HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
September 24, 2010

HFS Weekly Collections

September 24, 2010

Dear HFS Families,

If you have a chance, please read as much of the Weekly Collection information below as you can, not just the grade-specific information related to your child. Each week I am simply amazed by what I get to witness in our classrooms and then read about in these pages. The depth and breadth of the studies our teachers present are remarkable, especially when I see our teachers facilitate so much more than what is reported here. While the academic skills and knowledge base grows each day and through each class, students are also receiving meaningful and life-changing lessons from teachers and peers in kindness, empathy, communication, mindfulness, priorities, compassion, self-advocacy, and responsibility. Do you know that your student participates at least once each week in the set-up and clean-up of lunch for the whole school? Did you know that the Primary class students are learning to care and provide for a class pet, a turtle named Tuttle? Were you aware that a small group of students gathers each Thursday after school to care for the gardens on the property here? Did you hear that committees were selected this week and that small groups of students are eagerly identifying projects for school improvement, projects that students will select, develop, and implement on their own after having brought their ideas to the community for feedback and approval?

I had the distinct honor of sitting in with the Lower School for Meeting for Worship yesterday and listened to a few insightful messages shared by students who felt moved to speak in response to the query, “Does the story, ‘The Parts of the House Argue’ have anything to teach us about our school?” In the story, the various parts of the house vie for recognition as “the most important,” the roof held out the rain, the walls held back the wind and held up the roof, the foundation held the walls, etc. In the end, the parts realized that each was equally as important to the house as a whole and found comfort in their own importance to the house. One child commented that the story made him think of “the whole world being like a tree and we are all connected to that tree; we are all important.” Just as each part of the house is critical, each student and each teacher, each class and each learning moment in our school is equally important. It is what makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. I hope you see that as you read through this week’s Collections.

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. 27 – Blueberry Festival 2010 Volunteer Review (6:00PM) in Gunpowder Classroom.
  2. Thursday, Sept. 30 – Gardening Activity with Brooke Derr (3:15-4:00PM). Pickup for this activity will occur at 4:00PM in Gunpowder Classroom.
  3. Thursday, Sept. 30 – H&SA Meeting (6-7PM) in Gunpowder Classroom. [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]
  4. Thursday, Sept. 30 – Back to School Night (7-9PM) Additional information to be announced once confirmed.
  5. Friday, Oct. 1 – Parent Activities Session #2 (1:25-2:55PM)
  6. Saturday, Oct. 2 – H&SA booth at Darlington Apple Festival (10AM-4PM)
  7. Monday, Oct. 4 – Destination Imagination Grades 1-5 Practice (3:15-4:30PM) in Little Falls Classroom. Students wishing to participate MUST submit an After-School Activity Permission Form by Fri., Oct. 1 to attend.
  8. Monday, Oct. 4 – Destination Imagination Grades 6-8 Practice (3:15-4:30PM) in Fawn Grove Classroom. Students wishing to participate MUST submit an After-School Activity Permission Form by Fri., Oct. 1 to attend.
  9. Tuesday, Oct. 5 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (8:05-8:50AM) in Gunpowder Classroom. Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org by Friday, Oct. 1.
  10. Tuesday, Oct. 5 – Parenting in the Age of Social Networks On-Line at the Harford County Public Library, Bel Air Branch Meeting Room (6:00-8:00PM). Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org by Oct. 1
  11. Wednesday, Oct. 6 – Blueberry Festival 2011 Coordinators Meeting (6:00PM) in Gunpowder Classroom
  12. Thursday, Oct. 7 – Lower School visit from the Whiteford Volunteer Fire. Co. (2-3PM)
  13. Thursday, Oct. 7 – Gardening Activity with Brooke Derr (3:15-4:00PM). Pickup for this activity will occur at 4:00PM in Gunpowder Classroom.
  14. Friday, Oct. 8 – Grade 5/6 Field Trip to Blue Dog Arts studio (Depart 12:30PM, Return 2:45PM). Two additional drivers still needed for this trip to occur. Please contact jbutton@harfordfriends.org to volunteer.
  15. Friday, Oct. 8 – Parent Activities Session #3 (1:25-2:55PM)
  16. Friday, Oct. 8 – H&SA Game Night (7-9PM) TENTATIVE; Contact Dawn Tridone for additional information.
  17. Monday, Oct. 11 – High school visitation date for HFS 8th grade students. Students will be granted an excused absence with prior notification to the office.
  18. Monday, Oct. 11 – Destination Imagination Grades 1-5 Practice (3:15-4:30PM) in Little Falls Classroom
  19. Monday, Oct. 11 – Destination Imagination Grades 6-8 Practice (3:15-4:30PM) in Fawn Grove Classroom
  20. Thursday, Oct. 14 – High school workshop (11AM-12PM) open to families of middle school students. Please RSVP to jbutton@harfordfriends.org by Oct. 12. Please be aware this event is still tentative.
  21. Thursday, Oct. 14 – Gardening Activity with Brooke Derr (3:15-4:00PM). Pickup for this activity will occur at 4:00PM in Gunpowder Classroom
  22. Thursday, Oct. 14 – High School Night at Harford Day School (7-8PM)
  23. Friday, Oct. 15 – Parent Activities Session #4 (1:25-2:55PM)
  24. Friday, Oct. 15 – SAT Prep Session #1 – Verbal (3:30-5:00PM) for students in Grades 7 & 8. Students wishing to participate MUST submit an After-School Activity Permission Form by Monday, Oct. 11 to attend.


HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

September 24, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

This week we moved north from the Jamestown colonies to Plymouth. We compared the common thoughts on the Pilgrims with the actual history behind their journey. William Bradford’s firsthand account of the trip across the Atlantic and the founding of the colony made for a difficult but interesting read. Everyone agreed it was more reliable, and easier to understand, than John Smith’s account. Students should have their text for the next book report chosen by the end of the week. Although this week’s field trip to Newlin Grist Mill and Hagley is moving ahead in time a bit, it should give some great context for our work in history.

Writing Workshop: Students submitted notes from their first three interviews before our field trip Friday. When next we meet, we will be analyzing the format of a newspaper article, reading and deconstructing real articles from the New York Times, and then working on our “Leads” for our chosen newsletter article.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: The week began with a laboratory on solutions, in which students made aqueous mixtures (i.e. water as solvent) of several solutes including table salt, two kinds of sugar, starch, gelatin, epson salts, and diaper adsorbent.  Through the week, we worked on competence in language to describe solutions, suspensions, colloids, concentrated, dilute, and other properties of mixtures.

Results on pre-testing of academic vocabulary revealed the whole class to be above average in vocabulary (something we already knew from ERB testing) but largely unfamiliar with meanings of some 50 offered words such as apathy, implications, disproportionately, capacity, and infer.  While fewer than 20 words were incorrectly matched to definitions by 5 or more students, teacher infers that when even 3 of 9 students missed a word, some of the other students were probably guessing on the multiple choice or might not be able to apply different forms of the word in their writing.  Pre-test did not contribute to students’ grades except as a matter of participation.

A happy inference from the Word Generation pre-test is that students have sufficient competence in academic vocabulary that we will be able to carefully target our learning and alternate weekly exercises between general academic vocabulary and an emphasis on science vocabulary.

Homework for Monday is to take notes on the Friday field trips to Newlin Mill and Hagley Museum.  This provides an opportunity for parents to inquire of students what they may have done, seen, learned, or wondered.  For students, notetaking will prepare them for follow-up discussion and perhaps a review or example of what good notetaking may look like.

Math:  The theme of this past week in Math 8 has been justifying transformations used to solve linear equations and inequalities in a single variable.  Using the analogy of a pan balance, students are learning the significance of using the distributive property, and the properties of equality and inequality to balance both sides of the equation or inequality.  To emphasize the importance of balancing both sides of the equation or inequality, student built an algebra mobile, in which transformations of the equation/inequality had to maintain the desired algebraic balance.  While there were minor errors and omissions in these models, students will be critiquing each other’s mobiles, to rectify oversights.  The models will be hanging from the ceiling in Fawn Grove classroom during the school year, as a reminder of the importance of the stages in the equation/inequality solving process.

