HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
March 12, 2010

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

March 12, 2010

(PLEASE FIND THE WEEKLY UPDATES TO THE MASTER CALENDAR ON THE LAST PAGE OF THIS DOCUMENT.)

Dear HFS Community Members,

Congratulations to our wonderfully hard-working students who displayed and demonstrated their outstanding efforts during last night’s Science Fair! As we have had a chance to review the feedback forms and to speak with students and guests, as a faculty we are struck by the amazement parents and others had in reaction to the Science Fair. From former HFS faculty member Brooke Derr, “Once again I come away from Harford Friends with feelings of excitement and pure joy! The kids were beaming with pride and so eager to share their knowledge.  I loved getting to see the 8th graders and wished I could have seen each of there projects… Made my day!” I know you already knew how wonderful your children/our students are, but I just love the Science Fair night reactions! While we get to see it on a daily basis here, there are scant few times during the year when their growth, maturation, and enthusiasm for learning is so poignantly crystallized in a single event. Thankfully, through demonstrations of learning like the Science Fair, portfolio presentations, and the upcoming Afternoon of the Arts (April 25th) we do get glimpses of the polish that is emerging. However, not all the lessons students learn through school are as glamorous or as well prepared. This week we have celebrated as well as engaged in some needed reflection.

What is the value of a community based on trust? A community in which concerns, disagreements, and issues are addressed openly, honestly, and with an intent to discover truth? What is the value in our children learning this first-hand? The value of being both the beneficiaries of such an environment and the stewards of it? What can be learned of the importance of such a community when the presumptions upon which it is built – faith in one another, reliance upon one another, assumption of good intent among one another, and concern for one another – is called into question? One of our classes started to tackle those difficult questions this week and breathed a big, collective sigh of relief when, what was first imagined to be the theft of a phone turned out to be a simple matter of displacement from a book bag’s open-zippered pocket in a parent’s car trunk. However, the fact that a presumption of theft was made after initial searches could not locate the item made this a more significant learning experiences, one that is over and done, but from which much should be learned. What would our classrooms and hallways be like if distrust were pervasive? If, rather than speaking and engaging in dialogue about concerns, we turned away and laid blame? What would we then be teaching? Thankfully, this episode revealed a renewed commitment by the class in question to talk to one another and to assume good intent. Thankfully, the students reminded me of the importance of pulling together for each other rather than pulling apart from one another. The students have drawn me back to a quote by an early Friend that I hold dear and used in the December 4th Collections.

“Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying for one another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.”

-Isaac Pennington (1667)

Thank you for your tender hands.

-Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Eighth graders have been extremely busy with their Science Fair Projects this  week, but even so we have managed to be somewhat active in English  as  well.  As we continue to work on The Crucible, SSR is being done at home, but we have made some progress with the study of Washington Irving and with spelling-vocabulary. Book Reports will be an in-class activity on Monday, March 15, so nothing needs to be done at home — except for the thoughtful reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Students are also working individually or in small groups in creating a Review Test for The Crucible.  This assignment is due on next Wednesday.   I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Social Studies: Students visited the Harford County Historical Society on Thursday and found that two and a half hours is barely enough time to scratch the surface of all the institution has to offer their research projects. Students are progressing nicely in their projects and will need to begin refining the focus of their research into addressing an “answerable question.” This is often based on the materials they have found and the knowledge they’ve gained in preliminary research. Another concern is the need to adhere to standards for their work – documentation of sources, effective note card use, and remaining diligently focused on their topic despite the attractiveness of new and tangential information or sources. Speaking of sources, Virginia Remsberg has been a tremendous connection for the students. She has effectively connected each student to at least one viable resource for each student’s project. What a gift! Mapping projects may be submitted beginning on Wednesday, March 17 and will be accepted through Wednesday, March 24 (the last day of the quarter). Student teams will be required to present their projects in class by the end of class on the 24th. Also, any student having missed a chapter review question because of absence during the quarter will be expected to complete it and submit it by the end of the day on the 24th. Students will be notified next week of any missing assignments if they do not already know about them.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: The day before the science fair, class was a chaotic student mixture of satisfaction, relief, and exuberance by those intending no further changes or improvements in their work, and intense focus by those still completing their presentations.  Upon questioning, students were able to demonstrate good command of the science behind their projects, a degree of learning less evident even a week ago.  By the evening of the science fair gathering, the last students to finish their projects and posters will have salvaged grade and dignity from the precipice of procrastination.  Whether students have indeed gained appreciation for the processes by which scientists work and communicate (or more importantly, grown in scholastic independence, self-discipline, planning, competence, and confidence) will be revealed with greater clarity as the semester proceeds.

