5th Grade Forum Extravaganza

On March 28, The Hamlin School 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, and Grade 8 students will put on an entire musical.

For the Forum, Grade 5 students were divided into groups based on geographic regions of the United States. 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, videos, math problems, poems, spoken word, and detailed magazines with comprehensive articles. The magazines covered some of the following topics: History, Current Events, Travel, Animals, Sports, Environment, Food, Art, Economy, Cities, and Entertainment. During the Forum our students showcased their poised public speaking skills in front of dozens of parents.

Cave Drawing in Kindergarten

The Chauvet and Lascaux Caves in France aren’t the only places to see beautiful drawings of animals. Next week kindergarteners will be creating their own artwork inside of the Lascaux Cave in McKinne Lounge.

In preparation for this undertaking, students enjoyed the picture book The First Drawing, and pondered the importance of animals to early humans in prehistoric Europe. Our girls will explore the magic of the cave using chalk and special lights to make their depictions. Be sure to stop by for a visit inside!

Grade 4 Builds A Superfood

As a part of the puberty and body image unit in science (a collaboration between Lower School Science Specialist, Konika Ray and Lower School Counselor, Kylie Cobb), Grade 4 learned about how different kinds of foods help our bodies. Using the idea that building our body is like building a car, girls discussed how carbohydrates are like the gasoline, proteins are the frame of the car, healthy fats power the car’s control system, and vitamins & minerals are oil for a car, keeping the internal systems running smoothly.

Students then made Superfood oat-based energy balls. They followed a recipe, then got to customize, adding ingredients like: cranberries, raisins, coconut, lime zest, flaxseed meal, blueberries, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, mango, and banana. Students found the final product absolutely delicious!

Grade 8 Volunteers at Alemany Farm

Last Friday, altruistic Grade 8 students helped out at Alemany Farm.

Ms. Tart-Zelvin shares:

“We partnered with San Francisco Recreation & Parks at Alemany Farm, which is the largest urban farm in San Francisco and generates some 26,000 pounds of produce annually. The girls got a tour of the farm and all the produce it grows, helped weed and mulch, and even harvested some vegetables for The Free Farm Stand. In keeping with both Hamlin’s mission and the creed, the girls jumped right in to the tasks delegated to them by the volunteers. They weren’t shy about getting dirty or schlepping wheelbarrows full of mulch; they worked well together, had a good time, and their impact was noticeable when we left in the afternoon. When we got back to Hamlin at the end of the day, the girls reported that they were tired, but good tired, and that weeding had been a lot of fun.”

Mission Statement for Alemany Farm:

Friends of Alemany Farm grows food security and educates local residents about how they can become their own food producers. We strive to increase ecological knowledge and habitat value, and to sow the seeds for economic and environmental justice. All of the food we grow is given away for free—to neighbors, volunteers, The Free Farm Stand, and other groups.

A.C.T. Performs Shakespeare at Hamlin

On Thursday, A.C.T.’s very talented MFA program (2nd year students) performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Middle School. This 1970’s version had dancing, guitar playing, and outstanding comic timing. Our audience was very familiar with the story (many have acted in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Hamlin) and loved the performance.

Each spring, actors in A.C.T.’s top-ranked Master of Fine Arts Program take an abridged (60–80 minutes) production of a Shakespearean classic, adapted and directed by a distinguished professional director and followed by a postshow Q&A with the cast, to Bay Area schools and public spaces.

Established in 1965, American Conservatory Theater is a Tony Award–winning theater and training institution whose work is energized and informed by a profound commitment to developing the next generation of theater artists. A.C.T. is the largest theater company in the San Francisco Bay Area and employs more than 800 people each season, from teachers and artists to technicians and administrative staff. During the past four decades, more than 300 A.C.T. productions have been seen by close to 7 million playgoers in the company’s magnificent Beaux Arts–style theater located in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square theater district.

To learn more about A.C.T., please visit: https://www.act-sf.org/

 

Scratchboard Art

Grade 7 Elective Art recently made beautiful feather images using a technique called scratchboard.

Scratchboard is made by using a sharp tool to scratch off dark ink to reveal a white or colored layer beneath. Unlike many drawing media, where the artist adds in the mid-tones and shadows, with scratchboard the artist is working by adding in the highlights.

Scratchboard was originally invented for the purpose of reproduction in printing. It has been used for over a century reproducing images for books, magazines, newspapers, and in advertising.

