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!


Fourth Grade Writes for Their Future

This week, the fourth graders in Ms. Ashley’s class used their voices to stand up for something they believe in. For the past few weeks, the class has been discussing environmental issues, investigating the effects of emissions, and thinking about how we can all reduce our carbon footprint.

As part of this learning, the class watched Greta Thunberg’s TED Talk from November 2018, where the then 16-year-old climate activist made the case for humanity to take urgent action to combat climate change. The message resonated with Saklan fourth graders.

To continue their exploration of climate change, the students then watched the TedEd video “Lifecycle of a T-shirt,” which presents a stark picture of where most t-shirts come from and how they are made. The process explained in the video left the students in disbelief, and wondering where their Saklan uniform shirts came from.

Saklan uniform shirts are made by Land’s End, but a review of the company’s sustainability webpage left the fourth graders dissatisfied. There were plenty of promises for what the company would do in the future, but very little information on what they are doing now.

The fourth graders came up with the idea to write a letter to the Land’s End School Uniform Department, detailing what they had learned and explaining what changes they would like the company to make. Their final letter, which will be sent to the company, is not only well-written and respectful, but also full of passion and heart.

You can read the full text of the letter here. We are so proud of this class for taking a stand for their future!


Fourth Grade Missions

The fourth graders recently completed their Missions projects. Each student focused on a specific California mission, and used many skills to create a model and informational brochure.

As the students explored their chosen mission, the class engaged in discussions designed to build understanding of how the missions oppressed Native American communities. Incorporating the perspective of minorities and their treatment throughout history has been a focus of each Social Studies unit in the fourth grade class this year.

To complete their mission projects, each student put their engineering skills to the test by designing, planning, and creating a model of a mission. They expressed their creativity through their choice of materials, including cardboard, sand, legos, and even lasagna noodles.


Dodging Rain Drops

In physical education class, Saklan students are learning how to dodge rain drops! The outside gymnasium gets wet during the winter and spring, and an umbrella and galoshes go a long way toward ensuring that all students can fully participate in outdoor activities. Parents can help by keeping an eye on the weather forecast and sending their student to school prepared with any wet weather outerwear or accessories students may need.

We are lucky to have redwood trees and a creek trail to explore during outdoor P.E. time, and the proper attire allows students to fully take advantage of the wonderful surroundings!

Fourth graders walk along the creek trail and back to Saklan during P.E. class.



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

How Many Steps in a Mile?

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:


Absolutely Revolting

This week in California History, the fourth graders finished learning about the Mexican American War. Students analyzed factors that led the U.S. to declare war on Mexico, and focused on the impact to California specifically. The students then learned about the Bear Flag Revolt, in which a small band of rebels overthrew the Mexican government in Sonoma and took California in the name of the United States. The students learned more details about the Bear Flag Revolt as they rehearsed, performed, and recorded a short, humorous play called, “Absolutely Revolting.”

Take a look at the video to see the fourth grade in action!


Life Lessons of 2020 in a Zine

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.  

#SaklanCreative #SaklanThoughtful

California Explorers

In fourth grade, students focus on California history. After learning about many early California explorers, students chose one of their favorites to research in more detail. The fourth graders used books to research, as well as primary and secondary sources found on the Internet. Once students felt like they really “knew” their explorer, they designed and created a poster in which they wrote a “recruitment” advertisement for potential crew members. The posters combined many skills that the fourth graders have been practicing including persuasive writing, technology, art, mapping, public speaking, and design. When their posters were finished, students spoke to the class as if they were townspeople and they themselves were their chosen explorer. As their explorers, students tried to convince people to join their expedition, told them information about “themselves,” and warned them of the real-life dangers that they might encounter on their journey. Check out a few of their presentations below!

The students came away from the presentations laughing and smiling, discussing explorers, and with a greater understanding of the early days of their own state of California!