HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
February 12, 2009

HFS Grade 6 Weekly Collections

February 12, 2009

Dear HFS Families,

The portfolio presentations are underway and so too are the related academic and life lessons. Quite simply learning can be messy. At every grade level, and likely for every child, students will demonstrate varying degrees of comfort and proficiency in presenting evidence of their academic growth in each of their four core subjects.  At times, as one parent has already stated, teachers and parents alike will want to “jump up and do it for them” because it looks and feels halting, uncertain, tentative and no one wants to see a child flounder… except maybe for our teachers and me.  Obviously, no one wishes for a child to be overly nervous or scared. However, the learning is in the “doing.” Once the experience is under their belts and students realize that there will be more ahead of them, the experience of the first presentation of learning will inform the preparation and execution of those to come. Another wonderful product of these portfolio presentations, as one teacher has already noted, is the phenomena of students taking ownership of their work and recognizing that the work they did in October matters in February and the work they do now will matter in June. By having to demonstrate how one is growing in relationship to the expectations and objectives of a teacher and a course, one must acknowledge a baseline and then provide evidence of growth beyond that baseline. As I am sure you will see, maybe not at the time of the presentation, but surely by the end of the year and definitely by the time your child becomes an adult, you are witness to today’s baseline as well as evidence of growth. It is the most magical kind and it is the kind that often only a parent can see and appreciate. Your children are growing (and not just physically) before our very eyes and they are beginning to recognize it one neater, more organized, more well prepared, more confident presentation of learning at a time.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

Students are busy as usual in Humanities 6.  It always seems as though there is too much to do and not enough time to do it in!  We are currently working on our Review materials for Units 9 — 12, and will soon be completing our Cumulative Review as well.  We have almost finished rather an extended unit on verbs and will be having a unit test next week.  The class has also been working with the poems of Langston Hughes,  Arna Bontemps, Maya Angelou, James Weldon Johnson, and Countee Cullen.  We have been paying particular attention to mood and purpose and debating the issue of utilizing dialect in poetry.  In social studies, we now are studying the principal tenets of Buddhism, and the class has found that most interesting.  Have a great weekend!

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Sixth grade math is tackling the challenge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and now division of fractions and mixed numbers well.  I am impressed by the true interest and amazement shown when it became clear how multiplication and division of fractions is related.  The students themselves determined the algorithm for multiplying mixed numbers.  I showed them another algorithm the next day, but they seem to agree that their way is better and more reliable.  I look forward to continuing to solidify and codify our knowledge in this subject next week.  Expect a quiz next week to check how we are doing with the myriad of ways we can combine and otherwise jumble fractions (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).

Science: Sixth grade science spent the week getting settled into our study of magnetism.  On Wednesday, I challenged the students to find a way to detect fake coins, be they foreign or just similarly shaped pieces of metal.  I gave them one coin from Slovakia, a key ring of a similar size to a half dollar coin, a magnet, a popsicle stick, and some card stock paper.  They both came up with a similar design by the end of class to use the magnetic force (pull in this case) to sort real coins that are not magnetic from fake ones that are magnetic.  I was very impressed with how they kept trying new ideas and new designs, and how well they worked together.  It was also a chance to go over the scientific method and discuss where the pitfalls and difficulty lie therein.  We will continue next week with magnets after a short pause on Wednesday to read two articles from the newest National Geographic about Charles Darwin.  February 12 of this year is his 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species.  The first article describes his work in the 1800′s while the second discusses current scientists that continue to discover the finer points of evolution.  Enjoy the extra long weekend!

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Choir: Due to student portfolio presentations and Parent/Advisor Conferences, there will be no choir next week on Thursday February 19th.  We will resume the following week.

Computer Technology: The students are working on typing skills using Ultrakey 5.0 as well as creating tables using Microsoft Word. We are also discussing and using search engines to help us find good websites to answer the questions.

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

Physical Education: We are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. The students are also working on defensive stances.

Spanish: We had a fast paced week in Spanish Class.  We went over a lot of really important information that will be vital as the students continue learning Spanish.  We learned subject pronouns and began the process of changing verbs.  The next few weeks will incorporate practice of this new material.

