Family Groups


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This month, Family Groups discussed collaboration: working as a team, taking turns, listening to ideas, doing your best, and encouraging others. Students read the book: The Dot, where a girl is encouraged to find out she is actually a great “dot” artist. She ends up encouraging others to find out what they are good and what they bring to the community. Students were then asked to create their own dot with something they are good at and bring to their community. Each family group worked together to build paper and sticky dot towers.

Writer’s Celebration

Fifth graders had their Writer’s Celebration this week. Students shared their published stories as a culminating activity of their best fifth grade stories. Students worked together in writing clubs and with their peer editors to revise and edit each other’s stories. Many of the writing elements students learned were: creating interesting story leads, sensory words, interesting vocabulary, repetition, figurative language, “said” is dead, and character development. The published stories were illustrated and bound into a keepsake book. Way to go authors!!!


Earth Day

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This week, we celebrated Earth Day with a series of activities at school that involved our Family Groups. The program included a presentation by Classroom Safari – an educational and entertaining adventure into the wild. The animal ambassadors shared interesting facts about the animals diets, enemies, and special adaptations that help them survive. The students were excited about learning conservation and seeing animals from around the world. After the presentation, the students in Family Groups discussed what the idea of Responsibility has to do with animals and Earth Day.

Earth Day was organized by our wonderful Science Teacher, Vickie Obenchain, and supports our program of environmental education to make Saklan students aware of the issues that are confronting our planet.

Fifth Grade Marin Headlands Trip

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The fifth grade class visited the Marin Headlands for an amazing outdoor experience. The goal of the program was to broaden the student’s awareness of the natural world and his/her relationship to it. Students participated in many nature hikes, hands-on laboratory experiences, and many team building activities. They spent time learning about the many plant and animal species that live in the Marin Headlands. It was an incredible three days!

The American Revolutionary War


Fifth graders have been researching important historical figures in the Revolutionary War. Students completed an informative research report on their historical figure. They also created amazing hanger people. Using a hanger as the base, they designed and put together an accurate depiction of what their historical figure looked like.


Lastly, students wrote speeches to use for the presentations to parents on Thursday. Fifth graders learned many interesting facts about the Revolutionary War and important people that contributed to our independence.

Autobiography Gallery Walk

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Fifth graders have completed their Autobiography Projects. This project included six chapters detailing important information all about them. The students were asked to write a chapter on various parts of their lives. Each chapter included photos and captions that corresponds with the chapter. In addition, students organized and drew a twenty important events timeline of their lives. Lastly, we invited parents and family members to come and see all of the autobiographies during a gallery walk in fifth grade. Students also shared their projects with various classes that visited later that day. This project is a special keepsake for fifth graders, and we are all proud of their hard work and dedication toward their terrific autobiographies. Way to go fifth graders!

Fifth Grade Rockets

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The last few weeks the 5th grade has been coming to science lab to learn some basics of astronomy. They have learned about the big bang theory, scaled down the solar system, learned about the formation of the moon, and discovered how our sun produces its energy. Lastly, we have been discussing space exploration, and so the 5th graders worked together to create their own rockets to shoot off!

Family Groups This Month

This past month, the students at Saklan have been learning about Self-Regulation. On Tuesday, our 8th graders led their first family group meeting of the year around this topic: helping the students to recognize or identify when they need to help themselves to achieve a goal, task, assignment and being able to get themselves back on track. The students watched a video staring cookie monster, where he must fight his urges to eat his cookie partner in order to save a princess. The students saw that sometimes not one solution is enough.

Each family group was then given one issue that might happen at school, and came up with tools that could help them overcome that, so they can get back to the task at hand.   These included: when a child is stressed, when they can’t stop giggling, when they are angry or upset (at a friend or situation), or when they are having a hard time focusing. Each family group made a poster showing their tools on the cookies, surrounded by their own cookie monster! Come check these out in the breezeway!

Fifth Grade at the Farm

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Last week, the Saklan fifth graders had the opportunity to visit and help our neighbors down the street at the Moraga Gardens Farm.

Our class has been learning about plant life cycles and gardening, so we were thrilled to be able to spend a day in the garden working with the volunteers and learning hands-on about organic gardening. We planted hundreds of beet and chard seeds and helped to move many, many wheelbarrows full of compost to the gardening beds. We also learned about the care of their tomato plants (800 in total!) and how they were all started from seeds at their garden.

We would like to thank Mr. Deva Rajan and all of the other garden volunteers for sharing their knowledge and love of gardening with us, and for allowing us to work along side them in their beautiful garden oasis!

Marin Headlands – 5th Grade

Last week, the fifth grade class spent three days and two nights in the Marin Headlands.  This science-filled experience was both educational and fun! The weather was a bit cold and windy at times, but overall we had beautiful clear, skies!

We hiked, hiked and hiked, as well as visited the Marine Mammal Center, spent time at the touch tank with many tide pool creatures, and observed living plankton under a microscope. One of our hikes took us to ice plant hill where we not only tasted ice plant, but also rolled down ice plant hill. In addition, we hiked to Point Bonita Lighthouse and along the way observed a herd of harbor seals sunning on rocks and frolicking in the bay. We also took a night hike, enjoyed singing songs around the campfire, played games with other schools, and ate cookies on the beach.
The food was delicious, our dorms were comfy and warm, and our guide, Bryan, was terrific. It was a fabulous trip!