Visiting Moraga Gardens Farm

During September and the first week of October, the Hoot Owls, Owlets, first graders, second graders, third graders and fourth graders took their first field experience of the year to Moraga Gardens Farm! Ms. Meredith led each of the classes on the two-block walk to the farm, and then on a tour of the community garden. The garden was filled with eggplants, cucumbers, kale, apples, pears, tomatoes, and much more.

During the tours, students learned that fruits and vegetables grow from flowers after being pollinated. They saw the difference between seasonal trees, such as a peach tree (summer) and persimmon tree (fall). The children saw how vines grow by attaching their tendrils to other structures and plants, and how plants defend themselves from predators. They went inside the greenhouse, heard the bees buzzing in their hives, and got to sample some of the garden’s produce. Lastly, the students were invited to feed and pet the chickens.

The students all had a great time in the garden. Thank you, Ms. Meredith, for leading these interactive, engaging field experiences!


Hoot Owl Giving Trees

The Hoot Owls have been learning about fall and experiencing many seasonal changes, especially the changes in the trees! They have been reading books about leaves and trees including, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The students learned about the different parts of a tree and discussed the many things trees provide for humans. Then, the Hoot Owls made their own “giving trees” using real branches.

After the students completed their trees, Ms. Traci asked the Hoot Owls, “What does your giving tree give to you?” The answers included: leaves, apples, lemons, a place to sit, houses, boats, a bridge, benches, and a bunk bed!


Colors of Pre-K

Last week, the Hoot Owls read the book The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz. In the story, a little girl notices all the beautiful and different skin colors of the people in her community. Her mom is an artist and teaches her how to mix black, white, red and yellow paint to make the skin colors of the people that she sees. She then paints portraits of the members of her community, declaring them “the colors of us!”

After reading the story, the Hoot Owls mixed paints to create their own self-portraits. The students tried to get as close as they could to their own skin color; each Pre-K student decided when the color was correct, or close enough. Next the Hoot Owls looked into mirrors and added their eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth and hair to their portraits.


Music Enrichment Classes

We are excited to offer music enrichment classes this fall! The classes, listed below, will begin on Thursday, September 30th and run through December 16th.

  • Music & Movement for Preschool & Pre-K on Thursdays from 2:30 – 2:50 p.m. Students will experience music through play, movement and singing games. Students will work towards development of perceiving and performing the steady beat in music, identifying and understanding musical form, and recognizing musical opposites such as fast and slow, loud and soft and high and low. In addition, the classes will emphasize the development of proper vocal technique and health. Students in this class will receive complimentary Extended Day care from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. on days the class meets.

  • Beginning Choral Habits for K – 2nd Grade on Thursdays from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. The K-2 after school music course will be an opportunity for students to develop beginning choral habits and structure. Students will learn proper body alignment, breathing and vocal techniques and will work on developing beautiful blend with several unison choral arrangements. Later on in the year, students may work towards arrangements in canon and two-part harmony. Singing games will also be incorporated to allow for musical enjoyment and allow the students to engage the music with movement, imagination and creativity.

To sign your child up for one of the above classes, please click on the class name.


Kissing Hands

The Hoot Owls recently read the book, The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn. The story is about a little raccoon’s transition to school. His mother teaches him the secret of the kissing hand. She gives him a kiss on his paw and tells him to press the kiss to his cheek whenever he misses her. The Hoot Owls made their own kissing hands to give to their families so they aren’t missed so much while they are away at school.


Class Agreements

The first few weeks of school are all about developing new routines and building relationships with teachers and classmates. During this time, each class works together to create a class agreement (also know as class rules). As part of the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching, the agreements are created collaboratively between students and teachers, focusing on what all members of the classroom community can do to help create a calm, orderly and safe environment for learning.

The agreements are phrased in the positive, offering clear expectations of behavior and how students can live up to those expectations. By including students in the process of creating the agreements, the students are engaged in their learning, feel a sense of belonging and safe in school, and view the rules in a positive light.

View some of this year’s class agreements below.

#SaklanCommunity #ResponsiveClassroom

Saklan has CLAS

Students share appreciations during the first CLAS

Last year gave us time to think about some of the things we have done for years and how to do them better. One of those things is Friday Flag- a long tradition that we have held out in front of School every Friday morning. After conversations with parents, teachers and students, we will be moving to a new Friday morning assembly called CLAS (Community, Learning, Appreciation, and Sharing). 

The impetus to move to CLAS was to emphasize the aspects of Saklan we sincerely appreciate: our community, that love of learning is central to everything we do, that gratitude and appreciation is our lifeblood, and that sharing is how we all grow as individuals. 

CLAS will be held on the Saklan Sports Court every other week. This allows each division to meet on the off weeks and hold assemblies that bring them together as a smaller group; the Saklan Sports Court provides a more protected gathering space. 

Parents are invited to join us for CLAS by entering campus through the fire lane near the church right at 8:30 a.m.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this morning for our first CLAS! It was so wonderful to see our entire community in the same space and to hear the words of wisdom and appreciations that the students shared with us. Check out pictures from today’s gathering below.

#SaklanCLAS #SaklanCommunity

Signs of Spring

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!


Marble Runs

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!