HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
March 19, 2010

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

March 19, 2010

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

Dear HFS Community Members,

Students, teachers, and parents alike filled me with pride this week. In multiple instances, across grade levels, across roles, and formal and informal settings, I encountered members of our community living its values by addressing concerns directly, possessing a non-abating belief in the transformative power of communication. I witnessed teachers, parents, substitute teachers, and students, too, resisting the temptation to “fix” problems or “direct” an issue to a desired end, but rather allowed process to unfold and for individuals, and then groups, to come to their own conclusions. The seventh grade provided one of the best examples of this as they concluded their Rwandan role-play negotiations. The group, believing it had resolved the issues that faced it, pressed to “package” the agreement and then sign it. The work to get that far was tedious, yet something was skipped. Individuals, after reading the final resolution, were hesitant to sign and felt as though they had gotten the short end of the stick. The group faced a dilemma: re-open an arduous negotiating process or simply sign the document, compromise values and interests, and be done with the whole affair. I am delighted to report that the group dove back in, muddled through the misperceptions and miscommunications, asked critical questions of one another like, “Why is that so important to you?” and worked hard to consider whether or not the resolutions that were proposed could or would lead to a lasting peace or would they simply appease immediate needs and interests while never truly addressing the underlying causes and concerns. Despite some sidebar conversations that dipped into the realm of “funny things to say using the word ‘cattle,’” the group did it. No group may grow to know itself more than this group by the end of their 8th grade year, especially if it remains as open to experience, willing to learn from its mistakes, and dedicated to its collective success. Aren’t these the values of community?

-Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Work continues apace in English 8.  We have been reviewing material on The Crucible.  The final test will be on Friday, March 19, 2010.  Students have prepared their own tests for review and they seem to have enjoyed presenting their original tests to others in the class.  We continue to rehearse Act I on the stage, but results at this point are mixed.  Some students have not not as yet memorized their lines and this is definitely holding progress back.  Please encourage your child to do his or her best on this worthy project.  Thank you!  I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.

Social Studies: Students juggled three distinct tasks this week all directly related to building skills that will be applied to their Research Projects. Students worked to submit and present their Mapping Projects within the March 17th to March 24th window, taking into considerations the penalties for late submissions versus the points awarded for thorough completion of the project. The project introduced use of NoodleTools, bibliography development, and referencing multiple sources of information. Students also continued to read from and take notes on Hakim’s “The History of US,” Book 5. This week we explored the Gold Rush, whaling, the technological advancements of the early 1800’s, and the changing scene of American politics in the 1840’s, including the rise, influence, and fall of the “American” or “Nativist” Party, a.k.a. “The Know Nothing Party.” Student note-taking focused on following logical format and “sectioning” and “labeling” of class notes. Finally, students worked with Virginia Remsberg on their Research Project. Students were to have presented at least 50 note cards today to demonstrate that each was not only progressing in identifying and documenting critical information, but that they were doing so in a systematic and well-ordered way. Students achieved these goals with varying degrees of success. Aldo, with the impending end of the marking period, students were informed this week of any assignments from Book 4 that were not completed in class and were then given an option on how best to handle the situation. Students are welcomed to submit the work missed (usually as a result of an absence) for a homework grade or not submit the work and receive the same percentage that they did on their Unit 4 test, since, it is assumed, they used their chapter review questions and answers as a study guide for the test. In any case, all 3rd quarter materials are due on Wednesday, March 24th.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: We reflected on the science fair.  What did we learn of science and ourselves?  What might have been done differently to make the fair even more enjoyable for students and visitors?  What might students have done differently in preparation and completion of their own projects? Whose work was exemplary and in what ways?

From reflection, we picked up on our previous thread of biomolecules, and moved to a deepening and meta-analysis of students’ already existent, if incomplete, understanding of evolutionary theory.  Reviewing some of the things encountered in previous years of schooling, we read an essay entitled “Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live,” a piece that posits not that Darwin was wrong, nor that he is less than the intellectual giant he is generally taken to have been, but that “Darwinism” is too small and too incendiary a label for an enormous body of scientific evidence, some of which preceded Darwin and most of which came afterward.  To bring some of evolution’s workings into a modern and entertaining context, we viewed parts of a Nova program on “The Evolutionary Arms Race,” with emphasis on the coevolution of poisonous newts that serve as prey for poison-resistant garter snakes.  To align our evolutionary queries with students’ mathematical studies of exponential growth, students were asked to familiarize themselves with Thomas Malthus, then connect this understanding to an Olivia Judson essay on the way in which humans are accelerating an evolutionary trend toward disappearance of large land animals, especially large carnivorous predators.  Making the connections was hard work for some of the students, as we continue to seek balance between the disaffection of “blah, blah, I already know this” and its opposite paralysis, “yikes, this is too hard.”

