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

All Together
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Can’t wait to have the crew all back together again on Monday.  Reminder: this Wednesday is our Fresh Bros. Fundraiser.  Order anytime after 11 to help raise money for TKG (you must show/mention flyer).

Meeting discussions/Social Emotional
How do we achieve balance in our schedule? What does it mean to us for our bodies, minds and hearts to feel safe in our classroom?  We have been processing these questions each day…during meeting and beyond.
Next week we will continue to explore the concept of safety, specifically as it relates to how we make this a safe environment to learn new things and make mistakes.

Math
During math we intentionally worked on the following skills and habits:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Project Management
  • Feedback Loop
This week students finished their math games, with multiple opportunities for players to practice addition and subtraction.  Bennett’s game challenges players to choose the path to earning the most money. Starting on Thursday, students learned some new words to describe the process of product creation.  The designers of the new board games began beta testing their prototypes, hoping that their fellow designers could help them polish and refine.  Each student took turns receiving or giving feedback to support further development of the game. Next week, students will get another opportunity to beta test their prototype in order to make refinements to their games and get them ready to be “packaged” for use.  For more information on this process, you can visit this website that I shared with the students: http://gamingtrend.com/2013/08/19/protospiel-beta-testing-for-board-gamers/

In addition, in small groups, students will be introduced to the math rack to support math fact proficiency.

Language
During our Writing and Reading time we intentinonally worked on the following skills and habits:

  • Using the language of drawing to reveal the story of a 3-D structure
  • Slowing down in order to achieve depth
  • Planning, reflecting, revising
  • Making time for focus on self as well as time for social connections
The story of our perfect city continues to emerge. Students were ready to continue building their three-dimensional representation of an element of their perfect city, but in an effort to help them slow down and deepen their creative process, I posed the question: how do architects reflect, revise and plan?  We read about Frank Gehry’s reflection of his work designing Disney Hall (Los Angeles Times).  We looked through our ‘almanac’ of the world’s most interesting structures. This revealed an opportunity to go back to a 2 dimensional representation of their structure to draw it as it is currently and how it would change with the new materials offered for building. Once a plan was created, students eagerly jumped into their 3-D creations and found their visions transforming and deepening as a result of the planning, reflecting, revising process.  Next week, we will focus on drawing multiple viewpoints (aerial, interior, exterior) of our creations in order to push our thinking forward and reveal areas to enhance.

Reading
students followed a sequence that allows for multiple experiences. First students each find a special spot in the room to read to self for 10 minutes, then for the next 10 minutes they pair up with a person with whom they don’t normally read (I made the partners to ensure new experiences), and finally for the last 10 minutes, students pick anyone in the room to read with.  Next week, I will be holding reading conferences with students during each of those blocks in order to support their pursuit of their individual reading goals.

Outdoors
Our experience of the park has been enhanced by our very first Play in the Park! The students adapted the story, The 3 Billy Goats Gruff, to create an original work of theater in the idyllic setting of Hess Park.  We found the bridge way out in “the outback” and the sound as we crossed it reminded me of the story and I offered the idea to the students. After 2 weeks of practice, the students were ready to have an audience. Cast members: Isabella-troll, Zoe-biggest billy goat, Bennett-medium billy goat, Madison-medium small billy goat, Simone- tiniest billy goat.  I look forward to new ideas to bring to life in the many settings Hess park offers us!

Is your sprout having a hard time with the tree limit? Please take some time to process with them and do let us know if you have any questions.  See you soon!

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

***COMMUNITY FIELD TRIP – Friday Nov 1, 10:00am
Natural History Museum + Spider Pavilion
Driving Directions from TKG, here

Arrival time is 10:00am. Cost is $13.25 Adults and $5.25 per child. Optional museum-led tours available at 1:00 (Gallery Tour) & 2:00 (Highlights Tour).  Please pay Trish by Wednesday to confirm your participation.

Parking is available for $8 in the Museum’s Car Park on Exposition Blvd. and Bill Robertson Lane.

Any questions can be directed to our Field Trip Coordinator, Shannon Minor.

***FIELD/PARK DAY NOTES
Park will be our haven this Monday.  Please remind your sprouts that they must check-in with a teacher before leaving the area. Also, remind students about the roughhouse/physical play area (check with teachers) Try to wear brightly colored clothes and don’t forget sunscreen! (Nov 4 park day will be at South)

***HALLOWEEN
Friendly reminder that we don’t wear costumes to school on Halloween. Feel free to encourage your sprout to develop a classroom costume plan in collaboration with peers and teachers.

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 I provoke commitment to the selected task?

MON OCT 28 – Park
EL/MS/TV

THUR Oct 31
ME

FRI Nov 1 – Community Day Trip
MD (Field Trip Support)

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

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions.

PT TOOLBOX: How Can Teachers Develop Students’ Motivation — and Success? (Carol Dweck)
“…teachers should teach students to relish a challenge…They should transmit the joy of confronting a challenge and of struggling to find strategies that work….. teachers should help students value effort. Too many students think effort is only for the inept. Yet sustained effort over time is the key to outstanding achievement… teachers can help students focus on and value learning. Too many students are hung up on grades and on proving their worth through grades. Grades are important, but learning is more important.”

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

Mathematics: Grade 2 Operations & Algebraic Thinking
Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.A.1 Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

Grade 1: Number & Operations in Base 10
Extend the counting sequence.
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1 Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.

English Language Arts: Anchor Standards » College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

Anchor Standards » College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

FEATURED WORKSHOP: 
Teaching for a Positive Future 1 – Institute for Humane Education
Feb. 17 – March 29, 2014

Teaching for a Positive Future 1 is our six-week online course for classroom teachers who want to inspire their students to become leaders and changemakers—for creating a healthy, peaceful, and sustainable world. LEARN MORE…

From the TKG Office

  • Office Hours, this week: Monica and Trish will be available on Wednesday (9am to 12pm) of this week, instead of the usual Friday time.
  • Tuition is due on November 1st.
  • Book Club #2, Nov 19th – mark your calendars!
  • Amazon Reports, Sept reports are now available on Trish’s clipboard.
  • Melody Elder, will be visiting TKG on Weds.  Please give her a warm welcome!  If you don’t know Melody yet, she is a TKG Social/Emotional staff and family resource.

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

Dia de los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos is one of Mexico’s traditional holidays reuniting and honoring beloved ancestors, family and friends. It is an ancient and enduring ritual when the living commune with the dead – a mystical night when the veil is lifted between their two realms and they may share a day together.

The historical roots of this celebration date back to the pre-Hispanic cultures of Meso-America of the indigenous people, especially the Nahua (Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, Tecpanec) and others native to Mexico more than 3,000 years. When the Spaniards conquered the country, this indigenous custom was rooted so deeply that, after five centuries of colonization, it has continued to survive and remain as celebrated as in its first days.

Throughout each period in Mexican culture, death seems to hold no terror. In Mexican art, legends, and religion, death has not been a mysterious and fearful presence but a realistic recognizable character as much a part of life as life itself. Dia De Los Muertos expresses this perspective: READ MORE…

Are the Humanities dead?

 

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 23

 

Puzzle Fun
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
WHO ARE WE? We are collaborators: Thanks to families for our conferences and supporting siblings and park day while we met.  In between our meetings I was able to show some of our sprouts our new garden plot at the Hermosa Community Garden.  We pulled some weeds and cilantro plants out of our bed to prep for adding more soil and planting.  We explored the area, and met a fellow gardener who let us pull some turnips and lettuce.  Classmates who didn’t see our plot were busy observing a landscaping crew and looking at plants from a different perspective.
We are kneaders: In the classroom we made another batch of play dough and explored collage. We are scientists: We’ve had many conversations about our amygdala, and what is helpful when you or someone else’s amygdala is getting flooded.
We are citizens: We’ve been playful with tone of voice and pointing out our Bill of Rights.  The running walking game was requested and we played it a few times this week.  Haven’t seen it?  Ask your sprout how it works.
We are mathematicians: In math some of us have been exploring time.  What IS time?
“Time goes fast when you are a kid.”
“The shorter hand is the hour hand, the long hand is the minute hand.  How come the hour hand is so short when an hour is seriously long?” -Madison
When using the hulahoop clock, a student reflected: “I don’t like to stand still.” Michelle asked, “Does time stand still?” “No becasue the Earth moves” was her reply. Next week we will look at bigger chunks of time: days, months, years.
We are inventors: Alex and James invented a magnet game out of one of our clocks called Magnet Soccer. Ask about how it is played!
We are musicians:  The wedding continues to be planned and while some were playing piano other instruments, Bennett wanted to play the guitar.  I mentioned that I could bring one from home soon, and Trish said we could make some out of shoe boxes and rubberbands.  (One of the many reasons I love parent teachers!)  We made instruments out of all different materials the rest of the week…
We are problem-solvers: Puzzles and expanding Frog and Turtle World is how we have been settling into our day before morning gathering.  At our meetings we have been checking in with our meeting book and discussing the following topics:
  • Tone of voice:  Bennett thinks tone of voice should be added to the Bill of Rights.  We have been discussing all week what different voices sound and feel like.  We voted and it was not unanimous so we will continue the conversation,
  • Should names should go in the notebook? In the process of the tone of voice conversation we determined that people may feel embarrassed – how does that feel?  Ask your sprout about the status.
  • Snack Table: Madison wrote snack table and we discussed how sometimes the snack table isn’t clean after each use.  Others agreed and said it is “gross”.  We talked about ways to help keep it clean and supporting each other.
We are friends: On Thursday we said goodbye to Rudy, the custodian, and made him presents and a card.  With tears in his eyes he thanked us and said he would always remember us. On Friday we shared our classroom with an applying student and enjoyed showing him around and inviting him in our play.  We even took him to “Old Granny’s House” where we read every Mo Willems book we had.  AND we met Old Granny! The following notes from a parent teacher inspired a paper making plan for next week “I wish paper was made of something different.  Because trees are important and we don’t want to waste them.” “Yeah, maybe if it was made out of metal or plastic we could use more.”

Wondering: How can we engage our students in math more deeply?

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 going back to HESS PARK!  Trails, Earthquakes, baseball and snakes…don’t forget sunscreen and plenty of water.  And off to camp!

Classroom Supplies Needed: small scrubbers/sponges (for student projects), thermometers, blank sheet music, blue painters tape…

March Monthly Parent Meeting: March 7th, Thursday evening at 7pm.  We are looking for childcare…please send in your request or recommendations!

 

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 – Focus on math: You’re in the math station…numbers are flowing.  In fact, a student has just rolled a 7: what are some things you could wonder about 7?

  • What is one more/less than 7?
  • What is five more/less than 7?
  • What number comes before/after 7?

It may sound simple, but relating to numbers is an important practice for 5-7. Not all students think about the problem the same, nor do they solve the problem the same.  You can support Michelle by taking detailed notes about your observations about the student and their relationship to numbers.

Teacher Focus – “How Do I Keep My Nail Polish From Chipping?” (so this is more relevant to the First Friday crew, but helpful nonetheless…) Read the NYMag post, here.

For your Toolbox – What Triggers You?: “Parents and kids have the ability to trigger each other as no one else can. Even as adults we are often irrational in relation to our own parents. (Who has greater power to annoy you? Make you act childish?) Similarly, our kids push our buttons precisely because they are our children. Psychologists call this phenomenon “ghosts in the nursery,” by which they mean that our children stimulate the intense feelings of our own childhoods, and we often respond by unconsciously re-enacting the past that’s etched like forgotten hieroglyphics deep in our psyches.” READ MORE…

 

PT SCHEDULE, WEEK OF Mar 4…
Monday – TV/TS
Tuesday – NL/RD
Wednesday – TV
Thursday – LS
Friday – BM/ME
Please contact Nicole if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule. 

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:

MATH Number and Operations in Base Ten  K.NBT Work with numbers 11–19 to gain foundations for place value. 1. Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 18= 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine. 1. Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as abovebelowbesidein front ofbehind, and next to.

Work with addition and subtraction equations. 7. Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.

READING Grade 1, 2. Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text. Grade 2, 2. Identify the main topic of a multi paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text. Kinder, 3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words both in isolation and in text. a. Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or many of the most frequent sound for each consonant.

WRITING Grade 2 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. Grade 1: b. Use end punctuation for sentences.

