HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
April 1, 2011

Dear HFS Families,

One of the many joys of my job as Head of School is the daily experience of stepping into classes in-session and witnessing the orchestrated discoveries and sharing of gifts that our teachers and students engage in every day. The following are some anecdotal excerpts from this morning’s rounds…

Primary Class: Students, gathered in a circle on the floor, proudly share their class couplets in an “Ode to Tuttle” the class pet turtle. One of my favorite lines, “His water is green, but he’s not mean.” Afterwards, students offered their own poems written about topics of interest to each of them. Topics generally focused on animals including dogs, cats, butterflies, tigers, puppies, moms, and seven year-old boys! One of my favorite lines, “Cats come in many types, some have tiger stripes.”

Intermediate Class: In science Mrs. Foley challenged the students with one of my absolute favorite and most essential questions in all of education, “How do you know?” She was brilliantly relentless in her inquiry-based effort to help students verbalize what they had already learned through experience in regard to heat conduction. Each had touched something hot, but how did they know if a material conducted heat or not? The scientific phenomena became a principle as students started to rapid-fire identify other instances in which their sense of touch confirmed that heat could be conducted directly through a medium and in other instances could be “radiated” through the air. (What made this observation even more delightful was the use of students’ April Fools names supplied by their always loving, but sometimes loony home-base teacher Mrs. De Mey. Please ask your children which one was Mortimer, Poindexter, Beulah, Agnes, and Myrtle.)

5th/6th: Students were engaged in a lively conversation about scale and the Himalayas when I entered the classroom, and it took a few minutes before I understood the challenge before them. Mrs. Derengowski, as an entry point to the class “tour of Ancient India” asked the students to consider the vastness (length and height) of the mountain range by developing a scale through which they could “display” the Himalaya mountain range inside their classroom! Students offered ideas, “How about making the length of the room equal to the 1500 miles the range stretches?” “Yeah, but that will really make the height seem too small since the highest peak is only 5 miles high.” “Why don’t we condense the length to show-off the height?” “But will that still be to scale?” What a wonderful start to an exploration of that region of the world!

7th: I had not expected to walk into a discussion of the game of cricket, but that is precisely what I did encounter. Mr. Baillie, in an effort to help students better understand the modern day politics, culture, and history of Pakistan and India, shared a recent newspaper article identifying the unifying force of sport in a region of the world so bitterly divided by religion. Throughout the reading students worked to consider analogous situations from their study of other modern world cultures as well as their own experiences in American society. One analogy presented by the article identified the “ping-pong” diplomacy between the US and China in the early seventies. Unexpectedly, one of the students (born in the late nineties) knew that China was a world power in the sport. Who would have known? As I left I wondered if any of the students realized the unifying power of education and the classroom in which they sat.

8th: I dropped in on a quiz, one that I was overjoyed not to be taking myself! The intrepid math teacher Mr. Pitz tasked students with finding the point of intersection of two lines on a grid using the following information: 2x – 2y =12 and 2x + y =16, No heads were hung. No sobs detected. I witnessed only confidence, particularly in those who ventured to the front of the room to present their solutions on the board However, the most wonderful part of the observation was not the heady intellectualism and brain power being exerted, it was the care and compassion with which teacher and student treated the learning process, particularly the struggles. As students worked at the board, Mr. Pitz circulated to each child at their seats, examining progress. As problems were finished, he took note, “I notice that a lot of you had some difficulty with [insert applicable math function here]. Can we take a minute to look at how we do this?”

Yes, I do, and love every minute of it! I hope many of you will take advantage of our “drop-in” policy and witness the beauty of teaching and learning in action at HFS.

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.]

Re-Enrollment Due Date

If you overlooked the deadline for re-enrollment during Spring Break – Tuesday, March 15 – you can still return your signed re-enrollment contract, deposit, payment plan option and bus service registration (if applicable) to HFS as soon as possible. If anyone wishes to request financial aid offers be reconsidered or requires additional information prior to contracting for next year, please be sure to contact Jonathan Huxtable (headofschool@harfordfriends.org) as soon as possible. Thank you!

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!

Schedule Change

On Friday, April 22nd Harford Friends School will dismiss at 12 noon. Parent-led Activities will not be held that day. Please be aware that since this was not a previously scheduled half-day that HFS will provide after-school care until 4:00PM for those requiring the service.

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.)

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. Saturday, Apr. 2 – DI State Tournament
  2. Tuesday, Apr. 5 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:05-8:55AM) in Gunpowder Classroom. Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org by Monday Apr. 4.
  3. Wednesday, Apr. 6 – CANCELLED Lower School Musical Dress Rehearsal (3-4:30PM in gymnasium)
  4. Wednesday, Apr. 6 – Grade 3/4 Instrumental Class Practice (3-4PM)
  5. Friday, Apr. 8 – 2nd Interim Student Reports distributed (1:25-2:55PM)
  6. Friday, Apr. 8 – CANCELLED Chickenpox Vaccination for participating students (grades 6-8 only)
  7. Sunday, Apr. 10 – Open House & Afternoon of the Arts (2-4PM) Required attendance for all students
  8. Monday, April 11-Thursday, April 21 – ERB testing for students grade 3-8 (schedule TBD)
  9. Friday, April 15 – Parent Activities Session #2 (1:25-2:55PM)
  10. Saturday, April 16 – HFS Performance at Broadmead (7-8PM) Pizza dinner at Broadmead (6-7PM)
  11. Wednesday, April 20 – Blue/Gray Basketball Game & Wrap-Up Celebration (3-5PM)
  12. Friday, April 22 – Parent Activities Session #3 (1:25-2:55PM) CANCELLED
  13. Friday, April 22 – Harford Friends School will dismiss at 12 noon. Parent-led Activities will not be held that day. Please be aware that since this was not a previously scheduled half-day that HFS will provide after-school care until 4:00PM for those requiring the service.
  14. Monday, April 25 – School in session – Snow Make-up Day
  15. Tuesday, April 26 – Home & School Association meeting (7-9PM)
  16. Thursday, April 28-Friday, April 29 – Grade 8 overnight field trip to Washington, DC. *Note: Early drop-off at HFS is likely
  17. Friday, April 29 – Field trips for all grades – Grade 8: Washington DC (Late Return to HFS likely); Grade 7: La Tolteca; Grade 5/6: Indian Steps Museum; Grade 3/4: TBD; Grade 1/2: Carrie Murray Nature Center
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Friday, May 13 – Field trips for all grades (8th Grade early departure/late return possible)
  23. Friday, May 20 – HFS Field Day (9AM-12PM)
  24. Friday, May 20 – 8th grade field trip to Blue Dog Arts studio (Depart: 12:20PM, Return: 3PM)
  25. Friday, May 20 – Parent Activities Session #4 (1:25-2:55PM)
  26. Tuesday, May 24 – H&SA Meeting (7-9PM)
  27. Friday, May 27 – Parent Activities Session #5 (1:25-2:55PM)
  28. Friday, May 27 – End of Year Picnic for students, families, and faculty (3:30-7:00PM) at Eden Mill Nature Center pavilion
  29. Monday, May 30 – HFS Closed for Memorial Day
  30. Wednesday, June 1 – Lower School field trips; Primary to Blue Dog Art studio; Intermediate TBD; Middle School overnight field trips depart
  31. Thursday, June 2 – Lower School field trip to Ladew Gardens
  32. Friday, June 3 – Lower School field trip to Dutch Wonderland; Middle School overnight field trips return
  33. Monday, June 6 – REQUIRED student work session for any student owing work for the 4th Quarter (3-5PM)
  34. Tuesday, June 7 – Field Day Rain Date (9AM-12PM)
  35. Wednesday, June 8 – Regular school hours (8AM-3PM) Snow Make-up Date
  36. Wednesday, June 8 – Friends Cup Soccer Game for students, families, and faculty (1-3PM)
  37. Thursday, June 9 – Special Business Meeting and Presentations of Learning (8AM-12PM)
  38. Thursday, June 9 – Last Day of School (12:00PM Dismissal); End of Semester
  39. Thursday, June 9 – Commencement Rehearsal at Deer Creek Friends Meeting (12:30-3:00PM) Required attendance for all 7th and 8th grade students
  40. Saturday, June 11 – Graduate/Alumni Breakfast (8:30-9:30AM) By invitation only
  41. 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 in history we discussed the working conditions in the mills and factories during the middle of the nineteenth century. We also looked at the development of the arts during this period of time. With Shakespeare, we closely examined Friar Lawrence’s soliloquy from Act III, paying special attention to Shakespeare’s use of literary devices and tricks. Our rehearsals for Afternoon of the Arts began in earnest and each student continues to bring fresh ideas to each portion of the scene. On another note, the research paper in now in full swing. As of this Friday, the students should have fifty note cards and a strong, working thesis. For Monday, they should have their organization concept – they received a hand-out with the structure for this submission.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: As we enter the final quarter of middle school for current 8th graders, we conclude our general science studies by delving into Newtonian and other classical studies of the physical universe.  In final preparation for high school science, we will reinforce students’ growing capacities to focus their mental energies upon texts and vocabulary, to observe and record carefully, to calculate when necessary, and to revel in tactile experimentation.  In further preparation for high school, students were forewarned that expectations in the final quarter would continue to rise in terms of classroom behaviors, self-awareness, and self-discipline.  When provided a brief preview of an upcoming project involving Rube Goldberg apparatuses of their invention, students showed high enthusiasm, which the teacher will endeavor to nurture even as students are required to show competence in the underlying physical principles and vocabulary of simple machines.  Next week, we engage levers, force, and work.

