This week, we had our first Family Group session of the year. Our ten Family Groups are made up of 7 or 8 students ranging from 1st to 8th graders. Each group is led by one or two 8th grade students, who are responsible for running the group activity for the session. The Family Group activity presents a wonderful leadership opportunity for our senior students, helps to build a cohesive school community, and is a vehicle to promote the themes of our SEL program. In this session, the activity was focused on self-regulation, which for students is defined as recognizing or identifying that you need to help yourself to achieve a goal, task, assignment, or being able to get yourself back on track. The Family Groups did a number of activities around this theme and each group produced a poster with suggestions and tools on how to handle a variety of common issues that students are confronted with in school.
Please have a look at these posters that are displayed on the bulletin board in the entrance way. Here are some samples of what our students came up with:
If you have problems with focus – have a good night’s sleep.
If you have problems with stress – meditate.
If you have problems with silliness – take a deep breath.
If you have problems with anger – walk away and talk with a friend.
If you have problems with giggles – relax and drink some water.
If you have problems with regulation – stop and count to ten.
I was able to visit many of the Family Groups and was highly impressed by the leadership abilities of our 8th grade students. Part of the activity involved taking the Family Group through a tour of the Moraga Community Gardens which is located just down the street from us. Our 8th grade leaders did an outstanding job in describing the organization of the gardens and showing good communication and leadership skills.
This was a great way to start our SEL program for the year. Compliments go to Vickie Obenchain, who is our Family Group Coordinator, and all the teachers who supervised the Family Groups. Our next theme is perseverance and I look forward to seeing how this theme is presented over the next month.
On Thursday, the Owlets visited the fire station in Moraga, Station 41. They had a lot of fun climbing in the fire truck and seeing where the fire fighters live when they are working their 48 hour shifts.
It was a great way to end their September theme, My Community and Me!
As an extension of the unit on Dinosaurs and Fossils the second graders traveled to the UC Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley. They saw a life-size replica of a T. rex and learned more about fossils. They also had a chance to look for fossils in trays of sediment.
Last week their parents were invited to come to our class and hear dinosaur poems they had memorized. And last Friday they performed two dinosaur poems at our Friday flag. As you can see second grade is a very busy place!
In Kindergarten this week, we started our Community Helpers unit by a visit from our local Police Officer, Will Davis. He spent time with our Kindergartners and Hoot Owls, teaching us the many ways he helps to keep us safe.
We also were able to have a look in his vehicle and he gave us some good tips about staying safe at Halloween.
This past month, the students at Saklan have been learning about Self-Regulation. On Tuesday, our 8th graders led their first family group meeting of the year around this topic: helping the students to recognize or identify when they need to help themselves to achieve a goal, task, assignment and being able to get themselves back on track. The students watched a video staring cookie monster, where he must fight his urges to eat his cookie partner in order to save a princess. The students saw that sometimes not one solution is enough.
Each family group was then given one issue that might happen at school, and came up with tools that could help them overcome that, so they can get back to the task at hand. These included: when a child is stressed, when they can’t stop giggling, when they are angry or upset (at a friend or situation), or when they are having a hard time focusing. Each family group made a poster showing their tools on the cookies, surrounded by their own cookie monster! Come check these out in the breezeway!
Looking to proudly display your Saklan Spirit, but missed the Walnut Creek Twilight Parade?
This year’s shirt is on sale for a limited time only!!!
Order forms were sent home today with students and are available at the link below. Complete the order form and return it in to your students’ teacher or the front office with cash/check. Deadline: Friday, October 13th.
Last weekend, we again participated in the Walnut Creek Twilight Parade. On what turned out to be a beautiful warm late summer evening, we had a good showing of parents, staff and friends marching with the Saklan contingent and showing our great community spirit. A particularly big thank you to Christine Kuckuk, our Director of Marketing, for organizing this event and for offering each participant a free Saklan t-shirt. For those who were not able to attend, the t-shirts will be available for purchase starting next week. We will be sending home a flyer and order form soon.
This Saturday we will have a booth at the Moraga Pear Festival which takes place at Moraga Commons. We will also have a group of students participating in the Moraga Got Chalked Event. If you are at the Pear Festival don’t forget to drop by our booth.