Advisory/Life Education:

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • 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. Friday, February 13 – Monday, February 16: School Closed for Mid-winter Break.
  2. Tuesday, February 17: School resumes
  3. Thursday, February 19: HFS Open House (9:00-11:00AM) Please contact jbutton@harfordfriends.org if you are able to volunteer to host prospective families.
  4. Friday, February 20: Parent Activity #3 (1:30-3:00PM)
  5. Friday, February 20: Monthly Movies in Broad Creek Classroom (3:00-5:00PM). Parent volunteer Leslie Kline will provide a movie and popcorn for students wishing to participate. Movie titles and ratings will be emailed the Tuesday prior to viewing. Next month’s movie will occur on March 27.
  6. Friday, February 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  7. Monday, February 23: Basketball practice CANCELLED
  8. Monday, February 23: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  9. Thursday, February 26: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  10. Friday, February 27: Grade 6 to Babikow Greenhouses (Depart 8:00AM, Return 3:00PM); Grade 7 TBD; Grade 8 (Depart 8:00AM, Return 3:00PM)
  11. Friday, February 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

February 12, 2009

Dear HFS Families,

The portfolio presentations are underway and so too are the related academic and life lessons. Quite simply learning can be messy. At every grade level, and likely for every child, students will demonstrate varying degrees of comfort and proficiency in presenting evidence of their academic growth in each of their four core subjects.  At times, as one parent has already stated, teachers and parents alike will want to “jump up and do it for them” because it looks and feels halting, uncertain, tentative and no one wants to see a child flounder… except maybe for our teachers and me.  Obviously, no one wishes for a child to be overly nervous or scared. However, the learning is in the “doing.” Once the experience is under their belts and students realize that there will be more ahead of them, the experience of the first presentation of learning will inform the preparation and execution of those to come. Another wonderful product of these portfolio presentations, as one teacher has already noted, is the phenomena of students taking ownership of their work and recognizing that the work they did in October matters in February and the work they do now will matter in June. By having to demonstrate how one is growing in relationship to the expectations and objectives of a teacher and a course, one must acknowledge a baseline and then provide evidence of growth beyond that baseline. As I am sure you will see, maybe not at the time of the presentation, but surely by the end of the year and definitely by the time your child becomes an adult, you are witness to today’s baseline as well as evidence of growth. It is the most magical kind and it is the kind that often only a parent can see and appreciate. Your children are growing (and not just physically) before our very eyes and they are beginning to recognize it one neater, more organized, more well prepared, more confident presentation of learning at a time.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

The students have adjusted being back to English and social studies quite well. We enjoyed having Mr. Huxtable with us during the Rwanda Negotiations. In spelling-vocabulary, we have started a new lesson with Unit 12. The students began sharing book reports this week, and many were quite wonderful. We will begin our study of adjectives next week. In social studies, we have begun our unit on China. We started to compare and contrast the economy of today’s China to that of the ancient times. Please enjoy a nice long weekend and I look forward to a fresh start next week.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Seventh grade math spent the week continuing to fully understand the negative counterparts to our familiar positive rational numbers.  We discussed how you subtract a negative, how you add a negative number, and what direction on the number line all of that adding and subtracting means.  We also touched on how you multiply (and by extension divide) negative numbers.  I would like students to have a firm understanding of when you multiply a negative and a positive what sign does the result have, along with a situation where you are multiplying two negative numbers.   We will continue our look at the negative side of the number line next week, and though we are moving briskly through this book and a test is coming in about two weeks, I would like to see how comfortable we are at this point, so expect a quiz next week.  Enjoy the extra long weekend!

Science: Seventh grade science spent the abbreviated week diving into ecosystems.  We discussed the levels of organization in an ecosystem (organism, population, community, and ecosystem) as well as the difference between biotic and abiotic factors and the myriad of abiotic factors that inform life in an ecosystem.  We also discussed what is means to be a species, various ways of determining a population’s size (using a plethora of examples), the balancing of birth and death rates as well as immigration and emigration, population density, limiting factors and the logical extension of a carrying capacity.  We hit on many of the major ideas of ecology in a matter of a few days.  We will continue next week with ecosystems after a short pause on Wednesday to read two articles from the newest National Geographic about Charles Darwin.  February 12 of this year is his 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species.  The first article describes his work in the 1800′s while the second discusses current scientists that continue to discover the finer points of evolution.  With great luck, we are reading about natural selection and adaptations in our packet, so we will be well positioned to wrestle with the ideas presented with the articles.

