HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
September 23, 2007

HFS Grade 6 Weekly Collections
(9/28/07)

HFS Families,

NOTES from Humanities…

Humanities: Sixth graders continue to be very busy in Humanities 6. We have had a second spelling-vocabulary test, and we are now engaged in Unit 3. We have moved from end marks to the comma, and we have discovered the seven common conjunctions and their relationship to the compound sentence. Ask your child to recite the seven conjunctions for you. You will be impressed. We also have had our first bit of writing. The class examined a child’s photograph from 100 years ago and have written a descriptive composition detailing “Marjorie’s” appearance. Students continue to work diligently on the group book reports, and I am really looking forward to seeing them presented on October 4, 2007. In social studies, we advanced to the Neolithic Age and will soon be having a quiz on the first chapter. Next week we study the civilizations that grew up around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: As per request, this past week we started working on a group-elected topic: Eating at a Restaurant. We started learning some new vocabulary such as mesero or camarero for waiter and to politely ask for something we start with Me gustaría…. On Tuesday, students were divided into groups of four and given the task of preparing to put on a skit for the class pertaining to eating at a restaurant. I assisted each group with individual questions, translation, and pronunciation. Thursday students regrouped together briefly and acted out their scenes. What creativity and great humor! Next week we will recap some former food vocabulary and expressions pertaining to our topic, while focusing on improving pronunciation. Students were sent home with 2 fun worksheets to challenge their memory pertaining to food vocabulary previously learned.

Math: Sixth graders have now submitted their “Special Number Project” proposals.  The project is due on October 15.  In preparation for later work with fractions, etc. we are working on issues with common multiples and factors.  There is a quiz on Monday.

NOTES from Explorations…

Music: We were introduced to note values and the values of their equivilent rests. In particular, we looked at the following: quarter note/rest=1 beat; half note/rest=2 beats; whole note/rest=4 beats

A musical rest symbol indicates that the performer does not make a sound yet the music continues in silence for the amount of time specified by the rest. We did a worksheet in class with exercises to practice writing these notes on the grand staff. Both the quarter and half notes have stems, if the notes are placed on or above the middle line on the staff, the stems are placed on the left side, going down. If the notes are placed on or below the middle line, the stems are placed on the right side going up.

All students are to study for a quiz next Wednesday, October 3, to review the notes and their names on the grand staff and the quarter, half and whole notes. For additional information on the Maryland Conservatory of Music, please see www.musicismagic.com.

Choir: We worked on Grease, and listened to a recording for a sense of the musical style. The kids really enjoy this work, and are learning it very well. Our holiday music is also coming along nicely- good work to all of our strong singers in the choir!

Physical Education:

Spanish: We had a fun day on Tuesday reviewing colors, learning the vowels and the sounds they make, and learning shapes. We read My Shapes/Mis Figuras” by Rebecca Emberly and A E I O U, a ‘Cuentos Foneticos’ book from Scholastic. Students caught on quickly to new material as we played Bingo. On Thursday, we read Mi Mama (Cuentos Foneticos), which was a bit of a tongue-twister, focusing on the sound of the letter M. We started to learn personal pronouns, reviewed our basic greetings and added a few new ones, and reviewed our shapes and colors with a flashcard ‘quiz’. These students are REALLY catching on! Great job! Students were sent home with some worksheets to help challenge them to see what they remember from class regarding greetings and colors. It is recommended that handouts be reviewed so that students can better retain new info. For additional information on Fun with Foreign Language, please see www.funwithforeignlanguage.com.

Computer Technology: For additional information on MParr Solutions, please see www.mparrsolutions.com.

