HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
September 25, 2009

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

September 25, 2009

Dear HFS Community Families,

As routine settles into the school year, students and teachers begin the process of identifying existing skills and knowledge, assessing the reliability of the recall and application of both, and crafting lessons, projects, and activities that will challenge students and force them to stretch and grow. This cyclical process of identifying skills to be developed, presenting challenges just beyond their current ability, teaching strategies and new skills, stretching beyond what was known or done before, assessing for evidence of growth, and then reflecting upon how and why new abilities exist and how they might be applied occurs dozens and dozens of times throughout the school year. In our Primary classroom Ms. Grossman identifies the range of reading and math abilities, then crafts her instruction to meet the needs of her individual students. Each then applies their developing skills to the theme at hand. A visit to her classroom will reveal student explorations, at their developmental level, into everything from scientific observation (daily recordings of temperature) to discussions of friendship and the Quaker “SPICES” tenets of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship/service. These are shared beautifully through her class’ SPICES puzzle in which each child’s puzzle piece uniquely reflects who they are and is interlocked with a puzzle piece representing at least two of the “SPICES.” As Ms. Grossman’s baseline assessments are wrapped up in September, it will be with great interest and awe that we can all see the magic of a school year embodied in the growth of the youngest within our community. At the other end of the HFS student spectrum our eighth grade students prepare for high school and the associated academic expectations and demands. At some point during the school year, each will have his or her moment when the comfort and satisfaction with the present is overtaken by the excitement and anxious anticipation of what is to come. For many eighth grade students this occurs just after the start of the New Year, for others it takes longer, some sooner. In each case, the act of dreaming about spreading one’s wings and his or her eagerness to see what life beyond HFS has to offer is a sign of preparedness. It is what successful middle school programs do, supply the wings to fly. When the next school year begins, our current Primary class students will be flying along the same path toward independent flight, but they will be a little further along than they are right now. For those students, the real benchmark will be their recognition of themselves as “the older” and “wiser” students than the younger students entering HFS. Those returning students will begin their second year testing wings and flying more gracefully and confidently than the year before.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Students continue to be involved in the many activities involved with English 8.  We are working on Unit 2 in Spelling-Vocabulary and will no doubt have a test very soon.  We have pretty much finished reviewing nouns and will have a quiz on that material as well.  Next stop — Pronouns!  We will be reviewing the Five Paragraph Essay this week as well, so it might be a good idea to get ready to hear some moans and groans on the subject.  It really isn’t so bad once a bit of practice has taken place.  Please remember that our next book report is due October 12.

Social Studies: With a return to health, the eighth grade hit the ground running on Wednesday in social studies-8. The start of our Mapping Project was another victim of the malady that hit the class. That project is now on temporary “hold” until we successfully complete our first unit on the early English settlements of Jamestown and Plymouth. We took a major step forward in that process this week with the administration of a “practice” group quiz on the first 12 chapters of reading. Students, permitted to reference their CRFs (Chapter Review Forms), and talk with other members of their three or four person groups, were required to answer three randomly assigned questions covering topics within the first twelve chapters. Though not yet graded, the answers presented in class demonstrated a solid understanding of the material, but lacked the strength of a well-supported and thoughtfully organized response. These are ongoing skills that will be developed throughout the course. It is expected that with each such effort, students’ skills will develop. Students also had their first taste of note-taking during an interactive lecture that summarized critical points specific to the Jamestown settlement and its progress from founding to thriving and the five critical “firsts” that occurred in 1619. I was pleased to see all students keep up with the pace of transcribing the notes from the board until I mentioned that I would make the notes available electronically at a later date. Some vigor was lost at this point, as was the level of participation. The practice in transcribing notes and making it a relatively fluid effort will be critical as I slowly begin to move from teacher-writing and student-copying to teacher-dictating and student-summarizing in class lecture. Rest assured, this will be a methodical process with many stages. Finally, our trip on Friday provides us with an opportunity to consider and imagine the patterns and ways of life that were changed forever with the introduction of European settlers to our shores. Be on the lookout next week for the class Revision Policy, which we will discuss in class before sending home for parent review and signatures.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: For information on 8th grade math, please contact pitzraymond@aol.com

Science: This week the class tackled ions and ionic bonds.  We worked with potatoes, toothpicks and raisins to make models of valence electrons – critical in determining the likelihood of an atom becoming an ion. Tuesday we reorganized binders to accommodate a chronological system of keeping notes, worksheets, test, etc.  Every paper is to be dated and then inserted into the binder accordingly.  Also on Tuesday, the class worked hard to wrap their brains around the how and why of ionic bonding.  The week concluded with a quiz on chpt.1, sec. 3.  Next week we will work through chp1, sec4: Covalent Bonds.  A test is in the near future (October 7); it will cover chp1 secs1-4.

