Category Archives: Awesome Academic Projects

Trout in the Classroom at Hamlin

During the month of March, Grade 3 students learned 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 trout eggs were received at the beginning of March and hatched near the end of the month. Two of the fish were born with spinal defects, but the rest did well. The fish had their pure spring water changed twice a week, and had a carefully monitored feeding schedule. Throughout the process students were able to see firsthand the various life stages of the trout as they moved from embryonic, to hatching, to larval, to becoming juveniles.

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Exploring the United States with 5th Grade Forum

On March 29, Hamlin held an incredible interdisciplinary learning extravaganza known as 5th Grade Forum. The event was well attended by Hamlin parents who were eager to learn from their daughters. 5th Grade Forum is the first of the Intensives for Middle School. Intensives are a concentrated period of study where an entire grade is working on a project or projects, with profound research and preparation, followed by a public event. Grade 6 students will participate in a Symposium, Grade 7 in Rise to the Challenge, while Grade 8 students will put on an entire musical (Legally Blonde this year).

For the Forum, Grade 5 students were divided into 3 groups based on geographic regions of the United States: Northeast, Midwest, and West. Once in their groups, students set out to become regional experts through a project based learning approach. The Forum incorporated various facets of the following disciplines: Humanities, Math, Science, Art, and Music. During the month-long exploration, students had the opportunity to create collages, math problems, poems, spoken word, and detailed magazines with comprehensive articles.

The magazines had articles covering the following topics: History, Current Events, Travel, Animals, Sports, Environment, Food, Art, Economy, and Cities.

Below is an excerpt from one of the history articles.

Inspiration for the Fortune Cookie:

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Kindergarten Visits Jane the Bakery

A Hamlin Kindergarten class (Ortiz/Burnett) has been focusing their emergent class study on baking. This study is based on student interest through questions, observations, and curiosity. When possible, baking is integrated into various aspects of class, including math, science, and writing. The class has been baking bread all year long with a bread-making machine, but visiting Jane the Bakery (on Geary Street), provided students with an engaging firsthand experience.

Born from a deep-seated love of all things culinary, Amanda Michael founded JANE to satisfy her passion and deliver memorable experiences to the many loyal and transient guests who have come to love the institution. Amanda’ s career in food and hospitality spans decades and she has spent many years cooking and baking in a myriad of restaurants.

Amanda opened Jane on Fillmore in February 2011 with the mission of serving top quality coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch. We serve healthy food with an emphasis on flavor and quality of ingredients. Everything is made fresh daily from scratch.

Jane on Larkin opened in 2013 and our expanded space allowed us to introduce our own line of breads in addition to our house-made pastries. We also introduced our full catering department.

In late 2016, Jane the Bakery opened, allowing us to expand our bakery program even more. We bake several dozen breads daily as well as a full line of laminated items and pastries. Our breads and pastries have quickly gained recognition as some of the best you can find.

As part of their Jane experience students:

-Watched the baking of baguettes

-Watched the baking of cookies

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Building Ballet Barres in Kindergarten

Earlier this week, Ms. O’Brien’s Kindergarten class followed a blueprint, took measurements, and built two ballet barres with the help of Mr. Louie.

Ms. O’Brien shares:

Our class chose dance as their focus for the class emergent study. This study is based on the girl’s questions, observations, and interests. When possible, dance is integrated into all units of study (math, reading, writing, investigations/social studies, and social and emotional learning). In a ‘persuasive writing’ activity, the girls wrote a letter to Mr. Louie requesting his assistance in engineering a ballet barre for our classroom so the girls had a proper space to “warm up.” Mr. Louie accepted and guided the girls throughout the design thinking project.

Below is a photo of the written request from the students to Mr. Louie:

More about our Maker Program:

The Hamlin School Maker Program is designed to deliver moments of impact where girls engage in real world problem solving through Human Centered Design Thinking. Students become problem seekers, focusing on community empathy and collaboration, using ongoing client feedback to drive the direction of their projects. Through their Maker work, our girls work diligently with tools, while developing a new lens by which to see possibility, adaptation, and innovation.

 

 

 

 

Building Community in Grade 1

Grade 1 students have spent much of their school year exploring San Francisco and the people who live in our city. Students began by asking: How can we demonstrate good citizenship in our local community? Girls took walks around the Hamlin neighborhood in order to: make observations, think about the needs of a community, and speak with people who live and work nearby. 1st graders looked at different kinds of maps, made their own maps, and followed maps on the neighborhood walks. The girls also had an opportunity to explore their own home neighborhoods and teach their peers about what they discovered through creating poster boards with photos.

As part of this work, students conducted interviews with community members taking on various roles such as: interviewer, microphone expert, and photographer. Core to this project-based learning endeavor was the integration of technology for conducting interviews and sharing findings. Students utilized GarageBand, QR codes, and the Cardboard Camera app (among others). Hamlin’s tech team has been working with 1st grade teachers for multiple years to support and strengthen this far-reaching pedagogy.

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Hamlin Celebrates International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, Grade 6 students raised money through a bake sale for the nonprofit OneProsper, an organization that supports the education of girls in rural India.

