HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
December 2, 2011

Dear Friends,

It was a wonderful experience of communal learning last Wednesday at our annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day. From the onset, Harford Friends School has strived to make this day truly a collaborative one – a day that stretches the learning across many generations, as opposed to a purely observational experience on the part of our guests.  From a teaching perspective, it is always an interesting, and somewhat challenging, undertaking to plan short lessons that stay within the current unit of study, are engaging and meaningful to the students and involve and appreciate the gifts of our visitors.  What I witnessed last week held true to our goals:  the lessons presented were truly inspiring, engaging and fun. I am so grateful for the participation of all involved.  Our guests participated in Spanish plays, interpreted chemistry phenomena, created model tornadoes, shared personal histories of crabbing and time spent on the bay, played math games, solved word problems, played vocabulary “Password,” recited poetry and a host of other things.  A community that can share their gifts and expand on their knowledge, skills and appreciation together is truly a vibrant community!

In peace and thanksgiving,

Cheryl Foley, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning


[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.]


As part of this process, each student has been asked to earn a minimum of $5 towards their contribution to the pool of money for the adopted family’s gifts. All donated funds will be collected and divided equitably for the purchase of gifts for the six children.

A marked bin has been placed in the HFS office for the non-perishable food drive. Non-perishable donations may be placed in the bin at any time. There are no food allergies to consider. Non-food items that have been requested include dish detergent, Lysol, and floor cleaner.

HFS Family News to Share…

Please be aware that HFS art teacher Rog Hicks’ mother, Liz Hicks, passed away on Tuesday, November 22 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Her roots in the community run deep. She was one of nine founders of Harford Day School, and became an advocate for Harford Friends School as well. A memorial service is planned on Saturday, December 10th at 3:00 PM at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Emmorton. Donations are welcome in her honor to either the Harford Day School or Harford Friends School in lieu of flowers.

HFS Student Portraits Ready to Order!!!

Please log into Edwin Remsberg’s photo gallery at http://remsberg.zenfolio.com/p661433689 to order pictures of your child(ren).

Community Survey…

1. HFS mailed its first annual fund solicitation mailing on November 1st. We’ve recently learned that not all intended recipients received this mailing. If you have not yet received the 5”x7” mailing with the graduates profile card inside, please let us know.

2. We know that not everyone is receiving our regular Constant Contact email blasts that publicize upcoming HFS events such as the wine-tasting and open houses. If you are not a recipient of these informative emails, please let us know and we will be sure to add your email address to our distribution list.

Student Booster Seats

When sending in a booster seat with your child for use on field trips and/or dismissal purposes, please do not leave the booster at the main entrance. Please plan to have your child bring their booster seat with them to their home-base classroom in order to ensure the booster seat is not misplaced.