As of today, students have completed multiple homework assignments, warm-up activities, and two quizzes.  On Tuesday of each week, students should be bringing home with them a weekly progress report, with established points, comments from the teacher, and line graphs to show progress on classwork/participation, homework, quizzes, notebook grades, and a unit performance assessment.  The unit in which we are currently involved is centered on linear equations and inequalities with one or two variables.  Besides models with linear equations and inequalities, we will be studying methods of solving systems of linear equations and inequalities.  This topic is critical to all algebra based mathematics, and it is important for students to become proficient with the different algorithms.  We will be completing this unit of study during the first week of October.

I am very impressed with the  dedication that students have been showing with their algebra studies.  Several students have made the extra effort to review their homework with me at 7:30 am, throughout the week.  Students have also availed themselves of the opportunity for a “push” on Wednesday afternoon, before Thursday’s quiz.  Look forward to batches of “positive” teacher notes, as the year progresses.  I am looking forward to a productive and fun year with your children.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art: For information on Art, please contact Rog Hicks at rjjhicks@comcast.net

Computer Technology/Research/Independent Study Period: Students spent this week’s Independent Research time preparing for our trip to Newlin Mills and Hagley Museum, even practicing their video reporting skills!

Music: For information on Music, please contact Bill Jenkins at wjenkins@loyola.edu

Physical Education: For information on Physical Education, please contact Laurie Colquitt at laurie.cpt@gmail.com

Spanish: Information regarding Spanish classes will be announced once confirmed.

NOTES from MS ADVISORY GROUPS …

De Mey: I am impressed by the organized cubbies and up-to-date planners that the students are keeping.  We are all getting to know each other better through exercises like the paper bag activity that is due Monday, September 27.  Thank you to those parents who have scheduled or already attended conferences.  I appreciate the insights you have shared with me.  As we approach October, our focus in advisory will shift to goal setting:  academic and social, long-term and short-term.  We will also be choosing a service project that we will work on throughout the year to benefit the school.  Our basket for the Taste of Excellence event, So Sweet It’s Scary, is filling up nicely.  Submissions of candy or Halloween decorations are still welcome and should be sent in by Monday, September 27!  I hope to see you at the Back to School picnic on Friday, September 24 and on Back to School Night on Thursday, September 30.  Have a great week!

Huxtable: We’ve begun to share our bags and discover new things about what’s “inside” one another from coin collecting to sword fighting, oh my! We have also discussed the necessary requirements for the auction basket. Students and families are aware of responsibilities and that the due date is Monday! I’ll be sending a follow-up email to remind folks of responsibilities and any existing needs. Thank you for your help in coordinating this effort!


HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

September 24, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

This week we continued our look at Latin America, moving from the colonial era into the independence movements. We prepared and presented mock news reports detailing the process of independence for Brazil, Haiti, and Venezuela. We also read the strange but intriguing story “The Handsomest Man Drowned in the World” by Gabriel Garcia Marguez. In preparation for Friday’s trip to Eden Mill Nature Center, we will look at some creative writing in natural settings. Students should have their text chosen for the next book report by the end of the week.

Writing Workshop: Student in Writing Workshop-7 have selected their topic for their newsletter article and have been charged with interviewing three people relevant to their topic before our next class. When next we meet, we will be analyzing the format of a newspaper article, reading and deconstructing real articles from the New York Times, and then working on our “Leads” for our chosen newsletter article.

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Seventh graders have spent the week exploring the great outdoors.  Our two study groups have measured factors such as wind speed, soil percolation, soil profile, relative humidity, air temperature and light exposure within a specific quadrat at two different sites:  woods and meadow.  After measuring the abiotic factors, we turned our attention to the biotic world and attempted to catalog the diversity and abundance of life within the quadrat.  Friday’s field trip to Eden Mill will be an extension of this study as applied to creek and wetland ecosystems.