Announcements/Calendar Updates

  1. October 4th: Heather Lake, Westtown Admissions representative will visit HFS to meet with parents, board members, students, and faculty the afternoon of Thursday, October 4th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Please join us in welcoming Heather and introducing her to HFS. Please RSVP by Wednesday, October 3rd to either Jennifer or Jonathan. Your replies would be greatly appreciated.
  2. To ALL community members of HFS: PLEASE ring the doorbell during school hours to gain entry to the second floor. It is imperative that we know who is in the building at any given time and that all visitors sign-in so that we may assist you in whatever way we can and so that we can better assure the security of our building.
  3. Reminder: The school will not be open until 7:45 AM on the following days… Monday-Friday, Oct. 1-5. Please plan accordingly.
  4. As discussed in the 9.11.07 Home and School Association meeting, advanced notice of one-week for any after-school care (4:00-5:00PM) needs is required. The school pays its faculty members extra to remain after-hours for child care purposes. It is a courtesy to them to alert them to the need in advance. Thank you.
  5. As we discussed at the Home and School Association meeting on Tuesday, we have now registered Harford Friends School with GoodSearch, a search engine powered by Yahoo! that donates half of its revenue to schools and charities. GoodSearch will make a donation to the school with every search (about a penny a search) made through their site. The money comes from the advertisers and the more people who use this site, the more money will go to the school. Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter Harford Friends School as the school you want to support. You can also read about GoodSearch in the NY Times, Oprah Magazine, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and more. Please give it a try and spread the word to friends and family. (Nina C.)
  6. From the weekly bulletin at HDS: High School Night – Thursday, October 4th, 6:30-8:00 p.m. High School Night is just around the corner.  As we have in the past, students at surrounding schools are being invited to join us.  We are asking the general public to RSVP. Our sixth, seventh and eighth graders and families do not need to RSVP.  If you have neighbors with children in the eighth grade who might be interested in attending, please have them call Heidi Sprinkle. As of today, we have more than 60 schools coming!  The first half hour is reserved for our eighth graders and their families.  At 7:00 p.m. the doors will be opened to everyone else.

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections
(9/28/07)

HFS Families,

NOTES from Humanities…

Humanities: Seventh graders continue to be very busy in Humanities 7. We have had a second spelling-vocabulary test, and we are now engaged in Unit 3. We have moved from end marks to the comma, and we have been reviewing comma usage in general. We also have had our first bit of writing. The class examined a child’s photograph from 100 years ago and has written a narrative composition about “Marjorie.” Students continue to work diligently on the group book reports, and I am really looking forward to seeing them presented on October 4, 2007. In social studies, we are still working with the nations of Latin America, and students are furiously working on their individual projects.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Seventh Grade science spent much of the week preparing for one or both of the upcoming projects that are either science, or social studies and science related. Our kingdom project is due on Friday Oct. 12 while the joint science and social studies project that focuses on

Latin America is due on Monday Oct. 22.  We also reviewed some information about the kingdom Animalia, completing our broad overview of the kingdoms of the domain Eukarya.

Math: In math, we have continued in our investigation and understanding or graphs and tables, and getting comfortable with gleaning information from both forms of holding data.  Also, we worked on comparing information in a graph to information in a table.  Further, we learned about how to compare a “story” or description of events, to a graph that might describe that “story”.  Finally, we have defined the word equation, and have begun our investigation of what an equation can tell us.

NOTES from Explorations…

Music: We listened to Gregorian Chant as an example of the monophonic vocal line. We also listened to Hildegard von Bingen’s gregorian chant, “O Greenest Branch”, also monophonic. Continuing in the Medieval period, we heard polyphony for the first time and then heard Guillaume de Machaut’s revolutionary polyphony in his Mass of our Lady as he developed the 4-part harmony of soprano, alto, tenor and bass (not in the sense as we understand it today) They appeared in 4-part form to outline harmonic tensions which were previously never allowed or written. For additional information on the Maryland Conservatory of Music, please see www.musicismagic.com.

Choir: We worked on Grease, and listened to a recording for a sense of the musical style. The kids really enjoy this work, and are learning it very well. Our holiday music is also coming along nicely- good work to all of our strong singers in the choir!

Physical Education:

Spanish: As per request, this past week we started working on a group-elected topic: Eating at a Restaurant. We started learning some new vocabulary such as mesero or camarero for waiter and to politely ask for something we start with Me gustaría…. On Tuesday, students were divided into groups of four and given the task of preparing to put on a skit for the class pertaining to eating at a restaurant. I assisted each group with individual questions, translation, and pronunciation. Thursday students regrouped together briefly and acted out their scenes. What creativity and great humor! Next week we will recap some former food vocabulary and expressions pertaining to our topic, while focusing on improving pronunciation. Students were sent home with 2 fun worksheets to challenge their memory pertaining to food vocabulary previously learned. For additional information on Fun with Foreign Language, please see www.funwithforeignlanguage.com.

Computer Technology: For additional information on MParr Solutions, please see www.mparrsolutions.com.

