During September and the first week of October, the Hoot Owls, Owlets, first graders, second graders, third graders and fourth graders took their first field experience of the year to Moraga Gardens Farm! Ms. Meredith led each of the classes on the two-block walk to the farm, and then on a tour of the community garden. The garden was filled with eggplants, cucumbers, kale, apples, pears, tomatoes, and much more.
During the tours, students learned that fruits and vegetables grow from flowers after being pollinated. They saw the difference between seasonal trees, such as a peach tree (summer) and persimmon tree (fall). The children saw how vines grow by attaching their tendrils to other structures and plants, and how plants defend themselves from predators. They went inside the greenhouse, heard the bees buzzing in their hives, and got to sample some of the garden’s produce. Lastly, the students were invited to feed and pet the chickens.
The students all had a great time in the garden. Thank you, Ms. Meredith, for leading these interactive, engaging field experiences!
Last Friday, the PA hosted a talk with Darryl Holcombe, Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office Senior Inspector on internet crimes against kids. Darryl was so knowledgeable and approachable and gave some great advice to parents:
Routinely talk to your children about internet safety and their digital footprint. Ideally this starts before they have a personal device to use, but it keeps evolving, so keep talking. Remind them always to think before they post. This Digital Citizenship site was recommended by a parent to help with this dialogue.
Be familiar with the apps your child is using. Download them on your own device and learn how to navigate through them, including parental control features
Have your children use their devices in a common area of the house.
Think about investing in a parent monitoring program for devices. Some mentioned were OurPact, Life360, and Bark. There are ways around these, but they are one layer of protection.
Use time in the car together to have discussions about digital citizenship. You can use scenarios: “What would you do if a stranger messaged you either on a social media site or while gaming and said ‘click this link’?” or “What would you do if your friend said he/she/they met a stranger online and they want to meet?” Explain that if someone online is asking for any information or things that seem unnecessary, they should tell you immediately.
Consider having your child sign a Technology Agreement with specific terms that you agree to. For example, some basics could include giving the device back to a parent by a certain time of night (8pm) and making sure a parent always knows their child’s passwords. There are many examples online of Technology Agreements.
Cyberbullying continues to be a prevalent issue. Remind your children that it’s important to tell a trusted adult if they see/read any bullying online.
Learn how to turn off map/location finding on things like Snapchat and encourage your kids to leave them off.
Darryl was kind enough to share his email address in case parents had additional questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to having Darryl return to Saklan to talk to our kids about internet safety as well. Thank you, Darryl!
On Thursday, September 30th, the Saklan first through eighth graders met with their family groups for the first time this year! During the in-person meetings, the eighth graders led discussions of what it means to be friendly.
After hearing The FruitSalad Friend read aloud, each group talked about how they can be a good friend both in school and in the community. The groups then made their own friendship salads, showcasing the most important friendship traits. Check out the salads below!
Has your child has been coming home with enough sand to fill your own sandbox? If so, it’s probably because many of our students have been spending their recess time playing in the sand. Their play differs by grades, but students of all ages love to use their imaginations as they dig in the sandbox.
The sandbox not only provides our students with outdoor fun, but also numerous learning opportunities. During their time in the sand, our students are working on social skills, including: communicating their needs to one another, sharing space, sharing sand toys, compromising, collaborating and taking turns.
The Hoot Owls and Owlets have been using elbow pipes and water to create lakes, rivers, dams, tunnels, bridges, mountains, volcanoes and any other geological feature they can think of. They have been setting up their own “challenges” to knock down walls of sand by pouring water into the pipes and allowing it to flow out.
The Kindergarteners have been working together to create bridges and lakes in the sand. The first through fifth graders have been working together to dig really deep holes, searching for clay or other items what might be under the sandbox. They have also enjoyed trying to create bridges over the deep holes, as well as trying their hands at some baking.
The sandbox is a great place for our students to explore with their hands, try out imaginary play, practice their social skills, strengthen their arm muscles, and have fun!
Rakestraw Books in Danville is inviting all Saklan families to join them for a virtual event with award-winning and beloved author RJ Palacio (the author of Wonder). She will be introducing her newest book, Pony, which is a truly brilliant story for all ages, about family, loyalty, counterfeiting and ghosts. For this special event RJ Palacio will be joined in conversation by Josh Radnor (best known for his role as Ted Mosby on How I Met Your Mother).
This ticketed event will take place on Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 5 PM. To join the event, the publisher requires that each attendee buy a copy of Pony. The first 30 people to purchase tickets will receive an autographed copy of Pony. Every ticket purchaser will also also receive a gift when they pick up their book in-store.
This year, we have some new morning drop-off procedures. Along the curb directly in front of Saklan, we have a Preschool Parking Zone for Preschool and Pre-K parents to park and walk their children up to the classrooms, as well as a Drop-off Zone for Kindergarten – 8th grade parents to quickly drop off their children. For parents of Kindergarten – 8th grade students that would like to walk their children up to the front gate, we ask that you park in the Holy Trinity Church parking lot, next to Saklan.
For further explanation of the new morning procedures, please check out the video below, which was previously shared during the ECE and Lower School Back to School Nights.
Thank you for your help in keeping our students safe during morning drop off.
The first few weeks of school are all about developing new routines and building relationships with teachers and classmates. During this time, each class works together to create a class agreement (also know as class rules). As part of the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching, the agreements are created collaboratively between students and teachers, focusing on what all members of the classroom community can do to help create a calm, orderly and safe environment for learning.
The agreements are phrased in the positive, offering clear expectations of behavior and how students can live up to those expectations. By including students in the process of creating the agreements, the students are engaged in their learning, feel a sense of belonging and safe in school, and view the rules in a positive light.