HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
September 17, 2010

Dear HFS Families,

Like the comfort of sinking back into a conversation with an old friend, after a full week of classes the rhythm of the school year begins to take hold. While there is still plenty of “newness” to uncover and uncertainties to be addressed, whether it is how to manage a reading log or know exactly what to do when late to school, the anxieties of starting anew have begun to ease. I have been delighted this week in witnessing 8th grade students frolic with first and second grade buddies, teachers enthusiastically engaging students in discovery, seventh grade students even requesting an additional period of math! (You could not have provided Mrs. Seitz with a more wonderful welcome to our school!) The richness of week #1 fills me with great anticipation for the discoveries ahead – personal, communal, and transforming! I am delighted to be taking this journey with you all.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES FROM COMMUNITY MEMBERS…

[Please Note: HFS welcomes general announcements from community members to be included in this section of the Weekly Collections, particularly if the announcements involve the extra-curricular activities of our students, families, faculty, and staff. Please be aware that not all requests can be accommodated each week and that the school reserves the right to publish information at its discretion.]

Dear Friends of the Arts,

I was honored this year by being asked to be a celebrity dancer for “The Center for the Arts.” The purpose of the dance is to raise money to build a new arts center that we desperately need in Harford

County. The black tie gala will take place on October 2 at the Residents’ Club at Bulle Rock. For those of you who will be attending, I am asking for your “votes.” There will be 2 awards presented at the gala – a top fundraiser award and a top dancer award. I am short of my goal by $3000.00. Please help me reach my goal. All donations are 100% tax deductible. You can send a check made out to The Center for the Arts, and please put my name on the memo, or you can click on “vote,” then my picture, to pay by credit card. The website is www.centerfortheartsharford.org.

Thank you so much for your support, and on behalf of the Center for the Arts, thank you for contributing to our big dream.

Mary Teddy Wray (Maxwell, ‘12/’16)

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, Sept. 20 – Friday, Oct. 1 – Parents & Advisors/Homebase Teachers schedule mutually convenient half-hour conference time. See Student & Parent Handbook for available appointment times. [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]
  2. Tuesday, Sept. 21 – How to Apply to High School Workshop (4-8PM) at HFS
  3. Thursday, Sept. 23 – Gardening Activity with Brooke Derr (3:15-4:00PM). Pickup for this activity will occur at 4:00PM in Gunpowder Classroom.
  4. Friday, Sept. 24 – Signed Student & Parent Handbook Review Contract due to student’s advisor/homebase teacher.
  5. Friday, Sept. 24 – Field Trips – Grade 8 to Newlin Grist Mill & Hagley Museum; Grade 7 to Eden Mill Nature Center; Grade 5/6 to be confirmed; Grade 3/4 to participate in an on-site activity; Grade 1/2 to Port Discovery.
  6. Friday, Sept. 24 – Back to School Picnic at Eden Mill Nature Center (3:30-7:00PM) located at 1617 Eden Mill Road, Pylesville, MD 21132.
  7. Monday, Sept. 27 – Blueberry Festival 2010 Volunteer Review (6:00PM) in Gunpowder Classroom.
  8. Thursday, Sept. 30 – Gardening Activity with Brooke Derr (3:15-4:00PM). Pickup for this activity will occur at 4:00PM in Gunpowder Classroom.
  9. Thursday, Sept. 30 – H&SA Meeting (6-7PM) in Gunpowder Classroom. [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]
  10. Thursday, Sept. 30 – Back to School Night (7-9PM) Additional information to be announced once confirmed.
  11. Friday, Oct. 1 – Parent Activities Session #2 (1:25-2:55PM)
  12. Saturday, Oct. 2 – H&SA booth at Darlington Apple Festival (10AM-4PM)


HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

September 17, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

This week we discussed the beginning of the Jamestown colony and the Native American culture that English settlers encountered in the New World. John Smith sparked some interesting discussion, too. We also presented summer reading posters – everyone did a wonderful job! Next week we will continue with the original settlements and the corresponding literature.

