HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
January 23, 2009

HFS Grade 6 Weekly Collections

January 23, 2009

NOTES from Humanities…

I am very pleased with the students’ Egypt projects! They provided a wonderful conclusion to our unit on Ancient Egypt. Thank you, sixth grade, for all of your hard work! This week students started our unit on Ancient China and Ancient India, including the Indus River Valley. Sixth grade will take its Vocabulary/Spelling Test on Unit 11 on Monday, January 26th. We are focusing our writing energies on descriptive writing in the current English unit. Students have secretly selected another classmate about whom they will write a descriptive paragraph. It is expected that the descriptions will be so good and thorough that the identities of the subjects will be revealed when we present our writing!

Students continue to work on their Portfolio Presentations by identifying pieces of work from their portfolios to present at the upcoming parent-advisor conferences. Presentations will demonstrate to what degree students have worked to meet course objectives and/or what goals they are setting for their work in the second semester, including demonstrating how pre-writing and drafting strategies improve one’s writing effectiveness and how geography plays a role in the location and development of regions and cultures.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: This week in sixth grade math we presented our projects on tessellation.  We had a variety of topics ranging from alligators to field goals in the Steeler’s colors (oh my!).  After the posters we had a fruitful discussion of the characteristics of a poster that we wanted to see no matter the subject.  Along with this wrap up of Shapes and Designs, we also moved back into fractions, where we are learning how to approximate the addition of two fractions.  Next week we will continue to discuss operations with fractions.

Science: In our abbreviated sixth grade science week along with some work on our vocabulary wall we discussed our final section of plants: tropism.  The examples of sunflowers, vines, and post-germinated bulbs were used to illustrate plant response to the stimuli light, touch, and gravity.  As a result we have added to our lexicon the words gravitropism, phototropism, and my personal favorite thigmotropism, a prefix from the Greek word touch.  Next week we should expect a test on Thursday, January 29 on the work that we have done with plants.

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 students are working on typing skills using Ultrakey 5.0.

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

Physical Education: We are in our basketball unit and are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting skills.

Spanish: We are off to a good start.  The students received their project guidelines and had a review of grammar rules that should make learning Spanish a little easier.  Students should start to review their new vocabulary.  We will continue our new unit next week.

Advisory/Life Education: Students submitted anonymous, typed questions about love and sex that  they’d like the unit to answer. I am pleased to be able to pass some of the questions on to the ER/cardio nurse who will join us for a class in February and again in March. In the meantime, this week’s home project is for students to engage family members in a “rites of passage” interview. We talked briefly today about some religious and American rites of passage familiar to the students (Confirmation, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and drivers license, voting, respectively). We will extend the rites of passage interview into a conversation about puberty and the process of biological maturation.

We also updated/revised our class contract to include another concern. “That our parents might overreact to the course content and want to talk more about it than I am ready to talk.” However, they offered no strategies for avoiding this. They expect that you will want to talk. I hope some of these assignments help to open the conversation!

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • Before & After Care invoices for the month of December have been mailed and are due by January 31, 2009.
  • Deadline for completion of Financial Aid applications is Monday, February 2, 2009 for returning students. For more information, please contact the Business Office or visit https://sss.ets.org/pfs/Home.do
  • If you would like to receive a tax letter for the mileage that you drove for HFS field trips this calendar year, please email the date and location of the field trip to kcarlone@harfordfriends.org
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Stop in the Business Office and view our selection of sweatshirts, athletic t-shirts and tie-dye shirts (only a few tie-dye shirts left!).

