Kindergarten Studies Owls

Kindergartners have been having fun with Science by studying owls. The students can tell how many bones an owl has in its neck compared to a human and the difference between our eyes and an owl’s eyes. They learned an owl’s most powerful sense (note how all we do is related) is the sense of hearing. And, did you know owls do not build nests?


Finally, the class discovered what owls eat by dissecting an owl pellet. Using tools borrowed from Ms. O’s Science lab and a chart, the students noted skulls of birds and rodents, jaw bones and leg bones. The class heard some wonderful stories about owls including, Owl Moon, White Owl, Barn Owl, and our favorite, Owl Babies. Next time you are in the Kidnergarten room, notice the children’s paintings depicting a scene from Owl Babies.

The class ended their study of owls with the field experience of a visit from Lindsay Wildlife Museum where the children compared owl wings to hawk wings, touched talons from an owl, and saw a live barn owl similar to the one in the book we read. Kindergartners love owls!


Kinder Celebrates John Chapman

Kindergartners learned about Johnny Appleseed. Legend is told that a man named John Chapman walked the countryside of 6 states planting apple seeds starting bountiful and still producing apple orchards. John Chapman, who became known as Johnny Appleseed, would have been 245 years old on September 26.


The children had fun with apples. After learning about Johnny Appleseed, the Kindergarten tasted apples and graphed which apple they liked best. We read the book 10 Apples Up On Top! by Theo. LeSieg, which the Kindergartners learned is also Dr. Seuss, and worked on a follow up project gluing apples in numerical order.


They had fun painting with apples, making apple prints, and they enjoyed a “Let’s Find Out”, about apples. The best part was using real knives to cut up apples and make applesauce.


After all these experiences the children brainstormed descriptive words about apples. Who knew apples could incorporate so many areas of learning? From literature to history and Math, cooking and art, apples allowed Kindergartners to “grow”!


Let’s Subtract!

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The kindergartners have been busy with subtraction. They had fun experiencing many ways to subtract. During centers, the children subtracted play dough balls with their toes. They played subtraction bowling and used manipulatives such as “hiding bears in a cave.”

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As a class, they had fun sending children to the bathroom and out on the yard as another way to understand the “take away” concept. Finally, the children began reading equations and crossing out pictures as a way to subtract.


Rorschach Ink Blot Paintings


The Kindergarten explored the famous Ink Blots used for personality tests. It was quite impressive to hear the images the students saw. Just to name a few: unicorns, bugs, faces, people, monsters, and animals. Once the students were excited to create such interesting paintings we got started!

It was at first a little hard to not paint anything recognizable to the eye when handed paper and a paint brush. Once they started to fold, press, and unfold their paintings, the wow factor came in and they couldn’t stop. We even stepped on our paintings! Sean found that the pattern on his shoe transferred to the painting when the paper was folded in half and when he unfolded it, it created this amazing symmetrical pattern. The students love this project because the result is quick and something new and different each time.


March Motion


Have you heard of March Madness? Well in Kindergarten the students have been busy
with March Motion. The Kindergarten Science Unit this month has been the study of Force and Motion. The students talked about what scientists do, and they decided that scientists play.

To make discoveries one must play, and so the students played with blocks, cardboard, golf balls, ping pong balls and cars. They tested tubes with marshmallows, and used magnets. They have played on swings and slides and have taken rides in the recycle bin! Through all this play, they discovered that to make something move, it needs to be pushed or pulled and that objects with wheels move easier. They also learned that both gravity and wind can be forces of motion. That gravity pulls objects and wind pushes objects. Finally, they had fun with magnets and learned that magnets pull objects made of iron.


Pipe Protectors

On Thursday, Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade friends had a visit  from the Pipe Protectors of Central Contra Costa Sanitary District. Pipe Protectors is an education program that teaches kids the importance of environmental stewardship.


Students learned about how dirty water becomes clean water. They also learned about the journey of wastewater from their home back to our local environment. There were several activities that helped students understand how to keep our waters and oceans clean.

Ask your child about what they learned. They may have a few lessons for you!


The Big, Bad, Blow-Dryer Challenge

Kindergartners favorite fairy tale has been The Three Little Pigs. The children have been busy retelling the story using props. They love to huff and puff! Finally, the class had a lot of fun taking the Big, Bad, Blow-dryer Challenge.

Working in pairs, the children chose building materials needed to build a house. They made a diagram of how they wanted their house to look and predicted if their house would withstand the Big, Bad, Blow-dryer Challenge. The children then built their houses and the Big, Bad, Blow-dryer tried to blow down their houses.


Every house survived the Big, Bad, Blow-dryer Challenge. The children were very proud! #SaklanHandsOn

Field Experience at San Francisco Symphony

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On Tuesday, March 5th, the Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades went out to explore our Bay Area community by traveling to the San Francisco Symphony. They attended a concert called “Play Me a Story,” designed to help students identify different sounds made by each unique instrument, and connect them to characters or events in a story. The students and teachers then heard a program that introduced them to the Overture from “Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Elephants” by Camille Saint-Saens, and “Scheherezade” and “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korskov, amongst others.


The musicians in the symphony expertly demonstrated to our students how a flute can be a bird, how and oboe can be a duck, how a group of violins can be a swarm of bumblebees, and how a trombone and trumpet conversation can be a battle! Everybody’s favorite moment was when the percussion section played us the story of a ship crashing against the rocks!

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Introducing children to instrumental music at an early age is so important, but amongst the laundry list of reasons, one stands out; helping children experience the Symphony in person helps them understand fully that music is played by humans, not by computers, phones, or Alexa. Going outside our school gates and realizing that it is with our own bodies and brains that we create beauty helps our children realize that they too can create art, music or something beautiful, and that it is not out of their reach. For Saklan students, the experience helped them understand concepts reinforced every day in their classrooms and allows them to make a career connection into the greater community.

We 💜 SF Symphony! #SaklanExperiental

Kindergarten Celebrates Day 100

In Kindergarten, Day 100 was the best! First thing, the children had to hunt for 100 candy kisses. Each kiss was numbered, and after they found them the kisses had to be put on our 100 chart. Next, the children had to count 10 of 10 different foods giving them 100 food items to eat for snack.

Finally, the children visited 3 stations completing fun activities. The children had to draw a picture of them self as they would look at 100 years old, build a building with 100 cups, and make a structure using 100 toothpicks and 100 marshmallows. Day 100 is always so fun!

All About Polar Bears

Kindergartners have been very busy with STEAM activities and learning about polar bears. To understand polar bears…

the children tried to smell a Swedish fish hidden in an ice cube,

“swam” on mats from ice floe to ice floe,

felt ice cubes with and without a layer of blubber (saran wrap) and made bear biscuits.


Kindergartners also read books about bears including The Three Polar Bears, by Jan Brett. At the Lower School Exhibition they shared their work with families and friends.