Math: It is difficult for me to believe that we are about to begin the final lap of our first year of algebra, in CMP2.While we have been exposed to many of the topics that will form the foundation for high school math courses, it is essential for me to remind students of the importance of completing homework assignments and studying mathematics notes from class on a nightly basis.  While most of our 8th graders are conscientious about “attempting” homework assignments, it is evident that, for some students, the effort is minimal, at best, which will hinder their success in learning subsequent topics of study.  The role of homework, as a tool for success in mathematics, cannot be over stated; it is the vehicle for reinforcing topics previously taught in class, as well as a springboard for the next topic of study.  Some students are seeing the downfall of their minimal efforts put into homework and study, as we are preparing to take the algebra component of the ERB testing, beginning April 11.  Topics covered in previous units this year are being reviewed, through practice problems in class; it is evident, from student performance on these problems, who has not been putting forth enough effort completing homework and studying.  It is also apparent who has been consistently putting forth substantial effort at home, by their performance on these review problems.  Having taught high school mathematics courses, ranging from Algebra I through AP Calculus, in Baltimore County Public Schools, for over 25 years,  I can assure  you that your child has demonstrated great potential for learning algebra-based mathematics in high school.  It is critical that we nurture their abilities by getting them to understand the importance of maintaining good work and study habits at home, as well as in class.  I am relying on you to support these expectations in your child’s math preparation at home.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology:

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:

NOTES from Middle School ADVISORY…

Grade-level advisory units ended this week.  The teachers and students all seemed enlightened in many ways about the different topics that were explored.  Next week, the students will use some of their advisory time to begin preparing for the ERB tests.  Have a great week!

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

This week we continued our work with India, going into the post World War II era and the partition of Pakistan. We are continually aware of the modern day implications of that partition. We also finished the third quarter with a vocabulary quiz. With Shakespeare, we discussed the importance of the phrase, “What fools these mortals be,” to the themes of the play. We also began our rehearsals for Afternoon of the Arts in earnest – everyone is doing well remembering their lines and offering interesting interpretations.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Our week started with a surprise visit from Dmitri Mendeleev who helped us discover the properties of different elements as well as the organizational structure of the periodic table.  We delved into metals, nonmetals, isotopes and ions and figured out how the chemistry behind the bar keep’s ability to change “Old Red Eye Whisky” to sasparilla and back again. We will be having an end of unit test next week.

Math: We finished our ‘Moving Straight Ahead’ unit, which explored linear relationships, with a test on Wednesday. Look for the tests to come home for a signature and revision.

Our final quarter is beginning with our ‘Filling and Wrapping’ unit. This unit will examine volume and surface area of 3-dimensional objects. We will begin the unit by reviewing squares, square roots, area, and perimeter of 2-dimensional figures.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology:

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:

NOTES from Middle School ADVISORY…

Grade-level advisory units ended this week.  The teachers and students all seemed enlightened in many ways about the different topics that were explored.  Next week, the students will use some of their advisory time to begin preparing for the ERB tests.  Have a great week!

HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities…

Our cartouches have been painted gold and we have bid farewell to the ancient land of Egypt. Our passports arrived on Thursday, March 31st and we have boarded the ship to ancient India. We are hoping for smooth seas!

We will begin our quest by investigating how the physical geography of ancient India affected the growth of the civilization.