Monday, we return to the more conventional structures of reading, discussion, and experiential learning.  For the remainder of the semester, expectations will be elevated for classroom attention, quality and timeliness of homework assignments, and test preparation.  In preparation for high school, this heightened accountability will likely take some students outside their comfort zones, while other students may hardly notice.

Math 8-A: This week in eighth grade math with Mr. Norton we began to investigate quadratic functions.  We started with a graph and table of the length and area of a fixed perimeter rectangle.  This is an easy way to arrive at a quadratic graph.  We can already recognize quadratic functions in a table and graph, and have also become comfortable identifying the maximum value of the function.  Next week, we will focus on the distributive property, expanding and factoring quadratic expressions.  We will also become more familiar with the equations of quadratic expressions and what information you can glean from the equation.

Math 8-B: With the end of the grading period upon us on Wednesday, March 24, students in Math8B are busy finishing up our unit “Growing!Growing!Growing!”~we have a unit test coming up on this unit next Thursday, March 18, and the final version of our sci-fi short stories on exponential growth run amok are due on Monday, March 22.  The unit test will consist of an in-class portion, consisting of short answer questions on underlying vocabulary and principles of exponential growth, as well as a take-home portion, consisting of problems which are based on exponential growth and decay.  The TI-graphing calculator can be used throughout the tests, except on questions that are identified as non-calculator.   Students are reminded that the grade on a problem is based largely on the work that is shown for each problem, with a smaller emphasis on having the correct answer.  A handout of topics included on the test will be distributed on Friday.

I will be meeting with individual students on Friday to discuss final revision of his/her sci-fi short story on exponential growth.  The final version must be word processed in 14-pt font, and must include a title at the beginning of the story.  Student name and date should be placed at the end of the story.

In class this week, we examined applications of exponential decay, such as absorption of medicine in the body and Newton’s Law of Cooling.  We will finish up by looking at logistic functions as models of limited exponential growth.

NOTES from Explorations…

Spanish: We finished our review on Tuesday and finalized the unit test, Wednesday. Next week we will have new vocabulary distributed and will start our new unit!  I am very excited to be able to finish up with chapter 5.  We will work on a three generation fmaily tree next week and have restaurant practice.

NOTES from the Business Office…

Re-enrollment contracts for the 2010/2011 school year are due this week.  Please complete and return to the business office at your earliest convenience to register your student for the upcoming school year.  If you have any questions regarding your child’s contract, please contact the business office.


HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

March 12, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Seventh graders have been extremely busy with their Science Fair Projects this week, but even so we have managed to be somewhat active in English as well.  We continue to value our sessions with SSR, and students remain eager to share their comments about their reading with the class.  Book Reports are being presented this week as well, and students have been quick to commend those who have done particularly well.  Becky Remsberg received kudos from the class today for her spirited and enthusiastic presentation on Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.  Tomorrow we have a group of young men who will be presenting a skit on one of the Harry Potter books.  Those involved are Malcolm Colvin, Alex Foley, Ryan Nevins, and Colin Tridone. We have had Spelling-Vocabulary Test #11 and are finishing up our study of  action and linking verbs in Grammar 7. I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Social Studies: This week in seventh grade social studies we continued to prepare for the formal negotiations to begin and then finally began the formal negotiations.  We identified interests (needs and wants), values, emotions, and identities of the six Rwandans at the negotiating table.  Next, we acknowledged these interests and finally accepted the other villager’s positions and agreed to negotiate.  Please feel free to follow along on the syllabus, just keep in mind we are one day behind because of the snow day.  I look forward to the six Rwandans reaching an agreement about the cattle, land, and decision making process next week.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Science Fair, Science Fair, Science Fair!!  Our week has been spent reviewing and presenting projects, coming to consensus on project qualities that are worthy of public recognition, and giving each other feedback on how to make the best presentation. In between all of this, we had a surprise visitor, Dmitri Mendeleev.  Be sure to ask your children about the visit.  I am SO proud of all of their hard work on the projects.  Thank you for supporting your child through all of their labors.

