Day 100

February, as always, has gone quickly in Kindergarten. The long-awaited day, Day 100, finally arrived. It was spent working on many activities involving the number 100. The children matched numbers to the 100 chart, built a wall with 100 cups, made pictures of themselves of what they may look like at 100 years old, and counted out, by 10s, 100 food items to eat.


During calendar time, the children completed their 10 frame paper and finished “Zero the Hero” coloring.  These are activities the class has worked on every 10th day of school since August. Finally, the 10, ten sticks became a 100 flat with no 10 sticks and no ones, giving more meaning to place value=1 hundred flat, 0 ten sticks and 0 ones.


6th Grade Ecology Unit

2020 comic

The sixth grade, as part of their Ecology Unit, have been looking at species interactions. They learned about:

  • Mutualism, where both species benefit
  • Commensalism, where one benefits and the other gets nothing
  • Neutralism, where neither species affects one another
  • Ammensalism, where one is harmed and the other gets nothing
  • Parasitism, where one species is harmed and the other benefits
  • Competition, where both species lose out


In order to fully understand, they had to portray these different relationships with a few partners by choosing a real example of that relationship found in nature. They then took pictures of the portrayal and then made a comic strip with them. They used their laptops to create these impressive comics! Come check out more of them in the science lab!


News From The Sports Court

The Saklan Suns came together and played amazing basketball this week!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After a rough start due to illness, the 2020 basketball season started on Tuesday. Six players: Alex (8th), Jack (7th), Charlie (7th), Carlito (6th), Mac (6th), and Thomas (6th) played two grueling games this week. Tuesday’s game was against The Berkeley School, and Thursday’s was against the Contra Costa Jewish Day School. Both opponents were larger in size and numbers. The Suns exhibited great courage and determination during this sport field experience, playing each game with only five players.

Two games remain and the Suns need players! All students in middle school are invited to join. They play Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley on Wednesday, March 4th, and The Pacific Boys Choir on Thursday, March 12th. The last game is here at Saklan so come out and cheer on the Suns.

Let’s go Saklan!


Talavera Tiles

The Annual Auction is just around the corner and the Art room is working with grades K-8th on inspired Talavera Tiles. The Talavera tiles of today are a specific style and ceramic earthenware from Puebla, Mexico. It actually originated from the town of Talavera de Reina, Spain, also known as La Cuidad de la Ceramica (The City of Ceramics), however, the Spanish settlers brought to Mexico this artform of glazing in the 16th century. The people of Puebla inherited the knowledge the Spanish brought to their people and created tiles with the colors and patterns they loved, which ultimately became the iconic Mexican Talavera. Many of us have seen these tiles in Spanish style homes, missions along California, and used for other indoor and outdoor decor.

After learning a bit of the history behind these beautiful works of art, the artists began to work together to create their own tile. Talking about symmetry and asymmetry, artists are working together in each grade to create a cohesive tile using color, lines, and shapes. Pictured above are the tiles after glazing and still needing to be fired in our kiln.


Head’s Corner

T-Minus 684.5 Hours

Saklan Presents Banner sm

684.5 hours is the amount of time between the minute this blog post lands in your email box to the start of the Saklan Speakeasy Auction. There are a few things I want to mention about our fundraiser that I think are important to know:

  • Even if you do not feel you are the bidding or “auction type”, please join us. The event will be more fun than last year (and that would be pretty hard to top). You do not need to be a bidder to attend. The event is about community as much as it is about helping the school financially.
  • What do I mean by fun? D.J.and dancing, psychic reader, 1920’s photo booth, wine toss and open bar, good friends and families. Need I say more?
  • What are some of the Auction Prizes? An evening stargazing an observatory, Pixar tour with lunch and a secret bonus,  Tennis Match/Lesson with Rajeev Ram, Doubles Champion at the Australian Ope
  • Only one parent can come – should I still go? Are you kidding me? This is the perfect opportunity to live it up!
  • Do you need volunteers for the Auction? Yes, we could use help on the day of the auction. If you are interested in working the morning of the event, afternoon, evening or clean up. Please email me at

Speaking of volunteers, a huge shoutout to Brian and Darla Lovrin, Dabney Lawless, Daisy Coby and Audrey Collec for driving this event. It truly would not have come together without their efforts. If you need another reason to go, it would be to honor the hours they have put into this project.

