HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
September 19, 2008

HFS Grade 6 Weekly Collections

September 19, 2008

Dear HFS Community Members,

Learning comes in many forms. The experiences described below generate incredible intellectual activity – questions, discoveries, reflection, new understanding, even a healthy dose of disbelief. However, not all learning experiences are always parts of the written curriculum at Harford Friends School. In fact, some of those experiences are critically important parts of unwritten life lessons that, if we are fortunate, we get to learn in middle school. Those lessons occur everyday at Harford Friends School. Lessons in responsibility, integrity, accountability, community, and friendship are common, repetitive, and evolving. As students tug, pull, and even trip over these threads of life that weave themselves into every facet of our learning and growing, they make mistakes. A mistake without consequence rarely produces a life lesson. However, mistakes that produce consequences and occur in the presence of supportive adults who can help a child see the forest through the trees, are critical steps to positive character development. I am continually grateful for teachers and parents who care enough to express their disappointment with a child when he or she makes a poor judgment, makes a mistake. The whistle blowers are also the saviors. These stern angels assure that a child understands the path to retribution, to making amends, to restoring trust, and to learning from the mistake. While these moments are never easy, they are critical. If we are not fortunate, we learn these lessons much later when the stakes are much higher. Thank goodness for wandering through the woods of middle school!

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

Sixth grade students are busily adapting to the rigors of the sixth grade curriculum for Humanities 6.  During the week, they have taken Spelling-Vocabulary Test #2, created very attractive noun collages, worked diligently in their small groups preparing presentations from The Giver, worked on writing a piece from the point of view of a Neolithic man or woman, and have learned why early men and women settled near a source of fresh water.  Next week, we are all looking forward to seeing The Giver presentations and will set up a rubric to evaluate them by.  As if that weren’t enough, they are also reading books for their next book report!

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Sixth grade math continues their investigation of our number system.  We are now just a step away from greatest common factor, and least common multiple.  We are using Venn diagrams to compare factors and multiples of different numbers, and now have many words at our disposal to describe numbers, and a good plan of how to determine whether a number is prime or composite.  Also, we know how odds and evens can be identified, no matter how large or small, and whether their sums and products will be even or odd.  We should expect a quiz next week on the material that we have studied to far, factors, multiples, and comparing different numbers using Venn diagrams.

Science: Sixth grade science is continue work with rocks.  There was substantial knowledge coming into class about igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, but we are looking deeper, making a guide to some of the common rocks, and we will soon get to the rock cycle, and how these types of rocks are related to each other.  For now, though, we spent the week trying to classify some rocks in class, working to figure out why we might be able to tell one way or the other, and then trying to find a number of examples in our packet.  The good copy of our guide, done in groups, is due next Tuesday, Sept. 23, good luck!

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: We have completed our focus on the computer hardware, software, and input devices. The students have signed into their accounts and we will be starting UltraKey, our typing tutorial, and working with Microsoft Word.

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

Physical Education: The students continue to work on perfecting our warm-up and cool down routine. We are working on making sure we stretch the correct muscles and holding these stretches for the right amount of time. As one of the students said this week, “We are warming up what is cool, and cooling down what is warm.”

Spanish: Hola! Welcome! It’s time to begin Spanish class! We will begin the new year by having a conversation on the importance of learning a second language and, “Why Spanish?” We will also discuss September as Spanish Heritage month, and bring to light some Latinos who have added their knowledge and talent to the U.S. and the world. I will introduce students to the vowels for proper pronunciation and begin working on greetings. Next week, we will review the greetings for fluency and add more vocabulary to them.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • September monthly tuition payments are due. If you have not yet sent in your payment, please do so immediately to avoid any late fees.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! We have HFS t-shirts and sweatshirts in the Business Office for sale. Only a few tie-dye shirts left!!

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Do you have any news magazines you would like to recycle? Please forward them to Mr. Pickard for use in Humanities classes.
  2. Monday, September 29: Destination Imagination (DI) meeting at 3:30PM to determine student interest. Parents please contact Virginia Remsberg for additional information.
  3. Thursday, October 9: HFS Back to School Night (7:00-9:00PM)
  4. Thursday, October 16: Harford Day School High School Night(6:30-8:00PM) www.harfordday.org
  5. A Taste of Excellence: Wine-Tasting to benefit Harford Friends School. Sunday, November 9 (2:00-4:30 PM) at The Bel Air Armory. Tickets available through HFS and BottleWorks of Hickory.

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

September 19, 2008

Dear HFS Community Members,

Learning comes in many forms. The experiences described below generate incredible intellectual activity – questions, discoveries, reflection, new understanding, even a healthy dose of disbelief. However, not all learning experiences are always parts of the written curriculum at Harford Friends School. In fact, some of those experiences are critically important parts of unwritten life lessons that, if we are fortunate, we get to learn in middle school. Those lessons occur everyday at Harford Friends School. Lessons in responsibility, integrity, accountability, community, and friendship are common, repetitive, and evolving. As students tug, pull, and even trip over these threads of life that weave themselves into every facet of our learning and growing, they make mistakes. A mistake without consequence rarely produces a life lesson. However, mistakes that produce consequences and occur in the presence of supportive adults who can help a child see the forest through the trees, are critical steps to positive character development. I am continually grateful for teachers and parents who care enough to express their disappointment with a child when he or she makes a poor judgment, makes a mistake. The whistle blowers are also the saviors. These stern angels assure that a child understands the path to retribution, to making amends, to restoring trust, and to learning from the mistake. While these moments are never easy, they are critical. If we are not fortunate, we learn these lessons much later when the stakes are much higher. Thank goodness for wandering through the woods of middle school!

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

The seventh graders continue to be busy in Humanities 7. In grammar, we have completed our first look at nouns and will be moving on to pronouns. We will be having our second spelling-vocabulary test on Tuesday, September 23rd. The students continue to work in our cooperative groups for the project on The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm. I look forward to the presentations on October 3, 2008. In social studies, we continue to look at the nations of Latin America. We are focusing on Central America and the West Indies at this moment. The students are working diligently on their individual flag/country projects that are due September 26, 2008.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Seventh grade math continues its focus on graphs, tables, and the interplay between the two.  We have moved through two investigations rather briskly, so we should expect a test not next week, but possibly the week after if we continue this torrid pace.  We worked on interpreting a graph, and the story a graph can tell.  So instead of just the interplay between graphs and tables, we threw in descriptive sentences as well.  We now have a firm understanding of how graphs and tables can be interpreted into something resembling a story.  Next week, expect a test on the work that we have been doing on graphs.

Science: Seventh grade science started the week with a quiz, and ended the week working on the long term project due Oct. 2 called Defend Your Kingdom.  The quiz was on the first two sections that we had read regarding what characteristics all living things share as well as how we classify those things that are living.  We put to memory domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.  We learned about experiments by Redi and Pasteur and what they were trying to disprove, spontaneous generation.  Now we are hard at work, gathering evidence to support the cause of our kingdoms, Plantae, Animalia, Fungi, and Protista.

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: We have been working on using Microsoft Excel and will continue to practice with spreadsheets. We will begin advancing our typing skills, too.

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

Physical Education: The students continue to work on perfecting our warm-up and cool down routine. We are working on making sure we stretch the correct muscles and holding these stretches for the right amount of time. As one of the students said this week, “We are warming up what is cool, and cooling down what is warm.”

Spanish: Hola! Bienvenidos! Seventh grade Spanish will begin next week. We are going to start the year with a review of the skills learned last year. We will review the alphabet for pronunciation, go over numbers, days of the week, and months of the year. We will explore common greetings and introductions. September is Spanish Heritage Month, and we will discuss “Latinos in History.” The goal for this week is to make sure that the seventh graders are ready to begin adding new skills and vocabulary while reinforcing cultural aspects. Next week we will review all concepts again and work on introductions.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • September monthly tuition payments are due. If you have not yet sent in your payment, please do so immediately to avoid any late fees.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! We have HFS t-shirts and sweatshirts in the Business Office for sale. Only a few tie-dye shirts left!!

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Do you have any news magazines you would like to recycle? Please forward them to Mr. Pickard for use in Humanities classes.
  2. Monday, September 29: Destination Imagination (DI) meeting at 3:30PM to determine student interest. Parents please contact Virginia Remsberg for additional information.
  3. Thursday, October 9: HFS Back to School Night (7:00-9:00PM)
  4. Thursday, October 16: Harford Day School High School Night(6:30-8:00PM) www.harfordday.org
  5. A Taste of Excellence: Wine-Tasting to benefit Harford Friends School. Sunday, November 9 (2:00-4:30 PM) at The Bel Air Armory. Tickets available through HFS and BottleWorks of Hickory.

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

September 19, 2008

Dear HFS Community Members,

Learning comes in many forms. The experiences described below generate incredible intellectual activity – questions, discoveries, reflection, new understanding, even a healthy dose of disbelief. However, not all learning experiences are always parts of the written curriculum at Harford Friends School. In fact, some of those experiences are critically important parts of unwritten life lessons that, if we are fortunate, we get to learn in middle school. Those lessons occur everyday at Harford Friends School. Lessons in responsibility, integrity, accountability, community, and friendship are common, repetitive, and evolving. As students tug, pull, and even trip over these threads of life that weave themselves into every facet of our learning and growing, they make mistakes. A mistake without consequence rarely produces a life lesson. However, mistakes that produce consequences and occur in the presence of supportive adults who can help a child see the forest through the trees, are critical steps to positive character development. I am continually grateful for teachers and parents who care enough to express their disappointment with a child when he or she makes a poor judgment, makes a mistake. The whistle blowers are also the saviors. These stern angels assure that a child understands the path to retribution, to making amends, to restoring trust, and to learning from the mistake. While these moments are never easy, they are critical. If we are not fortunate, we learn these lessons much later when the stakes are much higher. Thank goodness for wandering through the woods of middle school!

