Puff Mobiles

This week, fourth graders wrapped up their Energy Unit in Science Lab. The students learnt about energy and alternative energy.

First, they looked at solar powered cars and raced them. Next, they investigated wind energy and built their own vehicles that can be moved using wind power.

Wind energy in this case came from their mouth. The students called their vehicles “Puff Mobiles.” Starting with a great design led to some amazing quick races!


Charlotte’s Web

St Marys

At the end of January grades K to 4 went on a field experience to the Children’s Theater at St. Mary’s College in Moraga.

St Marys T

The St. Mary’s students there gave a fantastic production of a classic of children’s literature, beloved by youngsters and adults alike. Charlotte’s Web is a book that all Saklan students read in 3rd grade. The acting was amazing and the sets impressive. Tears and laughter (you know how it ends…) were had by all.


Mission Dolores

4th graders have recently completed Google slide reports on a California Mission of their choice. Now, they were on a MISSION to see a real California mission nearby. They trekked to San Francisco to Mission Dolores. Students got to hear how the mission was built and the tour guide had a great, great, great, great, great grandfather in the Saklan Tribe who was a part of building it!

Students noted the structure and materials used, as well as the art work on the walls. Each student even got to ring the church bell (named Francis). With this field experience under their belts as good background knowledge… 4th graders are ready to build missions of their own! Come check them out at the Exhibition Night on January 30th!


Moving Up Day At Saklan!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Every year, preschool through 5th grade students get to “move up” to next year’s grade for part of the day. The teachers plan special activities that highlight their grade and the students get to experience what next year will look like. Here are a couple of activities from Wednesday’s Moving Up Day:

3rd graders had the opportunity to ask questions and hear about all of the exciting adventures they will have in 4th grade.  They were encouraged to be Bookworms and read nightly, as well as become fluent in their multiplication tables to prepare!  They thought like engineers and designed their very own paper airplanes. Congrats to Jack Z. and Henry for constructing airplanes that flew the farthest!

One of the fun activities the current 4th graders had in 5th grade was a STEM Ski Challenge. Students designed and tested their skiers, and then they raced their teammates!


4th Grade Biography Project

4th graders donned costumes and dressed up like the person they studied while reading biographies. Students wrote 5-paragraph expository essays, which were presented in class to parents. They worked on creating an organized paper which included an introduction, a body that was filled with three main ideas and many interesting supporting details, and a conclusion.


4th graders practiced their public speaking skills by giving speeches at flag, including words of wisdom!

Buddies at Saklan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Collaboration is what makes Saklan unique! 2nd and 4th grade buddies enjoyed getting together and playing, “Mouse Trap” outside. They were able to get their wiggles out all while learning about fairness and good sportsmanship. Afterward, they hunkered down together with books practicing fluency and reading with expression.


4th Grade Self Portraits


For the most part, our faces are fairly symmetrical. That means if we divided our face in half, each half would roughly be the same measurements and the facial features would be in the same places.

The students learned tricks to help them space the facial features out properly. Cutting their photo in half, students measured out the contour (outline) of their head using the measurements they have from the photo. Making little dots at each point, they measured and then connected all the dots for the contour line drawing. This gave them even more spacial awareness to where their facial features would go next. They measured where their eyes, nose, and mouth begin and end. We are now working on how to draw the facial features and shade.

Drawing a self portrait is probably one of the most daunting projects for kids. They are easily discouraged because it is one of the hardest projects for almost anyone! With that said, the students have been pleasantly surprised how accurate their self portraits are! Way to go 4th grade!


Can You Hula Hoop?


The physical education students have been practicing with hula hoops since the beginning of the year. Did you know that you can build with the hula hoops? Six hoops can be stacked to create a stand alone structure.


The Saklan students didn’t stop with six. During recess, a few ambitious builders have begun to stack the structures. The builders are looking for different locations which will allow them to reach greater heights. The tower is growing to four and five stories! Today, the students broke the record with four stories and this structure will go down in Saklan history!

Let’s go Saklan!


Traveling Teddy Bear Coming To Saklan

Traveling Teddy BearArriving this week, you will notice a Teddy Bear on campus! This Teddy Bear is named Matteo and is an international traveler. Matteo is part of the Traveling Teddy Bear Project that connects students around the globe! He will be stopping in some of our classrooms and doing activities with our students.

The Traveling Teddy Bears Project was started in 2014 with the goal of connecting young children in classrooms across the globe. This year each of our bears is supporting one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help spread awareness in schools around the globe! You can learn more about these goals here: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.html

Matteo is the oldest teddy bear to be a part of the Traveling Teddy group. He was born in New Jersey in 2005.  He loves traveling, learning about cultures, making friends, learning languages, dancing, and reading. He is ready to travel, learn, make friends, and read to many children around the world. Matteo is also very sporty and enjoys  yoga, swimming, baseball, running, and working out.unnamed

Matteo supports Global Goal #4: Quality Education. He believes that everyone deserves to go to school and have opportunities to read, write, and learn!

Matteo is currently in China from there he will be coming to Saklan, then to Ireland, and Canada.


Animal Adaptations

4th graders are deep into their animal adaptation unit, and had the opportunity to go on a field experience to Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Students were thrilled to see their textbook come to life as they observed/touched many creatures and discussed special features that help these creatures survive. It was so amazing to see academic vocabulary fly out of their mouths (such as migration, hibernation, instinct, learned behavior) when answering questions, and their proud faces as they connected the dots between the classroom and the real world of nature.

When the instructors at Lindsay learned we were beginning our unit on California Birds, they tailor-made our tour so we really got to see and learn about the birds in their care. Almost every bird being researched by a Saklan student was found at the museum. One student even got to go see his bird back in the nursery as she was recovering from delivering an egg!

Because the students were so engaged in their research, they were let in on a very special treat of seeing a bald eagle brought into their hospital. The eagle had been electrocuted by a power line, and behind the glass we observed doctors and nurses working very hard to save its life. Even in this situation, Lindsay made it a learning moment and the students observed the adaptations of the bald eagle up close.

As the students were leaving, they brought out a turkey vulture that was 40 years old! He had amazing adaptations that were so unique, and it was such a treat to see it and ask questions of the person in charge of his well-being.

4th graders are so inspired to return to class and begin researching their particular bird, especially with this field experience to recall.