The Mandarin Class recently took a field trip to Chinatown in San Francisco giving students a taste of Chinese culture. The first stop was the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, where students learned about the history of the relations between China and the U.S., and immigrants’ journeys to San Francisco from China. After exploring the museum, the group went to a local Chinese market where students all purchased bags of da bai tu, a White Rabbit Candy. Next, the group walked down to the Li Xiang Can Guan or the Lai Hong Lounge where students had the opportunity to taste a wide range of Chinese dishes. Feeling content after lunch, the group stopped at a sculpture shop and a gift shop. Students also tried to speak Mandarin as much as possible when on the field trip. Agnes Li, MTS Mandarin teacher who led the trip, said she felt proud of her students, and parents raved that their kids couldn't stop talking about the trip!
Fifth graders spent three days at the Marin Headlands through the Nature Bridge organization. Students hiked trails out to the Point Bonita Lighthouse, experienced hands-on marine science learning, participated in environmental service projects, and enjoyed team building activities.
Environmental Service Projects:
Harbor Seal Count at Point Bonita - Students spent an hour counting adult and pup harbor seals sunning on the rocks and swimming in the water. The data collected will be used to monitor the growth or decline of the Harbor Seal population at Point Bonita.
Ice Plant Eradication:
Students helped with the slow eradication of Ice Plant, a non-native species, at the Marin Headlands. They did this by rolling down hills of Ice Plant, which kills the plant slowly so other native plants grow in its place.
Focus on Marine Science:
Students explored tide pools at Rodeo Beach, experienced Nature Bridge's touch tanks, and they saw numerous whales along the coast!
Team Building Activities:
Time for games, discussions, and reflection at Scotty’s Bluff in Marin Headlands. Games focussed on communication skills and tasks that could only be accomplished with the help of everyone in the group.
It's a speedy bunch! Both the Lower and Middle School MTS Track Teams placed very well in the final meets of the year. Fifth grade boys and fifth grade girls won second place in their relays in the meet prior to the final races (pictured with their ribbons). Middle School runners had to qualify for the final championship races, which were held at Mount Tam High School over the weekend. See below for the final results in the Middle School races. Congratulations, Runners!
Middle School Marin County Championship Meet Results
Natalie Harle 100M A Girls 1st place
Halle Hanna 200M A Girls 1st place
Natalie Harle 200M A Girls 2nd place
Halle Hanna 600M A Girls 1st place (tied school record!)
Marissa Lumpkin 600M C Girls 4th place
400M Relay A Girls 4th place
Mile Relay A/B CO-ED 2nd place
Natalie Harle Shot Put A Girls 3rd place
Tara Curtin Long Jump D Girls 4th place
Grades 5-8 students were ecstatic to have Shannon Messenger, author of the Keeper of the Lost Cities and the SkyFall book series, come visit the school, talk about her writing approach, and sign some books. We learned about her love for cats and cupcakes, not to mention did you know that unicorns with wings are not actually called unicorns, but alicorns? She encouraged the students to follow their dreams and to never give up. A special thanks to the Payne, Reilly, Charkin and Estes families for bringing this popular author to our doorstep!
On Saturday, April 28th, eighteen of our MTS students competed in the 36th Annual Margie Burke Memorial Speech Tournament at Ross School. Each year our students work diligently to prepare for this highly competitive and prestigious event. This year, with eleven Marin County schools participating, Mount Tamalpais School earned 18 medals. This was the 25th year that Performing Arts teacher, Deborah Marcom, took a team of students to the tournament, with notoriously amazing results over the years. Please join us in congratulating all of them!
SEBASTIAN della CAVA – GOLD
MAYA MONROY - SILVER
LOGAN OCKNER - SILVER
EVERETT ROSAUER - SILVER
HALLE HANNA - BRONZE
ZION INGRAHAM - BRONZE
SINEAD MURPHY - BRONZE
ALEX ORUM - BRONZE
SEBASTIAN della CAVA - GOLD
HALLE HANNA - GOLD
AVA RALPH - GOLD
IAN HASHIM - SILVER
COLETTE PATTERSON - SILVER
WILL BEERE - BRONZE
SINEAD MURPHY - BRONZE
LOGAN OCKNER - BRONZE
MIA REILLY - BRONZE
ORIGINAL PROSE AND POETRY
ALEX ORUM - SILVER
Community Day was a huge success!
