After hearing the story I Voted, by Mark Shulman, and learning about the U.S. presidential election from Scholastic’s Let’s Find Out magazine, the Kindergarten students took part in their own election. With a voting booth, a ballot, a ballot box, and an “I Voted” sticker, the children decided which animal the president should have in the White House, a dog or a cat. With an overwhelming majority, the children voted for a cat! There were a few tears of disappointment, but overall the Kindergarteners were excited to be part of the election process.
The Hoot Owls practiced their early science and math skills by estimating how many seeds were inside a large pumpkin. Their guesses ranged from 4 to 100,000! After determining their estimates, the Hoot Owls needed to collect data, so it was time to start scooping out the insides of the pumpkin. While not all students participated in the messy job of getting the pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin, all the Hoot Owls helped in the data collection by counting out at least 10 pumpkin seeds into muffin tins.
Once all the seeds were sorted by tens, the class worked together to count by tens all the way to 367! After all the seeds were counted, Ms. Traci roasted the pumpkin seeds, which the Hoot Owls enjoyed tasting during their Halloween celebration.
The first graders have been learning about outer space. They practiced their informational writing skills by creating pop-up books with facts about the planets. The students also created books filled with facts about the sun, moon and stars.
After learning about stars, the first graders had fun using their imaginations and creativity to create their own constellations. Examples of constellations they created include a unicorn, pyramid, sunset, and a mask. The first graders shared their constellations and practiced their public speaking skills by presenting the facts and stories behind their individual constellations to their classmates. Additionally, the first graders enjoyed learning a star song:
Star light, star bright.
Constellations, what a sight!
The song was a fun way to wrap up their outer space unit.
In Math class, the 6th graders learned about the Yuki base-8 counting system. As part of the unit, Mr. Zippin asked the students to invent a new counting system that is greater than base-10. The sixth graders were reminded to research historical counting systems for ideas and given the option to make up imaginary civilizations. Here are some examples of what they came up with- great work, 6th graders!
A big thank you to the Parent Association for buying every Saklan student a pumpkin for the Halloween holiday! Students in Kindergarten through eighth grade worked on decorating their pumpkins during art class. Ms. Natalie reminded the students of the dotted artwork of Yayoi Kusama, whose detailed painted pumpkins fit right in with the Halloween spirit. Even with a limited color palette, the students were able to paint unique creations!
Before getting to decorate their pumpkins, the Pre-K students first had to find them! The students went on a pumpkin hunt to find a pumpkin with their name on it. The students enjoyed scouring the early childhood playground in search of their pumpkins!
Once they found their pumpkins, the Pre-K students enjoyed expressing their creativity, by using sharpies to decorate them. They were very excited to get to take their pumpkins home and share them with their families.
This morning, the Saklan students were very excited to don their Halloween costumes and participate in our Costume Parade! The parade route took the students along the trail to the Holy Trinity parking lot, where parents were in their cars for the drive-in event. The students and teachers paraded through the parking lot, waving as parents cheered and took pictures from their cars, with Halloween music playing in the background. A few middle school students emceed the event and set up a laptop so that students at home could be part of the fun over Zoom.
Thank you to all the parents that joined us and cheered the students on. The students enjoyed waving to you and spotting their parents in the crowd! Additional thanks go to Makenna, Ryan and Levi for setting up the Zoom, providing commentary and cheering on the younger students.
On Tuesday, there was no school for middle school students as their teachers prepared for in-person learning, so nine of the eighth graders and some of their parents volunteered for an organization called Pledge to Humanity. Pledge to Humanity works to “inspire youth to become compassionate change makers,” by pairing young volunteers with organizations that improve the quality of life for others in need through both local and global initiatives.
Pledge to Humanity partnered the eighth graders with Kids Against Hunger. The student and parent volunteers met at the Kids Against Hunger warehouse in Pleasanton, where they spent 90 minutes making nutritionally dense meals for families all around the globe. The staff at Kids Against Hunger taught the volunteers how to make the meals, their nutritional content and their impact to the families that receive them.
A big thank you to Saklan parent, Heather Chaput, for organizing this wonderful volunteer opportunity. The students enjoyed the opportunity to act compassionately by helping to feed hungry families around the world.
The Hoot Owls have been curious about trees. They learned about the parts of trees and different types of trees. The class read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and learned about the many things that trees give us. The Hoot Owls also read the book Sticks by Diane Alber which taught them about objects that are made out of trees.
The Hoot Owls then created their own giving trees, which was a multi-step activity. First, the Hoot Owls collected sticks that had been piling up on their playground. Next, they painted a beautiful fall background, and then glued their sticks to it the shape of a tree. The students also added some pieces of felt to the trees to represent autumn leaves. Ms. Traci asked the Hoot Owls, “What does your giving tree give you?” Responses included:
“My giving tree gives me oxygen, shade, maple syrup.”
“My giving tree gives me some of its apples. My giving tree would let me climb it.
My giving tree gives me leaves and apples. I will gather the leaves and eat the apples. I’ll climb up too.
Check out pictures of the Hoot Owls creating their giving trees below.
On Sunday, October 25th, the Student Council had an important team-building meeting to set a positive tone for the school year. During the meeting, the students had an opportunity to get to know one another better through reflection, sharing, and having fun together. In order to work well together, each member of the Student Council needs to feel safe and comfortable with the other members of the group.
To begin the team building, Mrs. Rokas, the Lower School Teacher Representative, led the group through a silly, dancing, name game. Each person had to make up a two-beat dance move along with their name. Then, they had to remember and copy the other students’ dance moves. The game made everyone laugh and loosen up so that they didn’t feel so anxious. Next, Kim Parks, the Middle School Teacher Representative, led the group through a few activities to reflect on what leadership means and share what assets they each bring to the team. Afterward, they reflected and shared one leadership characteristic they each wanted to improve on this year.
After the team building activities, the students enjoyed boxed lunches from Panera and spent time socializing. Then, the group split into small groups and worked on planning fun and safe events and activities for the Saklan community to enjoy, both live and virtual. Finally, the Student Council decorated the front of the school to provide a little Halloween cheer for younger students to enjoy. Overall, it was a wonderful afternoon that was not only productive, but fun!
As they shared in their live Flag presentation last week, the first graders have been learning about writing sentences. They learned a song to help them remember the rules for writing a sentence, including: starting with a capital letter, leaving spaces between words, and adding a punctuation mark at the end. Check out the video of the first graders singing the sentence song at last Friday’s Flag .
Now that they have writing a sentence down, the first graders are working on putting together multiple sentences to create stories. They learned that each story has a beginning, middle, and ending, and have been practicing adding all three sections to their writing. The students are also working on adding more details to their stories. Stay tuned for more story writing from first grade in next week’s blog!