Jar of Jelly Beans

The Owlets continue to learn about a different letter each week, and this week they focused on the letter J. Excitedly, they found a big jar full of jelly beans on Ms. Jessica’s desk! During circle time, the class counted out 10 jelly beans to see what 10 looked like, and then each Owlet estimated how many jelly beans might be in the jar.

In small groups, the Owlets helped sort the jelly beans by color and count how many of each color there were. Finally, Ms. Jessica added all the numbers together to discover that there were 285 jelly beans in the jar!

This activity was not only a fun way to learn about the letter J, but helped the Owlets practice their early math skills like sorting and one-to-one correspondence. Additionally, picking up the jelly beans one at a time was great fine motor practice too.

Lunar New Year

First graders welcomed the Year of the Rabbit last week with some special activities. On Tuesday, Jen, a first grade parent, came to class to talk about Lunar New Year, which is observed not just in China but in countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan and Korea. She also led the class in making stunning dragon puppets.

The learning continued when the class went on a virtual field experience to the Asian Art Museum. They listened intently as a master storyteller told the legend of Nien, a monster who terrorized villagers and led them to scare him away with loud noises, the color red and fire- the beginnings of Chinese New Year. The class also listened to the story behind the Chinese zodiac animals.  

The class continued their learning and festivities this week as well. Today they marked the end of the 15-day festival by making lanterns, having a Lantern Festival party in class, and joining the second graders for a dragon parade around campus.

May the Year of the Rabbit be prosperous for all!

State of the School Presentation

On Thursday, February 9th, join Saklan’s Head of School, David O’Connell, along with members of the Saklan faculty and community, for this year’s State of the School presentation. During the presentation we will share updates on the interim strategic framework and the school’s financial health, as well as stories from throughout the school year that provide insight into everyday life on campus.

Saklan State of the School
Thursday, February 9th at 6:00 p.m. on Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 896 7108 2305
Passcode: 97701r

The presentation will be recorded and shared with the community, for those that are unable to attend.


Fairy Tales: Fair or Not?

The second grade class recently wrapped up their fairy tale unit. During their study, each student chose a fairy tale to read and create a castle book report about. The students then discussed whether the fairy tales they read were fair of not. They decided that some were, while others were not! The class also talked about the components of a fairy tale. For the final stage of their unit, the students created their own ‘fairer’ fairy tales; the results of which were ingenious!

#SaklanCreative #SaklanCompassionate

Alumni Reunion

Calling all Saklan Alums and Alumni Families! Please save the date for an Alumni Reunion to be held this summer on the afternoon of Saturday, June 17th at Saklan. We are excited to welcome our past students and their families back to campus! Look for more information about the event to be shared in the coming months.

Can’t wait until June to catch up with fellow alumni and their families? Join the Saklan School Alumni Facebook Page to start connecting today!


The Saklan Friendly Family Cup

The Saklan Family Groups participated in the Saklan Family Cup, a soccer tournament modeled after the World Cup. The games took place during lunches starting in mid-November and concluded this week. The intention of the soccer tournament was to provide more opportunities for the family groups to interact with each other and develop camaraderie and group cohesion. 

The games were friendly, well played, and very exciting.  Way to go Saklan!


Movie Night

All Saklan families are invited to join the PA on Sunday, February 5th from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Founders Auditorium at the Orinda Community Center for a movie night. Join us to watch Bad Guys!

Popcorn will be provided for all attendees. Please bring your water bottle with you, as well as nut-free snacks, blankets, chairs, beanbags, pillows, or other items to get cozy (limited folding chair seating will be available).


Hands-on Fractions

In math, the 5th graders recently moved from fraction addition to fraction subtraction, with renaming, mixed numbers, and simplifying fraction sums and differences.  

One day, the students cut ⅙ yard from ⅔ yard strands of ribbon they’d first measured and cut, then worked out how much of the ribbon was left. “This much!” was a great answer, but not to someone who was unable to see the ribbon, so they didn’t get out of the math that easily. This helped the students to see a need for being able to express the difference as a fraction that both ⅔ and ⅙ could convert to: sixths.  Thus lowest/least common denominator, ⅙ of 36”, ⅔ of 36”, and accurate measurement skills were all incorporated into this hands-on fraction subtraction introductory activity.

Another day, the students measured out 7 ¾ yards of “fabric” (they used white paper from a long roll, but visualized it as fabric).  Students then measured 2 ¼ yards of the “fabric,” representing a remnant after making curtains from the original cut.  Since their classroom mat area is not even 7 ¾ yards across, and their yard sticks are 39.37’/100cm rulers, there were many built-in opportunities for critical thinking, creative problem solving, negotiating, and sharing of roles to model and explain the answer to the question, “How much fabric was used to make the curtains?” 

Could the fifth grades have just written out ⅔ – ⅙ = ___ , and 7 ¾ – 2 ¼ = ____? Yes, of course! And that abstract algorithm is where they ended up, but by beginning with the lengthier, more complex task of hands-on modelling and talking about real-world math problems, the students developed conceptual understandings of how the algorithm works and what it represents.


On Thursday afternoon, Saklan’s 1st – 8th graders met with their family groups to discuss this month’s SEL topic: self-discipline.

The groups began by discussing what self-discipline means: recognizing or identifying that you need to help yourself to achieve a goal, task, assignment, etc. and being able to get yourself back on track.

Then the students watched this video of a lovable monster using tools to help stay on task! After the video they discussed the strategies the monster used: counting to 4, singing, imagining a cookie was a grandmother. The students then brainstormed additional strategies that could help them stay on task.

Each family group then used their list of strategies to act out self-disciplined ways to handle the following scenarios:

  • Someone cuts you in line.
  • You are having a hard time raising your hand, and keep calling out.
  • You are sad because you forgot your lunch.
  • You and your friend cannot stop giggling!
  • You are nervous/stressed over a test.
  • You are mad because someone grabbed the ball you were playing with and is now using it without asking.

The family groups ended their time together by creating posters showcasing suggestions to help others practice self-discipline in specific circumstances. Check out their posters below!


Seeking Wine Donations

We are excitedly preparing a Wine Ring Toss for this year’s Auction Fiesta on March 11th, and we would love your help! Please consider donating a favorite bottle or two (valued at $20 or more) to this year’s wine collection.

Please drop your wine donations off at the auction table in the mornings, or bring them to the Saklan Office.

Thank you for your support!

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