3rd Grade Alexander Calder and the Mobile


Alexander Calder. Constellation Mobile. 1943.

Wood, wire, string, and paint.

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.


Can You Hula Hoop?


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!

Let’s go Saklan!


3rd Grade Visits The Museum Of The American Indian

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.


Traveling Teddy Bear Coming To Saklan

Traveling Teddy BearArriving 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.unnamed

Matteo supports Global Goal #4: Quality Education. He believes that everyone deserves to go to school and have opportunities to read, write, and learn!

Matteo is currently in China from there he will be coming to Saklan, then to Ireland, and Canada.


Field Experience to Cal Academy of Sciences


Last Wednesday, the third grade class spent a wonderful day at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. The students attended an interactive show in the planetarium where they learned about the movement of the sun and moon, and other solar system planets. They explored the three-story rainforest exhibit and completed a scavenger hunt finding many different species of plants and animals.


The third graders experienced an earthquake simulation of both the Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. They also visited the living roof, penguin exhibit, aquarium and much more! It was a full day of science learning!


Responsive Classroom


This summer, seven Saklan teachers (Mrs. C, Ms. Puno, Ms. Prizeman, Ms. Rokas, Ms. Burton, Ms. Ivonne and Mr. Crabtree) attended a four-day intensive Responsive Classroom training seminar. For those of you who may not be familiar with Responsive Classroom, it is an evidence-based approach to teaching that merges engaging and challenging academics with the social emotional needs of each student. Much of what Responsive Classroom recommends are practices we already do and believe in at Saklan, but the training has enhanced our toolbox and solidified our approach to working with students. To discover more about Responsive Classroom please click here.


Third Graders Visit the “Spirit of the Old West”

The third grade class went to the Blackhawk Museum on Thursday, May 23rd 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 their studies.

They 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. The third graders favorite activity was spinning the “wheel of death” to learn about the many ways the Pioneers might have died since life back then was much harder than it is today.


Field Experience to One Room Schoolhouse

Last Monday the third graders went back in time to 1888 and experienced life as a pioneer child at the Tassajara One Room Schoolhouse. They came dressed in their finest pioneer clothes and brought their lunches in a basket or a kerchief tied to a stick.

They learned that the schoolhouse is over 130 years old and was built when Grover Cleveland was president. The students got to write on slate boards with chalk and also use a quill pen dipped in ink. Some fun recess activities included playing jump rope, walking on cans and walking on stilts. They also sang songs and played instruments popular in the 1800’s. The third graders had a great day and decided that school was fun in 1888!


Field Experience at San Francisco Symphony

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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!

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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.

We 💜 SF Symphony! #SaklanExperiental

3rd Grade Weaving Project Continued…

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.