 

FEATURED WORKSHOP – ArtZone Spring Break Camp
Holiday Art Zone Camps are offered during school holidays 10 am to 2 pm LEARN MORE…

From the TKG Office:

  • Tuition is past due. Families on the e-mail invoice system will receive their statements by the beginning of next week.
  • 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.
  • Daylight Savings coming up on March 10th
  • Spring Break is from April 1 through 5
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez@knowinggarden.org.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

Resource Of The Week

Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud “Schools as we know them are obsolete.” That’s the bold assertion of Sugata Mitra, who has been spending many years exploring how young people teach themselves (and each other) without a “teacher” and whose focus is on “What is going to be the future of learning?” Mitra begins his talk by looking at where the kind of learning we currently do in schools came from. His answer: the British Empire. He outlines how the Victorians very successfully created a global computer out of people: “It’s called the bureaucratic administrative machine. In order to have that machine running, you need to have lots and lots of people. They made another machine to produce those people. It’s called ‘the school.’ The schools would produce the people who would then become parts of bureaucratic administrative machine.” Mitra says that we are “continuously producing identical people for a machine that no longer exists.”  See more at…

Watch his Ted Talk

TKG LEARN: Dr. Laura Markham: “Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child” @ TKG on Jan 22

January 22, 7:00pm

TKG @ St.Andrew’s Church, 301 Ave D in Redondo Beach

Eventbrite - Dr. Laura Markham - How You Can Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child

DETAILS

The Knowing Garden Community School is happy to welcome trusted advocate for children and parents, Dr. Laura Markham, to our community.

You’ve heard that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) may be more important to your child’s success in life than IQ.  Dr.Laura Markham of Aha!Parenting.com translates the research on emotional intelligence into practical everyday routines and strategies to help you raise a high EQ child.

Learn:
•How you can help your child develop high EQ.
•How children learn to manage anger, hurt, disappointment and other strong feelings.
•Why emotional intelligence gives kids inner discipline and gets you out of the discipline business.
• Strategies to handle your own strong emotions so you can help your child.

Dr. Laura Markham,the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids:How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, loves to answer audience questions about their kids.  Join us to celebrate her new book!

Dr. Laura writes extensively about parenting as the editor-in-chief at AhaParenting.com, the website of Aha! moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years.  Her daily and weekly newsletters are read by more than 20,000 parents daily.

$20 for individuals, $40 for a pair, plus processing fees.  Register at http://knowinggarden.org

Tickets also available offline (no fees) by emailing info@knowinggarden.org. RSVP is requested.
TKG at St.Andrew’s Church
301 Avenue D
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

About TKG

THE KNOWING GARDEN is a community Elementary school for the children and families of the Greater South Bay area. Now open at St.Andrew’s Church in Redondo Beach, our school recognizes humans as natural learners and respects students’ rights to choice, freedom and collaboration. We believe that a project-rich curriculum facilitated by hands-on learning and real-life experiences will prepare our students to be critical thinkers who become lifelong learners and active contributors to the global community. With credentialed teachers, holistic practices, creativity, and low-ratios, our learning plans emerge in partnership with each child. Our students, from diverse backgrounds, become part of a greater community that values connection, mindfulness, divergent thinking, confidence and concern for the Earth. THE KNOWING GARDEN is a not-for-profit school with a public purpose. A 501(c)3 Organization.

TKG IS NOW ENROLLING AGES 5 TO 8 –

info(at)KNOWINGGARDEN(dot)ORG/310. 310 728.9337

Eventbrite - The Knowing Garden Enrollment Info Night

Eventbrite - Dr. Laura Markham - How You Can Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 11

Discoveries at TKG
“Children were not born to walk. They were born to run– barefoot, over rocks, through the water, through the mud. We need to give greater recognition to the energy and joy of children.”
— Bev Boss
Happy Thanksgiving!  We hope you have been enjoying a relaxing week.Some of our sprouts have shared:
“Thanksgiving is when we give thanks with our family.”

“Thanksgiving is where you have a big meal and give thanks for the people that work so hard.”

Thanksgiving is really fun because I go to Monterrey to see Grandpa and Grandma.”

“I like playing games with my family for thanksgiving.”

“We have turkey for thanksgiving. I like turkey, but you know you can’t digest it. That’s why you want to sleep when you eat lots of it. Really, it’s true.”

Thinking back to two weeks ago…oh, that’s a challenge!…
We welcomed a new student and a returning student.  We showed them where supplies and activities are located. We shared our Bill of Rights.  Recently, students have requested having their own clipboards.  We want the backs designed and personalized — just like our parent teachers.  Many students enjoyed using them throughout the day.  A student started a drawing of turtles during math and he continued adding to his art work the rest of the day.    The clipboard gave him the freedom to create while participating in other conversations and activities. We are excited to share this, and more, with another new student who will join us next week!

Mo Willems author study is blossoming: we are making observations about how characters interact with each other, how the characters are talking to the reader, use of facial expression and minimal words… some students have offered to bring in a few books they have so we can read more.  One gardener was inspired to write a book called “A Pigeon Wants A Pigeon”.

Next week we will continue to read Black Beauty and compare Anna Sewell’s autobiography of a horse to Mo Willems’ writing about relationships, investigate personification, and clarify the difference between characters in a story and branded characters.  In case you have forgotten (4th grade? perhaps), BLACK BEAUTY is narrated in the first person as an autobiographical memoir told by the titular horse—beginning with his carefree days as a colt on an English farm with his mother, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness.  And Mo?  Well, you’ve probably read a few of those recently…who doesn’t know the Pigeon?!

The time timer has helped in visualizing time and increases our manageability  of time and our projects.   A couple students recently started wearing watches and are showing interests in learning more about time.  We will investigate time as well as continue to determine the length and height a curtain for our dance show.  One of our musicians described a song as “a tune that lights up your heart”.

Deep Learning this week ranged from creating dances and songs to engineering “the best play ground ever for our brothers, and us too”.  Our young engineers made swings, a tightrope (with bubble wrap underneath for safety) a rope step to the tree, and a ball toss game.  They made signs, tickets, and a puppet show.  They collaborated, tested, modified, and brought science, math, language, and art together in a meaningful real world experience.

In anticipation of beginning our open flow classroom in December we opened the reading and writing area at the same time.  Everything we have been doing, up to now, has been in preparation to open the classroom even more.  Next week we will introduce new schedules and a modified version of open flow.  In an Open Flow Day, children’s activities are based on what draws their interest and children must have experience in using the classroom space and materials, responsibly.  The design of the environment is a direct result of the what the teachers do, when it is done, and how the teachers guide activities.  It is not “anything goes” and teacher-less learning.

This week, our newsletter features information on Animal Protection. This week’s field trip focus is pet keeping and you can help our intentions by supporting responsible animal care. Let’s begin by thinking about whether all animals have the same rights…

ASK YOUR SPROUTS

What is the time timer?
Who did you lunch with today?
When did you go outside?
Why are you reading Black Beauty?
Where would you like to Park Day in December?

PROJECT IDEAS:
Watercolor painting over tissue paper collage
Sponsor a Rover Rescue Dog
Visit the Levitated Mass
Cook, Tofu 101: Easy Tofu Recipes for Kids
Make a whiteboard clock

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:
CLASSROOM/CURRICULUM/PARK DAY – Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman
SCHOOL BUSINESS – Trish Valdez

Our Flickr Stream features even more photos from this week!

