Moving Up Day

This morning, all Saklan Preschool – fifth grade students participated in Moving Up Day. The students and teachers alike were buzzing with excitement!

This annual tradition allowed the students to get a snapshot of what next year will hold. The teachers planned special activities that highlighted their grade level and enjoyed getting to know their rising students a little better. Morning meeting activities, questions, stories, classroom scavenger hunts, and enthusiasm filled the classrooms! If your child “moved up” today, please ask them all about it. They will likely have something enthusiastic to share!


Researching Turtles & Sharks

The Owlets have been busy biologists this month! After learning about different animal classes, the Owlets each got to nominate an animal that they wanted to research. Before choosing the first animal to study as a class, they watched a video to learn about Jane Goodall, a real animal researcher who studies chimpanzees by observing them in the wild. They also learned about other ways of doing research including using nonfiction books, internet resources, and talking to experts. 

The Owlets then voted to learn more about turtles! They read nonfiction books from the library that taught them turtle facts, including what turtles eat, where they live, and different types of turtles. The class watched this video to learn more about turtles and tortoises. The Owlets then strengthened their fine motor skills by painting turtle shells and decorating them with hexagon shapes. Lastly, each owl decided if their turtle would have flippers to help it swim or feet to help it walk on land like a tortoise.

The Owlets then got to vote for the next animal they were interested in learning about. The overwhelming winner was sharks! Ms. Jessica checked out books from the library that showcased different types of sharks, from the 30-foot whale shark to the 7-inch dwarf shark. The class read If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams and learned how important sharks are for our oceans and the world as a whole. The Owlets were very excited to cut out shark fins to make shark fin hats! While practicing their cutting skills, the students also discussed what type of shark they would want to be.



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!


Plants and Pollinators

The Owlets have been busy bees this month continuing their study of spring, plants, and pollinators!

The Owlets noticed that the seeds they planted earlier in the month have been growing! They discovered that of all the seeds they planted, the radish seeds sprouted the quickest. While the students have taken their sprouts home, they still have radish, carrot, onion, sunflower, marigold, snap peas, and green beans planted in planters in their classroom and around the yard, and they continue to observe how they grow!

The Owlets read Bee by Britta Teckentrup, and learned that bees and other pollinators have a very important job to help plants grow. They watched this video about how bees make honey, and then used paint and bubble wrap to make honeycomb patterns on hexagons.

The class then watched this video to learn more about pollen, and why some people get allergies during spring. They looked at different flowers and saw the pollen on each one. The Owlets then got the chance to use a microscope to look at pollen from different plants!


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!

From Seeds to Plants

It’s starting to feel like spring in the Owlet class! The Owlets have been learning about seeds and plants. The students looked at seeds and flowers under magnifying glasses. They identified and sorted different types of seeds. And each student even got to pick a seed to plant and tend to!

After choosing to plant either radish, green bean, or zinnia seeds, the Owlets then made a prediction about which type of seed would grow the fastest. The majority of the class guessed that the green bean seed would grow fastest, but they have to wait and see!

The class watched this video to learn a little about how a seed grows into a plant. The Owlets now know that even though they can’t see their seeds growing just yet, there are roots beginning to grow under the soil. They also read the books A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss to explore seeds further.

Up next, the Owlets will learn more about plants, flowers, and pollinators.


Authors & Illustrators

This month, the Owlets have been talking about authors and illustrators. They learned that an author is the person who puts the words in a book, and an illustrator makes the pictures for the book. So far, they have studied two authors who are also illustrators. First, they read books by Eric Carle, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug and A House for Hermit Crab. The Owlets then created art inspired by Eric Carle’s illustrations. 

The next author/illustrator the Owlets learned about was Mo Willems, who wrote The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, We’re in a Book! and Should I Share My Ice Cream? The Owlets then began working on a multi-step painting project to create some of Mo Willems’ characters, Gerald and Piggie. The next authors they will learn about are Laura Numeroff (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie) and the duo of Margaret and H.A. Rey (Curious George). 


Talking about Transportation

This month the Owlet class is learning about transportation. They first defined transportation as “something that takes you from one place to another.” Then the students brainstormed some examples of transportation, touching on air travel, water travel, and road travel. Ms. Erin read the book If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen, and then the Owlets used their imaginations and various materials to build their own dream cars. Some of their cars could fly like planes or go in the water like submarines!

The Owlets voted as a class to decide which form of transportation to study first, and the winner was air travel! They started by researching hot air balloons and airplanes. They read Hot Air: (The Mostly) True Story of the First Hot Air Balloon Ride by Marjorie Priceman and watched a video that showed a hot air balloon launch. The Owlets had fun getting messy while collaborating on a paper mache hot air balloon. 

The Owlets read Plane Song by Diane Siebert and watched a video that taught them how airplanes fly. The students got to build and fly their own airplanes. They loved throwing them from the top of the play structure and watching them glide through the air! 

Stay tuned to learn more about the transportation adventures the Owlets have as continue their study!


Holidays Around the World

The Owlets have been learning about holidays and traditions around the world. They have spent a lot of time looking at maps and globes this month as they learn about where certain celebrations take place. The class found Russia when they learned about the Russian Winter Festival, they found Africa when they learned about Kwanzaa, and found Sweden, Norway, and Finland when they learned about St. Lucia Day.

The Owlets celebrated Hanukkah by learning to play the dreidel game and eating potato latkes with applesauce! They read Hooray for Hanukkah! by Fran Manushkin and lit the candles on the menorah in their classroom.

The class also learned about Kwanzaa, which the Owlets noticed had some similarities to Hanukkah: both holidays last several days and both light candles as a tradition. The candle holder used for Kwanzaa is called a kinara. As the Owlets have been practicing patterns, they all made patterned pasta necklaces using Kwanzaa colors.

The Owlets found the first day of winter on their calendar and watched a video that showed how cities in Russia celebrate the season. The students thought the ice sculptures at the Russian Winter Festival were amazing! The Owlets got the opportunity to build sculptures of their own using colored ice. They noticed that when salt was added to the ice, it made the ice melt quickly but then get colder, which helped the shapes stick together.

The class also learned about St. Lucia Day, which falls on December 13 and is celebrated in a few European countries. They watched a video of children dressed in traditional St. Lucia Day outfits singing songs. The Owlets noticed there were candles used for this celebration too! Some of the students wanted to make candle crowns like the ones they saw the children in the video wearing.

To wrap up their “Holidays Around the World” study, the Owlets discussed Christmas traditions, and then celebrated the tradition of “posadas” with a piñata!

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