Virtual Red Folder
February 1, 2018

Curriculum Redux on the Plymouth Website

Have yet to peruse our new website, with a greatly articulated curriculum? This week, we feature Math!

Mathematics is indeed a critical language for understanding the world, and so mathematics is integral to the curriculum at Plymouth Meeting Friends School. In addition to daily dedicated math instruction, children in all grades take part in mathematical encounters and challenges throughout the day, including learning about one-to-one correspondence while taking attendance using clothespins, exploring patterns with the calendar, graphing birthdays using cupcakes, planning circus seating, using Cartesian coordinates to enlarge pre-Columbian designs, and measuring an acre in the field. In every grade at PMFS, projects like these build students’ mathematical curiosity, imagination, and problem-solving abilities.

The Math in Focus curriculum, used in PMFS classrooms from Kindergarten through Sixth Grade, overlaps with the school’s broader philosophy of active, experiential, and project-based learning. This curriculum uses a proven teaching approach that builds from concrete hands-on learning, to pictorial representations of concepts, to abstract understanding. The Math in Focus curriculum is built around the acclaimed Singapore math curriculum, and it is fully aligned with Common Core standards. This curriculum enables our students to become strategic, confident, and persevering mathematical problem-solvers who are well prepared for math beyond PMFS.

Click here to read more on the website about our Math program at each grade level Kindergarten through Sixth Grade.

Fourth Grade using dice to learn about data and probability

Emergent Curriculum as Witnessed in Second Grade

Our Second Graders are following a plan that they put in place yesterday when they discovered that one of the women they were reading about in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Leymah Gbowee, has a birthday today. This morning after Worship Sharing, they visited classrooms to tell other students about their plans for celebrating this remarkable woman. Here is the message they wrote and delivered:

“Today, the Second Graders are celebrating a very important birthday””the birthday of Leymah Gbowee. She is a peace activist who led a group of women in Liberia that helped stop the war there. With her small group of women, she made the two sides negotiate and would not let them leave until a peace agreement was made.

Our class is putting up posters and might have a peace march. We will honor her by having a special treat. Leymah Gbowee teaches us that no matter how terrible something is, we can work for peace.”

Click here to watch a video of a group of Second Graders presenting to First Grade.

Week Two of the Mexican Exchange Program

It’s hard to believe that two weeks have passed since students from Colegio Williams in Cuernavaca arrived to stay with Fifth Grade families. Their second week was as full as the first. Following a long weekend with their host families””which included everything from trips to New York to biking along the Wissahickon””the Buddies explored the Franklin Institute, enjoyed the Philadelphia Zoo, and did question-and-answer sessions in PMFS classrooms. At yesterday’s Farewell Ceremony, Williams students reflected on their experience as they gave speeches to their host families and we were reminded how opening your heart and your home changes people. Through hugs and smiles and some tears this morning as Williams students departed, both Williams and PMFS students and their families know their family is richer””and bigger””for the experience. As one student remarked yesterday, “I can’t wait to see you in Cuernavaca and I hope this friendship never finishes. Thank you for giving me a new family.”

Williams School students enjoying a snowy day at the Zoo

At the Farewell Ceremony yesterday

Tomorrow, February 2 “” Parent Coffee: Discover Grades 1-3

All are welcome. Come learn about the wonderful world of the some of the lower grades at PMFS. Visit the classrooms and see what lies ahead for your lovely ones. We’ll gather in the Corson Lobby 8:00 – 8:30 am, with the program 8:30 – 9:15 am.

Query at Worship Sharing

First Grade worked hard to create their very first query. The query they chose was:

How are you kind?

First Grade joined their buddies in Fifth Grade for Worship Sharing

Keep an Eye on Your Mail

Contracts for the next school year were sent out this week and are due back Wednesday, February 15. Please be in touch with Lael in the Admissions Office with any questions:

Head Search Update: Nominations for Search Committee Close February 2

The Naming Committee has been working hard to identify the members of our community who will serve on the Search Committee for a new Head of School. We received a report this week that they are very happy with both the quantity and quality of nominations they have received, and plan to finish their work next week. If you would like to be considered for the Search Committee, or know someone who should be considered, please let Ralph Henninger know by tomorrow, February 2nd.

For more information on the Naming Committee, the Search Committee, and what to expect throughout the year, please see our January 18 post in the Virtual Red Folder.

Thank you,
Your School Committee

Vacation Care Sign Up Open for February 19 and 20!

Join us for Vacation Care Monday, February 19 and Tuesday, February 20. We will explore different art materials with Barbara and Chelsea and play with friends in the gym and the playground.

Please sign up using this link by February 9 for discounted rate and drop payment at the Main Office. You can e-mail Dayna ( with any questions.

Online PMFS Directory – Check your Email

Yesterday, an e-mail from with the fishy-looking subject line “Plymouth Meeting Friends School: Confirm your email” was delivered to your inbox. We promise it’s not SPAM. This e-mail gives you access to create a password and sign into our new PMFS online directory!

Please follow the instructions and link in that e-mail to get started. If you have any problems, please contact us at Do remember to check your Spam folder in case your e-mail server missed the memo.

Thank you so much!
Dayna, Kelly and Joyce

Upcoming @PMFS

Friday, February 2
Community Coffee, 8:00 – 9:15 am

Tuesday, February 6
Fifth Grade Parents: Mexico Meeting Part 2, 7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 7
Open Library, 3:15 – 4:15 pm
Fifth Grade to Total Recycling

Thursday, February 8
Meeting for Worship, 8:30 am

Friday, February 9
Vacation Care 2/19 & 2/20 Sign-Up Due
Click here to sign-up

Plan ahead:
February 19 and February 20
School Closed

Want more info on happenings at school?
Go to, where you can subscribe to the new PMFS Public Calendar.

Quick Links

NEW! PMFS 2018-19 At-a-Glance Calendar
February Calendar
2017-18 At-a-Glance Calendar
2017-18 Calendar of Events
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