Kindergarten and First Graders have been learning about the idea of community. As a way to explore what it is like to be a member of a town/city community, First Graders were given the opportunity to open their own "stores." They came up with an idea and a business plan and created a store where they would provide a good or service. Stores ranged from selling things like used books or hand-made crafts, to teaching a skill like shooting a mini basketball or learning to make a rubber band bracelet.
While there was an economics aspect to this project, the focus was to emphasize the many services that are shared by the members of a community. With this in mind, each customer received 10 small cubes to use as currency, and each item or service cost 1 cube. The Kindergarten class was invited to come to shop, as well as parents and faculty. Fun was had by all, and customers left feeling very pleased with their new purchases and experiences!
The Diversity and Inclusion Parent Committee hosted the 2nd Annual International Spring Potluck on Friday last night. Families brought traditional dishes to share with everyone. It was a great event celebrating our wonderful community and diversity through food!
The kindergarten class is learning about recycling/repurposing materials and caring for our planet and community as part of their current Social Studies unit. After getting inspiration and ideas while visiting SCRAP, a non-profit recycling, learning and art center in San Francisco, students made robots from recycled materials they brought from home. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders toured the Robot Gallery, and kindergarten students explained their robots with their "how to" guides.
During Family STEM Night, faculty turn the school into a veritable Exploratorium. Kindergarteners through 4th graders come with their families to the school and enjoy a variety of hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math activities.
In the STEM lab we explored robotics- there were 3 activities set up for families to try. Robo-Recycling- the challenge was to use block coding to get Dash the robot to push cups into an area on the floor designated for recycling. Dashketball- Dash the robot had its launching arm attached. The aim of the game was to use block code to try to Dash to launch the balls into a basketball hoop to score. Xylo- Dash had its xylophone attached, and families worked together to create a song for Dash to play.
We also had a number engineering activities:
Domino Diving Board challenged families to learn about cantilevers while trying to build a ledge of dominos that hung over the edge of a box. The challenge was to try to see how far out they could build their ledge before it collapsed.
Let's Communicate challenged families to see how well they could explain a design to a builder. Partners faced each other, but worked inside dividers so that they couldn't see what each other was doing. The engineer built a structure with lego pieces. The builder had to try to build exactly the same thing by following the directions of the engineer (not able to see the completed structure.)
Learning from Failure challenged families to make a boat out of a 4" piece of aluminum foil. Boats were judged on how many pennies they could hold before they sunk.
Inspired by Nature was a card game that involved matching human inventions with their inspiration found in nature.
Science activities included Make the Tinkering Trees for building fine motor skills, Owl Pellet Dissection to discover what owls eat and identify rodent bones, and Camouflage, where families were challenged with finding examples of different types of camouflage on a series of iPad images.
At another station, attendees could watch a video created by two eighth graders demonstrating a density column.
In Eric's room, families could enjoy both physics, chemistry, and biology stations. Your Father's Nose created by a previous MTS student plays with our sense of vision and perception with mirrors that blend two people's facial features into one. Look Into Infinity, also plays a perception trick such that when a viewer looks through a peephole, the mirrors create the effect of seeing 100's of the object (in this case, an apple) as though it goes on until infinity. Other activities included determining if chemistry "mystery" solutions were either acids or bases using indicators, as well as a microscope activity looking at protist cultures of Eugenia, organisms that have both plant (photosynthesis) and animal (motile) characteristics.
The dice were rolled, the cards were shuffled, the coins were tossed, and a good time was had by all. Children and adults worked together thinking strategically in order to win computationally based games such as Face Off, Before and After, and Target Addition. Geometric thinking was stretched to the limits when building two-dimensional shapes such as squares and stars, and three-dimensional shapes such as pyramids and cubes with an eight foot loop of rope.
The Performing Arts & Visual Arts Enrichment Classes from Trimester 2 entertained on Tuesday night with a wide range of talent and disciplines including Chorus, Vocal Ensemble, Scene Study, Girls Dance, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Physical Theatre.
The program included scene studies from The Odd Couple, the Lemon Sisters, Sir Stanley, and Betraying the Blues, as well as Girls' and Boys' Dance Ensembles called "Take Me To The Movies" with a fun mix of classics - Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, Austin Powers, Napolean Dynamite, and Footloose.
On display in Summit Hall as well as showcased in a digital presentation with music, are 12 Geometric Animal Compositions inspired by Ben Jones, and 8th grade micron pen drawings of Marin County Animals from the Visual Arts Enrichment Class.
Watch selected scenes in the video below.
The 4th grade girls basketball team won the CYO Championship game!! The game played on Sunday was a nail biter, and the girls pulled it off winning 8:6 against St. Anthony's. Congratulations, MTS girls and Coach Gerry!
Come join us!
Artist Reception • Monday, March 26
5:00 - 7:00 PM
We are excited to be showcasing artwork by MTS students in Spring into Art, an exhibition at the Tiburon Town Hall. The show is hosted in partnership with the Tiburon Heritage and Arts Commission. On view will be a selection of 30-50 student works that display a broad range of ages, materials, and creativity. Join us in celebrating the artist reception open to all MTS families and the broader community!
Tiburon Town Hall
1505 Tiburon Blvd.
Belvedere Tiburon, CA
The exhibition will be on view through April 30, 2018.
Tiburon Heritage and Arts Commission
(415) 435-7373 (call for viewing times)
Mount Tamalpais School celebrated the culture of Brazil at its 12th Annual Cultural Day. The jam-packed day was filled with fun Brazilian festivities including folk tales, samba dancers, capoeira, food, and workshops. Enjoy a recap below, as well as photos and videos from the amazing day.
In the morning, parent volunteers visited lower school classes, leading students in projects and reading Brazilian stories. Rob Potter then kicked off the all school gathering with a keynote slide show presentation, offering a glimpse into the history, geography, and culture of Brazil that was then followed by Amor do Samba dancers Jazz Elaine Baptist and Halima Mahdee as well as a performance by the ABADA Capoeira Dance Troupe. After a lunch featuring Brazilian Cuisine of Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), Bobo de Camarao (savory chowder), Empanadas, and Feijoada (black bean stew), the Middle School attended a series of afternoon workshop presentations as described below.
Afternoon Workshops - Middle School
Brazilian Treasures and Treats - Jaiara Almeida Boudreaux shared interesting treasures and artifacts from Brazil. She talked about her experiences growing up in Brazil, and told her life stories about Brazilian food, animals (jaguars), school, Carnival, and soccer. Students also enjoyed delicious Brazilian lemonade and some treats of plantain chips.
Brazilian Masks - MTS Art Teachers, Tyler Bewley and Evy Packer, introduced students to Kalapalo masks created by the Kalapalo indigenous tribe who live on the banks of the Xingu River in the Amazon Rainforest. The masks were made using acrylic paint and hemp on painted cardboard.
Rainforest Reptiles - Tree Frog Treks wowed students with Trucker the red-footed tortoise (not to be confused with a turtle!), a boa constrictor named Rocky, an orange tree frog, and a tarantula, all native to the Brazilian Amazon forest. Tortoises like Trucker are "pets-for-life" as they can live up to 80 years old, and they are veritable "garbage disposals" as they will eat just about anything, including carrion.
Samba Dance - Dancers Jazz Elaine Baptist and Halima Mahdee from Amor do Samba of San Francisco taught students some basic samba steps and then showed how to incorporate them into a short routine.
Capoeira - Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. Diego Fretias and Lisa Silva from ABADA Dance Troupe introduced students to some simple Capoeira techniques.
Pachamama Alliance - In the final workshop of the day, Pachamama Alliance gave a presentation on their organization. The Pachamama Alliance is a global community that works to empower the indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just, and sustainable world.
Watch videos below to see additional highlights from the day. You can also watch Rob Potter's Introductory Brazil Day Slide Show Presentation here.
We are proud to announce that eighth grader, Rob Rudy, has qualified to compete in the 2018 California National Geographic State Bee. It's no small accomplishment as the state of California has somewhere between 3000-4000 school finalists take the standardized test to determine who will be among the 100 state finalists. Rob is the 12th student from Mount Tamalpais School to be eligible in the last 20 years.
In December, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students competed against one another in the MTS School Bee to earn the chance to represent our school at the state competition. Rob was the last one standing with his correct response to the question, "In 1991, Abuja replaced Lagos as the seat of government of which West African country?" (Answer: Nigeria.) As school champion, he went on to take the qualifying test to earn an invitation to the State Bee. Rob was one of the 100 top-scoring students invited by The National Geographic Society to participate in the state semifinal event.
