Science Discovery in the Owl Classroom

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!


Hoot Owl Mosaics

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!


100 Days of Hoot Owls

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!


Learning About Famous Authors

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!


Owls on the Move

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!


Hoot Owl Scientists

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!


Studying Modes of Transportation

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!


Holiday Traditions Around the World

The Owls in Ms. Jessica’s class enjoyed learning about holiday traditions from different countries and cultures. The children love to look at the globe and map together! During December, they located Russia, Sweden, Norway, Mexico and Africa. With winter growing nearer, the Owls first took a look at the Russian Winter Festival: colorful lights, decorations, costumes, horse-drawn sleighs (called “troikas”), ice skating, and music are just a few of the ways the season is celebrated. After seeing the impressive ice sculpture display at the Moscow festival, the Owls got the opportunity to work hands-on with different shaped ice cubes to try and create their own sculptures! 

Next the Owls learned about St. Lucia Day, a holiday celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and other European countries. One of the traditions is to celebrate light overcoming darkness in the winter season by lighting many candles and singing songs. The class watched a short clip of children dressed as St. Lucia singing together. The Owls then got to make their own woven heart, a traditional holiday decoration from Sweden. It was a little tricky, but with practice everyone was able to make a beautiful heart!

Ms. Jessica’s class then learned about a Christmas tradition originating from Mexico called Las Posadas. It is a nine-day celebration during which families reenact the story of Mary and Joseph searching for a place to stay. Large groups of people, often in costumes and carrying candles, travel throughout their neighborhoods singing carols and knocking on doors looking for las posadas (the inns). On the ninth day everyone comes together to share food and drinks and the children break open a star shaped piñata. Of course the Owls couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate with a piñata of their own!

The final holiday the class learned about was Kwanzaa. The Owls learned that much like Hanukkah, a candle is lit for each of the seven nights of Kwanzaa. For each night, a different principle is celebrated: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. They learned that many of the traditions of Kwanzaa are based on customs from parts of Africa, used to celebrate their heritage.


Dinosaur Research

For the Owls in Ms. Jessica’s class, December has been a month of dinosaurs! After seeing how interested the Hoot Owls and Owlets were in dinosaurs the class decided to learn a little more about them. The students learned that dinosaurs are reptiles and hatch from eggs. They did a fun activity using eyedroppers and warm water to free toy dinosaurs from their icy eggs! 

The Owls learned the words carnivoreherbivore, and omnivore and played a game matching dinosaurs with their diets. They also discovered that everyone in our class is an omnivore! The children had some messy fun making dinosaur footprints with paint after finding out that scientists learn a lot about dinosaurs from fossilized footprints.

The Owls have been having a blast researching and pretending to be their favorite dinosaurs, including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, Spinosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus! 


Hip Hop History

November was Hip Hop History Month so the Hoot Owls learned about the Father of Hip Hop, DJ Kool Herc! The class read When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop, by Laban Carrick Hill.

Ms. Traci showed the Hoot Owls a record, and they got to listen to it on a record player. The students then watched some videos of B-Boys and B-Girls (the dancers who performed to DJ Kool Herc’s breakbeats), before trying out our own dance moves! They were definitely working on their gross motor skills and coordination with all their dancing. Most of the Hoot Owls also gave themselves an original hip hop name!