Warm regards,



Alumni Corner

Jacob Martin (Class of 2014) is happily ensconced as a sophomore at Skidmore College in New York. He is double majoring in  Political Science (inspired by Mr. P) and Music (thanks to the spark lit by Mrs. Chaffey).

For fun, Jacob sings in 2 classical choirs as well as the oldest and best (and only) all male cappella group on campus – The Bandersnatchers (named after the Bandersnatch from Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky”). He has been arranging music for the Bandersnatchers and was asked to be their Music Director for next year.

The Adirondacks area is a favorite hiking destination for Jacob and his friends. During Freshman year, he went sledding for the first time. His first ice skating was sophomore year. His friends from New England love to watch him try things that they forgot could be new because they have lived in the Northeast for so long.  He is a great source of entertainment for them.

During the summer, Jacob was a cashier at Safeway, where he enjoyed making people’s days throughout his shifts. He even sang to them! He also got together with high school friends and played at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. If you’d like to see one of their performances, here’s a video:

Thinking back on Jacob’s Saklan experience, it’s no surprise he is where he is now. But believe it or not, in second grade, he hid behind the bigger kids during his class’s recitation of the mammal poem made famous by former second grade teacher Carol Schofield. In 6th grade, Mr. Javier and Mr. P helped him overcome his seemingly insurmountable fear of the ropes course. This was a key turning point for building his self-confidence.

Ms. Chaffey nurtured his growth further by nearly forcing him to take a small role in the Middle School musical. By 8th grade, Jacob eagerly volunteered to be emcee for the first Friday flag (and was courageous enough to be extremely silly in front of everyone). He happily played one of the lead roles in The Wizard of Oz Middle School musical.

Jacob’s connections to Saklan remain strong. He comes to visit the school whenever he’s home on school breaks. And during the last winter break, he invited his whole Saklan class for a reunion at his house. It was wonderful to see those kids again and hear about their adventures.

Jacob Martin

Here’s a photo of Jacob singing a solo with the Bandersnatchers at a recent college a cappella competition. The group took first prize!


Celebrating Black History Month

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In honor of Black History month, the middle school is recognizing the important roles African American leaders, artists, musicians, politicians, writers, and so many more, have been a central part of our U.S. history.

The students created a poster highlighting those accomplishments and will present their posters each Friday at Flag during the month of February.


Professional Cyclocross Is Unequal And What To Do About It


Last year, while in 5th grade, Mac Tomkins was asked to work on a “Passion Project” in class. He chose to focus on gender inequality in cyclocross for the project. With input from several professional racers, he set out to identify potential problem areas and proposed options for addressing them.

In the spring of 2019, when I was in fifth grade, my teacher announced that we were doing a project about a passion of ours that has something we want to change. The first thing that came to my mind was cyclocross. I have been racing cyclocross ever since I was on a balance bike and have always loved it. The aspect of cyclocross that I want to change is gender inequality. You can make as many excuses as you want, but men have always been treated differently than women in this sport.

For my project, I focused on how professional cyclocross is unequal and what to do about it. I did research and contacted several people who are involved in cyclocross. Helen Wyman, Ellen Noble, Tim Johnson, Caroline Nolan, and Mary Maroon shared some facts and their ideas with me. I really appreciate their help and support; I couldn’t have done it without them.   

I started my report by explaining to my classmates what cyclocross is. And then I focused on the ways female professional cyclocross racers are not treated equally. Read more

#SaklanFor Equality

Puff Mobiles

This week, fourth graders wrapped up their Energy Unit in Science Lab. The students learnt about energy and alternative energy.

First, they looked at solar powered cars and raced them. Next, they investigated wind energy and built their own vehicles that can be moved using wind power.

Wind energy in this case came from their mouth. The students called their vehicles “Puff Mobiles.” Starting with a great design led to some amazing quick races!


%d bloggers like this: