News from the Sports Court

The Saklan Suns basketball away team played two games this week. Monday’s game was in El Sobrante against the East Bay Waldorf School; and Tuesday’s game was in Berkeley against The Berkeley School.

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The games were an awesome basketball field experience. Good job to all the players who participated! The team has two games left during the last week of March. These games will be played here at home so come on out and cheer on the Saklan Suns! #SaklanWellRounded

Lower School Students See the Play “Brooklyn Bridge”

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On Thursday, March 7th, the 4th and 5th grade embarked on a journey down the hill into Lafayette to visit our local community theater, Town Hall Theater. We experienced a beautiful play called “Brooklyn Bridge,” which on the surface seems to be about a 5th grade girl trying to find a pen so she can write a report, but is really about human connectedness and the small things that bring us all together. The students were able to ask the actors questions after, and for our Saklan students, they were able to tie the experience of actors they saw to their own memory of what it feels like to be on stage.

Different students were able to understand the play on different levels. There were moments of stillness and silence when the meaning of the play reached their hearts, and all of them laughed at the “plant moving people.” Experiencing such beautiful theater so close by is thrilling, and helps our students to understand that they are a part of the larger artistic community in Lamorinda and the East Bay. They walked away joyful, inspired, and empowered. Many thanks to Town Hall Theater for hosting us! #SaklanExperiental

Shooting Rockets

Since February, the 8th grade has been learning physics in Science class. They have been learning about the forces on our planet: gravity, air resistance, friction and centripetal force. They have also been working on putting Newton’s three Laws of Motion into real life scenarios.

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In one example of this, the 8th grade had to create a rocket that could fight air resistance and gravity, and that could exhibit all of Newton’s three laws. After creating different paper airplanes and learning how different designs create different amounts of drag, their goal was to design a rocket that could not only defy gravity, but go the highest in the class.

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They worked in pairs to design different wings and different types of cones for the top of their rockets. When the time came to shoot them off, they used an altimeter to measure their height as they blasted off. While each reached amazing heights, one rocket design made it an astonishing 39 meters in the sky (approximately 128 feet), a first for the 8th grade rocket experiment. Congrats, Max and Harrison on your design! #SaklanHandsOn

Field Experience at San Francisco Symphony

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On Tuesday, March 5th, the Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades went out to explore our Bay Area community by traveling to the San Francisco Symphony. They attended a concert called “Play Me a Story,” designed to help students identify different sounds made by each unique instrument, and connect them to characters or events in a story. The students and teachers then heard a program that introduced them to the Overture from “Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Elephants” by Camille Saint-Saens, and “Scheherezade” and “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korskov, amongst others.

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The musicians in the symphony expertly demonstrated to our students how a flute can be a bird, how and oboe can be a duck, how a group of violins can be a swarm of bumblebees, and how a trombone and trumpet conversation can be a battle! Everybody’s favorite moment was when the percussion section played us the story of a ship crashing against the rocks!

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Introducing children to instrumental music at an early age is so important, but amongst the laundry list of reasons, one stands out; helping children experience the Symphony in person helps them understand fully that music is played by humans, not by computers, phones, or Alexa. Going outside our school gates and realizing that it is with our own bodies and brains that we create beauty helps our children realize that they too can create art, music or something beautiful, and that it is not out of their reach. For Saklan students, the experience helped them understand concepts reinforced every day in their classrooms and allows them to make a career connection into the greater community.

We 💜 SF Symphony! #SaklanExperiental

Third Annual Hula Hoop Contest

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Saklan’s Third Annual Hula Hoop Contest concluded last Friday. We started with twenty participants and after two contests the finalists finished off with a double hula hoop finale. Nine competitors used two hoops.

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After about ten minutes there were two people left: Chloe in fifth grade and Jack D. in second grade. The tiebreaker used three hula hoops!

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In the end, Chloe was the two hoop champion, Jack was the single hoop champion, and Lilia (third grade) was the no hoop champion. Good job to all those who participated! The contest was a fun way to spend time outside during recess. #SaklanWellRounded

The Great Migration

The Middle School is learning about Jacob Lawrence’s The Great Migration series. Students researched and chose a painting from his 60 panels of work.
The series depicts African Americans from the rural South who migrated to cities in the North due to the lack of social and economic opportunities in the South. The students did a rough sketch of the painting and are finishing the project using a torn paper collage method. #Saklancreative

In the Art Room: K-8th Auction Art Project

The Kindergarten class is the first group of kids to start the Auction Art Project. Each grade will learn about the African-American Expressionist Painter Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891-1978).

Each grade will create a finger painting design inspired by the work of Thomas. It was extra special to introduce Thomas to the Kindergarten because she was a teacher and artist as well. She taught Kindergarten for 38 years in the Public School system of Washington D.C. Her artwork is displayed in the Hirshhorn Museum (D.C.), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), National Museum of Women in the Arts (D.C.), and the White House Historical Association, just to name a few!

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The Kindergartners expressed so much happiness seeing Thomas’s work and were super excited to start finger painting! #Saklanwellrounded

4th Grade Spirit Animal Vessels

The very first part of this project starts with the Egyptian Canopic Jars. Each vessel has a different head as the lid (4 Sons of Horus): a human, hawk, baboon, and jackal. Each protected a part of the body. I asked the students, what do you want your vessel to protect and why? After the little history lesson, the students began making the vessel. They started building a basic coil pot and had some height requirements to reach, so the students made sure to measure their vessel as they kept building. After the vessel was complete, they got to start of the lid, which brings us to the spirit animal part.

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Miss Natalie asked the class, if you could be any animal, what would you be and why? After some fun discussion, the students took a quiz that would reveal their “true” spirit animal. Almost all of the students identified with their given spirit animal. Some did not match with the animals they chose personally but were excited and motivated after reading why the quiz had given them a specific animal. They were given the choice to accept the given spirit animal from the quiz or the animal they personally resonate with. They printed out several perspectives of each animal head and began sculpting! The students are so excited for their project to get fired in the kiln because that means next week we can start glazing! #Saklancreative

3rd Grade Weaving Project Continued…

After finishing their clay looms, the third graders used watercolor to paint the bisque ware. Using watercolor instead of glaze, the students can blend and overlay multiple colors. Miss Natalie sprayed the looms with a clear glaze overcoat before they started weaving.

Here, the students are learning to set up their warp yarn and begin the center of their circular weaving. The students worked together to help one another when we got a little stuck in the process. It was a great day of teamwork and problem solving. They were surely proud with the progress they made on their weavings! Next week, they will continue weaving with a second color.