FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 2/Year 4 – 5 to 7 Class

Week 2 Documentation & Info – 5 to 7 Class

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Hi there!What is school?  As we have done every year from the very beginning of TKG, we discuss this important question as a community in the early weeks of school. Students have been sharing about what school means to them and what they enjoy about school. They have also been sharing their learning goals and their dislikes or fears about school. At TKG, we are growing a school where our children can learn to learn, love and see the world through the eyes of innovators and catalysts.

We also began our Bill of Rights conversation and will continue to revisit this throughout the year. In this process, we give students the opportunity to name their needs and engage discussion on points that are not embraced by the majority. In other classrooms, you might see a list of “rules” that define an ideal for success in that particular classroom.  For some students this can feel powerless (to not have control of their choices) or they may feel like they fall short (in meeting someone else’s needs) and these feelings are reinforced by the punishment or isolation that results in breaking the rules. At TKG, we want to create the opportunity for students to take ownership of their environment and their community while building confidence in communication and collaboration.
Homeschool Opportunity: Continue the discussion about school and rights at home.  You will be practicing collaboration and communication by sharing your values and modeling dialogue.

FIELD DAY – Learning in Nature
What a beautiful first Field Day!  Thank you for staying for the beginning to support our morning meeting, jobs, and group time.  After you said goodbye we spent our day connecting with each other, exploring the park, checking in with teachers, and eating lunch together.  After lunch we had a little more Deep Learning time before transitioning to the top field area for more fun. Some of the things we learned and practiced:

  • Trust Building
  • First Aid
  • Sun Safety
  • Lepidopterology (want to learn more?)
  • Free Climbing
I’m looking forward to an amazing year of M. E. A. P. S. and all around learning in the outdoors.Math
Currently, our math time is after our morning outdoor/snack break. We are working on counting by ones, twos and tens, counting syllables, noting the time on the time timer, and engineering with blocks and sticks!

We will formally begin small group math time this coming week.  This means we will begin the important unit on Counting Collections this week and then our math workshops as guided by our Contexts for Learning curriculum the following week.  If you have questions about what is coming up or how to deepen math work at home, please contact me.

Our caterpillar grows one circle for each day we have been in school.  We clap count to 10 or 20 and have been counting backwards from 10.  Clapping helps us find patterns and we discovered the difference between even and odd numbers.  We read “Ten Mighty Moogies” and used a number line to count backwards by twos and found a pattern there as well.
Homeschool Opportunity: Find math problems in everything you do! Practice real-life math with your sprouts.

Visual/Performing Arts
F.A.C.E. Time Friday! TKG has a new offering to help students integrate Fine Art and Multi-Cultural Experiences through enrichment plans.  Our eager learners had the opportunity to expand upon their existing knowledge or be introduced to either the world of mask making or acting.  These pods will meet one more time to practice skills or complete their projects, and then the groups will switch experiences.  We were fortunate to have Elle Swartz, our downstairs co-teacher join us to facilitate mask making.  You’ve had the chance to meet Elle at summer meet ups, our pillow fight day and on campus but if you haven’t had a chance to meet her yet, click here for more info and please say hello!
Homeschool Opportunity: Visit the AxS Festival 2014. CURIOSITY has commissioned the fascinating LA-based arts collective Machine Project to re-imagine a quintessential Pasadena landmark — the Greene and Greene Arts and Crafts masterpiece — The Gamble House.

Writing
Sprouts are continuing to work on their “I am” books. Most have completed the drafting stage and have begun revising. Drafting helps us to organize our ideas on paper, get our creativity flowing, and build our confidence. We challenged ourselves to sound out words we didn’t know and draw to the best of our ability. We have supported each other through our challenges and are enthusiastic to begin revising at our own pace.
Homeschool Opportunity: Create a haven for writers in a quiet spot in your home.  Place a small organizer (a kit) that holds pencils, pens, eraser, stapler and paper in an easily accessible spot where writers can ground themselves in pictures, words, and stories.  Place their stories in a “library” or presentation location where they can see their collection of published stories.

Community Building
Thursday we had our first Café TKG Restaurant of the year.  Students created their very own place card and waited for their reserved spot.  They enjoyed their meal on plates and used silverware.  We had candles as centerpieces and the teachers served spa water (fresh water infused with strawberries and mint) handmade by the downstairs class.  We focused on eating our nutritious food, and talked about what it is like to eat at a restaurant and the different types of restaurants.  After, those who were interested or remembered the offer, stopped by a table to write a thank you card to the downstairs class before heading to reading.
Homeschool Opportunity: Help your sprout handwrite a thank you note to someone they’d like to thank. Walk through the process of getting a stamp and mailing it!Body & Health
We have a body area in our classroom. During project time sprouts furthered their research on hands by sharing their own background knowledge and through book exploration. They investigated their handprints with magnifying glasses and discussed their unique fingerprints.  We also began collecting questions that we have about how are bodies work. We can’t wait to learn more about our amazing bodies!

This Year’s Guiding Theme – Our “Big Question”
Who Am I?  Who are We?  This week we completed our first class book, it’s about HANDS. Yvette read this book to us and everyone was excited to see their page in a book!  We will share the book on the Green Monster (the drop off/pick up announcements board) this week so you learn more about hands through the eyes of our sprouts, as well as read the questions they have about their body.

Why have a Guiding Theme?  What is a Guiding Theme?  Drawing from the Reggio Emilia approach to education, TKG supports an emergent curriculum –   a living, thinking, child-inspired way of learning that intrigues children.  Our theme gives us a grounding and framework to build upon the inspirations to hold the attention of the learner and build on their a-ha moments with a focused direction.

Don’t forget, our High School committee will be meeting this Wednesday night.  Contact Monica for more details.

Hugs,
Michelle and Yvette

CONNECTION LINKS
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
, Founding Teacher/5 to 7 Classroom
Yvette Fenton, Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Saundi Williams, 5 to 7 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***Field Day – 
In the past, we have switched to South Park but we will not be switching this year.   Forecast for tomorrow is: Partly Cloudy with a high of 76F.  Don’t forget to sunscreen at home – thank you!

***Classroom Request – Physical Education
Please provide access to shoes that support running/jumping/balancing for P.E. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Students are welcome to change their shoes after PE. Choose cushion, good support and protection for the care of developing feet. You may find helpful information at PodiatryToday.com or contact your doctor or shoe specialist.***Mindful Moment with Lisette Bodmer – Every Other Thursday, approx 9:15 (after drop off)
We are so happy that we have the opportunity to create a regular mindful moment for our community. Thank you Lisette, for your time and guidance.  Like we experienced at PT training, we will make space for 10-15 minutes of connecting to your truth and creating a practice to care for your self. As you become more comfortable with the practice you will be able to support sprouts in developing their own practice, too.  BEGINS this Thursday! Meeting spot will be in the play yard or the narthex – tba each morning based on weather/comfort.

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 Toolbox

PT Schedule for the week*
MONDAY – EL.MS,SW
TUESDAY – LB (GS,JC, EL)
WEDNESDAY – EC(JC, LS, SW)
THURSDAY – LS, RD (SW,JC, TV)
FRIDAY (Fieldtrip) – JC,TV
*Names in parentheses are working on-campus, outside the classroom on that day.

Please contact Trish Valdez with any questions related to PTs and scheduling. 

PT RESOURCE-DEEP LEARNING: Let them Play!
“Play is the mechanism by which children process their new experiences. Play moves sights, sounds, fears, anxieties, excitements, and curiosities to a place of understanding. Play is the vehicle by which new learning roots firmly into the brain. Play is the maker of meaning.”  Deep learning at TKG reveals clues about what our students are processing. The themes they incorporate into their scripts are the pieces of their days that they are trying to understand and as teacher facilitators this is when we take our most copious notes, reserve judgement and collaborate with Michelle on bringing their curiosities to open flow or the peace table.READ Abundant Life’s perspective on PLAY, here.

Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • TUITION IS PAST DUE – please pay your invoice as soon as possible.
  • TKG OFFICE HOURS – Thr 9/25 @ 1pm Green Roast Coffee
  • CONTACT LIST has been updated

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions or to schedule meeting time.

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 – Brain Function

Study: Sleeping less than 5 hours, or more than 9, can lead to cognitive decline
Howard LeWine, M.D., Chief Medical Editor
Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications/Harvard Health Blog

When it comes to memory, sleep is a Goldilocks issue: both too much and too little aren’t good. Aim for “just right,” says a new report from the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study.

“Our findings suggest that getting an ‘average’ amount of sleep, seven hours per day, may help maintain memory in later life and that clinical interventions based on sleep therapy should be examined for the prevention of [mental] impairment,” said study leader Elizabeth Devore, an instructor in medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in a news release.

