HFS Weekly Collections

HFS News & Special Events
February 10, 2012

Dear Friends,

Please make plans to join us for our 4th Annual Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars next Thursday night, February 16th from 5:30-7:30 PM here at HFS. The evening will feature “star” readers from the HFS and broader community including Harford County Councilmen Capt. Jim McMahon and Chad Shrodes. The event honors founding HFS board member Judy Harlan, late wife of Bill Harlan, a trustee we all know and love. Judy was an elementary school educator and had a passion for reading. After leaving the classroom to run educational programs at Belvedere Farm with Bill, she continued to volunteer to read at a local pre-school on a weekly basis. Judy served on Harford Friends School’s Lower School Planning Team and helped lay the educational and spiritual foundation for the richness that is now our Lower School program.

The event now boasts the inclusion of our annual Scholastic Book Fair through which guests may order from a wide array of books while simultaneously helping the Home and School Association raise funds in support of our school and specifically our teachers’ needs for supplies and equipment. If you are interested in attending, but do not wish to make two trips to school that afternoon, please know that we will host any student who’d like to stay for the event and we will provide a pizza dinner for anyone who stays for the afternoon. Please let me know by noon on Thursday, Feb. 16 if your child(ren) plans to stay.

Also, we will need up to four (4) middle school students to serve as greeters and guides that evening. Please have your child speak with me next week if he/she would like to serve us in that capacity.

Now, on a complete side note, please examine the list of trips/experiences HFS students enjoyed this week (Intermediate Class field trip was on Wednesday)…

Kindergarten        Maryland Science Center, “Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World” (Baltimore, MD)

1st/2nd Grades      JoAnn Fabrics to learn about fabrics, making clothes, and sewing a scarf (Bel Air, MD)

3rd/4th Grades      Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD) and Chopstix Restaurant (Bel Air, MD)

5th/6th Grades      Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians at Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

7th Grade             Kinetic Youth Academy, fitness, fun, and adventure (Joppa, MD)

8th Grade             House of Delegates, Statehouse, Harofrd County Delegation meeting (Annappolis, MD)

Wow! What a wonderful array of real-world experiences in which our classrooms were extended far beyond the walls of the school. Thank you to all who made today and all the other days of learning, adventure, and mastery so much fun. Judy would be proud.



[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.]

“Like” HFS on faceBook!!!


On-line School Reviews – PLEASE HELP!!!

Friends, we are learning of more and more people who are using independent, third-party sources on-line to comparison shop schools (public, private, parochial). In fact, just last week one prospective parent who spent two hours visiting HFS classes and speaking with students and teachers said that she had almost not scheduled a visit since our the HFS profile on “GreatSchools.com” did not have any reviews. Please help us establish our web presence by adding your brief reviews of HFS and all it has to offer. Click on the links below and take just one or two minutes to share your impressions. Your perspective is crucial!  Thanks.

Great Schools:                         http://www.greatschools.org/school/parentReviews.page?id=4050&state=MD#revPagination

Private School Review:             http://www.privateschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/30500

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.

Monday, Feb. 13-Thursday, Feb. 16 – Lower School Scholastic Book Fair (Details to be announced)

Monday, Feb. 13 – Middle School DI practice (3:15-4:30PM)

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Financial Aid Applications due for families new to HFS

Thursday, Feb. 16 – 4th Annual Judy’s Night of a Thousand Stars (5:30-7:30PM at HFS) to honor the memory of founding HFS Board Member Judy Harlan.

Friday, Feb. 17 – School Closed for Mid-Winter Break

Monday, Feb. 20 – School Closed in observance of Presidents Day

Friday, Feb. 24 – Grade 3/4 field trip to Blue Dog Arts (12:30-2:30PM)

Friday, Feb. 24 – Middle School DI practice (3:15-4:30PM)

Saturday, Feb. 25 – 2nd Annual Family Fun Winter Walk to benefit Mason Dixon Community Services

Monday, Feb. 27 – Middle School DI practice (3:15-4:30PM)

HFS Grade 8 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities-8…

English: The eighth graders continue to read and analyze The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  We are planning for our essay on the themes in this novel.  Next week brings a new vocabulary unit and a continuation of our grammar work on participles.

Social Studies: Preparing questions for our meeting with State Delegate Wayne Norman this Friday led the class to review the proposals currently before the Maryland General Assembly.  We look forward to meeting Mr. Norman as well as sitting in on the Assembly in session.  In our continuing study of the American Revolution, we are getting ready for a quiz next week.  Preliminary work on the history research project will begin next week.

NOTES from Technology-8…

Algebra I: Using good “discretion”, I decided that we needed to investigate discrete functions (aka-  ”Don’t connect the dots, or scatterplot functions.”) and their graphs this week.  Sorry for the pun, or at least 2/3 of it, anyway–p.u. Through these functions, which are often defined recursively, we entered into a discussion of finite and infinitely countable sets, distinguishing functions defined these ways from continuous functions, whose graphs can be drawn by “connecting the dots”.  We also discussed other discontinuous functions, such as the “postage function”, which is not discrete.  

After addressing a few issues that I evidently had not explained too well, we took a re-quiz on graphs of continuous functions, on which the class median score was 94%.  We will be concluding our unit on functions and graphs next week, as we study transformations of functions, a topic that will be very useful throughout the remainder of the school year.  A test on this unit will be given next Thursday, before we depart on a long weekend.  Upon our return to school, we will launch into investigations of properties of exponents and exponential growth/decay functions.

Science: 8th graders spent the first part of the week studying how sound is received in the ear.  They have learned the mechanisms of transduction, as sound is converted from a pressure wave to an electrical impulse.  We then looked at the loudness of everyday activities and the possible damage done to human hearing from these activities.  The week concluded with a test on sound.  The rough draft of their procedures for science fair is due on Monday.  Students should begin doing their experiment.

NOTES from Explorations-8…

Computer Technology: Brainology has begun. Students took a brief survey of their opinions of intelligence, talent and school work. They set up user accounts and completed the introductory lesson. They then read a brief article about the brain. Next week, please send ear buds with your student. Any student that misses Computer Technology class during the Brainology unit will make up the missing class on Tuesdays at 11:35 a.m. instead of Committee meetings.

Music: This week the composition students completed an activity focusing on all 12 major scales and their key signatures.  We started our next unit, Musical Enhancement, and discovered the effects and role that music plays in movies.  Students were thoroughly engaged as we discussed and answered the following questions:  how would the meaning of scenes change if music became absent, is the music capable of foreshadowing, and how can music imply humor to the viewers?

Spanish:  We are learning all about food and how to order at restaurants.  The students will be doing a menu project using thier vocabulary which is due on Feb. 28.  We will also be reading more about some cultural aspects of food and writing our own dialogues.

HFS Grade 7 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities-7…

English: Now that Rwanda Negotiations have been completed, the class focused on reading a Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Speckled Band.  Our vocabulary study continues, as well as grammar review of pronouns.  In the near future,  students will receive an outline for the detective fiction project.

Social Studies: This week, the 7th grade Social Studies students have been examining some of the effects from the brief era of European Imperialism. They learned the difference between direct and indirect rule, the effects of switching to a money economy, and the pros and cons of technological developments. It was interesting to have discussions about population growth and how this could be considered both a good thing and a bad thing. The students started organizing information in a Venn diagram so that they could write an essay about the effects of imperialism. Next week, they will have a quiz on this section. Then, they will be tested on the entire “African Heritage” unit by completing an open notes assessment.

NOTES from Technology-7…

Math-B: This week we’ve been working with integers.  We have learned how to calculate the difference between positive and negative numbers and how sometimes a negative number is actually better than a positive number.  (As in golf)  We took our first quiz of the unit and did pretty well.  We will expand our skills with adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers and continue using the “chips” to show us these values.  After we’re done with this section, your kids should be able to balance your checkbooks for you.

Science: 7th graders worked on partner work this week as we explored the properties and behaviors of solids, liquids and gases.  On Thursday, they had the opportunity to teach what they learned to their classmates.  We continued to review our elements and symbols, as well as make corrections and revisions on the literature review.  The first draft of their procedures for their science fair project is due on Monday.

NOTES from Explorations-7…

Computer Technology: Brainology has begun. Students took a brief survey of their opinions of intelligence, talent and school work. They set up user accounts and completed the introductory lesson. Next week, please send ear buds with your student. Any student that misses Computer Technology class during the Brainology unit will make up the missing class on Tuesdays at 11:35 a.m. instead of Committee meetings.

