Head’s Corner

“Be Curious, Not Judgemental”

Walt Whitman

This quote (recently made famous by Ted Lasso) replaces an old favorite of mine: “If you only believe 50% of what your children say about us, we will only believe 50% of what they say about you.” While the quote is tongue-in-cheek, it emphasizes that misunderstandings can occur between home and school when we only understand one perspective. But it is passive. It does not ask us to be curious and learn. When it comes to raising good people (the children we share), we need to be curious and suspend judgment.

Yesterday, as a faculty, we spent time talking about parent-teacher conferences. One of our conversation points was delving into the anxiety all participants (yes, even teachers) can feel during these meetings. As we prepare for conferences, it is essential to remember that we (parents and teachers) have the same goal in mind- to help young people grow to become fulfilled, self-actualized adults. This work is complicated and bumps in the road are inevitable, but our children benefit when we remain curious and work together. 

Please keep this in mind next week as you discuss your child’s progress at conferences. We are a team, and we look forward to sharing glows and grows with you.

In gratitude,

David

The Importance of DNA

The seventh graders have been learning about cell processes. Before beginning their study of heredity, the students learned the importance of DNA. They began by discovering the double helix design, noting the matching base pairs, and then moved on to understanding how DNA gives us all the information we need to build eyeballs, hair, and every organ in our body. 

Next, the students extracted DNA from strawberries, and observed clumps of DNA strands.  Realizing that our food has DNA was quite fascinating to the seventh graders!

In the coming weeks, the seventh graders will use all that they have learned about DNA, and how it recombines to give us our traits, to help them understand the processes of mitosis, meiosis and heredity.

#SaklanAcademic #SaklanHandsOnLearning

Learning from Community Experts

As part of their study on the different types of communities, the first graders had a guest expert visit their classroom. Ms. Nerit, from the Moraga Library, came to read stories to the class and share about her role at the library. She shared lots of information with the students, including the differences between public libraries and school libraries, as well as how borrowing from the library is different from buying books from a bookstore. At the end of the visit, the students were delighted to receive their very own library cards!

A big thank you to Ms. Nerit for sharing her expertise with the first graders!

Halloween Family Fun Fest

Are you ready for the Saklan Halloween Family Fun Fest?

*Siblings are welcome. Since this is a school event, we ask all participants to follow the Saklan Masking Protocols and “Mask Up” even while outside*

#SaklanPA

Seasonal Change

Recently, the Owlets spent some time learning about fall and what happens when the seasons change. They watched a short video that taught them how and why some tree leaves change color when the weather starts to get chillier. Next, the students used fall colors, like orange, red, yellow, and brown, to create some art pieces. They made hand and fingerprint trees and coffee filter leaves for a tree in their classroom.

The Owlets even helped change the white rice in their rice table to fall colors!

If you are wondering why the leaves are changing colors, ask an Owlet!

#SaklanAcademic #SaklanCreative

Urban, Suburban & Rural

The first graders have been learning about rural, urban, and suburban communities. They read stories, such as Town Mouse, Country Mouse, to get a sense of the differences between the communities, and compared the communities of two characters: Miss Rumphius, who lived in an urban community, and Miss Arizona,who lived in a rural community. To illustrate their learning, the students made Venn diagrams and drawings to show the similarities and differences between the communities.

The first graders also enjoyed learning about producers, consumers, goods and services, and the role each plays in the different communities. To finish up the unit, the students wrote a book on what kind of community they would like to move to in the future.

#SaklanAcademic

The Saklan Library is Open!

Saklan students are finally enjoying library time IN the Saklan Library! Last year, Saklan’s library was homeroom for eighth grade, making it off-limits to students in other cohorts due to COVID restrictions. Lower school grades still had adapted library classes in the pavilion with animated story time and book check out from a curated bin. The experience has been revamped this year! The students walked into the library for the first time with eyes wide and faces smiling as they realized their access to books had immeasurably improved over the previous year’s curated box. The Saklan Library currently has over 4,400 books and more are being added each day.

Students browse for their books of choice by using the Non-Fiction Dewey Decimal System or Fiction Genres. Students can also search for their books by reading level, an important detail for younger readers. The middle school students have a Young Adult Library in the humanities classroom with books that are geared towards the interests and reading levels of middle school students. They can browse and check out books as wanted. 

The library is keeping up with multi-book series readers and non-fiction enthusiasts by continually adding to the book collection. We gratefully accept book donations should families have favorites they are finished with. The librarians, Mrs. Meredith and Mrs. Joy, have specifically focused on new additions that support ideas of inclusion, diversity, kindness and other pillars of Saklan’s mission. 

Anyone in the Saklan Community can search the online catalog and place holds on books for their child. This feature is especially loved by the teachers and allows them to request books that support their classroom curriculum. Browse the collection and request books here: Go to OPAC. If needed, the library name is “Saklan” and no password is required. Books can be searched by title, author, subject, location (genre), or reading level. Click the “Request Hold” button when viewing results by ITEM. 

We would love to hear from you! Email library@saklan.org with questions, concerns and ideas. 

Friendly Family Groups

On Thursday, September 30th, the Saklan first through eighth graders met with their family groups for the first time this year! During the in-person meetings, the eighth graders led discussions of what it means to be friendly.

After hearing The Fruit Salad Friend read aloud, each group talked about how they can be a good friend both in school and in the community. The groups then made their own friendship salads, showcasing the most important friendship traits. Check out the salads below!

#SaklanCompassion #FamilyGroups #SaklanLeadership