On Tuesday, March 5th, the Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades went out to explore our Bay Area community by traveling to the San Francisco Symphony. They attended a concert called “Play Me a Story,” designed to help students identify different sounds made by each unique instrument, and connect them to characters or events in a story. The students and teachers then heard a program that introduced them to the Overture from “Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Elephants” by Camille Saint-Saens, and “Scheherezade” and “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korskov, amongst others.
The musicians in the symphony expertly demonstrated to our students how a flute can be a bird, how and oboe can be a duck, how a group of violins can be a swarm of bumblebees, and how a trombone and trumpet conversation can be a battle! Everybody’s favorite moment was when the percussion section played us the story of a ship crashing against the rocks!
Introducing children to instrumental music at an early age is so important, but amongst the laundry list of reasons, one stands out; helping children experience the Symphony in person helps them understand fully that music is played by humans, not by computers, phones, or Alexa. Going outside our school gates and realizing that it is with our own bodies and brains that we create beauty helps our children realize that they too can create art, music or something beautiful, and that it is not out of their reach. For Saklan students, the experience helped them understand concepts reinforced every day in their classrooms and allows them to make a career connection into the greater community.
After finishing their clay looms, the third graders used watercolor to paint the bisque ware. Using watercolor instead of glaze, the students can blend and overlay multiple colors. Miss Natalie sprayed the looms with a clear glaze overcoat before they started weaving.
Here, the students are learning to set up their warp yarn and begin the center of their circular weaving. The students worked together to help one another when we got a little stuck in the process. It was a great day of teamwork and problem solving. They were surely proud with the progress they made on their weavings! Next week, they will continue weaving with a second color.
Third graders have been learning about Native Americans and got to enhance their classroom studies by visiting the Museum of the American Indian in Novato.
They enjoyed hearing stories about how the Coast Miwok tribe lived harmoniously with the land. The students got to learn how two types of Miwok homes are built (and go inside one of them) and experienced drilling a shell with a pump drill to make a necklace. It was a wonderful experience that really brought their learning to life.
Wednesday was a special day for our elementary campus. All of our PS – 5th grade students got to “move up” to next year’s grade for a portion of the morning. This has been an annual tradition so that the students get a snapshot of what next year could be like. The teachers planned special activities that highlighted their grade and enjoyed getting to know their rising students a little better. If your child “moved up” on Wednesday, please ask them all about it. I’m sure they will have something enthusiastic to share! #SaklanConnected
Tumbling down from the sky and landing in our play yard, our Owlets and Hoot Owls had a special visitor this week. They were deliriously excited, to say the least. A pigeon! Close up and personal! They were amused and had many questions. Their curiosity was uncontainable. Look! He has a green bracelet! What is it? Why is it here? Is it hurt?
Our little Friend was tagged with his “name” and his owner’s information. After a little bit of detective work on the American Racing Pigeon Union site, we were able to find out that he was lost and where he came from.
To make a 2-day story short, our Feathered Friend is at home with Matt from Concord. Matt says “Thank you” to our Owlets and Hoot Owls for showing compassion and concern for the safety and well-being of our Feathered Friend.
The third grade students have been busy working on a creative writing piece titled: “If I Were Trapped in a Snow Globe.” They used the strategies we learned in our personal narrative writing unit to create such fun, original stories!
Their writing, along with a picture of their snow globe, is on display in our classroom. Please come by and take a look!
The third grade has been working on using adjectives in their writing. Last week, they gave a spooky Halloween presentation for their parents where each student shared their original Halloween themed couplet.
Their poetry is on display in the third grade classroom. Please feel free to stop by to read their poems!
The first class novel in third grade was Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. The story centers around a girl named Opal who just moved to a new town and is having a hard time making new friends. She adopts a stray dog that she names after the grocery store where she found him. Everything that happens to her and the new friends she makes are all “because of Winn Dixie.”
The students learned many new things through this novel study including new vocabulary, identifying character traits, and about the theme of friendship. They also wrote chapter summaries and made predictions about what was going to happen next in the story.
One of the characters in the book was a candy maker who developed a type of candy that made you feel sad when you ate it. For a creative writing activity each student created their own candy that evoked different emotions, such as Lilah’s Laughter and Crying Caramel. They then created an advertisement to persuade people to want to buy their candy.
Tuesday was “Because of Winn Dixie Day” in third grade. The students celebrated by watching the movie and having a party. They talked about their favorite characters from the book. They played a compare/contrast game where they used a Venn diagram to determine if something happened in the book, the movie or both. They had a party just like the one in the book that Opal throws for her friends. Many students tried new foods they had never tried before like egg-salad sandwiches and dill pickles! This day was a wonderful way to celebrate friendship and share our joy of reading!
The Saklan School recently held an election for Student Council. The students campaigned by writing speeches and presenting them at Flag. The students voted later that day. We announced the results of the election to the middle school students on Tuesday. Here is a list of the elected officers.
Max B. (8th grade) and Harrison L. (8th grade)
Jordan D. (6th grade) Makenna C. (6th grade)
Evy A. (6th grade) and Elishka G. (6th grade)
Lauren A. (8th grade) and Phoebe K. (6th grade)
We are very proud of all the students who ran and we are excited for a great year!
This month, Family Groups discussed collaboration: working as a team, taking turns, listening to ideas, doing your best, and encouraging others. Students read the book: The Dot, where a girl is encouraged to find out she is actually a great “dot” artist. She ends up encouraging others to find out what they are good and what they bring to the community. Students were then asked to create their own dot with something they are good at and bring to their community. Each family group worked together to build paper and sticky dot towers.