For the Owlets, November isn’t just any month, it is DINOvember! The month began with a roaring start as the students researched different types of dinosaurs and learned about their sizes, diets, and habits. The class read a book called Dinosaur Bones by Bob Barner that taught them about fossils (bones and prints that have been preserved by natural processes), and how scientists use fossils to learn about dinosaurs who lived millions of years before humans existed. The Owlets then got a very special opportunity to look at some real fossils! Ms. Obenchain, Saklan’s Science Teacher, gave the class a box of fossils from the Aurora Fossil Museum in North Carolina. The Owlets practiced being paleontologists as they discovered fossils from coral, shells, and even shark teeth!
The Owlets then got to create their own fossils using salt dough and dinosaur toys.
The Owlets learned that dinosaurs are reptiles and lay eggs. The students enjoyed helping baby dinosaurs hatch from icy eggs by using eye droppers and warm water to melt the eggs!
The Owlets have thoroughly enjoyed DINOvember. Stay tuned to learn more about this hands-on, dino-themed unit!
On Thursday, the third graders combined social studies and STEM standards together while working on a fun project. First, the class read a biography about Tony Sarg, known as the father of modern puppetry and the inventor of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloons. Then students designed their own parade balloons, as well as a device to hold the balloons high up in the air. It took some trial and error to get the devices to work, but the students persevered!
Check out their creative balloon designs below.
With their balloons complete, the third graders paraded around the school yard. The Hoot Owls and Owlets were excited to watch the parade and see the third grade creations!
In science, our Kindergartners learned about owls. They learned many, many things about owls, including:
An owl’s feathers are soft and light, allowing it to fly silently through the night.
The feathers around an owl’s face move sounds to its ears allowing it to hear a small mouse.
An owl has 14 bones in its neck (humans have 7), making it possible for an owl to turn its head almost fully around!
Baby owls are called nestlings.
Nestlings hatch at different times, the first to hatch is the largest nestling and the last to hatch is the smallest.
After hearing the story Owl Babies, the students created their own picture of nestlings.
The Kindergartners also learned that owls have sharp talons, very big eyes and a beak, all of which help them hunt for food. They learned that owls swallow their food whole and later regurgitate what is not needed in a pellet. The Kindergarteners dissected owl pellets and were amazed to find to find bones and fur!
If you have questions about owls, ask a Saklan Kindergartner. They love owls!
The eighth graders have been learning about the periodic table. From researching what all the symbols mean, to understanding what the atomic number and atomic mass tell us about each element, they have become very knowledgeable about the periodic table!
Each student picked one element they wanted to learn more about. After completing research on their element, they designed a shirt to showcase the special properties of their element. Check out the atomic attire the eighth graders created and modeled below!
Last Wednesday, November 3rd, marked our First Annual Orange Envelope Day! Kicking off our Annual Giving Fund (AGF) with lots of enthusiasm, students and parents were able to drop their orange donation envelopes in the orange box and ring our cowbell to mark the occasion – it brought lots of joy and attention to drop off and pick up! Thank you for helping to make it historic. Orange Envelope Day yielded 37 gifts and participation from 24% of our families- Go Saklan!
It speaks volumes about our community that families are willing to contribute a meaningful gift to the AGF. Each gift supports our commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and being connected to every student. Moreover, it strengthens the bond of shared common values between all of us. Those values of belonging and connectedness are instrumental to who we are and what we do.
Asking for a financial gift from a community that already gives so much in the way of time, money and trust, takes a nuanced approach. While we focus on participation because it is an indicator of belonging, the truth of the matter is that we would fall short of our financial goal without the larger donations that are made. Our community is socioeconomically diverse, with some families who have more capacity to give monetarily than others. This is where the nuance comes in. Larger gifts bring us closer to moving the dial on experiences that strengthen your child’s love for learning. High participation is a vote of being connected to the community that values those experiences. We strive for both. We want Saklan to be your primary philanthropic cause and ask you to give to your fullest capacity. Whether your gift is $5 or $15,000, if it is meaningful to you, it is meaningful to us.
Thank you for believing in us to partner with you in your child’s educational journey. Thank you to those who have already shown their support for the AGF. We are more than halfway to our goals of raising $150,000 and reaching 100% participation, and I am confident that both will continue to rise.
Last Friday, our Kindergarten and 1st grade students were delighted to find out who their 3rd or 4th grade learning buddy is for the year. For their first buddies meeting, the students played a get-to-know-you game and then spent time reading together.
The big buddies marvelously modeled good reading behaviors by reading with expression and fluency for their little buddies, and then were honored to listen to their little buddies read too. The Kindergarten, first, third and fourth grade students thoroughly enjoyed getting to know their learning buddies, are already asking when they get to meet with their buddies again!
Learning buddies are a purposeful way to encourage cross-grade friendships, help the older buddies develop a sense of responsibility and practice mentorship, and make learning fun!
The Owlets, Hoot Owls and Kindergarteners learned about Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs around the world, including some of their classmates! Diwali is the festival of lights and lasts for 5 days in October or November. The students read the books Diwali by Hannah Eliot and Shubh Diwali! by Citra Soundar to get a better understanding of the festival.
The Owlets and Hoot Owls learned about an art form called Rangoli, a geometric design on the floor (or other flat surface) made using colored rice, sand, dry flour, or flower petals. The owls watched a video of someone creating a Rangoli, and then made their own. The Owlets used colored sand, while the Hoot Owls used colored salt, for their Rangoli.
The Kindergarteners learned about diyas, which are oil lamps that are lit during Diwali to bring light and dispel darkness. The Kindergarteners made their own paper diyas and decorated them with jewels and stickers.
In science, our fifth graders have been learning about the relative size and distance of the planets in our solar system. They began by drawing and cutting out scale models of the planets, and then went outside to measure their distance from the sun. The fifth graders had to go very far away from the Sun to correctly locate Mercury and Venus. Students started by placing the Sun in the far end of the church parking lot across the street from Saklan, and then used yardsticks to determine the correct placement of Mercury and Venus. They had to carefully cross the street, and continue measuring through the Saklan parking lot and into the front gate before they got to the correct spots for the planets.
This was definitely a multi-sensory, hands-on way to determine and understand the scale of our solar system!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the first Parent Ed talk of the year on Thursday, November 9th. During the event, Alexis Bernstein, founder of Within Reach Nutrition and a Saklan parent, shared everything one needs to know about sugar. She discussed how much sugar the average American consumes, sugars effects on the body, why we crave it, and gave advice on how to “crowd it out” of your diet. If you weren’t able to join us, you can view the recording of the session here.
Thank you very much to Alexis Bernstein for sharing her expertise with our community, and to the Saklan PA for organizing this event.