Ending the Year on a High Note…Literally

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!


Piñata Fun

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!


Fifth Grade State Projects

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!


Learning Expedition of the Bay

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!


Fifth Grade Spanish Menus

In Spanish class, the fifth graders are working with Maestra Padilla to learn about food and beverages for breakfast (desayuno) and lunch (almuerzo).

The students started their work by designing their own menu full of their favorite foods, including desserts. As they created their menus, students learned food vocabulary words and created a personalized product to use to order food in a “restaurant.”

The next step was to provide students with authentic opportunities to use the Spanish language and expand their speaking skills. Students engaged in a role play set in a restaurant, where they took on the roles of waiters and customers. While acting as the customers, students could order food items off of their custom menus, as if they were in a restaurant designed just for them!

Take a peek at the lesson by watching the videos below!

Hana, Eleanor, and Kori
Lilia, Lilah, and Hailey


Fifth Grade Lap Books

As part of Black History Month, the Saklan fifth graders completed a novel study on the amazing book Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman by Dorothy Sterling. They learned about the incredible woman Harriet Tubman was, and her many important contributions to society.

To further their learning, each fifth grader chose an influential African American to learn more about, from historical figures to modern day icons. After they finished their research, each student created a lap book that detailed key dates, important accomplishments, famous quotes, and other inspiring aspects of their selected person’s life.

Several students shared their books with the broader Saklan community during Friday Flag, explaining why they chose the person they did, and highlighting some of the most important or most fascinating facts they’d learned. Awesome job, fifth graders!


Fifth Grade Celebrates Valentine’s Day

Saklan fifth graders have been having a great time celebrating Valentine’s Day all week! The students began by making handprint wreaths to hang in the windows of the classroom.

After a discussion of what compliments are and how it makes us feel to get or give one, the fifth graders created Valentine’s bags with classmate compliments. They wrote a compliment on a paper heart for each student, trying their best to make it personal and meaningful. Then they passed out their hearts to each classmate, and enjoyed reading the compliments they had received from others.

To end the week, students worked in pairs on Conversation Heart Math. Each pair received a bag of conversation hearts, and used them to complete different mathematical operations, including estimating, graphing, addition, measurement, and averaging.

There was a lot of love for another great week of fifth grade!


Collisions in Space

During their science lab time with Ms. O, the fifth graders learned about the creation of our moon, Earth’s only natural satellite. The students discovered that the moon most likely formed from a collision of a protoplanet hitting Earth twice. The debris from the collision is believed to have formed Earth’s moon. The students looked at pictures of the surface of the moon to understand how collisions in space are inevitable, due to the gravitational pull of celestial objects. Then they investigated what type of asteroid might make a deep crater, wide crater, or one with rays. In groups, the fifth graders dropped spheres of different sizes and masses into their “moon” surface to see the impact the objects have on the surface due to falling from different heights and with varying speeds. 



During January, Saklan students have been focusing on being hardworking. The eighth grade Family Group leaders created a video to explain what hardworking means and how it can help students reach their goals and overcome challenges.

After hearing suggestions from the eighth graders, each of Saklan’s first through seventh graders wrote down one goal, project or activity they want to work hard to accomplish or improve on. Check out the many areas in which our students are working hard!

#SaklanSocialEmotionalLearning #SaklanFamilyGroups

Shadow Movement

Fifth graders are learning about Earth’s place in the universe. Students have focused on the movements in the solar system that affect how we see shadows. The fifth graders recently created a graphical display that revealed patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows during the school day. Pairs of students worked together to trace each other’s shadow outline early in the morning and noted where the sun was in the sky. Then, when the sun was at its highest (12:00 p.m.) they returned to their chalk outlines and traced where their shadows had moved and where the sun was positioned. Students were amazed at how much their shadows changed at different times of the day!