Grade 2 Creates a Living Wall

When Ms. O’Brien moved into her new classroom, she looked out the window at the back of the climbing wall and the colorful mural and got inspiration for a living wall project. Ms. Ray had just returned from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she had visited an amazing living wall at a nonprofit called “Vertical Harvest” and she thought a living wall sounded like a wonderful science/maker collaboration.

Ms. O’Brien. Ms. Ray, and Mr. Louie met to put this idea into motion. Planning out the project provided several rich opportunities for problem solving, such as using measurement skills to see where the wall would fit, figuring out how to provide sunlight and water for the plants, and how to protect the wood finish from water damage.

First, the 2nd graders worked with Mr. Louie in small groups to laser cut their name and an image of a flower onto a wooden panel. Then, they used clamps for woodworking and special glue to construct their boxes. In science class, they planted succulents in pots and carefully arranged rocks and shells around them to create miniature gardens. Ms. Lovejoy and Ms. Davis donated the succulent plants.

Phase one of the project is located in classroom 2OA while the girls finish planting their succulents. Phase two will be located in the lower school entry foyer across from Ms. Yeung’s desk. For the final phase of the project, the living wall will be mounted behind the climbing wall outside. This project is a wonderful example of the collaborative spirit that organically surrounds us at Hamlin every day.

Author Gennifer Choldenko Visits Hamlin

On Tuesday, The Hamlin School welcomed acclaimed children’s author Gennifer Choldenko.

Ms. Choldenko is best known for her Tales from Alcatraz series, which has sold more than 2 million copies. Book #1: Al Capone Does My Shirts was a Newbery Honor Book and the recipient of twenty other awards. Book #4: Al Capone Throws Me a Curve is due out in 2018. BookPage said of her most recent novel, Chasing Secrets: “Choldenko’s ability to research obscure yet intriguing topics is uncanny, and as she did with the popular Al Capone trilogy she turns a tough topic into a high interest read … a compelling work of historical fiction.” Gennifer lives with her loyal husband and naughty dog in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Ms. Choldenko shared her passion for writing historical fiction. After facing several years of having books rejected by publishers, she came up with the idea of writing about kids who lived on Alcatraz. She spoke about the importance of doing extensive research to really learn about a subject. She interviewed former guards, their children, and even former prisoners, to acquire detailed information. During her entertaining presentation she covered a wide range of Alcatraz-related topics ranging from how much money Al Capone spent on silk underwear, to the special rules of convict baseball.

Ms. Choldenko also shared her four favorite writing tips with our girls. They are:

1. Fill your head with information (research and learn as much as you can before writing)

2. Write your ideas down (even if they come at strange times)

3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes (they happen)

4. Give yourself a new chance every day

 

Hour of Code Week @Hamlin

The beginning of December brings a weeklong celebration of coding and STEM. Students in all grades Kindergarten through Grade 8 are participating in various activities centered on a dynamic exploration of technology and related fields. Our students join kids from around the globe in this engaging endeavor.

Throughout the week students are practicing their coding skills using the following:

Lightbot, Cargo-bot, Playgrounds, Code.org, Human Resource Machine, Kodable, App Lab, Dance Party, Blockly, Classic Maze, Compute it, and Conditionals with Cards.

On Wednesday morning we will welcome guest speaker, Jenny Wang. Ms. Wang is a computer science student at Harvard University, intern at POPSUGAR, director of Startup Girl, and board member for Shiffon Co. Jewelry.

For the 4th year running, The Hamlin School will celebrate STEMming the Gender Gap Day on Friday, December 7. The day is an opportunity to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education/careers for our students, while connecting with female tech leaders in the Bay Area. Hamlin girls will be able to observe, interact, and learn, as they prepare to be tomorrow’s tech innovators and help #StemGenderGap!

This year Hamlin is visiting a variety of fantastic Bay Area organizations; we are incredibly thankful for these partnerships.

Students in grades K-7 will have experiences at:

The Lawrence Hall of Science, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, The Exploratorium, Salesforce, POPSUGAR, Eventbrite, HoneyBook, UCSF, USS Hornet, Tesla, Apple, Brightwheel, California Academy of Sciences and Sentry

Students in Grade 8 will have the opportunity to learn from the following speakers on campus:

Sali Christenson, Founder of Argent
Patricia Santos, CEO and Co-Founder of Volition Beauty
Heidi Zak, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Thirdlove
Eurie Kim, Investor at Forerunner Ventures
Kathryn Duryea, Founder and CEO of Year & Day
Steph Palmeri, Partner at Uncork Capital
Lauren Loktev, Partner at Collaborative Fund
Sara Adler, Partner at Wave Capital

 

Dancer Eric Garcia Visits Hamlin

On Friday, Eric Garcia spent the morning working with girls in our Grade 8 dance elective.