Math: In seventh grade math, we have completed the unit called Accentuate the Negative and will have a test on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, the distributive property, and order of operations all with negative numbers.  We have reviewed substantially this week leading into the test next Monday, March 15.  By way of review, pages 58 to 82 in the skills workbook are due on Monday as well, however, many of the pages were completed while reviewing.  After the test, we will begin the unit called Moving Straight Ahead, which focuses on linear relationships and re-familiarizing ourselves with the cartesian plane.

NOTES from Explorations…

Spanish: We had a review on grammar rules, and on Tuesday we finalized the unit test. Next week we will have new vocabulary distributed and will start our new unit!  I am very excited to be able to culminate chapter 5.  We will have our ‘restaurant practice’ next week.  

NOTES from the Business Office…

Re-enrollment contracts for the 2010/2011 school year are due this week.  Please complete and return to the business office at your earliest convenience to register your student for the upcoming school year.  If you have any questions regarding your child’s contract, please contact the business office.

Scholarship Opportunity for 7th Grade Students and Families…

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program application period is now open! The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program supports hundreds of high-achieving students with financial need across the United States. Young Scholars receive a unique combination of services, which may include:

▪ Guidance in selecting a high school and, if necessary, support in applying to a private or magnet high school.

▪ Summer academic or enrichment programs.

▪ Computers, software, or other learning technology.

▪ Specialized support in music, art, science, math, or other subjects.

▪ College advising and counseling.

Seventh-grade students and families who feel they may qualify should visit the web site, www.jkcf.org, to learn more about the Young Scholars Program and to download an application.  Representatives are available to answer questions at 410-735-6270 or jkcinfo@jhu.edu. The application receipt deadline is Monday, April 26, 2010.


HFS Grade 6 Weekly Collections

March 12, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

Sixth graders have been extremely busy with their Science Fair Projects this week, but even so we have managed to be somewhat active in Humanities as well.  We continue to value our sessions with SSR, and students remain eager to share their comments about their reading with the class.  Maxwell Wray has kept us up to date with the adventures described in Gulliver’s Travels, and Abigail Morris is still going out on call with James Herriott, the valiant veterinarian, in All Creatures Great and Small.  Book Reports are being presented this week as well.  We have had Spelling-Vocabulary Test #12 today and are finishing up our study of action and linking verbs in Grammar 6.  Morgan Johnson has already begun research work on Countee Cullen, a notable black poet, some of whose work we have been studying, and the others will soon be joining her on their research subjects.  The young ladies in the class formed a group to prepare a Review Test on Ancient Egypt, but the young gentleman have chosen to work individually on theirs.  I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

NOTES from Technology…

Science: This week in sixth grade science we focused on reflection upon the science fair experience.  We spent time discussing the process, what each student would have done differently, what they especially enjoyed, and what criteria they wished to publicly recognize.  I was impressed by the candor and honesty with which the class discussed the topic.  Next week, we will wrap up our investigations of various topics, minerals, rocks, basic geologic laws, plate tectonics, and earthquakes.  All of these topics were investigated primarily through labs, so the preparation for the test will be thorough so that no topic is forgotten.  Also, we will have a binder check so that we all have our notebooks in working order from which to study.  After we have reviewed all of these topics, we will have a test at the end of next week.

Math: The 6th grade Math class has been working with brownie pans to find out what happens when they multiply fractions. All the students were able to answer the question, “What happens to the amount of your brownie when you multiply it to another fraction?”

Friday, March 12th is a notebook check and the students have a rubric for the check in the front of their math notebook. We will be having our next math quiz on Wednesday, March 17th.

Students are now beginning division of fractions. As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

NOTES from Explorations…

Computer Technology: This week the students continued working in class on their outline project in Microsoft Word.  We have been working on this in class so it would not interfere with their science fair project.  It has now been assigned as homework and due next week.

Spanish: We took our vocabulary quiz for chapter 2A.  We also started to work on the “School Website” project.  The class comments for the project are due Monday the 15th.  Project is due on 3/22.

Notes from ADVISORY…

Students met this week to get back on track with the Life Ed. course. The two past homework assignments – values question responses and rites of passage interviews – were due to teacher today (Friday). Student drawings of their gender’s reproductive organs and answers to related questions are due on Tuesday, March 16th.

NOTES from the Business Office…

Re-enrollment contracts for the 2010/2011 school year are due this week.  Please complete and return to the business office at your earliest convenience to register your student for the upcoming school year.  If you have any questions regarding your child’s contract, please contact the business office.

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

March 12, 2010

NOTES from the Primary Grades Classroom…

This week has been a very busy week.  The class has finished up their science fair project and I am very happy and excited about their poster and glad that everyone got to enjoy it.  We have started a new science unit on plants and the class has begun growing Brassica Plants in the classroom.  During a 4 week period the student will be working on their observation skills of the plant by recording some sentences about their plant along with drawing a picture of their plant.

In our clothing unit we have been discussing the similarities and differences of wool and silk.  This week we read the book The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco.  After we read the book I asked the students how this related to clothing, because it is about a quilt and how they are similar.  The group gave me many great answers, “because the quilt was made out of her clothing,” “it kept the great-grandmother warm when she was old,” and “it was used to wrap the babies in.”  I told the class we would be making our own “Keeping Quilt” for HFS and our classroom and it will have different things they love on it.  So as a class they decided that they wanted the quilt to be white with blue trim, because that is the school colors.  They have begun making patterns for their piece of the quilt and they are very excited about this as am I.  This project will continue next week during theme alone with choosing fabric and cutting out the pattern they made.

NOTES from the Intermediate Grades Classroom…

The students have a achieved another great success with the completion of their science fair projects.  I have been very impressed by those students that have already presented their research to the class, and I look forward to hearing from the rest of them.  Of course, you will see for yourself at the science fair.

In reading, the fifth grade is performing a play for the class on Friday.  The fourth grade will pitch in to play some minor rolls.  We are putting those DI improvisational skills to work!  In math, we continue to work with fractions, focusing on adding and subtracting fractions with similar and different denominators.  In writing workshop, we are beginning a unit on point of view.  The students will be taking a well-known story and rewriting it from the point of view of a secondary character.  In science and social studies, we will begin our next theme next week.  We will focus on cities in both of these subjects for the next several weeks.

Please ask your child if he or she needs any basic school supplies, such as pencils, erasers, and notebooks.  We will be recognizing St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday, March 17 with some fun “green” activities.  Green clothing and snacks are encouraged.  Our next field trip will be on Tuesday, March 23 to Goucher College to see the long-awaited “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad”.

NOTES from Explorations…

Primary Spanish: We continued to work on the seasons theme by discussing the articles of clothing for spring and fall seasons.   The students are asked to design their paper doll with clothes of  their favorite season.  The students must label the doll with the names of the clothes in Spanish.  In addition, the kids will present their dolls by stating which season they like and what their doll has on.  The direction sheet that I provided with this homework assignment has the sentence structures that the kids should be practicing.  We worked briefly on letters F and G and the students will get new letters in class on 3/16.  Please remind your child that the stoplight sheet is required to be in class each week.  Please remember to check your child’s stoplight sheet to see how he or she did in class.    Remember that students can practice pronunciation of words and review vocabulary using http://www.frenchspanishonline.com/beginnerspanish/freespanish.html

Intermediate Spanish: We continued to work on the seasons theme by discussing the articles of clothing for spring and fall seasons.   The students are asked to design their paper doll with clothes of  their favorite season.  The students must label the doll with the names of the clothes in Spanish.  In addition, the kids will present their dolls by stating which season they like and what their doll has on.  The direction sheet that I provided with this homework assignment has the sentence structures that the kids should be practicing.  We worked briefly on letters F and G and the students will get new letters in class on 3/16.  Please remind your child that the stoplight sheet is required to be in class each week.  Please remember to check your child’s stoplight sheet to see how he or she did in class.    Remember that students can practice pronunciation of words and review vocabulary using http://www.frenchspanishonline.com/beginnerspanish/freespanish.html

Primary Art: This semester we began our three-dimensional unit creating box sculptures. In designing their pieces, primary and secondary colors were introduced. Each individual piece was assembled to form a freestanding sculpture. Continuing with our 3-D unit, we designed paper relief sculptures. Line and pattern were explored through organic shapes.

Intermediate Art: We began our three-dimensional unit by creating paper relief sculptures. The works of Frank Stella were introduced and were used as guidelines for their pieces. Students created unity by repeating color and pattern. Staying with this theme, we will be moving into relief sculptures and exploring radial balance.

NOTES from the Business Office…

Re-enrollment contracts for the 2010/2011 school year are due this week.  Please complete and return to the business office at your earliest convenience to register your student for the upcoming school year.  If you have any questions regarding your child’s contract, please contact the business office.


Announcements/Calendar Updates…

NOTE: Items new to this week’s Collections are identified with bold type.

Items changed after an earlier posting are identified in italicized and bold type.

1.  Monday, March 15 – MS Destination Imagination, 3:30-5:30PM, – Blue Team only – Virginia Remsberg (Gunpowder)

2.  Wednesday, March 17 – Art Club (3:15-4:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please email the faculty sponsor, Ami Pacheco at amipac@aol.com with notification that your child will be attending.

3.  Thursday, March 18 – HFS Open House (9-11AM) Seventh grade parent coordinators

4.  Thursday, March 18 – LS Destination Imagination with Karen De Mey (3:00-4:30PM, Little Falls)

5.  Thursday, March 18 – HFS Thank-A-Thon (6-8PM) Parent volunteers needed; additional information to follow.

6.  Friday, March 19 – Parent Activities Session #4 (1:50-3:00PM)

7.  Friday, March 19 – LS Destination Imagination with Karen De Mey (3:00-4:30PM, Little Falls)

8.  Friday, March 19 – MS Destination Imagination, 3:30-5:30PM, – Blue Team only – Virginia Remsberg (Gunpowder)

9.  Friday, March 19 – 2010-2011 Admission Acceptance Reception rescheduled for Friday, March 26. By invitation only.

10. Monday, March 22 – MS Destination Imagination, 3:30-5:30PM, – Blue Team only – Virginia Remsberg (Gunpowder)

11. Tuesday, March 23 – Field Trip for Intermediate, 7th & 8th grades to Goucher College. Trip rescheduled from February date.

12. Tuesday, March 23 – H&SA meeting (7-8:30PM, Deer Creek) [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]

13. Wednesday, March 24 – End of 2nd Interim; All assignments must be handed in by 3:00PM

14. Wednesday, March 24 – Art Club (3:15-4:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please email the faculty sponsor, Ami Pacheco at amipac@aol.com with notification that your child will be attending.

15. Thursday, March 25 – REQUIRED Student work session (4:00-6:00PM) for any student owing overdue work for the 3rd quarter.

16. Thursday, March 25 –LS Destination Imagination with Karen De Mey (3:00-4:30PM, Little Falls)

17. Thursday, March 25 – Basketball Team Celebration, 3:00-4:00

18. Friday, March 26 – Field Trip for Primary (rescheduled for April 2nd), 6th to Rocks State Park and planetarium & 7th to Forest Hill Health & Fitness.

19. Friday, March 26 – LS Destination Imagination with Karen De Mey (3:00-4:30PM, Little Falls)

20. Friday, March 26 – MS Destination Imagination, 3:30-5:30PM, – Blue Team only – Virginia Remsberg (Gunpowder)

21. Friday, March 26 – 2010-2011 Admission Acceptance Reception rescheduled for Friday, March 26. By invitation only.

22. Monday, March 29 – MS Destination Imagination, 3:30-5:30PM, – Blue Team only – Virginia Remsberg (Gunpowder)

23. Wednesday, March 31 – Art Club (3:15-4:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please email the faculty sponsor, Ami Pacheco at amipac@aol.com with notification that your child will be attending.

24. Thursday, April 1 – 2010-2011 Signed Enrollment Contracts due (students new to HFS)

25. Thursday, April 1 – LS Destination Imagination with Karen De Mey (3:00-4:30PM, Little Falls)

26. Friday, April 2 – 2nd Interim Reports distributed to students

27. Friday, April 2 – Primary grades class field trip to Belvedere Farm – AM ONLY (Fallston)

28. Friday, April 2 – LS Destination Imagination with Karen De Mey (3:00-4:30PM, Little Falls)

29. Friday, April 2 – MS Destination Imagination CANCELLED

30. Monday, April 5 – Friday, April 9 – School Closed – Spring Break (School resumes Monday, Apr. 12)

31. Saturday, April 10 – Blue Team DI participating in State Tournament at UMBC.

32. Wednesday, April 14 – Final meeting of the Art Club (3:15-4:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please email the faculty sponsor, Ami Pacheco at amipac@aol.com with notification that your child will be attending.

33. Thursday, April 15 – 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. departs at 7:00AM.

34. Thursday, April 15 – HFS Open House (9-11AM) Sixth grade parent coordinators

35. Friday, April 16 – Field Trips: Primary – Cooking/Nutrition; Intermediate – TBD; 6th – Washington, D.C. (late dismissal time likely); 7th – Spanish-oriented; 8th – Washington, D.C. trip concludes (late dismissal time likely)

NOTE: The HFS Spring Break dates, April 5-April 9, remain unchanged and unaffected by the rash of recent snow days. However, the final day of the school year is now Thursday, June 10.