Kindergarten – 8th Grade Science Teacher: Vickie Obenchain
If you were able to join us last Friday for CLAS, our bi-weekly community gathering, you know what a terrific job our 5th graders did hosting and presenting their fall haiku poems. The fifth graders ran the assembly, introduced presenters, and delivered their poems with calm, collected confidence. However, what looked seamless didn’t start off that way. The students began practicing for CLAS on Wednesday, and with specific feedback about posture, pace, volume, and eye contact, each student’s presentation improved.
The fifth graders took all the feedback they received about public speaking during the week and gave great presentations to the Saklan community on Friday morning. While we are incredibly proud of the fifth graders for their courage to stand up in front of their peers and parents and share their poems, equally important is what was reinforced behind the scenes. This was a great opportunity to show the students that practice, effort and persistence pays off. While some things in life come easily, others take more effort, and with practice, being open to feedback, and lots of work, we can all grow and improve.
Drumming Teacher: Isaac Narell
Mr. Isaac has been with The Saklan School since 2014 and has added tremendous value to our Music program. Although he has many talents, including arranging and playing multiple instruments, this year Mr. Isaac is teaching drumming to the third through fifth graders and a Learning by Doing (LBD) class for middle school students.
Mr. Isaac teaches traditional West African drumming from the Anlo-Ewe speaking people of Ghana, Togo and Benin. The drums used by our students were handmade for The Saklan School from Ghana. We are so lucky and grateful to have Isaac here to share his knowledge and help fill our community with rhythm!
Fifth grade kicked off the year discussing what scientists do and how they study and learn. The fifth grade scientists then practiced these skills by selecting seashells from Ms. Siacor’s beach bag to observe scientifically. As part of their observations, the students drew detailed diagrams of the sea shells, and developed inquiry questions about them. This was a great way to prepare for their first Earth science unit of the year, focusing on the Earth’s systems and hydrology.
Next, the fifth graders started learning about hydrology by looking at how much water is in the world. For this inquiry, the students divided world maps between them and added up how many squares of salt, frozen, and fresh water they found on each map. They then created a bar graph of their results, using math skills to divide the totals of each type of water by 50, and using one sticker to represent each 50 squares. The students were astonished to discover that fresh, ‘scoopable’ water makes up only about 1% of planet Earth’s surface water!
We are thrilled to announce that The Saklan School will be bringing back after school enrichment classes for the 21-22 school year. For the fall session the following classes will be available:
- Wonder Robotics for K-2nd Grade on Tuesdays from 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
- Coding: Game Design for 2nd – 5th Grade on Tuesdays from 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
- Digital 3D Modeling for 5th – 8th Grade on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
- Ceramics with Ms. Natalie for K – 4th Grades on Mondays from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
- Ceramics with Ms. Natalie for 5th – 8th Grades on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Classes begin the week of September 13th, and have limited space available. If you are interested in signing your child up for one of the above classes, please click on the class name for additional information about the class and sign up options.
Saklan will also have enrichment opportunities for our Preschool and Pre-K friends that will be announced in the coming weeks. Our youngest students take a little more time to settle into the routines of coming to school, so we want to give them additional time before we introduce new classes into their day.
Last year gave us time to think about some of the things we have done for years and how to do them better. One of those things is Friday Flag- a long tradition that we have held out in front of School every Friday morning. After conversations with parents, teachers and students, we will be moving to a new Friday morning assembly called CLAS (Community, Learning, Appreciation, and Sharing).
The impetus to move to CLAS was to emphasize the aspects of Saklan we sincerely appreciate: our community, that love of learning is central to everything we do, that gratitude and appreciation is our lifeblood, and that sharing is how we all grow as individuals.
CLAS will be held on the Saklan Sports Court every other week. This allows each division to meet on the off weeks and hold assemblies that bring them together as a smaller group; the Saklan Sports Court provides a more protected gathering space.
Parents are invited to join us for CLAS by entering campus through the fire lane near the church right at 8:30 a.m.
Thank you to everyone who joined us this morning for our first CLAS! It was so wonderful to see our entire community in the same space and to hear the words of wisdom and appreciations that the students shared with us. Check out pictures from today’s gathering below.
The return of school musicals to end the year has all of Saklan ready to break out in song! After so many months of uncertainty, Ms. Chaffey went above and beyond to make sure that musicals could happen in some form this year, and we’re so grateful for her creative thinking.
To start off, today the fourth and fifth grade classes performed Seussical KIDS, leaving all their hard work on the outdoor stage. Students, teachers, and the performers’ parents were treated to a spectacular display of singing and dancing, featuring favorite characters such as Horton, the Cat in the Hat, and the Sour Kangaroos.
Next week, the seventh and eighth grade students will have their chance to put their talents on display! Their film version of Into the Woods will be screened on campus for the rest of Saklan to enjoy. Stayed turned for more details on how the rest of the Saklan community can view this film as well.
Congratulations to all of our Saklan performers, and another huge round of applause for Ms. Chaffey for making this happen and to the entire Saklan faculty and staff for their support.
The show really must go on!
As the academic demands of a challenging year begin to wind down, there is an opportunity to invite additional fun into classroom learning. For some lucky Saklan students, that meant exploring piñatas in Spanish class with Maestra Padilla!
Middle School students spent time making piñatas as part of their hands-on learning about Spanish culture. They used colorful crepe paper to cover piñatas made to represent familiar shapes and characters.
The fourth and fifth graders also got hands-on piñata fun! To end the day on Thursday, each student took a turn hitting the piñata in an attempt to get it to break and spill its treasures–snacks, beaded necklaces, and more–onto the turf.
While each student gave it a valiant effort–even breaking off the top completely– in the end, Mr. Crabtree had to step in to really break the piñata open!
Saklan fifth graders have been hard at work on their State Report Binders and State Floats, and this week they were able to present all they had learned!
To begin the project, each student chose a state that they were interested in learning more about. Many of the students had personal connections to their selected state, which included Nevada, Hawaii, Maine, New York, and more! They were all excited to begin research to see what information they could find for their binders.
Each binder consisted of eight chapters, informing readers on various state facts. Students also drew the state bird, flower, and flag, and a map of the state that included a map key, major rivers, the state capital, and all of the states that are along the border.
Students were also able to pick an activity associated with their state to bring their presentation to life. Many students chose to make a food related to their state, which they brought in to share with the class following their oral presentations.
The project also required students to create a state float, which could visually represent many of the facts that were researched for their binders.
Each student did an amazing job on their project and learned so many about their state, which they could share with the whole class. Way to go, fifth graders!
This past Tuesday, the 5th and 6th grade students joined the Marine Science Institute for a four-hour expedition of the San Francisco Bay aboard a 90-foot research vessel, the R.V. Robert G. Brownlee. The students discovered what lives in the estuary and how we are connected to it. They rotated through three stations using scientific methods and equipment to examine different types of life.
First, they went to hydrology to understand the water quality, and then performed a plankton tow to see the basis of the food chain. After, they used a mud grab to collect a benthic mud sample to look for invertebrates. And lastly, they worked together to deploy a 16-foot trawl net to bring fishes on board. In small groups, they studied the fishes using dichotomous keys. Students were inspired to observe and touch the live animals that they collected. Between sharks, crabs, halibut and sting rays, they saw a bunch of cool marine life!