Writing Workshop: Eighth grade Writing Workshop students met this week to determine their areas of focus and individual article responsibilities for the fall publication of the school’s “Gatherings” newsletter. Articles will be due in mid-October. Most of the actual writing should occur in class, though as the deadline approaches article revisions may need to come home for polishing.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Students are off to a great start in all the ways that matter.  Speaking of matter, our Monday exercise revolved around our gaining an experiential and experimental understanding of a gram, kilogram, milliliter, liter, mass, and weight; this included skill-building in the use of both a triple-beam balance and a digital balance.  As “thought experiments” prior to future study, we considered what an object (such as an eraser) would weigh on the earth’s surface, and what it would weigh in outer space, absent gravity; further, we wondered whether an eraser thrown and hitting us in outer space would hurt as much as when thrown the same way on earth.  We ventured into scientific notation and most students did reasonably well, but they will not be held fully accountable until they have delved more deeply into the understanding and manipulation of exponents in math class, a few weeks from now.

Because it was the first week of our Word Generation exercises (see wordgeneration.org for overview and rationale), a substantial piece of our time was spent on pre-assessment (what “academic” words do we already know, and which ones give us trouble?) and on a deliberate stroll through the process.  Examples of academic words that might challenge students are underlined in this Collection; these are words that may be easily misunderstood during verbal explanation, and unavailable to students in their own writing. The week’s exercise culminates in a short essay, due Monday, for which students have assignment and rubric.  Scientific vocabulary is also important but it is often subordinate to the vocabulary used to define terms; examples of science vocabulary words are italicized in this Collection.

For Monday, students have a reading assignment in their Chemical Interactions text.  This reading will prepare them for Monday’s laboratory exercises, and they will be held accountable for their reading and understanding next week via small quizzes on science vocabulary.  Homework is emphasized here in boldface.

Math:

NOTES from Explorations…

Art:

Computer Technology/Research/Independent Study Period: Despite not yet having a permanent teacher for this part of the schedule, students in Business Meeting this week suggested that this year’s computer tech project ought to be designing and producing the 2010-2011 school yearbook. A great idea!  The various computer tech classes will be meeting in the next few weeks to determine their areas of focus and responsibility in the project.

Music:

Physical Education:

Spanish: Class periods that will eventually be dedicated to Spanish were used this week to provide students with a study hall, community service surveying (5th/6th), and “Buddy Time” (Primary and 8th). Families will be informed of any and all updates in the search for a “right fit” Spanish teacher to lead our program.

NOTES from MS ADVISORY GROUPS…

De Mey: This week, we began a paper bag activity to help us get to know each other.  The students decorated the outside of the bags in class, and they should fill the insides of their bags at home.  We will share the bags on Monday, September 27.  For the Taste of Excellence silent auction, our group has chosen to fill a basket with Halloween candy (especially chocolate) and decorations.  A separate email will follow with more information.  We are working to begin the year well-organized and maintain that organization through weekly cubby-checks.  Please ask your child if you may peek into their “brain” regularly.  Have a great week!

Huxtable: Huxtable’s “Its” advisory group identified its theme for its wine-tasting basket. The theme is “Mystery” and the students have all taken responsibility for procuring individual items for the basket, which is due on Monday, September 27th. An email to parents will follow to confirm responsibilities and provide guidelines on expenditures. Advisees are also expected to be ready to present their “Bag It” activity on Monday, September 20th as described above in Mrs. De Mey‘s note.


HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

September 17, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

This week we began looking at short stories in the context of our work with Latin America. Everyone enjoyed the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” We also enjoyed hearing about the various books read over the summer  - the posters were wonderful! Our discussion of The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm was informative, too. Next week we will continue with Latin America, specifically European colonization, and continue our work with short stories.

Writing Workshop: Seventh grade Writing Workshop students met this week to determine their areas of focus (“New this Year at HFS”) and individual article responsibilities for the fall publication of the school’s “Gatherings” newsletter. Articles will be due in mid-October. Most of the actual writing should occur in class, though as the deadline approaches article revisions may need to come home for polishing.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: The 7th graders have been employing much brain power this week as they came up with ways to quantitatively measure the abiotic and biotic factors of an ecosystem.  Through classroom discussion, independent research and lab work, they have come up with a plan to measure light percentage, relative humidity, wind speed, soil percolation and other components.  These tools will be put to use this week around the campus and also next week on our field trip to Eden Mill.  They have also learned a couple of “prehistoric raps” to help learn some ecological definitions.  Ask them to perform for you!

