— Service Learning

By Wendy Connolly, Seventh & Eighth Grade History Teacher

Service learning is an important component to the eighth-grade History curriculum. The theme this year is Hunger and Poverty. Students started out learning about causes of hunger, Federal poverty lines, state poverty lines and how that compares globally.

Eighth graders did their first service at the San Francisco Food Bank where they learned about the issues of food insecurities in San Francisco and how food banks help. Each year the food bank distributes over 48 million pounds of food to over 225,000 people in San Francisco and Marin. Our students worked for four hours separating oranges. In the end, we boxed 25,000 pounds of citrus. It was a wonderful feeling and we all had fun doing it. If you are interested in working at the San Francisco Food Bank, go to their website. Families with children as young as 5 can volunteer.

Coastside-HopeThe eighth graders are currently working on Coastside Hope, Adopt a Family program. This year Sea Crest is adopting 10 families that are in need of clothes, toys and household items for this upcoming holiday season. Each eighth grader is connected with a grade level class and an adopted family from the coastside. Students are responsible for setting up all the items being asked for, meeting with teachers and classes to explain the program and organizing the items to be taken to Coastside Hope.

Each year it is wonderful to see the generosity and support of Sea Crest families for this local, charitable program!

 


 

— Athletics News

Over 100 Sea Crest student athletes competed in over fifty athletic events this fall, some playing more than one sport. We are proud of all our athletes and their families this season. A special recognition to our Girls teams: A1 Volleyball and Cross Country!

>> Sea Crest’s A1 Volleyball team finished the season as undefeated champions!

Sea Crest Girls Volleyball Team Championship

>> Sea Crest Girls Cross Country team finished second overall in the S.S.I.L. Championship Meet!

Sea Crest Girls Cross Country Team Championship

Congratulations Girls!


 

Seventh Graders’ Makey Makey Musical Instruments

What is a Makey Makey?

A Makey Makey is an invention kit that turns everyday objects into touchpads by combining them with electric circuits, alligator clips, USB cables and the internet. With Makey Makey projects, students can do art, engineering and everything in between!

Makey Makey started out as a project by two students at MIT Media Lab as an academic and artistic project. Now it’s both a business and a project with thousands of community collaborators, with more joining the ranks of inventors everyday.

Our Seventh Graders built Makey Makey musical instruments as part of the Explorations curriculum under the guidance of Ellyn Kohrs, Technology Integration and Computer Science Teacher. They made musical plastic animals, drum sets, a floor piano, a stuffed animal band and a foil key instrument.

They also had the amazing opportunity to share their inventions with Third Grade, who had a blast playing the instruments and learning about electronics, conductivity, circuits, programming and music!

 

2016-10-11-Seventh-Grade-Makey-Makey-Demo-Third-Grade-38

Connor made a drum set out of pipe cleaners and gold pin heads. The way the drum set is set up the crash cymbal is at the top left and the drums are in a triangle.

2016-10-11-Seventh-Grade-Makey-Makey-Demo-Third-Grade-34

Charles made a piano out of plastic animals. He has an entire key from middle C to high C. To play the piano you hold the earth and then touch the copper tape on top of the animals.

2016-10-11-Seventh-Grade-Makey-Makey-Demo-Third-Grade-35

Billy built a drumset with two drums, a high-hat and two drumsticks. It is made out of cardboard, copper, tape, pencils, aluminum foil, a makey makey set and chromebook. To play it, you hold the drumsticks without touching the aluminum foil and tap the copper.

2016-10-11-Seventh-Grade-Makey-Makey-Demo-Third-Grade-39

Conor’s instrument is a piano and the piano goes from A to G. The piano is made out of tinfoil wrapped around cardboard. To play his piano, you hold the earth which is the yellow alligator clip and you touch the cardboard wrapped in tinfoil and it makes the noise.

2016-10-11-Seventh-Grade-Makey-Makey-Demo-Third-Grade-36

Maisie made a piano out of carpet squares for stability wrapped in tin foil to be conductive. To play you take off your shoes and touch the aluminum foil.

Seventh Grade Makey Makey Musical Instrument

Mikalee demonstrating her stuffed-animal band and sharing important concepts, such as electric circuits and connectivity, with third graders while they were all playing music and having fun.


Graphic Novels In The Classroom?

Our Sixth Grade Humanities Teacher, Beth Gillis, participated in a Teacher Roundtable and discussed graphic novels with other educators nationwide. For the full conversation, moderated by Jennifer Gonzalez, visit the site Cult of Pedagogy.

Question 1:
Why are graphic novels and comics valuable learning tools?

Beth Gillis:
I first noticed the power of graphic novels with my struggling 5th and 6th-grade readers. As a visual learner myself, I wasn’t surprised that they were drawn to graphics. The wording felt more approachable, the images supported their comprehension, and they felt the success of finishing books in a timely manner in a way they weren’t typically experiencing. When I took a motorcycle safety course years ago, the instructor shared that driving a motorcycle would turn us into safer, smarter, more aware drivers when we were in our cars. In this same way, explicitly teaching the elements of graphic novels has helped many of my students to become stronger readers with more traditional texts. They pay more attention to what authors state explicitly and where they need to infer or read between the lines to come up with details or bigger ideas. They think about the choices authors have made. They have a stronger sense of characters by asking themselves to paint a picture of all the visuals that aren’t present in traditional books (…) I have incorporated a great deal of media literacy and critical literacy into my humanities classes as we think about power/voice/bias/perspective/etc. Graphic novels have added another layer to these lessons, and I’ve found the visual elements can support struggling students to engage in this work with more ease.

