HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
October 17, 2008

HFS Grade 6 Weekly Collections

October 17, 2008

Dear HFS Community Members,

The end of the first quarter is quickly approaching (October 29) and our students will receive their Interim Advisor Summaries shortly thereafter (November 7).  Through these reports, advisors share their own observations and the reports of each child’s teacher on his or her progress to date. The narrative format makes possible the communication of specific insights, praise, and concerns in regard to your child’s progress. It is critical to review the reports with your child so that you know he or she understands what is being communicated and what expectations are being set for work through the remainder of the semester. Upon handing the reports to their advisees, Mr. Norton, Mr. Pickard, and Mrs. Lanigan begin that process with your child in two ways. First, students are asked to read the report privately and begin the process of report review and reflection by completing a form. The form is kept by the advisor and examined at each reporting date by the advisor and the advisee. On the form, students identify the strengths and weaknesses teachers have observed, as well as the recommendations teachers make for improvement. Students then must identify goals and strategies they can employ for achieving those goals over the course of the second half of the semester. These documents are excellent reference tools for advisors, students, teachers, and families throughout the marking period and entire school year.

In terms of grades, it is important to note that a “C” is considered average at Harford Friends School. A “C” indicates that a child has met course requirements “satisfactorily.” Unless otherwise noted, a “C” is not cause for concern, especially early in the school year and especially for those students transitioning into Harford Friends School. Students in danger of earning a grade of a “D” or lower in any course should be fully aware of that fact (as well as their parents) in advance of the close of the marking period. Teachers or the student’s advisor will have communicated any such concerns before the 29th. The exception to this, of course, would be an instance in which a major test or project was due on or near the 29th and a poor performance significantly reduces the interim grade. This would be communicated through the Interim Advisory Summary.

Many may worry about how such honest grades might affect continued student performance and, ultimately, a child’s chances of acceptance to the high school of her or his choice. What research and our experience shows is that students who receive honest and critical (as in “critical thinking” not “criticism”) feedback are better prepared to surmount shortcomings and achieve more in the long run. When given the opportunity to see growth over time through hard work and grade increase, student levels of achievement motivation increase as well. Finally, I make an effort to communicate with each and every high school that our students express interest in attending and speak with the school’s admissions office to help them better understand our program, our expectations, and our grading system. As students receive information and apply that information to future efforts, it is likely their grades will improve or at least remain constant even as their knowledge and skill base and teacher expectations increase. I look forward to hearing your feedback on the reporting process and to seeing students apply the lessons learned in the first eight weeks of school to the challenges ahead in the remaining twenty-eight!

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

Sixth graders continue to be extremely involved in all activities of Humanities 6.  We are progressing nicely with our spelling-vocabulary study and are currently working on Unit 5.  Our work in grammar has developed a few snags, however, and we will need to revisit the interesting world of nouns and pronouns.  A time for assessment will occur next week.  We have been delving into the mysteries of Hammurabi’s Code in ancient Babylonia, the alphabet as developed by the ancient Phoenicians, and the concept of ethical monotheism as expounded by the ancient Hebrews. We have been impressed by the number of peoples who have pounded across the Fertile Crescent and have learned about the concept of natural boundaries in connection with defense.  Have a great weekend!

NOTES from Technology…

Math: For information on math, please contact Jacob Norton at Norton.jacob@gmail.com

Science: For information on science, please contact Jacob Norton @ Norton.jacob@gmail.com

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Choir: For information on Choir, please contact Andrew Lewis at drewan74@aol.com.

Computer Technology: The sixth graders continue to work on typing skills with Ultrakey 5.0. They are learning how to create documents with Microsoft Word.

Music: For information on music, please contact Andrew Lewis at drewan74@aol.com.

Physical Education: The students are working on agility with the timed run. They continue playing games that require skill and strategy to get ready for our football unit.

Spanish: Reminders:  28th exam, homework on body parts and TV guide.

We had a great week.  The learning process is moving right along.  I am very happy with our progress.  This week we will continue to work on body parts and review for the test.  Next week we start a new concept adding descriptive word to the body parts like brown eyes, blonde hair, etc.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • Please respond to the Credit Card Survey that was emailed to all parents. We value your opinion.
  • Wednesday, October 1 – Payment (1) is due on all outstanding Student Activity Fees. If you have not done so already, please send in your first installment.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Autumn is approaching quickly. Come get your HFS sweatshirts while supplies last! We have HFS t-shirts and sweatshirts in the Business Office for sale. Only a few tie-dye shirts left!!

