Hamlin Celebrates Diwali

On Thursday night, almost 200 people celebrated Diwali with joy and vibrant energy. Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, and means “row of lights.” It is a time to rejoice in the triumph of light over darkness and is embraced by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. Diwali provides a reminder to start over and invite new energy into your life. The holiday began on November 7 and will last five days.

Lower school girls performed a celebratory dance wearing colorful traditional clothing in front of a large audience comprised of faculty, family members and classmates. Students were also able to create decorative art called Rangoli with chalk. Adults and children alike enjoyed traditional Indian foods like saag paneer and raita, while festive music played in the background.

This event was sponsored by PLAID, to learn more about PLAID please visit: https://www.hamlin.org/page/plaid

 

Grade 3 Students Perform “Cero” in Spanish

Members of Grade 3 recently performed in the play Cero. The performance was lauded by both parents and faculty members alike.

From Cero’s program:

This Third Grade Spanish play is the result of a collaborative and interdisciplinary project combining theater arts and Spanish. Students have worked on key elements of acting and staging during the rehearsal process. At the same time, the girls have been developing their fluency while using many new Spanish words and phrases within the context of telling a story. 

In addition to developing students’ language and acting skills, we hope that this project has enhanced the girls’ range of self-expression, confidence, and enjoyment of both Spanish and theater. 

Synopsis:

Cero is a big, round number… but she feels empty on the inside. As Cero watches the other numbers count off, she wishes that she could count, too. But how can a number worth nothing count for something? 

No matter how much Cero tries to change her shape, she realizes that she will always be a zero.

Will Cero learn that everyone has value, no matter their shape or size?

Hamlin Shows the Film: “If I Were The President”

On election day, The Hamlin School welcomed filmmaker Anna Sergeeva to speak with students in grades 4-8. Ms. Sergeeva visited Hamlin last spring and filmed girls talking about what they would change if they were president for her film, If I Were The President.

Ms. Sergeeva shares more about the project:

I found a worksheet from when I was seven years old. Prompted by “If I were the President of the United States, I would change…”, I wrote “that every family has a home.”

In April 2018, I traveled across America with filmmaker Aimee Hoffman, asking over 100 young people under 18 years old what they would change if they were the President of the United States. We started in San Francisco, then headed to Boulder, Colorado, New Orleans, Nashville, rural Ohio and ended in New York City.

The project’s website – ifiwerethepresident.org – features artifacts from the journey including a short film, portraits, and written statements as well as a downloadable template to share what you would change as President and an accompanying lesson plan to facilitate this activity in schools.

Students in the film speak about the following (among other topics):

Protecting the Earth, Gun Reform, Fighting Poverty, Free and Accessible Healthcare, Free and Accessible Education, Ending War, Ending Racism, and Helping Refugees

After showing the film, our girls had the opportunity to write down what they would focus on if they were president. Multiple students then stood up and shared what they would change. Students spoke passionately about strengthening gun laws, getting rid of the electoral college, improving mental health awareness and ending homelessness.

The assembly provided students with a powerful forum to think about our democracy and our shared humanity.

 

 

 

 

Citizen Science at Mountain Lake

On Monday, Grade 6 students had their first visit of the school year to Mountain Lake in San Francisco.

The Hamlin School is situated within the urban confines of San Francisco. However, every year students have the opportunity to spend intensive days studying nature, collecting data, and participating in ongoing research work.

This hands on encounter with ecology takes place at Mountain Lake, a natural 1,700-year-old freshwater pond. “The area around Mountain Lake is home to 250 species of birds, 30 species of butterflies, 50 species of mammals, and more federally protected species than any other national park in the continental United States.” Spanish explorers who went on to settle San Francisco spent their first night camped by the lake in 1776.

In more recent years it was discovered that the entire lake was polluted. This was caused by dirty water run off from a nearby road, pesticides from the adjacent golf course, and people dumping non-native fish and turtles into the lake. The situation became so dire that the Presidio Trust had to kill all the fish in the lake with 50 gallons of rotenone, an odorless, colorless, poison. Once the water quality was restored, the Presidio Trust reintroduced non-invasive species better suited for the Mountain Lake environment.

Through the diligent work of faculty member Rachel Davis, Hamlin has been partnered with the Presidio Trust for a number of years. “The Presidio Trust is an innovative federal agency created to save the Presidio, (once a premier U.S. Army post) and share it with the public as a vibrant national park site.”

Over the years Hamlin students have:

-Collected data on birds for migration patterns

-Collected data on plants in order to look at climate change

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Former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios Speaks at Hamlin

On Friday, The Hamlin School was honored to welcome former Treasurer of the United States, Rosie Rios.