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Saturday, January 24: HFS Admissions Assessment (9:00-11:30AM) Please contact Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org if you are able to volunteer.
  2. Monday, January 26: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  3. Monday, January 26: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  4. Tuesday, January 27: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  5. Thursday, January 29: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  6. Friday, January 30: Semester 1 Reports distributed (1:30-3:00PM)
  7. Friday, January 30: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  8. Monday, February 2: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  9. Monday, February 2: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  10. Monday, February 2: Deadline for completion of Financial Aid applications  for returning students.
  11. Monday, February 2 – Thursday, February 12: Parent/Advisor Conferences to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
  12. Tuesday, February 3: Card Club with Leslie Kline in Little Falls classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  13. Tuesday, February 3: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  14. Wednesday, February 4: Amnesty International with Mr. Pickard in Deer Creek classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  15. Thursday, February 5: Parent Coffee with the Head of School. (8:00-9:00AM) Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org
  16. Thursday, February 5: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  17. Friday, February 6: 3rd Quarter Parent Activity session #2 (1:30-3:00PM)
  18. Friday, February 6: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  19. Monday, February 9: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  20. Monday, February 9: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  21. Tuesday, February 10: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  22. Thursday, February 12: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  23. Thursday, February 12: Re-Enrollment Contracts mailed for students returning in the 2009-2010 school year.
  24. Friday, February 13 – Monday, February 16: School Closed for Mid-winter Break.
  25. Tuesday, February 17: School resumes

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

January 23, 2009

NOTES from Humanities…

On Friday, students reviewed expectation for the journal-writing component of the Rwandan Negotiation Project. It constitutes 40% of the project’s grade. We spent a long time evaluating two sample pieces of writing using the journal rubric and found that, despite some outliers, the students assessed the sample pieces very similarly to the way teacher does. Students are now fully informed and practiced in the expectations for their writing.

On Thursday, students role-played their characters for the first time in an informal village “meet and greet” session.  The village mingling was excellent and allowed the villagers to ask questions of one another, determine who might be an ally and who might pose the biggest obstacle to meeting their needs. Next week, we will begin developing a negotiation strategies plan and will begin the process that will lead us to the negotiating table. Again, please check the course syllabus for days we plan to negotiate. Students are encouraged to dress in character and parents are encouraged to join us and observe the process of peace-making in action!

Students continue to work with Mrs. Lanigan on their Portfolio Presentations by identifying pieces of work from their portfolios to present at the upcoming parent-advisor conferences. Presentations will demonstrate to what degree students have worked to meet course objectives and/or what goals they are setting for their work in the second semester.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: This week was disjointed but we still found time to begin our new unit in seventh grade math.  We have started to look at the other part of the number line in preparation for our future work in beginning algebraic thinking.  Beyond the work with negative numbers that we will continue next week, our unit project on paper pool is due next Wednesday, January 28.  I want to reiterate to students that at least three rules are required both for patterns in the number of hits as it relates to the dimensions, and in what pocket the game ends when compared to the dimensions.

Science: This week was especially short for seventh grade science because we only had science on Thursday and Friday, during which time we continued our dissections of the animal world.  Next week we will complete our discussion of echinoderms, which is our last section before the test, so we can expect, after reviewing for the remainder of the week, a test next Friday, January 30.

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 students are working on typing skills using Ultrakey 5.0.

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

Physical Education: We are in our basketball unit and are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting skills.

Spanish 7/8 A Intermediate: The new class set up was very nice this week. We completed a review of cognates and infinitive verbs.  We also spend time on discussing the new project.  We will begin our new unit next week and start to work on new vocabulary.

Spanish 7/8 B Accelerated:

Off to a great start!  The energy and excitement of the new class structure is really awesome.  We had an overview of the class and the new unit.  We also completed a lesson on using the dictionary for finding infinitive verbs and the importance of recognizing the infinitive form.  We also discussed the cognates and worked on examples of how to recognize them.

We will start to work on the new unit next week.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • Before & After Care invoices for the month of December have been mailed and are due by January 31, 2009.
  • Deadline for completion of Financial Aid applications is Monday, February 2, 2009 for returning students. For more information, please contact the Business Office or visit https://sss.ets.org/pfs/Home.do
  • If you would like to receive a tax letter for the mileage that you drove for HFS field trips this calendar year, please email the date and location of the field trip to kcarlone@harfordfriends.org
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Stop in the Business Office and view our selection of sweatshirts, athletic t-shirts and tie-dye shirts (only a few tie-dye shirts left!).

