Fifth Grade Lap Books

As part of Black History Month, the Saklan fifth graders completed a novel study on the amazing book Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman by Dorothy Sterling. They learned about the incredible woman Harriet Tubman was, and her many important contributions to society.

To further their learning, each fifth grader chose an influential African American to learn more about, from historical figures to modern day icons. After they finished their research, each student created a lap book that detailed key dates, important accomplishments, famous quotes, and other inspiring aspects of their selected person’s life.

Several students shared their books with the broader Saklan community during Friday Flag, explaining why they chose the person they did, and highlighting some of the most important or most fascinating facts they’d learned. Awesome job, fifth graders!


Fifth Grade Celebrates Valentine’s Day

Saklan fifth graders have been having a great time celebrating Valentine’s Day all week! The students began by making handprint wreaths to hang in the windows of the classroom.

After a discussion of what compliments are and how it makes us feel to get or give one, the fifth graders created Valentine’s bags with classmate compliments. They wrote a compliment on a paper heart for each student, trying their best to make it personal and meaningful. Then they passed out their hearts to each classmate, and enjoyed reading the compliments they had received from others.

To end the week, students worked in pairs on Conversation Heart Math. Each pair received a bag of conversation hearts, and used them to complete different mathematical operations, including estimating, graphing, addition, measurement, and averaging.

There was a lot of love for another great week of fifth grade!


Collisions in Space

During their science lab time with Ms. O, the fifth graders learned about the creation of our moon, Earth’s only natural satellite. The students discovered that the moon most likely formed from a collision of a protoplanet hitting Earth twice. The debris from the collision is believed to have formed Earth’s moon. The students looked at pictures of the surface of the moon to understand how collisions in space are inevitable, due to the gravitational pull of celestial objects. Then they investigated what type of asteroid might make a deep crater, wide crater, or one with rays. In groups, the fifth graders dropped spheres of different sizes and masses into their “moon” surface to see the impact the objects have on the surface due to falling from different heights and with varying speeds. 



During January, Saklan students have been focusing on being hardworking. The eighth grade Family Group leaders created a video to explain what hardworking means and how it can help students reach their goals and overcome challenges.

After hearing suggestions from the eighth graders, each of Saklan’s first through seventh graders wrote down one goal, project or activity they want to work hard to accomplish or improve on. Check out the many areas in which our students are working hard!

#SaklanSocialEmotionalLearning #SaklanFamilyGroups

Shadow Movement

Fifth graders are learning about Earth’s place in the universe. Students have focused on the movements in the solar system that affect how we see shadows. The fifth graders recently created a graphical display that revealed patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows during the school day. Pairs of students worked together to trace each other’s shadow outline early in the morning and noted where the sun was in the sky. Then, when the sun was at its highest (12:00 p.m.) they returned to their chalk outlines and traced where their shadows had moved and where the sun was positioned. Students were amazed at how much their shadows changed at different times of the day!


How Many Steps in a Mile?

The students in kindergarten thru eighth grade have been equipped with pedometers while exercising during P.E. lessons. The devices are simple and only measure “steps,” but are equipped with a reset button. P.E. classes have had fun experimenting with what types of activities generate the most movement or steps. Students have had the opportunity to see how dribbling a ball compares to swinging on the swings, and how walking a mile compares to skipping rope. Some of the third graders came to the conclusion that shaking the sensor generates a higher count than spinning it on a finger.  Overall, it appears that students focus on generating a count with their pedometers, and that feedback adds a little extra motivation to continue to exert effort while participating in physical education exercises.

Lucas in kindergarten asked Mr. Crabtree to take a picture of the pedometer he was using in P.E. and send it to his mom, as he was interested in one for home use as well.  For any other parents that have received requests for pedometers, here are the pedometers the students are using at school:


Life Lessons of 2020 in a Zine

What is a zine? A zine is short for Magazine and is a self-made booklet that tells a story, informs about an issue, and is fun to make! It’s origin dates back to 1776, with Thomas Paine’s self-published pamphlet, Common Sense, which advocated for the thirteen colonies to become independent from Great Britain

In returning from Winter Break online and entering into the new year, 1st-8th graders were asked to reflect on what lessons they learned about themselves and the world in 2020 and what they were excited about striving for in 2021. 2020 forced the world to face reality, good or bad, and with so much to learn from, the children triumphed over all of these obstacles to share what they found most rewarding, difficult, and inspiring. In seeing these zines created, we hope it inspires us all to continue to persevere, fight for justice, and take care of each other and ourselves.  

#SaklanCreative #SaklanThoughtful

Story Elements

The fifth graders recently finished their novel study of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This story is about four children who are transported into a fantastical land called Narnia. It is filled with rich characters and an exciting theme of good vs. evil. During the novel study, the students learned about the concept of story elements in literature. They created posters depicting the components: story setting, story characters, story problem, story solution and themes. Last Friday, the students presented their posters during Flag.

Awesome job, fifth graders!


Accept Yourself and Others As They Are

Yesterday, the 1st – 8th grade students met in their first family group lesson to discuss the importance of being accepting. 

Students introduced themselves, heard a story called The Crayon Box that Talked, and then discussed the story to understand that sometimes getting to know someone or learning how unique they are can help breakdown misconceptions. While everyone of us is unique here at Saklan, it is our similarities and our differences that make us such a special school. From soccer players to cat lovers, artists and passionate young scientists; the more we listen to others, respect our differences, are kind with our words and think of others, the more accepted everyone will feel.

Students then colored their own crayon with a picture of themselves, and listed something they feel makes them special! These self-drawn crayons are to be returned to Saklan, either by the next connect day or the next swap and drop so they can be inlcuded in the Family Group posters that will be put on display in the breezeway. 

***We deeply apologize for any technical issues you suffered that may have caused stress during the Family Group time. Ms. O was not able to get into meeting rooms either as she was trying to help people. Zoom locked her out! 😦 We can only assume others were just as frustrated. If that is the case, please know your student can still draw their crayon and return them to Saklan to be included on the Family Group poster. Their teacher can help them with any instructions they need.