HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
October 7, 2011

Dear HFS Families,

As a teacher for many years who has come to Harford Friends this year, I would like to offer my perspective about our mission based on a career in a variety of public and private schools.  My viewpoint is undoubtedly shaped by the experience of my daughter, HFS ’10 and my husband, a five-year veteran math teacher here. Being in the English classroom with the eighth grade, observing Meeting for Worship, and Meeting for Business in action provide me with a firsthand experience of what it means to be a Friends School.  From my first day, I was struck by the friendliness of students and staff, as well as their willingness to help a new teacher to learn to navigate the system. I learned quickly that the “Welcome Friends” bulletin board is not just a decoration with a nice sentiment.  Everything about this school shouts “welcome” and everyone takes the mission seriously.  Parents, board members, and friends of HFS who gather in community for school events truly love the school and give generously of their time and talent to support initiatives, both large and small.  There is nothing that teachers and staff members will not do for students in order to help them achieve success.

Tutoring at lunchtime, helping a student make up work, and meeting with students and parents after school occur as a matter of course while teachers attend to class preparation, grading papers, and the many other details of teaching engaging lessons.  Throughout the day, noise at HFS sounds like students in groups solving math problems, buddies playing at recess, heated discussion of issues in Negotiations, committees planning school-wide activities, primary classes experimenting with homemade parachutes and how they interact with air, as well as the quiet of testing sessions and morning meeting’s moment of silence.  Laughter of friends enjoying lunch and break times adds to the good noise of this school.   We all know that schools are places where learning happens and HFS provides an excellent learning environment on a daily basis.  What is different about Harford Friends School seems to be that everyone feels a part of the community, takes his or her place in that community seriously, and believes that his/her voice is listened to and actually heard every day.

-Clare Pitz, Grade 8 English,  Assistant Head of School for Student Life

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. Wednesday, Oct. 12 – H&SA Meeting (7PM) at HFS [This is an adult-only function.]
  2. Thursday, Oct. 13 – High School Night at Harford Day School (7-8PM)
  3. Friday, Oct. 14 – Grade 7 field trip to Blue Dog Arts studio (Depart 12:30, Return 3:00). Driver/chaperones have been secured.
  4. Monday, Oct. 17 – Destination Imagination (DI) informational meeting (3:15-4:00PM in Fawn Grove Classroom); All parents, students and faculty who would like to participate in DI this year and/or learn more about the DI program are encouraged to attend this meeting. No RSVP is necessary – just come! Please contact Karen De Mey at kdemey@harfordfriends.org with any questions.
  5. Wednesday, Oct. 19 – Final day to purchase Taste of Excellence advance tickets ($40). Tickets will be on sale the day of the event for $50 each.
  6. Friday, Oct. 21 – Parent-led Friday Activity (1:25-2:55PM)
  7. Sunday, Oct. 23 – Taste of Excellence wine-tasting (1:45-4:30PM at MD Golf & Country Clubs)
  8. Tuesday, Oct. 25 – Costume parade immediately following Morning Meeting (8:05AM); The Lower School & Spirit Committees are sponsoring a Halloween party at 11:35-12:40. Please contact committee sponsors Marsha Grossman and Karen De Mey for information.
  9. Wednesday, Oct. 26 – Grade 8 field trip to Jamestown/Williamsburg departs (8:00AM) for the 3-day trip. Driver/chaperones have been secured.

10.  Friday, Oct. 28 – Field trips for all grades. Additional information will be provided once confirmed. Grade 8 trip – expect 6PM return time.

11.  Monday, Oct. 31 – School Closed – Faculty Professional Development

12.  Tuesday, Nov. 1 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:05-8:50AM in Room 1 of the Senior Center); Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org by Friday, October 28.

13.  Tuesday, Nov. 1 – REQUIRED Student work session (3-5PM) for students owing work in the 1st Quarter. Advisors/Homebase Teachers to communicate with parents of students required to attend.

14.  Wednesday, Nov. 2 – End of 1st Quarter – All student work must be handed in by 3:00PM.

15.  Thursday, Nov. 3 – Parents of students in the Kindergarten classroom are invited to attend an informal Conversation with the Head of School (7:00-8:30PM). Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org by Monday, October 31.