NOTES from Explorations…

Physical Education: In order to improve the health of our community through improved nutrition and physical activity, the week of September 26 through October 3 has been dedicated as Healthy Harford Way to Wellness Week! Come join us in our efforts to help make Harford County the best-fit County. Body Styles by Mel is offering free group fitness class all week to everyone. We are also offering free fitness assessment to the first 30 people (by appointment only). Come and join us for a fun filled week of fitness.

Cans 4 Fitness Food Drive – This October Body Styles by Mel is offering FREE fitness training just for helping those in need. Anyone who brings in 4 cans of food or non-perishable food items may take any one group fitness class offered by Body Styles by Mel for free! The more cans you bring, the more classes you can take.

In addition, the first 30 people who bring in 20 cans or non-perishable food items will receive a half-hour one-on-one personal training session with one of Body Styles by Mel’s trainers.

“This is a difficult time for everyone in our community, and we wanted to do something real to help,” explains Mel Royster, owner of Body Styles by Mel. “We know that people can neglect their own fitness at times of stress, and we know there is ever increasing need in our community right now. Cans 4 Fitness will help people deal with stress by staying healthy and getting back into shape in a very affordable way, and it will help to ensure that those who need help with necessities right now will enjoy a bountiful holiday.”

The goal is to collect at least 250 pounds of food for Manna House Soup Kitchen, which is run by the Bel Air United Methodist Church. Body Styles by Mel will update progress on how much food has been collected on their web site, and the food will be delivered the first week in November, so it will be available for help during the holidays.

“This is a very easy way for everyone to benefit,” says Mel. “I put it very simply – get off your can and give a can. Everyone will win.”

Spanish: We spent the week learning about different Hispanics that are making a difference right now and some that have made a difference in our world in the past.  We heard oral presentations about Erik Sosa, Pablo Casals, Placido Domingo, Walt Disney and Frida Kahlo.  We will finish up next week and move on to review weather and calendar.

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

1.  Friday, Sept. 25 – Back to School Picnic at Eden Mill Nature Center (3:30-7:00PM)

2.  Monday, Sept. 28 – LS/8th grade students need donations of fresh apples. Please send any donations in with your child on Monday morning, to be delivered to Broad Creek classroom.

3.  Monday, Sept. 28 – Blueberry Festival 2009 volunteer review in Deer Creek Classroom (6PM)

4.  Reminder – When calling the school, please use the 410-452-5507 number, as the fax line (410-452-5537) is not usually answered.

5.  Thursday, October 1 – Admissions applications for the 2010-2011 school year available

6.  Friday, October 2 – Parent Activities Session #2 (1:50-3:00PM)

7.  Saturday, October 3 – Darlington Apple Festival (8AM-5PM) – HFS information booth to be staffed by parent volunteers. Contact Sarah Buchanan-Wollaston if you are able to volunteer.

8.  Tuesday, October 6 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (location TBA) 8:00-8:50AM [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]

9.  Tuesday, October 6 – Middle School Math Counts with Mr. Norton. (3-4PM, Forest Hill)

10. Wednesday, October 7 – Blueberry Festival 2010 Coordinators meeting in Deer Creek classroom (6-7PM)

11. Thursday, October 8 – Back to School Night (6-8PM)

12. Friday, October 9 – 6th Grade field trip to Blue Dog Arts Café (Depart 12:30, Return 3:00PM)

13. Monday, October 12 – MS Destination Imagination with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM, Fawn Grove)

14. Monday, October 12 – High School visitation date for HFS 8th grade students (absence excused with prior written notification)

15. Tuesday, October 13 – Middle School Math Counts with Mr. Norton. (3-4PM, Forest Hill)

16. Thursday, October 15 – HFS Open House (9-11AM) Parent volunteers needed to greet guests and lead tours of classes in session.

