Head’s Corner – Special Edition

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Happy Friday!

First of all, I just want to thank you all for singing my favorite song “Boom Chicka Boom” at Flag this morning. What a great way to start the day!

Also thank you to the Kindergarten class for singing a beautiful Mother’s Day song. Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard working moms out there!

And thank you to the 1st grade for sharing all the pretty homes you made from around the world.

And thank you 3rd grade for telling us all about your field experiences at the One-Room Schoolhouse and Moraga Historical Society. We sure learned a lot!

We missed the 8th graders today but they are having fun learning about roller coasters at California’s Great America in Santa Clara. Next year, I declare that the whole school goes together!

Thank you for reading this and have a nice day.

Sincerely,

Your Head of School, Lilia Ghassemi

#SaklanConfident

The Spring Arts Festival Was a Success!

Last Friday, students participated in a schoolwide Scavenger Hunt before the start of the festival. The students partnered up to find the answers in the artwork that was displayed throughout the entire campus.

Following the Scavenger Hunt, the West African drumming with Mr. Isaac kicked off the start of the Festival. Before checking out all the art, families got to peruse the Book Fair while enjoying the West African music and dance. The Parent Association put on a mighty fine Barbecue to feed all the hungry people. The overall vibe of the event was wonderful and all the hard work the students put into their artwork through the year was apparent and admired.

Thank you to all the parent, student and teacher volunteers on the day of the event. You made it extra special and it is much appreciated! The winners of the Scavenger Hunt will be announced at Friday’s Flag.

#SaklanCreative

“There’s a Place for Us…”

On May 17th and 18th, the Middle School students will be performing West Side Story – School Edition at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. They have been exploring costumes, dance, vocal music, and acting skills, but have also been doing the vital work of connecting a great work of art to their everyday lives.

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West Side Story has become such a vital thread of American pop culture, and the issues that it brings to light exist in current events. Our students spent time this week connecting West Side Story to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, discussing tragedy and comedy, and making historical connections through the way characters dress, speak, and behave. Each student actor was challenged to think about how they would create a world with no hatred or violence, and what the lyrics in the song “Somewhere” mean to them on a personal level.

In one week, they will take these connections and bring their characters to life on the stage. You won’t want to miss it.

Click here for tickets.

#SaklanWellRounded

Homes Around the World

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Meet the architects and builders of fabulous homes from around the world in the first grade class! The students discussed what homes have in common, learned a lot about different countries, climate, culture and resources. The class worked very hard on this project. The students exhibited great collaboration throughout the process. It was a job well done. Way to go first grade!

Here is the list of kids with their countries:

Skyler – Singapore            Mia – Morocco             Willow – Austria

Kaylah – India                    Makena – Togo

Ochir – USA                         Camille – Greece

#SaklanHandsOn

Spinners are Fun!

The Hoot Owls had a very special visit from a real scientist, Sarah Shaffer of Sarah’s Science who is Carson’s grandmother! Carson picked out a super fun “experiment” for his grandmother to share with the class.

The Hoot Owls wired their own battery powered spinners! They connected all the wires by themselves and had a blast turning the spinners on and off. They watched as two colors blurred together to create a new color while the device was turned on. Carson also showed us how to make art by drawing on blank paper while it was spinning.  Thanks, Carson for sharing your super smart grandmother with us!

#SaklanHandsOn

Head’s Corner

If these Dollar Store Buckets could talk…….

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They would tell you about motivated 6th grade students who adopted endangered species and ran campaigns to help save each animal.

They would brag about the creativity of each campaign and the excitement that was generated.

They would entertain you with stories about the passionate and committed work on the part of Ms. O.

They would excitedly share with you how they were expecting just loose change to be dropped in their openings but found themselves stuffed with dollar bills (sometimes tens and twenties).

They would smile as they told you about the look on a Kindergartners face when she gave equal amounts to each bucket, and her parent proudly looked on.

They would amaze you with the trust that was present, as money sat out on the table (literally) for days, and no one disturbed it.

They would lecture you that a culture built on creativity, compassion and courage is not easily built and is even harder to keep.

And lastly, they would remind you how lucky we are…..

#SaklanCompassionate

Hoot Owls Explore Crab Cove

The Hoot Owls visited Crab Cove in Alameda last week! Even though the tides were too high for tide pooling, there was still a ton to learn and see. First the naturalist, Suzy, showed the Hoot Owls an aerial map of the Bay Area pointing out Moraga. She talked about how fresh water mixes with salt water in the Bay. Next, they headed inside to view a life-sized diorama of the Bay above and below the water. They learned about many different sea creatures and sea birds. This was a nice time when the Hoot Owls could share many things they already knew about sea creatures with each other and the naturalist. Some friends even got to try on crab costumes!

The Hoot Owls learned how to tell the difference between a female and male crab. Next, they headed to the beach for some hands-on exploration. The naturalist pointed out many different types of seaweed including something called mermaid’s hair. The Hoot Owls also discovered some tiny sea snails called bubble snails. The highlight of the walk on the beach was finding a real crab shell! The children also helped clean up the beach by collecting any trash they came across. Last but not least, the Hoot Owls observed some exciting living sea creatures in the visitor center. Some favorites were the large crabs and small shark! The Hoot Owls loved exploring, getting dirty and helping the Earth!

#SaklanExperiential

Storytelling Through Music

Storytelling is a vital part of the human condition. It is how we know our history, and how we learn from that history; how we begin to connect with others, and how we start to create a world that could be. The first stories were not written, they were told and shown; chanted and sung. Theater takes us back to the very roots of our evolution as humans, and allows us to be a part of great stories that have shaped our world.

Saklan’s Middle School students have been exploring those concepts by creating a production of West Side Story-School Edition. They began with self-identification exercises, and then connected the mental portraits of themselves to the characters in the play. They auditioned and were assigned roles, and began the process of telling this beautiful story.

West Side Story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and takes place in New York City in the 1950’s. The themes of this show tie in with the 8th grade Humanities curriculum, and involve Immigration and race relations, as well as generational gap issues; themes that are incredibly relevant in our students world.

While creating the show, we have formed a relationship with the dance studio Joy In Motion and our Middle School students have been exploring storytelling through dance firsthand. We would like to invite you into our rehearsal process by viewing the video above. And then would like to invite you to share this story by clicking this link, which will allow you to purchase tickets.

#SaklanWellRounded

Fifth Grade Outdoor Experience at Marin Headlands

Fifth grade students had an amazing experience during their three day two night outdoor experience. The goal of this experience is to broaden the student’s awareness of the natural world and their relationship to it through experiential learning. The students worked with a naturalist that created activities aligned with that focus.

The fifth graders participated in informative lessons, hikes and team building activities. They were able to learn about the many inhabitants that reside in the Marin Headlands and see them in their natural habitats. This included plant life, animal life, and previous human dwellers to this area.

The students also visited the Marine Mammal Center, which is an animal hospital dedicated to helping sick or injured animals. The students were able to make the connection of how water pollution affects the animals’ habitats and why it is so important to preserve the environment. It was truly an educational experience they will treasure.

#SaklanExperiential

Grades 1&2 Garden Project

Last week, the first and second grade classes were immersed in plants. Lots and lots of plants! The final stage of their garden project was to pull up the weeds and to turn the soil. Each group planted their chosen plants such as sedum, grandiflora, and pansies.

This project really stretched the children in areas such as collaboration, reasoning, persuasion, compromise, flexibility, and many more. Please stop by and appreciate the flowers they worked so hard to grow.

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After all their hard work, the students walked to Loard’s Ice Cream and had some treats. They had a great time!

#SaklanHandsOn