16.  Friday, Nov. 4 – Dismissal at 12PM for all students.

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Eighth graders transformed into actors and actresses today as we began to dramatize The Crucible. Though timid at first, they are gradually getting into character and exploring the dramatic arts in our classroom setting.  While they continue to explore The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in Science 8, our English class will soon prepare a culminating activity on this non-fiction work in the form of a debate on the issues raised by author Rebecca Skloot.  This debate format is a new look for the typical book report and will comprise the 1st quarter report for this grade level.  Beginning with the writing of a monologue from the point of view of Henrietta or that of her sister, Deborah, in Writing Workshop, we will make the transition to the moral, legal, and ethical issues so thoroughly developed by the author in preparation for our debates. Delving into the strategies and procedures of debating will provide a good foundation for future ventures into persuasive writing and speaking, a necessary skill for high school studies in all subject areas.

Social Studies: The 8th graders will learn about Roger Williams and the influence he had as one of the first Separatist Puritan ministers in the New England colonies.  The students will also learn about Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer, both uncommonly outspoken women for their time in 17th century New England.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: 8th graders have spent the week learning about chromosomal nondisjunction disorders as presented by the students in powerpoint form.  Our FastPlants are growing fast!  We made bee sticks this week and cross pollinated the plants.  We’ve also examined different patterns of inheritance and studied some diseases/disorders caused by recessive genes.  Our first test was taken today.  Students should be reading through chapter 28 in Henrietta Lacks for Monday.

Algebra I: Problem solving is the essence of secondary mathematics.  Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, precalculus, and calculus are, ultimately, tools in the problem solving process. In Algebra I this week, we have been applying our equation solving skills to solving uniform motion problems.  While these particular problems have limited application, they are useful problems for honing the problem solving skills of graphic representation of data, organizing data into tabular format, and developing representations of data as algebraic equations.  These skills will manifest themselves repeatedly, as we proceed through different units this year.  During the upcoming week, we will be completing our first unit of study, “Say It With Symbols”, and prepare for the unit test.  We will also compete a quiz on Monday on Uniform Motion Problems.

On Monday of this past week, Advanced Math Students (AMS) presented the first Problem Of the Week for solution by all HFS students.  All students are encouraged to submit problems to be used as Problems of the Week in the future.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology: Last week we built on our Internet terminology practice by building individual crossword puzzles. The students visited http://tinyurl.com/Internetcrosswordpuzzle to create their puzzle. After a short quiz this week, we began a discussion of Internet reading comprehension and how it differs from other materials. On the Internet, many decisions are made within seconds of viewing a page. The eyes quickly travel over the information presented and we decide how to process it: go back, move on, read this page, etc. We skim first, then read only what answers our question. Working with partners, the students counted the pages and the time taken to answer questions: how many plays and poems did Shakespeare write before his death, who first used a dodecahedron, Ben Franklin’s top inventions and where Gary Soto went to school.

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

Physical Education: As we head into October, the students continue to run and rack up their miles to head to their first destination! So far the lower school has more miles than 5th – 8th grade. Way to go little ones!! Remember that practices count, riding bikes and skateboards as well as dance class and of course 5k s. Parents, send in a little slip of paper with your initials verifying miles.  We have a long way to go so keep moving!

All classes started soccer this week. We will continue to work on our running technique and begin SAQ drills (speed, agility, quickness).

Please bring a water bottle to class. No one will be allowed to go inside for water when we are out on the field for class. Inhalers need to be taken care of before class every Tuesday and Thursday.

Spanish: We took our capitals quiz and are reviewing our numbers, days and months.  Next we’re telling time.  Are you working on your project?

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

In 7th grade Social Studies the students learned about the roots of revolution in China and will now learn about the People’s Republic of China.  The students will begin reading the story of Hercules as we continue exploring the great heroes before the Trojan War in Greek Mythology.  Thanks parents for all your hard work at home!