READ THE ARTICLE AT Harvard Health…

Capacity Building Resource - How video games are getting in your head and wallet
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TKG LEARN: THE FUTURE WITHOUT GRADES

TKG is part of the movement that doesn’t write off a student’s potential with test results and memorization skills.  If you want this kind of environment, your commitment to this way of learning will be tested – so we will continue to provide resources to support your journey as a parent and teacher, at school and in the home.  Your students will forge their academic path and be prepared to enter the world with the skills to meet the challenges of a changing world in the future…because they are not being limited by wrong answers or judgement, now.standardized-test

“For the past two years, I’ve been investigating innovative schools for my forthcoming book The Flexible Brain. When I asked about report cards, I heard about schools all over the world that are moving away from high stakes traditional assessment that ranks and sorts students towards more fluid, personalized approaches that allow children to learn at their own pace. These innovations are in part a response to a growing belief among educators that while letter grades and numerical numbers may describe how well a student can regurgitate knowledge, they don’t capture the competencies and characteristics that students need to succeed in work and lead fulfilling lives. Moreover, getting rid of traditional letter grades has been shown to improve academic achievement.”

READ ON and WGSI…

TKG KNOW: The Four Secrets of Playtime That Foster Creative Kids

PT RESOURCE: Support the Four Foundational Pillars of Play/Fast Co.FrogDesign
When children play, design, explore, learn in at TKG – they need our support though environmental design and collaboration.  These four pieces help scaffold the constructivist learning model:
  1. open environment - An open environment is not the same as an enriched one: being open does not mean providing more stimuli. Rather, open environments are those in which the child gets to be the author and the medium is open to interpretation.
  2. flexible tools – Part of being open is being flexible. A crayon can be used for drawing anything, but it can also be melted and re-sculpted into something completely different.
  3. modifiable rules – Our children, generally speaking, have gotten really good at following rules, but where will they learn that sometimes it’s best to break them? We can show them how and encourage them when they do it.
  4. superpowers…the physical and mental skills that we develop to adapt and thrive in a complex world while exploring the creative opportunities made possible by global progress. Fundamentally, they are skills reframed as a type of power within the realm of human possibility and reach. Superpowers are the catalysts that maximize the benefits of the other three foundational pillars.
Read the article that inspires this tool, at Fast Co.

TKG Listen: Protect Your Kids From Failure – Alfie Kohn The Atlantic

Community Resource – The Whole ChildLeaningTower

We picked this article, by one of our favorite experts – Alfie Kohn (a TKG reading list regular) because we know our students won’t learn without being invested in the process.  We know some want to jump right in and we know that it takes a little while for others and most important, we know that students don’t need to be prepared to fail, they need practice getting ready to soar.  Enjoy!

Protect Your Kids From Failure
The case for self-esteem, success, and even an occasional participation trophy
by ALFIE KOHN in The Atlantic

It isn’t usually spelled out quite so bluntly, but an awful lot of parenting practices are based on the belief that the best way to get kids ready for the painful things that may happen to them later is to make sure they experience plenty of pain while they’re young.

I call this BGUTI (rhymes with duty), which is the acronym of Better Get Used To It.

If adults allow—or perhaps even require—children to play a game in which the point is to slam a ball at someone before he or she can get out of the way, or hand out zeroes to underscore a child’s academic failure, or demand that most young athletes go home without even a consolation prize (in order to impress upon them the difference between them and the winners), well, sure, the kids might feel lousy—about themselves, about the people around them, and about life itself—but READ on The Atlantic…

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 27/Year 1 (7 to 9 Class)

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…”
― Isaac Asimov
Wishing you a wonderful week in preparation for a spring break!

Notable Notes

  • This is a week of trying new things! Beginning Wednesday, upstairs students will be visiting downstairs students. Read below for more details.
  • Friday is WorkDay #3 – if you are not able to attend (starts at 12.30pm), please contact John Schwartz to make alternative arrangements.  This is a parent participation event.
  • This Wed is Riviera Nails Day (don’t forget to check the Amazon reports this week)
Field/Park Day
We spent our last day at the park on Monday. It was a lovely day as we said good-bye and thank you to an amazing tree perfect for hammocks, a twirly slide perfect for the use of speed (waxed) paper, a dusty baseball field perfect for hitting home runs and a wild outback perfect for adventuring. We will meet at the Park next week to take a peek at our garden and scooter together.  We look forward to heading back to the park after the break to see how the seasons have changed it.
At home, draw a map of the park together as a memory of our time!

Emerging interests
Wednesday was our first- ever, student-run science fair! Thank you Teddy and Isabella for inspiring the idea and working with Hayden, Bennett, Zoe and Maddie to help coordinate the day by making medals, setting up tables and welcoming participants.  All of the projects got me thinking about science and experimentation. Our class is reflecting on the experience and working on planning the next one!
At home, talk about what your child saw and heard at the science fair. Do they have a plan to do it again? What would they do the same or different?

Meeting discussions
Throughout the year, many students from the upstairs class have been wondering what life is like in the downstairs room. So, next week, we will be holding an open house of the downstairs class for our upstairs friends and siblings! Starting Wednesday, we will have 4 students from the upstairs class come and spend the day with us to experience our environment and our schedule.  The olders will guide their friends through the day and get a chance to learn with new people.
At home, ask your child what they will share about the classroom with the visitors.

