Weathering & Erosion

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.

#SaklanAcademic #SaklanHandsOn

Guest Expert: Renata Sos

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!

#SaklanGuestExpert #SaklanAcademic

Service to the Community

Cesar Chavez Day is a commemorative holiday celebrated yearly on March 31st in the U.S. The aim of this holiday is to celebrate the birth and the enduring legacy of the labor and civil rights’ movement that activist Cesar Chavez started while fighting for farm workers’ rights in the 1950s. Chavez gave people a sense of their own power by helping them discover that they could demand dignity and better wages. On March 31st each year, this day is commemorated to promote service to the community in honor of Cesar Chavez’s life, work, and legacy.

At The Saklan School, the kindergarten through seventh grade students supported and provided a service for The Contra Costa Humane Society by making much needed items for dogs and cats in their care, as well as learning about Cesar Chavez’s life and important legacy. Students in kindergarten, first, and second grade were tasked with making catnip sachets. The third and fourth graders made kitty pom poms for cats to play with while in their cages. The fifth grade class made several dog beds and pull toys. And finally, the sixth and seventh grade group made braided pull toys for dogs. The goal of the community service project was to show compassion and make the animals’ lives more comfortable and happy while they wait for their forever homes.

#SaklanCompassion #SaklanServiceLearning

2nd Grade Fairy Tales

Last week, the second graders finished their study of fairy tales with a celebratory publishing party!

They started the unit by each choosing a fairy tale to read and complete a castle book report on. The students definitely took their time and used their creativity to complete the reports.

Next, the class learned about the stages of the writing process by creating their own fractured fairy tales. The fairy tales the second graders created were creative, interesting, humorous and beautifully presented. Excellent work second graders!


Respectful & Accepting

This week, the 1st through 8th graders met with their families groups to discuss the January Social Emotional Learning themes of being respectful and accepting.

The 8th graders led a discussion of what the words respectful and accepting mean, and then shared the book Where Oliver Fits, by Cale Atkinson, in which Oliver finds that trying to fit in is a lot harder than he thought it would be.

Following a discussion of the story, the each student decorated a paper puzzle piece with words that describe them. Check out the puzzle pieces that each family group created below.


Goals for the New Year

A new year brings opportunities to set clear intentions and goals. Having children set goals creates more intrinsic motivation, fosters increased self-esteem, and sets a positive approach to learning and growth.

Earlier this week, the second graders set their own goals for 2022. They focused on several areas of possible growth, including: academic, experiential, health and physical opportunities. 

When we voice our goals and write about them we have a much better chance of achieving them, no matter our age. Thank you to our second graders for sharing their goals below.

2nd Grade Explores Family Heritage

During their Family Heritage unit, the second graders discussed their ancestors and the journey they made coming to America as immigrants. It was amazing to see how many countries around the world were represented by this class! They were also asked to think about their own family cultures and traditions and what makes each of them unique. This involved interviewing family members, finding out the meaning associated with their names and recognizing the similarities and differences between themselves and their ancestors, past and present.

To sum up this unit, the students were asked to create a clothespin doll to represent some aspect of their cultural heritage. They were given full creative license to choose fabric, paint, clothes, beads, and crafts to adorn them. Check out their creative dolls below!


Country Roads

The Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students have been learning about song form and melody line. They explored this while learning the verses, chorus, and bridge of “Country Roads.” The students also connected Saklan’s social emotional learning curriculum to the song lyrics by discussing what it might mean to visit family you haven’t seen for a long time and “going home.”


Animal Classification

The Saklan second graders have been learning about animal classification. They learned what makes an animal a vertebrate versus an invertebrate, and then about the five types of vertebrates. 

Next, the students learned about habitats, and studied different habitats around the world. They also learned about adaptations, and looked at different adaptations that allow plants and animals to live in their chosen habitats.


Visiting Moraga Gardens Farm

During September and the first week of October, the Hoot Owls, Owlets, first graders, second graders, third graders and fourth graders took their first field experience of the year to Moraga Gardens Farm! Ms. Meredith led each of the classes on the two-block walk to the farm, and then on a tour of the community garden. The garden was filled with eggplants, cucumbers, kale, apples, pears, tomatoes, and much more.

During the tours, students learned that fruits and vegetables grow from flowers after being pollinated. They saw the difference between seasonal trees, such as a peach tree (summer) and persimmon tree (fall). The children saw how vines grow by attaching their tendrils to other structures and plants, and how plants defend themselves from predators. They went inside the greenhouse, heard the bees buzzing in their hives, and got to sample some of the garden’s produce. Lastly, the students were invited to feed and pet the chickens.

The students all had a great time in the garden. Thank you, Ms. Meredith, for leading these interactive, engaging field experiences!


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