We recently received a letter from an organization called Guide Dogs for the Blind thanking our 2nd graders for a donation of $343.00. This is a community service project that our 2nd grade class has been doing for many years. The money, raised through a bake sale, was used to buy and train a guide dog that would be given to a blind person. Congratulations to Mrs. Schofield and our 2nd graders for making a difference.
Community service is an important aspect of the educational program at Saklan and is an essential part preparing our students to take responsibility as open-minded, principled citizens in the local and global community. Moreover, it teaches students about people of all backgrounds, about issues and problems in our society, and promotes compassion and understanding. All of our middle school students engage in some form of community service. Activities range from coaching younger children baseball and taekwondo, helping animals at ARF, bagging food at the Alameda County Food Bank, or building backdrops and sets for school musicals and concerts.
Some classes, like the 2nd grade, do additional projects, which range from 4th grade doing book drives to 3rd and 6th grades helping with EBMUD to weed out non-native plants. Larger school-wide projects have included participating in the Monument Crisis Center Food Drive, helping at the Moraga Garden Farm, and last year raising funds to donate to the Moraga All-Access Playground Project.
This year, our 7th graders are participating in the World Citizen Essay Contest sponsored by the World Affairs Council. The goal is to promote discussion among studentsabout the ways that individuals can effect positive change in the global community.This is great way for our students to learn about the 17 United Nations Development Goals and think about ways to address the global challenges that they will be facing in the future. I am happy to hear that this project will be presented at Flag next Friday morning. I encourage all parents to come out for Flag on May 4th and hear what our students have written about before the world contest winners are announced on May 10th.
April brings the study of whales to the second graders. The first part of this unit is choosing a whale to research and using their ipads to look up information. They then met with their 7th grade buddies to look up more facts. This information was transferred to note cards for an oral report.
The second graders also made Save the Whale Posters and wrote a short essay on the importance of keeping our oceans clean, compared the sizes of different whales and charted it on a graph, looked up new vocabulary, used a Venn diagram to compare a whale to a fish, and read many additional books about whales. The highlight of this unit is when the second graders along with their parents go to MOCHA to make a model of their whale.
In Spanish class, students really enjoy using Quizlet. This web-based application has several study methods to learn new vocabulary at school or home. At school, they enjoy using Quizlet-live in which the teacher breaks their class up into teams. The teacher chooses whether to start with a definition or term. Then each team will have to choose the correct term or definition to win. The team with the most points wins!
Today we had a very interesting Flag. Of course they all are. What stood out was the depth and variety of learning that occurs at Saklan on a daily basis. The spectrum of this was wonderfully shown by Kindergarten students presenting an analysis of the structure of the fairy tale, and then 8th grade students presenting an analysis of the algebraic function. Equally impressive as the depth of our curriculum, was the creativity of the presentations and confidence that the students demonstrated in speaking before the entire school community.
Thanks to our parents, their families and friends, The Saklan School has a long-standing history of being voted BEST OF in the annual contest put on by both the Bay Area Parent magazine and the Parents Press magazine. Please take a moment to vote for your favorite school. Please note that there are separate categories for:
Tomorrow night is our Annual Auction and I look forward to seeing everyone at the Lafayette Park Hotel. This is not only an important fundraiser for Saklan but a fun event that brings our community together. Please remember our fund-a-need project, which is in support of the Creative, Performing and Visual Arts.
Eureka! That means, “I found it!” The Forty-Niners used this word all during the Gold Rush of 1849. The Fourth Graders could be heard saying that as well numerous times during our trip to the Coloma Outdoor Discovery School, especially when they were panning for gold.
We spent two days and one night in Coloma immersed in all things Gold Rush. We learned how to make cornbread in a dutchoven over hot coals, how to build a structure, sew gold pouches, and square dance. We explored the city of Coloma, perused Sutter’s mill, visited James Marshall’s cabin, and much more. We would like to give a special thank-you to our chaperones. We couldn’t have done it without you! It was a great trip!
Our Science Teacher, Miss Vickie Obenchain, arrived safely in Dakar, Senegal on Tuesday evening. As we mentioned earlier this year, she was selected for the 2017-18 Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellowship sponsored by the US Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. As part of her field experience, she will be teaching and traveling in Senegal for two weeks. Click here to follow her adventures.