Tag Archives: San Francisco

Hamlin Kindergarteners Visit the Curran Theatre

This week a class of Hamlin kindergarteners had the opportunity to visit the Curran Theatre. Earlier in the year some of our students watched a performance of the musical Bright Star at the theatre. On another occasion many of our girls sang at the theatre as part of the new season launch. We are very excited about this vibrant and ongoing partnership with the Curran.

Built in 1922, the Curran has housed some of the biggest productions in theater history and has maintained a reputation over the course of its life as one of the premier live entertainment venues in North America. Now, almost a century after it welcomed its first Bay Area audiences, the Curran has just completed a major restoration and renovation. Under the curation of eight-time Tony Award-winner Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Curran reopened its 1,600 seat venue in January 2017 with the groundbreaking musical FUN HOME. Now, the Curran is offering our first ever subscription offering. #CURRAN2018 is a full season of jaw-dropping theater, entertainment and artistry that offers four new works by some of the world’s most celebrated theater artists and an eclectic line-up of special events.

Kindergarten teacher Ms. Phillips shares more about their visit:

The girls got the chance to sit in the balcony and learned about the history of the theatre and some fun facts- it opened in 1922 ​and the chandelier weighs as much as a car (over 4000 lbs) and can only be moved up and down by a hand crank! There is no play going on at the moment, so the stage was empty and the girls not only had the opportunity to explore the stage, but were also able to perform the plays they have been working on! After their quick performances, we got to go backstage and learn about how the scenes and different props are brought down and lifted up, and went into the “star” dressing room.

This was an amazing culminating field trip for our emergent unit on acting!

To learn more about the Curran Theatre, please visit: https://sfcurran.com/

Samantha Weaver ’88 Speaks about Filmmaking

On Tuesday, Hamlin alumna Samantha Weaver ’88 spoke with grade 5 students about filmmaking.

Our students are in the process of developing films focused on ocean-related topics ranging from gray whales to the importance of plankton. A long-term goal is for students to submit these films to the International Ocean Film Festival and the Noe Valley Girls Film Festival (started by Hamlin girls).

Samantha Weaver has been deeply involved with the film world since her mid-twenties; acting, producing, casting, writing, among other film-related endeavors.

Hamlin School students asked Ms. Weaver questions related to both the process and the challenges involved with making films.

Below are some of the key points that she made:

-Inspiration is definitely needed when making a film. You have to listen to what is important to you and why.

-On a longer film you will spend hundreds and hundreds of hours making it, so staying inspired is crucial.

-How much time do you have to tell your story? Are you making a short film? What do you need? An iPhone? Software? Do you have to hire people to help you?

-You have to love what you do, it can take 3-4 years for a film to go from script to the theater. There is the writing, the shooting, then post-production with editing and sound.

-In the earlier stages of brainstorming don’t hold back any ideas, just let your creative thinking flow.

-I was inspired to make documentary films because they provided me with an opportunity to learn about a person’s life or an event that happened. I love to continually learn.

-My favorite documentary that I helped produce was, “Straight Outta Hunter’s Point.” A whole section of San Francisco is build on toxic waste that the Navy dumped there. The cancer rate in Hunter’s Point is extremely high because of where it is situated.

-I’m in the early brainstorming stages for my next project. I hope to co-create something with my husband. I will be sure to let you know about it!

San Francisco Storytellers Visit With Grade 2

Monday morning seven vibrant San Francisco natives gathered to speak with Grade 2 students. Our girls are learning about the history of San Francisco as part of their social studies curriculum. Speakers shared fond memories, describing how various neighborhoods have both changed and stayed the same.

Madeline Hancock, West Portal:

Ms. Hancock spoke about her parents buying their house for $26,000 in 1958, riding streetcars for 10 cents, and Shaw’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop (which is still there!).

Natalie Holland ’98, Bayview, Excelsior, Mt. Davidson, Outer Sunset, Lakeview, Inner Mission:

Ms. Holland spoke about taking ballet at the Bayview Opera House, gardening in the Sunset, and the murals in the Mission.

Helen Ortiz ’03, The Castro:

Ms. Ortiz spoke about how her neighbors were like family, going to the Castro Theatre for sing-alongs, and riding on the Seward Street Slides.

Judy Ching, Chinatown, The Richmond:

Ms. Ching spoke about the construction of the Broadway Tunnel, the Chinatown telephone company with switchboard operators (where her mother worked), and how Chinese people weren’t always welcome to purchase homes outside of the Chinatown area.

Charlee Underwood, Hayes Valley:

Ms. Underwood spoke about playing outside with all of her friends in the neighborhood, and how there are fewer families now in Hayes Valley.

Ann Kung, The Richmond:

Ms. Kung spoke about getting bread from the Boudin Bakery and playing softball with neighborhood kids in front of the library, she also mentioned that the Richmond has more Asian restaurants now.

Lisa Aquino, The Sunset:

Ms. Aquino spoke about how San Francisco has a small town feeling and that natives are often interconnected, she also mentioned that many people have moved out because of the high cost of living.

After each native spoke, Grade 2 students asked several thoughtful questions about San Francisco history, favorite landmarks, and neighborhood celebrations.

 

 

Hamlin Picks Up Litter In San Francisco

This Friday students in Grade 3 walked to Lafayette Park picking up trash along the way. Maia Kolbeck from the Aquarium of the Bay spoke to the girls beforehand about the importance of keeping our city litter free. She emphasized that San Francisco is surrounded by water on three sides and that trash on land often ends up in the Bay where it is ingested by fish and seals. Students filled multiple trash bags with everything from old party balloons, to glass bottles. Ms. Ray led this thoughtful environmental stewardship project.

