Second Graders Learn About Maps

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At Saklan, we focus on learning that is active and relevant. We apply this learning across the academic board with our unit based themes.

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In second grade, the current unit is Maps. The students learnt about map keys to understand what the symbols on a map mean and they made their own compass rose. They then learnt about map scales that helped them figure out how far away things really were. Finally, they learnt about directions and how to use a compass. They also made a directions map for their friends to follow.

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You can see in the pictures how they use student led learning to effectively embed the academic skills while also working on their social and emotional skills, such as respectful listening, communicating, negotiating and reasoning.

#SaklanAcademics

Responsive Classroom

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This summer, seven Saklan teachers (Mrs. C, Ms. Puno, Ms. Prizeman, Ms. Rokas, Ms. Burton, Ms. Ivonne and Mr. Crabtree) attended a four-day intensive Responsive Classroom training seminar. For those of you who may not be familiar with Responsive Classroom, it is an evidence-based approach to teaching that merges engaging and challenging academics with the social emotional needs of each student. Much of what Responsive Classroom recommends are practices we already do and believe in at Saklan, but the training has enhanced our toolbox and solidified our approach to working with students. To discover more about Responsive Classroom please click here.

#SaklanCompassionate

Grades 1&2 Garden Project

Last week, the first and second grade classes were immersed in plants. Lots and lots of plants! The final stage of their garden project was to pull up the weeds and to turn the soil. Each group planted their chosen plants such as sedum, grandiflora, and pansies.

This project really stretched the children in areas such as collaboration, reasoning, persuasion, compromise, flexibility, and many more. Please stop by and appreciate the flowers they worked so hard to grow.

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After all their hard work, the students walked to Loard’s Ice Cream and had some treats. They had a great time!

#SaklanHandsOn

Making a Difference

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As part of their unit on people that have made a difference, the second graders have been reflecting on how they can make a difference. Looking at the amount of waste that happens in our lives at home and at school, they came upon a problem that they felt needed tackling. The students calculated that roughly 6,240 plastic forks get thrown away in a school year. In order to change this waste, the second graders implemented a scheme where metal forks are provided, and are washed and dried every day. It shows us that anyone can make a difference no matter the age. Well done, second graders!

#SaklanCompassionate

Gnome Homes

In collaboration with the garden project for the 1st and 2nd grade, the students are creating a community of Gnome homes for the little people that live underground! Their imaginations were running free when they started sketching their homes with roofs made of “leaves” and “mushroom tops.”

The actual Gnome home is being built in ceramic and the base is textured to look like wood. The students will eventually create a story and personality that describes their Gnome or family of Gnomes living in the home they built.

#SaklanWellRounded

Pipe Protectors

On Thursday, Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade friends had a visit  from the Pipe Protectors of Central Contra Costa Sanitary District. Pipe Protectors is an education program that teaches kids the importance of environmental stewardship.

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Students learned about how dirty water becomes clean water. They also learned about the journey of wastewater from their home back to our local environment. There were several activities that helped students understand how to keep our waters and oceans clean.


Ask your child about what they learned. They may have a few lessons for you!

#SaklanHandsOn

Sarah’s Science Visits Saklan

The first and second graders were very fortunate to have special guest Sarah Shaffer of Sarah’s Science visit their classroom this week. The students all became scientists as they delved into the world of electricity, what it is and how it works.

As they did that, they each built their own secret pressure pad to sound an alarm when someone enters the room. We are sure they will come in very handy at home! #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

Garden Makeover Project

Three weeks ago, the first and second-graders adopted the garden adjacent to their classroom for a Garden Makeover Project. The “makeover” is 100% student-led and started with a hands-on exploration and assessment of the space with a few initial sketches. In session two, students then brainstormed using what they knew about gardening and what more they needed to learn. Once they had their ideas and questions, they invited our own gardening guest expert, Javier in to share his knowledge and refine their plans. In their third session, students ventured out on a field study to the Moraga Garden Center to get more advice from a local expert and refine their plans.

We look forward to seeing what students will produce as they apply what they have learned in science, social studies, math, and literacy to their Garden Makeover Project. Just as importantly, they will be flexing those mental muscles such as presentation skills, working as a team, assessment, reflection, and collaboration. We are expecting lots of fun, lots of mistakes, lots of discovery, lots of learning, and a great garden. #Saklanexperiential

Second Graders Take On Fairy Tales

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Second graders have now finished their Fairy Tale Unit with class presentations and a Friday Flag presentation.

 

 

The students showed how they worked on the writing process and what that involves. All their hard work has paid off and their amazing stories have now been published. The students enjoyed reading them to their friends in school. #SaklanCreative