Tending the Garden

November Park We will meet at 9am on Monday…Pick up will be at 2pm, at Park (different location for pick up).

Field Trip is scheduled for Friday November 30th . Details will be sent as soon as possible, plan for 9/9:30am start time.

Animal Legislation, There is a bill before the U.S. Senate with a provision that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from restricting the use of toxic lead shot ammunition, and one other that would allow American hunters to import the heads and hides of polar bears they shot in Canada…Read more.

Welcome New Sprouts! AS will be joining us this week.

Connected Holidays - have a relaxed, fun and connected Holiday season…check out this online course with Patty Wipfler.  Sign Up!

 

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 Corner

THIS WEEK…

our ratio goal is 1:4 daily
Monday – TV/NL
Tuesday – RD
Wednesday – BW
Thursday – ME/LS
Friday – Fieldtrip!
please contact Trish if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule and check in with Trish at morning drop off to confirm Dec’s schedule.

Focus for the coming week – Mindset.  Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference. Based on the general idea that a mindset is a set of assumptions held by one or more people or groups of people that is so established that it creates a powerful incentive within these people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors, choices, or tools.  What we say and how we are in the classroom, makes all the difference. WATCH THIS…

In support of You – 7 Benefits of Regular physical Activity

  1. weight balance
  2. combats disease
  3. improves mood
  4. boosts energy
  5. promotes healthy sleep
  6. sparks your mojo
  7. fun!

Check Out Food Environment Atlasfor national data on fascinating facts like, “proximity to a grocery store,” “restaurant availability” and “food insecurity.”  How does our relationship to animals affect the data?

 

What is a playground worth preserving?  While you are traveling for the Holdays…add to this interactive map.
The Seeds (Core Standards)We are creating intention around these standards:

READING STANDARDS FOR LITERATURE
CCLS Grade 1 Reading.   Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:  9. Compare and contrast the experiences and adventures of characters in stories.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3c Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

2.7. (second grade) Use information gained from the illustrations and words in print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

MATH STANDARDS

CCMath  Grade 1 Measurement and Data:
2. Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units.
3. Tell and write time to the hour and half hour and a digital and analog clock.

K.CC- Know number names and the count sequence.
1.  Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
2.  Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

1NBT Extend the counting sequence.
1.  Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.

WRITING STANDARDS1:  1. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.)

K. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

SPEAKING AND LISTENING STANDARDS

CCLS Grade 1  4.a  Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or a phrase.

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

 

Please shop our Amazon store for dress up plans, school supplies and Holiday Gift Lists!  Access here…

From the TKG Office:

  • Tuition Due, December 1st
  • December Parent Meeting, Saturday the 15th
  • Animal Activism, Browse and sign petitions atchange.org
  • Parent Workday #2, Friday Dec 21st, we will pack up for the long break

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez@knowinggarden.org.

 

Read this excerpt from “How To Talk So Kids Will Learn…” when in doubt, acknowledge the student’s feelings!
Resource Of The WeekMINDSET by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Mindset explains:
Why brains and talent don’t bring success
How they can stand in the way of it
Why praising brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment, but jeopardizes them
How teaching a simple idea about the brain raises grades and productivity.

No parent thinks “I wonder what I can do today to undermine my children, subvert their effort, turn them off learning, and limit their achievement.” Of course not. They think “I would do anything, give anything, to make my children successful.” Yet many of the things they do boomerang. Their helpful judgments, their lessons, their motivating techniques often send the wrong message.

In fact, every word and action sends a message. It tells children – or students or athletes – how to think about themselves. It can be a fixed mindset message that says: “You have permanent traits and I’m judging them.” Or it can be a growth mindset message that says: “You are a developing person and I am interested in your development”…

READ MORE…

 

The Knowing Garden · 4733 Torrance Blvd · Box 324 · Torrance, CA 90503

 

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 10

Discoveries at TKG
“If I know you’re very good in music, I can predict with just about zero accuracy whether you’re going to be good or bad in other things.”
-Howard Gardner
What is a Tangram?  See if you can find the discover the clues hidden in this week’s message!  Also – please check out the link for the survey.  Your response is very important!

This Tuesday was Election Day – of course. We were curious about the “polling place” that beckoned us.  A parking spot just for voters?  U.S. Flags and lots of different people visiting our school!  We opened our meeting with an election of our own: Vote, for your favorite park.  After we tallied up the votes…Wilderness Park beat out SCBG and Hess. Then, our sprouts decided that we should also vote for President.  They shared information about who the candidates in the real election were and how we should participate.  Students asked, “How do you spell, OBAMA?”  Students asked, “Who is the other President?”  One of our experts said, “Did you know that Barack Obama was the 2nd President of the United States?” We dropped our ballots into the box and shared anonymously and publicly.

Students are in the gift giving spirit and are making each other presents every day. We are sharpening our math, reading and writing skills by practicing our fine motor skills: coloring, cutting, taping, and beading.

Our writing skills are demonstrated through: phonetic spelling, copying names and words, reading bead letters, and drawing pictures.  Imagine:
“I hate writing!  My heart is not the right size.  The names don’t fit. I made a mistake and I hate it.”
“The heart doesn’t have to be as big as mine. Have you tried using the eraser?”
“Oh yah! An eraser…that works.  I can erase the mistakes.”
We had multiple successful transitions between focused learning times this week and writing and reading flow very nicely together!
what do you say when your sprout is discouraged about learning – what do you really say?

We practice math in wonderful places.  We made sound patterns during meeting time. clap – clap – snap – snap – pat – pat. We tell time. We play math games.  We craft patterns. We write and right numbers.

Our reading skills are expanding.  Reading is not just decoding of course…listening helps us in the process.  We have started a chapter book, BLACK BEAUTY.  Sometimes we like to get snuggled up to listen about this, “Suspenseful, deeply moving account of a horse’s experiences at the hands of many owners, written as the animal’s autobiography, and revealing as much about human conduct and the social ills of the time as it does about the treatment of animals.”  Our sprouts are tuned in to their capabilities…this week we heard, “I don’t want to read right now.  I will get better at it when I’m older.”

Our social skills are really blossoming through our present making experience:

  • we are practicing equality by making presents for all (or making an extra present if a student didn’t get very many)
  • we are asking for help
  • we are offering help
  • we are getting to know each other by listening – we ask each other what we really like, or want, in a present

DEEP LEARNING is a wonderful time in our day.  We get to play, freely and authentically…pets, pet stores, owners, cages, habitats.  We are animals that like to be adopted; and it is much more than that – each animal has history.  Each animal is crafted to the finest of details (what they look like, what they like to do, their personalities…)  Next week we will be writing about our personal pet and we will work on our pet store.

