The Hamlin School’s edifice is in San Francisco, but its education reaches out to the ocean, the trees, the rivers, the mountains, and up towards the starry night sky.
The Hamlin School provides a robust Outdoor Education program that allows students to explore a variety of places in and around the Bay Area for one to five nights depending on grade and location. By graduation our students will have backpacked, hiked, camped, climbed, white water rafted, cross-country skied, and played in forests, seashores, mountains, and rivers across Northern California.
Our Outdoor Education trips have begun. Grade 4 recently returned from an adventure in the Marin Headlands.
Last Friday Hamlin held an incredible interdisciplinary learning extravaganza called 5th Grade Forum. The event was well-attended by Hamlin parents who were eager to learn.
5th graders were divided into 4 groups based on geographic regions of the United States: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and West. 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, Music. During the month-long exploration, students had the opportunity to create collages, websites, plays, and magazines.
The following is some of what the girls showcased:
-Two plays (based on the books Home of the Brave and TheCircuit) were performed in the spirit of word-for-word works, first created by Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theatre, a theater company which believes that great books make great theater. The plays delved into understanding immigration and refugee experiences in the United States.
-Four regional magazines with featured articles on various topics, created through Lucidpress technology
-Region-based landscape collages that demonstrated an understanding of scale and proportion
-Websites and posters about water conservation and understanding one’s own water footprint
-A student performance of Faith Hill’s song, American Heart
Special thanks to all of the faculty members who made this Forum possible: Nick Wilsey, Lauren DeLisle, Rachel Kerkhoff, Jackson Blum, Maggie Jo Feldman, Heidi Abbott, and Will Skaff.
Watch the short video below to hear a student reflection about the Forum:
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:
When the chair people for the eighth grade dinner dance came to me asking if I could help them troubleshoot their idea for creating a gallery of student images – I immediately thought of some seventh grade students and our Riveter Lab tools which I knew would be up to the task.
The problem was given to seventh grade students who took the challenge! They added to the challenge some cardboard, their creativity, our laser cutter, and a little spray paint … and VOILA! An beautiful effect – walking through gorgeous photos floating in the air – was created.
Of course the chairs in their kindness recognized the hard work …
The grade 5 students are excited about STEM night in a couple of weeks. In programming class, we have been coding Scratch games and building Makey Makey controllers. Our controllers are constructed using various materials such as playdough, pennies, wire, water, and more. Here is a preview of the girls busy at work. Hope to see you at STEM Night! It’s on March 31 @ 5pm!