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

Eighth grade students are busily adapting to the rigors of the eighth grade curriculum for Humanities 8. During the week, they have taken Spelling-Vocabulary Test #2, read twenty chapters of their social studies textbook, worked diligently in their small groups preparing presentations from The Light in the Forest, worked on combining sentences to form complex sentences, and have learned why the early European explorers came to America.  Next week, we are all looking forward to seeing The Light in the Forest presentations and will set up a rubric to evaluate them by.  As if that weren’t enough, they are also reading books for their next book report!

NOTES from Technology…

Math: This has been another busy week in CMP2 as we have explored the mysteries (maybe not so mysterious) of linear equations and models.  We have generated, graphed, and modeled linear equations in various contexts.  At this point, perhaps the most significant characteristic of linear equations that students should grasp is that linear equations model constant rates of growth (slope), a characteristic that only linear functions have.  We have explored many of the features of the TI83 graphing calculator, as they apply to linear equations.  (Sometimes, I have to insist that they put the calculators away.) We will be studying inverse relationships and variation next week.

A quiz on Investigation 2 from our text occurred on Thursday, and a unit test is looming in the not too distant future (probably next Friday).  Project proposals were submitted to me, and returned to the students.  Data collection should now be occurring.  A busy week all in all.

Science: In Eighth Grade Science, we learned from a straightforward analysis of last week’s exercise with bags of M&Ms how important and sometimes difficult it is to analyze the data we collect, and to draw reasonable conclusions therefrom.  In this process, the power of scientific teamwork as a means of error minimization and brainstorming was illustrated.

With emphasis on both content and on “how to read scientific text,” our readings centered on seed plants, gymnosperms & angiosperms, and plant responses & growth.  We began some of the classes with a period of playful warm-up and review, and students signaled their capacities to read and remember appropriately.  More careful evaluation of these capacities will come from quizzes and tests.

For a glimpse into how professional scientists do their work, and why their conclusions can generally be believed, we spent some time in reading and discussion of such topics as the human culture of science, peer review, ethics, and communication.  Students filed the summary of these many points in the Reference portion of their notebooks, but the overall theme will be revisited throughout the year as we do critical analyses of science that arises in the news.

Students were provided 10X and 20X loupes, were allowed time to familiarize themselves with their uses, and inspected everything from pixels to pistils to arm-hair to chalk dust.  To look more deeply (and with magnification) into our knowledge of seeds (monocotyledons, dicotyledons), we provided a few seed-types the opportunity to germinate; radishes and turnips opened in only one day, while lima beans and grass will take longer.

In anticipation of the Newlin Mill and Longwood Garden visits, we conducted a class discussion on our expectations of ourselves as students before, during, and after a guided field trip.  The major points of this discussion will be written and shared.  This week’s trip will carry the expectation that students take notes in the form of both words and sketches, in preparation for an in-class writing assignment next week.

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 will continue to work with Microsoft PowerPoint and are anxiously waiting to start working with Rapid Weaver our web design program.

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

Physical Education: The students continue to work on perfecting our warm-up and cool down routine. We are working on making sure we stretch the correct muscles and holding these stretches for the right amount of time. As one of the students said this week, “We are warming up what is cool, and cooling down what is warm.”

Spanish: Hola! Bienvenidos! Eighth grade Spanish will begin next week. I am looking forward to the new school year! The first week of class will be a review week. The goal is to get to know the strengths of the class. We will review the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, greetings and common feelings. September is Spanish Heritage Month. We will discuss Latinos in history. The following week, we will review and work on adding new feelings and introductions.

From the Business Office…

Just a couple of reminders…

  • September monthly tuition payments are due. If you have not yet sent in your payment, please do so immediately to avoid any late fees.
  • HFS Spirit Gear: Show off your school spirit! We have HFS t-shirts and sweatshirts in the Business Office for sale. Only a few tie-dye shirts left!!

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

  1. Do you have any news magazines you would like to recycle? Please forward them to Mr. Pickard for use in Humanities classes.
  2. Monday, September 29: Destination Imagination (DI) meeting at 3:30PM to determine student interest. Parents please contact Virginia Remsberg for additional information.
  3. Thursday, October 9: HFS Back to School Night (7:00-9:00PM)
  4. Thursday, October 16: Harford Day School High School Night(6:30-8:00PM) www.harfordday.org
  5. A Taste of Excellence: Wine-Tasting to benefit Harford Friends School. Sunday, November 9 (2:00-4:30 PM) at The Bel Air Armory. Tickets available through HFS and BottleWorks of Hickory.