Our Kai is back from Japan and he will be joining James and Anna, our newest sprouts in the classroom next week:

  • James’ mum is Brandy and his dad is Ian.  He is 5 years old.  He is curious and wise child.  He’s artistic, athletic and friendly.  Mum loves yoga and cooking and dad loves to build things and play guitar.  James also has a little brother, Liam.  We will, officially, welcome James next Tuesday.
  • Anna’s mum is Lori and her dad is John.  She is 6 years old.  She loves to learn and is a loving child.  Mum has a passion for nutrition and dad has great stories about the JPL lab school!  Anna is  getting used to the idea of transitioning from her immersion program at her current school and will join us after the Thanksgiving Break.
  • A tangram consists of seven flat shapes, called tans, which are put together to form shapes (there’s more…keep looking!)

Michelle, Yvette and the sprouts have been talking about new students, what “getting to know each other” means and what our environment means to us.  Which is a natural segway into our Bill Of Rights.  Our living document has been crafted and led by our students.  We don’t have arbitrary “classroom rules” at TKG…this is a very unique and important experience for our sprouts.  They discuss their needs and we guide the development of the common rights of our classroom.  Our TKG Bill of Rights currently states that we support:

  • Kind, loving names
  • Checking in
  • Appreciation and Thank You’s

Booooooook Sale!  By the time you read this, you will be recovering from our busy day.  Our sprouts spent time crafting one-of-a-kind bookmarks to sell at our Book Sale.  We are raising money for a Book Binder and Laminator.

ASK YOUR SPROUTS

Did you check a book out today?
What would you like to learn at school?
Where should we field trip?
Do you have any books to return to school today?
Do you like to be a pet?

PROJECT IDEAS:
Read with your sprouts
Talk about the founders of the United States and our 1st and 2nd Presidents
Practice intentional transition times or note successful transition times with your sprout
Write a story about your pet or one you’d like to have
Collect and count fallen leaves (they make great art items too!)

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:
CLASSROOM/CURRICULUM/PARK DAY – Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman
SCHOOL BUSINESS – Trish Valdez

Our Flickr Stream features even more photos from this week!

Tending the Garden

Welcome New Sprouts! James and Kai will join our class on Tuesday November 13th.

Monthly Parent Meeting – We’ll see you November 15th at 6:30pm – our focus will be curriculum and we need your feedback by Tuesday Nov 13th.

Willows School Workshop - Michael Thompson, Internationally Acclaimed Author, Psychologist and Parenting Expert (Homesick & Happy, Raising Cain) will be speaking at The Willows Community School on Tuesday, January 15th at 7:00pm.  Register Here…

Lesson Seed: TANGRAMS were originally invented in China at some unknown point in history, and then carried over to Europe by trading ships in the early 19th century. It became very popular in Europe for a time then, and then again during World War I. Watch!

Upcoming Field Trip is scheduled for Friday November 30th.  Please stay tuned for details.

NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY – VETERAN’S DAY!
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY – NO SCHOOL WEEK OF NOV 19TH

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 Corner

THIS WEEK…

Monday – No School – Veteran’s Day
Tuesday – 
RD
Thursday – TV
Friday – NL

Focus for the coming week – Independence: Do you feel like you can’t disconnect from your own sprout and make time with other students?  Consider some of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Steven Covey) that focus on independence:

  • Be Proactive = Take initiative by realizing that your decisions are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.
  • Begin with the End in Mind = Create a Mission Statement. Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.
  • Put First Things First = Prioritize, plan, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that are in your ‘mission statement’

In support of You – How to Make a Proper Cup of Tea…

Another tangram Clue – The objective of a TANGRAM puzzle is to form a specific shape (given only an outline or silhouette) using all seven pieces, which may not overlap

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:

SPEAKING AND LISTENING STANDARDS

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

b. Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges

SCIENCE STANDARDS

Life Cycles

Environments/Habitats

READING STANDARDS FOR LITERATURE

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3a Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3c Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

2.7. (second grade) Use information gained from the illustrations and words in print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

MATH STANDARDS

K.CC- Know number names and the count sequence.
1.  Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
2.  Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

1NBT Extend the counting sequence.
1.  Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.

WRITING STANDARDS

1:  1. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.)

K. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

Please shop our Amazon store for dress up plans, school supplies and Holiday Gift Lists!  Access here…

From the TKG Office:

  • Nov Board Meeting, Tuesday November 13th. 7pm, Cheesecake Factory
  • Enrollment.  Our first Parent Information Night was wonderful.  We had a lot of interest and positive feedback and another applicant family!
  • Veteran’s Day Holiday – There is no school on November 12th in observance of the national holiday.
  • last Tangram Fun – caution, may be addictive…GO!

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez@knowinggarden.org.

 

Read this excerpt from “How To Talk So Kids Will Learn…” when in doubt, acknowledge the student’s feelings!

Resource of the Week

How to Raise a Persistent Child
by Dr. Laura Markham

I’m willing to bet that many geniuses have gone to their graves unaccomplished because of their inability to persist in the face of adversity.  All of us have days when things look bleak, when it’s hard to find the energy to persevere.  But persevering may determine our chances of success more than any other single characteristic.

If you read about Nobel Prize winners, they all have different stories.  But they share one thing: the people who know them always describe how that person never gave up.  A two year scientific experiment can fizzle, and that scientist will be back in the lab the next morning, figuring out what they can learn from whatever went wrong.

Some parents wish their child was less persistent, especially during the toddler years.  But persistence is a wonderful trait in a human being.  It’s essential to accomplishing what you want to in life. READ MORE…

 

The Knowing Garden · 4733 Torrance Blvd · Box 324 · Torrance, CA 90503

TKG LEARN: True School Readiness with Gaile Price, M.A.

KINDERGARTEN READINESS
Guest Speaker: Gaile Price, M.A.

When asked, award-winning kindergarten teachers revealed the most important skills they want to see in children entering kindergarten ─ emotional management skills, communication skills, curiosity and problem-solving, among others.

This highly informative workshop will explore the developmental skills that children need to be ready to face the challenges and opportunities of kindergarten and beyond.  Areas of discussion will include sharing, autonomy, initiative and symbolic thinking.


TUESDAY NOVEMBER 13TH
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
at Manhattan Beach Nursery School
1520 Nelson Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266


This highly informative workshop will explore the developmental skills that children need to be ready to face the challenges and opportunities of kindergarten and beyond.  Areas of discussion will include sharing, autonomy, initiative and symbolic thinking.

