The kiln is getting used to its fullest potential! The photo on the left is the middle school Dinner Party Project bone dry and ready to go into its first firing. The photo on the right shows the work completed to bisque ware and ready to get glazed! After the work is glazed, the work goes back into the kiln for its final fire. Working with clay is quite a process, so the students are learning all the science behind how clay works.
This November, you will notice a Teddy Bear on campus. This Teddy Bear is named Jerry and is an international traveler. Jerry is part of the Traveling Teddy Bear Project that connects students around the globe.
The Traveling Teddy Bears Project was started in 2014 with the goal of connecting young children in classrooms across the globe. This year, each of the bears is supporting one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help spread awareness in schools around the globe. You can learn more about these goals here.
Jerry will be supporting the goal of Responsible Consumption and Production. Jerry believes that we need to protect our earth and resources by reducing waste.
Jerry started out his journey in Hong Kong visiting a Kindergarten class. He currently is in Australia hanging with some 1st and 2nd graders. From there he will be coming to Saklan. You can keep up on his travels here.
The sixth grade has spent the last few weeks learning about our Earth’s plate boundaries and earthquakes. They have seen how each plate boundary has moved our continents to where they are today and are continuing to move them. Students have researched historic earthquakes and reported on them to the class. They also learned about new technologies that help those in earthquake zone areas stay safe in buildings.
Along with this, the students were tasked with building a four story building that could withstand an earthquake. The students were allowed to use different earthquake building technologies which can reduce the shaking to a building. These included x-braces, cross braces, mass-dampers and extended building shapes. Each student created their own design and we tested them to see which building would allow for the least amount of shaking.
For the month of September, the Owlets had fun learning about community helpers. One of the community helpers they learned about were firefighters. To end the unit, they had a special visit from the firefighters from Station 41 in Moraga. The firefighters came to Saklan and the students got to see one of the fire engines.
The kids saw the firefighters all dressed in their fire gear, tried on their fire jacket, and even sat in the driver seat of the fire engine. It was a blast and the Owlets were very thankful for Station 41 taking the time to come to visit!
Grades 6-8th in Green Block are learning about Jazz music and creating their own record album cover. They learned about the history of Jazz in America and the artists responsible for the album covers.
The music department loaned us a real record player! So we have been listening to musicians such as Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong while creating our own album covers! The last part of the project the students are currently working on, focuses on writing their own song using a little bit of alliteration.
Last school year, members of our community came together to raise essential funds for Saklan. Many donations were made to the Annual Giving Fund and the Annual Auction’s Fund-A-Need initiative for the Arts.
The following will benefit the ongoing growth of all our students and programs: traditional drum set from Ghana, a musician’s area rug for our kinesthetic early learners, iMac, iPads and collaboration stations for music composition, a 7cuft kiln for our students’ creative needs, math and reading curriculum review and complements, Yamaha cello and string instrument stand, robotics and science kits, storage and organization spaces for teachers and learners, SMART boards for interactive lessons, and much more.
The highlights are many because the gifts were many. Thank you very much to our generous donors and our generous community.
This week the 8th grade created hot air balloons that would help test the ideas of buoyancy and Archimedes Principle, along with Charles Law in Chemistry. Using paper, glue, tape and paperclips (to act as a ballast), they engineered balloons that they thought would create the largest lift when filled with heated air.
The students worked together to fill the balloon and create lift. After some on the fly design changes, and adding different amounts of air, we finally got lift off! The engineering processes was in full effect with the 8th graders, and when hitting snags in their designs, and having environmental challenges, they were able to tinker their designs and way of thinking to accomplish their goal. With the help of the wind as well, we noticed how fluids move in and push matter. Luckily, we got them all off the roof!
Every middle school student at Saklan had already known what “National Hispanic Heritage Month” was and when it was celebrated. To expand their knowledge, they watched a video called “Mes de la Herencia Hispana” created by CNN last week. After watching the video, they were able to share some additional facts about this celebration in the United States.
- It is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th. Independence Day in México and Chile fall within this 30-day period.
- It is celebrated by American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
- Hispanic Heritage week started in 1968 during President Lyndon Johnson.
- Hispanic Heritage celebrations expanded to 30-day under President Ronald Regan .
In the 4th to 8th Spanish Class, students colored flags from 20 different Hispanic countries that celebrate this important day.
This year Vickie Obenchain, Science Teacher, is going to be serving as a National Geographic Certified Educator Mentor for interested teachers. National Geographic Certified Educators are committed to teaching their students about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed, and make it a better place. Vickie will be helping teachers all over the US and here in California get certified through the program. Click here to learn more about the program.
The Spring Issue of The Saklan School Literary Magazine, Our Diverse Universe, was published last week. In this issue, students shared their ideas about the environment and how to make the world a more eco-friendly place. Thank you to everyone who submitted! A special thanks to the Editorial Crew: Brigitte Demers, Juliet Pecher, Kyle Yasumura, Skylar Ellis and Olivia Schindewolf. Here’s the electronic version of the magazine that you can share with your families and friends: