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

Collaboration Blocks

Have you heard about Saklan’s collaboration blocks? These large blue blocks have been a favorite recess activity since they were introduced at the beginning of December.

The blocks are manufactured by Imagination Playground, and are designed to allow for open-ended play, giving children the freedom to create and pursue their own play activities. These blocks have produced numerous creations, giving our students the opportunity to not only have fun, but to further develop their logic and mathematical skills, problem solve, use their imaginations, and develop inter and intrapersonal skills.

Working together with classmates to build with the collaboration blocks has provided Saklan’s students with many opportunities for creativity, fun and learning. Check out the pictures below to see some of the creations the students have built.

The collaboration blocks were made possible by gifts to Saklan’s Annual Giving Fund. Saklan relies on the generous support of the community to provide the many extras, like the collaboration blocks, that make Saklan such a vibrant place for children to learn and develop. Thank you to all our generous AGF donors.

#SaklanCreative #MadePossibleByAGFGifts

Pumpkin Book Characters

The third graders just completed a book report project where they transformed a pumpkin into a character from their book. The students were quite creative in their use of many different materials to create the pumpkin book characters.  The third graders also used the reading strategies they have been learning in class, such as identifying character traits, using text evidence and summarizing, to complete the written portion of the project. They had a great time presenting their pumpkin characters to their classmates on Thursday and sharing their books with each other. 

Do you recognize any familiar book characters?