Gaile Price, M. A. has over 25 years of teaching experience with young children–infancy through age 8.  For the past 8 years, she has taught child development at El Camino College and several other local community colleges. Gaile received her M.A. from Pacific Oaks College.

There is a $10 suggested donation for non-MBNS families. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. Please RSVP to michelle@champcreative.com.

 

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 5

The Knowing Garden

From under our big tree…

6 October 2012
Twitter Facebook

Week 5 News & Information

Discoveries at TKG
A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived in him. 
~Pablo Neruda
Hello Families!

What do you count?  Magnets, buttons, pillows?  There are so many things to count…so many things to ponder…we are counting, writing, reading and persisting – there is always much to learn.  Sprouts are encouraged to start their own collections at home…and bring them to share in our classroom.

We are cooperating.  This week, we have helped each other: get maps our of a tree, find letters on stencils, tie our shoes, build race tracks, do handstands, wash our shirts, and make books.  What is the difference between a short vowel and a long vowel?  Ask your sprout for their thoughts (don’t worry about giving them the ‘right’ answer, they are exploring their love of reading and writing and we want to encourage their curiosity) and if you want some techinical information, click here!

Clean up is challenging.  Michelle and the classroom team are implementing strategies to help with the clean up process and will continue to support our students and classroom needs.  We are going to try something new this week…suggested by a student who described the strategy at a former school:   this week, students will have a specific item of choice to clean up to create a focus (chairs, pillows, markers, etc).  Cooperation in clean up is an expectation of our environment.  If you have thoughts about clean-up, please contact Michelle immediately.

We make time for playtime every day: Sewing, Chair Building (we remembered alligatory), Reading, Mail Truck creation, Dress Up, Art – in harmony!

Speaking of Sewing:  we are making personal animals based on a “menu” of items offered.  We even took a survey to determine our offerings.  Some of us are experts and some of us are beginners…much to learn!

Check Ins: Our environment is open and responsive.  We do want our students to check in with Michelle whenever they are wanting to leave the common space.  Usually, there is an adult available to facilitate outdoor time, sewing, painting or maybe even reading.

There are times, like our ABC Book project, when students feel apprehensive.  WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO DO A PROJECT?  This week, we have found that apprehension often turns into curiousity and engagement, with some bolstering from Teachers and Parent Teachers.  If a student is not interested in a focused project, we encourage dialogue in order to address concerns, seek options and expand learning.

We missed our Yvette on Wednesday.  Please think healing thoughts for Yvette and Thank you Parent Teachers for stepping up.

We are fundraising!  In support of our upcoming Book Sale, we are thinking about what we need for our classroom and we are thinking about what we can do to support our school’s upcoming fundraiser at the Torrance Farmers Market.

Guess what we saw at the park? Lizards, cats!, butterflies, dragonflies, spiders…and sprouts, learning together and independently.  “Make Way for Ducklings,” was a popular read and some of our students shared what it was like to ride on the swan boats in Boston.  We also saw…wet kids!

OVERHEARD THIS WEEK:
“everyone is part of everything”
“This isn’t what I thought it would be like…but it is turning out to be really fun”
“I see foot prints”  “Let’s follow them”
“This is beautiful!”
“I am not so good at vowels.”
“It sure is dry out here.”
“This is a nice place for a rest.”

Student A: “Do my shoes leave good traction?  The mud helps give it good traction.”
Student B: “Why is that?
A: “Because it is sticky.”
B: “What makes it sticky.”
A: “The water.”
B: “But when I drink, water isn’t sticky… Oh it is water AND dirt together!”
WOW!

For next week:
Mail Trucks – Our Community
ABC Books – going strong and continuing
Self-reguation: around nourishment and replenishing fluids (eating your snack and getting water!), verbalizing to soothe or clarify
Independence – choosing individual projects and goals and self-reliance

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:
CLASSROOM/CURRICULUM/PARK DAY – Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman
PARENT TEACHERS – MJ Garcia
SCHOOL BUSINESS – Trish Valdez

Tending the Garden

October Park
Please pack $1 per sprout for admission costs and don’t forget to sunscreen!  See you Monday!

Classroom Supplies
We are in need of two trowels and a pair of children’s garden gloves and adult garden gloves.  Thank you for your consideration!

October Parent Meeting: Saturday the 13th at 9am
This meeting is for all parents, we hope at least one parent will be available to attend.  If you have a topic you would like to discuss, please contact Michelle immediately.

The 5 Guiding Principals

  • 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
Our Flickr Stream features even more photos from this week!
Is Mediocrity Good Enough for Our Kids?  Read More here…

We love our Parent Teachers…

THIS WEEK…

Monday - NL & TV
Tuesday – RD
Thursday – ME
Friday – MG

Focus for the coming week: Do a headstand! Inverted asanas reverse the action of gravity on the body; instead of everything being pulled towards the feet, the orientation shifts towards the head. Similarly, on the emotional and psychic levels, inverted asanas turn everything upside down, throwing a new light on old patterns of behavior and being.

In support of Self-preservation: “Your compassion for yourself is the key to healing any place inside you that hurts.  And it opens your heart to the unconditional love you’ve always deserved. Choose love (read more).”

“Children now spend $40 billion dollars of their own money and influence another $700 billion in spending annually – roughly the equivalent of the combined economies of the world’s 115 poorest countries.” 
CONSUMING KIDS: WATCH THE FILM

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We continue to create intention around these standards:

WRITING STANDARDS

K. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

1.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

READING STANDARDS FOR LITERATURE
K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

K.4 Social Studies, map making and use of geographic tools using symbols

1.7. Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

2.7. Use information gained from the illustrations and words in print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

MATH STANDARDS

6.6 Attend to Precision. Communicate precisely to others. Give carefully formulated explanations to each other. Tachers focus on clarity and accuracy of process and outcome in problem solving.

LIFE SCIENCE STANDARDS
1.2 Plants and Animals meet their needs in different ways.

SPEAKING AND LISTENING STANDARDS

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

b. Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges

5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

 

Learn about a free online workshop,“Harmony Restored: How to Find a Win-Win Solution”   Click here for more details. October 9th.  Facilitated by a former Del Sol teacher.

From the TKG Office:

Tending the soil…

  • TKG Board Meeting, October 8th at 8pm
  • FUNdraiser Opportunity We will have another BOOK SALE on Saturday, October 20th beginning at 8:30am.  We will need table loading assistance, morning of loading/unloading and works shifts.  Please contact Seth Kaufman to volunteer.  All proceeds will be shared by all participating families.
  • Community Workshop Tuesday November 7th A New Parent Info Night + Blending ECHO Parenting and Hand In Hand with Kathy Gordon – sign up is available here.

