Math Starts With Counting


Kindergarten is just completing Unit 4 of the Math program. They are busy with numbers 0-10.  A child is said to have concrete knowledge of numbers up to their age. Observe your child counting a large number of objects. It is common to see a child recognize the correct number of objects, 0-5, without needing to count, but when there are more objects, 6-10+, children will skip objects and/or count objects more than once. A child may recognize the number 8, but not really know how many 8 is the way we as adults can quickly recognize 8 of something by breaking 8 down to 4 and 4, etc.


Therefore, in Kindergarten many activities are used to break down the numbers so the children can have more concrete knowledge. This concrete knowledge is actually the beginning of addition and subtraction. They have been completing 10 frames every tenth day since the start of school. During morning bin time, the children have been building 10 frames. One Math time activity involved counting the dots on dominoes and sorting them. The next Unit covers numbers up to 31 and the fun will continue!


Mixing Magic Color Wheels


The Kindergarten is learning about the color wheel! Using Model Magic, the students mixed their own secondary colors (Orange, Green, Purple) using equal parts of the primary colors (Red, Yellow, Blue). They enjoyed mixing the colors with their hands and seeing the magic happen right before their eyes! In this exercise, students can create a wide range of colors fairly quickly and understand the amount of each color it takes to create others. While the model magic is still soft, they can break off a little of one and another color to make more colors like yellow-orange, blue-purple, green-blue, etc. (More yellow than orange will make yellow-orange, more blue than green will make blue-green, etc.)

Students were sent home with their model magic color wheels to play with color mixing! This is the most non-messy and tactile way of learning how to mix colors, not to mention the cool sculptures they can make with this material. If the model magic is left out and not placed back in the bag, IT WILL DRY OUT! So make a fun sculpture before it hardens! Here is just one idea: if the kids mix many colors they can attach all spheres to make a caterpillar!

In the following weeks, students will read from The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers to create their own story and artwork behind their favorite color of the color wheel.


Traveling Teddy Bear Coming To Saklan

Traveling Teddy BearArriving 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:

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.unnamed

Matteo supports Global Goal #4: Quality Education. He believes that everyone deserves to go to school and have opportunities to read, write, and learn!

Matteo is currently in China from there he will be coming to Saklan, then to Ireland, and Canada.


Kindergarten – Tree of Life

Tree of Life
Misheel Javkhlangerel Tree of Love                              Sage Avant Tree of Love

Students have been working with chalk, oil pastels, and watercolor resist techniques in the Art Room. The students had a one day project for them to take home and the inspiration came from Gustav Klimt’s painting, The Tree of Life. The Kinders titled their artwork after explaining what their own tree represented.

The Tree of Life reaches up into the sky and down into the earth. It represents strength, protection, mother nature, wisdom, and beauty. The swirly branches keep your eye wandering and exploring the details in the painting. Using lines to make up the tree, students used oil pastels first and then water colored the whole paper to reveal the resist technique. This creates beautiful results that the students are proud of creating!


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!