Gingerbread House Project

Fifth graders worked together to complete gingerbread house projects. Students worked in pairs to design and build to scale a gingerbread house. First, they reviewed how to figure Area and Perimeter. Then students designed their gingerbread house floor plans. All floor plans could not exceed 432 square centimeters. When complete, students submitted their floor plans, side and front view dimensions and calculations to the Project Manager (Mrs. Peters) for final approval before building.

During this process, fifth graders: designed, added, multiplied, predicted, worked cooperatively and creatively. Students then built their gingerbread houses to scale. Of course, adding candy was a fun part of the project, too. They turned out great! Awesome job, fifth graders!

Loom Building and Weaving

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The 3rd grade is exploring textiles from around the world. They will be weaving and building their own circular loom.

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The very first step is creating their own loom out of a clay slab. They will add texture and three dimensional elements to the loom. Along the way, students will learn how to identify the origin of a particular textile based on its pattern. After the loom is complete, the students will learn to weave!

A Visit from a Feathered Friend

Tumbling down from the sky and landing in our play yard, our Owlets and Hoot Owls had a special visitor this week. They were deliriously excited, to say the least. A pigeon!  Close up and personal! They were amused and had many questions. Their curiosity was uncontainable. Look! He has a green bracelet! What is it? Why is it here? Is it hurt?

Our little Friend was tagged with his “name” and his owner’s information. After a little bit of detective work on the American Racing Pigeon Union site, we were able to find out that he was lost and where he came from.

To make a 2-day story short, our Feathered Friend is at home with Matt from Concord.  Matt says “Thank you” to our Owlets and Hoot Owls for showing compassion and concern for the safety and well-being of our Feathered Friend.

Traveling Teddy Bear

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Last month, Jerry the traveling teddy bear, spent time on our campus. He interacted with many of our students, took part in discussions, ate lunch with the students, attended field trips, watched the lower school play, and saw how students in California live. He will take the knowledge on to Connecticut and then on to Europe before he returns to Hong Kong.

The traveling teddy bear program is designed to help encourage students to learn about other areas of the world, and to also share one of the UN Sustainable Development goals with students around the world. Jerry shared the responsible consumption and production goal. He was proud to see our students recycling and composting.

You can read about his journey here.

Saklan Toy Donations Help Bring Joy to Oakland Families

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The Saklan Student Council hosted a community toy drive this past holiday season for the non-profit organization called Bananas, which is located in Oakland. Bananas’ mission is to help raise happy, confident children by providing resources and support to families and childcare providers. If you are interested in learning more about Bananas, please click here.

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The Student Council officers chose this local organization for three reasons. First, the officers wanted to help other children have a joyful holiday. Second, they wanted to support local organizations that work with Bay Area families. Third, Bananas company mission is similar to Saklan’s in that we both want to raise confident children who are compassionate, happy human beings. Our Student Council Co-Presidents, Max Budowski and Harrison Leenhouts, delivered the toys to Bananas. Fortunately, our Saklan families donated so many toys, games, books, children’s clothing, diapers, and baby furniture that it filled the organization’s office. As you can see from Max and Harrison’s smiles, they are proud of  Saklan’s generosity. Thank you for supporting this worthy cause!

Head’s Corner

“We are a small school, you have probably never heard of us, but if you have heard of us, you have probably heard good things.”

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17-29-19, those are the attendance numbers of our last three Open Houses. 17 and 19 at our two Lower School Open Houses and 29 at the Middle School Open House two weeks ago. As a point of reference, when we have held lower school open houses in the past, we have never had more than a handful of people and the most at a middle school one would be 15.

Why the increase? I would like to say that it is due to the banner at the Orinda Bart, the yard signs, or our Facebook push. But every time I ask a family who tours how they heard of us, they inevitably tell me a current or former family told them about Saklan. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of advertising out there. In the independent school world, it is the most important reason people decide to join a school.

We hope you place our Saklan magnet on your car out of pride, but also to give others a chance to ask you about our work here at Saklan. The more children that experience an education like the one Saklan provides the better it is for our world.

So hopefully we will be soon saying, “We are a small school, you’ve probably heard of us and heard good things.”

Warm regards,

David

Students Experience Rain Forest in Virtual Reality

This week, the 7th grade spent time in the Borneo Rain Forest using virtual reality viewers. Students were able to have a 360 degree view of the forest and see for themselves different plants and animals that make their home there. While their main job was to learn about different adaptations organisms have for living there, the students also seemed to really enjoy the feeling. Whether it was standing in a mangrove forest, being in a cave with bats, or being inches from a cicada, they seemed to “feel” like they were there. If it did get a bit too much, as it is quite a different experience, students could take a time out and use a tablet to experience this as well.

Invention Exploratorium

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The first grade class learned about Simple Machines. They each invented their own machine using various scraps of recycled materials. During their presentations, they had to explain how this invention would work and why it was helpful. Way to go First Grade!

¡Felices Fiestas!

Saklan’s students had a “POSADA” this week. Posada is a tradition that gives the opportunity for students to enjoy a fiesta in a true Hispanic fashion. As part of this tradition, middle school students decorated their classmates’ candy bag to show how well they know each other. In fact, a student said “The person who decorated my bag knows me very well.”

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The students took turns swinging at the piñata filled with candy while onlookers sang an encouraging verse “Dale, dale, dale; no pierdas el tino, porque si lo pierdes, pierdes el camino.” Once the piñata was broken, kids collected the falling candy to fill their bags. It was a party filled with cheerful socializing and wishing each other Happy Holidays, Felices Fiestas, in Spanish.

Kindergarten Field Experience

The Kindergarten class have been learning about our community. They learned that a community is a group of people living and working together. We talked about the various communities they are part of including their families, school and neighborhoods. The children also learned about community helpers and the job the community helpers do to make our community better.

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Last week, we had a field experience visiting the Moraga Fire Station. The children heard about the many jobs firefighters perform besides putting out fires. On the walk home we visited the Moraga Community Garden.

The children were surprised to see chickens and growing food right in their community. Thank you, Meredith, for sharing with us your beautiful garden! Added to our fun, Jerry the Bear, on his world tour, accompanied us on our adventures!