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez@knowinggarden.org.

 

Please shop our Amazon store for dress up plans, school supplies and Holiday Gift Lists!  Access here…

Resource Of The Week

Idealism vs. Perfectionism
by Scott Noelle

You can be an idealistic parent without falling into the trap of perfectionism.

Your parenting ideals give you a focal point, a sense of direction on your journey.

But perfectionism demands the impossible: Get to the destination without taking the journey! (“If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all!”)

If perfectionism is keeping you from enjoying your idealistic parenting journey — if you feel ashamed whenever you fall short of your ideals — consider this funny-but-true saying:

READ MORE…

The Knowing Garden · 4733 Torrance Blvd · Box 324 · Torrance, CA 90503

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 3

22 September 2012
TwitterFacebook

Week 3 News & Information

Discoveries at TKG
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”
— Karl Menninger

We are artists, needle workers, re-creators, scientists, musicians, mathematicians, and movie makers!  We are listeners, talkers, sharers of ideas, and learners! We are thinking about how different perspectives can be viewed like kaleidoscopes. As friendship and trust blooms, we have seen students begin to listen and learn from one another. Together as a classroom community and as individuals, students are listening to one another. We are discussing things like: what name we like to be called and which ones we don’t, what we want our movie audience to do (listen, clap, not talk, etc).  These are conversations that are helping us form ideas on what our class environment should be like — setting the foundation for our Bill of Rights.

As a group we gathered for reflection meetings; here students shared their ideas, as well as listen to each other. Gardeners have also found their own ways to connect with one another during deep learning time. During these key moments  we see Gardeners build their confidence and friendships:

Student B: “Oh, yeah! That’s a great idea, Friend!”
Student C: “Ugghh, I need help”
Student D: “I can help you. I’m pretty good at using the paint brush”
Student C: “Yeah, thanks”

Student E: “Hey how did you do that?”
Student F: “See I just put the tube on the rope and hooked it together like this (unties his rope and shows how he put it together), than you can carry it like this (puts  it over his shoulder).”
Student B: “Awesome!”

We are putting an emphasis on Flexible (Divergent) Thinking.  Some examples of how this came to life this week:
The Snail house!
Movie Production & Exhibition Plan: Taking on different roles, Collaborating
Supporting one another in times of disconnect: “we are your friends and we can help you”
Working with new and different partners in counting collections

Teacher/Student conferences are on the horizon.  This will be an opportunity for one on one time with teachers as well as focusing on conferencing and inter-personal skills.  Stay tuned for more information!

Next Week:
Ask your student about: “keep your hands inside the ride at all times”  (student created phrase for ‘checking in’)Encourage Students to collect items for Counting Collections.  This week’s Resource includes research, philosophy and collection ideas.Personal Goals:
  • Listening during Reflection/Share Time
  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

Encouraging Flexible thinking at home: When reading stories at home, discuss what it is like to be each character.  Or, do some role reversals and let your child play who they want to be.Upcoming Cognitive Focus: Illustration Study; it covers a wide array of techniques and standards in reading and writing and will support our current movie making unit.  Click here for more information…SEE YOU AT the Park on Monday and please sunscreen before you arrive!

Our first FIELD TRIP is coming up.  Please scroll down for details.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

If you have any questions, please reach us as follows:

CLASSROOM/CURRICULUM/PARK DAY – Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman
PARENT TEACHERS – MJ Garcia
ADMINISTRATIVE – Trish Valdez

Tending the Garden
(Important Info)

Classroom Supplies
We would like the following supplies for next week…thank you for your consideration:

  • Transparency Paper (@ our Amazon Store) – for movie making
  • Wood Scraps – for building
  • Socks – for puppet making

Sept Field Trip
Where: Marine Mammal Care Center, 360 South Gaffey Street, San Pedro 90731
When: 9.30am (should be done by 1pm)
Cost: $10 per family (this will cover our tour + Items from theMMCC Wishlist)
Please pack a Lunch!

The 5 Guiding Principals

  • 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
Check out our Flickr Stream!
Shop Our Amazon Store!  We earn a percentage on most purchases but you must purchase via our store.

We love our Gardeners!
(Parent Teachers)

THIS WEEK…

Monday - ME and MG
Tuesday – RD
Wednesday – NL
Thursday – TV

Focus for the coming week: Be objective reporters, unattached to outcome or judgement.

Phrase for the Toolbox: “I will stay close to you and help keep you safe.”

Click here for “Tackling Distress Tantrums with Brain Research.”

If you have not yet provided TB test results or taken your LiveScan appointment, please get to it at your earliest convenience.
“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”
― David Augsburger

The Seeds (Core Standards)

Some of the “standards” we will engage in Illustration Studies:

READING STANDARDS FOR LITERATURE

K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

1.7. Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

2.7. Use information gained from the illustrations and words in print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

WRITING STANDARDS

K. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

1.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

SPEAKING AND LISTENING STANDARDS

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

b. Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges

5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

 

October Parent Meeting: Saturday the 13th at 9am
Our meeting will be at TKG. Additional details to follow!

Soil Maintenance (Admin stuff)

From the TKG Business Office:

  • Community Workshop Tuesday October 30th: Blending ECHO Parenting and Hand In Hand with Kathy Gordon – sign up is available here.
  • Board Positions: Please return your applications by October 5th.

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez@knowinggarden.org.

 

SIR KEN ROBINSON comes to the South Bay – October 26th, hosted by Fusion.  Register here…

Resource Of The Week

COUNTING COLLECTIONS:
Research shows that although counting is one of the best ways we know to help children develop number sense and other important mathematical ideas, we don’t do nearly enough of it in elementary schools.

By Julie Kern Schwerdtfeger and Angela Chan

Lakeisha has lined up paintbrushes across a table and is rolling them one by one to the side. Tyler and Auveen are wrapping pencils into bundles. Maya is organizing toy kangaroos, and her partner Cody is drawing a picture of how she is doing it. What is going on in this classroom?

READ MORE…

 

 

The Knowing Garden · 4733 Torrance Blvd · Box 324 · Torrance, CA 90503

 

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 2

The Knowing Garden

From under our big tree…

15 September 2012
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Week 2 Information & Resources

Discoveries at TKG
“Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.”
Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)

We embrace this first week of school as this is a special time…there is excitement and anticipation, connections are being made yet separation is fresh, confidence and trust are being nurtured yet insecurities surface, freedom is being explored and rights are being established.  It is a wondrous time!  The world is so very full for our sprouts.