Hamlin Girls Are Surfing

This year Hamlin students are surfing as part of our After School Academy (ASA). ASA offers many exciting enrichment classes that emphasize the arts and movement. Class sizes are limited to ensure one-on-one attention, and that students collaborate and develop friendships with girls in other grades. We use a trimester system that gives students several opportunities to try out something new throughout the year.

On Fridays, girls surf with the organization RobinHood Adventures at Muir Beach in Marin County. The core curriculum is surfing technique and water safety, in addition our students are introduced to the practices of Noble Speech, Accountability, Perseverance, and Leadership. RobinHood Adventures provides “an open space for our youth to unwind from the school day and connect with nature through the magic of surfing.” Friday is a (All Girls) group led by Leona Seney. Girls of all ages and skill range get a chance to have a session of their own.

To learn more, please visit: https://robinhoodadventures.org/

Grade 2 Explores Chinatown

Earlier this week Grade 2 visited Chinatown. (This is a guest blog from Mattea, a student who went on the field trip).

Today was really, really fun! We got to go on a field trip to Chinatown. When we got there, we played on a playground until our tour guide, Ms. Lee, came. When she arrived, Ms. Lee gave us a little bit of history on how and why some Chinese people moved to California. She also told us about Chinese medicine and walked us through an herbal pharmacy. I liked all the interesting things that I saw. I never knew that something from a deer leg can help with joint pain!

Next, we saw a building that used to be a telephone company. We found out that Ms. Ching’s mom used to work there! She needed to speak many different dialects of Chinese to help people call or speak to others. She also needed to memorize over 2,000 phone numbers and addresses.

We then walked to the fortune cookie factory. I never knew that fortune cookies could be bought as flat cookies! We actually saw how the workers fold the cookies. I also learned that you only get fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants in America. It’s not really a Chinese tradition and was started by a Japanese man in America.

After, we went through the Stockton Street food markets. We saw a lot of interesting things people buy to eat including an armadillo! I would sort of want to try tasting an armadillo, but Ms. Lee explained that it could carry a disease called leprosy. That changed my mind!

Last, we explored a Chinese temple. The inside was really cool! I loved the decorations. Ms. Lee explained the meaning of the different things on the shrine. People pray to a doll that represents the goddess of the sea. Also, there were fruits that had different meanings. Outside, we found an address that was 20-A, so we took a 2OA class photo in front of it. We ended our day with having lunch at a Chinese restaurant.

Raising Trout in Science Class

During the month of March, 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 49 healthy trout eggs (seen in the photo above) were received on March 6 and will hatch in the coming weeks. 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 April 10, students will 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

Hamlin Shows the Documentary: Waking Dream

Tuesday evening, Hamlin’s PLAID parent group showed the film Waking Dream. Theo Rigby, who last shared his creative visual work at Hamlin in November of 2016, created the film.

PLAID’s mission is to support a vibrant and inclusive environment in which all members of the community can celebrate their authentic selves. We foster open dialogue through family programs, parent education, and community outreach.

Waking Dream weaves together the stories of six undocumented young people as they sit in limbo between deportation and a path to citizenship. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has provided nearly 800,000 undocumented young people a chance to work legally, go to college, start businesses, and pursue the “American Dream.” After DACA is rescinded, Waking Dream follows the unfolding fate of six of these young people as they fight for legal status in the U.S., struggle with the deportation of family members, and pursue their dreams in a country that is trying harder and harder to push them out. They know their fate must go one direction and they are fighting for their future in America.

After the film, Wanda M. Holland Greene (Head of The Hamlin School), led a discussion with a panel speakers. The three panelists were: Theo Rigby (Director of Waking Dream), Iliana G. Perez (Director of Research and Entrepreneurship with Immigrants Rising), and Dilan Pedraza (a Social Studies Teacher who is in the film).

Highlights of the discussion included:

-It is important to stay curious and continue to ask probing questions about immigration and DACA, rather than just believe homogenized media-generated opinions.

-It is important to stay proximate to both the nuanced issues related to immigration and to the individual people and their specific stories.

-It is important to remember that we are all interconnected as human beings.

Audience members were very moved by the film.

One Hamlin father stated, “You did an outstanding job with the film. You really humanized the situation.”

To watch the trailer and learn more, please visit: http://inationmedia.com/waking-dream/