The Mayflower

The second grade students have been learning about the Mayflower. They learned that the ship was 90 feet long and carried 102 people. They also learned who those 102 people were and why they were sailing on the Mayflower. Additionally, the second graders learned about life on the ship, including the sleeping accommodations, what the passengers ate, and how long the journey took. The students each identified and wrote down five key facts about the Mayflower, and then used their facts to write a paragraph about the ship. Finally, the second graders each created a picture of the Mayflower using construction paper and glued it above their Mayflower paragraph. Their work was then hung in their classroom for their classmates to enjoy!


Veterans Day Study

The second graders have been learning about Veterans Day, why we celebrate it and how it is different from Memorial Day. The students learned that it dates back to World War I, and was originally known as Armistice Day, before being renamed to Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day is a day to honor all military personnel that have served the country.

The students learned about the 5 branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, and what each branch does. They also discussed what it means to be a hero and wrote about how we can all be heroes every single day. Some ideas the students wrote about included:

Caring for other people.

Telling the truth.

Being nice to people, even if they are being mean.

Saying a nice compliment.

Additionally, the second graders talked and wrote about what it means to be brave. Each student’s ideas on being brave and a hero, as well as the information they learned about veterans and Veterans Day, were assembled into a graphic organizer, and hung in their classroom.


Visiting Moraga Garden Farm

This week, first and second grade classes took the first field experiences of the school year to the Moraga Garden Farm. Field experiences are valuable learning opportunities typically central to education at Saklan. Since March, Saklan has postponed this time-proven ritual, but that did not hamper the kids’ enthusiasm and curiosity while off campus.

The farmers were busy winterizing the farm, and the children saw the community members hard at work. They discussed the many benefits of community farms, such as health and wellbeing, land conservation, shared knowledge, human connection, volunteerism, and being close to the food process. They learned about other types of community gardens worldwide, such as multigenerational allotment gardens in the UK/Europe, market gardens in developing nations, urban gardens and school gardens.

Most trips to the Farm happen during primary growing seasons of late spring and summer, but there was no shortage of exploration and investigation in the winterized version. Students got their hands dirty in the fertile soil while searching for evidence of decomposition and composting. They walked in large composting bins showcasing several stages of organic soil generation. Saklan students learned how organic farming methods can avoid chemicals ending up in the food. Fortunately, the field experience timing was perfect to see the cover crop that had just been planted – fava beans. Fava plants input nitrogen where summer vegetables have depleted the soil, as well as provide weed control, safe harbor for beneficial biodiversity, and reduction in rain erosion.

Lastly, a trip to the Moraga Garden Farm is not complete without a visit with the chickens. Students were extremely curiuos to see chickens during molting season, where old feathers are replaced by new feathers to prepare for winter. This experience was best summed up by a second-grader saying, “you can really see how chickens descended from dinosaurs and maybe aliens too!”


Art of Observation

Earlier this week, the second graders went on a walk along the trail, looking for inspiration for a fall art project about leaves they were working on in class. The students really enjoyed the opportunity to get out of their classroom and into nature to observe the world around them.

The students collected leaves they found on the ground and brought them back to the classroom. The students observed the various colors and shapes of the leaves, and used them as models for leaves they drew and colored. This project was not only fun, but also a great way for the second graders to further develop their observation skills, which are important for being scientists and artists!


Squiggle Stories

Creativity is an important part of learning at Saklan. Every two weeks the second graders free-write their own adventure stories based on drawings they create. The drawings are based on the inspiration of a shape they are given. This allows students the freedom to create a piece of their own original, artistic work.

After students have drawn the picture and written the story, they review it for grammar, structure and content. Once reviewed, the second graders read their stories to the rest of the class, and provide feedback on what they liked about the stories to their peers.

The students read their latest round of stories to the class on Tuesday, October 13. Feedback given to the authors included:

“I liked all the sequencing words you used.”

“The drawing had lots of detail and showed lots of things that happened in the story.”

“You read that with lots of expression.”

“It was creative.”

“It was funny, and I like funny things!”

“Your story was very descriptive.”

Check out pictures of the second graders reading their latest squiggle stories below!


Accept Yourself and Others As They Are

Yesterday, the 1st – 8th grade students met in their first family group lesson to discuss the importance of being accepting. 

Students introduced themselves, heard a story called The Crayon Box that Talked, and then discussed the story to understand that sometimes getting to know someone or learning how unique they are can help breakdown misconceptions. While everyone of us is unique here at Saklan, it is our similarities and our differences that make us such a special school. From soccer players to cat lovers, artists and passionate young scientists; the more we listen to others, respect our differences, are kind with our words and think of others, the more accepted everyone will feel.

Students then colored their own crayon with a picture of themselves, and listed something they feel makes them special! These self-drawn crayons are to be returned to Saklan, either by the next connect day or the next swap and drop so they can be inlcuded in the Family Group posters that will be put on display in the breezeway. 

***We deeply apologize for any technical issues you suffered that may have caused stress during the Family Group time. Ms. O was not able to get into meeting rooms either as she was trying to help people. Zoom locked her out! 😦 We can only assume others were just as frustrated. If that is the case, please know your student can still draw their crayon and return them to Saklan to be included on the Family Group poster. Their teacher can help them with any instructions they need.


Saklan Happy

In an effort to do a little something fun with our Friday Flag, we asked families to create their own version of Happy by Pharrell Williams. This video certainly made everyone smile and happy this morning!

Special thanks to Noah M. (8th grade) for putting the video together!


Landform Project

Second graders have been studying landforms and the way that the earth surface can change quickly and slowly. The culmination of their landforms project involved second graders creating their own map and key of an imaginary land with a selection of various landforms that they have been learning about. Once the map was created they built and painted their own landform model complete with labels.

They worked very hard and we are very proud of the results.


Thank You!

The Saklan Student Council, along with our partner Pledge to Humanity, would like to thank the Saklan Community for making our food drive a huge success.  We collected 1,415 pounds of food for the Monument Crisis Center. Together we made a difference for struggling families in our county.