NOTES from Explorations…

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

Choir: Due to student portfolio presentations and Parent/Advisor Conferences, there will be no choir next week on Thursday February 19th.  We will resume the following week.

Computer Technology: The students are working on typing skills using Ultrakey 5.0 as well as creating tables using Microsoft Word. We are also discussing and using search engines to help us find good websites to answer the questions.

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

Physical Education: We are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. The students are also working on defensive stances.

Spanish:

7/8 A: Another tough week.  Many of the students were not prepared for the quiz and the grades will reflect that.  Without having this piece of it in place it will be hard to move on, with the unit.  We worked on “Tener” vs. “Necesitar” and also subject pronouns.  Students will need to commit those subject pronouns to memory.  They are the stepping stone to conjugating verbs.

7/8 B: We are seeing a lot of progress in this class.   I am proud of all the hard work the students are putting forth.  The actual speaking portion of the class is coming together nicely.  We are starting to work on writing and technical skills related to the writing process.  Our last class, on answering questions whether spoken or written was a big success and it shows the growth of the class.  Next week, we will begin working on a writing assignment and work on the project.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • 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. Friday, February 13 – Monday, February 16: School Closed for Mid-winter Break.
  2. Tuesday, February 17: School resumes
  3. Thursday, February 19: HFS Open House (9:00-11:00AM) Please contact jbutton@harfordfriends.org if you are able to volunteer to host prospective families.
  4. Friday, February 20: Parent Activity #3 (1:30-3:00PM)
  5. Friday, February 20: Monthly Movies in Broad Creek Classroom (3:00-5:00PM). Parent volunteer Leslie Kline will provide a movie and popcorn for students wishing to participate. Movie titles and ratings will be emailed the Tuesday prior to viewing. Next month’s movie will occur on March 27.
  6. Friday, February 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  7. Monday, February 23: Basketball practice CANCELLED
  8. Monday, February 23: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  9. Thursday, February 26: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  10. Friday, February 27: Grade 6 to Babikow Greenhouses (Depart 8:00AM, Return 3:00PM); Grade 7 TBD; Grade 8 (Depart 8:00AM, Return 3:00PM)
  11. Friday, February 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

February 12, 2009

Dear HFS Families,

The portfolio presentations are underway and so too are the related academic and life lessons. Quite simply learning can be messy. At every grade level, and likely for every child, students will demonstrate varying degrees of comfort and proficiency in presenting evidence of their academic growth in each of their four core subjects.  At times, as one parent has already stated, teachers and parents alike will want to “jump up and do it for them” because it looks and feels halting, uncertain, tentative and no one wants to see a child flounder… except maybe for our teachers and me.  Obviously, no one wishes for a child to be overly nervous or scared. However, the learning is in the “doing.” Once the experience is under their belts and students realize that there will be more ahead of them, the experience of the first presentation of learning will inform the preparation and execution of those to come. Another wonderful product of these portfolio presentations, as one teacher has already noted, is the phenomena of students taking ownership of their work and recognizing that the work they did in October matters in February and the work they do now will matter in June. By having to demonstrate how one is growing in relationship to the expectations and objectives of a teacher and a course, one must acknowledge a baseline and then provide evidence of growth beyond that baseline. As I am sure you will see, maybe not at the time of the presentation, but surely by the end of the year and definitely by the time your child becomes an adult, you are witness to today’s baseline as well as evidence of growth. It is the most magical kind and it is the kind that often only a parent can see and appreciate. Your children are growing (and not just physically) before our very eyes and they are beginning to recognize it one neater, more organized, more well prepared, more confident presentation of learning at a time.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

Students are busy as usual in Humanities 8.  It always seems as though there is too much to do and not enough time to do it in!  We are currently working on Unit 13 in Spelling-Vocabulary and a student-selected grammar unit on Sentence Patterns. The class has also been working with the prose and poetry of Mary Rowlandson, Cotton Mather, Ouladah Equiano, and Phillis Wheatley. We have been studying the causes and effects of the various wars between England and France in the 1700′s and how they affected events in American history.  We also will soon be writing a tentative outline for our research papers in Harford County history and beginning the process of note taking as well.  Have a great weekend!