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Saturday, January 24: HFS Admissions Assessment (9:00-11:30AM) Please contact Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org if you are able to volunteer.
  2. Monday, January 26: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  3. Monday, January 26: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  4. Tuesday, January 27: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  5. Thursday, January 29: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  6. Friday, January 30: Semester 1 Reports distributed (1:30-3:00PM)
  7. Friday, January 30: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  8. Monday, February 2: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  9. Monday, February 2: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  10. Monday, February 2: Deadline for completion of Financial Aid applications  for returning students.
  11. Monday, February 2 – Thursday, February 12: Parent/Advisor Conferences to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
  12. Tuesday, February 3: Card Club with Leslie Kline in Little Falls classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  13. Tuesday, February 3: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  14. Wednesday, February 4: Amnesty International with Mr. Pickard in Deer Creek classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  15. Thursday, February 5: Parent Coffee with the Head of School. (8:00-9:00AM) Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org
  16. Thursday, February 5: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  17. Friday, February 6: 3rd Quarter Parent Activity session #2 (1:30-3:00PM)
  18. Friday, February 6: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  19. Monday, February 9: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  20. Monday, February 9: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  21. Tuesday, February 10: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  22. Thursday, February 12: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  23. Thursday, February 12: Re-Enrollment Contracts mailed for students returning in the 2009-2010 school year.
  24. Friday, February 13 – Monday, February 16: School Closed for Mid-winter Break.
  25. Tuesday, February 17: School resumes

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

January 23, 2009

NOTES from Humanities…

The eighth grade’s study of United States history enters its third book, From Colonies to Country, in the Joy Hakim series. We are enjoying some good discussion and activities as a result. Student writing this week focused on the development of a character analysis using a character of the student’s choosing from The Crucible. The students have done a great job of identifying characteristics from the story and now are working to better define their characters through traits that are not so explicitly defined or described in the story. Eighth grade students are to remember that they will have a Vocabulary/Spelling test on words from Unit 12 on Monday, January 26th.

Students continue to work on their Portfolio Presentations by identifying pieces of work from their portfolios to present at the upcoming parent-advisor conferences. Presentations will demonstrate to what degree students have worked to meet course objectives and/or what goals they are setting for their work in the second semester, including demonstrating how pre-writing and drafting strategies improve one’s writing effectiveness and the skill and ability to support generalizations with supporting evidence in the form of reasons, examples, and details.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Our eighth grade math-letes have been working and training on factoring quadratic expressions this week using geometric models and the Distributive Property (notoriously known in the mathematical community as the F.O.I.L. method).  We have analyzed the connection between factored form of a quadratic expression and its significance on the graph of the corresponding quadratic function, particularly on the x-intercepts of the graph.  We have had a quiz on Thursday on Investigation 2 of our book Frogs, Fleas, & Painted Cubes, which deals with the aforementioned topics.

We are also continuing the development of the play that we are developing related to the Pythagorean Theorem.  Currently, we are in the process of writing the script for our main characters.  Everyone appears to be excited about the final product of our efforts.

Science: One of the challenges for a middle school science teacher, nowhere more apparent than in the physical sciences, is to help students expand and re-frame words and concepts they already possess in their vocabularies.  Heat?  Cold?  Light?  Sound? Wave? Energy?  Work?  Power?  If there is some natural disinclination to discipline oneself to listen and study, there is an even greater disinclination to set aside social and other distractions in favor of things one feels one already knows.  In the words of E.E. Cummings, all ignorance toboggans into know, and trudges up to ignorance again.  Eighth graders – maybe all of us – are fine with the tobogganing, but not the trudging.