Money raised from the bake sale will go toward funding girls’ education in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India. Girls in that region must walk several hours a day to get water for their families.  Bake sale funds will provide the resources necessary for these girls to attend school  instead of walking for water. OneProsper will use the money to buy water filter systems for these girls’ families as well as giving each girl school tuition, supplies, and a bike for transportation.

Today was the first in a series of bake sales to support OneProsper’s efforts. Recently, Salesforce visited with students and introduced them to their Trailhead technology to create an app to improve bake sale results. This partnership emerged after Hamlin students visited Salesforce as part of our #STEMGenderGap day in December. The app allows costumers to buy goods even if they don’t have any money. The technology also enables Grade 6 girls to pre-order goodies, track inventory, and get the names of customers in order to follow up for future payment. Grade 6 students used the app on their iPads to collect data. Finally results for the early morning sale showed that dessert bars and cakes outperformed cookies. The data also showed $248 worth of sales in less than 30 minutes.

This screen section recorded Bake Sale Items Sold ($) by Type and Size:

Hamlin girls have four more bake sales to go, but their app will certainly help them continue to have sales success.

To learn more about OneProsper, please visit: https://www.oneprosper.org

Ella speaks about the project in this video:

 

Salesforce Helps Grade 6 Design Bake Sale App

Grade 6 Social Studies students are studying the Eastern Hemisphere and the issue of water scarcity in countries like South Sudan and India. As part of their learning experience they are focusing on the struggle of women in the northern Thar Desert where resources are scarce, forcing girls to forgo school in order to walk long distances to get water for their families. Last year we partnered with the nonprofit OneProsper in order to help keep girls in school.

OneProsper International is working to empower girls in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India to break the cycle of poverty. Our holistic solution brings clean water, education and better nutrition to underprivileged girls living in the Thar Desert. 

In September 2017, OneProsper International began construction of rainwater harvesting tanks for 30 families in the Thar Desert which will impact 60 girls. The tanks will be completed in January 2018 and the girls will start attending school February 2018.

This year Grade 6 students are planning a series of bake sales to support OneProsper’s efforts to supply needed water filter technology, farming techniques, school tuition and supplies for each girl. Today Salesforce visited with students and introduced them to their Trailhead technology to create an app to improve bake sale results. Continue reading

Baking Math Into Cakes

Today Grade 5 students had the opportunity to bake a cake and learn about fractions as part of the process.

Students began by completing various math problems in order to determine the quantity of an ingredient required for their specific cake.

Example:

Ingredient 1:

Bennett had 1 & 1/12 hours to play. He walked to the park for 1/2 of an hour. He played at the park for 1/3 of an hour. He ran to a friend’s house for 1/6 of an hour. What fraction of an hour does he have to play at his friend’s if it takes him 1/4 of an hour to walk home from his friend’s house?

The answer (to the above problem) provides the amount of vegetable oil needed for the cake.

Students completed a series of math questions, unlocking the ingredient amounts needed to make a successful cake.

The girls then answered questions related to their recipes, followed a procedure, while also making a couple of hypotheses about the project.

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Kindness and The Giving Tree

We had the opportunity to catch up with some Grade 3 students and learn about their work with kindness.

Teacher Brandy Garcia shares:

The idea behind the 100 Acts of Kindness is that we’re taking notice of what’s around us, observing closely -as researchers we’re accustomed to this way of life- and hoping to catch something that needs to be done.

To get the kindness ball rolling in the right direction, tomorrow we will share our proposed acts of kindness with one another. When we notice someone else doing something kind, it makes us think about how we have seen or experienced something similar and how we can also take action in a similar way. Once we’ve shared these ideas and proposals for acts of kindness -be they big or small- we all of a sudden are held accountable by our peers as they ask, “Hey, how did that dish drying go yesterday?” “Was it hard to pick up all the trash on your block this week?” Our acts of kindness create a community of kindness because invariably it feels nice to make your community a better place. As one child put it today, “I’m going to make this a habit. It felt really awesome to help my dad and he was super happy!” 

So, in conjunction with our reading of the book Because of Winn Dixie, which portrays a tree with bottles filled with notes of things to hold dear…we will fill our Giving Tree with bottles of love and kindness. Every act celebrated and held dear. 

In the coming days the tree will continue to grow and grow with bottles and kindness.

Student-Driven Science: STEM Night 2018

During the month of January, Grade 8 students followed their scientific passions, created their own experiments, and learned a ton in the process. All of the hard work and investigation concluded Thursday with STEM Night.

The days leading up to STEM Night were an opportunity to go through the science exploration process, consider multiple proposals, then practice failing and trying again through many iterations (in some cases 20+).

All the projects involved energy/force in some way, working in the realms of physics, chemistry, engineering, and robotics.

Science teacher, Ms. Gillian Curran adds:

I provided guiding questions, but they figured everything out themselves. In the month leading up to STEM Night, every student had something they were super engaged with, and was self-driven. As part of the work, each girl was in a research group that figured out the science behind the various projects. During February they will create iBooks about the science topics in their experiments, they will then teach part of the upcoming units. 

Our students delved into the following topics (among others):

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