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. Nov. 4 – Dec. 8 – Adopt-A-Family – Students earn a minimum of $5 through doing some work around the house. Parents are asked to identify a job or chore outside of the ordinary for which their child(ren) might earn towards their contribution to the pool of money for the adopted family.
  2. Friday, Dec. 2 – H&SA fundraiser at Barnes & Noble in Bel Air (4-9PM) Please contact Coordinator Laura Russo for additional information.
  3. Sunday, Dec. 4 – HFS Families are invited to attend Meeting for Worship at Deer Creek Friends Meeting (10-11AM at 1212 Main Street, Darlington)
  4. Monday, Dec. 5 – Adopt-A-Family – Students research online catalogs to determine the stores with the best value on their shopping list.
  5. Monday, Dec. 5 – DI practices (3:00-4:30PM)
  6. Tuesday, Dec. 6 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:05-8:50AM in Fawn Grove Classroom); Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org by Friday, December 2.
  7. Tuesday, Dec. 6 – Trustee Day at HFS (9:00-11:45AM) By invitation only.
  8. Tuesday, Dec. 6 – Organization 101 – Session #3 (3:00-5:00PM in Deer Creek Classroom); Pre-registration is required in order for students to attend.
  9. Thursday, Dec. 8 – Adopt-A-Family – DEADLINE – Student-earned money is due to their Grade Advisor upon arrival at school.
  10. Thursday, Dec. 8 – Organization 101 – Session #4 (3:00-5:00PM in Deer Creek Classroom); Pre-registration is required in order for students to attend.
  11. Thursday, Dec. 8POSTPONED!!! To be rescheduled. Parents of students in Grade 7 are invited to attend an informal Conversation with the Head of School (7:00-8:30PM). Please RSVP to headofschool@harfordfriends.org by Monday, December 5.
  12. Friday, Dec. 9POSTPONED!!! To be rescheduled. Grade 5/6 field trip to Blue Dog Arts studio (Depart 12:20; Return 3:00) – No other grades will be taking a field trip on this date.
  13. December 9-11 – Adopt-A-Family – Grade groups go on a shopping trip with an adult representative – Parents may volunteer to lead this trip by contacting their child’s Grade Advisor.
  14. Monday, Dec. 12 – Adopt-A-Family – DEADLINE – All grade group purchases must be delivered to HFS upon arrival at school and placed in marked bins in designated classrooms. Students will meet in their grade groups later this day to wrap gifts.
  15. Monday, Dec. 12 – DI practices (3:00-4:30PM)
  16. Tuesday, Dec. 12 – Pre-School Directors Day (9-11:30AM) By invitation only
  17. Tuesday, Dec. 13 – Organization 101 – Session #5 (3:00-5:00PM in Deer Creek Classroom); Pre-registration is required in order for students to attend.
  18. Wednesday, Dec. 14 – Home & School Association Meeting (7-8PM) [Reminder: This is an adult-only function.]
  19. Thursday, Dec. 15 – Whole-school field trip to The Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia for performance of A Christmas Carol. Student transportation provided by bus.
  20. Monday, Dec. 19 – DI practices (3:00-4:30PM)
  21. December 19-21 – Adopt-A-Family – Gifts and groceries delivered to adopted family during school hours. Date TBD by family. Please contact Marsha Grossman to volunteer. No more than two volunteers will be confirmed to deliver items to the adopted family.
  22. Tuesday, Dec. 20 – Organization 101 – Session #6 (3:00-5:00PM in Deer Creek Classroom); Pre-registration is required in order for students to attend.
  23. Wednesday, Dec. 21 – Holiday Bowl VI (12:30-3:00PM); Students, faculty, and family members participate in our annual flag football game. Please contact Jennifer Button or Jonathan Huxtable to volunteer. You can choose to be a player or volunteer on the sidelines!
  24. Thursday, Dec. 22 – Monday, Jan. 2 – School Closed for Winter Break.

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

English: The English 8 class launched a study of great speeches in American literature and history this week.  Working in pairs or individually, students selected from a list including Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Benjamin Franklin, and Patrick Henry.  Their task is to research the author’s life and background and the history surrounding the speech, as they analyze the message and persuasive language used by the author/speaker. Hearing the speeches via the Internet has been helpful in understanding the language and message. The research will culminate in a presentation to the class to allow all students to experience each of these great speeches. This mini-research project will provide a foundation for the History Project in the second semester.  We continue our vocabulary study, as well as talking about tips for writing high school admission/entrance test essays.

Social Studies: In history, the eighth graders are studying the Virginia Colony, including the government, social structure, trades and crafts, and apprentice/indentured servant contracts.  The field trip to Williamsburg and Jamestown last month provides a great background for our discussions of the design of the town, its architecture, and the development of small businesses based on local crafts, as they can visualize the governor’s palace, Bruton Church, and the College of William and Mary.  Our analysis of great speeches in English will dovetail nicely with continuing investigations into revolutionary themes leading and the Declaration of Independence.

NOTES from Technology…

Algebra I: We have spent this past week completing our study of methods for solving systems of linear equations. Students have created systems of linear equations to solve problems, and used the methods of substitution and linear combination (aka elimination) to solve these systems.  Students submitted their projects, based on systems of linear equations, “An Uphill Battle”, this week.  We had a quiz on systems of linear equations on Friday.  We will wrap up our unit, “The Shapes of Algebra”, based on linear equations, inequalities, and systems next week, concluding with a calculator based study of “lines of best fit” (aka lines of regression).  A test on this unit will be given on Tuesday, December 13.  We will then begin our unit of study, “Home on the Domain and Range”, a study of functions and relations, which is the basis of all future algebra-based math courses.

A cumulative semester exam will be given on Wednesday, January 11.  It will be based on all of our work during the first semester.  More information will be forthcoming.

