Spring is in full swing and the Hoot Owls and Owlets in Ms. Jessica’s class are seeing signs of it everywhere! They’ve been learning all about the parts of nature they’re seeing more of as the world comes alive.
For almost a month, students have been tending to and observing the radish seeds they planted back on Earth Day. To further their plant learning, the Owls created and labeled the parts of a plant. They’ve taken the opportunity to observe and interact with many different types of plants by using magnifying glasses, dissecting flowers, and creating collages with plants as well! As a class, students planted bean sprout and pea plant seeds in a transparent planter so they could observe the seed coat softening and the roots growing down into the soil. The Owls made their own plant life cycle wheels while observing the bean and pea plants, and noticed which plants were in different parts of the cycle.
Beyond plants, spring also brings new bugs! The class has been using nets and bug catchers to collect and observe bugs from the play yard! They learned that all insects have certain feature: six legs, three body sections, and antennae.
The Owls will bring their learning to life with a special performance at next week’s Friday Flag, so tune in on May 28!
Ms. Traci introduced some long pieces of foam to the Hoot Owls without any directions. The Hoot Owls quickly decided to turn them into marble runs. This required lots of ingenuity, patience and the sharing of ideas, space and materials. It was a little tricky at first to work together with such fun and new materials, but they quickly got the hang of it.
After almost an hour of working on the activity inside, the Hoot Owls wanted to work on it longer so we moved the activity outside. Many Hoot Owls wanted the marble to be able to go up and down so they used their bodies as bumps and hills.
One day didn’t seem to be enough for this fun and creative activity because the Hoot Owls wanted to continue to make different marble runs for more than a week!
After learning all about the volcanoes that exist on Earth, Mars, and Venus, the Hoot Owls in Ms. Traci’s class decided they wanted to learn more about volcanoes in general. Before they started their exploration of the topic, Ms. Traci asked the students what they already knew:
“They erupt lava.” “When a volcano erupts and goes in the ocean it turns to stone.” “You can’t go inside a volcano because they are hot.” “You don’t want to run to a volcano because you might bump your head.”
The Hoot Owls read some non-fiction books about volcanoes, and then set out to build their own volcano out of paper mache. They also built an entire city to around the base of the volcano, including a zoo, candy store, and toy store.
When it was time to make the volcano erupt, the students made predictions as to what would happen:
“I think it’s going to explode with white and orange lava coming out of the top and it’s going to hit the city and at the other side there is going to be a puddle of lava.”
“Here’s the hot lava down here and the little blue stuff are houses down here. And their grass got burnt by the hot lava.
“I think maybe it will explode and it will slip off the table and go into cement and then onto the wood chips and sink, sink, sink.”
Using baking soda and vinegar, the Hoot Owls made the volcano erupt four times! The city remained mostly safe until the fourth eruption, when the candy shop suffered minor damages.
Some of Saklan’s youngest students are learning all about science! The Owls in Ms. Jessica’s class are spending the month learning what science is, what an experiment is, and the definitions of the words “hypothesis” and “observation.”
To bring their learning to life, the students are conducting an experiment of their own, using celery sticks and white flowers! The class put one of each into cups of water, then added different food coloring to each cup. They also left one cup of water uncolored.
Each student formed a hypothesis about what would happen, including:
“They will grow!” “They will explode!” “The water will get hard like Jello!” “They will suck up the water!” “They will get hot!” “A raccoon will take the celery!”
The class will make observations every day to see which of their hypotheses are correct!
The Hoot Owls continue to demonstrate their creativity through their study of different art forms. This month, they learned about mosaics with Ms. Zuly.
After spending some time gaining an understanding of what mosaics are, the Hoot Owls were free to design their own mosaics in any way they wanted. When they were finished, Ms. Traci asked each student whether their mosaic was abstract art or representational art — a difference the students have been learning about throughout the year. Each student successfully identified which type of art they had created!
