Here is one of the most dedicated distance learning student working on her sea creature research project. Miss Traci asked students to pick a sea creature that they wanted to learn more about and find out: Where does it live? What does it eat? Is it a predator, prey or both? Is it a fish, mammal, crustacean or other? Is it venomous? What does it look like? Draw a picture of the creature.
The Hoot Owls have been talking about different ways to do research in class. Books, Internet, experiments, ask an expert. Miss Traci really liked assigning this project because it actually wasn’t something they are able to do in class with each student because it takes so much individualized attention. It worked as a distance learning project because they could work one on one with a parent and take all the time they needed. Their theme for March is sea life.
Last month, the Hoot Owls learned about abstract artist, Alma Woodsey Thomas! The class talked about abstract art vs. representational art. The Hoot Owls studied a few of Thomas’s paintings and talked about how the paintings made them feel. They also took inspiration from her colorful style with two different art projects. First, the Hoot Owls used paper rectangles to create circular artwork. This was a challenge for their fine motor skills and attention spans. Many students chose to revisit the project on the second day. Revisiting difficult projects teaches perseverance.
Next, the Hoot Owls practiced painting with delicate brush strokes. They experimented with small, medium and large brushes. Most students were not used to painting this way, but they all did a fabulous job!
The Hoot Owls spent the month of February learning about pond life. They learned about the life cycles of different pond creatures. They also talked about how plants and animals work together to create healthy environments. The Hoot Owls were able to study plants, bugs and pollen up close when they visited Ms. O in the Science Lab! The students looked at these specimen under real microscopes! The Hoot Owls were also excited to see Ms. O’s fish tanks and lego wall!
January began the Hoot Owls’ winter theme. They have been exploring some exciting science and math concepts through this theme. The Hoot Owls strengthen their fine motor skills once again by using pipettes to create icicles.
However, the Hoot Owls didn’t create these amazing works of art all on their own. They had a lot of help from a very important force called gravity! Miss Jessica talked with the students about gravity, but no explanation would suffice without giving the Hoot Owls the opportunity to experience it for themselves!
The Hoot Owls explored symmetry with a few different projects. First, they studied pictures of real snowflakes that had been taken under a microscope. Next, they used craft sticks to make snowflakes that were the same on both sides. The students continued to learn about symmetry by making folded paper snowflakes. When the Hoot Owls opened up the snowflake, they found a symmetrical winter surprise!
The Hoot Owls also made symmetrical paintings. They used a folded piece of paper to paint anything they wanted. When their painting was complete, they folded the paper in half. The paint from the first side transferred to the second side revealing symmetrical masterpieces!
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!
For the month of December, the Hoot Owls studied reptiles and had a lot of fun researching them. A guest expert from East Bay Vivarium came to Saklan yesterday and the children had a chance to see, touch and hold the animals.
Patterning is an important early math skill that is practiced often in the Pre-Kindergarten room. Hoot Owls worked on pattern making by exploring patterns seen in nature. The children compared the patterns of the venomous coral snake and the harmless king snake. Hoot Owls chose to copy the pattern of either snake while also working on their fine motor skills.
Process art focuses on the student’s experience while creating art, not on the end product. Process art allows children to make their own choices, ask questions and experiment. Students have the opportunity to make mistakes, explore materials and gain confidence while using their imagination and their senses. Hoot Owls thought about snakes and how snakes move while painting with thick pieces of yarn!
Hoot Owls strengthened their fine motor skills and sculpting skills while working with air dry clay. They used the information they learned about reptiles to freely create a reptile of their choosing. Careful! They might bite!
Arriving 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.
Hoot Owls practiced some of the steps from the scientific method this month. First, they created a hypothesis when Miss Traci asked the Hoot Owls, “How many seeds are inside the pumpkin?” guesses ranged from zero to trillions!
The children collected data by counting the seeds into piles of ten. During circle-time, they counted all the seeds by 10’s together. They found that there were 493 seeds inside the pumpkin. Hoot Owls also practiced the concept of more or less when the teacher asked them if their guess was more or less than 493.
Hoot Owls learned about perspective with their first still life project of the year. They were asked to draw only what they could see while working on life-like drawings of three pumpkins. Miss Jessica helped the Hoot Owls pay close attention to small details and differences between the pumpkins. She asked that the Hoot Owls didn’t move the pumpkins because it would change the perspective of their art and their friend’s art. To help the Hoot Owls understand the concept of perspective a little more they read They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel. In this story a cat walks through the world, but the illustrations of the cat look very different depending on which animal is looking at the cat!
As part of their fall theme, Hoot Owls began to study leaves. First, Hoot Owls examined real leaves under their class magnifying glasses. Miss Jessica pointed out the leaf’s veins and explained their purpose. Hoot Owls love using magnifying glasses.
Next, the Hoot Owls did leaf rubbings using the flat side of a crayon. It was magical to watch the leaf shape emerge through the paper.
Lastly, the Hoot Owls made leaf prints. Step one: choose a real leaf. Step two: paint the leaf with fall colors. Step three: firmly press a piece of paper over the leaf. Step four: pull off the paper to reveal a beautiful leaf print!