TKG LISTEN: Simplify

“Simplicity is an acquired taste. Mankind, left free, instinctively complicates life.”
Katherine Gerould (1879 – 1944)

In our efforts to live the ‘good life’, we can easily find ourselves overwhelmed by seemingly endless choices, decisions and activities.

Here are a few ways to help slow down, and give ourselves time to remember who we are and what’s really important in our lives.

And as we simplify, the environment also benefits. READ MORE at EarthEasy.com…

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 16

All Together
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Greetings Community!  We invite you to join us at our Enrollment Information Night this Wednesday.  Please invite your friends!  Thank you for your support.  We are so lucky to have you and look forward to seeing you again soon!

****5 to 7 Year Class Highlights***

Field Day
Our first visit to Featured Park was filled with many experiences: play structures, swings, sand, caterpillars, bees, picking up litter, using a shared space, helping each other clean up, and as always, pushing our growth edges.

Meeting Discussions
Word of the week was WELCOME and we talked about what it feels like to visit a new place or meet new people, and how we can help welcome people. Wednesday we welcomed a new student, Thursday we were intrigued by the Glendale fire, and Friday the beach was on our collective mind.

Math
Tuesday was pajama day and we spent the day working on our sleepover math books and acting out the book that inspired our bunk bed stories. Sprouts came over to Yvette’s house for a sleepover and I was Aunt Michelle Kate. With Yvette and 9 students our number was 10, and they tricked me many ways and discovered that 10=5+5=2+8=4+6. Who knew math was so much fun?!

Language topics
While a handful of students were reading The Sleepover, they used many strategies: sight words, phonetic reading, and skipping the word and using the context. In this process I realized that no one in the group knew the word down, so our next word of the week is DOWN!

Books and conversations
With the fire on our mind, I went with the group energy and we skipped Charlotte’s Web to focus on the fire and to process more about what is happening in the world. Next week we will continue fire conversations, learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and explore the world of Fern, Wilbur, and Charlotte once again.

Emerging Interests/Ongoing projects
We are thinking about how to get the balls, that have been kicked or launched up to the roof, down. The current idea is making stairs.

Rainbow loom! Bring your bands and looms this Tuesday and Wednesday for some math connections and deep learning projects.

Social Emotional
We continue to reconnect after the winter break and are working on using our words, I messaging, perception taking, and slowing down before jumping to conclusions.

***7 to 9 Year Class Highlights***

This week we explored the meaty subject of civil rights as we reflected on our school holiday on Monday honoring the important work done by Martin Luther King, Jr.  We went on a journey with Ruby Bridges, a first grader who integrated an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960. The reading of her experience mesmerized all of us and made us wonder so many things about skin color, the origins of our different families, the history of our country in regards to Abraham Lincoln, slavery, and segregation.   We then each took a different viewpoint and captured that by working with watercolor to create an image of one of the people involved in the history of the time. At home, continue the dialogue about segregation and integration by exploring the website: Rubybridges.com.

Math
This week, Hayden, Bennett and Teddy discovered a new game that lent itself beautifully to thinking about algebra. We took turns tossing a velcro ball into Velcro discs that each had a numbered bullseye on it. We kept track of our scores with chalk, connecting to our recent learning about money to help us add multiples of 25.  Then, we compared our scores using the <, > symbols in order to determine the champion. I look forward to playing again! At home, practice counting by 25’s using the knowledge of quarters as a resource.

In addition, on Thursday, when we took our learning on the road and headed to the beach, we used the sand as our canvas to create clocks. We started by learning about how sundials were used in ancient times to tell time and we created our own. Then, each student drew their own clock and showed different times on it. At home, if your child is still learning to tell time, start with time to the hour and half hour. Once that is mastered, time in 5 minute increments can be explored.

Artful learning
This week, Madison and Isabella jumped into the creation of their artists’ journals. These are journals we will use to reflect upon our experiences at school, capturing our learning and growth. We will first apply gesso to the page to reinforce it so we can paint, collage and even sew it.  At home, check-out the websiteartistsjournals.com to learn more about this creative way to archive and process.

Science
While at the beach, we were fortunate to have a private experience with Mark, a Redondo beach lifeguard, who introduced us to the impact of off shore breezes on an object thrown into the tide, what rip tides are and how to spot rivers of water within the surf and how to most effectively deal with jelly fish and stingray venom. So much relevant science in our lives!

Have a wonderful week!

CONNECTION LINKS
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, Founding Teacher/5 to 7 Classroom
Yvette Fenton/Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Jaclyn Epstein-Calvert/Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Saundi Williams, 5 to 7 Room Parent
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***Enrichment Classes
You can still enroll! Class schedule is (all begin right after school):
Tuesday – Theatre
Wednesday – Yoga
Thursday – Japanese
Friday – Drumming; begins Jan 31st

***Parent Enrollment Info Night – Wednesday Jan 22
Invite your friends to come visit us this Wednesday at 7:00pm!  Registration available here.

***P.E.T. Workshop, Tuesday Jan 28th, 7:00pm @ TKG
Please join us for this valuable communication workshop. Jennifer Lehr has called it, the philosophy that best supports parent/child communication as partners. Register HERE!

TKG Principals
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN SCIENCE, students are sensory learners, we honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

UPSTAIRS
Mathematics: Operations & Algebraic Thinking
Understand addition, and understand subtraction (K)

CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.1 Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.2 Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.3 Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).

English Language Arts: Reading – Foundational Skills (K)
Print Concepts

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.1 Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
Phonological Awareness
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2 Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
Phonics and Word Recognition
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3a Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.

DOWNSTAIRS
Mathematics
Geometry (2)
Reason with shapes and their attributes.

CCSS.Math.Content.2.G.A.1 Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.1 Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.

English Language Arts:
Writing (2)
Text Types and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.3 Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

Production and Distribution of Writing
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

FEATURED WORKSHOP: P.E.T. Workshop at TKG
Jan 28th at 7:00pm
Please Register!

Learn about P.E.T., highly recommended by Jennifer Lehr of “Good Job and Other Things.”  TKG is happy to announce that Meike Lemmens will facilitate this Intro Workshop and we hope to begin a workshop series for Teachers and Parents, soon after.  To learn more about P.E.T. and T.E.T, click here.

From the TKG Office

  • Have you paid January tuition? Thank you!
  • TKG Office Hours are this Tuesday from 9am. Monica and Trish are available (weekly) for business and conversation.
  • Board Meeting is this Thursday.  7pm.  Guests are welcome to drop in to general forum at the beginning of meeting.
Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions.
The Four Agreements
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best

In Education News

Reframing Failure as Iteration Allows Students to Thrive

At New York City’s game-based learning school Quest to Learn, sixth graders take risks in the process of designing a Rube Goldberg machine, which enables more creativity, innovation, and engagement.

WATCH THIS…

Are the Humanities dead?
If you would like to unsubscribe please click here.

 

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 14 (7 to 9 Class)

All Together
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful, restful, connected holiday! I want to thank those of you who were able to join us for our drumming holiday gathering. Our time creating rhythm together, drumming towards 2014 was so inspiring with the free flow of drumming, dancing, drawing and munching. I look forward to re-connecting Monday at South Park! Everyone can bring a scooter and a helmet and we will have a blast!

After 2 weeks of being unplugged, I am ready to get back into our dynamic community learning zone! Although I promised myself the time to just do nothing over the break in order to rejuvenate, those brilliant faces were never far from my vision. As we welcome in the year of the horse, I look forward to co-constructing it in our community of learners.

We will kick it off by searching for the answers to these all important questions:

Math
What would it be like to do in-depth math investigations that last a few weeks? How do we find a way to share and prove our mathematical ideas with each other?

Language topics
Are we still wanting a class pet? Have we thought through all the steps? Have we coordinated with all the stakeholders?

Social Emotional
Does our classroom Bill of Rights capture what our hearts, brains and bodies need in order to learn and feel safe? How do we make sure each person in our community of learners feels heard and respected, honored and appreciated?

Let’s do this!

CONNECTION LINKS
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Jaclyn Epstein-Calvert/Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***Monthly Parent Meeting – Jan 16th, 7pm
This is a Parent Participation event and one parent must attend. Thank you!

***FIELD/PARK DAY NOTES
Tomorrow is Park Day…Don’t forget sunscreen! Forecast calls for Mostly Sunny with a high of 76°  Scooters are welcome with helmets.  Helmets are required to ride any scooter or ride on.

***Community Field Trip Day
Plans are underway for our next community trip.  Please save the date: Friday Jan 31st.

TKG Principals
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN SCIENCE, students are sensory learners, we honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teacher wonderings for the week:
How I Help All My Students to Be Good at Math…READ More!

MON Jan 6
EL/MS/RD

THUR Jan 9
ME

FRI Jan 10
TV

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions.

PT TOOLBOX: Using I-messages
“I” messages support: Letting Them Know The Real You, Self-Disclosure, stopping trouble Before It Starts and Enhancing and Strengthening Relationships - GET SOME TOOLS, Here!

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

Mathematics – Standards for Practice
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution.

CCSS.Math.Practice.MP3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments.

English Language Arts – Anchor Standards for Language
Conventions of Standard English
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.1 
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Knowledge of Language
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

FEATURED WORKSHOP: P.E.T. Workshop at TKG
Jan 28th at 7:00pm

-Please REGISTER here-
Learn about P.E.T., highly recommended by Jennifer Lehr of “Good Job and Other Things.”  TKG is happy to announce that Meike Lemmens will facilitate this Intro Workshop and we hope to begin a workshop series for Teachers and Parents, soon after.  To learn more about P.E.T. and T.E.T, click here.

From the TKG Office

  • After-School Enrichment: Be on the look out for a separate email outlining our after-school program, scheduled to start Jan 13th.  Options will include: theatre, yoga, japanese and drums!
  • TKG Office Hours are this Friday from 9am.
  • Monthly Board Meeting: scheduled for Thursday Jan 23rd at 7:00pm

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions.

The Four Agreements
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best

Resource Of The Week

The Truth About The Left Brain / Right Brain Relationship
by TANIA LOMBROZO

Sometimes ideas that originate in science seep out into the broader culture and take on a life of their own. It’s still common to hear people referred to as “anal,” a Freudian idea that no longer has much currency in contemporary psychology. Ideas like black holes and quantum leaps play a metaphorical role that’s only loosely tethered to their original scientific meanings.

What about the idea that some people are more right-brained and others more left-brained? Or that there’s a distinctive analytic and verbal style of thinking associated with the left hemisphere of the brain, and a more holistic, creative style associated with the right? Are these scientific facts or cultural fictions?

An infographic reproduced just last month at Lifehack.org, for example, promises to explain “why you act the way you do” by revealing “which side of your brain you tend to use more.” An article at Oprah.com explains “how to tap into right-brain thinking.” And decades of research using behavioral and neuro-scientific techniques do reveal READ MORE…

Are the Humanities dead?

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 12/Year 1 (7 to 9 Students)

 

All Together
“Name the greatest of all inventors: Accident.”
― Mark Twain
For this newsletter, I will break from the traditional relating of subject specific learning to let you know about some of the shifts in our culture of relating to each other and how our learning space and time has transformed in response to student and teacher needs and interests.

Our environment
Students have settled into a new meeting space, where it feels easier to stay connected as a group. Ask your sprout about how they feel in their new meeting spot.

Purposeful learning (by students and facilitators), through focused lessons, is now happening joyfully in the “laboratory.”  In this special area, we have all agreed to enter with the mindset of “dissecting ideas” in order to advance our thinking.  Ask your student to describe laboratory.

Students have been trying out some “private” spots in the room – for when they need to be alone or focus. Guess what?! 2 of these special spots are behind the curtain (wee!) Ask your child if s/he has an idea for another personal space that might work for them.

Our schedule
The overall schedule hasn’t changed but how we visualize it on our planning board has.  We have arranged our project cards so that the day looks actionable (so we focus on the general, big-picture activities). Every day will be a consistent, predictable routine, so that the students will be confident of the flow of the day. Every day, for each of the learning times, I will note on the planning board which individual or small groups I will meet with in the laboratory to address academic interests/ needs.  See what your sprout things about changes to the schedule of the day and what they learned in Lab this week.

Now we know that after every working time, we come back together to reflect, present and debrief.  Ask your child if they have presented at a reflection meeting.