Music: This week the music history students had a slight change in schedule.  Group oral reports were put on hold for next week due to unforeseen circumstances.  Students started reviewing and preparing for their upcoming Renaissance test.  As we reviewed in class, I was impressed with how well the students retained the information that has been presented over the past few weeks.

Spanish: We took our -ar verb quiz and now we will put that information together with our school supply and clothing vocabulary and read and speak some dialogues and answer questions.

HFS Grade 5/6 Weekly Collections

NOTES from Humanities-5/6…

This week in grammar, the students explored two new topics: conjunctions and interjections. In Reading, they analyzed the sequence of events and vocabulary in “The Most Dangerous Game.” Then, they read another short story, “Rules of the Game,” by Amy Tan, and practiced identifying conflict in its plot. Next week, we will discuss the possible sources of conflict in literature. Then, we will begin reading our next novel, “Jungle Crossing.” In Social Studies, the students read about the five different social classes in Ancient Rome. Then, they used multiple resources to learn about life in the city (the forum, the bath houses, entertainment) and life at home (what houses looked like, roles of men, women, and children). The students have been preparing to transform themselves into a unique Roman citizen and create a scrapbook about their everyday lives.

NOTES from Technology-5/6…

Math A: Math A students have finished every problem in “Shapes and Designs.” They received their study guide for the unit test that is scheduled for next Tuesday, 2-14. This week, they started working on their unit project. Each student is designing a book to explain and illustrate knowledge of about 20 geometry vocabulary terms. I have asked them to bring in either a cover sheet for their book or a small three-ring binder. They are also free to bring in pictures (self-taken or from the Internet), magazine clippings, and drawings. We are spending time in class to work on the projects, but some students may need to do work outside of class as well.

Science: A big thank you to Stephanie Johnson for providing and teaching us all about the cow heart and blood pressure last Friday.  Everyone loved it and learned much. This week we finished our focus on the respiratory system by writing the How it Works page for our book.  We continue to play “Simon Says” as we learn new body parts.  We attempted to make models of the lungs and diaphragm.  This turned into a great lesson on why procedures need to be detailed – a perfect segue into procedural writing for the science fair. The rough draft of their procedures was due today.  Some students have been given back their literature reviews for further editing.  We are settling for nothing less than our best!

NOTES from Explorations-5/6…

Computer Technology: Brainology has begun. Students took a brief survey of their opinions of intelligence, talent and school work. They then read a brief article about the brain. Next week, please send ear buds with your student. Any student that misses Computer Technology class during the Brainology unit will make up the missing class on Tuesdays at 11:35 a.m. instead of Committee meetings.

Music: The 5th and 6th grade band students continue to master the seven different notes on their instruments.  Their music is becoming more challenging as they embark on eighth note patterns.  Keep up the hard work intermediate band, and practice your instrument at home so you can log minutes on your practice chart!

Spanish: We finished learning all about cognates.  (ask them to tell you what they are)  We’ve started talking about things around the house.  We will be creating a floor plan showing all types of places, in Spanish, of course.

HFS Lower School Weekly Collections

NOTES from the Intermediate Grades (3/4) Classroom…

This week, the intermediate students enjoyed a fantastic field trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art, where we saw examples of art from Africa, Europe, and Asia.  This should help the students in their culture exhibits, which are due on Wednesday, February 22.  We also enjoyed a great lunch at Chopstix.   In Reading, the class read a biography of George Washington Carver.  In Writing Workshop, we are learning that bigger is not always better in terms of writing projects.  Some students have decided to focus on a shorter time frame or on a specific episode of their character’s life in order to “tell it well”.  In Social Studies, research continues on world cultures.  In Science, levers and pulleys were introduced, and most of the students have chosen their simple machines for their science fair projects.  The students’ drawings and procedures for this project are due on Thursday, February 16.  This is also the due date for the next state poster.  The intermediate Math group began a unit on geometry.  Already, they have learned about lines, line segments, rays, can distinguish parallel and perpendicular lines, and are measuring acute, right, and obtuse angles.  Next week, they will apply this knowledge to a study of different polygons.  Please remember that Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, February 14, the Book Fair is February 13-16, and Judy’s Night is on Thursday, February 16.  Have a great week!