17. Thursday, October 15 – LS Destination Imagination with Mrs. De Mey (3:30-5:00PM, Little Falls)

18. Thursday, October 15 – High School Night at Harford Day School (7:00PM)

19. Friday, October 16 – 7th & 8th Grade students SAT Prep Session #1 – Verbal (3:30-5:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please register with Virginia Remsberg.

20. Reminder! The Home & School Association expects each family to contribute a minimum of $15 for dues to ensure that we all share the obligation of reaching our fundraising goals. Checks should be made out to “HFS H&SA” and can be sent in to the school office.


HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

September 25, 2009

Dear HFS Community Families,

As routine settles into the school year, students and teachers begin the process of identifying existing skills and knowledge, assessing the reliability of the recall and application of both, and crafting lessons, projects, and activities that will challenge students and force them to stretch and grow. This cyclical process of identifying skills to be developed, presenting challenges just beyond their current ability, teaching strategies and new skills, stretching beyond what was known or done before, assessing for evidence of growth, and then reflecting upon how and why new abilities exist and how they might be applied occurs dozens and dozens of times throughout the school year. In our Primary classroom Ms. Grossman identifies the range of reading and math abilities, then crafts her instruction to meet the needs of her individual students. Each then applies their developing skills to the theme at hand. A visit to her classroom will reveal student explorations, at their developmental level, into everything from scientific observation (daily recordings of temperature) to discussions of friendship and the Quaker “SPICES” tenets of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship/service. These are shared beautifully through her class’ SPICES puzzle in which each child’s puzzle piece uniquely reflects who they are and is interlocked with a puzzle piece representing at least two of the “SPICES.” As Ms. Grossman’s baseline assessments are wrapped up in September, it will be with great interest and awe that we can all see the magic of a school year embodied in the growth of the youngest within our community. At the other end of the HFS student spectrum our eighth grade students prepare for high school and the associated academic expectations and demands. At some point during the school year, each will have his or her moment when the comfort and satisfaction with the present is overtaken by the excitement and anxious anticipation of what is to come. For many eighth grade students this occurs just after the start of the New Year, for others it takes longer, some sooner. In each case, the act of dreaming about spreading one’s wings and his or her eagerness to see what life beyond HFS has to offer is a sign of preparedness. It is what successful middle school programs do, supply the wings to fly. When the next school year begins, our current Primary class students will be flying along the same path toward independent flight, but they will be a little further along than they are right now. For those students, the real benchmark will be their recognition of themselves as “the older” and “wiser” students than the younger students entering HFS. Those returning students will begin their second year testing wings and flying more gracefully and confidently than the year before.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

English: Students continue to be involved in the many activities involved with English 7.  We are working on Unit 2 in Spelling-Vocabulary and will no doubt have a test very soon.  We have pretty much finished reviewing nouns and will have a quiz on that material as well.  Next stop — Pronouns!  We will be introducing the Five Paragraph Essay this week as well, so it might be a good idea to get ready to hear some moans and groans on the subject.  It really isn’t so bad once a bit of practice has taken place.  Please remember that our next book report is due October 12.

Social Studies: Seventh grade social studies had the first quiz on Mexico this week.  As we move through parts of Latin America, we will have smaller quizzes.  The materials that we create to study for these smaller quizzes will be greatly helpful when we beginning reviewing for the test at the end of the unit.  We are now moving on to Central America and the West Indies.  With extremely varied histories, this almost artificial grouping of nations has a fascinating history.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: In seventh grade math we are continuing our investigation of the interplay between and analysis of graphs, tables, and soon equations.  We are more comfortable with determining an appropriate scale when graphing, and we can determine the independent and dependent variable well.  We will add a new wrinkle next, equations. Can we determine an effect and consistent means of representing data with an equation? This will be the question of next week.

Science: Seventh graders have been busy this week learning about populations, limiting factors, carrying capacity and exponential growth patterns.  We have discovered that space is usually a limiting factor on population density, except for those organisms that are smart enough to figure out how to overcome the crowding issue!  The students have finished writing their second journal entry – many have been asked to redo it in order to improve upon it.   Everyone moaned when it was discovered that from a single pair of flies the population size can grow to over 5 trillion flies in just one year if left unchecked.  We all agreed that car windshields, fly swatters and predators were much appreciated in this respect.