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. PLEASE! Please exercise great caution when driving on or near school grounds. We share the parking lot and roads with many other organizations, their clientele, employees, and our neighbors. Please be sure you are within posted speed limits and are obeying all traffic signs. Thank you!
  2. Do you have any news magazines you would like to recycle? Please forward them to Mr. Pickard for use in Humanities classes.
  3. Sunday, October 19: HFS Open House (2-4 PM) Volunteers needed!
  4. Monday, October 20: Basketball sign-ups will occur on Monday. Practices are scheduled to be held on Mondays and Thursdays, 3:00-4:15PM. First practice date will be announced once the team is determined.
  5. Monday, October 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  6. Tuesday, October 21: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM)
  7. Wednesday, October 22: Christmas Parade prep with Sarah Potter (3:00-5:00PM)
  8. Thursday, October 23: 8th Grade trip to Jamestown/Williamsburg departs
  9. Friday, October 24: 6th Grade trip to Holloway Brothers Farm (Depart 8:30AM, Return 3:00PM); 7th Grade trip to The Arena Club
  10. Saturday, October 25: 8th Grade trip returns from Jamestown/Williamsburg
  11. Monday, October 27: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  12. Wednesday, October 29: End of Interim 1
  13. Thursday, October 30: Introduction to Quakerism and Quaker Education Parent Workshop (7:00PM)
  14. Monday, November 3: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  15. Wednesday, November 5: Christmas Parade prep with Sarah Potter (3:00-5:00PM).
  16. Thursday, November 6: Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:00-9:00AM). Please RSVP to Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org.
  17. Friday, November 7: 1st Advisory Interim Summary Reports distributed to students
  18. Sunday, November 9 (2:00-4:30 PM) at The Bel Air Armory.  A Taste of Excellence: Wine-Tasting to benefit Harford Friends School. Tickets available through HFS and BottleWorks of Hickory. Need babysitting services during the event? Contact Virginia Remsberg at Virginia@remsberg.com
  19. Monday, November 10: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  20. Monday, November 17: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  21. Tuesday, November 18: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM); Becky Reynolds of School Search Group will speak to HFS parents about searching for and selecting a “right fit” high school for your child.

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

October 17, 2008

Dear HFS Community Members,

The end of the first quarter is quickly approaching (October 29) and our students will receive their Interim Advisor Summaries shortly thereafter (November 7).  Through these reports, advisors share their own observations and the reports of each child’s teacher on his or her progress to date. The narrative format makes possible the communication of specific insights, praise, and concerns in regard to your child’s progress. It is critical to review the reports with your child so that you know he or she understands what is being communicated and what expectations are being set for work through the remainder of the semester. Upon handing the reports to their advisees, Mr. Norton, Mr. Pickard, and Mrs. Lanigan begin that process with your child in two ways. First, students are asked to read the report privately and begin the process of report review and reflection by completing a form. The form is kept by the advisor and examined at each reporting date by the advisor and the advisee. On the form, students identify the strengths and weaknesses teachers have observed, as well as the recommendations teachers make for improvement. Students then must identify goals and strategies they can employ for achieving those goals over the course of the second half of the semester. These documents are excellent reference tools for advisors, students, teachers, and families throughout the marking period and entire school year.

In terms of grades, it is important to note that a “C” is considered average at Harford Friends School. A “C” indicates that a child has met course requirements “satisfactorily.” Unless otherwise noted, a “C” is not cause for concern, especially early in the school year and especially for those students transitioning into Harford Friends School. Students in danger of earning a grade of a “D” or lower in any course should be fully aware of that fact (as well as their parents) in advance of the close of the marking period. Teachers or the student’s advisor will have communicated any such concerns before the 29th. The exception to this, of course, would be an instance in which a major test or project was due on or near the 29th and a poor performance significantly reduces the interim grade. This would be communicated through the Interim Advisory Summary.