Announcements/Calendar Updates

  1. October 4th: Heather Lake, Westtown Admissions representative will visit HFS to meet with parents, board members, students, and faculty the afternoon of Thursday, October 4th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Please join us in welcoming Heather and introducing her to HFS. Please RSVP by Wednesday, October 3rd to either Jennifer or Jonathan. Your replies would be greatly appreciated.
  2. To ALL community members of HFS: PLEASE ring the doorbell during school hours to gain entry to the second floor. It is imperative that we know who is in the building at any given time and that all visitors sign-in so that we may assist you in whatever way we can and so that we can better assure the security of our building.
  3. Reminder: The school will not be open until 7:45 AM on the following days… Tuesday – Thursday, Sept. 25-27, and Monday-Friday, Oct. 1-5. Please plan accordingly.
  4. As discussed in the 9.11.07 Home and School Association meeting, advanced notice of one-week for any after-school care (4:00-5:00PM) needs is required. The school pays its faculty members extra to remain after-hours for child care purposes. It is a courtesy to them to alert them to the need in advance. Thank you.
  5. As we discussed at the Home and School Association meeting on Tuesday, we have now registered Harford Friends School with GoodSearch, a search engine powered by Yahoo! that donates half of its revenue to schools and charities. GoodSearch will make a donation to the school with every search (about a penny a search) made through their site. The money comes from the advertisers and the more people who use this site, the more money will go to the school. Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter Harford Friends School as the school you want to support. You can also read about GoodSearch in the NY Times, Oprah Magazine, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and more. Please give it a try and spread the word to friends and family. (Nina C.)
  6. From the weekly bulletin at HDS: High School Night – Thursday, October 4th, 6:30-8:00 p.m. High School Night is just around the corner.  As we have in the past, students at surrounding schools are being invited to join us.  We are asking the general public to RSVP. Our sixth, seventh and eighth graders and families do not need to RSVP.  If you have neighbors with children in the eighth grade who might be interested in attending, please have them call Heidi Sprinkle. As of today, we have more than 60 schools coming!  The first half hour is reserved for our eighth graders and their families.  At 7:00 p.m. the doors will be opened to everyone else.

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections
(9/28/07)

HFS Families,

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Eighth graders continue to be very busy in Humanities 8. We have had a second spelling-vocabulary test, and we are now engaged in Unit 3. The class continues to review comma usage in grammar. We also have had our first bit of writing. After having read or heard several Native American legends, students have written their own. I am very eager to read them! The class continues to work diligently on the group book reports, and I am really looking forward to seeing them presented on October 4, 2007. In American literature, we have examined some of the writings of the early adventurers and colonists including the Mayflower Compact. We are now closely examining the poetry of America’s first poet, Anne Bradstreet, who was “rediscovered” only recently.

Social Studies: This week we took Monday to orient ourselves, literally. Students generated questions from the Hakim text and asked their colleagues to name the people/places and find them on maps of the world and America. This allowed us to review the material in an informal, student-led exercise, and to experience it in a spatial, as opposed to verbal, modality. On Tuesday, we discussed some of the key points from Hakim—including the worldview held by Columbus and his peers, the impact of Gutenberg, and the relative states of development of the New World, Europe, and China in the 15th century. We reviewed an assignment that asked students to make inferences about the Viking culture based on one archeological artifact (part of a spindle), to identify other findings (archeological, cultural) that could bolster or refute the initial inferences, then proffer alternative inferences about the artifact. Parents who wish to follow along, please read Hakim p. 65, and see p. 62 for the example. Wednesday we discussed an assignment comparing the relative value systems of the European explorers and the non-Europeans they encountered. The basis for this exercise is a quote on p. 87 of Hakim wherein an Indian chief remarks to Balboa that the Europeans value gold more than their peace of mind. This assignment asks students to take a position on the chief’s statement, then provide examples from the reading that support their view; it has students formulate a position and support it, and, in doing so, review the cultures studied to date; it constitutes the first quiz grade.

Next week, we continue our reading about the early explorers Magellan and Vespucci, and the Spanish expeditions to South America. On Monday, students will hand in a progress report on their research project: how they have chosen/narrowed/changed their topic and why; what materials they have collected on it; how note taking is progressing. Other written work for the week will be drawn from Hakim’s chapter 21 about beliefs. Next week we will also introduce a new element to our class called Show and Tell. It’s a time for students to share with the class articles they have found that have connections to the material we are reading. It provides practice presenting to a group, and makes the reading more relevant by tying it to contemporary life.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: Eighth graders have been gaining terrific insight into the graphing calculator as we have been studying, in detail. linear relationships.  There will be a quiz on Monday.  Friday begins our Zoom Box work on topics from algebra.