This year will be the 30th Annual National Geographic Bee, and the contest will be held at the California State University, Fresno on Friday, April 6. The top 3 state finalists will win cash prizes, college scholarships, and the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to compete in the final National Geographic Bee Championship, which will be streamed live starting May 24, 2018, at www.natgeobee.org.
Students in grades 6-8 showed off their talents in the Winter Recital 2 this month. Performances ranged from vocals, piano, flute, and last but not least, bagpipes!
A MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE - PACIFIC GYRE ABSTRACTIONS
The Surfrider Foundation is hosting an annual art and education event to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans, and artwork produced by Mount Tamalpais School 6th graders will be featured in the exhibition. The artwork will be on view at The Venue of the Palace of the Fine Arts from February 23-25 .
The 6th Grade class began this art project by learning about the environmental impact of plastic waste on marine habitats. The students watched videos about the formation of trash gyres throughout the worlds oceans and learned how plastics enter our oceans and the marine food chain. Finally, the class discussed ways in which they could make difference through local efforts and at home.
This art project represents the culmination of the student’s experience. Using mixed media including oil pastel, watercolor, color pencil and collage, each work is an abstraction of the Pacific Garbage Gyre and represents the most common plastic wastes found in our oceans as well as the process of photo-degradation. The final compositions will be included in the Surfrider Foundation's annual Message in a Bottle Art and Education exhibition. The event seeks to shed light on the major issue of marine plastic pollution and features art from schools around the Bay Area as well as from working Bay Area artists.
Sixth Grader, Oliver, from the class was motivated by the lesson to participate in a beach clean-up at Stinson Beach. He was surprised that they were able to collect 10 pounds of trash in just 10 minutes. Hear Oliver talk about the experience in the video below.
A Message In a Bottle Art and Education Event
Hosted by the Surfrider Foundation
The Venue of the Palace of the Fine Arts
3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Friday, February 23, 6-10pm – Gallery Opening – RSVP here.
Saturday, February 24, 10am-2pm – Open House & Craft Day
Sunday, February 25, 10am-2pm – Student Appreciation Day
For more information, visit the event website.
Third graders had the opportunity to go see the San Francisco Symphony on a field trip earlier this week. The Symphony performed their Concert for Kids: "Music Here, There, Everywhere!"
The group especially loved the brass section performing Quidditch music from "Harry Potter" and the Brazilian song "Tico-Tico." After the concert, students got to speak with the percussionist from the orchestra who is a childhood friend of Jen Bennett.
The gorgeous sunny day made it distinctly fun to cross the bridge into the city, and enjoy a snack outside in the plaza. A special day for everyone!
understanding cultures and ancient history in Nancy's 6th Grade Social Studies Class
While we are continually looking for ways to evolve our curriculum, some class projects are too good to give up. A case in point is Nancy's 6th grade social studies "Archaeological Dig Project." Project-based learning at its best, this ancient world history lesson has students develop an understanding of different cultures and the way that humans construct history from incomplete data by creating and deciphering their own invented civilizations.
The project has such long-lasting impact, that it inspired MTS Alum (1986), Justin Wells, to launch a life-long career in education, as well as become an expert in and write a book on project-based learning. In a book he recently co-authored, Transforming Schools: Using Project-Based Learning, Performance Assessment, and Common Core Standards, the authors describe the project in detail. Read the following excerpt from the book below to learn more about the project.
Seventh graders had the opportunity to visit the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley last week. Students viewed the current science exhibits, as well as participating in two hands-on lab projects. The first was an engineering project in the Ingenuity Lab where students were challenged with making objects using pivots and linkages. In the second classroom workshop, students learned about and dissected squids.
Dash visited the kindergarten class today giving students the opportunity to learn about programming robots. Together they figured out how to give Dash directions to different places on the map. By placing certain "puzzlet" pieces into the play tray, they could give Dash simple directions, such as go straight, turn right, or turn left. After successfully programming Dash to go to both the playground and the zoo, students were treated to a couple surprise commands that enable Dash to laugh, blow a kiss, or "vroom" across the room. So much fun!