Math: Last week in Math 7, we explored data gathering and organized our data into a table. We had fun with our jumping jacks experiment! Be sure to ask your children about it. This week we will be using the data from a table to create a graphical representation of the data. We are also discussing and learning to identify dependent and independent variables in graphs and tables. We then use the graphs to further explore the relationship between the variables. Next week, we will explore how to extract information from a graph and put it in a table, and we’ll work on creating a table from a narrative. We’ll be having our first quiz on Unit 1 mid to late week.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art:

Computer Technology: Despite not yet having a permanent teacher for this part of the schedule, students in Business Meeting this week suggested that this year’s computer tech project ought to be designing and producing the 2010-2011 school yearbook. A great idea!  The various computer tech classes will be meeting in the next few weeks to determine their areas of focus and responsibility in the project.

Music:

Physical Education:

Spanish: Class periods that will eventually be dedicated to Spanish were used this week to provide students with a study hall, community service surveying (5th/6th), and “Buddy Time” (Primary and 8th). Families will be informed of any and all updates in the search for a “right fit” Spanish teacher to lead our program.

NOTES from MS ADVISORY GROUPS…

De Mey: This week, we began a paper bag activity to help us get to know each other.  The students decorated the outside of the bags in class, and they should fill the insides of their bags at home.  We will share the bags on Monday, September 27.  For the Taste of Excellence silent auction, our group has chosen to fill a basket with Halloween candy (especially chocolate) and decorations.  A separate email will follow with more information.  We are working to begin the year well-organized and maintain that organization through weekly cubby-checks.  Please ask your child if you may peek into their “brain” regularly.  Have a great week!

Huxtable: Huxtable’s “Its” advisory group identified its theme for its wine-tasting basket. The theme is “Mystery” and the students have all taken responsibility for procuring individual items for the basket, which is due on Monday, September 27th. An email to parents will follow to confirm responsibilities and provide guidelines on expenditures. Advisees are also expected to be ready to present their “Bag It” activity on Monday, September 20th as described above in Mrs. De Mey‘s note.


HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

September 17, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

We have been very busy in Humanities. The students have been using their time wisely to maximize their learning at school. Ask your child about PIE? It has been our focus in Language Arts this week. If you are happening to be doing some traveling you now have a helper to locate your destination on a map. Concepts covered in Geography include latitude, longitude, degrees, Equator, Prime Meridian and parallels, keys are to follow. Put away the Garmin your kids will soon be able to lead the way!

Writing Workshop: Fifth/Sixth grade Writing Workshop students met this week to determine their areas of focus (“Profiles of HFS Community Members”) and individual article responsibilities for the fall publication of the school’s “Gatherings” newsletter. Articles will be due in mid-October. Most of the actual writing should occur in class, though as the deadline approaches article revisions may need to come home for polishing.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Maps! Maps! Maps!  Mrs. Derengowski and I have been submerging the students in the study of maps from both the science and social studies angles.  In science class, we have made a 3-D landscape out of clay and measured the elevation and relief of the landforms.  We then began our study of road maps and topographical maps, comparing and contrasting the two.  We are moving towards a working understanding of how 3-D landforms can be represented in a 2-D format.  Please pull out the road maps as you are traveling around this week. Let your child discover where they are, where they’re going, how they will get there.  Point out county lines, rivers, etc., that you are crossing.  Thanks!

Math: I hope you have enjoyed both the Factor Game and the Product Game! Students have been reviewing several concepts this week; factoring, listing proper factors, identifying composite numbers, prime numbers, multiples and divisors. Please refer to the concept sheet I sent home with your Prime Time family letters. Thank you for getting the unit letter back promptly with signatures.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art:

Computer Technology: Despite not yet having a permanent teacher for this part of the schedule, students in Business Meeting this week suggested that this year’s computer tech project ought to be designing and producing the 2010-2011 school yearbook. A great idea!  The various computer tech classes will be meeting in the next few weeks to determine their areas of focus and responsibility in the project.

Music:

Physical Education:

Spanish: Class periods that will eventually be dedicated to Spanish were used this week to provide students with a study hall, community service surveying (5th/6th), and “Buddy Time” (Primary and 8th). Families will be informed of any and all updates in the search for a “right fit” Spanish teacher to lead our program.