Question 2:
What misconceptions do people have about graphic novels and comics?

Beth Gillis:
I’ve had a few experiences where parents were highly concerned that their kids (often struggling readers) were choosing graphic novels, and that somehow this would slow down their learning or that it wasn’t “real” reading. Although I do think it’s important to insist on varying what kids are choosing throughout the year, if the alternative is to never finish a book, I’ll put graphic novels in their hands every time. I’ve been lucky to work in settings where parents have trusted my expertise as a literacy teacher, so I feel like I’ve always been able to confidently talk them down from these misguided beliefs. I’ve also had strong students who love to read, but who have never read a graphic novel (nor thought of it as a viable reading option). Many of them are pleasantly surprised to discover that they love the experience and end up choosing them more regularly as independent reading once the unit is over.

Question 3:
Share one of your favorite graphic novels or comics to teach, and talk about the lesson/unit you used it in.

Beth Gillis:
My favorite book to use as a mentor text with my graphic novel unit is March, Book 1. Since I’m teaching in a humanities model, it’s always a win to find books that complement our social studies units. My reading-based lessons begin with the elements of graphic novels: layout and how to read the panels in the correct order, author’s choice around font/size/placement of words/how big or small or plentiful (or varied) the panels are on the pages, powerful “moves” that authors make to shift the tone or emphasis (having one sole picture on a page spread, using black and negative space, the absence of pictures and what that might represent). I almost always use the content for more traditional reading lessons around comprehension, especially to support struggling readers, but also often connect the content back to our community or to draw parallels with social studies or current events.

March Book 1 Beth Gillis Teacher Roundtable

In the first year that we used March, the Black Lives Matter movement was really starting to surface in the mainstream media. I was working in a school in San Francisco where many students were aware of the inequities around them, but still felt quite disconnected with their personal experiences in a mostly privileged community. One of my students went to Union Square for the Christmas tree lighting and saw a group of BLM folks protesting on the square. He came back to school the next day and asked if we could talk about what was happening. We had been raising awareness around Ferguson, Michael Brown and the regular shootings of black American males by the police throughout the fall, but his experience that night helped our conversations feel more real. It also ignited an activist spirit within him that has become a big part of his identity.

All throughout these events, we were reading March, drawing parallels to the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s and what we were seeing in present-day current events. At one point, that student made an observation that many people look back to the Civil Rights era and imagine how they might be different if they were living at the time. “So now you have the chance to be that person today. Who will you be?” he challenged his classmates. I remember having that warm and fuzzy feeling that we teachers get when the stars align and the class is pure magic. The visuals in the book made the history come to life in a way that couldn’t have otherwise happened for many of my students.

Question 4:
What other books have you and your students loved?

Beth Gillis:
We fly through titles in book club-style during our unit, so I don’t explicitly teach these books, but I’ve heavily vetted them for their content, quality and diverse representation (which is even more difficult with graphic novels than traditional as main characters in the middle grades/middle school levels tend to be white females.) I’m also always on the lookout for approachable, high-interest nonfiction graphic novels. My students have loved/are loving:

Question 5:
What does a teacher need to do to be successful with graphic novels? Are there any Do’s and Don’ts?

Beth Gillis:
The best thing a teacher can do is to educate themselves on the elements and components of comics/graphic novels so that they can use that knowledge for the end goal: teaching students to recognize those elements and make sense of them in a literary context. I took a graduate class on teaching with graphic novels with a fabulously quirky and passionate comic lover, Stephen Cary, in the last semester before he retired. He wrote Going Graphic: Comics at Work in the Multilingual Classroom, which I found to be super informative, even though I don’t work with ELL students.

 

 

Eighth Grade Visit to Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center

Last month, on June 9th, our Eighth Graders, now Middle School Graduates, went to the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco to play the PRRC Wildcats in a basketball game. They enjoyed the visit and came back fully energized after spending a beautiful morning with such a great community.

Photos courtesy of Deirdre Harger, Laurie Kehler, and Cindy Blackstone.

Sea Crest Basketball at Pomeroy Center - Athletics Sea Crest Basketball at Pomeroy Center - Athletics Sea Crest Basketball at Pomeroy Center - Athletics

Sea Crest Basketball at Pomeroy Center - AthleticsSea Crest Basketball at Pomeroy Center - Athletics

Sea Crest Basketball at Pomeroy Center - Athletics“Thank you so much for bringing your 38 students from Sea Crest School in Half Moon Bay to play the PRRC Wildcats in a basketball game! The comments I heard was that this was the best basketball game we have had in a long long time! It was a great game – lots of participation and lots of excitement. Please extend my thanks to all your amazing students, and to the parents who drove everyone up to San Francisco.”

– Cindy Blackstone of the Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center

Sea Crest at Pomeroy Center - Athletics

 

 

Footer background
901 ARNOLD WAY | HALF MOON BAY, CA 94019
CONTACT US
650.712.9892
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER
Sea Crest School is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices and all other operations. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, citizenship, national or ethnic origin gender, sexual orientation, or gender identification in the administration of our educational policies, admission policies, tuition assistance programs and athletic or other school-administered programs. © 2018 SEA CREST SCHOOL
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Linkedin