Electricity and Art

The 3rd grade class had an extra special visitor last week, Sarah Shaffer. Founder of Sarah’s Science (This Land is Your Land), Sarah engaged them in a quick lesson on electricity and then let them run free with their creativity to create spin art. The students didn’t want the lesson to end and were sharing strategies and experiments with each other. Thanks again, Sarah!

Field Trip with 3rd & 6th Grades

Damon, Savannah, Bianca.rotated

This past Tuesday, the 3rd and 6th grades went to Valley Vista Staging Area to help EBMUD remove invasive plants. Here are comments from some of our 3rd graders about the trip:

We went to EBMUD on Tuesday, January 23rd. On our field trip I learned how to use these garden tools and to not buy broom from the nurseries because they are invasive and they crowd out the native plants. My favorite part about the field trip was when I got to hold a newt.  – Ines

Lisa with a newt

The third grade class went to EBMUD. We learned that broom is an invasive plant. We got to rip out plants which was very fun. We saw a hawk which was super fun to see! -Savannah

We went to EBMUD on Tuesday, Jan. 23. At our field trip I learned that you shouldn’t buy broom from nurseries because they are not native plants and they are invasive. I liked the field trip to EBMUD because we got to get muddy and help the environment. -Sadie

We went to EBMUD. We went into the woods to take out all of the invasive species called brush. – Danny

We went to EBMUD and we saw a hawk. -Sammy

I learned what broom is and that broom is bad. It was fun using tools. I learned how to use new tools. -Zachary

Alex and Danny

I learned that scotch broom is not a native plant. It was fun to pull the broom out of the ground. I learned how to use new garden tools. -Damon

Going to EBMUD was excellent! I found out how to use these orange tools and trimmers. I also learned that brush is a bad plant. -Alex

Worm’s Eye View Snowman


During our first week back from break, the third graders created Snowman pictures inspired by a book we read: “Snowmen at Night.” We made our pictures from the perspective of a “worm’s eye view” and used chalk pastels to add shading and dimension. Come by our classroom to check out their masterpieces!

Halloween Couplets

The third grade has been working on using adjectives in their writing. On Thursday, they gave a spooky Halloween presentation for their parents. Each student shared their original Halloween themed couplet. Their poetry is on display in the third grade classroom.  Please feel free to stop by our classroom on Halloween to read their poems.

Family Groups This Month

This past month, the students at Saklan have been learning about Self-Regulation. On Tuesday, our 8th graders led their first family group meeting of the year around this topic: helping the students to recognize or identify when they need to help themselves to achieve a goal, task, assignment and being able to get themselves back on track. The students watched a video staring cookie monster, where he must fight his urges to eat his cookie partner in order to save a princess. The students saw that sometimes not one solution is enough.

Each family group was then given one issue that might happen at school, and came up with tools that could help them overcome that, so they can get back to the task at hand.   These included: when a child is stressed, when they can’t stop giggling, when they are angry or upset (at a friend or situation), or when they are having a hard time focusing. Each family group made a poster showing their tools on the cookies, surrounded by their own cookie monster! Come check these out in the breezeway!

One-Room School House

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On Tuesday, the third grade had the wonderful opportunity to spend most of the day in the Tassajara One-Room School House. The students wore adorable pioneer clothes and completed lessons which the school might have been given in the 1880’s. They stepped back in time and wrote with quill pens and ink, used chalk on slate board, and played traditional games. Big thanks to all of the “Pioneer Moms and Dad” that came along and participated in this fun day.

Third Grade Pioneer Unit

Third graders studied the pioneers and worked on projects to show their learning. Their projects included quilt square watercolor paintings depicting what pioneers saw as they traveled west, and model covered wagons containing objects that pioneers would have carried in their wagons. They also incorporated lessons from their narrative writing unit into their study of the pioneers. They made pioneer journals, in which they created a pioneer character, developed a scenario that character experienced, and wrote journal entries from that character’s point of view. The skills they drew from their narrative writing unit include using graphic organizers, such as a story mountain, to create the structure of their story, writing Show, Don’t Tell sentences in which they explored what the characters feel through picturing their faces and actions, and using their storyteller’s voice, telling the story bit by bit with description. They read Little House on the Prairie and students displayed their learning in a comprehension interactive notebook. As the culmination of their unit, students presented their pioneer characters and journal entries to the parents, reading and telling their stories.

We Love Our Buddies!

This week, Kindergartners worked with their third grade buddies exploring, gathering and charting their candy information. They love working and collaborating with their buddies, and learning through talk. Sadly, no candy was eaten. 😉