The second graders have each chosen a mammal to research as part of their Mammal and Classification Unit. They teamed up with their seventh grade buddies for a special project.
They had to gather information about the size, coloring, diet, habitat, and special facts about their mammal. They worked with their buddies to find this information from books and Internet material.
The second graders then transferred this information to note cards as they prepared for an oral report for their parents and classmates. This is a good example of students helping each other learn at Saklan.
This week, the 8th grade went to Smitten in Lafayette to see chemistry in action. The students saw how a dream to make the best ice cream involved understanding of matter, thermal dynamics, and engineering. Smitten uses local ingredients, machines that make evenly cooled ice cream, and liquid nitrogen to ensure the smallest ice crystal formation and smoothest texture.
Students saw ice cream being made by the machines, nitrogen boiling, and enjoyed a scoop themselves. It was a very tasty and interesting field trip!
Every Wednesday throughout the school year, the Owlets and their 6th grade buddies will get together to play, go on walks, read and do art projects. Both the Owlets and 6th graders look forward to this special time together every week.
8th grade Humanities have been working on a collaborative, map-making, research exploration of US cultural geography. The students are challenged to understand how the way people live affects where they live. An important part of the assignment is learning how to problem-solve creatively and work cooperatively with others in a deadline situation. Please swing by the Humanities class next week to check the map out in person!
This past month, the students at Saklan have been learning about Self-Regulation. On Tuesday, our 8th graders led their first family group meeting of the year around this topic: helping the students to recognize or identify when they need to help themselves to achieve a goal, task, assignment and being able to get themselves back on track. The students watched a video staring cookie monster, where he must fight his urges to eat his cookie partner in order to save a princess. The students saw that sometimes not one solution is enough.
Each family group was then given one issue that might happen at school, and came up with tools that could help them overcome that, so they can get back to the task at hand. These included: when a child is stressed, when they can’t stop giggling, when they are angry or upset (at a friend or situation), or when they are having a hard time focusing. Each family group made a poster showing their tools on the cookies, surrounded by their own cookie monster! Come check these out in the breezeway!
This week the 8th grade created hot air balloons that would help test the ideas of buoyancy and Archimedes Principle, along with Charles Law in Chemistry. Using paper, glue, tape and paperclips (to act as a ballast), they engineered balloons that they thought would create the largest lift when filled with heated air.
The students tried many times to create lift. After some on the fly design changes, and adding different amounts of air, we finally got lift off! The engineering processes was in full effect with the 8th graders, and when hitting snags in their designs, they were able to tinker their designs and way of thinking to accomplish their goal! This was one of the few new engineering projects the students have taken part in this year!
The Saklan Middle School Choir performed the National Anthem at a commemorative service on the 16th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Organized by the Moraga Chamber of Commerce and Moraga Orinda Professional Fire Fighters Association.
The sixth grade just finished an in-depth unit on ancient Egypt and its rich culture. One of the most fascinating parts of this culture was the fact that Egyptians would mummify their royalty. Preparing for the Afterlife was more important than actually living their life in the here and now. Part of the requirement for the Egypt unit was that each sixth grader completed a research project on a Egyptian pharaoh, city, and god/goddess. Isabel Darby, being so passionate about studying Egyptian history, decided to make up “mummy” kits and led the class through a mock mummification. As you can see from the photos, the class had a wonderful, hands-on experience.