Monday, we resume a practice from previous years, assigning students (usually once a week) to bring short summaries (five sentences is usually sufficient) of science-centered news articles.  Rationales are several, not least of which is to establish habits of lifelong learning.  Parents are welcome to help find and to discuss science in the news, but it is important for students that the initiative and interest grow from within.

With science fair behind us, the way is re-opened for a return to more structured learning on one hand, and for collective hands-on activities on the other.  Expectations and accountability will rise as students are asked to prepare themselves for high school, and students were forewarned that grades this semester will suffer even more than usual for any students repeatedly indifferent to timely completion of assignments and assigned readings.

Math 8-A: Eighth grade math spent the week in two ways.  We began to become more familiar with quadratic relationships and we prepared for our experience on Friday, March 19 when we acted as teachers to the sixth grade math class.  We helped the sixth grade review and practice multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers as well as division of fractions.  Next week we will return to quadratic relationships in earnest.

Math 8-B: The closing of the third making on Wednesday, March 24 also marks the end of our unit of study “Growing! Growing !Growing!” for Math 8B.   This has been a lengthy unit, which has included a wide scope of topics on exponents and exponential growth, each of which has been explored in significant depth. These topics will be revisited in future algebra and pre-calculus courses, and provide the mathematical underpinnings for many areas of study in physical and biological science.  On Thursday, we took the in-class portion of the unit test, which consisted of short answer questions emphasizing understanding vocabulary and related concepts; the take-home portion of the test, which focuses on problem solving, was distributed at the end of the day, and was due completed by 8:00 on Friday morning.  Because of the proximity of the end of the marking period, there will be a short turnover period for revisions-the tests will be returned on Monday, March 22, and revisions will be due on Tuesday, March 23.  I also remind you that final versions of the sci-fi short story on out-of-control exponential growth is due on Monday, March 22.

The next unit that we will be studying will center on quadratic functions, and will include such topics and investigations as the distributive property, factoring, fixed perimeter problems, and projectile motion.  We will also study solutions to quadratic equations, including factoring and the quadratic formula.  Quadratic functions will be studied as a special case of, the more general topic, polynomial functions. This unit of study is entitled “Frogs, Fleas, and Painted Cubes”.

NOTES from Explorations…

Physical Education: PE Classes are gearing up to be outside! Hopefully April brings sunshine and NOT too much rain. We will be doing a unit on running for all grade levels with soccer incorporated in there too!

Parents, encourage your kids to get outside and play! Maybe go for a run. They will need the practice.

Spanish: Please note that Middle School Spanish classes did not meet on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week due to Mrs. Pacheco’s resignation. Spanish classes will resume on Monday, March 22nd with Ms. Sally Daneker, former Foreign Language Department Chair at City College High School in Baltimore.

NOTES from the Business Office…

Re-enrollment contracts are past due.  Please send in your student’s re-enrollment contract along with your deposit promptly if you intend on sending your child to HFS in the upcoming 2010/2011 school year.    If you have any concerns or questions you may contact Kim Carlone in the business office or Jonathan Huxtable.


HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

March 19, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Work continues in English 7.  We are working diligently on our spelling-vocabulary material and are realy doing well in making up for lost time.  We will soon finish our review of action, linking, and helping verbs, and will be having a Unit Test probably some time soon.  We also witnessed a book report extravaganza on the school stage.  Malcolm Colvin, Alex Foley, Ryan Nevins, and Colin Tridone presented several scenes from one of the Harry Potter books for our enjoyment.  The Lower School also attended.  We will become experts on the mystery genre, and each student has been assignmed a famous fictional detecrtive to role play.  Look for furtuher information on this activity.  I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.

Social Studies: This week in seventh grade social studies we completed the Rwanda Negotiations process.  The folder with all of the necessary components completed is due Monday.  Also, our newly acquired negotiating skills can be used to reflect on any past experience for extra credit (see the syllabus).  Next week, we will begin reading No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, set in southern Africa.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Seventh graders have spent the week debriefing from the science fair, learning about radioactive elements and their uses and reviewing our chemistry unit in preparation for the unit test on Friday.  I am so pleased with all of the science fair projects.  The children had such great ownership of their projects and did a fantastic job presenting them to the parents.  I am one PROUD science teacher!!!

Math: In math, the seventh grade completed the Accentuate the Negative unit with a test and began our next unit, Moving Straight Ahead, which is about linear relationships.  We will become very comfortable discerning linear relationships from graphs, equations, and tables.  We begin looking at linear relationships by looking at constant speed motion (walking).  From there, we will look to generalize and leave the world of word problems to become comfortable manipulating equations and solving for a variable.

NOTES from Explorations…

Physical Education: PE Classes are gearing up to be outside! Hopefully April brings sunshine and NOT too much rain. We will be doing a unit on running for all grade levels with soccer incorporated in there too!

Parents, encourage your kids to get outside and play! Maybe go for a run. They will need the practice.

Spanish: Please note that Middle School Spanish classes did not meet on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week due to Mrs. Pacheco’s resignation. Spanish classes will resume on Monday, March 22nd with Ms. Sally Daneker, former Foreign Language Department Chair at City College High School in Baltimore.

NOTES from the Business Office…

Re-enrollment contracts are past due.  Please send in your student’s re-enrollment contract along with your deposit promptly if you intend on sending your child to HFS in the upcoming 2010/2011 school year.    If you have any concerns or questions you may contact Kim Carlone in the business office or Jonathan Huxtable.

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 19, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

Sixth graders remain involved in all of our activities associated with Humanities 6.  We have immersed ourselves in the Review Unit section of Units 10-12 and Cumulative Review III.  Most of the pupils are doing very well, and this vocabulary work will serve as excellent practice for the standardized tests which will be administered later in the year. We also continue to review our knowledge of verbs and will have a test on this information next week.  We also are still working with our unit on Black Poetry, and students are involved with doing research on their famous poet.   Last, we have reviewed social studies material and have taken our Unit Test on Ancient Egypt.   We will soon begin our new unit on Ancient Greece.  Have a wonderful weekend!

NOTES from Technology…

Science: In sixth grade science, we continued to review for our Geology unit test.  Because of the breadth that we covered, the review took more time, but it was well worth it to return to topics that we have not discussed in quite some time.  Next Tuesday, we will complete the Geology unit with a test, and then move on to Astronomy.  Also, next week, we will be going on our March field trip.

Math: The 6th grade math class has been multiplying fractions, improper fractions and mixed numbers.

The partner quiz was Thursday, March 18th. Next week I will announce the date of the Bits and Pieces II

Unit Test. The study guide for the test will be in their math journals. The students had their first

notebook check on Friday, March 12th and their graded rubric is in their math notebooks .As always, if

you have any questions or concerns please contact me.

NOTES from Explorations…

Computer Technology: This week the students were assigned a new role here at HFS.  They are now HFS Computer Maintenance Technicians.  Our class will be responsible for maintaining the laptops and computer cart.  The students will be cleaning up the hard drives of the computers and deleting documents and applications that are not in use.  They will run tests to make sure that the computers are running properly.  We will be performing the maintenance monthly.  The students are very excited.

Physical Education: PE Classes are gearing up to be outside! Hopefully April brings sunshine and NOT too much rain. We will be doing a unit on running for all grade levels with soccer incorporated in there too!

Parents, encourage your kids to get outside and play! Maybe go for a run. They will need the practice.

Spanish: Please note that Middle School Spanish classes did not meet on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week due to Mrs. Pacheco’s resignation. Spanish classes will resume on Monday, March 22nd with Ms. Sally Daneker, former Foreign Language Department Chair at City College High School in Baltimore.

NOTES from Advisory: The 6th grade Life Ed class has begun its viewing of the “Raging Teens” video on puberty. It is a BBC production that follows a group of adolescent boys from California and an adolescent girl from England through puberty. Students are also required to submit their diagrams of the opposite gender’s reproductive system along with the five answers to questions found in their reading about those systems. The class will not meet this coming Tuesday. I will be off-site that day. The class time may be used as a study hall provided that all work for the course has been completed. We will continue the course on Tuesday, March 30th.

NOTES from the Business Office…

Re-enrollment contracts are past due.  Please send in your student’s re-enrollment contract along with your deposit promptly if you intend on sending your child to HFS in the upcoming 2010/2011 school year.    If you have any concerns or questions you may contact Kim Carlone in the business office or Jonathan Huxtable.