NOTES from MS ADVISORY GROUPS…

De Mey: This week, we began a paper bag activity to help us get to know each other.  The students decorated the outside of the bags in class, and they should fill the insides of their bags at home.  We will share the bags on Monday, September 27.  For the Taste of Excellence silent auction, our group has chosen to fill a basket with Halloween candy (especially chocolate) and decorations.  A separate email will follow with more information.  We are working to begin the year well-organized and maintain that organization through weekly cubby-checks.  Please ask your child if you may peek into their “brain” regularly.  Have a great week!

Huxtable: Huxtable’s “Its” advisory group identified its theme for its wine-tasting basket. The theme is “Mystery” and the students have all taken responsibility for procuring individual items for the basket, which is due on Monday, September 27th. An email to parents will follow to confirm responsibilities and provide guidelines on expenditures. Advisees are also expected to be ready to present their “Bag It” activity on Monday, September 20th as described above in Mrs. De Mey‘s note.

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

September 17, 2010

NOTES from the 1/2 Grade Classroom…

The primary class has begun to lay the ground-work and learn the daily routines of the day.  In math, the students were introduced to the mad minute, which is done on Tuesday and Thursday every week. Thirty basic addition problems need to be completed in a minute.  A great way to practice this skill with your child is with flash cards.  In science, we have begun to explore different properties of solid objects.  Our first theme this year that we will discuss is water.  We have discussed the importance of water, what we use water for both in school and at home.  Next week the students will be tallying and graphing the different ways they use water at home and in school.  On Thursday we had an exciting afternoon with our 8th grade buddies!  They planned some wonderful activities for us to do with parachutes, duck, duck, goose, and red rover.  The class can’t wait for next week and buddy activities!

NOTES from the 3/4 Grade Classroom…

We introduced our Spelling program this week.  I hope your child enjoyed the activities that were assigned as homework.  We also began social studies this week.  We will focus first on mapping skills before we move on to early Maryland history.  In Reading, the students read “Akiak,” completed story maps, and created questions for themselves and their peers to answer.  In Writing Workshop, we are continuing with our first personal narratives.  In Math, we are moving quickly through our place value and number sense chapter.  Our first chapter test will be on Wednesday, September 22. Have a great week!

Science-3/4: Our young scientists have spent the week researching, drawing and painting symbols of science. They seem to really enjoy creating their own lab jackets.  We have also begun defining and observing various environments and noting the living and non-living components.  Next week we will be learning how to take measurements of the components of the environment.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art:

Computer Technology: Computer Technology will begin in the Lower School classrooms early in October. The class will be based on three components – familiarity with managing files and using our laptops, developing keyboarding skills through our UltraKey software, and learning word processing and presentation software through project-based work.

1/2 Music: I had a delightful time singing and dancing around the room with our first and second graders. I am looking forward to an exciting year learning about music, singing and moving, and discovering the joy of music with my new friends. This past Wednesday was my day to learn new names and faces. Let’s see if I can retain those names until next week. My student’s assignment will be to see if they remember “rest position,” “ready position,” and play. Next week we will again work on steady beat and we will begin learning how to use our singing voices.

3/4 Music: Squawks, squeaks, blurps, bleeps, and splats… it’s all music to my ears. Yesterday was the first day of our instrumental music class. The looks on their faces was like seeing a child in a candy shop! They are so eager to jump right in, so here’s how we are to prepare for next Wednesday: 1) Instrument care is essential. While they get the hang of putting their instruments together, they MUST be extremely careful to avoid misuse and careless handling. TAKE YOUR TIME. 2) Homework: Students are to read through pp 2 & 3 in their method book, Essential Elements 2000. Even though we did not get much time to explore proper tone production, they will at least have a good grasp of the concepts by next Wednesday if they read through these pages carefully. Students who did not have their instruments this past Wednesday, will need to also read these pages. STUDENTS: Be prepared to answer questions about your instrument. QUIZ TIME!!!

I know students will want to jump ahead and try their instruments out. Proper tone production and correct handling of their instruments will be our focus for the next several weeks. THIS IS ESSENTIAL!! Please encourage your student to practice patience with themselves and others. We WILL be making music… “even though the sound of is something quite atrocious”… at the moment. It WILL happen. Please do not hesitate to call or email me with concerns and questions. I want to avoid any miscommunications.

Physical Education:

Spanish: Class periods that will eventually be dedicated to Spanish were used this week to provide students with a study hall, community service surveying (5th/6th), and “Buddy Time” (Primary and 8th). Families will be informed of any and all updates in the search for a “right fit” Spanish teacher to lead our program.