On Thursday, March 7th, the 4th and 5th grade embarked on a journey down the hill into Lafayette to visit our local community theater, Town Hall Theater. We experienced a beautiful play called “Brooklyn Bridge,” which on the surface seems to be about a 5th grade girl trying to find a pen so she can write a report, but is really about human connectedness and the small things that bring us all together. The students were able to ask the actors questions after, and for our Saklan students, they were able to tie the experience of actors they saw to their own memory of what it feels like to be on stage.
Different students were able to understand the play on different levels. There were moments of stillness and silence when the meaning of the play reached their hearts, and all of them laughed at the “plant moving people.” Experiencing such beautiful theater so close by is thrilling, and helps our students to understand that they are a part of the larger artistic community in Lamorinda and the East Bay. They walked away joyful, inspired, and empowered. Many thanks to Town Hall Theater for hosting us! #SaklanExperiental
Fifth grade students have been working hard on their State Reports. Students researched many important facts pertaining to their chosen state. Each report consisted of well written sections and students also drew maps, state birds, state flowers and state flags for their reports. As a family project, students created a State Float.
Floats were required to have specific facts as well as extra information the students found fascinating. How those state facts were represented on the float was up to their imagination. It was interesting to see all of the creativity in each of State Floats. Students and their families did such an amazing job!
Wednesday was a special day for our elementary campus. All of our PS – 5th grade students got to “move up” to next year’s grade for a portion of the morning. This has been an annual tradition so that the students get a snapshot of what next year could be like. The teachers planned special activities that highlighted their grade and enjoyed getting to know their rising students a little better. If your child “moved up” on Wednesday, please ask them all about it. I’m sure they will have something enthusiastic to share! #SaklanConnected
Fifth graders worked together to complete gingerbread house projects. Students worked in pairs to design and build to scale a gingerbread house. First, they reviewed how to figure Area and Perimeter. Then students designed their gingerbread house floor plans. All floor plans could not exceed 432 square centimeters. When complete, students submitted their floor plans, side and front view dimensions and calculations to the Project Manager (Mrs. Peters) for final approval before building.
During this process, fifth graders: designed, added, multiplied, predicted, worked cooperatively and creatively. Students then built their gingerbread houses to scale. Of course, adding candy was a fun part of the project, too. They turned out great! Awesome job, fifth graders!
Tumbling down from the sky and landing in our play yard, our Owlets and Hoot Owls had a special visitor this week. They were deliriously excited, to say the least. A pigeon! Close up and personal! They were amused and had many questions. Their curiosity was uncontainable. Look! He has a green bracelet! What is it? Why is it here? Is it hurt?
Our little Friend was tagged with his “name” and his owner’s information. After a little bit of detective work on the American Racing Pigeon Union site, we were able to find out that he was lost and where he came from.
To make a 2-day story short, our Feathered Friend is at home with Matt from Concord. Matt says “Thank you” to our Owlets and Hoot Owls for showing compassion and concern for the safety and well-being of our Feathered Friend.
Fifth graders just finished reading the book, Wonder. This is an amazing story about a fifth grade boy, August, who was born with a severe facial deformity. Up until now, he has been home-schooled by his mother. Now, his parents feel it is important for August to go to school and meet other students. Going to school is filled with many challenges and successes, not only for August, but for many of the other characters. This story has many important themes. One prevalent theme is: Kindness. Fifth graders discussed the many ways they show kindness to others.
Students chose twelve ways they show kindness and have written them on their “Rainbows of Kindness” art projects. If you are looking for an exciting story, this is the book for you! Fifth graders choose “kind.”
Each student read a book of their choice. After students read their books, they created a new brand of cereal that was related to their story somehow. The cereal boxes have creative names and illustrations on the front. The sides of the boxes explain the main characters, setting and story summary. Inside the boxes, students made a free prize, just like some real cereals have. Also, book recommendations were included.
Another part of the report was for students to create their own commercial presentations that we gave to our classmates. The purpose of the commercial was to “sell” their cereal and get kids to read their book.
If you are looking for a good book to read, our cereal box reports might give you some ideas. We will be putting our boxes in the library for you to look at. Way to go fifth graders!!
Since Ms. O., our Science Teacher, worked with NOAA this summer on a research vessel, she wanted to share that experience with her students! Two weeks ago, the 5th and 6th grade students joined the Marine Science Institute for a four-hour expedition of the San Francisco Bay aboard a 90-foot research vessel, the R.V. Robert G. Brownlee. The students discovered what lives in the estuary and how we are connected to it. They rotated through three stations using scientific methods and equipment to examine different types of life.
First, they went to hydrology to understand the water quality, and then performed a plankton tow to see the basis of the food chain. After, they used a mud grab to collect a benthic mud sample to look for invertebrates. And lastly, they worked together to deploy a 16-foot trawl net to bring fishes on board. In small groups, they studied the fishes using dichotomous keys. Students were inspired to observe and touch the live animals that they collected. Between sharks, crabs, halibut and sting rays, they saw a bunch of cool marine life!
Fifth grade students have been working on their Autobiography projects. They are producing some amazing writing! After they had learned about sensory words, the students went on a sensory walk, off campus, noting many sensory items.
They returned back to do a silent sensory experience with a cookie. Students were able to describe their cookies using sensory vocabulary. Lots of “sparkle words.”
The Saklan School recently held an election for Student Council. The students campaigned by writing speeches and presenting them at Flag. The students voted later that day. We announced the results of the election to the middle school students on Tuesday. Here is a list of the elected officers.
Max B. (8th grade) and Harrison L. (8th grade)
Jordan D. (6th grade) Makenna C. (6th grade)
Evy A. (6th grade) and Elishka G. (6th grade)
Lauren A. (8th grade) and Phoebe K. (6th grade)
We are very proud of all the students who ran and we are excited for a great year!