Head for the Day

It’s been a fun, bright, sunny morning at Saklan; Spring is finally here! I had the privilege of visiting lots of classrooms and noticed many good things. This reminded me of the connections made here at Saklan and how we reinforce them every single day. 

During Morning Meeting, all of the students were listening, paying attention to each other, and using kind, inside voices. In Humanities, I recognized that the 7th graders were collaborating with their table groups and participating respectfully in the discussions. During CLASY, the lower school students were doing fun activities in mixed ages outside. Everyone was smiling and working together.

My time walking around campus this morning made me reflect on some of my favorite Saklan experiences. One of the highlights from this year was the Family Group World Cup. Family Groups played soccer games against each other during lunch recess. It was so fun to cheer on other people, and it brought the whole school together!

Another fun thing that we do at Saklan is the All-School Concert. It’s where all the kids have an opportunity to use their voices to sing, play instruments, and have a fun time. Even the preschool students get to be on stage and participate!

Field experiences are a great part of Saklan because it helps make connections with what we are learning and with each other. One of my favorite field experiences is when I went to Coloma. It was fun because we had a lot of activities and got to tell spooky stories in the cabins. It bonded our class together.

This is what makes Saklan such a great place. Thank you to the teachers and staff members for all that you do!



SaklanConfident #SaklanConnected #HeadsCorner

Scale Factor Discovery

The seventh graders noticed a problem when working with similar figures (figures that are the same shape but not necessarily the same size, as shown below).

The students could find a scale factor and use that to find missing side lengths but when they tried to use the scale factor to find an unknown area it didn’t work. They set out to study the problem in more detail.

First, the 7th graders made triangles with a scale factor of 2, 3, and 4 of the original. The students then repeated this with squares, rhombuses, and trapezoids and displayed their data in a large table. This confirmed what they knew- that the scale factor worked as a multiplier for the side length and the perimeter. It also confirmed the problem – when they multiplied the area of one triangle times 2 (the scale factor) the area they got was 2. But, when they counted the triangles they had 4. When they did times 3, the area was 9 triangles. Times 4 was 16 triangles. It was true for the squares, rhombuses, and trapezoids too. They realized there was something they could multiply by. 

By squaring the scale factor, they found a multiplier that would help them solve unknown areas!

Creativity and Hard Work

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Art Show last Friday! It was a fantastic event, showcasing the creativity and hard work of all Saklan students.

Thank you to Lauren for making the Art Show a reality. Her expert guidance and belief in the students through the art making process, helping them to explore their creativity and express themselves, was evident in the art. We also appreciate the time she took to organize the art, determine the layout for the Art Show, create the scavenger hunts for the students, and take care of all the other details that made the event a success!

Thank you to the Saklan teachers and staff for their help in getting ready for the Art Show, guiding the students and grandfriends through the event, and helping with clean up at the end of the day.

Thank you to the Saklan students for sharing their work with us. The time and detail that went into each of the pieces was evident, as well as their propensity to think creatively!


Lunch Ordering

Taco ‘bout a great lunch!  Last week, the fifth graders took their Spanish class out into the field to put their classroom learning to real use! The class headed to a local Mexican food truck, where they ordered lunch for themselves – in Spanish! Next, they headed to the Moraga Commons for an out and about recess.  And the lunch verdict? Delicioso!


Rube Goldberg Machines

The third graders recently learned about the famous cartoonist Rube Goldberg. He is well known for the elaborate crazy contraptions he drew of complicated chain reactions that, in the end, performed a simple task. Each of the third graders were then inspired to use the engineering design process, together with what they learned about forces and motion in science, to create their own Rube Goldberg Machines. They each came up with their own design for a contraption with at least 4 chain reactions to complete a simple task.  The third graders used great perseverance to keep trying and redesigning until their machine worked! 

The third graders were excited to share their videos with each other and the second graders. Check out some of them below!


Cross-Generational Joy

Some 50ish years ago, Grandpa Schulte taught me how to throw a baseball and would take me to Tiger games. The seats were as lousy as the Tigers, and I never became Aurelio Rodriguez. Grandpa O’Connell let me drive his rusty red tractor around the farm and taught me how to play poker (to my mother’s chagrin). There is not one living plant in my house, and I gave up thinking I would profit from cards long ago.  

