Category Archives: Professional Development

May You Be Well: Professional Development Day

This year’s theme is May You Be Well. The words are derived from a Buddhist blessing and set us forth to take care of each other and our community throughout the school year. This means we strive for balance, and work to enrich and focus on our relationships, while continuing to create an excellent academic program. May You Be Well is a theme that also encourages our faculty to model a positive example for students, demonstrating how we can live and work with less stress.

On the morning of November 1, Hamlin employees let go of their laptops and put wellness into practice. The day started with inspiring words from our Head of School, Wanda M. Holland Greene, followed by a meditation session led by Hamlin parent, Ara Goolumian. At 9 a.m. employees departed for various self-selected activities.

Personal wellness included:

Yoga, Zumba, Meditation, Hiking in the Presidio, and Mindful Eating

Two groups also visited Compass Family Services and North Beach Citizens to learn about how those organizations are helping to support wellness for people facing homelessness.

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Dr. Michael G. Thompson Speaks at Hamlin

On September 25, The Hamlin School welcomed world-renowned psychologist, Dr. Michael G. Thompson.

Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. is a consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School and has worked in more than seven hundred schools across the United States, as well as in international schools in Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

He and his co-author, Dan Kindlon, wrote the New York Times best-selling book, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Ballantine Books, 1999). He is the author of Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions about Raising Sons (Ballantine, 2000), and co-author (with Catherine O’Neill Grace and Larry Cohen, Ph.D.) of Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children (Ballantine, 2001) and Mom, They’re Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems (Ballantine, 2002.) About Best Friends, Worst Enemies the Publishers Weekly review declared, “Not since Dr. Spock and Penelope Leach has there been such a sensitive and practical guide to raising healthy children.” The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and in Life (with Teresa Barker, Ballantine, 2004) was written to help parents understand the complex journey of children through school, from Kindergarten through senior year. His third book on the psychology of boys, entitled, It’s a Boy!: Understanding Your Son’s Development from Birth to Eighteen, was published in 2008. It focuses on the importance of undirected, free play in the lives of boys. Dr. Thompson’s newest book, Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help a Child Grow, was published by Ballantine Books in May of 2012.

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Welcome Back to Hamlin, “May You Be Well”

On August 21, 2017, The Hamlin School welcomed back all faculty to start a new school year. This year’s theme is May You Be Well. The words are derived from a Buddhist blessing and set us forth to take care of each other and our community throughout the school year. This means we will strive for balance, and work to enrich and focus on our relationships, while continuing to create an excellent academic program. May You Be Well is a theme that also encourages our faculty to model a positive example for students, demonstrating how we can live and work with less stress.

Throughout the opening week various faculty members led wellness activities. These included: A brisk neighborhood walk, relaxing on the roof, mindfulness, pilates, climbing, yoga, singing, and art making. On Friday afternoon faculty had the opportunity to spend a full hour doing one of the following activities: SoulCycle, walking, Zumba, yoga.

Willow Hagge, (Director of Extended Day and Co-Curricular Programs) shared the following about the emphasis on health and wellness.

The week provided a chance for faculty to care for themselves, mind, body, spirit. It’s a stressful time of year. We wanted faculty and staff to have moments to pause and rejuvenate as they prepared for the school year. 

Hamlin Travels the World with Google Expeditions

Today, Hamlin students had the opportunity to travel virtually to places like Chichen Itza, Mount Rushmore, and the village where Nelson Mandela grew up, through the technology of Google Expeditions. The immersive experience served to enhance both Spanish and Social Studies curriculum.

Google Expeditions enable teachers to bring students on virtual trips to places like museums, underwater, and outer space. Expeditions are collections of linked virtual reality (VR) content and supporting materials that can be used alongside existing curriculum. These trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas — 360° panoramas and 3D images — annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools. There are 600 expeditions to choose from.

Students used virtual reality headsets with Android phones to bring images to life. While the girls explored various places, Hamlin teachers provided narrative information about the locales.

Hamlin faculty member Rachel Davis states, Google Expeditions give students an opportunity to explore an area through immersion, they get to be involved in the whole experience.

Hamlin 5th graders loved Google Expeditions. We liked how we can see structures from both a side view and from above, it was like going on a learning vacation without getting on a plane.

Below is a video of Hamlin 3rd graders exploring Mount Rushmore:

To learn more about Google Expeditions, please visit: https://edu.google.com/expeditions/#about

 

 

Project Based PD: Designing A Mini-Golf Course in 2nd Grade

Under the leadership of Mark Picketts, Hamlin’s Director of Program Innovation and Professional Development, teachers have been exploring and learning this year through inquiry projects that they personally design. As action researchers, teachers use data, research, and reflection to investigate, modify, and improve their teaching practice. All teachers who participate in the Inquiry Project Year will share their findings with their colleagues at a year-end celebration of learning.

As part of her inquiry year, physical education teacher Terry McDonald created a dynamic project that allowed 2nd graders to design their own miniature golf courses. With the help of funds from Hamlin’s Raise the Paddle, Ms. McDonald was able to purchase mini-golf starter kits, she then partnered with Urban Putt in San Francisco so students could conduct research at their facility, while playing a round. The golf project integrated disciplines, combining technology, student-made video tutorials, tracking the design process via their iPads, while incorporating the geometric angles of math, all within the context of sport. Through the project, students were able to learn about golf, golf etiquette, while collaborating to make their courses as challenging as possible.

 

Watch this amazing integration project with second graders documented as part of Hamlin’s Project Based Professional Development program:
(link for internal users only)

Inquiry Project Year and Environmental Stewardship

Under the leadership of Mark Picketts, Hamlin’s Director of Program Innovation and Professional Development, teachers have been exploring and learning this year through inquiry projects that they personally design. As action researchers, teachers use data, research, and reflection to investigate, modify, and improve their teaching practice. All teachers who participate in the Inquiry Project Year will share their findings with their colleagues at a year-end celebration of learning.

As part of her project year, Ms. Ray (Lower School Science Teacher) developed a K-4 environmental stewardship field trip strand to inspire an appreciation of biodiversity and give students opportunities to take action to create positive change in our community. The strand begins in kindergarten and first grade by exploring local habitats and learning about plant and animal adaptations for survival. These concepts develop a sense of place and community for our youngest scientists and expose them to the idea that everything is interconnected on our planet. Second, third, and fourth grade scientists further develop their understanding of interconnections leading them to want to take action in the form of environmental stewardship.

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Project-Based Professional Development

This year we are experimenting with a modified faculty evaluation model; it is “project-based PD*” or a year of in-depth inquiry for experienced faculty.  During the Inquiry Project Year, Hamlin teachers will be able to dig deeply into an area of their own practice that they have identified. As action researchers, teachers will use data, research, and reflection to investigate, modify, and improve their teaching practice.

One teacher’s project sought to give her students more freedom to explore during their visit to SF MOMA.  Our wonderful middle school art teacher, Ms. Feldman worked with technology integrator Ms. Davis to design a digital docent for her collaborative work with the museum:

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Hamlin Students Make “Apps for Good”

AppsforgoodWe live in a digital age where thoughtful people strive everyday to find solutions to problems both mundane and profound.

At the Hamlin School in San Francisco students can take a 7th grade arts elective class where they work together to identify real issues that they care about, brainstorm ways to address those problems, and then learn to build apps to solve them. Students work through all key aspects of new product development, including: idea generation, technical feasibility, programming, design, deciding on business models and marketing.

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Professional Development Spotlight: ATLIS Conference 2016

At Hamlin, we’re constantly striving to innovate in the classroom, with the benefit of students and evidence based pedagogy at the heart of our choices. ATLIS, a new organization started only two years ago, offers a great conference focusing on education technology specifically in Independent Schools. I’m grateful to the Hamlin community for sponsoring me as I pursued this excellent professional development opportunity.

Sessions included:

  • Ideas around integrating maker spaces into curriculum
  • How to create relevant and timely digital citizenship curriculum
  • Cyber security
  • The future of education technology in Independent Schools
  • Strategies around providing professional development to faculty and staff

I also teamed up with Kelsey Vrooman, one of the founding members of ATLIS, and presented a Deep Dive (1h45min) presentation about Blended Learning (BL). With around 20 attendees, we had a fruitful discussion about BL and how various models are being applied within Independent Schools currently.

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Having returned, my mind is now buzzing with ideas! Thank you, Hamlin, for the opportunity to connect with like minded educators and learn from some of the most accomplished education technology leaders in the country.

Hamlin Tech PD Recognized in Fast Company

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