Science: 8th graders have been studying metals this week:  how they bond, specific properties, and chemical reactions.  We have also looked specifically at copper.  We’ve read about and modeled how it is mined, the ecological devastation that accompanies copper mining and the rash of copper thefts that are currently occurring.

NOTES from Explorations…

Computer Technology: This week we talked about phishing scams and reviewed several examples.  Homework: Prepare an outline of important information of the Technology Pioneer text for next class.

Music: This week the composition students were put to the challenge of combining their learned musical knowledge of rhythm patterns and note identification on the treble clef by playing handbells.  Every day that they practice together as an ensemble, the tune becomes more recognizable.  Students are continuing to learn and identify the basic fundamentals of music theory by key terms such as time signature, bar lines, bass clef, treble clef and tempo.

Spanish:  We are learning Spanish subject pronouns and how to use the verb “ser” (to be). We will write sentences, dialogues and probably a story.  We’ll have a quiz Thursday, Dec. 8.  We will get ready for the holidays, too.

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

English: English 7 students are hard at work to complete the reading and discussion of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, a novel set in the country of Botswana in Africa.  This is a challenging piece of literature, but the students are diligent and willing to dig for the meaning.  Aligned with the history unit on Africa, this novel provides some insights into the people, geography, and culture of Botswana, helping them to expand their understanding of the richness of the African continent and its people.  We continue to work on our vocabulary study.   Students will discuss their outside reading books on December 9 in class, and will present their book reports to the class on December 13.

Social Studies: This week, the students have continued their unit about Ancient Africa by reading about African patterns of life. They learned about matrilineal and patrilineal societies, roles of women, religions in Africa, and how communities were governed. Next week we will finish this section and move into studying the slave trade.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: We’ve been working this week with rep-tiles.  Not the critters, but shapes that can be repeated to make larger versions of themselves.  We are measuring their areas, perimeters and angles.  We will have a quiz later next week.  Coming up: Similarity and ratios.  We’ll “play” with some pictures and shapes to see how their ratios change and experiment with how to make them similar or not.

Science: The 7th graders have been busy measuring the surface area of all of the impervious surfaces that make up HFS.  After many calculations we have discovered that over 95,000 tons of water have fallen on HFS during 2011!  All of this water has to go somewhere, and that leads to our discussion of run-off and the problems that accompany it.

NOTES from Explorations…

Computer Technology: This week we talked about phishing scams and reviewed several examples.

Music: This week the music history students dissected the components of a madrigal and the form in which it is sung (in a round).  Students were partnered up and composed lyrics to their very own madrigal, set to the well-known tune of “Row, row, row your boat”.  The students were very creative in their topics and lyric choices.  We completed the project by singing each group’s song with the piano.

Spanish:  We are learning Spanish subject pronouns and how to use the verb “ser” (to be). We will write sentences, dialogues and probably a story.  We’ll have a quiz Thursday, Dec. 8.  We will get ready for the holidays too.

HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

In English, the students took a quiz on subject/verb agreement. They also took an “Inside the Walls of Troy” quiz on the first seven chapters of the second part of the book. They have continued studying the skill of making inferences by inferring after reading a story from Homer’s “Odyssey.” Next week we will continue making inferences and will finish up with a quiz. Students should be selecting and reading their second quarter book report, which is a fantasy or science fiction book. In Humanities, the students finished their Ancient Greece unit by identifying inventions from the Greeks that we still use today. Everyone should be studying the review packet to prepare for our unit test next Tuesday, December 6th.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Math six students have finished up Investigation 3 by taking a partner quiz. During this investigation, the students practiced changing fractions into decimals by using multiple strategies and skills. Next week we will continue the last investigation in “Bits and Pieces,” in which we will learn about percents and how to use them to solve everyday problems. The investigation will culminate with the students transforming numbers between decimals, fractions, and percents. In order to remember important, or benchmark, fractions and decimals, flashcards would be a great study tool!

Science: The 5/6th grade class is wrapping up our study of weather with a look at weather maps – how to read them, how they are generated, how the information can be helpful to us.  While we spend time in class on maps, students should be creating their field journals or documentaries on their assigned hurricane.  The projects are due on December 12, 2011.  Our unit test on weather is scheduled for December 7th.

NOTES from Explorations…

Computer Technology: Last week we finished our discussion on Internet safety along with guidelines for safe online behavior and our e-commerce shopping website review. This week we practiced Google searches and explored the advanced search options available for improving search results. Signed Internet safety tips sheet is due next class.

Music: After two weeks of not seeing the 5th and 6th grade band, I was absolutely blown out of the water by how well they played their instruments in class!  They had great tone and technique on the music we played and everyone knew their fingerings.  Keep up the great work!

Spanish: We made mobiles using Spanish colors and objects of nature.  They look great!  We started learning about the family and next week we will make a small family album and start the holidays.

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

NOTES from the 3/4 Grade Classroom…

This has been a week of multiple transitions for the intermediate class, as we have begun several new units and projects.  In Reading, the students continued with Tuck Everlasting. A great dinner table question may be, “If you could live forever, would you want to?”  In Writing Workshop, the class is working together to write an epic poem.  In Social Studies, we have begun a new unit, Motion, in which the students will explore the role of transportation in history.  An individual project will be assigned next week and will be completed partially in class.  In addition to our usual Social Studies curriculum, we have begun to learn about the 50 states.  From now until the end of the school year, each student will be asked to make a state poster for a different state about every two weeks.  The first posters are due on Friday, December 9; information about this assignment was sent home this week.  In Math, the intermediate group is exploring statistics and probability through different graphing techniques, combination problems, and activities involving chance.  In Science, the students are experimenting with reflections.  The next field trip will be on Thursday, December 15, when the whole school will travel to Philadelphia to see a holiday play.  Along this line, I love the holidays that occur this time of year, and we will be sharing our own traditions and learning about others.  If you have a special way of celebrating that you would like to share with the class, please let me know.   Have a great week!

NOTES from the 1/2 Grade Classroom…

This week in language arts the primary class talked about nouns and possessive nouns, including a scavenger hunt in the classroom.  The class also discussed homophones and learned the different rules when adding suffixes to words in spelling.  In science, they went outside to see what they could discover about air by blowing bubbles.  They also created anemometers to help determine wind speed.  In theme, we read City Mouse and Country Mouse and determined the three different types of communities and what they might have and how they are similar and different.  We discussed different important community members and will be discussing important community places.  The primary class will soon create a community on the floor and they will determine and create an important community building, followed by a presentation to the class.

NOTES from the Kindergarten Classroom…

Kindergarten is diligently learning the positions of sounds in words.  We can identify beginning sounds, and are learning to listen for ending sounds.    We have increased our sight word vocabulary and are able to read many of our pre-decodable books to one another.  We have even begun trying to read Dr. Seuss stories!

The kindergarteners have continued exploring measurement of weight and vocabulary words heavier, lighter, more and less.  We practiced the concepts of addition and subtraction using The Growing Train game and the Disappearing Train Game.

We adopted three new goldfish as we begin our unit Animals Two by Two: Goldfish and Guppies.  We identified the body parts of the fish, and discussed what they need to survive.  We are still in the discussion phase of naming our new pets.

NOTES from Explorations…

3/4 Computer Technology: Each student selected an animal card last week and began creating a slideshow presentation. The class has prepared 4-6 slides of information on their animal and selected background themes. We began inserting images from the Internet as well.

1/2 Computer Technology: We visited NG Kids site at http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/ . I selected an animal and the students navigated through the site to find the animal, locate the answers to specific questions. The class then selected several animals and enjoyed watch the short video clips. Ask your student to demonstrate how a platypus walks.

3/4 Music: This week the third and fourth graders have been playing two notes on their instruments. They have been learning how to properly separate each note by tonguing and how to start and end music by conductor cues.  They’ve been doing a great job – way to go third and fourth graders!

1/2 Music: This week the first and second grade students discovered the song “Down by the Bay.”  We sang along to the book in class and discussed rhyming words and verbs. The students then created their own “Down by the Bay” rhyme that they illustrated to compile in our very own “Down by the Bay” book!

3/4 Spanish: We learned some expressions and commands and played Bingo with them.  We started colors and will finish some activities with them next week and start learning some holiday vocabulary and culture.

1/2 Spanish: We learned some food words in Spanish and played food Bingo.  We also made a placemat with our favorite foods.  We’ll be starting some holiday fun next week.

Kindergarten Spanish:  This week we learned about places we can go in our community and we made posters showing all the things we’ve learned so far.  Next week we’ll start on some holiday fun.