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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Moving Up Day!

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Wednesday was a special day for our elementary campus. All of our PS – 5th grade students got to “move up” to next year’s grade for a portion of the morning. This has been an annual tradition so that the students get a snapshot of what next year could be like. The teachers planned special activities that highlighted their grade and enjoyed getting to know their rising students a little better. If your child “moved up” on Wednesday, please ask them all about it. I’m sure they will have something enthusiastic to share! #SaklanConnected

A Visit from a Feathered Friend

Tumbling down from the sky and landing in our play yard, our Owlets and Hoot Owls had a special visitor this week. They were deliriously excited, to say the least. A pigeon!  Close up and personal! They were amused and had many questions. Their curiosity was uncontainable. Look! He has a green bracelet! What is it? Why is it here? Is it hurt?

Our little Friend was tagged with his “name” and his owner’s information. After a little bit of detective work on the American Racing Pigeon Union site, we were able to find out that he was lost and where he came from.

To make a 2-day story short, our Feathered Friend is at home with Matt from Concord.  Matt says “Thank you” to our Owlets and Hoot Owls for showing compassion and concern for the safety and well-being of our Feathered Friend.

Kindergarten Field Experience

The Kindergarten class have been learning about our community. They learned that a community is a group of people living and working together. We talked about the various communities they are part of including their families, school and neighborhoods. The children also learned about community helpers and the job the community helpers do to make our community better.

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Last week, we had a field experience visiting the Moraga Fire Station. The children heard about the many jobs firefighters perform besides putting out fires. On the walk home we visited the Moraga Community Garden.

The children were surprised to see chickens and growing food right in their community. Thank you, Meredith, for sharing with us your beautiful garden! Added to our fun, Jerry the Bear, on his world tour, accompanied us on our adventures!

Lindsay Wildlife Comes to Saklan

On Wednesday, docents from the Lindsay Wildlife Museum came to school and did a wonderful presentation for the Kindergarten through Second Grade on Animal Habitat. The students discussed and saw many wild animals that live in our neighborhood and found out about their habitats and adaptations.

To help their learning, the students also saw and touched some wild friends: a tarantula, a gopher snake and a guinea pig. They learned so much and had a wonderful time!

Little Engineers At Work

Kindergartners have been learning about bridges. The children learned the name and structural style of a few different bridges: arch, beam and suspension. They read a few versions of Three Billy Goats Gruff, about three hungry, billy goats and a troll that lives under a bridge.

The children, using one of the class tables as a bridge, acted the story. One afternoon, they walked to the bridge on the walking path behind Saklan. The children trip, trapped over the bridge, looked for a troll beneath it, and identified it as a beam bridge. A few even noticed the beams were cylinders! Finally, the children built their own bridges using Duplos, Legos and blocks. Little engineers at work!

Journal Writing in Kindergarten

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Kindergartners began journal writing in October. They started with the reading of Good Dog, Carl, by Alexandra Day. This is a book with only pictures, no words. Good Dog, Carl, demonstrated to the children that a story can be told through pictures allowing them to tell a story through pictures, too. The children drew and then shared their stories with the class. After a week, the children began labeling some of the objects in their pictures during journal time. They sounded out words or the initial sound/letter in their label. Eventually, the children will begin writing sentences using inventive spelling. They are working towards the agreement between picture and words. Kindergartners are always excited to see Journal time on the class schedule.