NOTES from Technology…

Math: For information on math, please contact Ray Pitz at pitzraymond@aol.com

Science: In our uphill climb to and through a greater understanding of physical sciences, we attempted this week to balance some serious reading and study with some interconnected demonstrations and play, the purpose of the latter being to reinforce vocabulary and conceptual relevance.  How can you tell a fresh egg from a boiled egg, and what’s angular momentum got to do with it?  What is pressure, how do we survive when we’re surrounded by a crushing pressure, and how can we use this air pressure to shove a boiled egg through a bottleneck considerably smaller than the egg?  How can we, in the manner of Archimedes, determine the density of an irregular object?  What predicts buoyancy, and what are the considerations in building a boat out of a material that by itself will sink?  What gives lift to an airplane wing?  What is a siphon?  How does a diesel engine exploit gas relationships of pressure, volume, and temperature?  How does the hydraulic system work to lift the boom on the crane outside our classroom window?

For homework, students have been asked to provide written answers to questions drawn from (and included in) their readings.  In further preparation for demonstrating their knowledge in an exam, they have been provided a list of nearly fifty terms and concepts they are to define or describe, thereby revisiting the readings and making for themselves a study guide.  There is some natural resistance (inertia, even friction) among students to the “work” aspect of homework.  This provides opportunity to discuss the overall value of education as something more important than something thrust forcibly upon a child.

Some of our upcoming class time will be given to planning, thought, research, and teacher advising with respect to the seemingly faraway science fair night, March 26.  Stepwise deadlines will be imposed in order to discourage procrastination; this will include a date by which parents are asked to provide signature indicating their awareness of the basic project, supplies needed, and any adult assistance needed.  It is important that parents not be surprised by last-minute needs, and perhaps equally important that parents give students the responsibility to do the work with as little assistance as the complexity of the project warrants.

Next in our procession we will consider work, power, simple machines, energy, and forms of energy.  From there we will turn to atoms, the electron clouds of atoms, and thus to simple chemistry.  We will then be prepared to conclude our year by synthesizing our knowledge and beginning to tackle societal and planetary issues that will face students throughout their lifetimes.

NOTES from Explorations…

Choir: Due to student portfolio presentations and Parent/Advisor Conferences, there will be no choir next week on Thursday February 19th.  We will resume the following week.

Physical Education: We are working on dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. The students are also working on defensive stances.

Spanish:

7/8 A: Another tough week.  Many of the students were not prepared for the quiz and the grades will reflect that.  Without having this piece of it in place it will be hard to move on, with the unit.  We worked on “tener” vs. “necesitar” and also subject pronouns.  Students will need to commit those subject pronouns to memory.  They are the stepping-stone to conjugating verbs.

7/8 B: We are seeing a lot of progress in this class.   I am proud of all the hard work the students are putting forth.  The actual speaking portion of the class is coming together nicely.  We are starting to work on writing and technical skills related to the writing process.  Our last class, on answering questions whether spoken or written was a big success and it shows the growth of the class.  Next week, we will begin working on a writing assignment and work on the project.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • 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. Friday, February 13 – Monday, February 16: School Closed for Mid-winter Break.
  2. Tuesday, February 17: School resumes
  3. Thursday, February 19: HFS Open House (9:00-11:00AM) Please contact jbutton@harfordfriends.org if you are able to volunteer to host prospective families.
  4. Friday, February 20: Parent Activity #3 (1:30-3:00PM)
  5. Friday, February 20: Monthly Movies in Broad Creek Classroom (3:00-5:00PM). Parent volunteer Leslie Kline will provide a movie and popcorn for students wishing to participate. Movie titles and ratings will be emailed the Tuesday prior to viewing. Next month’s movie will occur on March 27.
  6. Friday, February 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  7. Monday, February 23: Basketball practice CANCELLED
  8. Monday, February 23: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)
  9. Thursday, February 26: Basketball practice in gymnasium (3:00-4:15PM)
  10. Friday, February 27: Grade 6 to Babikow Greenhouses (Depart 8:00AM, Return 3:00PM); Grade 7 TBD; Grade 8 (Depart 8:00AM, Return 3:00PM)
  11. Friday, February 20: Destination Imagination practice with Virginia Remsberg in Broad Creek classroom (3:30-5:30PM)