Many may worry about how such honest grades might affect continued student performance and, ultimately, a child’s chances of acceptance to the high school of her or his choice. What research and our experience shows is that students who receive honest and critical (as in “critical thinking” not “criticism”) feedback are better prepared to surmount shortcomings and achieve more in the long run. When given the opportunity to see growth over time through hard work and grade increase, student levels of achievement motivation increase as well. Finally, I make an effort to communicate with each and every high school that our students express interest in attending and speak with the school’s admissions office to help them better understand our program, our expectations, and our grading system. As students receive information and apply that information to future efforts, it is likely their grades will improve or at least remain constant even as their knowledge and skill base and teacher expectations increase. I look forward to hearing your feedback on the reporting process and to seeing students apply the lessons learned in the first eight weeks of school to the challenges ahead in the remaining twenty-eight!

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

The seventh graders continue the journey through South America. I enjoyed the map projects as well as seeing and hearing the presentations. We will end our travels through South America next week. A comprehensive unit test on Latin America will be given on October 27th and we look forward to our next unit on Sub-Saharan Africa.  Our next book report is due November 3, 2008. In grammar, we have finished with nouns and pronouns and will begin working on verbs.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: For information on math, please contact Jacob Norton at Norton.jacob@gmail.com

Science: For information on science, please contact Jacob Norton at Norton.jacob@gmail.com

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Choir: For information on Choir, please contact Andrew Lewis at drewan74@aol.com.

Computer Technology: The seventh graders are creating spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel and how to use formulas in a workbook. They continue to work on typing skills.

Music: For information on music, please contact Andrew Lewis at drewan74@aol.com.

Physical Education: The students are working on agility with the timed run. They continue playing games that require skill and strategy to get ready for our football unit.

Spanish: Reminders:  28th exam, homework on body parts and TV guide.

We had a great week.  The learning process is moving right along.  I am very happy with our progress.  This week we will continue to work on body parts and review for the test.  Next week we start a new concept adding descriptive word to the body parts like brown eyes, blonde hair, etc.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • Please respond to the Credit Card Survey that was emailed to all parents. We value your opinion.
  • Wednesday, October 1 – Payment (1) is due on all outstanding Student Activity Fees. If you have not done so already, please send in your first installment.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Autumn is approaching quickly. Come get your HFS sweatshirts while supplies last! We have HFS t-shirts and sweatshirts in the Business Office for sale. Only a few tie-dye shirts left!!

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. PLEASE! Please exercise great caution when driving on or near school grounds. We share the parking lot and roads with many other organizations, their clientele, employees, and our neighbors. Please be sure you are within posted speed limits and are obeying all traffic signs. Thank you!
  2. Do you have any news magazines you would like to recycle? Please forward them to Mr. Pickard for use in Humanities classes.
  3. Sunday, October 19: HFS Open House (2-4 PM) Volunteers needed!
  4. Monday, October 20: Basketball sign-ups will occur on Monday. Practices are scheduled to be held on Mondays and Thursdays, 3:00-4:15PM. First practice date will be announced once the team is determined.
  5. Monday, October 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  6. Tuesday, October 21: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM)
  7. Wednesday, October 22: Christmas Parade prep with Sarah Potter (3:00-5:00PM)
  8. Thursday, October 23: 8th Grade trip to Jamestown/Williamsburg departs
  9. Friday, October 24: 6th Grade trip to Holloway Brothers Farm (Depart 8:30AM, Return 3:00PM); 7th Grade trip to The Arena Club
  10. Saturday, October 25: 8th Grade trip returns from Jamestown/Williamsburg
  11. Monday, October 27: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  12. Wednesday, October 29: End of Interim 1
  13. Thursday, October 30: Introduction to Quakerism and Quaker Education Parent Workshop (7:00PM)
  14. Monday, November 3: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  15. Wednesday, November 5: Christmas Parade prep with Sarah Potter (3:00-5:00PM).
  16. Thursday, November 6: Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:00-9:00AM). Please RSVP to Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org.
  17. Friday, November 7: 1st Advisory Interim Summary Reports distributed to students
  18. Sunday, November 9 (2:00-4:30 PM) at The Bel Air Armory.  A Taste of Excellence: Wine-Tasting to benefit Harford Friends School. Tickets available through HFS and BottleWorks of Hickory. Need babysitting services during the event? Contact Virginia Remsberg at Virginia@remsberg.com
  19. Monday, November 10: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  20. Monday, November 17: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  21. Tuesday, November 18: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM); Becky Reynolds of School Search Group will speak to HFS parents about searching for and selecting a “right fit” high school for your child.

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

October 17, 2008

Dear HFS Community Members,

The end of the first quarter is quickly approaching (October 29) and our students will receive their Interim Advisor Summaries shortly thereafter (November 7).  Through these reports, advisors share their own observations and the reports of each child’s teacher on his or her progress to date. The narrative format makes possible the communication of specific insights, praise, and concerns in regard to your child’s progress. It is critical to review the reports with your child so that you know he or she understands what is being communicated and what expectations are being set for work through the remainder of the semester. Upon handing the reports to their advisees, Mr. Norton, Mr. Pickard, and Mrs. Lanigan begin that process with your child in two ways. First, students are asked to read the report privately and begin the process of report review and reflection by completing a form. The form is kept by the advisor and examined at each reporting date by the advisor and the advisee. On the form, students identify the strengths and weaknesses teachers have observed, as well as the recommendations teachers make for improvement. Students then must identify goals and strategies they can employ for achieving those goals over the course of the second half of the semester. These documents are excellent reference tools for advisors, students, teachers, and families throughout the marking period and entire school year.

In terms of grades, it is important to note that a “C” is considered average at Harford Friends School. A “C” indicates that a child has met course requirements “satisfactorily.” Unless otherwise noted, a “C” is not cause for concern, especially early in the school year and especially for those students transitioning into Harford Friends School. Students in danger of earning a grade of a “D” or lower in any course should be fully aware of that fact (as well as their parents) in advance of the close of the marking period. Teachers or the student’s advisor will have communicated any such concerns before the 29th. The exception to this, of course, would be an instance in which a major test or project was due on or near the 29th and a poor performance significantly reduces the interim grade. This would be communicated through the Interim Advisory Summary.

Many may worry about how such honest grades might affect continued student performance and, ultimately, a child’s chances of acceptance to the high school of her or his choice. What research and our experience shows is that students who receive honest and critical (as in “critical thinking” not “criticism”) feedback are better prepared to surmount shortcomings and achieve more in the long run. When given the opportunity to see growth over time through hard work and grade increase, student levels of achievement motivation increase as well. Finally, I make an effort to communicate with each and every high school that our students express interest in attending and speak with the school’s admissions office to help them better understand our program, our expectations, and our grading system. As students receive information and apply that information to future efforts, it is likely their grades will improve or at least remain constant even as their knowledge and skill base and teacher expectations increase. I look forward to hearing your feedback on the reporting process and to seeing students apply the lessons learned in the first eight weeks of school to the challenges ahead in the remaining twenty-eight!

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

Eighth graders continue to be extremely involved in all activities of Humanities 8.  We are progressing nicely with our spelling-vocabulary study and are currently working on Unit 5.  Our work in writing has developed a few snags, however, and we will need to revisit the interesting world of sentence variation.  A time for assessment will probably occur next week.  We have been delving into the mysteries of the Jamestown settlement and are developing some research knowledge that will aid us in a deeper appreciation of our field trip next week.  Have a great weekend!

NOTES from Technology…

Math: We have spent this past week studying populations that grow exponentially, from mold growing on bread through garter snakes through timber wolves.  We have learned how to analyze this type of population growth through tables, graphs, and equations of the form, where  represents the initial population, and  represents the growth factor.  A quiz on Wednesday demonstrated that our eighth graders have a pretty firm grasp on these concepts.  On Thursday, we identified exponential functions in which the growth factor was fractional.  The week concluded with a discussion of growth rates as percent increase, and compound interest.  Students were also introduced to the irrational number,  (approximately 2.71828). which is the foundation for continuous compound growth, used in financial analysis.  During the next two weeks, we will be concluding our unit on exponential growth, as we study exponential decay, half-life, and laws of exponents. Students took the first MATHCOUNTS “Monthly Challenge” in class on Friday.

