Colorful Pumpkins

A big thank you to the Parent Association for buying every Saklan student a pumpkin for the Halloween holiday! Students in Kindergarten through eighth grade worked on decorating their pumpkins during art class. Ms. Natalie reminded the students of the dotted artwork of Yayoi Kusama, whose detailed painted pumpkins fit right in with the Halloween spirit. Even with a limited color palette, the students were able to paint unique creations!

Before getting to decorate their pumpkins, the Pre-K students first had to find them! The students went on a pumpkin hunt to find a pumpkin with their name on it. The students enjoyed scouring the early childhood playground in search of their pumpkins!

Once they found their pumpkins, the Pre-K students enjoyed expressing their creativity, by using sharpies to decorate them. They were very excited to get to take their pumpkins home and share them with their families.


DNA Extraction

The seventh grade currently has been learning about cell processes. Before jumping into cell division, the students learned the importance of DNA. From discovering the double helix design, the matching base pairs to understanding how DNA gives us all the information we need to build eyeballs, hair, and every organ in our body. 

Students extracted DNA from strawberries in their Saklan Connect day and saw some clumped up strands. Realizing our food has DNA was quite interesting as well to our students. We will next be moving on to mitosis, meiosis and heredity. Understanding how our DNA recombines to give us our traits will lead us through all of these topics.


Observational Drawing – You’ve Got Sole

“Drawing is rather like playing chess: your mind races ahead of the moves that you eventually make.” – David Hockney

All K-8th grade students in one way shape or form have completed an observational or still life drawing in Art class. The 4th and 5th graders used their favorite shoes as the subject matter.

This project provides a time for the students to slow down, observe, and draw! It is a standard preliminary project for developing an art portfolio at any age. It gave students the confidence, new awareness, and concentration through focus, which school requires. The students did a fantastic job and wanted to share!


8th Grade Chemistry

8th grade is in the middle of their chemistry unit. They have been learning about state changes of matter. By adding and taking away heat, matter can change from a solid, liquid, to a gas. But sometimes, we can actually heat up a solid so fast, it changes to a gas immediately, skipping the liquid state. It’s hard to imagine a liquid oxygen molecule or a solid gas since we are used to living at a comfortable climate, so to understand this, students investigated dry ice or frozen carbon dioxide. At a cool -109 degrees F (approximately) and the outdoor temperature of approximately 80 degrees F, this drastic temperature change creates a sublimation state change for the dry ice; it changes straight from a solid to a gaseous form.  

Students began to understand how the quick change creates a dense gas or fog coming off the dry ice. This dense air sank and created a bubble of air the students could use to float the block on top of the tables. They pushed pennies into the block to see how matter responds at that temperature and how solid gases react to warmer solids colliding into them. By adding water to the block, they saw the water bubble (boil) with white gas filled bubbles and then freeze the water they had once put over the dry ice.

They then related their understanding of what was happening in our solar system back in class on Zoom today. As frozen gases orbit through space, when they come close to stars, they melt, much like our dry ice was doing on the table, and produce a gaseous tail. We recognize these orbiting frozen gas balls as comets.


What Do Our Hands Hold?

In Art class, all students K – 8th did a variation of this hand project to start off the school year. Students created “mind maps” including interests, passions and dreams. They drew symbols that represent these words and then composed them within a tracing of their hand. Younger students used lines, color, and their name to fill inside their hands.

Each is unique in the ways each student is one of a kind. Our hands as artists not only make each creation, but together we hold the power to change the world. All hand projects were turned into the last Swap & Drop, so Ms. Natalie can create one large work of art that brings everyone’s hands together. This collaborative piece will be on view in the breezeway for students to see on in-person visit days. In the coming weeks, we will have each project  and the collaboration piece on our online Art Museum at under The Saklan School. Stay tuned!


Cha-Cha Slide

According to the interweb, the “Cha-Cha Slide” was developed as a fitness routine in the Chicago area in 1996. David Wilson was looking for a new routine for his aerobics class. He went to his uncle Willie Perry Jr., better known as DJ Casper, or Mr. C The Slide Man. The rest is history.  

The “Cha-Cha Slide” is part of a collection of line dances known as slides, including “The Electric Slide” and “The Cupid Shuffle.” Last spring when the school went home for quarantine we were presented with a challenge. How do you participate in physical education at a distance? All the students were shown the moves and it became part of the online learning routine. Mr. Crabtree’s hope was for all of us to come together physically in the future and dance. He was delighted to see everyone dancing during the middle school campus visit!

Let’s go Saklan!


Fabric Fun with Ms. Natalie – Over the Summer!

“Thanks for teaching me so much about fabrics. I had fun!” – Willow K.

Over the Summer, Ms. Natalie held an online fabric fun class with 2nd – 8th grade. Students learned about Textile (Fabric) Art and processes from around the world, while making each of theirs an original work of art.

Skyler B. (3rd) is filling her soft sculpture with fiberfill and was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s paintings to create her design using fabric markers on muslin.

Willow K. (3rd) holds up her one of a kind bandana which was naturally dyed with Turmeric, over a shibori resist technique, and block printed using vegetables.

Skyler shows the printing process in which they used vegetables and fabric paint to create their designs. Each student gained a new perspective on the Art of Textiles and the parents enjoyed it too!