NOTES from Explorations…

Physical Education: In order to improve the health of our community through improved nutrition and physical activity, the week of September 26 through October 3 has been dedicated as Healthy Harford Way to Wellness Week! Come join us in our efforts to help make Harford County the best-fit County. Body Styles by Mel is offering free group fitness class all week to everyone. We are also offering free fitness assessment to the first 30 people (by appointment only). Come and join us for a fun filled week of fitness.

Cans 4 Fitness Food Drive – This October Body Styles by Mel is offering FREE fitness training just for helping those in need. Anyone who brings in 4 cans of food or non-perishable food items may take any one group fitness class offered by Body Styles by Mel for free! The more cans you bring, the more classes you can take.

In addition, the first 30 people who bring in 20 cans or non-perishable food items will receive a half-hour one-on-one personal training session with one of Body Styles by Mel’s trainers.

“This is a difficult time for everyone in our community, and we wanted to do something real to help,” explains Mel Royster, owner of Body Styles by Mel. “We know that people can neglect their own fitness at times of stress, and we know there is ever increasing need in our community right now. Cans 4 Fitness will help people deal with stress by staying healthy and getting back into shape in a very affordable way, and it will help to ensure that those who need help with necessities right now will enjoy a bountiful holiday.”

The goal is to collect at least 250 pounds of food for Manna House Soup Kitchen, which is run by the Bel Air United Methodist Church. Body Styles by Mel will update progress on how much food has been collected on their web site, and the food will be delivered the first week in November, so it will be available for help during the holidays.

“This is a very easy way for everyone to benefit,” says Mel. “I put it very simply – get off your can and give a can. Everyone will win.”

Spanish: We spent the week learning about different Hispanics that are making a difference right now and some that have made a difference in our world in the past.  We heard oral presentations about Erik Sosa, Pablo Casals, Sonya SotoMayor, Ellen Ochoa, Pedro Martinez, Pam Munoz Ryan, Pablo Picasso, and others. We will finish up next week and complete the practice on greetings.

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

1.  Friday, Sept. 25 – Back to School Picnic at Eden Mill Nature Center (3:30-7:00PM)

2.  Monday, Sept. 28 – LS/8th grade students need donations of fresh apples. Please send any donations in with your child on Monday morning, to be delivered to Broad Creek classroom.

3.  Monday, Sept. 28 – Blueberry Festival 2009 volunteer review in Deer Creek Classroom (6PM)

4.  Reminder – When calling the school, please use the 410-452-5507 number, as the fax line (410-452-5537) is not usually answered.

5.  Thursday, October 1 – Admissions applications for the 2010-2011 school year available

6.  Friday, October 2 – Parent Activities Session #2 (1:50-3:00PM)

7.  Saturday, October 3 – Darlington Apple Festival (8AM-5PM) – HFS information booth to be staffed by parent volunteers. Contact Sarah Buchanan-Wollaston if you are able to volunteer.

8.  Tuesday, October 6 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (location TBA) 8:00-8:50AM [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]

9.  Tuesday, October 6 – Middle School Math Counts with Mr. Norton. (3-4PM, Forest Hill)

10. Wednesday, October 7 – Blueberry Festival 2010 Coordinators meeting in Deer Creek classroom (6-7PM)

11. Thursday, October 8 – Back to School Night (6-8PM)

12. Friday, October 9 – 6th Grade field trip to Blue Dog Arts Café (Depart 12:30, Return 3:00PM)

13. Monday, October 12 – MS Destination Imagination with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM, Fawn Grove)

14. Monday, October 12 – High School visitation date for HFS 8th grade students (absence excused with prior written notification)

15. Tuesday, October 13 – Middle School Math Counts with Mr. Norton. (3-4PM, Forest Hill)

16. Thursday, October 15 – HFS Open House (9-11AM) Parent volunteers needed to greet guests and lead tours of classes in session.

17. Thursday, October 15 – LS Destination Imagination with Mrs. De Mey (3:30-5:00PM, Little Falls)

18. Thursday, October 15 – High School Night at Harford Day School (7:00PM)

19. Friday, October 16 – 7th & 8th Grade students SAT Prep Session #1 – Verbal (3:30-5:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please register with Virginia Remsberg.

20. Reminder! The Home & School Association expects each family to contribute a minimum of $15 for dues to ensure that we all share the obligation of reaching our fundraising goals. Checks should be made out to “HFS H&SA” and can be sent in to the school office.


HFS Grade 6 Weekly Collections

September 25, 2009

Dear HFS Community Families,

As routine settles into the school year, students and teachers begin the process of identifying existing skills and knowledge, assessing the reliability of the recall and application of both, and crafting lessons, projects, and activities that will challenge students and force them to stretch and grow. This cyclical process of identifying skills to be developed, presenting challenges just beyond their current ability, teaching strategies and new skills, stretching beyond what was known or done before, assessing for evidence of growth, and then reflecting upon how and why new abilities exist and how they might be applied occurs dozens and dozens of times throughout the school year. In our Primary classroom Ms. Grossman identifies the range of reading and math abilities, then crafts her instruction to meet the needs of her individual students. Each then applies their developing skills to the theme at hand. A visit to her classroom will reveal student explorations, at their developmental level, into everything from scientific observation (daily recordings of temperature) to discussions of friendship and the Quaker “SPICES” tenets of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship/service. These are shared beautifully through her class’ SPICES puzzle in which each child’s puzzle piece uniquely reflects who they are and is interlocked with a puzzle piece representing at least two of the “SPICES.” As Ms. Grossman’s baseline assessments are wrapped up in September, it will be with great interest and awe that we can all see the magic of a school year embodied in the growth of the youngest within our community. At the other end of the HFS student spectrum our eighth grade students prepare for high school and the associated academic expectations and demands. At some point during the school year, each will have his or her moment when the comfort and satisfaction with the present is overtaken by the excitement and anxious anticipation of what is to come. For many eighth grade students this occurs just after the start of the New Year, for others it takes longer, some sooner. In each case, the act of dreaming about spreading one’s wings and his or her eagerness to see what life beyond HFS has to offer is a sign of preparedness. It is what successful middle school programs do, supply the wings to fly. When the next school year begins, our current Primary class students will be flying along the same path toward independent flight, but they will be a little further along than they are right now. For those students, the real benchmark will be their recognition of themselves as “the older” and “wiser” students than the younger students entering HFS. Those returning students will begin their second year testing wings and flying more gracefully and confidently than the year before.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Humanities…

Students continue to be involved in the many activities involved with Humanities 6.  We are working on Unit 2 in Spelling-Vocabulary and will no doubt have a test very soon.  We are still reviewing the stupendously interesting topic of nouns and are getting more and more proficient in working with them. We will also be creating a character very soon who lived in the Old Stone Age and will descriptively tell about a day in his/her life. I am so looking forward to seeing what the class can do with this activity.  Please remember that our next book report is due October 12.

NOTES from Technology…

Math: This week in sixth grade math we continued to work with multiples and factors and began to look further at the ideas of the least common multiple and greatest common factor.  We used Venn diagrams to help us keep track of common and unique factors and multiples.  These will be the first looks at an idea that we will return to when we discuss prime factorization.  These ideas will also come back when working to simplify fractions later in the year.

Science: In sixth grade science we started a lab that aims to investigate phototropism.  Ask your student what phototropism means.  We will be growing peas in different levels of darkness and with different sources of light to determine the effects of light on the growth of plants.  We are also finishing up our posters that we hope to put up around the room that describe the important structures in roots, stems, and leaves, and the role of xylem and phloem in each.

NOTES from Explorations…

Physical Education: In order to improve the health of our community through improved nutrition and physical activity, the week of September 26 through October 3 has been dedicated as Healthy Harford Way to Wellness Week! Come join us in our efforts to help make Harford County the best-fit County. Body Styles by Mel is offering free group fitness class all week to everyone. We are also offering free fitness assessment to the first 30 people (by appointment only). Come and join us for a fun filled week of fitness.

Cans 4 Fitness Food Drive – This October Body Styles by Mel is offering FREE fitness training just for helping those in need. Anyone who brings in 4 cans of food or non-perishable food items may take any one group fitness class offered by Body Styles by Mel for free! The more cans you bring, the more classes you can take.

In addition, the first 30 people who bring in 20 cans or non-perishable food items will receive a half-hour one-on-one personal training session with one of Body Styles by Mel’s trainers.

