Grade 7 students are writing American History-themed poems in their Social Studies class. As a warm up activity girls wrote a free write with the prompt, Poetry is. In less than five minutes Emily M. wrote the above poem.
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.
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–
Hamlin art students are always exploring and creating highly original work. We recently visited a class where Grade 5 students are making their own cereal box designs.
Art Teacher, Ms. Feldman shares:
Students learned about some of the design elements artists use to create their work. We discussed different size and style of text, color and composition and how these elements help create an interesting and eye catching piece. Girls honed their craftsmanship skills by learning how to use the color pencils to create smooth areas. Students were also required to include something about themselves in their artwork.
For the 4th year in a row, Hamlin students Caitlin and Maggie are leading the initiative to share great female-made films from around the world. There has always been a Hamlin presence in the Noe Valley Girls Film Festival, but this year even more students are avidly supporting this wonderful event.
The Noe Valley Girls Film Festival’s mission is to encourage young girls to make movies with the goals of creating a new generation of moviemakers, promoting Noe Valley, and having fun. With today’s technology, anyone can learn to make a movie. The NVGFF is seeking short film submissions made by girls anywhere in the world in two age groups (ages 11-15 and age 10 and under). Submissions are due by August 1, 2019, and the finalists are expected to be announced in late-August, 2019. The festival will be held at 4:00 pm on September 7, 2019, at the Noe Valley Ministry in Noe Valley, San Francisco, CA. At the festival, we expect to show the top submissions, have a well-known local filmmaker present awards to the winners, and have a raffle.
To learn more, please visit: http://www.nvgff.com/
There is art swimming in our midst. Of course our talented students do art every day, but we also have a highly creative faculty. Be sure to visit the “From the Heart” art display in the East Dining Room, where you will find paintings, quilts, needlepoint, mixed media, embroidery, among other fantastic artwork.
Special thanks to contributing artists: Sarah Cherney, Willow Hagge, Jessie Wayburn, Jim Lengel, Maggie Jo Feldman, Lauren Dyer, Konika Ray, Irene Gonzalez, Hannah Do, Caitlin Stevens, and Andy Witrak.
Guest post by Grade 2 Teacher, Liana O’Brien:
Grade 2 has been practicing mindfulness. We do mindful activities in our classrooms, the lunchroom, and in Español. Recently, each of us wrote our own guided meditation, which means a story you can imagine in your head while relaxing and clearing your mind. The reason we wrote our own mindful minutes is because we have been practicing mindfulness a lot and felt inspired. Also, we didn’t really enjoy the voice on Headspace and thought it could be fun to write and record our own voices. Ms. Davis helped us create our own Google site called Mindful Minutes which can be put on your classroom iPads as an app if you’re interested in practicing more. Each recording is only around a minute long.
On Wednesday, the Grade 7 App Design Elective showed their final projects to The Hamlin School’s Technology Advisory Committee. The semester-long course started with identifying real-world problems and researching existing options for solving those problems. Students then came up with their own solutions keeping target users in mind. Girls created a digital prototype of their app using Balsamiq Mockups and then used code.org‘s App Lab to design and code their app. The presentations included a slideshow of the process as well as a live demonstration of the app.
The student-created apps were:
iStretch: This app encourages users to stretch throughout a busy day to improve health and wellness.
reminDING!: This app acts as personal assistant and helps people juggle day to day tasks.
PACKit: This app helps users pack the perfect clothes for trips anywhere in the world.
Carpool: This app helps families better coordinate getting kids to and from activities.
When asked about the app development process, students shared:
“I really liked doing the coding.”
“It was so much fun turning a drawing on paper into a functioning app.”
Recently, Grade 5 students worked to enlarge and recreate an image by Gary Larson using the grid method. They made a grid on a small image and on a large piece of paper. Students then copied and enlarged the original image.
The grid method is used to create accurate proportions. Proportion is the relationship of two or more elements in a design and how they compare with one another. Using a grid is a popular way to ensure that the proportions and layout of a drawing are correct. It is particularly useful when accuracy is important.
Gary Larson is an American cartoonist. He is the creator of The Far Side, a single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to over 1,900 newspapers for fifteen years. The series ended with Larson’s retirement on January 1, 1995.
On Tuesday, Drew Daywalt and Scott Campbell spoke with lower school students.
Drew Daywalt is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling children’s author whose books include The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home, and The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors.
Scott Campbell creates paintings, illustrations, comics, kid’s books and video games. He has published numerous comics and created paintings that have appeared in galleries and publications around the world.
Mr. Daywalt and Mr. Campbell shared a humor-filled presentation and talked about their creative process. When developing the character Sleepy (from Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy), the two spoke on the phone, discussing various ideas for the illustration. Mr. Campbell then sketched 40-50 different versions of Sleepy before coming up with the final depiction. On the writing side, Mr. Daywalt spent a month editing the story until he was very happy with the narrative. Mr. Daywalt also shared that the main character in Sleepy was modeled after his 9-year old son.
The two men read Sleepy to the girls and demonstrated how to do a couple of drawings from the book. The assembly was a tremendous hit, our students were cheering and very excited to get a behind the scenes look at how books are created.