Preschool – 3rd Grade Spanish Teacher: Ester Vines
Preschool – 3rd Grade Spanish Teacher: Ester Vines
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:
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.
First grade learned about Homes from Around the World. They learned a lot about countries, climate, culture, and resources. They discussed how factors affect the type of home you build, such as cultural influences. The students also talked about what homes have in common; people make them, people live in them, and they keep us safe or our shelter. Homes all look different and they are made with different materials or natural resources. First grade students had a great time working on their project boards and they were able to share a video presentation report to their families.
To end this informative and fun unit, the class had a memorable field experience at the Avant’s Barn House. Mr. Cris Avant, a Saklan parent, was so gracious to share his knowledge and expertise in building homes. He is the owner of Canyon Design Build and he rebuilt the Historic Moraga Barn LEED to Platinum standards. On Wednesday, Mr. Chris showed the first graders how he reconstructed this 109-year-old building with solar roof tiles, passive heating and cooling and rainwater catchment systems. The kids were able to view a presentation on home construction, a slideshow of some old buildings being remodeled, and a tour where tools were used for construction use. At the end of the tour, the kids all had a wonderful experience riding a dump truck!
This week, Ms. Chaffey took the first graders to the trail behind campus, and led them on a musical nature walk! The class got to spend time in quiet observation of the sounds we can hear in the world around us.
After quietly walking down the trail, Ms. Chaffey would find a spot for the class to pause, and instructed the students to sit there for a few minutes in silence, listening to the sounds around them. Some of the sounds would be from animals or silent forces in nature, while others came from humans.
The first graders drew what they heard, including birds singing, people talking, and wind blowing. One imaginative first grader heard a “unicorn Pegasus,” while another explained that his “really good hearing” allowed him to hear the sound of the plants growing!
It was a perfect day to connect with nature!
The first graders in Ms. Maria’s class got a special treat when they were visited by a guest scientist…Saklan’s very own Meredith Avant! As part of the first grade earth materials unit, the class discussed how rocks are natural resources that can be used in many things. To wrap up the unit, they welcomed Meredith to their classroom to learn more about the unique drywall product she invented!
Most cement products are made by cooking the water molecules out of gypsum or limestone, and then adding water back in the desired shape of a wall board. This process takes an immense amount of energy. In 2008, Meredith’s company Serious Materials created Eco Rock, a drywall product made from recycled materials and different chemical reactions. The process she patented used just 20% of the energy needed for the typical drywall process. It’s no surprise that her product was named one of the 100 best inventions of the year by Popular Science magazine in 2008, and won the Green Tech Grand Award!
Thank you to Meredith for teaching the first graders that being a scientist rocks – sometimes literally!
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!
The students in kindergarten thru eighth grade have been equipped with pedometers while exercising during P.E. lessons. The devices are simple and only measure “steps,” but are equipped with a reset button. P.E. classes have had fun experimenting with what types of activities generate the most movement or steps. Students have had the opportunity to see how dribbling a ball compares to swinging on the swings, and how walking a mile compares to skipping rope. Some of the third graders came to the conclusion that shaking the sensor generates a higher count than spinning it on a finger. Overall, it appears that students focus on generating a count with their pedometers, and that feedback adds a little extra motivation to continue to exert effort while participating in physical education exercises.
Lucas in kindergarten asked Mr. Crabtree to take a picture of the pedometer he was using in P.E. and send it to his mom, as he was interested in one for home use as well. For any other parents that have received requests for pedometers, here are the pedometers the students are using at school:
What is a zine? A zine is short for Magazine and is a self-made booklet that tells a story, informs about an issue, and is fun to make! It’s origin dates back to 1776, with Thomas Paine’s self-published pamphlet, Common Sense, which advocated for the thirteen colonies to become independent from Great Britain.
In returning from Winter Break online and entering into the new year, 1st-8th graders were asked to reflect on what lessons they learned about themselves and the world in 2020 and what they were excited about striving for in 2021. 2020 forced the world to face reality, good or bad, and with so much to learn from, the children triumphed over all of these obstacles to share what they found most rewarding, difficult, and inspiring. In seeing these zines created, we hope it inspires us all to continue to persevere, fight for justice, and take care of each other and ourselves.
Have you heard about Saklan’s collaboration blocks? These large blue blocks have been a favorite recess activity since they were introduced at the beginning of December.
The blocks are manufactured by Imagination Playground, and are designed to allow for open-ended play, giving children the freedom to create and pursue their own play activities. These blocks have produced numerous creations, giving our students the opportunity to not only have fun, but to further develop their logic and mathematical skills, problem solve, use their imaginations, and develop inter and intrapersonal skills.
Working together with classmates to build with the collaboration blocks has provided Saklan’s students with many opportunities for creativity, fun and learning. Check out the pictures below to see some of the creations the students have built.
The collaboration blocks were made possible by gifts to Saklan’s Annual Giving Fund. Saklan relies on the generous support of the community to provide the many extras, like the collaboration blocks, that make Saklan such a vibrant place for children to learn and develop. Thank you to all our generous AGF donors.