Kinder Line Paper Sculptures

What can lines create? Paintings, shapes, sculpture and beyond. First, the students learn when something is flat, like a painting or drawing, it is two-dimensional. What THEY WILL CREATE pops up from the paper and you can SEE ALL THE WAY AROUND, making it SCULPTURE!

Using straight line strips of paper and glue, the Kinders create their own one of a kind standing sculpture. They learn how to make shapes, spirals, arcs, and zig zag lines all using a flat, straight line paper. The possibilities are endless to this sculpture project, as students can build on existing shapes.

Their imagination grows as they continue to build off each line of paper and relate it to something they have seen or imagined. Some students created their own sculpture garden, imagining where a person climbs and wonders. The kindergarteners showed great excitement and focus in building their line paper sculptures! Following this project, students will move onto two-dimensional line drawings and paintings.


Hot Air Balloons Over Saklan


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, 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.


This year, the students were able to create balloons that reached a higher altitude than any other year.


A New Parachute in Physical Education

“A circle is a round straight line with a hole in the middle.”

~Mark Twain~

This year The Saklan School got a brand new parachute for their physical education program! “Parachuting” is great fun and a healthy activity for students of all ages.

The parachute strengthens primarily shoulder, arm and hand muscles, and at the same time allows for practice of basic locomotor skills, such as running, leaping, skipping, and galloping. Teamwork and cooperation are essential in order to successfully complete many of the fun activities which can be created by the parachute.

Students of all grades love playing with the parachute. The non-competitive, rhythmic social interactions are a great start to a new school year.

Let’s go Saklan!


Bienvenido a la Clase de Español!


Bienvenido a la clase de ESPAÑOL! It is well said that students with proficient multilingual and technology skills will thrive in the future.


In Spanish class this year, Saklan is integrating DESCUBRE Supersite, an online learning environment to engage students and build their confidence in learning Spanish. With this curriculum, students have a number of digital formats to practice their Spanish. This can be used in the classroom as well as at home. Learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom!


West African Music

This year the Saklan West African Music program is embarking on an exciting and ambitious program. Each class is learning a different style of music from the Ewe speaking people of Ghana.

Ewe music is organized into different styles. Every style has its own set of rhythms, its own dance, and its own songs that are sung. Any one style could have countless drum patterns, choreographies or songs that are composed by master musicians. All these compositions fit within the style of music and are performed together.


The 4th grade is learning Agahu, a social dance that we performed at the Annual Spring Concert last year.


The 5th grade is studying Atsia, a social dance whose name literally means “style.”

The middle schoolers will learn a style called Tokoe which is a rite of passage dance performed by Ghanaian teenagers.

Each class will learn rhythms, choreographies and songs that belong to these styles throughout the school year. The students will improve their musicianship and build community. Saklan students also gain respect for other cultures and develop their listening skills.

Mr. Isaac teaches after school enrichment classes on Thursdays. Students can sign up for these classes if they are looking for more opportunities to learn and participate in the Saklan West African Music program.


ALL School Mural

The Saklan campus is getting a makeover! The old wall ball on the sports court is getting a fresh coat of paint that will catch everyone’s eye along the trail. The 5th-8th grade are currently working on brainstorming ideas with a powerful message and theme for the mural. They will draft drawn proposals to be given to the Art Teacher Ms. Natalie and Head of School Mr. O’Connell to decide which will ultimately become the final work of art. Once the artwork has been chosen, the whole school will help paint the mural.

A mural is any artwork that is painted on a wall. Looking back to the discovery of the Lascaux Cave paintings from the Paleolithic Era, the origin of murals provides us with knowledge that is still relevant of artists today. The inclination for artists to express themselves on any and all surfaces granted and available still exists. With muralists socially accepted and in high demand all over the world, I had to narrow down the history of murals I would teach the kids.

In the process of narrowing down content, Ms. Natalie chose Los Angeles (her hometown) and the Mission District of San Francisco. She grew up in awe of the scale and power these murals held in the City of Angels. The students will explore mural artists such as Judy Baca, Diego Rivera, the Oakland Mural Project, and community-based non-profit Precita Eyes Muralists in SF. These two regions of CA have a deep mural culture driven by social justice and providing space for people to tell the stories of history, not in the books. The painted walls provide much more than a pretty picture; they provide hope and power to the people.

The 5th grade is measuring out the mural space and finding the square footage.


Ms. O to Meet Nobel Laureates in Stockholm

SASTA-VictoriaObenchainThe Saklan School is pleased to announce that Vickie Obenchain, Science Teacher, has been selected to attend the Nobel Teacher Summit in Stockholm Sweden this October. The Nobel Prize Teacher Summit is an international teacher conference held in Stockholm every year. Teachers from over 30 countries meet Nobel Prize Laureates, top scientists and peace activists around a theme of great importance in education. The initiative builds on the ability of the Nobel Prize to inspire people to seek out knowledge, to ask questions, and to attempt to understand and improve the world. This year’s theme is Climate Change Changes Everything.


During her week in Stockholm, Ms. O will work with some of the world’s most prominent speakers, including: Hiroshi Amano (Nobel Prize in Physics), Beatrice Fihn (Nobel Peace Prize), Mario J. Molina (Nobel Prize in Chemistry), Johan Rockström (prominent environmental scientist).

Please join us in congratulating Ms. O.

For more information about the Nobel Teacher Summit, please click here.


Solar Ovens


The 6th grade has been learning about heat transfer around our planet, especially in regards to radiant energy from the sun. They spent time learning about the different types of wavelengths the sun gives off (the electromagnetic spectrum) and how each provide different kinds of energy. The students then looked at the suns potential. First, they saw how solar power works to excite electrons on a solar panel by racing solar panel race cars. Next, they learned how photos can be used to heat up water in solar farms to create steam to turn a turbine. And lastly, they created solar ovens where they used the suns energy and a mirrored cone to cook some cookies!


Lastly, as summer is quickly approaching, the students learned how to keep themselves safe from the sun. Wearing sunscreen, taking breaks in the shade, wearing sunglasses, and keeping hydrated and moisturized will keep everyone happier this summer and beyond!


Andy Goldsworthy Natural Sculptures

With the end of the year around the corner and the sunshine peaking out of the clouds, the 5th grade is doing art class outside. Students learned about the British artist Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy is famous for his site specific sculptures made up of natural materials such as rocks, leaves, and ice.

They discussed the concept of ephemeral art because most of Goldsworthy’s work does not physically exist in the present because of natural conditions destroying the work, but is documented by his photography. The students then went out and about the campus to gather twigs, leaves, and pine cones to arrange their nature sculptures throughout Saklan.


Science of Roller Coasters


The 8th graders culminating physics project was to design and create a roller coaster for a marble that utilized the forces the students learned about in class, had enough momentum to fulfill a loop, and had a slow down stop. Each group used their creativity, math skills and the scientific method to design, redesign, start over, and eventually create their coasters.

The students also got inspiration for their coasters by going to Physics Day at Great America, where they experienced the need for gravitational pull to power the coasters, centripetal force and air resistance to provide thrills, and of course friction to stop safely! You can see their amazing designs on the pictures. Our Science Teacher, Miss O, is extremely impressed with their efforts in this project. They are a great class and they are ready for high school!