Grandparents have a unique ability to provide love, support, and guidance that is different from that of parents. They have the bandwidth to validate children’s feelings and offer patience and understanding when things get tough. They savor every moment they have with children, knowing that their time together is limited.

Which brings me to Grandfriends’ Day. A core value of Saklan is the power of experiential learning. Today our grandfriends enjoyed a field experience into our students’ lives. They had their hand taken and were led into a world of education different from what they knew as a student. They engaged in morning meeting activities that emphasized connection and cross-generational understanding. They gained insight into a child’s life through The Saklan Art Show. They held conversations about project and field work that helped grandfriends understand what makes Saklan exceptional. 

But most importantly, Grandfriends’ Day gave someone in their lives an opportunity to share what is important to them. They were able to learn from, validate, and bond more deeply with a special person in their life. And that, at the end of the day, is what matters most.

To those that were able to share your grandfriends with us today, thank you. It was a pleasure to witness the cross-generational joy and light being spread around our campus. 

With gratitude,


#HeadsCorner #SaklanGrandfriendsDay

PA Spring Social & Service

The PA’s Spring Social and Community Service event is this Sunday, April 23rd from 12 – 2:00 p.m. at Lafayette Community Park. Join us for play, pizza and supporting our community. We will be gathering and assembling supplies for two local organizations: Bay Area Crisis Nursery and White Pony Express. Please see details below for specific items requested.

White Pony Express Items Requested (in individual packaging):

  • Adult Toothbrushes
  • Adult Toothpaste
  • Adult Bar Soap

Bay Area Crisis Nursery Items Requested:

  • Unopened Baby Wipes
  • Unopened Diapers (Size 4-7)
  • Baby Feeding Supplies: new bottles, sippy cups, plates/bowls, utensils

Bring your donation items to the park and stay for pizza and play! If you will join us, please RSVP here to ensure we have enough pizza for everyone.

We hope to see you Sunday!

Learning About Ramadan!

The Hoot Owls were excited to learn about the holiday Ramadan from guest expert Nora, a Hoot Owl parent! The class learned that Ramadan starts when there is a crescent moon in the sky. They also learned that during Ramadan grown ups fast when it’s light out and people exchange presents. Nora read the students Ramadan (Celebrate the World) by Hannah Eliot. The class also read The Gift of Ramadan by Rabiah York Lumbard.

Thank you so much for sharing your traditions with the Hoot Owls, Nora!

Owlet Scientists

During the month of April, the Owlets have excitedly visited Saklan’s Science Teacher, Ms. O, in the Science Lab! During their first visit, the Owlets learned that scientists are very curious, and they use their senses to learn about the world around them. The students used their senses to smell a mystery smell, feel a mystery toy inside a bag, and listen to mystery sounds. Coming up in the science lab, Ms. O will teach them about chemical reactions, temperature, and energy.

In their classroom, the Owlets practiced being scientists by observing seedlings and flowers, and then drawing exactly what they observed. They also made a hypothesis about which seedlings they think will grow the tallest, and then they measured and recorded their current height with a ruler.

Teacher Appreciation Week 2023

Teacher Appreciation week is quickly approaching! The Parent Association has planned lots of fun and unique ways to celebrate the Saklan faculty and staff, but they need your help!

Student Quotes

The PA is collecting quotes from students about all Saklan faculty and staff members. Please ask your children what they appreciate and love about their teachers (think core teachers, specialists, Miss Shay and the list goes on!). Please post your child’s comments by April 22nd. Individual quotes will be printed and hung all over the front of the school during TAW.

Click here to view the Teacher Appreciation Quote Boards.

Potluck Lunches

One of the beloved Saklan Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week traditions is themed potluck lunches from the parent community. This year we are again asking families to bring in dishes with special meaning to you to help make the week special for our incredible teachers and staff!

Click here to sign up for a special dish under one of the daily themes.

Thank you for helping make this year’s Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week extra special!

#SaklanPA #SaklanTeacherAppreciation

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