During deep learning, specific enrichment activities will be offered in the laboratory. Do you, as a parent, have something you love that you want to share with us?  Poetry, chemistry, filmmaking?  All  topics will be explored.

Our relationships
Our new meeting space is cozy with all of us in it! In this new space, I capitalized on our friendly game of winning and losing at the park when we had a student vs. adults race. That was fun because we all agreed to have “winners” and” losers”, but in the classroom, we all agreed that it doesn’t feel right to have the same concept around student-teacher and student-student interactions related to learning.  I shared that my goal is to be a part of a community of learners in which we all, teachers and students, “win” in all circumstances. In order for this to happen, everyone in the community has a right to share their needs and work together to create a culture of everyone’s needs being met. I have been modeling I- messaging for sharing my needs and will continue supporting the students to do the same for themselves. Then we can take those needs and problem solve toward a solution where we have consensus on how we will proceed. This is a process that takes time and as we have begun to commit to this process, we are relating to each other in more trusting, authentic ways.  Ask your child what consensus means to them.

Thank you families.  Your support and our ongoing dialogue about how to serve our students and the community have paved the way for what is already a transformative and adventurous time at TKG!

CONNECTION LINKS
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Jaclyn Epstein-Calvert/Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***FIELD/PARK DAY NOTES
We are at Park tomorrow…one of our final visits before we change locations. Please pack layers so your sprout stays warm. Please remind them to stay hydrated and stay checked-in with teachers and parents. Forecast calls for Sunny  and Wind with a high of 62°F.

***CLASSROOM SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • old sheets (bedding)
  • milk cartons
  • old cardboard boxes

***Dec 20th Clean Up
Please make plans to spend a couple of hours at TKG after 12pm to help your sprouts pack up their classroom.

TKG Principals
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN SCIENCE, students are sensory learners, we honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teacher wonderings for the week:
How can we really can make sure everyone gets what they need all of the time?  There are 6 steps: READ ON…

MON Dec 9
EL/MS/JS

THUR Dec 12
ME

FRI Dec 13
RD

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions.

PT TOOLBOX: Using I-messages
“I” messages support: Letting Them Know The Real You, Self-Disclosure, stopping trouble Before It Starts and Enhancing and Strengthening Relationships - GET SOME TOOLS, Here!

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

Mathematics – Standards for Practice
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution.

CCSS.Math.Practice.MP3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments.

English Language Arts – Anchor Standards for Language
Conventions of Standard English
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.1 
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Knowledge of Language
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

FEATURED WORKSHOP: P.E.T. Workshop at TKG
Jan 28th at 7:00pm
Learn about P.E.T., highly recommended by Jennifer Lehr of “Good Job and Other Things.”  TKG is happy to announce that Meike Lemmens will facilitate this Intro Workshop and we hope to begin a workshop series for Teachers and Parents, soon after.  To learn more about P.E.T. and T.E.T, click here.

From the TKG Office

  • DEC Tuition is DUE!
  • Spanish Class tuition is due
  • Drum Circle, is on for this Friday.  Please give $15 to Trish by Thursday morning to confirm you attendance.
  • TKG Office Hours are this Friday from 9 to 12. Monica and Trish are available (weekly) for business and conversation.
  • Monthly Board Meeting is tomorrow night from 7 to 9 at China W’s Bistro.  Guests are welcome from 7 to 8p

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions.

The Four Agreements
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best
 

 

Resource Of The Week

2013 Holiday Toy Drive begins November 25th! 
Boxes are located at the Torrance Police Department and Fire Stations

The Torrance Police Department is once again teaming up with the Torrance Fire Department and holding a holiday toy drive for those less fortunate. We are looking for new unwrapped toys and gift cards for older kids. All of the toys will be given to needy children here in the city of Torrance.

The drop-off boxes will be located at the following locations:
- Torrance Police Department front lobby , located at 3300 Civic Center Dr
- Torrance Fire Station #1, located at 1701 Crenshaw
- Torrance Fire Station #2, located at 25135 Robinson Way
- Torrance Fire Station #3, located at 3535 182nd St
- Torrance Fire Station #4, located at 5205 Calle Mayor
- Torrance Fire Station #5, located at 3940 Del Amo Blvd
- Torrance Fire Station #6, located at 21401 Del Amo Circle Dr
The drop-off boxes will be at the locations from November 25th to December 24th.
.
For more information regarding drop-off locations, click here

Are the Humanities dead?

TKG LEARN: Trust.

Trust

by Lisa A. McCrohan//BarefootBarn Blog

trust

I hurriedly stuck my hand into my bag looking for my keys. Rushing, feeling frustrated, feeling like there were too many things to do and not enough time, getting irritated with myself for not being compassionate with myself because “I should know better” (how’s that for a mindfulness teacher’s guilt?!)…instead of finding my keys, I pulled out my daughter’s bracelet she made at church with “TRUST” spelled out on little beads that her tiny hands strung together.

I sat there on my front step, paused with the bracelet in my hand, noticing how some of the letters were upside down. And I started to smile. I chuckled out loud, let out a long exhale, looked down at this beautiful bracelet in my hand as I thought, “The holy is in the imperfect. Trust that.”

When we need a reminder of what we can trust in:

~ Trust that everything is imperfect and that’s ok.

~ Trust that things don’t have to be perfect to be ok.

~ Trust that every mom struggles with who she is and who she wants to be.

~ Trust that your partner wants you for who you are – post-baby body, ponytail in a baseball cap, and just. as. you. are.

~ Trust that your children see you more kindly and more clearly than you see yourself.

~ Trust that there is no one right way to follow your heart.

~ Trust that you were put on this planet for a reason and that even your self-doubt can’t get in the way of you shining, making a difference in this world.

~ Trust that being broken opens you up to a deeper power within you and a deeper sense of compassion.

~ Trust that it’s not all up to you, that something bigger is holding you, inviting you to laugh, and offering you deep rest.

~ Trust that by doing what brings you joy in your daily life – one little decision at a time to follow that joy in your heart – you lead a beautiful life and it inspires others to do the same.

I say I want to drop the perfect – the idea that there is a perfect way to love, parent, cook, work – but the fact is that many of us have spent decades believing there’s a “perfection” to be obtained. And that conditioning takes daily doses of softening, gentleness and compassion to shift. Little daily doses of “this is perfectly imperfect and that’s not only ok – it’s beautiful. It’s holy.”

So, mama..

READ MORE at BAREFOOT BARN!

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 1

All Together
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~ Lao Tzu
…and then there were 18! We had a great start to our school year. Where else do you start with a pillow fight on the first day of school? or a community day in nature, the very next day? The TKG way…

Meeting Discussions: What is school? How do we want to feel at school? Starting our Bill of Rights we all shared we like to feel happy, excited, and safe at school. At TKG we have the right to: learn, eat, have fun, be creative, draw, choice, be heard, have feelings, everyone doesn’t have to do the same thing at the same time, try anything else (new things).  How can we be mindful of our bodies, our brains and our hearts when we are together?

Math: Counting Collections! This week we counted independently, found just right numbers, estimated before counting, and counted with a partner. Anna and Alex counted rocks, but then found another container of rocks. Their plan was to dump out the rocks and count again. Michelle challenged them to find a way to do it without starting over. They decided to start with the number they knew and continue counting; 28, 29, 30… 52. Mathematicians call this “counting on”.  We were introduced to Madison and Bennett’s strategy for keeping track of groups you count- Touch and Push to the Side.  Question for next week: What are some strategies for estimating how many might be in a collection?

Language topics: Characters, Main Character, Character’s attributes and feelings. When creating stories students characters included snails, spiders, lizards, chickens, dogs, their dog, their family, and themselves. Michelle challenged students to recreate their story with their character in different areas.  As students created stories about what school is, several foci emerged.   Character Development was explored by Isabella, Simone, Hayden and Madison. With the desire to draw comics, Bennett, Zoe and Teddy explored how to show the passage of time in a comic strip.

Books and conversations: We LOVE Books! Yoko by Rosemary Wells - If you don’t like something, how could you express yourself? Tomomi shared how she felt like Yoko as a child when her mom packed her favorite snack, rice balls. She helped us think about real world connections to literature. A read-aloud in the 7 to 9 Classroom: The Hoboken Chicken Emergency  How would you react if a 266 lb chicken, on a leash, showed up at your door?

Emerging interests: Planning for our big birthday celebration, which included making a house. A real house! A class pet, chess, a show about witches/fairies/shape-changers…What does it mean to have “no characters” at school? (this is an ongoing conversation currently!)

Social Emotional: This week was filled with connections, reconnections, some disconnection and then reconnections. We are getting to know each other and understand that we sometimes have the same ideas, and sometimes have different ideas, and they all can be good ideas. Some of next week’s wonderings might be:
What are our rights and responsibilities in our classroom?  Idea- Read the US Bill of Rights with your student
How do my actions create a ripple effect in my environment? Idea- Explore the ripple effect in the kitchen or bathroom.
What does it mean to us to “keep the flow?” Idea- Explore the effect when the flow of water is blocked and begins to flood.
How do we recognize our needs and the needs of our classmates?  Idea- Explore how each person in your family wears a different sized shoe by trying on each other’s shoes.  Note how the shoe that we need a shoe that is “just right”.

Thanks to each of you for pitching in to make this first week so true!  Special shout out to the setter uppers, cleaner uppers, parent teachers and Max the amazing.

CONNECTION LINKS
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, Founding Teacher/5 to 7 Classroom
Yvette Fenton/Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Jaclyn Epstein-Calvert/Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Saundi Williams, 5 to 7 Room Parent
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***CLASSROOM SUPPLIES NEEDED
Kitchen supplies, water vessels, things to make potions

***CLASSROOM HANDY WORK NEEDED
We need to problem solve some lost hinges for our outdoor easel.  We may need to source new hinges or devise another way to set up the easel.  Handy folks, please connect with John Schwartz to sign up for this project.

***PARK/FIELD DAY SNACKS
Please pack a ‘separate’ snack (in the outside pocket, a small bag within a bag, easy to access container) to facilitate morning snack basket.  Contact Michelle with questions.

Field trip Day is coming up on Sept 27th!  Stay tuned for details from Renee.

TKG Principals
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN SCIENCE, students are sensory learners, we honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

PARENT TEACHER SCHEDULE

MON Sept 16 – Hess Park
EL/RD/MS

TUE Sept 17
LS (8.30-11.30) & AS (11.30-2.30)

WED Sept 18
SW (please pack classroom for StAndrew’s monthly meeting)

THUR Sept 19
TV & EC (upstairs)
YF (downstairs)

FRI Sept 13
TSB & EL (upstairs)
AS (downstairs)

PT NOTES

*The next parent meeting (Sept 21, 9am) will be devoted to reflecting on the first 2 weeks of school, tools to support social emotional development with Renee and a deeper look at some of our curricular foci.

*New parents: please submit a TB Test at your earliest convenience.

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions.

PT TOOLBOX: Q&A about Project Work
What is project work? 

Project work is a long-term, in-depth investigation of a question, idea, or theme that engages a small group of children and a teacher. It can begin from any number of places and it ends with a celebration of the group’s work together. Teachers invite children who…READ MORE!

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

MATH
Grade 2 Overview of Operations and Algebraic Thinking (downstairs)
Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
Add and subtract within 20.
Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication

Counting & Cardinality (upstairs)
Know number names and the count sequence.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.1 Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.2 Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS

Comprehension and Collaboration (downstairs)
English Language Arts: College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening
To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students must have ample opportunities to take part in a variety of rich, structured conversations—as part of a whole class, in small groups, and with a partner. Being productive members of these conversations requires that students contribute accurate, relevant information; respond to and develop what others have said; make comparisons and contrasts; and analyze and synthesize a multitude of ideas in various domains.

Speaking and Listening Skills (upstairs)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1a Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1b Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.

FEATURED WORKSHOP: ECHO PARENTING, 8-Week Series Presented by Renee Dokmanovich.
Raising children is so difficult, yet most parents don’t get much support to build skills and techniques. Nonviolent Parenting is an empathy led approach to raising children. It is based on brain development and child development.

From the TKG Office

  • September Tuition NOW DUE: apologies for the confusion!  First month’s tuition should be stated as last month’s tuition. Sept tuition is still due.  We pay 9 months of tuition which means last regular tuition is due in April.
  • After-School Offerings please look out for a separate email outlining registration. FREE TO BE ME Drum circle will offer an introduction class this Monday (instead of usual day on Friday) after Park/Field Day (for one hour).  Cost is $15.
  • Sept Board Meeting: 7pm.  Guest are welcome to join the forum in the first hour.  Meeting at W’s China Bistro.
  • EMERGENCY CONTACT FORMS Please give Trish your forms.  Thanks if you have already completed.
Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions.
“So many books, so little time.”
― Frank Zappa

Resource Of The Week

Gardening with Kids

Turn digging in the dirt into a lifetime of love and respect for nature with your children.

Gardens are magical, fun, and always full of surprises. Watch a child pull a carrot from the earth, brush off the soil, and take a bite, or see the anticipation in the eyes of a youngster creating a bouquet of flowers she grew. There is a natural magnetic attraction between children and the earth, whether it’s making mud or discovering a germinating seed emerge from the earth. Gardening with children, from toddlers to adolescents, opens new windows in a world dominated by technology.

Whether you are an accomplished gardener or a novice, gardening with children is your chance to partner with Mother Nature to make magic. Don’t worry about achieving horticultural perfection. Just dig in and grow something beautiful or good to eat. Your garden is your treasure chest; you and your young gardener—exploring together—can discover its priceless bounty for an afternoon’s delight or for READ MORE…

Are the Humanities dead?

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 30

Classroom Day!
“The highest result of education is tolerance”
― Helen Keller

This week at TKG:

Last Park Day inspired reflection and growth: Michelle thought it was a prime opportunity to review and reflect on our Bill of Rights.  Her method was to use studio to focus the discussion.  Students were invited to recreate the park and talk about our experience (check out our flickr feed for some incredible park art)…some sprouts responded.  In an effort to reach each student, Michelle spent one on one time with them throughout the rest of the week specifically to focus on Park Day protocols. On Tuesday, students thought about these questions:

Why do we have our Bill of Rights?
To show people what we do here.
We remember that our school is kind.

When do we practice them?
In the morning. (sometimes we read them at meeting)
Everyday, all the time.
Even on park day and at home?

What is hard about them?
Always have to listen to them.
You could loose a friend if you don’t follow them.

What else happens if you don’t follow them?
You get support.

What do you like about our Bill of Rights?
Keeps people safe.
Other people know what we do in this class.
So people don’t get hurt feelings.
So you don’t get mean friends if you respect the Bill of Rights.
They are helpful.
Means a lot of things.

Later in the week Michelle asked students reflect on which amendment was most helpful to them that day.  Some said kind loving names, while the majority said checking in.

Throughout the week, studio has been a place for recreating the park.  In doing so students thought about details, location, space, scale, and purpose.  It also opened the door for conversations related to repairing and reconnecting after Monday’s visit.  At the closing meeting on Friday we focused on Park Day and our rights.  We talked about our challenges and what others could do to help.  On Monday Michelle will be asking students to walk our check in boundary and role play what to do when you want to go beyond.

More highlights and experiences from this week:

Math came naturally in studio.  Many expressed the concept of = in the sense of 4+2=6 and 3+3=6 so Michelle posed this 4+2=3+3 and students tested using a balance.  “I love math!  If you want some help counting you can come to me!  Counting is my thing to do!” -Madison (Growth mindset in action)

***
Yoga and Meditation with Brandy was a hit.  We took a bumpy camel ride through the desert and turned into cobra snakes to warm up then went through a mountain story scenario for the main exercise. We connected our feet at the end and became one sunflower together opening and closing our petals. We went through a full body relaxation and shivasana.

Maddy- this is fun! Can we do it everyday? AND ohhh! Yoga is hard! I’m tired!

Otis- oh this is so fun and easy! I love it!

Sidney- closing her eyes with a big smile I want to do this all the time! I love to meditate.

Aiel- this was fun and challenging

We look forward to more sessions with Brandy!
***

In writing students learned about: Helen Keller, Braille, senses, autobiographies…

We also explored our autobiography: Knowing that students had been experimenting and learning about their five senses, Yvette read a short biography about Helen Keller with some sprouts. We learned that Helen Keller was an author. Students wondered, how can she write and not be able to see? We thought about what tool we could use or create to help them write if they were blind. We tried writing our names, blindfolded. The students then discussed what life would be like without having the sense of sight and sound like Helen Keller. We experimented by using a blindfold and large headphones in order to mimic what Helen Keller experienced. They tried walking down the hallways with a guide and also by themselves. While reflecting on the experimenting some Sprouts shared the following:

“If I could never see again that would make me explode, I would want to blow up and then go to heaven so I could see again.” Otis

“It would be dangerous if you can’t see or hear. You could get hit by a car and you might just go straight and not across and well also you won’t be able to pick your clothes. And  you know you might cut your head off if your using a knife to cut fruit.” Alex

“Even though I couldn’t see, I could tell we were outside because the ground felt cold, and I could feel the wind.” Aiel

“I think that people should have someone to guide them if they cant see or help them if they cant hear because it could be dangerous.” Madison

“It was dark and kind of scary, because you don’t know where you are going.” Bennett

During story workshop, John, Alex and James continued their story of Super Villain Ville – Part 1. With their words typed out and printed they were able read and edit their story.  Once their story had been edited, they began discussing what types of illustrations they wanted for each written page. These sprouts collaborated with one another to make sure that the book was coherent and complete. They then shared their book during reflection meeting. It is currently in the library area, we invite you to read it! We have also began part 2 of Super Villain Ville, and will continue the editing and publishing process next week.
***

Bridges made their way outside and we were challenged with making functional bridges.  Functioning for what?

FIMO clay was explored at deep learning after students wanted to make frogs for their habitat.  If you happen to be at a craft store we could use more colors. (Buy it on Amazon for cash back!)

Knowing that a meeting to discuss TKG Outdoor Space is coming, Michelle asked students what they want:

“Sand, water,  monkey bars-maybe two for monkey bar races, a fort, a swimming pool, a drawing table with clip boards and a jar of markers glued to the table so the wind doesn’t blow it over, a slide, more benches, cup holders on the bench, more plastic puppets, towels, bigger bins for turtles, art easels, move the house to a different spot, take the bark out and put sand, each family could donate a package of sand or two or as many as they want, less grass, no the grass is good…”

Things to collect for the classroom: FIMO Clay, clear containers…

Park Day, Michelle will be asking students to walk our El Retiro boundaries and role play what to do when you want to go beyond.

