At the end of April, the Owlets watched this video to learn that biologists are scientists who study animals, plants, and other kinds of life. During the month of May, the Owlets have had many opportunities to be biologists. Recently, they talked about characteristics of different animal classes, including reptiles, mammals, fish, and birds.

Last week, a guest expert, Ms. Emily from Wildcare, visited the Owlets and Hoot Owls to teach them all about mammals! The students enjoyed seeing the real taxidermy animals she brought, as well as a real whale tooth and some deer antlers!

#SaklanGuestExpert #SaklanHandsOn

Chemical Reactions

The Owlets became scientists in April! The class visited Ms. O in her lab every Thursday during the month. The Owlets learned words like observation and hypothesis. Ms. O let the Owlets experiment with mixing different liquids to cause chemical reactions, like color changes, temperature changes, and state changes.

After learning about chemical reactions, Ms. Jessica led the Owlets and Hoot Owls in a classic experiment mixing Mentos candy with soda. Many of the students predicted what would happen, and many of them wanted to try mixing the candy with other liquids too!

The Owlets asked lots of great questions and came up with many ideas for more science experiments!


Leprechauns on Campus

On Thursday, March 17th, many of our students noticed signs of mischievous leprechauns having visited campus overnight. Yarn wrapped around toys, messages left on classroom white boards and gold coins in classrooms were some of the clues the leprechauns left!

Knowing they might be coming, the Kindergarteners built a trap for the leprechauns. While there were no leprechauns in the trap in the morning, the trap definitely looked different on Thursday morning than when the students had built it on Wednesday!

Owlets, Hoot Owls, and Kindergarteners set out on a scavenger hunt on their play yard, looking for signs of leprechauns there too! Students searched for:

  • Pots of Gold
  • Four Leaf Clovers
  • Rainbows
  • Gold Coins
  • Green Top Hats
  • Images of Leprechauns

The students were very successful in finding items left behind by the leprechauns!

Building Houses

Recently, Ms. Maggie and the Hoot Owls worked on creating some really unique houses! Using tape and craft sticks, the Hoot Owls constructed square, rectangular and even triangular-shaped houses. The features of the houses varied during this open-ended project, with some students choosing to add doors and windows and others adding bridges! Most of the Hoot Owls plan to use their houses as bird houses.

This fun activity allowed the Hoot Owls to work on their fine motor skills, shape recognition and of course creativity and design!


100 Days Smarter

Saklan celebrated the 100th day of the 2021-2022 school year on Thursday, February 10th. To mark the occasion, the Hoot Owls made “100” crowns, participated in several counting activities and had a celebratory lunch.

The Kindergartners celebrated the 100th day of school by rotating through a series of activities focusing on the number 100. Students had the opportunity to build with 100 cups, match numbers 1 – 100 on the bottom of kisses to a hundreds chart, hear the story 100th Day Worries by Margery Cuyler, draw themselves when they are 100 years old, and make a necklace with 100 loops on it.

To get the 100th day started, the first graders each created a poster that contained 100 of something of their choosing. The posters were very unique and creative!

During the school day, the first graders commemorated the day by answering writing prompts such as, “What would you do with 100 dollars?” and “What would you do if you were 100 years old?” They practiced counting to 100 by 10s, drew 100 decorations on cupcake drawings, made necklaces using 100 circular cereal pieces and yarn and read The 100th Day of School by Angela Shelf Medearis.

The students had a wonderful day celebrating the 100th day of school and noting that they are now 100 days smarter.

#SaklanAcademic #100daysSmarter

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

The Hoot Owls read the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud. The book teaches that everyone carries around an imaginary bucket. When you do kind things for someone your bucket gets filled and so does the other person’s bucket!

The Hoot Owls created a class bucket/jar to fill with kind things that are done throughout the week. On Fridays they read aloud all the kind things that happened that week!


An Interest in Insects

The Hoot Owls have been very interested in insects! Wanting to embrace this interest, the teachers designed a unit to teach the students about insects and spiders. The unit started with Ms. Traci asking the class “What do we already know about insects?” Their answers included:

“A butterfly only flies.” – Preston

“Spiders have eight legs.” – Dante

“Millipedes have so many legs. They have sticky yellow liquid. Some are poisonous. Some are venomous.” – Ian

“Ladybugs don’t sting you. There are different types. Millipedes eat ladybugs.” – Allison

“Frogs eat flies.” – Dalton

“Ladybugs can stink you. Centipedes pinch. Some butterflies are poisonous.” – Ben

“Spiders catch insects in webs.” – Ethan

“Mosquitoes will bite you in the night.” -Mira

Next the Hoot Owls observed toy insects and pictures of insects in books. They used these examples, as well as their imaginations, to create some insect artwork with markers and watercolors.

Ms. Maggie took the Hoot Owls on a Bug Scavenger Hunt! The class documented their findings like real scientists. They saw an ant, a fly, a millipede and some mosquitoes, although many of the Hoot Owls claimed to have seen butterflies, ladybugs, bees, and spiders. They decided to try the hunt again in the spring when we might really see some more insects!

The Hoot Owls made salt dough insects and spiders. First they helped make the salt dough by combining 1 cup of salt, 2 cups of flour and 1 cup water.

While making the spiders or insects out of the salt dough, the students had to carefully make two body parts for spiders or three body parts for insects. Then they also had to count out eight legs for spiders and six for insects.

This was a great way for the Hoot Owls to work on their fine motor skills and math skills while having fun!


Celebrating Diwali

The Owlets, Hoot Owls and Kindergarteners learned about Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs around the world, including some of their classmates! Diwali is the festival of lights and lasts for 5 days in October or November. The students read the books Diwali by Hannah Eliot and Shubh Diwali! by Citra Soundar to get a better understanding of the festival.

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 Owlets used colored sand, while the Hoot Owls used colored salt, for their Rangoli.

The Kindergarteners learned about diyas, which are oil lamps that are lit during Diwali to bring light and dispel darkness. The Kindergarteners made their own paper diyas and decorated them with jewels and stickers.


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!


%d bloggers like this: