Head’s Corner


Sometimes there are weeks in the Saklan calendar where things like the Auction, Annual Spring Concert, Grandparents and Special Friends Day, and a week-long visit by 15 international students collide. It is during those times, that instead of trying to churn out a thoughtful blog post, I cheat.

I thought I would share with you a short article on kindness that reflects how we think at Saklan.


Let’s Make Origami!


The Hoot Owls had a blast with their new Japanese friends. The Hoot Owls were surprisingly outgoing and comfortable when it came to introducing themselves and working one on one with the Japanese students!

Hoot Owls picked out a number of different origami designs to make with their new friends. They especially liked the jumping frogs, ninja stars and flowers. Hoot Owls helped with complicated folds and followed multi-step directions. The Hoot Owl room has never been so quiet with concentration. The Hoot Owls are especially into making paper airplanes so they were able to share their own paper folding skills with our visitors.


Pi Day Fun

To celebrate Pi Day (3/14) at Saklan, the middle school students taught a special lesson to the third and fourth graders. Students worked together in pairs to measure the diameter and then the circumference of two cookies. They then calculated their own pi by making the ratio of circumference over diameter. No one got exactly 3.141569, but some groups came very close! The students had a group discussion about their results and concluded that two of the reasons they may not have gotten exactly 3.141569 was because the cookies weren’t perfectly round and using a string to calculate circumference might have led to errors.

To close the lesson, the pairs made memory mnemonics to help them remember the first ten digits. If they had extra time, they worked on writing a Pi-ku. These are like Haikus, but instead of only three lines with the syllable pattern 5-7-5 they can go on infinitely (or at least 31 lines) that follow the pattern of.

Here’s one example:

Saklan is                  – 3

Fun!                          – 1

Let’s eat a treat       -4

Yum!                          -1

Math is delicious.   -5

We can’t wait to celebrate again next March!


Spanish Activity with Exchange Students

Blue Block students brought their Japanese buddies to Spanish class this week. In a collaborative activity, the students shared their thoughts on why it is important to learn a new language and its culture.

“¿Por qué es importante aprender un nuevo idioma y su cultura?”

The students drew images and wrote words in three different languages on their posters: Spanish, English and Japanese. While working with a diverse student body, they were able to gain a more profound understanding of their own culture, values and beliefs.


Owlets Visit the Oakland Zoo

For the month of March, the Owlets have been learning about zoo animals. To end this theme, they decided to go on a field trip to the Oakland Zoo. The children had a lot of fun seeing all the animals. They even took a train ride to see the animals from Australia.

Some of the zoo animals they learned about were: tigers, lions, giraffes, elephants, and rhinos. They enjoyed seeing the animals in real life and remembering the facts they have learned about each animal they saw. The fun project that went along with this trip was field trip stories. This is what they said about the zoo:

” My favorite part of the zoo was seeing the gorillas.” – Catalina

” My favorite part of the zoo was seeing the tigers. Tigers are my favorite animals.” – Rowan

” My favorite part of the zoo was going on the train.” – Miles

” My favorite part of the zoo was seeing the giraffes and elephants.” – Ada


Head’s Corner

Another Great Saklan Concert

Once again, Saklan put together another fantastic whole school concert at the Lesher Theater. There were so many pieces that made the evening memorable, it is hard to know where to start. The theme of Lionhearts and courage, syncing nicely with our mission. The individual performances by so many students who dared for the first time to be center stage in front of hundreds of people. The energy that our students drew from the audience to pull the show together. All of these things and more made the evening a bright success.

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I want to thank so many people for their efforts. It starts with Grace and the hours of time and love she has put into the show. The many students that stepped up to take on parts that took them outside their comfort zones and gave them new experiences. The Owlets and Hoot Owls for just being themselves. The teachers and staff who across the board pitched in, volunteering time and talent and adjusting their schedules to accommodate rehearsals. Javier for technical assistance in making it all come together. Parents for all the support and transportation of instruments and students. The PA for organizing the dinner at Skipolini’s. And lastly, Emoke and Kim Anderson for photographing and videotaping the event ( photos and video will be available next week).

Thank you to all,



Gnome Homes

In collaboration with the garden project for the 1st and 2nd grade, the students are creating a community of Gnome homes for the little people that live underground! Their imaginations were running free when they started sketching their homes with roofs made of “leaves” and “mushroom tops.”

The actual Gnome home is being built in ceramic and the base is textured to look like wood. The students will eventually create a story and personality that describes their Gnome or family of Gnomes living in the home they built.


March Motion


Have you heard of March Madness? Well in Kindergarten the students have been busy
with March Motion. The Kindergarten Science Unit this month has been the study of Force and Motion. The students talked about what scientists do, and they decided that scientists play.

To make discoveries one must play, and so the students played with blocks, cardboard, golf balls, ping pong balls and cars. They tested tubes with marshmallows, and used magnets. They have played on swings and slides and have taken rides in the recycle bin! Through all this play, they discovered that to make something move, it needs to be pushed or pulled and that objects with wheels move easier. They also learned that both gravity and wind can be forces of motion. That gravity pulls objects and wind pushes objects. Finally, they had fun with magnets and learned that magnets pull objects made of iron.


Pipe Protectors

On Thursday, Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade friends had a visit  from the Pipe Protectors of Central Contra Costa Sanitary District. Pipe Protectors is an education program that teaches kids the importance of environmental stewardship.


Students learned about how dirty water becomes clean water. They also learned about the journey of wastewater from their home back to our local environment. There were several activities that helped students understand how to keep our waters and oceans clean.

Ask your child about what they learned. They may have a few lessons for you!


Doodle for Google!

The deadline for submissions was due Monday, March 18th and The Saklan School students came up with some fantastic designs. This year the theme was “When I grow up, I hope….” The talent and compassion these students have for the world is absolutely amazing and worth sharing! Here are just a few…

3rd grader, Lilia Ghassemi wants to become a veterinarian so that she can help all animals that are sick and make them feel better.

6th grader, Phoebe Kim writes “When I grow up, I hope people continue to pursue their dreams.”

6th grader, Lindsay Chan writes “When I grow up, I hope no more animals are extinct.”

8th grader, Nate Levy writes “When I grow up, I hope to go to space and discover planets and galaxies.”

What’s next?! We wait to hear back from Google!

53 students will be named winners from their State/Territory. Five finalists will be flown to Google’s Mountain View headquarters, and one winning student from among the five will receive:

  • A $30,000 college scholarship
  • A $50,000 Google for Education technology package for their school
  • Their artwork will be placed on the Google homepage for a day

The remaining four finalists will win a $5,000 college scholarship!

Stay tuned!


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