Students are busy composing the body of their persuasive essays. If you do not know the topic your child chose I encourage you to ask him/her about it. They are integrating all their third quarter grammar lessons into the composition of their essays.

We are beginning our literature unit on Gossamer a beautifully written fictional story by the author Lois Lowry.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: After a fabulous field trip to LaFarge Quarry, we have spent the week studying volcanoes – shield, composite, calderas, etc. Sebastian and Katy have contributed to our knowledge by bringing in rock samples produced from volcanoes and sharing what they know. The week culminated with a quiz on earthquakes and volcanoes and then an intro into minerals and rocks.

Math: By now you have received the latest family letter on our new unit, Bits and Pieces II.  This letter was to be read, signed and it lives in your child’s notebook. This unit is filled with interactive lessons, which enable the students to develop algorithms for adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying fractions.

The children were asked to replenish their notebooks with lined paper, pencil, pens and a working calculator.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology:

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:

NOTES from Middle School ADVISORY…

Grade-level advisory units ended this week.  The teachers and students all seemed enlightened in many ways about the different topics that were explored.  Next week, the students will use some of their advisory time to begin preparing for the ERB tests.  Have a great week!

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

NOTES from the 1/2 Grade Classroom…

This week the primary class wrote questions for our final jeopardy assessment on the rainforest and next week in theme we will begin learning about different life cycles.  I was very pleased with the wonderful rainforest animal presentations and some students got to present them to the whole school during morning attendance.  In science, everyone’s mealworm turned into a darkling beetle and we learned and looked at the different parts of the beetle.  Next week we will be reviewing the mealworm and hopefully starting to learn about a new insect when they arrive!!  In language arts, we started learning about different types of poetry to start off April, which is National Poetry Month.  The class learned about couplets and as a whole class we wrote a wonderful couplet about Tuttle (our class turtle).  They got to illustrate the poem and write their own couplet, which they typed in computer technology class.   Next week we will be learning about a new type of poetry and writing our own poem as well.

NOTES from the 3/4 Grade Classroom…

In Reading, we are nearing the end of ‘Three Cups of Tea’, as we focus on chapters 18 and 19.  Please be aware that there is a mention of the incidents of 9/11/01 in these chapters.  I will keep our classroom conversation appropriate for students of this age level, but questions may arise at home.  In Writing Workshop, the students have published their works of realistic fiction, and we will move on to poetry.  All of the students signed up for the public library’s pledge to “Read a Poem a Day for 30 Days”.  The students will be compiling a poetry notebook and memorizing a poem of their choice to recite in class near the end of April. Information on this will be sent home shortly.  In Social Studies, the students have nearly completed their colonial diorama, and we will be moving on to our unit on Developing Maryland, covering the period from after the Revolutionary War until after the Civil War.  The intermediate math group is immersed in geometry, and we will be planning the construction of a new school store cart.  Have a great week!

Science-3/4: Our young scientists have been hard at work measuring tensile strength of various plastics. After reading the story of Rapunzel and wondering about the possibility of hair being that strong, we set to work coming up with a way to measure tensile strength.  We also completed falling dart tests, noting and appreciating that our choice of weights jumped from 10g to 20g to 500g. Obviously something to rectify in next year’s science order!  The week culminated with a look at the ability of various matter to conduct heat.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Computer Technology 1/2:

Computer Technology 3/4:

Music 1/2:

Music 3/4: We will be having an additional practice after school next week on April 6 for all students performing with the instrumental ensemble. Practice will begin immediately at 3:00. Location TBA. Pickup will occur at 4:00PM.

As a group we are performing from our method books, Essential Elements:

London Bridge, p 8, #30 – Students MUST know parts A and B.

Aura Lee, p. 12, #53 – Both parts, A and B

SPECIAL INFO

Kate F. will be playing a Clarinet solo with piano accompaniment. Theme from “New World Symphony” by Antonin Dvorak

Emma K. – Be sure to get your method book. Essential Elements, 2000 Book 1 for Flute. I have written an easier London Bridge. We’ll work on that next week. No pressure. If you’re not up to playing on April 10, no need to worry. I’d just like to give you the opportunity to play with us.

EVERYONE should practice with the CD that came with your book. It really helps a lot especially with intonation (new word, look it up!) and with counting.

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 1/2:

Spanish 3/4: