Fourth Grade Bookworms

Fourth graders are off to a fantastic start as Bookworms! They have gotten to share their perspectives on our class summer reading book, “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” in our morning meetings.
They are sharpening their place value and multiplication skills through a variety of card games.
Did you know that California is located in the Northern and Western hemispheres?  Fourth Graders do!!!

Responsive Classroom


This summer, seven Saklan teachers (Mrs. C, Ms. Puno, Ms. Prizeman, Ms. Rokas, Ms. Burton, Ms. Ivonne and Mr. Crabtree) attended a four-day intensive Responsive Classroom training seminar. For those of you who may not be familiar with Responsive Classroom, it is an evidence-based approach to teaching that merges engaging and challenging academics with the social emotional needs of each student. Much of what Responsive Classroom recommends are practices we already do and believe in at Saklan, but the training has enhanced our toolbox and solidified our approach to working with students. To discover more about Responsive Classroom please click here.


Surprise from Ms. Kennedy!

The 4th graders wrote to one of their favorite author’s, Kim Kennedy. They tried to use their best persuasive writing skills to convince her to write a sequel to a book they read in class, Misty Gordon and the Ghost Pirates. They even gave her fantastic ideas, in case she had writer’s block.

Last week, the 4th graders received a box from Ms. Kennedy!!! She not only wrote each student back individually, but included Madame Zaster glasses (a very important feature in the mystery). Our class could not have been more thrilled!!! We hope, we persuaded her to continue writing!


Gold Rush Field Experience

Our Saklan 4th grade 49ers spent two days at the Coloma Outdoor Discovery School in Coloma last week. The students tried to strike it rich as they stepped back in time to 1849!

This outdoor adventure was full of hands-on learning, understanding our place in protecting nature and history, all while trying to “leave no trace.” Bringing history to life through exploration is exactly what Saklan is all about!


Gold Rush Board Game

The 4th graders have taken the content they learned about the California Gold Rush and created their very own board games! Students played the games in class to review and prepare for their trip to Coloma on April 11-12.


Lower School Students See the Play “Brooklyn Bridge”


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

4th Grade Measures Grams of Sugar in Cereal

The 4th graders each brought in cereal boxes and made predictions on how many grams of sugar per serving each box contained. They got to measure on a scale the amount of grams per serving and put that amount of sugar in a Ziploc.

Students were surprised to know that there are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon(!) and many of their cereals had several teaspoons of sugar per serving. Students realized that they actually ate more than one serving size recommended by the manufacturer, and so were eating many grams of sugar. They also used their cereal boxes to identify persuasive techniques advertisers used to get people to purchase their cereal. #Saklanhandson

Moving Up Day!

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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

California Missions

Last week, the 4th graders braved the rain and went to their first field trip of the year: Mission Dolores in San Francisco. History comes alive when students are able to see in person items learned from books. This was such an excellent learning experience and students are even more motivated to return to the classroom and build their individual missions. #SaklanExperiental

Fourth Grade Biographies

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The fourth graders each selected a different biography to read! Students were practicing their expository writing skills through organization, thesis statement, main ideas, supporting details, and were able to write 5 paragraph essays.

Each student also wrote a short speech, dressed up as the person they studied, and presented at flag. They gave incredible words of wisdom (famous quotes) that were meaningful to them. After flag, parents were invited back to the classroom to enjoy the full reports. Nicely done, fourth grade Bookworms!