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!


Saklan’s Annual Art Gallery

Saklan students have been working hard all year with Ms. Natalie, learning about different art mediums and styles and ways to express themselves through art.

The culmination of all that hard work is Saklan’s Online Art Gallery, which launches today. Like last year, the students’ artwork will be displayed on Artsonia, which all Saklan families can access. In addition to viewing art works, you can also comment on different pieces, or purchase commemorative items featuring your child’s artist masterpiece.

Students were able to select for themselves which pieces they wanted to feature in the gallery, continuing the focus on self-expression. We hope you’ll enjoy a taste of these pieces below, but please be sure to browse the full gallery on Artsonia.

A huge thank you to Ms. Natalie for making this happen, and to Kim Anderson and Daisy Coby for helping to photograph all of the student work. We’re so proud of what all of our Saklan artists have accomplished this year!


Eighth Grade Goes for a Ride

Last Friday, the eighth grade class headed out for a field experience to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where they put their physics knowledge to the test by riding roller coasters and other amusement rides.

While they were there to have fun, they were also there to determine speed, acceleration, and which forces were acting on them throughout the different rides.

Students applied Newton’s Three Laws of Motion to see how physics plays a key role in the design, fun, and safety of roller roasters. They timed the rides, wore accelerometers to test the amount of g-force the ride exerted on their body, and filled out a packet to record all of their physics observations.

It was a fun day for everyone, and a special final field experience for the eighth grade class.


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!


Ending the Year with Roller Coasters

It has certainly been a roller coaster of a year, so it only makes sense that the eighth grader’s final physics project would be to build roller coasters of their own.

Students were tasked with designing and creating a roller coaster for a marble that: utilized the forces learned about in class, had enough momentum to fulfill a loop, and had a slow down stop. The groups of students had to use their creativity, math skills, and the scientific method in order to design, evaluate, start over, redesign, and eventually finalize their coasters.

Before getting started, students found inspiration for their designs from informational video clips, where they learned the need for gravitational pull to power the coasters, centripetal force and air resistance to provide thrills, and of course friction to stop safely!

This project has its challenges, including aligning creatively with your design partners, troubleshooting problems with limited time, and getting the proper speed for the coaster to work.

We are extremely impressed the effort and enthusiasm the eighth graders put into this project, and are excited to see them using the skills they’ve learned at Saklan, which will serve them well as they head off to highschool!


Call for Library Books

The end of the year is approaching fast, which means students are running out of time to return library books! As we head into the last two weeks of school, please check in with your student to see if they have any checked out library books, and remind them to return any books before the last day of school.

Ms. Meredith and Ms. Joy will be sending out overdue emails next week, and we appreciate your help in ensuring your student gets their books returned on time. Thank you!


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!


Saklan’s Young Scientists

The young scientists in Saklan’s Owl Class have continued to learn more about science topics with Ms. Jessica and Ms. O! They learned about magnets and how different poles attract while the same ones repel, then conducted an experiment with milk, dish soap, and food coloring. By pouring colored milk into pans of dish soap, the Owls could clearly see that the dish soap repelled the milk right away.

Ms. Jessica’s Owls also got to experience a bit of the “icky” side of being a scientist by observing a squid dissection with Ms. O. The students were able to see all the different parts of the squid, including its beak, tentacles, throat, gills, eyes, and ink sac!

Many of the Owls were not fans of how stinky the squids were, but overall, they did seem to be very interested in biology. We are so proud of the curiosity these budding scientists continue to show!


Third Grade Spanish

In third grade Spanish class, the students are learning about the 21 countries in the world where Spanish is spoken. They also learned that there are more than 500 million people in the world who speak Spanish, a number that continues to grow.

To fully appreciate the diversity of Spanish-speaking countries, each third grader picked a specific country to learn more about. They explored their chosen country’s typical food, music, dance, and sports. They also researched two famous people from their chosen country.

Third graders put together poster boards display all they had learned, so they could share it with their fellow students.