Rosie Rios was the 43rd Treasurer of the United States and has accepted a position as a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University effective October of 2016. She is most recently known for initiating and leading the historic efforts to place a woman on U.S. currency for the first time in over a century. She resigned her position in July 2016 and received the Hamilton Award, the highest honor bestowed in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. At the time of her resignation, she was the longest serving Senate-confirmed Treasury official beginning with her time on the Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team in November 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.

Treasurer Rios gave an inspiring presentation and shared the following (among other points):

-“It is important for me that girls see themselves on our currency. I want girls to see themselves as history-makers. It is inspiration for aspiration.”

-She spoke about how few women from history are seen in public places, as statues, on our currency, on the walls of high school classrooms.

-She led a campaign asking the American people for suggestions about which woman should be on the twenty-dollar bill.

-Harriet Tubman was selected for the twenty-dollar bill, but Treasurer Rios wanted every submitted woman to be recognized. She created a website called Teachers Righting History, where people can learn more about all the women who received votes, almost 250 in total.

-“There are very few public statues of women. San Francisco doesn’t have a single one. But very soon there will be a statue of Maya Angelou in front of the Main Public Library.”

-Treasurer Rios is leading a campaign to bring more public statues of women to cities like New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

-Treasurer Rios is also working with Major League Baseball to create baseball cards of all the women from the Teachers Righting History database. The MLB will be distributing these baseball cards at games next season.

-As a special surprise, Treasurer Rios signed (above her official printed signature) and distributed dollar bills for every middle school girl.

To learn more about her work with Teachers Righting History, please visit: http://teachersrightinghistory.org/

 

Grade 4 Visits the Hiller Aviation Museum

Earlier this week, Grade 4 students had the opportunity to visit the Hiller Aviation Museum. Students learned about various facets of aviation, including the science behind flight, and the history of several planes and helicopters. Our girls also had the chance to participate in flight simulation programs.

The Mission of the Hiller Aviation Museum is:

We use aviation as a gateway to embrace innovation and adventure while using tools of science to explore how the physical world works and how the dream of flight is made into reality.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.hiller.org/

 

Spanish Students Interpret Artwork

Grade 7 Hamlin Spanish students recently created a museum of Hispanic artists. Girls researched the lives of various artists and then wrote about one work of art and created a short biography about the life of their artist, employing art history vocabulary along with the use of the past tense. As part of the interdisciplinary Spanish and Art project, students role-played as Hispanic artists, interviewing each other about what inspired and defined their artwork. For the creative part of the project, students had the freedom to write a poem, take a photograph or paint a work of art similar to the original piece.

Above, Ava’s painting is on the left and Noé Canjura’s is on the right.

More of these beautiful art pieces are on display in the East Dining Room.

Day of Service with Grade 7

On Tuesday, Grade 7 students left campus to volunteer and visit with the nonprofits Glide, St. Anthony’s, Faithful Fools, Lava Mae (in Oakland), and Matter of Trust. 

The objectives for the day were to: foster community, team build, cultivate empathy, and learn how service can impact the world.

Highlights of the day included the following:

-Dancing to ABBA while serving and cleaning up breakfast at Glide

-Eating at St. Anthony’s Dining Room

-Quietly reflecting on time spent in the Tenderloin

-Meeting members of the Faithful Fools

-Helping out with a Lava Mae Pop Up Care Village

-Matting hair (for beach clean ups) and sorting eco products at Matter of Trust

During the reflection time, one student shared the following about her experience at Glide:

We are all humans with the same wants and needs. We should all help each other because that is what we are supposed to do. 

Below are links to the various organizations:

https://lavamae.org/

https://www.glide.org/

https://www.stanthonysf.org/

https://matteroftrust.org/

https://www.faithfulfools.org/

 

Hamlin University: Year 2

At The Hamlin School we want parents to learn with us. We feel that a community functions best when we are all knowledgeable about the philosophical and practical approaches to educating children. With this in mind, today we launched our second year of Hamlin University.

The following classes are taking place over the course of this academic year:

-Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) for Parents, taught by Kylie Cobb

-The Birds and the Bees, taught by Konika Ray

-The Beginning Reader, taught by Lindsay Bothwell

-Public Speaking, taught by Tim Johnson

-Moving Beyond the Leveled Letters, taught by Lindsay Bothwell

-Think Like a Mathematician, taught by Gillis Kallem

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Science Students Turn Tissue into Art

Students in Grade 7 have been studying tissue in science. They examined slides for the following tissue types: epithelial, muscle, connective, and nervous. As part of an interdisciplinary project, students selected one slide, then created a painting based on what they observed.

The above painting is titled Ocean of Spiders. The tissue type is nervous. These cells are located in the brain. The tissue reminded the artist of raindrops and spiders. The artist characterized the tissue this way:

It is dyed with silver. The neuron has a circular core that has one long branch that sends messages, and a lot of tiny branches that receive messages.

These fascinating paintings are currently on display in front of our middle school science classrooms.