They are excited participants in the lower school skit for Friday afternoon.

Please send in a small blanket for your child to lie upon during rest time.  No pillows or sleeping bags please as our storage space is limited!

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology: For information on Computer Technology, please contact Valerie Hartman at vhartman@harfordfriends.org

Music: Information regarding Music classes will be announced once confirmed.

Physical Education: Hello, I am Ms. Laurie, the gym teacher for Harford Friends School. There is a lot planned for this school year. Students from all grades will discover a lot about themselves physically and have fun taking on the many challenges that will come their way.  One of our biggest challenges will be to run across the country by the end of the school year!  Lower school will have the opportunity to develop athletic skills and work cooperatively in large and small group activities. Middle school will work on enhancing athletic abilities and learn to set goals that will improve their level of fitness.

All students will be challenged, have fun, sweat and most importantly, gain confidence! Parents please make sure your child has appropriate active wear and running shoes for gym days. There will not be time to change clothes for class, but time to change shoes if needed. Some students kept a pair of running shoes in their cubby.

I look forward to meeting all of you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me at any time.

Ms. Laurie

laurie.cpt@gmail.com

443-528-6031

Spanish: In K-4th grade Spanish, we’re looking forward to getting started.  We’ll be singing and reading stories that we probably know, but in Spanish! Adios!  Sra. Suggs