Science: Our goals are less about the filling of available student brain-space with (appropriate and relevant) scientific facts and vocabulary than they are about the acquisition of learning-skills and strategies that will serve a lifetime of citizenship and intellectual growth. In Science, students were exposed to some diverse teaching methods, beginning with a lecture-type discussion of disease and immunity that centered around PowerPoint slides (for which students were provided copies).  A group learning activity involved vocabulary, knowledge, and review in the form of a game with cards that required students to provide questions in response to answers, then make their own question-answer cards with which to test and torment other students.  We experimented with analogies for complex ideas, the immune system represented in some students’ views by a military organization and by the teacher as the non-pennies in a penny race (where pennies are pathogens).  We finished the week with a NOVA program called “Cracking the Code of Life.”  The latter contains elegant visual representations of DNA and protein, shows laboratory technologies in action, describes the catastrophic medical impact that can arise from even a single change in the 3 billion steps of an individual’s DNA ladder, describes in both serious and humorous ways the human side of the race to sequence the entire human genome, and provides poignant examples (Tay-Sachs, cystic fibrosis) of the relevance of these efforts.  It may be noted that we attempt to crack the code of Life in scientific terms, understanding the parts and assembly system that underlies biological Life.  What we do not attempt to crack (except perhaps by our comportment and our quiet introspection), or circumscribe by vocabulary and right-wrong answers, are codes that apply to matters of Being and Soul:  these are topics for philosophy, religion, and parenting.  For the week, we made some progress in the acquisition of both knowledge and skills, and had a little fun besides.  As homework, students are writing some reflections on the “Code of Life” video.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Choir: For information on Choir, please contact Andrew Lewis at drewan74@aol.com.

Computer Technology: The eighth graders continue to work on designing websites using Rapidweaver.

Music: For information on music, please contact Andrew Lewis at drewan74@aol.com.

Physical Education: The students are working on agility with the timed run. They continue playing games that require skill and strategy to get ready for our football unit.

Spanish: Reminders:  28th exam, homework on body parts and TV guide. We had a great week.  The learning process is moving right along.  I am very happy with our progress.  This week we will continue to work on body parts and review for the test.  Next week we start a new concept adding descriptive word to the body parts like brown eyes, blonde hair, etc.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • Please respond to the Credit Card Survey that was emailed to all parents. We value your opinion.
  • Wednesday, October 1 – Payment (1) due on all outstanding Student Activity Fees. If you have not done so already, please send in your first installment.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Autumn is approaching quickly. Come get your HFS sweatshirts while supplies last! We have HFS t-shirts and sweatshirts in the Business Office for sale. Only a few tie-dye shirts left!!

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. PLEASE! Please exercise great caution when driving on or near school grounds. We share the parking lot and roads with many other organizations, their clientele, employees, and our neighbors. Please be sure you are within posted speed limits and are obeying all traffic signs. Thank you!
  2. Do you have any news magazines you would like to recycle? Please forward them to Mr. Pickard for use in Humanities classes.
  3. Sunday, October 19: HFS Open House (2-4 PM) Volunteers needed!
  4. Monday, October 20: Basketball sign-ups will occur on Monday. Practices are scheduled to be held on Mondays and Thursdays, 3:00-4:15PM. First practice date will be announced once the team is determined.
  5. Monday, October 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  6. Tuesday, October 21: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM)
  7. Wednesday, October 22: Christmas Parade prep with Sarah Potter (3:00-5:00PM)
  8. Thursday, October 23: 8th Grade trip to Jamestown/Williamsburg departs
  9. Friday, October 24: 6th Grade trip to Holloway Brothers Farm (Depart 8:30AM, Return 3:00PM); 7th Grade trip to The Arena Club
  10. Saturday, October 25: 8th Grade trip returns from Jamestown/Williamsburg
  11. Monday, October 27: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  12. Wednesday, October 29: End of Interim 1
  13. Thursday, October 30: Introduction to Quakerism and Quaker Education Parent Workshop (7:00PM)
  14. Monday, November 3: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  15. Wednesday, November 5: Christmas Parade prep with Sarah Potter (3:00-5:00PM).
  16. Thursday, November 6: Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:00-9:00AM). Please RSVP to Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org.
  17. Friday, November 7: 1st Advisory Interim Summary Reports distributed to students
  18. Sunday, November 9 (2:00-4:30 PM) at The Bel Air Armory.  A Taste of Excellence: Wine-Tasting to benefit Harford Friends School. Tickets available through HFS and BottleWorks of Hickory. Need babysitting services during the event? Contact Virginia Remsberg at Virginia@remsberg.com
  19. Monday, November 10: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  20. Monday, November 17: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM).
  21. Tuesday, November 18: Home & School Association meeting (7:00PM); Becky Reynolds of School Search Group will speak to HFS parents about searching for and selecting a “right fit” high school for your child.