Rube Goldberg Machines

The third graders enjoyed learning about famous cartoonist Rube Goldberg. He is well-known for the elaborate crazy contraptions he drew of complicated chain reactions that performed a simple task. The class learned that Rube wanted to be a cartoonist, but instead went to UC Berkeley and became an engineer to please his father. Eventually, he did follow his passion and pursued a career as a cartoonist. His engineering background came in handy though, because it helped him to create designs in his cartoons that could actually work, even if he only drew them to make people laugh.

The class’s excitement to read books about Rube Goldberg tied in nicely with a weekly theme in their reading program: Inventors, explored through the genre of biography.  The class was able to relate the reading strategy of finding “cause and effect” in their stories with learning about the chain reactions in Rube Goldberg’s contraptions, since a chain reaction is really just a cause and effect.  

The third grade students were then inspired to use the engineering design process to create their own Rube Goldberg machines. Each student came up with their own design for a contraption with at least 4 chain reactions to complete a simple task. They used great perseverance to keep trying and redesigning their machines until they worked. Here are some videos of their machines in action!  

#SaklanAcademic

Accept Yourself and Others As They Are

Yesterday, the 1st – 8th grade students met in their first family group lesson to discuss the importance of being accepting. 

Students introduced themselves, heard a story called The Crayon Box that Talked, and then discussed the story to understand that sometimes getting to know someone or learning how unique they are can help breakdown misconceptions. While everyone of us is unique here at Saklan, it is our similarities and our differences that make us such a special school. From soccer players to cat lovers, artists and passionate young scientists; the more we listen to others, respect our differences, are kind with our words and think of others, the more accepted everyone will feel.

Students then colored their own crayon with a picture of themselves, and listed something they feel makes them special! These self-drawn crayons are to be returned to Saklan, either by the next connect day or the next swap and drop so they can be inlcuded in the Family Group posters that will be put on display in the breezeway. 

***We deeply apologize for any technical issues you suffered that may have caused stress during the Family Group time. Ms. O was not able to get into meeting rooms either as she was trying to help people. Zoom locked her out! 😦 We can only assume others were just as frustrated. If that is the case, please know your student can still draw their crayon and return them to Saklan to be included on the Family Group poster. Their teacher can help them with any instructions they need.

#SaklanAccepting

Saklan Happy

In an effort to do a little something fun with our Friday Flag, we asked families to create their own version of Happy by Pharrell Williams. This video certainly made everyone smile and happy this morning!

Special thanks to Noah M. (8th grade) for putting the video together!

#SaklanHappy

Thank You!

The Saklan Student Council, along with our partner Pledge to Humanity, would like to thank the Saklan Community for making our food drive a huge success.  We collected 1,415 pounds of food for the Monument Crisis Center. Together we made a difference for struggling families in our county.

#SaklanCompession

Le Tour de Quarantine

Hats off (or helmets should we say) to Mac and his family for taking the live storytime to a new level. Mac, Melanie and Ben read The Cycling Wangdoos by Kelly Puller in their Le Tour de Quarantine. If you want a good laugh, take a few minutes to enjoy their live reading.

If you would like to do a live reading, please contact David at doconnell@saklan.org.  Live readings are done through Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00 pm.

#SaklanCreative

Earth Day-April 22nd

April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans for the protection of the planet. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans – 10% of the U.S. population at the time – took to the street, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement.

Earth Day is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event and it led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clear Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Normally, we make a whole day Earth Day at Saklan, but this year we thought we’d make it a week. Here are some ideas for your students to help celebrate this coming week:

Earth Week Activities You Can Do At Home

Save it Sunday – have your child make a sign to hang in the home or other shared space to remind people to save resources (turn off the lights, save water at the faucet)

Make it Monday – encourage your child’s engineering/artistic side, allow your student to create something that had been made from recycled materials (for example, turn a jar into a vase, create sunbutter and pine cone bird feeder, or artistically make a milk jug into an animal)

Earth day

Teach it Tuesday – have you or your students learn and then teach a friend or family member something about sustainability (for example, an idea about saving water or reducing waste)

Walk it Wednesday (Actual Earth Day) – take you and your children on a walk (even if it’s just in your backyard) and enjoy the wonders of our planet. Enjoy the beauty of your community, create a nature treasure hunt or even pick up trash in your community to help celebrate Earth Day.

Be Thankful Thursday – Even in uncertain times, the sun rises each day, our birds chirp, and we are blessed to have this amazing community. Encourage your students (and family members) to share what they are thankful for.

Farm it Friday – Spring has sprung and what better time to plant and plan for the future. Let your students put their hands in the dirt, plant some seeds or small plants, water them, and tend to their flower or vegetable filled future.

Set a new Habit Saturday – Encourage your students to make one environmental gesture a habit; maybe always using a reusable water bottle, never using a plastic straw again, riding their bike short distances instead of needing a ride, etc. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something! 

Here are some great picture books as well to get your students in the mood:

Want to hear from Scientists in the field?

National Geographic Explorer classroom lets you hear & chat with real scientists, sign up here: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/student-experiences/explorer-classroom/sessions/#inthefield

Want a Family Movie Night? These are always a hit:

  • Our Planet
  • Disney’s Ocean
  • Wall-E
  • Planet Earth
  • Blue Planet

#SaklanDistanceLearning

The Hokey Pokey

This week in PE, the students worked on their dance moves and learned the hokey pokey. Check out this instructional video created by Mr. Crabtree and start moving.

#SaklanDistanceLearning