Math
This week was full of mathematical experiences! First, I had noted that during Deep Learning the students were doing a lot of imaginative play in the city with their characters going to Disneyland. I wondered if they wanted to create an amusement park in their city? “Of course! ” was the joyful response. So this week the provocation was to collaboratively create one of the rides. The steps were to create a blueprint, fill out a building permit and then build. For the blueprint, groups of students had graph-paper and measuring tapes and drew to scale what the size of each part of their ride would be. Each box on the graph paper equaled 1 inch. Some people kept their measurements in inches and some also translated to feet. Then, on their building permits they needed to state what materials they would need to build and the quantities and measurements of each- that way the store could be stocked for them.  On Friday, students then brought their blueprints to life by measuring and cutting and building. Teamwork and deep thinking!

The second intentional experience thinking mathematically happened as the students worked on the project of the class pet. We are at the stage of sending a survey out to families to see who can host the pet during the rest of the school year and during the summer. Students engaged in problem solving using calendars to figure out how many times each family would host with certain variables changing (how many students, teachers included or not). Be on the lookout next week for a survey from the class asking about your family’s willingness to host.
At home, talk about what you think bringing a pet home would be like and if there is special information you need from us in order to make that as smooth as possible.

Social Emotional
The science fair brought up lots of feelings about the word “best.” The original idea brought forth by the students was to have people vote for their favorite projects and everyone would get a red ribbon but the best one would get a blue ribbon. This didn’t sit well with everyone and yet there was also the desire to be recognized as having done an outstanding job. On the day of the science fair, there were feelings about how many people visited each project, or not, and that made it feel like certain projects were “better”  than others. So, the desire to be voted best still remained desirable to some, but the actuality of not receiving the feedback they wanted was hard. We will continue to have discussions about how we can structure the next science fair so that everyone feels like they got to share their project and get recognized by their peers, as well as the broader idea of competition and recognition.
At home, talk about your experiences with science fairs. Does it have to be a competition to be “real”?

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 – That Park
Scootering and Community garden plan is back!  The forecast is Sunny with a high of 72.  Please apply sunscreen at home.

***Supplies Needed

  1. open-ended dress up fabrics and clothes
  2. Tracing/Graph Paper, chipboard/cardboard, stencils/architect templates
  3. squeegees, white vinegar, sponges, buckets

***Community Field Trip – May 2nd
Please save the Date!

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 Toolbox

Parent Teacher Schedule

MON Apr 7
EL/MS

Please volunteer to cover a shift on Monday!  Thank you,click here to volunteer.

THUR Apr 10
ME

FRI Apr 11
AS

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions related to PTs and scheduling. We need your help with PT support on Thursdays.  Please click here to sign up.

PT RESOURCE: Phys Ed – Strength Training For kids
What are the benefits of strength training? via Mayo Clinic
Done properly, strength training can:
  • Increase your child’s muscle strength and endurance
  • Help protect your child’s muscles and joints from sports-related injuries
  • Improve your child’s performance in nearly any sport, from dancing and figure skating to football and soccer
Keep in mind that strength training isn’t only for athletes. Even if your child isn’t interested in sports, strength training can:
  • Strengthen your child’s bones
  • Help promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Help your child maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve your child’s confidence and self-esteem
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • APRIL TUITION is past Due – thank you!
  • TKG OFFICE HOURS – Friday Apr 11, confirm you attendance for location info
  • FUNDRAISER/CONTRIBUTION OPPORTUNITY Riviera Nails Day is this Wed.  Earn towards your contribution!

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 – Brain Function & Development

Eight Ways Of Looking At Intelligence
by Annie Murphy Paul/The Brilliant Blog

In “Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird,” poet Wallace Stevens takes something familiar—an ordinary black bird—and by looking at it from many different perspectives, makes us think about it in new ways.

With apologies to Stevens, I’d like to present eight ways of looking at intelligence—eight perspectives provided by the science of learning. A few words, first, about that term: The science of learning is a relatively new discipline born of an agglomeration of fields: cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience. Its project is to apply the methods of science to human endeavors—teaching and learning—that have for centuries been mostly treated as an art.

As with anything to do with our idiosyncratic and unpredictable species, there is still a lot of art involved in teaching and learning. But the science of learning can offer some surprising and useful perspectives on how we educate young people and how we guide our own learning. And so: Eight Ways Of Looking At Intelligence.  The First Way is here…

The Overprotected Kid - The Atlantic April 2014

 

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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!