Maestra Morales and Ms. Natalie are working on cross curricular material with the 5th Grade Spanish class to bridge expression through art and relevant material covered in Spanish class this year.
The mural preparation lasted weeks where the students explored symbolism, design and historical themes. The Mural project covers the history of Los Zapatistas, Standing Rock and the United Farm Workers Movement in California. The project is set to be completed by June 5th. Please come by and see it in the library soon!
Third graders studied the pioneers and worked on projects to show their learning. Their projects included quilt square watercolor paintings depicting what pioneers saw as they traveled west, and model covered wagons containing objects that pioneers would have carried in their wagons. They also incorporated lessons from their narrative writing unit into their study of the pioneers. They made pioneer journals, in which they created a pioneer character, developed a scenario that character experienced, and wrote journal entries from that character’s point of view. The skills they drew from their narrative writing unit include using graphic organizers, such as a story mountain, to create the structure of their story, writing Show, Don’t Tell sentences in which they explored what the characters feel through picturing their faces and actions, and using their storyteller’s voice, telling the story bit by bit with description. They read Little House on the Prairie and students displayed their learning in a comprehension interactive notebook. As the culmination of their unit, students presented their pioneer characters and journal entries to the parents, reading and telling their stories.
Our graduation ceremony will feature student performances, an entrance procession of all of our classes and the whole school singing our traditional graduation song, “In My Life.”
There will be a brief slideshow highlighting the growth of our graduates and special memories of the middle school years.
Advisors will introduce each graduate and eighth graders will present a shorter version of their graduation speech. Seeing our graduates share what Saklan has meant to them in their own unique and eloquent ways is a very special tradition.
The ceremony highlights what makes Saklan so unique and is a wonderful way to end the year and celebrate our Saklan community.
This last week has been a whirlwind of outstanding activities and events at Saklan. It started last Friday with a magical production of The Drowsy Chaperone at the Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. It was wonderful to watch the enthusiasm and talent of our middle school in putting on this clever and extremely funny musical. A standing ovation goes out to Grace Chaffey and all of our middle school students for this delightful feat of courage, confidence and creativity.
This was followed by an impressive Spring Arts Festival. Art of all kinds, and from every student, was displayed throughout the Saklan campus. As you know, creativity is an important cornerstone of the Saklan mission, and the level of creativity seen in the art on display was remarkable. I was also pleased to see the Family Groups integrated into the Art Festival and was very much impressed by our Family Group leaders who they took their groups through the different stations of the exhibit and engaged the students in discussion and reflection on the works of art. Many thanks to Natalie Palms for organizing the Art Festival, and more importantly for inspiring the students to produce such great works of art. Also, thanks to Mrs. C and Miss Amanda for contributing art from the PreK. Please look for an ongoing display of the art on our video monitor in the entrance way.
The Art Festival also resulted in many parents visiting our Book Fair. Thanks to Book Fair Coordinator, Vivian Ma, and her team for offering an interesting variety of books. To make the Book Fair truly special, we were able to host four local authors on campus to share their works and talk to our students about the creative process and the art of writing.
To wrap up this great week at Saklan, we are all looking forward to Movie Under the Stars, which starts tonight at 6:00PM.
The Hoot Owl class has been learning about animals that live in and around ponds. After many art projects, books and songs, the Hoot Owls went on a field trip to Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. It was a fun day walking around the pond, having a picnic lunch, and playing on the playground.
As part of the 7th grade biology unit on animals, we look at different phylum found in that kingdom. We talk about the characteristics and important adaptations each have for survival. In doing so, the students take part in multiple dissections in order to learn and compare the different anatomy’s of common organisms.
So far, they have dissected a squid (part of the mollusk phylum), worm (the annelid phylum) and a sea star (a member of the echinoderm phylum). They dissected their first vertebrate, a fish, this past week. Each organism has a different circulatory system, number of hearts, different sequence of body parts, and some have no brain at all. From this, the students have been able to see how diverse all life is.
On Saturday, May 20th from 1:00-3:00, Saklan will host an Author Visit and Reading. Local authors Sue Tenerowicz and Lynn Champagne will read their “Seussical” adventure book, taking young readers on a marvelous journey of rhyming and hunting for letters from A-Z. Following the reading there will be a book signing and children will go on a Letter Hunt on the Saklan playground.
This event is free of charge and open to the public. Saklan families are encouraged to attend. Recommended for Pre-K through 2nd graders.
On Thursday, May 18th, we will have the annual Spring Arts Festival. Our art teacher, Ms. Palms, has been doing great work with our students and I am confident that you will be impressed by the quality and variety of art that has been produced here at Saklan. Come see for yourself. The art show opens at 3:00PM and runs until 4:00PM. Each student in grades PreK-8 will have at least one piece of art on display.
The Book Fair, organized by the Parent Association, runs from Thursday, May 18 to Friday, May 19 in the Saklan Library. We have again collaborated with Orinda Books to offer a great selection of books for all ages. Included in this will be a large selection of books from the Summer Reading Lists for grades 2-8. Please come and visit the Book Fair which will be open from 8-10AM and 2-4PM on each of the days.
In conjunction with our Book Fair, we have organized a series of author visits next week. On Wednesday, Lily Williams, author and illustrator of “If Sharks Disappeared,” will talk to our PreK-3rd grade students. On the same day, Mitali Perkins, author of ten books for 9-13 year olds, “Tiger Boy” and “Rickshaw Girl” will speak to our 3-8th graders. On Friday, we will have two popular local authors visit. Lisa Bakos will speak to our PreK-2nd graders and Penny Warner will speak to our 3rd-7th graders. Books for all of these authors will be on sale at the Book Fair.
While visiting the campus next week, have a look at our lost and found bins that are currently overflowing.
Last Friday, the 8th grade class went to Great America to put their physics to the test by riding roller coasters and other amusement rides, determining speed, acceleration, and which forces were acting on them. Then, they applied Newtons 3 Laws of Motion to see how physics plays a key role in the design, fun and safety of roller coasters. Students timed the rides, wore accelerometers to test the amount of g-force the ride exerted on their body and filled out a packet of physics! It was a fun day and a great last 8th grade field trip!
Once back, they worked to create promotional, educational posters for their rides. Here is a sample!