Math: In Math 7 this week, we transformed data in a narrative form into tables and graphs. Everyone did a wonderful job working together and sharing ideas to make the tables! Next week, we will begin our second investigation in our Variables and Patterns unit, which will involve deeper analyses of graphs and tables, so we can extract necessary information to make decisions.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art: For information on Art, please contact Rog Hicks at rjjhicks@comcast.net

Computer Technology: Seventh grade “techies” helped prep our new and old laptops for use this week by re-organizing the laptop cart and “testing” the functions and permissions on both models of the laptops.

Music: For information on Music, please contact Bill Jenkins at wjenkins@loyola.edu

Physical Education: For information on Physical Education, please contact Laurie Colquitt at laurie.cpt@gmail.com

Spanish: Information regarding Spanish classes will be announced once confirmed.

NOTES from MS ADVISORY GROUPS …

De Mey: I am impressed by the organized cubbies and up-to-date planners that the students are keeping.  We are all getting to know each other better through exercises like the paper bag activity that is due Monday, September 27.  Thank you to those parents who have scheduled or already attended conferences.  I appreciate the insights you have shared with me.  As we approach October, our focus in advisory will shift to goal setting:  academic and social, long-term and short-term.  We will also be choosing a service project that we will work on throughout the year to benefit the school.  Our basket for the Taste of Excellence event, So Sweet It’s Scary, is filling up nicely.  Submissions of candy or Halloween decorations are still welcome and should be sent in by Monday, September 27!  I hope to see you at the Back to School picnic on Friday, September 24 and on Back to School Night on Thursday, September 30.  Have a great week!

Huxtable: We’ve begun to share our bags and discover new things about what’s “inside” one another from coin collecting to sword fighting, oh my! We have also discussed the necessary requirements for the auction basket. Students and families are aware of responsibilities and that the due date is Monday! I’ll be sending a follow-up email to remind folks of responsibilities and any existing needs. Thank you for your help in coordinating this effort!


HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

September 24, 2010

NOTES from Humanities…

Students have been busy designing their own lessons on The Writing Process. Ask your son or daughter what step in the process they taught to the class and how they checked for understanding when they were finished. The focus is continually brought back to the guiding question, “How do people communicate effectively.” Our grammar focus is currently nouns and pronouns. Antecedents are the current challenge! Hope to see you all at the picnic!

Writing Workshop: For information on Writing Workshop 5/6, please contact Jonathan Huxtable at headofschool@harfordfriends.org

NOTES from Technology…

Science: Fifth and sixth grade science has continued its study of land topography.  We’ve learned how to make contour lines, measure contour intervals and differentiate between steep and gentle slopes, hills and depressions.  Next, we’ll take our clay landforms and slice them at pre-determined contour intervals to make our own contour map.

Math: By now you have all experienced the revision process and I hope it went smoothly. I will always encourage students to revise, even if they only missed one problem. We want to remind our students that the focus of revision is on the continued learning and quest for knowledge rather than the grade. (Although it does help.) I suggest you ask your child to illustrate what a square number model looks like. Hope to see you at the picnic!

NOTES from Explorations…

Art: For information on Art, please contact Rog Hicks at rjjhicks@comcast.net

Computer Technology: This week 5th/6th grade computer tech students started their computer vocabulary lists which focused on the terms “hardware,” “software,” “central processing unit,” “operating system,” and “memory.” We even examined the activity of the hard drive on one of the laptops to see how much memory the machine had to allocate to each open and operating application.

Music: For information on Music, please contact Bill Jenkins at wjenkins@loyola.edu

Physical Education: For information on Physical Education, please contact Laurie Colquitt at laurie.cpt@gmail.com

Spanish: Information regarding Spanish classes will be announced once confirmed.

NOTES from MS ADVISORY GROUPS …

De Mey: I am impressed by the organized cubbies and up-to-date planners that the students are keeping.  We are all getting to know each other better through exercises like the paper bag activity that is due Monday, September 27.  Thank you to those parents who have scheduled or already attended conferences.  I appreciate the insights you have shared with me.  As we approach October, our focus in advisory will shift to goal setting:  academic and social, long-term and short-term.  We will also be choosing a service project that we will work on throughout the year to benefit the school.  Our basket for the Taste of Excellence event, So Sweet It’s Scary, is filling up nicely.  Submissions of candy or Halloween decorations are still welcome and should be sent in by Monday, September 27!  I hope to see you at the Back to School picnic on Friday, September 24 and on Back to School Night on Thursday, September 30.  Have a great week!

Huxtable: We’ve begun to share our bags and discover new things about what’s “inside” one another from coin collecting to sword fighting, oh my! We have also discussed the necessary requirements for the auction basket. Students and families are aware of responsibilities and that the due date is Monday! I’ll be sending a follow-up email to remind folks of responsibilities and any existing needs. Thank you for your help in coordinating this effort!

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

September 24, 2010

NOTES from the 1/2 Grade Classroom…

This was a very eventful week.  I would first like to thank everyone for their wonderful donations for our Taste of Excellence basket!  This week I would like to congratulate the class for the wonderful work they did as engineers in science class.  They worked with a partner and were given different solid objects. Students had to make a structure using those objects.  I was looking for the tallest, strongest, prettiest, most creative, and which group used the most objects from the bag.  Congratulations to Estella H. and Nathaniel H. for making the tallest structure. Congratulations to Aidan W. and Cara C. for making the strongest structure. Congratulations to Ethan R. and Jeanette P. for making the prettiest structure. Congratulations to Brenna J. and Mason C. for making the most creative structure. Congratulations to Emma P. and James R. for using all of the items that were in the bag in their structure.  In theme for the week we have been keeping tallies both at home and at school whenever we use water.  We will be graphing our results next week and begin to talk about the water cycle.  In our first Committee period we enjoyed talking and coming up with some wonderful ideas and events to have during the school year.  Colin T. did a wonderful job with getting the Lower School excited and focused on what they would like to do for the school this year.  On Thursday the class enjoyed capture the flag with their buddies.  Next week we hope to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day with our buddies and will be doing many fun apple activities.

NOTES from the 3/4 Grade Classroom…

For our on-site field trip on Friday, September 24, the students will put their new mapping skills to the test by measuring and sketching the grounds and/or building of Harford Friends School.  Craig De Mey, a real estate appraiser, will assist the students in measuring, estimating, and polishing a rough sketch into a finished and accurate representation.  In Math this week, the intermediate group finished their first unit on place value and number sense, which culminated in a test on Wednesday.  Next, we will review and expand our skills in regrouping in addition and subtraction.  In Reading, we have begun our study of A Wrinkle in Time.  We will focus on chapter 2 next week.  In Writing Workshop, the students are involved in various stages of their personal narratives.  Published work will soon appear on our bulletin board.  A Social Studies project will be assigned next week to assess our mapping skills.  Our class basket for the Taste of Excellence event, Family Fun Night, is filling up nicely.  However, more games and puzzles are welcome and should be sent in by Monday, September 27.  I hope to see you all at the Back to School picnic on Friday, September 24 and on Back to School Night on Thursday, September 30.  Have a great week!

Science-3/4: Science class has been dirty this week!  We’ve explored the soil of the woods, the grassy fields and the cornfield.  While we were collecting our soil samples we also used thermometers to take the air temperature.  Back in the classroom, we investigated the properties of our soils, compared and contrasted them and used the stereomicroscopes to get an up-close look.  The children approached all of this with great enthusiasm. We then graphed our air temperatures and attempted to explain the differences.  We’re now taking our study of environments to a broader view as we study the 3 main regions of Maryland.  Students should be recording the daily high and low temperature of their assigned city for this week.

NOTES from Explorations…

Art: For information on Art, please contact Rog Hicks at rjjhicks@comcast.net

Computer Technology: Information regarding Computer Technology classes will be announced once confirmed.

1/2 Music: For information on Music, please contact Janis Katsu at joyful@joyfulsounds.net

3/4 Music: For information on Music, please contact Janis Katsu at joyful@joyfulsounds.net

Physical Education: For information on Physical Education, please contact Laurie Colquitt at laurie.cpt@gmail.com

Spanish:    Information regarding Spanish classes will be announced once confirmed.