Category Archives: Awesome Academic Projects

Raising Trout in Lower School Science

Lower school students are learning about the fragile lifecycle of fish through their participation in a program called Trout in the Classroom.

Trout in the Classroom is a community-based program which allows students to experience first hand the delicate balance needed for animals to survive in aquatic ecosystems. Using eggs provided by a hatchery, classes set-up and maintain an aquarium for the purpose of observing the development of fish from the eyed-egg stage until they become young fry. Students engage in a course of study which supports the learning experience across curriculum area. This program is run cooperatively by local schools, fishing clubs and government agencies.

Objectives:

-Provide a positive learning program for classrooms on the value of aquatic ecosystems through the hatching and release of trout.

-Help students learn about their local watershed and how human activities affect the quality of water in local streams, lakes and the bay.

The 50 healthy trout eggs were received (two have died) and will hatch in the coming days. Once hatched, the fish will have their pure spring water changed twice a week, with a carefully monitored feeding schedule. Throughout the process students will see firsthand the various life stages of the trout as they move from embryonic, to hatching, to larval, to becoming juveniles.

On March 27 students are planning to go to Lake Merced in San Francisco to release the trout.

To learn more about this program, please visit: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/CAEP/R3

Making A Skateboard

Grade 8 students have the opportunity to take a Maker elective class. This class is hands-on, dynamic, and fun. Students are able to use an assortment of materials to design and construct various creations.

Lexie made a skateboard for her project. She has been skating since she was 4 and has gone to skateboarding camps. Lexie has done ramp and street skating, but now mostly uses her boards to cruise around. She loved making the skateboard, but said that the hardest part was screwing in the trucks so that the wheels were perfectly aligned.

To learn more about our Maker Program, please visit

https://www.hamlin.org/program/technology-and-innovation/maker-program

 

Grade 2 Makes A Newspaper

Students in Grade 2 recently created an original newspaper. The newspaper features eclectic offerings including the following sections: Book Reviews, Opinions, Travel, and Education.

Below is the text of an opinion piece by Sammie entitled, Saving Our Planet and Animals.

Dear My Saver,

Animals around the world have been having their habitats cut down or being destroyed. And to help i think we can not use plastic, stop cutting down trees, and try being less wasteful and compost. Just imagine one of your favorite animals being extinct! And what if many animals at once go extinct! Climate change is making our planet too hot! Our planet has not been treated properly and I think that there is a way that us people can help save our planet. You can help too! Help by using less plastic! Soon there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Now you go out and get a reusable water bottle and use less plastic!!

When asked about writing a newspaper, one student shared:

It feels good and exciting because I get to share my writing with everyone in the world and they get to learn about why I love writing.

Grade 3: California Painting and Poetry

I am big and strong
I hold up the snow
Up Up Up

I provide water
Growing crops
Helping California

I smell fresh
The mist blowing overhead

I am the princess of the sky
My tips pointed up

I am still
Solid stone

I am thunder
Water trickling down me

I am nature’s wonderland
Full of beautiful plants

I have great big
Snowpacks

I am born
Of rocks

I am Sierra

-Leah

Grade 5 Creates Human Emotion Personality Profiles

Grade 5 recently did a creative writing exercise based on Ruth Gendler’s Book of Qualities. With a partner, students created a “human personality profile” of a feeling. The collaborative thinking helped girls to better understand the nuances within moods and feelings.

Understanding Character Traits Through Food

Grade 2 has been doing a deep study of book characters in order to understand outside and inside traits. As part of this investigation, girls did a lesson using food and recipe writing. Ms. Biale brought two kinds of biscuits, sweet and savory. The biscuits looked the same from the outside, but tasted differently on the inside. This hands on experience helped students see that the outside is just a part of the story. Then the girls wrote “recipes” to describe characters in their books. They wrote descriptions like “1 cup of bravery, 1 teaspoon of fear, and a dash of cleverness,” alongside a drawing of the character. Later, students also created recipes to describe themselves. This integrating of food with literature provided a wonderful and profound learning experience.

Ukuleles and Tuning Technology

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.

Studying Author Craft In Grade 2

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 Write About Identity

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
“Chloe”
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,
Chloe.

Mentoring and Making: Grades 8 and 3 Work Together

For a 3rd year in a row, our Grade 3 students are busy constructing their very own ukuleles. This project has become a class favorite, as girls are guided through the process with Mr. Louie, our dynamic Maker Teacher. This year, Grade 8 students regularly work with our Grade 3 girls, helping with the ukulele construction and strengthening sisterhood along the way.

Our students are doing the following to make the ukuleles:

-Use a band saw to cut wood (plywood for the bodies, oak for the sides and neck, walnut for the bridge)

-Cut the wood for the body

-Paint the body

-Cut the neck

-Sand the edges

-Glue on the neck, drill holes for pegs, nails for frets

-Attach strings to tuners

Later in the school year, Grade 3 students will have the opportunity to perform with these self-created instruments.