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

March 19, 2010

NOTES from the Primary Grades Classroom…

This week the class has been very busy reading biographies about different people and they are working on their own autobiography.  They will be presenting information about the person they learned about to the class.  Next we will be starting to read non-fiction informational books and they will be creating something called a lapbook.  In science we have begun our observations on our brassica plants.  We will be observing the plants for 3 to 4 weeks.  Relating to this science unit we will be traveling to Belvedere Farm in Fallston, MD to learn more about plants on April 2.  During theme we have begun our keeping quilt and the students have created patterns of things they love and cut them out of different types of fabric.  Also our official April 16 field trip will be a cooking and nutrition field trip, which will relate to our next theme of Survival: Food. Both first and third grade math classes have an assessment on Monday.

NOTES from the Intermediate Grades Classroom…

This week, we began our new classroom theme, Cities.  We will be focusing on the development of urban environments from the perspectives of both social studies and science.  The students will be creating a model of a city in class.  In writing workshop, the students are continuing their work on their point of view stories.  I have been delighted with their progress so far, as well as with how comfortable they have become with the writing process, including revision through multiple conferences.  The intermediate math group is finishing the unit on addition and subtraction of fractions, and a test will be given on Monday.  Our next field trip will be on Tuesday, March 23, to Goucher College to see “Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad”.  Please check your email for information about Monday’s Spring-a-Licious party.

NOTES from Explorations…

Primary Spanish: We worked on our picture dictionaries by reviewing F and G words.  The students were provided H and I and asked to complete these for next week.  We also learned the months in Spanish.  The students are asked to turn in the homework worksheet on months next Tuesday.  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 worked on our picture dictionaries by reviewing F and G words.  The students were provided H and I and asked to complete these for next week.  We also learned the months in Spanish.  The students are asked to turn in the homework worksheet on months next Tuesday.  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

Physical Education: PE Classes are gearing up to be outside! Hopefully April brings sunshine and NOT too much rain. We will be doing a unit on running for all grade levels with soccer incorporated in there too!

Parents, encourage your kids to get outside and play! Maybe go for a run. They will need the practice.

NOTES from the Business Office…

Re-enrollment contracts are past due.  Please send in your student’s re-enrollment contract along with your deposit promptly if you intend on sending your child to HFS in the upcoming 2010/2011 school year.    If you have any concerns or questions you may contact Kim Carlone in the business office or Jonathan Huxtable.


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

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

3.  Tuesday, March 23 – Brief Blueberry Festival Coordinators Meeting 6PM

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

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

6.  Wednesday, March 24 – Art Club (3:15-4:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please email Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org with notification that your child will be attending.

7.  Thursday, March 25 – REQUIRED 3:00-5:00PM – Student work session (3:00-4:00PM in after-school study hall and 4:00-5:00 with Mr. Huxtable) for any student owing overdue work for the 3rd quarter.

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

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

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

11. Friday, March 26 – 2010-2011 Admission Acceptance Reception. By invitation only.

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

13. Wednesday, March 31 – Art Club (3:15-4:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please email Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org with notification that your child will be attending.

14. Wednesday, March 31 – Thank-A-Thon rescheduled from earlier date (6-8PM)

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

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

17. Friday, April 2 – Primary grades class field trip to Belvedere Farm (Depart 8:00AM, Return 12:00PM)

18. Friday, April 2 – MS Destination Imagination CANCELLED

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

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

21. Tuesday, April 13 – Parent Coffee with the Head (9:00-9:50AM) [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.] Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org

22. Wednesday, April 14 – Final meeting of the Art Club (3:15-4:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please email Jennifer Button at jbutton@harfordfriends.org with notification that your child will be attending.

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

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

25. Friday, April 16 – Field Trips: Primary – Cooking/Nutrition; Intermediate – TBD; 6th – Washington, D.C. (est. 6:00PM dismissal); 7th – TBD; 8th – Washington, D.C. trip concludes (est. 6:00PM dismissal)

26. Monday, April 19Friday, April 30 – ERB Testing for grades 3-8 (Schedule TBD). Please ensure your child arrives at school on time and ready to begin at 8:00AM. Help them be prepared by getting a good night’s rest and eating a healthy breakfast.

27. Thursday, April 22 – Earth Day Activities (lunch and other activity possible 10:00AM-12:20PM) TBD

28. Friday, April 23 – Setup for Afternoon of the Arts (1:50-3:00PM)

29. Sunday, April 25 – Open House & Afternoon of the Arts (2-4PM). All students are required to attend this event. Sixth and Lower School parent coordinators.

30. Tuesday, April 27 – H&SA meeting (7-8:30PM, Deer Creek) [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]

31. Friday, April 30 – Parent Activities #1 (1:50-3:00PM)

32. Friday, April 30 – Sunday, May 2 – H&SA Fundraiser at Broom’s Bloom Dairy. Contact Dawn Tridone for information.