We concluded the semester with a quiz on thermodynamics.  That all students correctly fit the word “thermos” to its definition may have had something to do with a spectacular little mistake by the teacher.  By deciding to shake some fused ice cubes out of the neck of the thermos, teacher treated students to a “foomf!” (vacuum implosion), a “tinkle-tinkle,” and an opportunity to inspect the interior glass bottle, mirrored on both sides.  Perhaps on the whole this will improve teacher’s credibility when he asks students in other situations to put on their safety goggles.

In the first week of the new semester, abbreviated by MLK holiday, snow delay, inauguration, and a Wednesday guest presentation, we read and discussed the nature of force, friction, gravity, and projectiles. We entered study of Newton’s first (inertia), second (force = mass • acceleration), and third (action-reaction) “laws.”  Some of the discussion was conducted in the cold outdoors while students sledded from the parking lot to the ballfield.  It was an exercise in friction, gravity, the effect of doubling the mass on a sled, acceleration, momentum, and the work of trudging back uphill.  We can also hope that some ignorance tobogganed into know.

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 students are working on typing skills using Ultrakey 5.0.

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

Physical Education: We are in our basketball unit and are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting skills.

Spanish 7/8 A Intermediate: The new class set up was very nice this week. We completed a review of cognates and infinitive verbs.  We also spend time on discussing the new project.  We will begin our new unit next week and start to work on new vocabulary.

Spanish 7/8 B Accelerated:

Off to a great start!  The energy and excitement of the new class structure is really awesome.  We had an overview of the class and the new unit.  We also completed a lesson on using the dictionary for finding infinitive verbs and the importance of recognizing the infinitive form.  We also discussed the cognates and worked on examples of how to recognize them.

We will start to work on the new unit next week.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • Before & After Care invoices for the month of December have been mailed and are due by January 31, 2009.
  • Deadline for completion of Financial Aid applications is Monday, February 2, 2009 for returning students. For more information, please contact the Business Office or visit https://sss.ets.org/pfs/Home.do
  • If you would like to receive a tax letter for the mileage that you drove for HFS field trips this calendar year, please email the date and location of the field trip to kcarlone@harfordfriends.org
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! Stop in the Business Office and view our selection of sweatshirts, athletic t-shirts and tie-dye shirts (only a few tie-dye shirts left!).

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Saturday, January 24: HFS Admissions Assessment (9:00-11:30AM) Please contact Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org if you are able to volunteer.
  2. Monday, January 26: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  3. Monday, January 26: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  4. Tuesday, January 27: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  5. Thursday, January 29: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  6. Friday, January 30: Semester 1 Reports distributed (1:30-3:00PM)
  7. Friday, January 30: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  8. Monday, February 2: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  9. Monday, February 2: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  10. Monday, February 2: Deadline for completion of Financial Aid applications  for returning students.
  11. Monday, February 2 – Thursday, February 12: Parent/Advisor Conferences to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
  12. Tuesday, February 3: Card Club with Leslie Kline in Little Falls classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  13. Tuesday, February 3: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  14. Wednesday, February 4: Amnesty International with Mr. Pickard in Deer Creek classroom (3:00-4:00PM)
  15. Thursday, February 5: Parent Coffee with the Head of School. (8:00-9:00AM) Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org
  16. Thursday, February 5: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  17. Friday, February 6: 3rd Quarter Parent Activity session #2 (1:30-3:00PM)
  18. Friday, February 6: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  19. Monday, February 9: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  20. Monday, February 9: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  21. Tuesday, February 10: MathCounts with Mr. Norton in Forest Hill classroom (3:15-4:15PM)
  22. Thursday, February 12: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  23. Thursday, February 12: Re-Enrollment Contracts mailed for students returning in the 2009-2010 school year.
  24. Friday, February 13 – Monday, February 16: School Closed for Mid-winter Break.
  25. Tuesday, February 17: School resumes