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.”
Under the leadership of Mark Picketts, Hamlin’s Director of Program Innovation and Professional Development, teachers have been exploring and learning this year through inquiry projects that they personally design. As action researchers, teachers use data, research, and reflection to investigate, modify, and improve their teaching practice. All teachers who participate in the Inquiry Project Year will share their findings with their colleagues at a year-end celebration of learning.
As part of her project year, Ms. Ray (Lower School Science Teacher) developed a K-4 environmental stewardship field trip strand to inspire an appreciation of biodiversity and give students opportunities to take action to create positive change in our community. The strand begins in kindergarten and first grade by exploring local habitats and learning about plant and animal adaptations for survival. These concepts develop a sense of place and community for our youngest scientists and expose them to the idea that everything is interconnected on our planet. Second, third, and fourth grade scientists further develop their understanding of interconnections leading them to want to take action in the form of environmental stewardship.
On March 8th Hamlin celebrated International Women’s Day by participating in Yoga For Good.
Hamlin and the sixth grade class of ’19 hosted Yoga for Good to raise awareness about OneProsper (the nonprofit sponsoring Yoga For Good), an organization that is helping to fund rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation systems for women in the Thar Desert of India. As a result, women will be able to grow organic pomegranates for international markets, enabling them to spend more time on their children’s nutrition and education. Hamlin students have been studying India as part of their 6th grade social studies curriculum. This work has helped to enrich and strengthen their understanding of that region.
6th graders introduced the yoga sessions, explaining the importance of both International Women’s Day and Yoga For Good. Hamlin faculty members Kirstin Williams and Amy Conger then led students through yoga classes emphasizing both breathing and various poses. In the afternoon, parents, faculty members, and alumnae had the opportunity to meet to Raju Agarwal, the founder of OneProsper.
Below is a brief video of Hamlin 5th graders participating in Yoga For Good:
Special thanks to 6th grade teacher Heather Smith who helped organize this event.
Today Hamlin welcomed the insightful, intelligent, and humorous, Lenore Skenazy to speak with parents and San Francisco community members. Lenore Skenazy is the founder of the book, blog, and movement “Free-Range Kids,” that emphasizes how to raise safe, self-reliant children.
FREE RANGE KIDS has become a national movement, sparked by the incredible response to Lenore Skenazy’s piece about allowing her 9-year-old to ride the subway alone in NYC. Parent groups argued about it, bloggers blogged, spouses became uncivil with each other, and the media jumped all over it. A lot of parents today, Skenazy says, see no difference between letting their kids walk to school and letting them walk through a firing range. Any risk is seen as too much risk. But if you try to prevent every possible danger or difficulty in your child’s everyday life, that child never gets a chance to grow up. We parents have to realize that the greatest risk of all just might be trying to raise a child who never encounters choice or independence.
Ms. Skenazy shared the following thoughts (among others):
-Contemporary culture makes us think that our kids can be perfect and sells us products with that in mind.
-It is a myth to think that we can shape our kids into whatever we want.
Project Based Learning pedagogy states that the project is focused on real world problems and that important knowledge, concepts, and skills are taught within the project. Here at Hamlin girls integrate their learning of technology to support solving problems.
In these clips see how lower school girls use technology to interview community members, create podcasts, use green screens in their newscasts, and sharing their work with the entire lower school:
These girls are working hard to develop a comprehensive set of skills to meet the challenges of their increasingly digital times!
We are thankful to integrator Ms. Davis for the creativity she brings to work every day.
See how Hamlin Middle School Students are using technology to show how they are creating art, making ebooks on different biomes, speaking in Spanish to students in other countries and coding to create new apps:
Always reflecting and revising our work we are preparing students who use technology not solely to consume information but also to create. These girls will have the skills to meet the challenges of their increasingly digital times!
We are thankful to integrator Ms. Davis for the creativity she brings to work every day.
“We are never in one place with technology,” says Mark Picketts, director of program innovation and professional development for Hamlin. “We model design thinking by constantly evolving and taking tech to the next level.”
On February 18th our Hamlin thespians demonstrated their impressive skills at the Middle School Theater Festival in Pleasant Hill. Competing with almost 300 students (Grades 6-8) from 19 different Middle Schools from all over California, our girls earned 22 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 4 bronze medals from the adjudicators for their monologues, scenes, original pieces, and musical solos.
Special thanks to the dedicated and talented Heidi Abbott for helping to make this success possible.
In February we welcomed three guest speakers from Syria. Shahed, a 20-year old woman born and raised in Aleppo, Syria. Amer, a 23-year old man born and raised in Damascus, the capital of Syria. Khawlah, a 30-year old woman also from Damascus and a former teacher.
Here is some of what they shared:
-She showed photos of her former students and spoke about their hopes and dreams.
-She has a sister in Sacramento, but is separated from the rest of her family.
-She currently works at Wells Fargo.
I’m so grateful that the United States offered me a safe place to stay. I had to leave everything because I was afraid for my life. I can sleep at night here, I feel safe.
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: