This week, first and second grade classes took the first field experiences of the school year to the Moraga Garden Farm. Field experiences are valuable learning opportunities typically central to education at Saklan. Since March, Saklan has postponed this time-proven ritual, but that did not hamper the kids’ enthusiasm and curiosity while off campus.
The farmers were busy winterizing the farm, and the children saw the community members hard at work. They discussed the many benefits of community farms, such as health and wellbeing, land conservation, shared knowledge, human connection, volunteerism, and being close to the food process. They learned about other types of community gardens worldwide, such as multigenerational allotment gardens in the UK/Europe, market gardens in developing nations, urban gardens and school gardens.
Most trips to the Farm happen during primary growing seasons of late spring and summer, but there was no shortage of exploration and investigation in the winterized version. Students got their hands dirty in the fertile soil while searching for evidence of decomposition and composting. They walked in large composting bins showcasing several stages of organic soil generation. Saklan students learned how organic farming methods can avoid chemicals ending up in the food. Fortunately, the field experience timing was perfect to see the cover crop that had just been planted – fava beans. Fava plants input nitrogen where summer vegetables have depleted the soil, as well as provide weed control, safe harbor for beneficial biodiversity, and reduction in rain erosion.
Lastly, a trip to the Moraga Garden Farm is not complete without a visit with the chickens. Students were extremely curiuos to see chickens during molting season, where old feathers are replaced by new feathers to prepare for winter. This experience was best summed up by a second-grader saying, “you can really see how chickens descended from dinosaurs and maybe aliens too!”
The first graders have been learning about outer space. They practiced their informational writing skills by creating pop-up books with facts about the planets. The students also created books filled with facts about the sun, moon and stars.
After learning about stars, the first graders had fun using their imaginations and creativity to create their own constellations. Examples of constellations they created include a unicorn, pyramid, sunset, and a mask. The first graders shared their constellations and practiced their public speaking skills by presenting the facts and stories behind their individual constellations to their classmates. Additionally, the first graders enjoyed learning a star song:
Star light, star bright.
Constellations, what a sight!
The song was a fun way to wrap up their outer space unit.
As they shared in their live Flag presentation last week, the first graders have been learning about writing sentences. They learned a song to help them remember the rules for writing a sentence, including: starting with a capital letter, leaving spaces between words, and adding a punctuation mark at the end. Check out the video of the first graders singing the sentence song at last Friday’s Flag .
Now that they have writing a sentence down, the first graders are working on putting together multiple sentences to create stories. They learned that each story has a beginning, middle, and ending, and have been practicing adding all three sections to their writing. The students are also working on adding more details to their stories. Stay tuned for more story writing from first grade in next week’s blog!
The first grade class recently completed a study on different types of communities. The students learned about rural, urban, and suburban communities from stories such as Town Mouse and Country Mouse. The first graders also compared communities of two characters named Miss Rumphius, who lives in an urban community, and Miss Arizona, who lives in a rural community. Using Venn diagrams and drawings, the students demonstrated their understanding of the differences and similarities of the two communities.
The first graders also enjoyed learning about producers and the goods they make, including food, toiletries, toys and cars. Each student made a book documenting how they themselves are producers, giving examples of the things they produce, such as cookies, tacos and paintings. They also drew pictures of the items they consume in their daily lives. Additionally, the first graders learned that many community members provide services to their community, including dentists who clean teeth, firefighters who fight fires, and builders who build houses.
For their final activity in the community study, the students created books about the type of community they would like to move to, showcasing their new understanding of the different types of communities and the types of resources that can be found within them.
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.
In an effort to do a little something fun with our Friday Flag, we asked families to create their own version of Happy by Pharrell Williams. This video certainly made everyone smile and happy this morning!
Special thanks to Noah M. (8th grade) for putting the video together!
The Saklan Student Council, along with our partner Pledge to Humanity, would like to thank the Saklan Community for making our food drive a huge success. We collected 1,415 pounds of food for the Monument Crisis Center. Together we made a difference for struggling families in our county.
When the Art Fair was cancelled, Miss Natalie wanted to figure out a way to still share the amazing artwork created by all our artists. A lot of thoughtfulness, patience, hard work, and creativity went into these amazing works of art. Just too good to not share with our Saklan community and beyond!
Artsonia is the world’s largest online collection of student art portfolios. Schools all around the world use this platform. It does need your consent as a parent because of the online public presence your child’s artwork will now have. This week an email was sent from Artsonia and once you give permission to display your child’s artwork online, you are able to view all other artwork that is public as well. The online art gallery will officially launch next Friday, May 22, 2020.
The first grade students learned about the different kinds of houses people live in around the world. They also learned that people have different kinds of houses depending on the weather, climate, and living conditions.
First graders did their Homes Research Project representing the country they are from. They were also asked what the homes are made from and its location on the world map. Here’s the list of each student’s country: