Grade 3 students are in the process of building their own ukuleles with maker teacher Mr. Louie, but in the meantime they are practicing on our school instruments. As part of this music making experience, students learn how to tune their ukuleles using iPads. There are 4 strings on a ukulele, G, C, E, and A. The Tunefor Ukulele app tells students if the string is too high, too low, or just right. It’s a complex skill, so they work together to figure it out. Part of the process is also training their ears so they can eventually learn to listen for what the instrument is supposed to sound like.
In our class we studied Author Crafts and focused on what an author does to make a book powerful. Some authors we studied were Mo Willems, Jan Brett, John Rocco, Amy Krause, and Scott Magoon. Examples of Author Crafts are BIG and small text in speech bubbles, thinking bubbles, and strong words to paint a clearer picture of the character or what is happening in the book. After we studied these authors, we made Author Craft posters to teach our classmates more about these special crafts. I like Author Crafts because I get to study what an author does to make their books shine! We are adding what we learned to our writing in wordless picture books to make these published books even better! We are now making a class book and next will make our own.
Guest post by Grade 2 student, Maya K.
Grade 5 students recently created writing pieces that share parts of their identity.
Below is a poem by Chloe:
Like flowers blowing on a field with luscious grass.
One name out of three, but most importantly, Chloe.
A Greek origin,
A sweet peach on a tree, sweet and sour with a tart aftertaste.
Smooth and slick like leather.
A sweet ring to my ear every time someone calls out the name
The name that’s only mine, the name I keep close to my heart.
Not a hand-me-down, nor a Great Grandmother’s name, only mine.
The unique, bright, and special name, Chloe.
The name that flows in your mouth like a river.
Number 9 most popular in America in the year 2009.
But no matter how popular it was or still is, it’s mine.
“Clo-Bow” or “Clo” but still truly, Chloe.
A Green Shoot, meaning I’ll bloom in spring
Blooming and Verdant,
Inspired by ghosts and the approach of Halloween, Grade 1 students recently turned McKinne Lounge into a beautiful Pac-Man game. During the research process, girls watched videos of Pac-Man to better understand details about the game. Students had the opportunity to work on their tracing and cutting skills when creating the various color cutouts. In the coming days, Ms. Kallem will be using the art display as part of a math measurement lesson with Grade 3 girls.
On Monday, author Dashka Slater spent the day and evening speaking with parents, faculty members, and students. All faculty members and Grade 8 students recently read her thought-provoking book, The 57 Bus.
The 57 Bus is a: riveting nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, punishment, and tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California.
Best-selling author Dashka Slater has been telling stories since she could talk. An award-winning journalist who writes for such publications as The New York Times Magazine and Mother Jones, she is also the author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults.
Her New York Times bestselling true crime narrative, The 57 Bus has received numerous accolades, including the 2018 Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association and the 2018 Beatty Award from the California Library Association. It was a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist, an LA Times Book Award Finalist, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Young Adult Book of the Year, in addition to receiving four starred reviews and being named to more than 18 separate lists of the year’s best books, including ones compiled by the Washington Post, the New York Public Library, and School Library Journal.
Highlights of her visit included:
-A small group of Grade 8 students had lunch with Ms. Slater and were able to ask in-depth questions about: the writing process, interviewing people for the story, being unbiased as a writer, specific content choices, many other aspects about the book.
-With the Grade 8 students, Ms. Slater often created a back and forth discussion, engaging with our girls, as they shared their viewpoints on how the book was written.
-Ms. Slater led a conversation about the power of restorative justice with Hamlin faculty members.
-Ms. Slater explained how she sought to tell the “whole story,” for both the victim and the perpetrator, asking the reader to hold both stories at once.
-Ms. Slater cited that 1 and 250 people are transgender, about 1 million Americans, adding that 77% of transgender youth have been harassed at school.
-Ms. Slater cited that between 2003 and 2013, African American juveniles were more than 4 times as likely to be incarcerated as white juveniles for the same crime.
-Ms. Slater shared that she was surprised and heartened by the level of compassion that the two families (victim and perpetrator) showed each other throughout the book-writing process.
To learn more about Dashka Slater and her book, please visit: https://www.dashkaslater.com/
The first PLAID event of the year – a Jewish Cultural Celebration took place on Wednesday, October 2. This well-attended event featured music, a performance and Hora dance led by our students, a short presentation on the high holidays by Hamlin alum (and the first female rabbi at Congregation Sherith Israel) Jessica Zimmerman Graf ’87, and tons of delicious food.
PLAID’s mission is to support a vibrant and inclusive environment in which all members of the community can celebrate their authentic selves. We foster open dialogue through family programs, parent education, and community outreach.
This next PLAID event is: Parenting Generation Z Kids-Gender Inclusivity Film Screening and Discussion, 6 p.m. on November 4.
To learn more about PLAID, please visit: https://www.hamlin.org/plaid
On Tuesday, Katherine Rundell dazzled students in Grades 3-5 with an eclectic presentation that stirred the imagination of everyone in the room.
Katherine Rundell is the author of Rooftoppers, Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms (a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner), The Wolf Wilder, and The Explorer. She grew up in Zimbabwe, Brussels, and London, and is currently a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She begins each day with a cartwheel and believes that reading is almost exactly the same as cartwheeling: it turns the world upside down and leaves you breathless. In her spare time, she enjoys walking on tightropes and trespassing on the rooftops of Oxford colleges.
Highlights included Ms. Rundell:
-Describing swimming next to pink dolphins in the Amazon River
-Sharing the importance of including detailed descriptions of food when writing books
-Describing the taste of a tarantula as a mix of burnt hair and dirt
-Describing the way a wolf smells and breathes
A couple of Katherine Rundell quotes:
“Don’t let me people tell you that your stories are too unlikely.”
“A good book makes the world disappear, if you keep looking you will meet that book!”
To learn more about Ms. Rundell and her books, please visit: https://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Katherine-Rundell/410789881–
Grade 3 students have been exploring their identity through art. In Mr. Witrak’s art class, girls took an iPad selfie, and then created a pencil self-portrait based on that image. This project emphasized: understanding the proportions of the face, shading techniques, and making the eyes come alive. In the spring our girls will do a similar painting project in the cubist style.
The colorful self-portrait (done in Ms. Levy’s class) is a silhouette filled with images that delve into the artist’s identity. This art project will be complemented by student-created I Am poems later in the month.
Last week our Grade 4 students spent 3 days and 2 nights in beautiful Big Basin. Highlights included: making s’mores, hiking, preparing meals, enjoying giant redwood trees, and bonding with classmates.
To learn more about our Outdoor Education program, please visit: https://www.hamlin.org/program/outdoor-education
Grade 1 students recently learned about Pop Artist, Andy Warhol. They looked at images of his work, and noticed his use of bright colors and repetition. Inspired by Warhol, students created their own Pop Art using construction paper and paint.