Answers to last weeks riddles: 1. An Eye 2. A Missile 3. A fork. We invite you to create your own riddles at home and bring them to share with the class!

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:

CLASSROOM/CURRICULUM/PARK DAY - Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
CLASSROOM - Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM - Lena Garcia Kaufman
SCHOOL BUSINESS - Trish Valdez

Check Out Flickr!Flickr Feed is at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69785024@N04

Upload your videos to TKG’s YouTube Channel.  DOWNLOAD the app for iPhone or Android and start uploading.

TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Classroom Items – Needed: Pacon Paper (more info), Blue painters Tape, Clear containers (recyclable)…

Park Day - See you at EL RETIRO! Please support your sprout with conversations about: boundaries, community, and check-ins.  Thank you!

ECHO Parenting Series - Our next meeting is this Tuesday, TKG 7pm.  Childcare has not been arranged.

The 5 Guiding Principals at TKG
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will expand their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN FUNCTION & DEVELOPMENT, students are sensory learners, we will honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, supporting the development of creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems
  • CO-OPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teaching Focus TKG Bill of Rights: As you know, the TKG Bill of Rights is written by the students.  If a student has a concern, he/she has the opportunity to bring it up in meeting and make a case for why it should be implemented.  Every item on the Bill of Rights must be unanimously approved by a vote.  Recently, students had the opportunity to reflect and re-establish their own relationship to the BoR.  Kind and Loving Names is one of the amendments to the Bill of Rights.  As teachers, we can engage our students about this, or any other amendment, to support the community.  We can talk about how difficult it can be, sometimes.  We can dialogue about anything. We found this book to open the door to discussion:  WATCH CHRYSANTHEMUM

Teacher Focus - Freedom! There is nothing like watching a thousand butterflies find their way back home…get inspired to stay free and light: LEARN MORE…

For your Toolbox – How Nature Can Reduce Violence In Our World “In our studies, people with less access to nature show relatively poor attention or cognitive function, poor management of major life issues, poor impulse control,” says Frances Kuo, a professor at the University of Illinois, adding that humans living in a neighborhood stripped of nature undergo patterns of social, psychological, and physical breakdown similar to those observed in animals deprived of their natural habitat. “In animals, what you see is increased aggression, disrupted parenting patterns, and disrupted social hierarchies.”

1. Green exercise improves psychological health.
2. In some cases, greening neighborhoods may help reduce domestic violence
3. Natural playgrounds may decrease bullying
4. Other species help children develop empathy.
5. Greater biodiversity in cities can increase social and family bonding.
6. More nature in our lives can offset the dangerous psychological impact of climate change.
CHECK IT OUT…

PT SCHEDULE, WEEK OF Apr 29 …
Monday - JS
Tuesday - FIELD TRIP
Wednesday - RD
Thursday - LS & EL/TV
Friday –  ME
Special Projects - 
NL (Retreat Supplies, list from Trish by Thursday)
TS (classroom supplies, list from Trish)
Please contact Nicole and Trish if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule. * means we are checking on a sub availability

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:

READING

Phonics and Word Recognition

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3c Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., DOWN, OUT, UP, IN)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3b Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.1a Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).

WRITING

Production and Distribution of Writing

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.5 With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.5 With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).

MATH

Measurement and Data

CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.A.1 Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.5 Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., bridges! ) and drawing shapes.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.A.2 Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps.

FEATURED WORKSHOP
2013 Annual Hand In Hand Parenting by Connection Retreat 
July 26-28, 2013
Ben Lomond Quaker Center, Santa Cruz Mountains
LEARN MORE…

From the TKG Office:

  • Philosophy Committee is scheduled for Sunday, May 5th.  We will have an early start to maximize energy!  More details to follow…
  • New Fundraising Partner: Michelle’s partner, Cory (yay Cory!) has joined our family of fundraiser partners.  His company The Bed Shop, www.thebedshopla.com, will donate 15% of a purchase back to TKG.  Contact Lori for additional details.
  • Amazon Picks of the Week - Don’t forget to get to these links through the TKG Amazon Banner:BOOK//SUPPLIES//GEAR
  • Support The Community MBNS will hold a Silent Auction next Saturday, May 4th from 5p-8p at the home of Steve and Erin Levin (Hayden’s Parents).  Please see John or Lori (Anna’s Parents) for tickets $15/each in advance or $25 at the door.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez@knowinggarden.org.
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
 ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Resource Of The Week

Einstein May Never Have Used
Flashcards, but He Probably
Built Forts

By Lory Hough/Harvard School of Education

“Play is not an option for kids; play is how children learn to build community, how they learn to work with other people; it’s how they learn to kind of engage their sense of
creativity,”

In some ways, this headline is almost funny,  the idea of a young Einstein, wild
hair flying, throwing his mother’s quilt
over a couple of chairs and crawling
underneath. But to Elizabeth
Goodenough,M.A.T.’71, a headline
like this is not a joke. We’re a busy-bydesign society that’s become so concerned with turning kids into baby Einsteins that something critical to childhood, something that Goodenough holds sacred, is fast becoming extinct: free play...READ MORE!

STEMtoSTEAM

TKG LISTEN: The Brilliant Report//How To Give Good Feedback

From The Brilliant Report: How To Give Good Feedbackfeedback

Monday, March 18, 2013

When effectively administered, feedback is a powerful way to build knowledge and skills, increase motivation, and develop reflective habits of mind in students and employees. Too often, however, the feedback we give (and get) is ineffectual or even counterproductive. Here, four ways to offer feedback that really makes a difference, drawn from research in psychology and cognitive science:

 1. Supply information about what the learner is doing, rather than simply praise or criticism.

In “The Power of Feedback,” an article published in the Review of Educational Research in 2007, authors John Hattie and Helen Timperley point out that specific information about how the learner is performing a task is much more helpful than mere praise or, especially, criticism. In particular, research by Hattie, Timperley, and others has found that feedback is most effective when it provides information on what exactly the learner is doing right, and on what he or she is doing differently (and more successfully) than in previous attempts.

2. Take care in how you present feedback.

The eminent psychologist Edward Deci has identified several conditions under which feedback may actually reduce learners’ motivation. When learners sense that their performance is being too closely monitored, for example, they may disengage from learning out of feelings of nervousness or self-consciousness. To counter this impression, the purpose of observing or supervising should be fully explained and learners’ consent obtained. Better yet, learners should be involved in collecting and analyzing data on their own performance, reducing the need for oversight by others. (And as the popularity of the “Quantified Self” movement has demonstrated, many people seem to enjoy keeping even minute records of their own behavior.)

A second risk identified by Deci is that learners will interpret feedback as an attempt to control them—for example, when feedback is phrased as, “This is how you should do it.” Empower learners rather than controlling them by giving them access to information about their own performance and teaching them how to use it.

According to Deci, a third feedback condition that can reduce learners’ engagement is an uncomfortable sense of competition. To avoid this, emphasize that you are sharing feedback with students or workers not to pit them against each other, but rather to allow them to compete against their own personal bests.

READ MORE AT THE BRILLIANT REPORT…

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 25

 

Classroom Day!
“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
WHO ARE WE?

We are explorers. Many of our sprouts have ongoing projects.  As we reflect on our week, we observed that some students struggle to stay engaged.  Sometimes they persevere or maybe they struggle and then revisit later…or some change plans to avoid the struggle.  In support of all of our students, at various stages of project development, Michelle chose to read I Knew You Could by Craig Dorfman.  The book is full of metaphors (an intentional learning opportunity) relating to life situations — in our environment, we encourage our sprouts to practice the “non-cognitive” skills that as Paul Tough studies, “are more crucial than sheer brainpower to achieving success.” Being stuck in a tunnel really resonated with us and later in the week Madison was heard saying, “I’m stuck in a tunnel” when referring to her sewing plan.  Here is the story, maybe you can share it at home, too:

We are readers.  We are listeners.

I Knew You Could - by Craig Dorfman

I knew you could!  And you knew it, too –
That you’d come out on top after all you’ve been through.
And from here you’ll go farther and see brand-new sights.
You’ll face brand-new hills that rise to new heights.

I wish I could show you the stops that you’ll visit,
But that isn’t my choice to make for you, is it?
Instead, I can tell you some lessons and tales
That I’ve learned and relearned in my time on the rails.

First of all, you must find your own track,
So you can start right away and not be held back.
But which track is yours?  Well, that all depends
On which way it’s going and where it might end.

Different tracks wind around,
over, under, and through,
So pick out the one
that works best for you.
Though the track you start out on
will feel like “the one,”
You might take a few more before you are done.
And now, with your eyes on your new destination,
Start up your wheels and roll out of the station.

On your new trip, you’ll make plenty of stops,
In deep river valleys and on high mountaintops.
Some will surprise you and some will be planned,
And you’ll roll through each one saying, “I think I can!”

You’ll go through tunnels, surrounded by dark,
And you’ll wish for a light or even a spark.
You might get scared or a little bit sad,
Wondering if maybe your track has gone bad.

So here’s some advice to help ease your doubt;
The track you took in must also go out.
So steady yourself and just keep on going -
Before you know it, some light will be showing.
And then you’ll be out, heading to a new place.
You’ll be ready for the next tunnel you face.

Sometimes you’ll look up and see planes in the sky,
And you’ll think to yourself, “I wish I could fly.”
The cars on the roads will seem quick and free -
You’ll feel stuck on your track and think, “I wish that was me.”

But the plane might wish he could get out of the air,
Saying, “I wish I could travel like that train down there.”
The cars will watch as you speed right along,
And they’ll say to each other,
“Look how fast and how strong!”
Don’t worry about not being a car or a plane,
Just enjoy the trip you’ll take as a train.

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn,
If you need to be heard or there are people to warn.
Or if being yourself just makes you so proud,
That you want to share it and sing it out loud.

You’ll follow your track
through twists and through bends,
And stop at new stops and pick up new friends.
They’ll all come aboard with smiles and greetings.
You’ll have such great times
with the people you’re meeting.

On the days when you’re sad and feel you can’t go,
Speak up and ask a friend for a tow.
That’s what friends do, so don’t be afraid.
You’d do the same if your friend needed aid.

You might stop at some stops that you never have toured,
And look for new friends, but they won’t come aboard.
So you’ll have to head out with a creak and a groan,
Setting out once again on your track, all alone.

Try to remember that the world is so wide,
Full of all kinds of people with their own trains to ride.
Just stay true to yourself as you travel your track,
With no second-guessing and no looking back.

Once you’re on the right track, you’ll probably say,
“This one is mine – I’m here to stay.”
Try to enjoy the track that you choose -
Stop now and then to take in  the views.

If you rush forward, as a general rule,
Before you arrive, you could run out of fuel.
Don’t overwork, but save up some strength.
That way, every day, you can travel great lengths.

You’ll need all that strength on the days when you’re stuck,
Or tired, or sad, or just out of luck.
When your belief in yourself doesn’t feel quite so pure,
And your “I think I can” doesn’t sound quite so sure.

That’s when to push and to strive and to strain,
To show the world you’re not a giving-up train.
And you’re wise if you know that doing your best
Means that sometimes you should just slow down and rest.

Speeding through your whole trip will bring only sorrow,
So slow down today to be happy tomorrow.

There’s more about life that you’ll learn as you go,
Because figuring things out on your own helps you grow.
Just trust in yourself, and you’ll climb every hill.
Say, “I think I can!” and you know what?
You will!

We are Builders. Train tracks were placed out with intention on Thursday and then sought out on Friday.  One group was planning on building the tracks to the Cozy Corner (reading) and made it.  Friday they built tracks to Paper World.  “We did it!” Alex exclaimed as the last track was put into place.  “Everybody’s coming over to greet the new people” John said playfully and the frogs and train people met.  While observing Michelle couldn’t help but wonder if they were playing to understand their feelings about what the Saturday class may feel like.

We are Community. We were so happy to welcome 12 potential students to our group.  With our 8, we had an wonderful mix of students – connecting, colliding and collaborating.  Thank you to all the families who put in time, planning, lifting, supporting, documenting, teaching and learning.  Our school is growing and we thank you for your support and hard work.

We are Investigators. Curious about what happened at school?  At student conferences I quickly learned to switch my questions into statements or more open questions.
- Tell me about.
- When do you feel…
- How is ______ working for you?

We are Re-Inventors. We have new names for our Open Flow Destinations.  Have you been updated?

Wonderings:
Rockets
Sewing Komichis
Listening Station
Collage

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:
CLASSROOM/CURRICULUM/PARK DAY - Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
CLASSROOM - Yvette Fenton/310-383-1624
CURRICULUM - Lena Garcia Kaufman
SCHOOL BUSINESS - Trish Valdez
Check Out Flickr!

Park Day at TKG
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Park Day - We are currently at HESS PARK!  Band-Aids, frisbees, baseball and snails!…don’t forget sunscreen and water.

Echo Parenting Course (we would like at least one member from each family to attend): Renee’s Echo Parenting Class will begin on March 26th and will meet every other week.  Please stay tuned for more details.  We would like to provide childcare, so please share your suggestions for care-givers with us.  Conditional parenting is all around us; parents either punish or reward children for their behavior. If children are good, they get approval and a reward. If they are bad, attention is withdrawn and they are punished. This conditional parenting undermines a child’s sense of self worth and self -dignity as a vital, alive, feeling human being.  Join us in studying this way of parenting that offers an optimal relationship and the conditions in which children can thrive and grow into healthy adults

Field Trip!  March 29th at Tanaka Farms: We are going to Irvine! Click here for a map. Please arrive by 10:00am. The tour will last an hour and 15 minutes. We will make stops to pull and taste various vegetables. At the end all paying $12 will get a container for picking strawberries. The fee is $12 per child. $6 per adult. If an adult wants to pick at the end then the fee is $12. There are picnic areas where we can have lunch afterwards.  Please pay Renee by the end of this week.

The 5 Guiding Principals at TKG
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will expand their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN FUNCTION & DEVELOPMENT, students are sensory learners, we will honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, supporting the development of creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems
  • CO-OPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teaching Focus – Talking about Time (Math Station) Where do you want to go with the discussion of time?  Your personal relationship with time is a wonderful place to start!  Here are some things you can keep in mind to help guide conversation about time in the Math Station (or anywhere time comes up):

  • Clocks help us measure time (Writing opportunity:spell t-i-m-e, c-l-o-c-k, m-i-n-u-t-e)
  • Analog Clocks: Face, Hour Hand, Minute Hand (Writing opportunity: make a clock…wall? wrist? pocket?)
  • Digital Clocks: Face, Hours, Minutes (Science opportunity: make a digital clock…let the student dream this up but here is a cool knowledge base)
  • Language/Key Words: o’Clock…Half-Passed…Quarter After/To…AM/PM
  • Read a story about time: Research time from our primary sources (our “text” books) in the library.  Can’t find what you’re looking for?  Make a request for the Library Run

Teacher Focus – Mint: Mint has many health benefits…digestion, nausea, headache, respiratory, skin care…Make this quick refresher with fresh mint leaves (Preparation Time: 10 minutes):
Ingredients:
Chilled Water 4 cups (1 per serving)
Honey 3 tablespoons
Chopped Mint Leaves ¼ cup
Black Pepper ½ teaspoon
Lemon Slice 4 slices (1 per serving) and a little juice
Salt to taste

Directions:
In a blender add chilled water, black pepper, honey and chopped mint leaves.
Blend it well.
How to Serve: Serve the juice in glasses and garnish with one lemon slice per glass.

For your Toolbox - “Virgina Satir, determined that “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” HUG! andRead More here…

PT SCHEDULE, WEEK OF Mar 18…
Monday - JS/RD
Tuesday - NL/TS
Wednesday - NL/TV
Thursday - TV (after 12.30)
Friday - ME/BM
Please contact Nicole if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule. 

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:

READING
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

WRITING
English Language Arts Standards – Grade 1 Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

MATH
Measurement and data

Tell and write time (1st/2nd Grade).
3.  Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks plus CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.C.7 Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.

Represent and interpret data. (1st Grade)
4.  Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category

FEATURED WORKSHOP – TKG Echo Parenting Class
with Renee Dokmanovich
Beginning Tuesday, March 26th, 6 to 9 at TKG
The class will continue, every other week, until the end of June.  Please plan on joining us.  There is no cost for this Workshop.

From the TKG Office:

  • March Board Meeting-March 18, Regular business meeting begins at 7pm.  Guests are welcome to share praise or concerns at 7pm.  This month’s meeting will be at the TKG Classroom as Abrahm will be filming.
  • Fundraiser Contributions are due on May 1st. Shop with Scrip order placed between March 9th and March 15th will enter TKG into a drawing for free shipping for an entire year.  Please contact Lori with any questions.
  • Spring Break is from April 1 through 5
  • Amazon-Feb Orders: Don’t forget to claim your orders for credit towards your Fundraiser Contribution.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez@knowinggarden.org.
“Every negative emotion that exists–hear this–every negative emotion that exists is because there is some sense of loss of freedom somewhere in there.”
-Abraham Hicks

Resource Of The Week

Today in History (March 16): First liquid-fueled rocket

“The rocket traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reaching an altitude of 41 feet and landing 184 feet away.”

The first man to give hope to dreams of space travel is American Robert H. Goddard, who successfully launches the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket at Auburn, Massachusetts, on March 16, 1926. The rocket traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reaching an altitude of 41 feet and landing 184 feet away. The rocket was 10 feet tall, constructed out of thin pipes, and was fueled by liquid oxygen and gasoline.

The Chinese developed the first military rockets in the early 13th century using gunpowder and probably built firework rockets at an earlier date.

READ MORE…

Liquid Fueled Rocket

TKG LISTEN: From a Culture of ‘Performance’ to a Culture of ‘Learning’

At TKG, we intend to emphasize the learning…starting with no grades and no testing.  How do you know they are learning, you ask?  Come visit and see for yourself!

Watch, Alfie Kohn via Video at PSP2012 – Click here for more information on CFEEsuccess

“What grade did you get? What did your teacher think?” With reference to these and other “deeply anti-intellectual questions” we often pose to children, Alfie Kohn emphasizes “a single, powerful distinction” — between asking kids to focus on their performance, and asking them to focus on their learning. Kohn examines six consequences of our systemic overemphasis of ‘achievement’ and ‘rigor,’ and invites us to reflect on what practices, at school and at home, predictably contribute to the problem.

WATCH ALFIE’S TALK...