Science: Eighth Grade Science, entering the concepts of the atomic world,  met its first challenge with a reading that was elementary (i.e. comprehensible to an intelligent 8th grader having the background typical of HFS students) but in no way easy.  Students will be learning throughout the year how to study scientific materials of some density, in order to prepare themselves for a future of more independent learning.  In “Science in the News,” we learned of the recent failure of one of the leading HIV vaccine candidates, and in the process we discussed both some of the science of vaccines and a specific example of a controlled scientific experiment.  After revisiting the world of atoms in teacher-led discussion, we moved toward gas behaviors and waves, initiated by in-class demonstrations (implosion, slinky, ripple tank) and followed by assigned homework readings.  First major assessment (a.k.a. test) on concepts, vocabulary, and assigned readings will be October 11.

NOTES from Explorations…

Music: For additional information on the Maryland Conservatory of Music, please see www.musicismagic.com.

Choir: We worked on Grease, and listened to a recording for a sense of the musical style. The kids really enjoy this work, and are learning it very well. Our holiday music is also coming along nicely- good work to all of our strong singers in the choir!

Physical Education:

Spanish: As per request, this past week we started working on a group-elected topic: Eating at a Restaurant. We started learning some new vocabulary such as mesero or camarero for waiter and to politely ask for something we start with Me gustaría…. On Tuesday, students were divided into groups of four and given the task of preparing to put on a skit for the class pertaining to eating at a restaurant. I assisted each group with individual questions, translation, and pronunciation. Thursday students regrouped together briefly and acted out their scenes. What creativity and great humor! Next week we will recap some former food vocabulary and expressions pertaining to our topic, while focusing on improving pronunciation. Students were sent home with 2 fun worksheets to challenge their memory pertaining to food vocabulary previously learned. For additional information on Fun with Foreign Language, please see www.funwithforeignlanguage.com.

Computer Technology: For additional information on MParr Solutions, please see www.mparrsolutions.com.

Announcements/Calendar Updates

  1. October 4th: Heather Lake, Westtown Admissions representative will visit HFS to meet with parents, board members, students, and faculty the afternoon of Thursday, October 4th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Please join us in welcoming Heather and introducing her to HFS. Please RSVP by Wednesday, October 3rd to either Jennifer or Jonathan. Your replies would be greatly appreciated.
  2. To ALL community members of HFS: PLEASE ring the doorbell during school hours to gain entry to the second floor. It is imperative that we know who is in the building at any given time and that all visitors sign-in so that we may assist you in whatever way we can and so that we can better assure the security of our building.
  3. Reminder: The school will not be open until 7:45 AM on the following days… Monday-Friday, Oct. 1-5. Please plan accordingly.
  4. As discussed in the 9.11.07 Home and School Association meeting, advanced notice of one-week for any after-school care (4:00-5:00PM) needs is required. The school pays its faculty members extra to remain after-hours for child care purposes. It is a courtesy to them to alert them to the need in advance. Thank you.
  5. As we discussed at the Home and School Association meeting on Tuesday, we have now registered Harford Friends School with GoodSearch, a search engine powered by Yahoo! that donates half of its revenue to schools and charities. GoodSearch will make a donation to the school with every search (about a penny a search) made through their site. The money comes from the advertisers and the more people who use this site, the more money will go to the school. Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter Harford Friends School as the school you want to support. You can also read about GoodSearch in the NY Times, Oprah Magazine, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and more. Please give it a try and spread the word to friends and family. (Nina C.)
  6. From the weekly bulletin at HDS: High School Night – Thursday, October 4th, 6:30-8:00 p.m. High School Night is just around the corner.  As we have in the past, students at surrounding schools are being invited to join us.  We are asking the general public to RSVP. Our sixth, seventh and eighth graders and families do not need to RSVP.  If you have neighbors with children in the eighth grade who might be interested in attending, please have them call Heidi Sprinkle. As of today, we have more than 60 schools coming!  The first half hour is reserved for our eighth graders and their families.  At 7:00 p.m. the doors will be opened to everyone else.