Eric Garcia is a choreographer, performer, filmmaker, teacher, and activist whose feet are deeply rooted in the Bay Area. He proudly serves as Production Coordinator with Fresh Meat Productions, Sean Dorsey Dance, and the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival. Mr. Garcia has collaboratively worked with groups of incarcerated men, senior adults, LGBTQ youth, and self-identified non-dancers on various performance projects. Mr. Garcia hosts a monthly drag cabaret as Churro Nomi at the Make Out Room and more sporadically at The Rite Spot. He was the Spring 2017 choreographer-in-residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and a 2016-17 Emerging Arts Professionals SF/BA Fellow. He is the recipient of the 2017 CHIME Award with Margaret Jenkins Dance Company.

 

Pinterest Executive Speaks at Hamlin

On Wednesday, Dutta Satadip spoke with Grade 7 students about his personal and professional journey, sharing wisdom from his life.

Dutta Satadip is the Global Head of Customer Operations at Pinterest. Prior to Pinterest, he was the Director of Customer Success at Google. He was responsible for a multi-billion dollar portfolio of over 150 products with teams in 15 different offices. Mr. Satadip has worked extensively in both developed and emerging countries. Mr. Satadip frequently speaks at major conferences (including TEDx) on topics such as: Customer Experience, Operations, Change Management and Leadership. He also shares his experiences via articles in publications like Harvard Business Review, and Strategy and Business. He has served on the board of the National Hemophilia Foundation and Save One Life.

Below are a few highlights from what Mr. Satadip shared:

-(In a corporate setting) “Don’t wait to be included, make your voice heard. It is one thing to have good ideas, but you have to be able to share them.”

-“My grandfather was a huge influence on me, he broadened my view of the world and made me curious.”

-“After graduating from college it is very important to set personal learning goals so you can continue to grow.”

-“When you ask for help, there are lots of people who will step forward to help you, but you have to ask.”

-“Find your supporters, the people who believe in you.”

-“Two crucial skills for the future are: understanding and processing numbers, and building relationships with people.”

 

Student Products Featured at Winterfest

Through our new Student Ventures Program, girls will be selling their own creative products at this year’s Winterfest on December 8. Winterfest is Hamlin’s much-anticipated, magically festive annual event to celebrate community.

Keep an eye out for the following goods created by students in Grades K-6:

Pet Toys, Jewelry, Baked Goods, Slime Kits, Henna, School Supplies, Dog Treats, Personalized Shoelaces, Bracelets, Luggage Tags, Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Candy and Accessories

To learn more about Student Ventures, please visit: http://www.hamlinblog.org/blog/2018/09/12/hamlin-student-ventures-entrepreneurship-in-action/

 

 

 

 

 

Hamlin Donates Dust Masks to Lava Mae

Just before Thanksgiving, California suffered catastrophic damage from fires that raged in multiple locations throughout the state. Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area closed because of poor air quality, forcing children to stay indoors for several days.

Concerned about our unhoused neighbors living on the streets, our community came together and collected 430 masks to be donated to Lava Mae (a nonprofit that supports people experiencing homelessness).

The air quality has improved, but unfortunately fires in California are likely to continue in the coming months. Thanks to this donation, Lava Mae will be prepared to help people breath easier when the next fire hits.

If you have extra masks to donate, please feel free to bring them to Ms. Sheena Tart-Zelvin on a rolling basis.

To learn more about Lava Mae, please visit: https://lavamae.org/

 

November Book Drive

Hamlin students and parents have been working diligently to collect 3,000 books this November. So far close to 2,000 books have been generously donated by members of our community. Student volunteers sort and stack books during lunch with dedication and care. Students also organize the drive in terms of advertising and getting the word out. The book drive runs through November 16th, so there is still time to donate your books.

This year books will be donated to:

-Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco

-Woodrow Wilson Elementary School

-Hamilton Families

 

Hamlin Celebrates Diwali

On Thursday night, almost 200 people celebrated Diwali with joy and vibrant energy. Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, and means “row of lights.” It is a time to rejoice in the triumph of light over darkness and is embraced by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. Diwali provides a reminder to start over and invite new energy into your life. The holiday began on November 7 and will last five days.

Lower school girls performed a celebratory dance wearing colorful traditional clothing in front of a large audience comprised of faculty, family members and classmates. Students were also able to create decorative art called Rangoli with chalk. Adults and children alike enjoyed traditional Indian foods like saag paneer and raita, while festive music played in the background.

This event was sponsored by PLAID, to learn more about PLAID please visit: https://www.hamlin.org/page/plaid

 

Grade 3 Students Perform “Cero” in Spanish

Members of Grade 3 recently performed in the play Cero. The performance was lauded by both parents and faculty members alike.

From Cero’s program:

This Third Grade Spanish play is the result of a collaborative and interdisciplinary project combining theater arts and Spanish. Students have worked on key elements of acting and staging during the rehearsal process. At the same time, the girls have been developing their fluency while using many new Spanish words and phrases within the context of telling a story. 

In addition to developing students’ language and acting skills, we hope that this project has enhanced the girls’ range of self-expression, confidence, and enjoyment of both Spanish and theater. 

Synopsis:

Cero is a big, round number… but she feels empty on the inside. As Cero watches the other numbers count off, she wishes that she could count, too. But how can a number worth nothing count for something? 

No matter how much Cero tries to change her shape, she realizes that she will always be a zero.

Will Cero learn that everyone has value, no matter their shape or size?