Designing an Earthquake Proof Home

San Francisco is situated in earthquake country with two historic quakes that took place in 1906 and 1989. Innovative science and engineering bring more protections to our urban structures.

Grade 6 students have been studying the science of earthquakes and are getting ready to design earthquake proof houses.

Below is their assignment:

Congratulations! You have just been selected to design a new house or building in San Francisco. You have only $500 to spend on your new house or building. It must be at least 30 cm tall, be two stories and have weight (6 washers) at every level (2nd story, roof). Each story needs to be at least 15 cm tall. 

You will have the following materials to build from:

Brick (sugar cubes) $5

Metal Ties (pipe cleaners) $15.00

Wood (sticks or straws) $2.00

Marbles: $25

No cost: Glue-you will be given a specific amount.

Please include all of the following in this lab!

Identify Problem:

Brainstorm:

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Hamlin Visits Preschoolers in the Mission

On May 9, Hamlin Grade 8 students visited Holy Family Day Home in the Mission, a nonprofit organization that we have worked with for the past 14 years. The visit was led by our middle school Spanish department.

Holy Family Day Home’s goal is to provide affordable, high quality, early childhood education and family support services in a stable and nurturing environment, thereby providing the children of working families skills and hope for lifelong development.  

Hamlin students began the morning by singing the song Cada Semilla to the preschoolers and playing Simon Says, all in Spanish. Our students were then paired up with different children to read books. Our girls brought their very own self-created books written in Spanish with beautiful handmade illustrations. After sharing these fantastic stories, everyone went outside to play. The joy and energy between the younger and older students was palpable. One Hamlin student shared, “I loved how creative and caring they were, I got so many hugs.”

After playtime, Hamlin students heard more about program specifics from members of Holy Family Day Home’s leadership team. They learned about the food pantry that provides nourishment for families in need, and the emphasis placed on seamlessly integrating homeless and non-homeless students into classrooms.

Below is a video of our students singing:

To learn more about Holy Family Day Home, please visit: https://holyfamilydayhome.org/

From Finance to Teaching Math: An Interview with Mary Kay Kosnik

What do you enjoy about your role at Hamlin? 

I’m currently teaching 6th grade math at Hamlin.  I have a dream job — I get to learn and help students!  Teaching in the middle school is pure magic. I witness great thinking, creativity, growth and joyful collaboration every day.   My students and colleagues are rock stars! The thread of excellence that permeates through Hamlin is what drew me into this diverse, dynamic and soulful community.   Everything that happens at Hamlin is aligned with best practices and continuously scrutinized for improvement.

Tell us about your career before Hamlin. What did you most like about that work?

My professional background is in analytics, research and consulting to the financial services industry.  I began my career at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and later worked on Wall Street as a buy-side equity analyst.  For the bulk of my professional career I worked as a management consultant for KPMG Peat Marwick’s National Financial Services Consulting Group. All of these jobs had a steep learning curve, were entrepreneurial and enabled me to collaborate with very talented people. In consulting I traveled extensively and worked on really unique and exciting high impact projects.

How did you make the decision to go into teaching?

I consider myself a life-long learner and have always been passionate about stepping into service to support students.  While I was working professionally and raising a family (my husband and I have three grown children), I taught and volunteered in classrooms, tutored, and coached and managed youth sports.  I also collaborated on fundraising projects to improve schools and provide scholarships. In higher education, I serve on the Dean’s Council at my alma mater, the University of Michigan. I also mentor undergraduates.  

So I guess I would say that becoming a teacher was a natural progression of my lifelong interest in helping students. I knew that becoming a teacher would be challenging and deeply meaningful work.  As an educator, my goal is to inspire girls to enjoy math and to develop their competence and confidence as mathematicians. We need more women in STEM fields!

What advice to you have for women who would like to work in finance?

Study math, always apply your analytical skills, be bold and decisive, and expect to become the boss!

Finance is creative and fun — every organization needs competent people who can generate, analyze and understand the numbers that ultimately drive decision making and the business.

How does learning math relate to understanding “real world” finance?

I think there is a big misconception that the goal in math is to learn an algorithm to achieve a “correct” answer.  Sure we need this competency, but math is so much more than that! In math we question, explore, investigate, analyze, collaborate, strategize, build, explain, and problem solve in diverse and creative ways.   “Real world” finance is all of this, whether you are managing your allowance, your household or your company.

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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Women Writers of Color Speak Truth at Hamlin

On March 30, seven powerful women shared personal narratives, speaking about truth, identity, gender, resilience, and inner strength. These women were unified by the dynamic vision of Deborah Santana, who recently brought together the voices of 69 writers in the beautiful anthology, All the Women in My Family Sing.

All the Women in My Family Sing is a vital collection of prose and poetry by women of color, with topics that range from the pressures of being the vice-president of a Fortune 500 Company, to escaping the killing fields of Cambodia, to the struggles inside immigration, identity, romance and self-worth. The brief, trenchant essays capture the aspirations and wisdom of these powerful women as they exercise autonomy, creativity, and dignity and build bridges to heal the brokenness in today’s turbulent world.

The following writers shared from their work:

Vicki L. Ward, Shizue Seigel, Kira Lynne Allen, Maria Ramos Chertok, Nayomi Munaweera, Randi Bryant-Agenbroad, and Hamlin’s own, Wanda M. Holland Greene.

Below are some quotations and topics that surfaced:

-“Standing in our truth, is also standing in our power.”

-“One woman speaks her truth and the world splits open.”

-“I would have told my younger self that her body belonged only to herself.”

-“I started to get assimilation fatigue and had to be the complete me.”

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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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