Buddies at Saklan

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Collaboration is what makes Saklan unique! 2nd and 4th grade buddies enjoyed getting together and playing, “Mouse Trap” outside. They were able to get their wiggles out all while learning about fairness and good sportsmanship. Afterward, they hunkered down together with books practicing fluency and reading with expression.

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Can You Hula Hoop?

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The physical education students have been practicing with hula hoops since the beginning of the year. Did you know that you can build with the hula hoops? Six hoops can be stacked to create a stand alone structure.

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The Saklan students didn’t stop with six. During recess, a few ambitious builders have begun to stack the structures. The builders are looking for different locations which will allow them to reach greater heights. The tower is growing to four and five stories! Today, the students broke the record with four stories and this structure will go down in Saklan history!

Let’s go Saklan!

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¿Que Tiempo Hace Hoy?

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Second graders meet for Spanish class 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time. The Spanish courses are taught with an emphasis on interactive activities, stories, poems, songs, and games that are used to introduce vocabulary and commonly used phrases in Spanish. Students also engage in art projects to help them draw associations to the Spanish material as they speak and create. Reinforcement and repetition are used to help retain material.

This past week, students were introduced to vocabulary associated with different seasons and weather. They learned the name of the four seasons in Spanish: el invierno, la primavera, el verano and el otono. The four seasons is a fun topic because there is so much to talk about. First, the students discussed the characteristics of each season. Then, they shared their favorite season and why they liked it. They also created a “dado” (dice) with the different weather types and they asked each other questions such as “¿Que tiempo hace hoy?” (How’s the weather?). These activities gave the second graders lots of opportunities to practice their Spanish.

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Traveling Teddy Bear Coming To Saklan

Traveling Teddy BearArriving this week, you will notice a Teddy Bear on campus! This Teddy Bear is named Matteo and is an international traveler. Matteo is part of the Traveling Teddy Bear Project that connects students around the globe! He will be stopping in some of our classrooms and doing activities with our students.

The Traveling Teddy Bears Project was started in 2014 with the goal of connecting young children in classrooms across the globe. This year each of our bears is supporting one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help spread awareness in schools around the globe! You can learn more about these goals here: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.html

Matteo is the oldest teddy bear to be a part of the Traveling Teddy group. He was born in New Jersey in 2005.  He loves traveling, learning about cultures, making friends, learning languages, dancing, and reading. He is ready to travel, learn, make friends, and read to many children around the world. Matteo is also very sporty and enjoys  yoga, swimming, baseball, running, and working out.unnamed

Matteo supports Global Goal #4: Quality Education. He believes that everyone deserves to go to school and have opportunities to read, write, and learn!

Matteo is currently in China from there he will be coming to Saklan, then to Ireland, and Canada.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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