The past three weeks, the 3rd graders made their way to the Science Lab to learn about our earth’s atmosphere, including how air reacts and moves, and how weather is created. After learning about air pressure, wind, clouds, precipitation, and types of weather, students had the challenge of trying to create a house that could withstand a weather pattern not experienced by most Saklan students.
This weather phenomena has quite an effect on the air pressure, wind, precipitation and clouds of the land masses it comes across; a hurricane. Each build had to be able to withstand wind, waves and precipitation. The goal was to make a waterproof house that would remain standing in the tray through the different elements.
Each design was quite different, but all successful in their own way!
A couple of weeks ago, the third grade class went to the Blackhawk Museum to explore the Spirit of the Old West exhibit. This exhibit is dedicated to presenting a balanced narrative of both Native Americans and American Settlers—depicting their challenges, their successes and failures, and their ways of life. Since the two main social studies units in third grade are about Native Americans and Pioneers, this was the perfect field experience to complement our studies.
The students saw many of the animals that roamed the plains and mountains, many artifacts from Native Americans and Pioneers, a life size replica of a covered wagon and a 150 foot long “miniature” diorama that tells the story of the settlement of the western plains. One of the third graders favorite activities was spinning the “wheel of death” to learn about the many ways the Native Americans or Pioneers might have died since life back then was much harder than it is today. They also got to briefly explore the other exhibits of the museum including the auto collection, the African art exhibit and the China exhibit.
At the end of January grades K to 4 went on a field experience to the Children’s Theater at St. Mary’s College in Moraga.
The St. Mary’s students there gave a fantastic production of a classic of children’s literature, beloved by youngsters and adults alike. Charlotte’s Web is a book that all Saklan students read in 3rd grade. The acting was amazing and the sets impressive. Tears and laughter (you know how it ends…) were had by all.
In January, snow was a recurrent theme in many activities in the third grade class. The students created drawings of snowmen from a worm’s eye view perspective. They also made snowmen out of math fact snowballs to practice their multiplication facts.
Lastly, the students each wrote their own creative story about being trapped in a snow globe and their quest to escape.
Every year, preschool through 5th grade students get to “move up” to next year’s grade for part of the day. The teachers plan special activities that highlight their grade and the students get to experience what next year will look like. Here are a couple of activities from Wednesday’s Moving Up Day:
3rd graders had the opportunity to ask questions and hear about all of the exciting adventures they will have in 4th grade. They were encouraged to be Bookworms and read nightly, as well as become fluent in their multiplication tables to prepare! They thought like engineers and designed their very own paper airplanes. Congrats to Jack Z. and Henry for constructing airplanes that flew the farthest!
One of the fun activities the current 4th graders had in 5th grade was a STEM Ski Challenge. Students designed and tested their skiers, and then they raced their teammates!
In understanding Kinetic Art – art that contains movement – we look to American Sculptor Alexander Calder for inspiration. He is most famous for his creation of the Mobile – a sculpture that has delicate parts, is suspended in air, and moves in response to air or powered by a motor. The class discussed the elements involved in creating a working mobile and the effects on the brain.
The students were given half the class to work in groups to create their “test” mobile using the same materials (minus paint). Working together they problem solved and created very different mobiles. They had a mini critique after the making to assess the functioning of each mobile. Next class they are to sketch out their model, including multiple branches, and create a theme for the mobile.
The physical education students have been practicing with hula hoops since the beginning of the year. Did you know that you can build with the hula hoops? Six hoops can be stacked to create a stand alone structure.
The Saklan students didn’t stop with six. During recess, a few ambitious builders have begun to stack the structures. The builders are looking for different locations which will allow them to reach greater heights. The tower is growing to four and five stories! Today, the students broke the record with four stories and this structure will go down in Saklan history!
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. They experienced drilling a shell with a pump drill to make a necklace. It was a wonderful experience that really brought their learning to life.
Arriving this week, you will notice a Teddy Bear on campus! This Teddy Bear is named Matteo and is an international traveler. Matteo is part of the Traveling Teddy Bear Project that connects students around the globe! He will be stopping in some of our classrooms and doing activities with our students.
The Traveling Teddy Bears Project was started in 2014 with the goal of connecting young children in classrooms across the globe. This year each of our bears is supporting one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help spread awareness in schools around the globe! You can learn more about these goals here: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.html
Matteo is the oldest teddy bear to be a part of the Traveling Teddy group. He was born in New Jersey in 2005. He loves traveling, learning about cultures, making friends, learning languages, dancing, and reading. He is ready to travel, learn, make friends, and read to many children around the world. Matteo is also very sporty and enjoys yoga, swimming, baseball, running, and working out.