Head’s Corner

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How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off

This morning we had our first Lower School Open House of the year with 17 people in attendance. As we prepared for the presentation, I started to think about the creativity part of our mission statement and how we encourage creativity in students. That process led me to one of my favorite articles on creativity. While the writer Adam Grant is talking about parenting, what he has to say applies to schools just as well. The read is well worth your ten minutes. Click here to read the article.

Warm regards,


Traveling Teddy Bear is Coming to Saklan

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.

First Grade Learns About Space

Star light, Star Bright. Constellations, What a sight!

These creative constellations, fashioned from marshmallows and q-tips, were made by the imaginative first grade class. The first graders presented all the facts and stories behind their individual constellations.

Each first grade kept a ” Moon Log” observing each night the moon and its form.

First Grade Field Trip to Space!

Our class had a field trip at Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland. We toured some of the exhibits, we saw a movie about the solar system, and learned more about the planets.

Coming soon… Simple Machines! Look forward to some imaginative inventions!

Halloween Couplets


The third grade has been working on using adjectives in their writing. Last week, they gave a spooky Halloween presentation for their parents where each student shared their original Halloween themed couplet.

Their poetry is on display in the third grade classroom. Please feel free to stop by to read their poems!

¡Feliz Día de los Muertos!


The Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, takes place during the first two days of November. While the holiday’s observances include spending time in cemeteries, making shrines to the dead, and displaying skull and skeleton decorations, the occasion is joyful, rather than scary. Death isn’t seen as the end of one’s life, but as a natural part of the life cycle. During Día de los Muertos, it is said that the spirits of the dead come back to visit the living. First those who died as babies come home, then the older children, and finally those who died as adults.

Students set up an altar or ofrenda on the middle school deck. They decorated them festively with bright colors and had photographs, things that the dead people enjoyed, and items representing the four elements: fire (candles), water (drinks), earth (fruit), and wind (fluttering tissue-paper decorations.) Decorating with happy and cheerful calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons) and eating pan de muerto (bread of the dead, made in honor of the holiday) is part of the Día de los Muertos celebration.

Autumn Leaves

This month, the Hoot Owls have been learning about deciduous trees, trees that lose their leaves. With leaves falling all around us, the Hoot Owls made leaf prints to save the image of the leaf after the real leaf has crumbled and blown away. To start, Hoot Owls chose a leaf they found most interesting from a basket of different types of leaves.

Next, Hoot Owls painted the leaf paying close attention to the shape of the leaf and the veins running through the leaf. Step two was to firmly press a piece of paper over the top of the leaf. The most exciting part was pealing the leaf off to reveal a beautiful leaf print that could last forever.

Fourth Grade Science

Fourth graders explored what type of bird beak is best for eating different types of foods. They are learning that birds have unique adaptations that help them survive.

Each student will be doing research on a California bird of their choice to discover what other adaptations birds have to help them survive in this location.

Dia de los Muertos


The students at Saklan are preparing the altar for the Dia de los Muertos celebration which takes place Oct. 31st – Nov. 2nd. This is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico as well as in the United States. This Middle School elective course is taught by the 4th – 8th grade Spanish teacher Maestra Padilla and K – 8th Art instructor Ms. Natalie.


Here the students are painting the skulls they sculpted in clay after making traditional flores de papel (paper flowers) that will surround the altar space. Dia de los Muertos is a time when people come together to remember and honor those that have passed. The students will be choosing people in the community and prominent figures that they will honor in the altar.

All About Mammals


This week, the amazing second graders concluded their Mammal Unit with their in-class presentations. First, the students researched facts about mammals.

Then, using note cards, presented an oral report on a mammal of their choice  for their parents and class. Great work second graders!

Sixth Grade Yosemite Trip


Last week, the 6th grade took off to Yosemite for a week of hands-on science, team building, connecting with nature, learning about themselves, and becoming more independent. It was one of our best trips ever. Between hiking below Half Dome, climbing through giant sequoias, seeing amazing wildlife and supporting each other when they needed it, I know they won’t forget their Yosemite trip. Here are some of the thoughts from their week away.


“Another motive of going to Yosemite, besides the educational part, is that it’s a great class bonding experience where you can hang out with people you maybe weren’t so close to and leave with them being one of your best friends! Also, it’s an awesome experience. Up close with nature you see animals and your classmates being crazy! It’s just an awesome experience!”– Elishka

“Although I didn’t have a favorite part about the trip (the whole experience was amazing), I especially enjoyed the bear cave. It was on our second day in Yosemite. I was with my trail group, and we climbed through tight spaces. We were standing in front of the cave, and our leader José led us to a small hole, and then he started going in. At first I had thought that he was just joking, because the crack looked too tiny to fit in. But soon enough, I was inside, and it wasn’t as tiny as I had expected it to be!” – Isabel S.


“My favorite memory in Yosemite was probably when Ryder, Oliver, Reese and I set the record for the most people inside of a bear box together. First went Reese, then Ryder, then Oliver and I went in. “Oh boy was it uncomfortable”- Oliver. “Worst Experience Ever”- Carson. “I was squashed against my applesauce”- Reese – Carson

“I felt connected to the rest of my class because I talked to new people and learned more about them. Specifically, I felt connected to those who were in my hiking group. We bonded over silly things and we told funny stories about our siblings. When we did the caterpillar line and the spider tunnels, we built trust for each other and learned to guide others in the right direction.”– Makenna