Pioneer Day

On Tuesday, April 27, the third grade class traveled back in time to 1888 to experience life as a pioneer student. Each student took on a new identity by choosing an old fashioned name and came to school dressed in their finest pioneer attire.

Mrs. Rokas, with the help of Ms. Meredith and Ms. Joy, brought traditional pioneer activities into her own classroom. The day started in the classroom with the three R’s: reading, writing and arithmetic. Students read from McGuffey Readers (published in 1879), practiced their cursive writing using quill feather pens and ink, and practiced their math on slate boards with chalk. They also had a spelling bee!

During morning recess, students played like pioneers. They walked on can stilts, used jump ropes, and played hopscotch and jacks. Afterwards, they listened to pioneer stories from Ms. Meredith under a shady tree and made some pioneer crafts with Ms. Meredith and Ms. Joy: tin punch art and yarn dolls. 

For lunch, each pioneer student brought authentic pioneer food in baskets, pails or tied to a stick. After lunch, students sang pioneer songs and learned square dancing with Mrs. Chaffey. Next, they made butter in mason jars and tasted the delicious homemade butter on biscuits brought by Kaylah.

The day ended the day with group games: tug-o-war, sack races and three-legged races.  

The third graders really embraced the pioneer spirit and enjoyed their time travel back to 1888! Huge thank you to Mrs. Rokas, Ms. Meredith, and Ms. Joy for bringing this day to life for the third graders!


Third Grade Spanish

In third grade Spanish class, the students are learning about the 21 countries in the world where Spanish is spoken. They also learned that there are more than 500 million people in the world who speak Spanish, a number that continues to grow.

To fully appreciate the diversity of Spanish-speaking countries, each third grader picked a specific country to learn more about. They explored their chosen country’s typical food, music, dance, and sports. They also researched two famous people from their chosen country.

Third graders put together poster boards display all they had learned, so they could share it with their fellow students.


Native American Study

Saklan third graders recently finished a social studies unit learning about Native Americans. The class studied the different groups of people who inhabited North America long before European settlers arrived and the United States was established. They also learned how unique each Native American group was, and how their lifestyle changed based on where they lived and the natural resources that were available to them.

To continue their learning, each third grader chose one Native American group to research and become an expert about. Students learned about where their group lived, what the land and weather were like, what they wore and ate, what types of homes they built, and other interesting facts.

To conclude the unit, each student built a small-scale authentic dwelling that was representative of their Native American group. Students presented their dwellings and all the interesting information they had learned about their Native American group to the entire class. They all learned a lot from each other, and were able to discuss the similarities and differences between all of the different groups studied.


Lift Every Voice

During Black History Month, all classes at Saklan are spending time learning about music that helped shape Social Justice movements in the United States, as well as songs that have helped shape our popular cultural perspective.

As part of this lesson, the third graders learned and performed the song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which was an important song during the marches and protests that were a part of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

While learning the song, the third graders listened to different versions, practiced singing tunefully as a group, and spent time reflecting on the meaning of the words.

Enjoy their performance!


Trapped in a Snow Globe

As part of the writing curriculum, Saklan’s third graders each wrote a fun, creative story using the prompt: “If I were trapped in a snow globe.”  The students incorporated many of the techniques they learned during their personal narrative writing unit into their stories, such as: dialogue, writing a lead to hook the readers, adding more details, showing instead of telling, and adding juicy words. After writing their stories, the third graders had the opportunity to practice their editing skills and use a rubric to check over and evaluate their work.

After finishing the writing process, the third grade students illustrated their stories by drawing pictures of their snow globes and added a shrunken-down photograph of themselves. Lastly, the students enjoyed reading their completed stories aloud to their classmates.

Can you spot the third graders in the snow globes below?


Radial Symmetry Printmaking

Third grade has been working with radial symmetry, which is symmetry that starts “radiating” from a central point. In art, the students looked at where radial symmetry is in nature and in human-made items such as Moroccan and Mexican tiles. Using variations of line thickness along with geometric and organic shapes, the students were able to create a symmetrical work of art that encompasses balance and unity. The printmaking process was notably the most exciting part of the project and the third graders were eager to print as many as possible! 



During January, Saklan students have been focusing on being hardworking. The eighth grade Family Group leaders created a video to explain what hardworking means and how it can help students reach their goals and overcome challenges.

After hearing suggestions from the eighth graders, each of Saklan’s first through seventh graders wrote down one goal, project or activity they want to work hard to accomplish or improve on. Check out the many areas in which our students are working hard!

#SaklanSocialEmotionalLearning #SaklanFamilyGroups

How Many Steps in a Mile?

The students in kindergarten thru eighth grade have been equipped with pedometers while exercising during P.E. lessons. The devices are simple and only measure “steps,” but are equipped with a reset button. P.E. classes have had fun experimenting with what types of activities generate the most movement or steps. Students have had the opportunity to see how dribbling a ball compares to swinging on the swings, and how walking a mile compares to skipping rope. Some of the third graders came to the conclusion that shaking the sensor generates a higher count than spinning it on a finger.  Overall, it appears that students focus on generating a count with their pedometers, and that feedback adds a little extra motivation to continue to exert effort while participating in physical education exercises.

Lucas in kindergarten asked Mr. Crabtree to take a picture of the pedometer he was using in P.E. and send it to his mom, as he was interested in one for home use as well.  For any other parents that have received requests for pedometers, here are the pedometers the students are using at school:


Winter Traditions

The winter season brings not only cold weather, but also different holidays and family traditions. To celebrate each class member, the third graders created slides or posters to share about holidays and traditions that are unique to their family. They included pictures and text about winter holidays they celebrate, places they like to go in the winter,  winter activities, food they like to make in winter, and any other special family winter traditions. Each slide or poster was as unique as each student!  Check out the slides and posters the students created below.

The third graders really enjoyed learning about each other’s traditions!


Life Lessons of 2020 in a Zine

What is a zine? A zine is short for Magazine and is a self-made booklet that tells a story, informs about an issue, and is fun to make! It’s origin dates back to 1776, with Thomas Paine’s self-published pamphlet, Common Sense, which advocated for the thirteen colonies to become independent from Great Britain

In returning from Winter Break online and entering into the new year, 1st-8th graders were asked to reflect on what lessons they learned about themselves and the world in 2020 and what they were excited about striving for in 2021. 2020 forced the world to face reality, good or bad, and with so much to learn from, the children triumphed over all of these obstacles to share what they found most rewarding, difficult, and inspiring. In seeing these zines created, we hope it inspires us all to continue to persevere, fight for justice, and take care of each other and ourselves.  

#SaklanCreative #SaklanThoughtful