After the students’ mosaics were complete, the class compared the art they had made to the abstract art of African American artist Alma Woodsey Thomas. They discussed how abstract art can evoke feelings within the viewer, then each student took a turn going in front of the class to discuss what the paintings reminded them of, and how the paintings made them feel.
The pieces inspired a range of feelings, from happiness, to sadness, to fright. Their interpretation of what the abstract artwork reminded them of was also varied, and included a ferris wheel, the aisle at a wedding, an sea creature, an eye, and a maze!
It is exciting to see the ways each student is developing their own artistic eye – some said they would like to visit a museum when it is safe to do so again!
While most Saklan students celebrated the 100th day of school back in February, the Hoot Owls in Ms. Traci’s class marked their 100th day of in-person learning earlier this week, on March 1. From the outside classroom to the inside classroom, Hoot Owls have grown so much in 100 days, and have been eagerly awaiting the landmark!
In addition to physical and academic growth, Hoot Owl friendships have also flourished, and it is a joy to see them working together as a team. To celebrate this, and all their accomplishments over the past 100 days, students celebrated by making 100 Day crowns, which they decorated with stickers, gems, and markers.
The Hoot owls also practiced counting to 100, using some small toys and gems. The celebration capped off with an extra healthy snack, provided by Hoot Owl families. Making it to 100 days of in-person learning holds extra significance this year, and it’s great to see the Hoot Owls celebrate in style!
The Owls in Ms. Jessica’s class are bringing classic children’s books to life by learning about famous authors in a hands-on way! First, the Owls read books written by children’s author Laura Numeroff, including If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. To further engage with the book, they used messy foam paint to “frost” giant cupcakes of their own, complete with sparkly sprinkles!
Next, the Owls learned about Mo Willems, who wrote and illustrated books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, as well as various books featuring the characters Gerald and Piggy. After watching a video of Mo Willems and his friends acting out one of his books, they created Gerald and Piggy art of their own.
As the Owls continuing learning about famous authors, they will also begin writing and illustrating books of their own. We can’t wait to see what stories they will share!
To wrap up their transportation unit, the Saklan Owls turned their sights skyward, learning about airplanes and helicopters. They incorporated math learning and built fine motor skills by cutting and assembling different shapes like a puzzle to make a helicopter.
They also tapped into their inner artists by doing marble painting on airplane shapes, creating unique lines and patterns. The tracks that the marbles made across the paper were reminiscent of the condensation trails planes make when they move across the sky!
The Owls closed out their transportation unit with a fun celebration! Each student brought in their own method of transportation from home, and had a blast zooming around the parking lot on their bikes and scooters!
The Hoot Owls have been busy becoming scientists! The Hoot Owls already knew a lot about what a scientist does. When asked, “What is a scientist?” their answers included:
“Scientists make science.”
“Scientists can make Coronavirus go away.”
“Scientists check out things.”
“Scientists do art.”
“A scientist experiments stuff.”
“A scientist is an archeologist.”
After sharing their prior knowledge about scientists, the Hoot Owls furthered their understanding of the job of a scientist through several hands-on activities. The students learned that a scientist measures, writes, draws, counts, asks questions, notices details, sorts, tests predictions, uses their senses, keeps trying and has fun!
Check out the pictures of the Hoot Owls taking on the role of being scientists through hands-on experiences below.
The scientists used a scale to measure weight.
They made predictions and drew what they saw after combining baking soda and vinegar.
And when the cold weather brought hail to Saklan, the Hoot Owls used their senses to explore it!
The Hoot Owls and Owlets in Ms. Jessica’s class have been learning about different types of transportation. First the class took a vote to see what the students were most interested in learning about. The Owls love practicing voting and making their own choices! Cars and space travel tied as the top choices to explore first.
Some unfortunate but serendipitous car troubles for Ms. Jessica kicked off a conversation about tires, how they work, what happens when you get a flat tire, and how tow trucks carry other cars!
The Owls enjoyed some messy collaborative painting with cars and trucks, observing how different tires made different tracks.
The Owls also made their own traffic lights to go along with a song they learned called “Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light,” which they were excited to share at Friday Flag this morning!