“This is a difficult time for everyone in our community, and we wanted to do something real to help,” explains Mel Royster, owner of Body Styles by Mel. “We know that people can neglect their own fitness at times of stress, and we know there is ever increasing need in our community right now. Cans 4 Fitness will help people deal with stress by staying healthy and getting back into shape in a very affordable way, and it will help to ensure that those who need help with necessities right now will enjoy a bountiful holiday.”

The goal is to collect at least 250 pounds of food for Manna House Soup Kitchen, which is run by the Bel Air United Methodist Church. Body Styles by Mel will update progress on how much food has been collected on their web site, and the food will be delivered the first week in November, so it will be available for help during the holidays.

“This is a very easy way for everyone to benefit,” says Mel. “I put it very simply – get off your can and give a can. Everyone will win.”

Spanish: We spent the week learning about different Hispanics that are making a difference right now and some that have made a difference in our world in the past.  We heard oral presentations about Erik Sosa, Pablo Casals, Juan Ponce De Leon, Pablo Picasso, Salma Hayak, George Lopez, and Antonio Banderas.  We learned classroom commands and started to work on numbers.

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

1.  Friday, Sept. 25 – Back to School Picnic at Eden Mill Nature Center (3:30-7:00PM)

2.  Monday, Sept. 28 – LS/8th grade students need donations of fresh apples. Please send any donations in with your child on Monday morning, to be delivered to Broad Creek classroom.

3.  Monday, Sept. 28 – Blueberry Festival 2009 volunteer review in Deer Creek Classroom (6PM)

4.  Reminder – When calling the school, please use the 410-452-5507 number, as the fax line (410-452-5537) is not usually answered.

5.  Thursday, October 1 – Admissions applications for the 2010-2011 school year available

6.  Friday, October 2 – Parent Activities Session #2 (1:50-3:00PM)

7.  Saturday, October 3 – Darlington Apple Festival (8AM-5PM) – HFS information booth to be staffed by parent volunteers. Contact Sarah Buchanan-Wollaston if you are able to volunteer.

8.  Tuesday, October 6 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (location TBA) 8:00-8:50AM [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]

9.  Tuesday, October 6 – Middle School Math Counts with Mr. Norton. (3-4PM, Forest Hill)

10. Wednesday, October 7 – Blueberry Festival 2010 Coordinators meeting in Deer Creek classroom (6-7PM)

11. Thursday, October 8 – Back to School Night (6-8PM)

12. Friday, October 9 – 6th Grade field trip to Blue Dog Arts Café (Depart 12:30, Return 3:00PM)

13. Monday, October 12 – MS Destination Imagination with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM, Fawn Grove)

14. Monday, October 12 – High School visitation date for HFS 8th grade students (absence excused with prior written notification)

15. Tuesday, October 13 – Middle School Math Counts with Mr. Norton. (3-4PM, Forest Hill)

16. Thursday, October 15 – HFS Open House (9-11AM) Parent volunteers needed to greet guests and lead tours of classes in session.

17. Thursday, October 15 – LS Destination Imagination with Mrs. De Mey (3:30-5:00PM, Little Falls)

18. Thursday, October 15 – High School Night at Harford Day School (7:00PM)

19. Friday, October 16 – 7th & 8th Grade students SAT Prep Session #1 – Verbal (3:30-5:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please register with Virginia Remsberg.

20. Reminder! The Home & School Association expects each family to contribute a minimum of $15 for dues to ensure that we all share the obligation of reaching our fundraising goals. Checks should be made out to “HFS H&SA” and can be sent in to the school office.


HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

September 25, 2009

Dear HFS Community Families,

As routine settles into the school year, students and teachers begin the process of identifying existing skills and knowledge, assessing the reliability of the recall and application of both, and crafting lessons, projects, and activities that will challenge students and force them to stretch and grow. This cyclical process of identifying skills to be developed, presenting challenges just beyond their current ability, teaching strategies and new skills, stretching beyond what was known or done before, assessing for evidence of growth, and then reflecting upon how and why new abilities exist and how they might be applied occurs dozens and dozens of times throughout the school year. In our Primary classroom Ms. Grossman identifies the range of reading and math abilities, then crafts her instruction to meet the needs of her individual students. Each then applies their developing skills to the theme at hand. A visit to her classroom will reveal student explorations, at their developmental level, into everything from scientific observation (daily recordings of temperature) to discussions of friendship and the Quaker “SPICES” tenets of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship/service. These are shared beautifully through her class’ SPICES puzzle in which each child’s puzzle piece uniquely reflects who they are and is interlocked with a puzzle piece representing at least two of the “SPICES.” As Ms. Grossman’s baseline assessments are wrapped up in September, it will be with great interest and awe that we can all see the magic of a school year embodied in the growth of the youngest within our community. At the other end of the HFS student spectrum our eighth grade students prepare for high school and the associated academic expectations and demands. At some point during the school year, each will have his or her moment when the comfort and satisfaction with the present is overtaken by the excitement and anxious anticipation of what is to come. For many eighth grade students this occurs just after the start of the New Year, for others it takes longer, some sooner. In each case, the act of dreaming about spreading one’s wings and his or her eagerness to see what life beyond HFS has to offer is a sign of preparedness. It is what successful middle school programs do, supply the wings to fly. When the next school year begins, our current Primary class students will be flying along the same path toward independent flight, but they will be a little further along than they are right now. For those students, the real benchmark will be their recognition of themselves as “the older” and “wiser” students than the younger students entering HFS. Those returning students will begin their second year testing wings and flying more gracefully and confidently than the year before.

In peace,

Jonathan

NOTES from Primary Grade…

This week the primary class has been focusing on a mini unit of Seasons and Weather, which is part of the larger theme Sun, Moon, and Shadow.  This will also be connected to our field trip to Irvine Nature Center where we will explore seasonal changes.  As a reminder, please make sure your children wear appropriate clothing for the outdoors ex: jeans or sweatpants, t-shirt, and sneakers.  We will be going rain or shine.  In science we are still working with different objects to discover more about air by making parachutes and using syringes and tubes to discover different ways air works.  Monday we will be celebrating Johnny Appleseed Day, by reading a story about Johnny Appleseed, doing a taste test of apples and making a graph of the Lower School’s favorite apple, and a special activity with their 8th grade buddies of making cider (for this I would also recommend your children wear appropriate clothing).  Also, the lower school and the 8th grade will be pressing apple cider for the whole school (44 children). If anyone would like to donate apples for making apple cider, please send them in with your child on Monday morning, to be delivered to Broad Creek classroom. As many apple donations as possible would be wonderful and we would appreciate it!  I will also be sending out a Scholastic book order form Monday. If you choose to order, please return the order form to me by October 5th.

NOTES from Intermediate Grade…

We will receive a visit from John Stokes of the Tracking Project and then journey to Indian Steps Museum on Friday, September 25.  We will depart at 10:00 a.m. and return to HFS at approximately 2:45 p.m.  We hope to use this experience to assist us in the building of our model Native American village.  This project will span several weeks, and you will be invited to see the results of our efforts when we are done.  In other areas, we should complete our math review chapter within the week, we will begin our third group reading selection and spelling unit on Monday, each student will continue to work hard on his or her first or second personal narrative writing piece, and we will continue to explore seeds and fruits in science.  Our third- and fourth-graders have established the lower school committee with Miss Grossman, and the fifth-graders have joined various middle school committees.  Have a great week!

NOTES from Explorations…

Physical Education: In order to improve the health of our community through improved nutrition and physical activity, the week of September 26 through October 3 has been dedicated as Healthy Harford Way to Wellness Week! Come join us in our efforts to help make Harford County the best-fit County. Body Styles by Mel is offering free group fitness class all week to everyone. We are also offering free fitness assessment to the first 30 people (by appointment only). Come and join us for a fun filled week of fitness.

Cans 4 Fitness Food Drive – This October Body Styles by Mel is offering FREE fitness training just for helping those in need. Anyone who brings in 4 cans of food or non-perishable food items may take any one group fitness class offered by Body Styles by Mel for free! The more cans you bring, the more classes you can take.

In addition, the first 30 people who bring in 20 cans or non-perishable food items will receive a half-hour one-on-one personal training session with one of Body Styles by Mel’s trainers.

“This is a difficult time for everyone in our community, and we wanted to do something real to help,” explains Mel Royster, owner of Body Styles by Mel. “We know that people can neglect their own fitness at times of stress, and we know there is ever increasing need in our community right now. Cans 4 Fitness will help people deal with stress by staying healthy and getting back into shape in a very affordable way, and it will help to ensure that those who need help with necessities right now will enjoy a bountiful holiday.”

