Hoot Owl Scientists

The Hoot Owls have been learning about science and what it means to be a scientist. The class has talked about parts of the scientific method including making hypotheses, doing experiments, collecting data and comparing data, as well as using their senses to learn about the world around them.

The Hoot Owls explored the concept of liquid and solid by making and playing with oobleck (water and cornstarch). The students were surprised to see the liquid thicken and solidify when force was applied to it.

Next, the class experimented with vinegar and baking soda. They were excited to see the reaction the vinegar made in the baking soda!

Finally, the Hoot Owls counted how many drops of water would fit on a penny, nickel and quarter.

#SaklanHandsOn #SaklanScience

Emotion Detectives

The Hoot Owls have been doing some social emotional activities inspired by the book A Little Spot of Feelings by Diane Alber. The book uses child-friendly language to talk about feelings and emotions, which it calls “feeling spots.”

The Hoot Owls have been working to become emotion detectives, practicing naming emotions and spotting their own emotions by paying attention to facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. The class first learned about their calm spot, and how to change from a difficult emotion, like sadness, anger or anxiety, back to their calm spot. They also discussed happiness, love and confidence. 

Next, the Hoot Owls painted some of the feeling spots: sadness, anger, happiness, confidence, peaceful, and loved. The students drew faces on the feeling spots and some of them wrote the names of each spot.

The Hoot Owls also turned the feeling spots into stick puppets. They then practiced role playing with the stick puppets in class.

With Maggie, the Hoot Owls read A Little Scribble Spot, also by Diane Alber. They used wiki sticks to create their own scribble spots, symbolizing when one is mixed up and doesn’t know how they feel. The Hoot Owls will continue to work on identifying their emotions as well as their friends’ emotions by being emotion detectives and looking for clues (like facial expressions, body language and tone of voice) for the rest of the year.


Growing Foods & Treats/Snacks

The Hoot Owls have been learning about health and nutrition! With Maggie, they practiced listing and sorting food into two main categories: growing foods and treats/snacks. They have also been working on identifying foods from different food groups, including: fruits, veggies, dairy, protein and grains.

The class read the book Veggies Don’t Scare Me at All! by Julana Massey to introduce different vegetables and how eating them can help bodies and brains grow. They also played a fun grocery shopping game where each Hoot Owl received a shopping list and shopping cart. The Hoot Owls reinforced their fine motor and early literacy skills by finding everything on their shopping list and placing it in their cart!

Festival of Lights

This week, many Saklan students learned about Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs around the world, including some of our students! Diwali is the festival of lights and lasts for 5 days in October or November. The students read books to get a better understanding of the festival, and then participated in some celebratory activities.

The Owlets and Hoot Owls learned about an art form called Rangoli, a geometric design on the floor (or other flat surface) made using colored rice, sand, dry flour, or flower petals. The owls watched a video of someone creating a Rangoli, and then made their own.

The Kindergarteners and first graders made lanterns that they were able to take home. They decorated their lanterns using stickers and markers, and were excited to spread light!

A big thank you to the parents who came in to share their family Diwali traditions with our students!

#SaklanDiversity #SaklanCommunity

Button Families

Maggie and the Hoot Owls have been learning about and talking about their families. The Hoot Owls made family portraits by using buttons as heads to count how many people are in their families.

Next the Hoot Owls took the portraits and graphed how many people are in their families. They learned that ten Hoot Owls have four people in their family, four Hoot Owls have five people in their family, and two Hoot owls have three and six people in their families. The class read the book My Family is from Different Places by Daria Leavitt about a mixed race family and how special it can be to have two cultures to celebrate. The teachers encouraged the Hoot Owls to find out where their ancestors are from to see if their family is also from different places.

Seeing Math

The Hoot Owls made their first graph of the year! The students learned that a graph is a picture that helps people “see math.” The Hoot Owls worked on this activity together during circle time. Each Pre-K student counted how many letters were in their name and then put their name above that number on the graph. After all owls added their name to the graph, the students noticed that no one in their class has a seven letter name. They also noticed that Leonardo has the longest name, and that eight kids have five letter names.


Last Friday morning there was much excitement on campus as we kicked off our learning buddy program for the year! Learning buddies are a purposeful way to encourage cross-grade friendships, help students develop a sense of responsibility and practice mentorship, and make learning fun!

During the first meeting, the buddies took time to get to know each other and did some reading together.

The older buddies marvelously modeled good reading behaviors by reading with expression and fluency for their younger buddies. Some of the older buddies were also honored to listen to their younger buddies read too.

The younger buddies thoroughly enjoyed getting to know their learning buddies, and are already asking when they get to meet with their buddies again!

#SaklanBuddies #SaklanCommunity

Hoot Owl Houses

The Hoot Owls have been talking about the differences between home and school. They read the books Home by Carson Ellis and The House that Jill Built by Phyllis Root. They then reviewed the shapes square, rectangle and triangle, and math terms like small, medium and large, and then talked about how they could use the shapes and sizes to construct an image of a house.

Some Hoot Owls made realistic houses while others chose to use their imagination and create a pretend house. Students who are getting the hang of writing chose to write either the word “house” or “home” on their artwork. Next students were asked, “Who lives in your house?” This led many Hoot Owls to draw their families inside their homes.

Mid-Autumn Festival

This week, the Hoot Owls learned about the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, that is celebrated in East and Southeast Asia to mark the end of the autumn harvest. The students read the book Thanking the Moon by Grace Lin, and learned how Maggie, one of the Pre-K teachers, celebrates the festival with her family. Maggie shared that this Saturday evening, September 10th, she will have a special dinner with her family and then go out to view the moon at night. During the viewing, her family will eat fruits and mooncakes and thank the moon for a bountiful harvest.

The Hoot Owls got to try their hand at making play-dough mooncakes using real mooncake presses. They were delighted at the beautiful “mooncakes” they created!

Thank you, Maggie, for sharing your family tradition with the Hoot Owls.

#SaklanDiversity #SaklanConnected

Moving Up Day

This morning, all Saklan Preschool – fifth grade students participated in Moving Up Day. The students and teachers alike were buzzing with excitement!

This annual tradition allowed the students to get a snapshot of what next year will hold. The teachers planned special activities that highlighted their grade level and enjoyed getting to know their rising students a little better. Morning meeting activities, questions, stories, classroom scavenger hunts, and enthusiasm filled the classrooms! If your child “moved up” today, please ask them all about it. They will likely have something enthusiastic to share!


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