On Wednesday morning, the Saklan Preschool – fifth grade students participated in Moving Up Day. The students and teachers alike were buzzing with excitement!
This annual tradition allows 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, art activities, classroom scavenger hunts, and enthusiasm for next year filled the classrooms! If your child “moved up” on Wednesday, please ask them all about it. They will likely have something enthusiastic to share!
On Wednesday, May 10, Saklan’s Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade students had the pleasure of meeting with author Jack Wong. Jack read his debut picture book, When You Can Swim, to the students and shared that the idea for the book came from his own experiences as a kid.
Jack was born in Hong Kong to a mother who had been forbidden to learn to swim. As a kid, he moved to Canada but didn’t like swimming or heights. He said he disliked swimming because being in the water feels so different from what we normally feel. A good friend encouraged and helped him feel more confident to take risks like jumping off a bridge into the water. Through his book, Jack paints a compelling picture of the many joys and surprises that the water holds, and invites others to discover their confidence to explore the warmth and wonder of swimming and the natural world.
Jack not only wrote When You Can Swim, but illustrated it too! He taught the students how to draw different creatures underwater. He explained that by drawing a line around the head of the creature you are drawing and then making ripples out from the line, the animal looks to be poking its head out of the water. He asked the students for suggestions on what to draw. A shark, seal and dinosaur were the winners!
Last week, the second and third graders went on a field experience to the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek. While at the gallery, the students explored an exhibit by artist Erin Fong: The Sensation of Color. They were immersed in colors and connected how different colors can make you feel. They also created some of their own artwork as part of the exhibit!
Back on campus, the students continued their unit on color in art class where they asked the question “can colors make us feel different emotions and help us connect with others?” The second graders learned about color mixing and the different groups of colors on the color wheel. Afterwards students painted hearts as they engaged in an activity where they found their “complementary” (opposite) and “analogous” (neighbor) colors, among other color wheel based discoveries.
The third graders also learned about color mixing and the color wheel, and painted their hands to make the unique color wheel you see below!
The second grade class recently wrapped up their fairy tale unit. During their study, each student chose a fairy tale to read and create a castle book report about. The students then discussed whether the fairy tales they read were fair of not. They decided that some were, while others were not! The class also talked about the components of a fairy tale. For the final stage of their unit, the students created their own ‘fairer’ fairy tales; the results of which were ingenious!
On Thursday afternoon, Saklan’s 1st – 8th graders met with their family groups to discuss this month’s SEL topic: self-discipline.
The groups began by discussing what self-discipline means: recognizing or identifying that you need to help yourself to achieve a goal, task, assignment, etc. and being able to get yourself back on track.
Then the students watched this video of a lovable monster using tools to help stay on task! After the video they discussed the strategies the monster used: counting to 4, singing, imagining a cookie was a grandmother. The students then brainstormed additional strategies that could help them stay on task.
Each family group then used their list of strategies to act out self-disciplined ways to handle the following scenarios:
Someone cuts you in line.
You are having a hard time raising your hand, and keep calling out.
You are sad because you forgot your lunch.
You and your friend cannot stop giggling!
You are nervous/stressed over a test.
You are mad because someone grabbed the ball you were playing with and is now using it without asking.
The family groups ended their time together by creating posters showcasing suggestions to help others practice self-discipline in specific circumstances. Check out their posters below!
On Friday, September 30th, the Saklan first through eighth graders met with their family groups for the first time this year! During the meeting, the students in each group introduced themselves and shared one or two of their favorite things. Then each group had a discussion of what is means to be accepting, including why it is important that we are all accepting of others. They then played a game to help them learn something new about everyone in their group, as sometimes its hard to know someone and accept someone for who they are when you don’t know much about them.
The 8th graders then explained to their family group that as they go through the year together, they are a group or team made up of awesome individuals and they each bring their own strengths to the group. Some may have amazing sports or singing talents. Some maybe be amazing observers, or great listeners. Others might be a great friend to those around them.
Each member of the group was then given a puzzle piece to draw or decoratively write what they feel makes them special or amazing! These puzzle pieces were then all put together, showing that all members of each family group all are important members of the group. Check out their puzzles below!
Last Friday morning there was much excitement on campus as we kicked off our learning buddy program for the year! Learning buddies are a purposeful way to encourage cross-grade friendships, help students develop a sense of responsibility and practice mentorship, and make learning fun!
During the first meeting, the buddies took time to get to know each other and did some reading together.
The older buddies marvelously modeled good reading behaviors by reading with expression and fluency for their younger buddies. Some of the older buddies were also honored to listen to their younger buddies read too.
The younger buddies thoroughly enjoyed getting to know their learning buddies, and are already asking when they get to meet with their buddies again!
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!
Last week the second graders became geologists, learning about fast and slow changes to the Earth’s surface. They began their exploration by learning about weathering, a natural process by which rocks and other minerals are broken down. The class used sugar cubes to conduct some experiments to help them gain a greater understanding of chemical weathering (changes the molecular structure) and physical weathering (which causes the minerals to crumble).
Next, the class discussed erosion, a geological process through which earthen materials are worn away and transported from one location to another by natural forces. The students then played a paper boulder game to help them better understand how erosion works.
Second grade has been learning about rules and laws: why we have them and how they keep us safe. There are rules at home, at school, in our towns, state and country. The class has also been thinking about what it means to be a citizen in all these places. They have been learning about the government and how laws work and the consequences of not keeping to those laws.
As a part of their unit, the Mayor of Moraga, Renata Sos, came to visit the second graders on Monday. She informed the students about the laws she is implementing, her daily life, her ethos of working with people (always be kind and respectful), how much she gets paid (nothing!), and how the town gets money to make the residents’ lives better. The second graders thoroughly enjoyed the mayor’s visit and learned a great deal!
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