The goal is to collect at least 250 pounds of food for Manna House Soup Kitchen, which is run by the Bel Air United Methodist Church. Body Styles by Mel will update progress on how much food has been collected on their web site, and the food will be delivered the first week in November, so it will be available for help during the holidays.

“This is a very easy way for everyone to benefit,” says Mel. “I put it very simply – get off your can and give a can. Everyone will win.”

Primary Spanish: In this week’s class, we reviewed basic greetings and also learned how to describe ourselves…by stating if we are a boy or a girl and also we learned how to say how old we are.  The children have a take-home sheet to help them practice.  Also, we learned how to pronounce the first 4 letters in the Spanish alphabet…A-B-C-CH.  To aid with pronunciation and vocabulary review, students should visit http://www.frenchspanishonline.com/beginnerspanish/freespanish.html For this week, the students can use this site to review and listen to greetings and the first four letters of the Spanish alphabet.  We also learned about Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15) and the students listened to a story about Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa music.  We also listened to some of her music.

Intermediate Spanish: In this week’s class, we reviewed basic greetings and also learned how to describe ourselves…by stating if we are a boy or a girl and also we learned how to say how old we are.  The children have a take-home sheet to help them practice.  Also, we learned how to pronounce the first 4 letters in the Spanish alphabet…A-B-C-CH.  To aid with pronunciation and vocabulary review, students should visit http://www.frenchspanishonline.com/beginnerspanish/freespanish.html For this week, the students can use this site to review and listen to greetings and the first four letters of the Spanish alphabet.  We also learned about Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15) and the students learned about Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa music.  We also listened to some of her music.  The students must research 1 fact about Celiz Cruz and present to the class on 9/29 what they learned.

Announcements/Calendar Updates…

1.  Friday, Sept. 25 – Back to School Picnic at Eden Mill Nature Center (3:30-7:00PM)

2.  Monday, Sept. 28 – LS/8th grade students need donations of fresh apples. Please send any donations in with your child on Monday morning, to be delivered to Broad Creek classroom.

3.  Monday, Sept. 28 – Blueberry Festival 2009 volunteer review in Deer Creek Classroom (6PM)

4.  Reminder – When calling the school, please use the 410-452-5507 number, as the fax line (410-452-5537) is not usually answered.

5.  Thursday, October 1 – Admissions applications for the 2010-2011 school year available

6.  Friday, October 2 – Parent Activities Session #2 (1:50-3:00PM)

7.  Saturday, October 3 – Darlington Apple Festival (8AM-5PM) – HFS information booth to be staffed by parent volunteers. Contact Sarah Buchanan-Wollaston if you are able to volunteer.

8.  Tuesday, October 6 – Parent Coffee with the Head of School (location TBA) 8:00-8:50AM [Reminder: This is an adult-only HFS function.]

9.  Tuesday, October 6 – Middle School Math Counts with Mr. Norton. (3-4PM, Forest Hill)

10. Wednesday, October 7 – Blueberry Festival 2010 Coordinators meeting in Deer Creek classroom (6-7PM)

11. Thursday, October 8 – Back to School Night (6-8PM)

12. Friday, October 9 – 6th Grade field trip to Blue Dog Arts Café (Depart 12:30, Return 3:00PM)

13. Monday, October 12 – MS Destination Imagination with Virginia Remsberg (3:30-5:00PM, Fawn Grove)

14. Monday, October 12 – High School visitation date for HFS 8th grade students (absence excused with prior written notification)

15. Tuesday, October 13 – Middle School Math Counts with Mr. Norton. (3-4PM, Forest Hill)

16. Thursday, October 15 – HFS Open House (9-11AM) Parent volunteers needed to greet guests and lead tours of classes in session.

17. Thursday, October 15 – LS Destination Imagination with Mrs. De Mey (3:30-5:00PM, Little Falls)

18. Thursday, October 15 – High School Night at Harford Day School (7:00PM)

19. Friday, October 16 – 7th & 8th Grade students SAT Prep Session #1 – Verbal (3:30-5:00PM, Fawn Grove) Please register with Virginia Remsberg.

20. Reminder! The Home & School Association expects each family to contribute a minimum of $15 for dues to ensure that we all share the obligation of reaching our fundraising goals. Checks should be made out to “HFS H&SA” and can be sent in to the school office.