3/4 Computer Technology: This class likes to pick their own subjects of study and our new unit is no different. The class decided they wanted to continue working with the wild animal cards, this time making a poster. Posters involve working with word processing templates, making formatting changes and finding images online. Great start on new concepts.

3/4 Music: This week the third and fourth graders continued to practice their first five notes.  They are doing a great job of taking ownership for their instruments as they prepare to play duets with their classmates.  Keep practicing your instruments at home and don’t forget to fill in your practice chart!

3/4 Spanish: We finished up our family unit.  Ask them how many primos they have.  (they should remember that primo means cousin)  next week we’ll be exploring the house.

NOTES from the Primary Grades (1/2) Classroom…

This week in language arts the Primary Class continued reading “The Secret Zoo.”  We discussed context clues for words that they read and don’t know the meaning of.  The acronym for this is S.A.L.E.D. (ask your child what each letter stands for).  We used this when reading through chapters 4 and 5. Along with this they had to fill out the mystery word sheet.  This sheet helped them figure out the definition of the word, write their own definition for the word, and then use the word in a sentence.  The students continued to work on their autobiographies, with self-editing, peer-editing, and editing with me, before they started on the final draft.  In language arts, the class also made its own homophone matching game.  In theme, the primary class finished up its shelter unit by writing one fact about each shelter they created—igloo, teepee, adobe, and nest.  We also started our new theme on Survival: Clothing, by discussing the importance of clothing, types of clothing, and what clothing is made out of.  This related to our field trip to JoAnn Fabrics, where the students got to see different types of fabric around the store.  The class got to sew their own scarves as well!!! It was very exciting and the first time using a sewing machine for most of the students!  In science, the class did its final egg drop by adding additional materials to its original experiment.  They will then type up their experiment, which will be placed on a poster board for the science fair.  Next week is the Scholastic Book Fair from Monday-Thursday.  The primary class is going to write its wish list, on Tuesday, February 14, to take home and see what they can purchase, on Thursday, February 16.  If you have questions about the book fair please email me.  On Tuesday, February 14 the Lower School is also hosting a Valentine’s Day Party for the whole school, please remember to bring in the food you signed up for on Monday, February 13 or Tuesday, February 14.  The Lower School will be passing out their Valentine’s Day cards on Tuesday, February 14 during snack and break.

1/2 Computer Technology: This week we continued building animal slide show presentations. They found images online and incorporated them into their slide shows. They can’t wait to share their new animal knowledge as well as their new software skills.

1/2 Music: This week the first and second grade students enjoyed a presentation from the sixth grade clarinet students.  Nick, Alyssa, and Will passed the barrel, bell, and ligature pieces of the clarinet around for the elementary students to touch and see close up.  Our guest musicians also demonstrated how to put their instruments together and played a duet of London Bridges for the class.  The 1st and 2nd grade students continue to put the finishing touches on their Instrument Family books they’ve been creating in class.  We are looking forward to a trumpet and flute player coming to class next week!

1/2 Spanish: We learned all about the animals of the ocean and we started learning all about the house.  We will be learning a lot of new words for all types of things around the house, inside and outside and all around from room to room.

NOTES from the Kindergarten Classroom…

We have almost completed learning our first set of sight words.  We are able to easily break apart a word sound, and spell shorter words for simple writing. Our fluency reading BOB books has greatly improved, and we are advancing to the next book each week.   We have been using nursery rhymes to help us sequence first, second, third, and last and are able to find the rhyming words within the poems.

Kindergarten is preparing for our 100th Day of school.  We have been counting items in class to make 100.   Counting sequins proved to be quite difficult do to their small size.  We switched to beans, and were quickly able to count by sets of 10, and glue the beans to make a wonderful collage mask.

We are measuring items all around the classroom and at home, using standard feet, and our own feet.  We read Building a House by Byron Barton, making observations about what would need to be measured, then used a yardstick to build a house of our own.

We are looking forward to our field trip Friday.  We will be visiting the Science Center’s exhibit Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World!  It is a multi-sensory journey where students will continue to explore bug habitats and behaviors.

Kindergarten Spanish: This week we did our months of the year and school supplies activities.  Next week we’ll do activities with parts of the body and a fruit basket.  We’re putting together a new activity book that we will be able to share with our families.