NOTES from Technology…

Science: 7th graders had a fabulous field trip to Eden Mill last week.  I am so proud of their persistent engagement in the class.  Through all of our field work they learned how to assess the health of a stream.  Along the way they had fun with crayfish, macroinvertebrates that squirt water as a defense mechanism, eels and a snake or two.  It was quite an adventure, especially for our more urban students!  This week we have studied relationships among populations, specifically forms of symbiosis.

Math: Hi parents!  The students are performing well in writing one and two-step equations.  The students have continued to review and practice their knowledge of creating tables and graphs and represent the relationships between variables.  This upcoming week the students will use graphing calculator tables to explore relationships between variables.  I really think the students will enjoy this unit.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology: Last week we wrapped up our research on Internet terms and discussed the meaning of each term. This week we reviewed the terms and began applying our new vocabulary in a crossword puzzle activity.

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

Physical Education: As we head into October, the students continue to run and rack up their miles to head to their first destination! So far the lower school has more miles than 5th – 8th grade. Way to go little ones!! Remember that practices count, riding bikes and skateboards as well as dance class and of course 5k s. Parents, send in a little slip of paper with your initials verifying miles.  We have a long way to go so keep moving!

All classes started soccer this week. We will continue to work on our running technique and begin SAQ drills (speed, agility, quickness).

Please bring a water bottle to class. No one will be allowed to go inside for water when we are out on the field for class. Inhalers need to be taken care of before class every Tuesday and Thursday.

Spanish: We took our capitals quiz and are reviewing our numbers, days and months.  Next we’re telling time.  Are you working on your project?

HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

In Social Studies our first quiz is out of the way and we are moving into the Golden Age of Athens. We have started by looking at an overview of the Golden Age and a review of what we know about the Greek gods. Next week, we will study the gods more closely. Each student will be assigned a god or goddess and design a “website” explaining him or her. In Language Arts we have started reading Inside the Walls of Troy. We will continue to explore this exciting story and learn more about the heroic characters.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: 5/6th graders have spent the week studying the sun’s energy and it’s importance to earth. We’ve learned about the electromagnetic spectrum and the absorption and radiation of energy within our atmosphere.  Through lab work we discovered that water heats and cools more slowly than sand and soil.

Today we explored ways to measure wind speed. Daily barometer readings have supported the beautiful sunshine that we’ve all been appreciating this week!

Math: The math 6 students have been finding factor strings of numbers by completing a product puzzle. They used this knowledge to find prime factorizations. A new vocabulary word they were introduced to was “exponents.” Exponents came in handy when writing out their prime factorizations. Next week the Prime Time unit will be winding down as we begin the 5th and final investigation that focuses on putting all of our skills together. The unit project and unit assessment will be coming shortly.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology: Last week the class finished up the Internet vocabulary research and reviewed the information. We discussed terms such as hyperlink, wiki, phishing, bookmark and netiquette. We started applying the new terms in a crossword puzzle. After a short quiz this week, we built on our Internet terminology practice by building individual crossword puzzles. The students visited http://tinyurl.com/Internetcrosswordpuzzle to create their puzzle.

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

Physical Education: As we head into October, the students continue to run and rack up their miles to head to their first destination! So far the lower school has more miles than 5th – 8th grade. Way to go little ones!! Remember that practices count, riding bikes and skateboards as well as dance class and of course 5k s. Parents, send in a little slip of paper with your initials verifying miles.  We have a long way to go so keep moving!

All classes started soccer this week. We will continue to work on our running technique and begin SAQ drills (speed, agility, quickness).

Please bring a water bottle to class. No one will be allowed to go inside for water when we are out on the field for class. Inhalers need to be taken care of before class every Tuesday and Thursday.

Spanish: We took our number quiz, learned some Spanish names and asked our classmates questions.  We’ll be adding to those questions and answers and present our own dialogues next week.

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

NOTES from the 3/4 Grade Classroom…

The hard work of the intermediate students is paying off this week.  In Science, students are sharing their own inventions this week and next, which all have to do with the rubbing techniques they have studied for the past few weeks.  In Social Studies, student presentations on Native American life in the Piedmont are nearly ready to share and will be presented to the class next Tuesday and Wednesday.  In Reading, the class has reached the halfway point of our first novel, and we will review our extensive vocabulary list on Friday.  In Writing Workshop, every student has published one personal narrative and is working on another, this time with a focus on mood.  The intermediate Math group has completed and assessed the second unit of the year, and will turn our focus to subtraction with regrouping next week.   As the weather changes, please be aware that the classroom may be a bit chilly for the next couple of weeks, until the winter heat settings are enabled.  Please be sure that your child has a sweater or hoodie that can be worn in the chilly morning hours.  Thank you to all of the parents who have contributed to our Halloween basket–it looks amazing, and I may place a bid on it myself!  Please refer to the announcement section of weekly collections for information about the Destination Imagination informational meeting on October 17.  Have a great week!

NOTES from the 1/2 Grade Classroom…

The primary class has begun learning about the seasons and weather in theme. We created a K (know) W (want to learn) and L (learn) chart about the seasons.  We first discussed how we got our four different seasons.  We started to discuss the specific seasons and what weather, activities, holidays, clothing, and months are in each of the seasons.  When we finish discussing all of the seasons and brainstorming our ideas on chart paper we will display them on big butcher paper.  In science, we continued to learn about air and making a fountain with different materials including ones that the class has previously used to discover about air.  The class did a wonderful job with their spelling homework this week at home and this will continue next week as well.  Scholastic book orders were due today but I will extend it until Monday, October 10.

NOTES from the Kindergarten Classroom…

In Language Arts, we are learning about My Family and Me, reading Whose Baby Am I by John Butler, listening for rhyming words, and discussing and comparing people families and animal families.  We’ve identified the sight word “we” and have begun reading our pre-decodables and practicing recognizing our sight words within texts. Students have continued reviewing basic math skills, and are preparing to complete our first project, making a classroom book of where we encounter numbers in our world. We observed trees, examining their shapes and silhouettes, identified the differences in leaves, and made tree collages.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

3/4 Computer Technology: The class is very excited about learning how to type and finding the letters on the keyboard faster. We reviewed the homerow keys and moved on to additional letters. The software allows each student to progress at their own pace, records progress and mastery. This week the class took their first typing test focusing on the homerow keys. They were surprised to find that they could each already type around 8-12 wpm with above 90% accuracy! Students have progressed through approximately half of the alphabet keys at this point. We are continuing to work on posture and proper wrist/finger/arm placement at the keyboard. Please watch for good posture habits when your child is typing at home. (Don’t forget to set a good example when they observe you typing as well.) The students practiced typing with a penny on each hand and also with keyboard covers.

1/2 Computer Technology: Last week we finished our Acrostic Name Poems and printed them in full color, one for home and one for the classroom. This week the class got to practice mouse skills with seasonal painting games online. You can visit the first activity with your child with the following link: http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/scienceforkids/seasons/autumn.htm . The students had to position the mouse precisely where they wanted chosen colors to fill in the picture as planned. They also practiced drag and drop mouse skills and basic navigation within the site to select various pictures. Some students completed their pictures and moved on the autumn jigsaw puzzles online, reinforcing those mouse skills.

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

Physical Education: As we head into October, the students continue to run and rack up their miles to head to their first destination! So far the lower school has more miles than 5th – 8th grade. Way to go little ones!! Remember that practices count, riding bikes and skateboards as well as dance class and of course 5k s. Parents, send in a little slip of paper with your initials verifying miles.  We have a long way to go so keep moving!

All classes started soccer this week. We will continue to work on our running technique and begin SAQ drills (speed, agility, quickness).

Please bring a water bottle to class. No one will be allowed to go inside for water when we are out on the field for class. Inhalers need to be taken care of before class every Tuesday and Thursday.

3/4 Spanish: We’re playing games and greeting each other.  Don’t forget to do your crossword puzzle for Monday!  Next week we’ll learn about the calendar.

1/2 Spanish: We are really good at our numbers 1-20 and our colors.  Don’t forget to do your colors word search for Monday.  We’re playing games and earning stickers.  Next week we’ll greet each other and learn all about different ways to say “you”.

Kindergarten Spanish: We practiced our numbers and learned how to great each other.  Next week, we’ll add new chants and learn our colors.