First graders have been studying neighborhoods and community. As part of their work they have been conducting insightful interviews.
Click here to listen to the interviews: https://sites.google.com/hamlin.org/neighborhood-interviews/home
Click here to learn more about the 1st grade community project work: http://pubs.hamlin.org/blog/2016/10/28/hamlin-1st-graders-explore-community/
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 The Circuit) 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:
For most of the month of March we were very lucky to have Ms. Ntshengila visiting us from South Africa as part of the program, Teach With Africa. I had a chance to sit down with Ms. Ntshengila and listen to some of her thoughts about the experience of joining the Hamlin community.
Before coming to the United States she was worried about how she would be perceived in terms of her accent and skin color; but she left feeling that people were very nice. She shared that she gained a new level of independence and freedom by walking around San Francisco by herself, visiting places like Chinatown.
Ms. Ntshengila stated that she was very impressed with Hamlin’s math department. The importance of process is emphasized with math at Hamlin. Students must really understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. In South Africa students don’t always understand why they are doing something, they just do it because they are told to.
Ms. Ntshengila was also impressed with Hamlin’s use of technology in the classroom. I thought the use of iPads in the classroom would be disruptive, but it is the opposite, the students are so focused on their work.
Apart from academics, I asked Ms. Ntshengila what impressed her most about San Francisco and Hamlin. The hills, there are so many, and eating green salads, I love the salad from the buffet.
Below is a short video of Ms. Nthshengila
To learn more about Teach With Africa, please visit: http://www.teachwithafrica.org/
Special thanks to the kind people who helped host the Nonhlanhla Ntshengila: Julie and Allen Benello, Hala Jimenez, and Heather Smith.
The Hamlin School would also like to recognize Hamlin grandparents and Founders of Teach With Africa, Marjorie and Larry Schlenoff.
Today four Hamlin 3rd graders spoke in front of the entire lower school about the importance of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. The presentation was given in both Spanish and English. Two students spoke in character as both Chavez and Huerta.
They shared the following (among other points):
-Huerta and Chavez drove from farm to farm and town to town speaking to people about the need for better working conditions and the need for children of farmworkers to attend school
-Chavez went on hunger strikes to bring attention to the plight of farmworkers
–Si Se Puede or Yes We Can became the mantra of the organized farmworkers
-To show support for farmworkers, Californians boycotted grapes, strawberries, and lettuce
-The United Farmworkers marched 340 miles from Delano to Sacramento to champion the rights of workers
-March 31st is the birthday of Cesar Chavez and is recognized as a California State holiday
Special thanks to Judy Ching and Kate McGinnis for helping to organize this thoughtful assembly.
The film was put on by PLAID, a Hamlin parent group whose mission “is to support a vibrant and inclusive environment in which all members of the Hamlin community can celebrate their authentic selves.” PLAID “fosters open dialogue through family programs, parent education, and community outreach.”
In SAN FRANCISCO 2.0, Alexandra Pelosi (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Journeys with George”) returns to her hometown to document what the tech boom has in store for this historically progressive city, talking to various industry representatives, politicians and longtime residents hoping to maintain their place and not be left behind. Directed, produced and filmed by Pelosi, this insightful film looks at the price of progress, and the challenges of holding onto a collective past.
The film makes the following points among others:
Last week our Spanish department hosted two representatives from Kiva: Jessica Hansen, Global Engagement and Education Manager and Catherine Cocke, Online Marketing & Social Media Manager. Kiva is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization with a global reach. It’s mission is to connect individual lenders with people around the world who need micro loans to improve their lives through small businesses, education, green energy, and a number of other projects.
Kiva relies on volunteer translators to communicate borrowers’ needs. Many seeking loans are from Spanish-speaking countries. Our 7th grade students spent time in Spanish class learning about Kiva and using language skills to translate sample loan profiles from Spanish into English. This use of the Spanish language is powerful and allows students to apply their understanding of vocabulary to real life situations.
On March 20th Hamlin welcomed back the prolific and talented writer, Avi.
Avi is the author of more than 60 books for children and young adults, including Newbery Award-winning Crispin: Cross of Lead.
Avi mesmerized Hamlin students by both reading from his work and sharing facets of Bay Area history. His upcoming book Rotten Row is set in 1848, San Francisco, and includes details about that time period.
As he has in the past, Avi imparted some wonderful pearls of wisdom for our students and faculty alike.
Here are a few choice quotes:
The job of a writer is to get you to want to turn the page.
If you write something one time and think it’s good, you are in trouble, because you can and have to make it better.
Writing is not writing per se, it is rewriting. The more you rewrite the better it gets.
Robert Frost said, ‘the ear is the best reader.’ If your read things out loud you will catch things that make the piece better. Ultimately writing is about speaking to someone.
The more you read, the better the writer you will become. Reading is guaranteed to help your grades go up across all subjects.
Below is a brief video of Avi:
For more information about Avi and his books, please visit:
“What do you think of when you think about homelessness?”
This was the opening question posed to Hamlin 8th graders by the dynamic and altruistic Meghan Freebeck. Ms. Freebeck is the founder of Simply the Basics and has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as a 40 Under 40 honoree.
The Mission of Simply the Basics is to provide for individuals, organizations, and communities their most basic needs with dignity so that they can focus on bigger goals. We simply remove barriers, allowing people to have the opportunity to achieve.
The goals of Simply the Basics include:
-improving the overall health and wellbeing of low income families and people experiencing homelessness
-facilitating the operations of nonprofit organizations by securing and managing their in-kind donation process, allowing them to focus their time on clients
Here is some of what Ms. Freebeck shared:
MoAD in the Classroom (MIC) is a visual literacy and arts program offered to third-grade classrooms across the San Francisco Bay Area. The program is an evidence-based arts program that is consistent with recent research showing that coordinated school visits to museums increase children’s confidence and ability to retain knowledge while adding to their depth of knowledge in critical content areas such as social studies and history. The objective of the program is to work collaboratively with teachers, MIC Educators, and MoAD teaching artists to build an integrated arts program highlighting themes of the African Diaspora through art and culture. The program seeks to provide professional development opportunities to teachers and add to the content of the classroom teacher’s existing curriculum, while seamlessly blending into the existing learning goals of the classroom teacher.
The program includes two visits to the classroom by a MoAD in the Classroom Educator and two field trips to the Museum of the African Diaspora. During these four visits, MoAD Educator’s will facilitate a visual arts literacy-based curriculum unit based on themes of the exhibitions at MoAD, which include: an introduction to the concept of the African Diaspora, an introduction to visual arts vocabulary, activities to help students observe art and talk about art using visual arts vocabulary, and hands-on art making activities. MIC Educators meet with classroom teachers prior to the visits to ensure learning goals are aligned with the overall learning goals of the teacher.
“The program connected nicely with our social studies themes: how people move, change and discover themselves. The girls really connected with the artists and learned about expressing ideas in abstract ways. They had so much fun making their own art during the two sessions at MoAD.”
-3rd Grade Teacher, Nicole Silva
To learn more about MoAD, please visit: https://www.moadsf.org/