We had a magical week:

The rubber hit the road – vrooom!  We observed parents (part of the trellis) watching their children (fresh vines) blossom; climbing and exploring outside of (maybe) their typical comfort zone, working through challenges, and learning from their sprout and others.

We had multi-age magic emerge in: zip lines, wood building, nailing/screwing/hammering, older students reading to younger students, butterflies and spiders.

Student suggested classroom expansion: we made a student sign in and out, we made a mailbox, we worked with clay.

Some of this week’s provocations: creepy yet fascinating (ask about the polka dot spider), flexible vs. rigid (ask about the zip line), ABC’s of our classroom (ask about our ongoing list)

Academic foci included:

  • word of the week: and
  • word chunk: -ink
  • counting
  • maps
  • environments: spiders, butterflies, butterfly eggs!

Overheard:
“I’m good at the tree.”  “The tree is good at you.”
“Once upon a time, there was an orange.”
“If someone never cried he would be in Ripley’s Believe It or Not?”
“I’m a rock star!”
“tick tock – tick tock, i’m a little cuckoo clock”

This week some of the Gardeners have been interested in creating zip lines. One student mentioned having been on a zip line, and thought that he could recreate a zip line by using some of the materials available.  Other students were very fascinated and asked to join in.
Student A: Well first we need to create a checklist, so that we know what we need.
Student B: Ok, well we need scissors to cut the rope.
A: Got it (Writes down scissors on his journal). Hmmm, What else?
B: OH! I know, we can use these bubble things on the bottom because if we fall it will be soft and it wonʼt hurt if we fall.
A: Yeah. Oh and I almost forgot to write the most important thing, rope!
After writing down the things they needed, they began critically think about where to place the zip lines. While discussing and testing their ideas they found that the tree was the best place to begin attaching the rope.
A: See, you have to put it at the highest branch that way you can zip down and go super fast (points to the rope he knotted on the tree branch). This is going to be the best zip line EVER!
B: Yeah! Can you put this red one up on that branch behind you? Iʼll tie it to the fence.
A: OK, but pull this one tighter, because if itʼs too low its not going to work. (jumps off tree and tries hanging from rope but falls on the floor) See! we have to make it tighter!
B: (tries to hang on the rope herself) OK, Iʼll put it even more tighter.
Once the students felt that they were almost finished with their zip lines, they invited the rest of their friends to come down to test them. Gardeners immediately began pushing and pulling on the ropes, wondering if the ropes were strong enough to hang and zip line off of. They noticed that when some friends pulled on one section of the rope, another section of the rope would either loosen or become rigid. They continued to play with the ropes by hanging, flipping, and going under, over, and in between them.Next Week:
Provocations continue, we will be diving into counting collections, making an ABC book of self, laying our foundation via the Bill of Rights…what is a COUNTING COLLECTION!?  They provide provide children with rich opportunities to practice oral counting, to develop efficient counting strategies, to group objects in strategic ways, to record numbers and to represent their thinking. Research shows that although counting is one of the best ways we know to help children develop number sense and other important mathematical ideas, we don’t do nearly enough of it in elementary schools.  Children need lots of experience with counting to learn which number comes next, how this number sequence is related to the objects in front of them, and how to keep track of which ones have been counted and which still need to be counted (Fuson, 1988a). Experience with counting provides a solid foundation for future experience with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  Stay tuned for the heavy-duty research in next week’s message.

If you have any questions, please reach us as follows:

CLASSROOM/CURRICULUM/PARK DAY – Michelle Goldbach-Johnson
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
PARENT TEACHERS – MJ Garcia
ADMINISTRATIVE – Trish Valdez

Tending the Garden
(Important Info)

Birthdays!
Our sprouts got together to talk about how to celebrate birthdays at the garden this week…and we have some options (of course!).  We encourage either a healthy shared snack during school (minimal refined sugar) or take-home treats (to be distributed by parent/birthday sprout at check out). Please contact Michelle if you and your birthday girl/boy would like to incorporate additional ideas or activities – we like to share birthday traditions!

Peace Table
Peace Table is full of resources throughout the day:  empathy books, solution starters, feeling fuzzies, my schedule’s.  Please ask Michelle or Yvette for assistance in exploring this resource.

The 5 Guiding Principals

  • 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

You have got to see these photos on our Flickr Stream!

Shop Our Amazon Store!  We earn a percentage on most purchases but you must purchase via our store.

We love our Gardeners!

(Parent Teachers)

THIS WEEK…

Monday - NL & TV
Tuesday – ME
Thursday – RD
Friday – MJ & TSB

Focus for the coming week: Give students space.  Pause and wait to jump in: allowing students to problem solve first.  Social emotional, Physical and Cognitive are inseparable in this environment.

We would like to share the Parent Jobs you have selected and extend a great big THANK YOU in advance:
CLEAN UP – TSB
COMPOSTING – ME
CPA – RV
COMPUTERS/TECHNOLOGY – SE & OL
FIELD TRIPS – RD
HANDY MAN – SG
LAUNDRY – RD
PARENT MEETINGS – NL
PLANT/PET CARE – NL
PURCHASING – TSB

If you have not yet provided TB test results or taken your LiveScan appointment, please get to it at your earliest convenience.

Congratulations on your first week Parent Teachers!  We are so lucky to have you…we look forward to watching you grow.

The Seeds (Core Standards)

Some of the “standards” we engaged this week:

MATH

Measurement and Geometry – 1st grade

1.0 Students use direct comparison and nonstandard units to describe the measurements of objects:

1.1 Compare the length, weight, and volume of two or more objects by using direct comparison or a nonstandard unit.

2.4 Arrange and describe objects in space by proximity, position, and direction (e.g., near, far, below, above, up, down, behind, in front of, next to, left or right of).

Mathematical Reasoning – 2nd grade

1.0 Students make decisions about how to set up a problem:

1.1 Determine the approach, materials, and strategies to be used.2.0 Students solve problems and justify their reasoning:

2.1 Explain the reasoning used and justify the procedures selected.

3.0 Students note connections between one problem and another.

SCIENCE
Investigation and Experimentation – 1st grade
4. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students
should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
b. Record observations and data with pictures, numbers, or written statements.
d. Describe the relative position of objects by using two references (e.g., above and next to, below and left of).

Physical Sciences – 2nd grade
1. The motion of objects can be observed and measured. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know the position of an object can be described by locating it in relation to another object or to the background.
b. Students know an object’s motion can be described by recording the change in position of the object over time.
d. Students know the way to change how something is moving is by giving it a push or a pull. The size of the change is related to the strength, or the amount of force, of the push or pull.

 

October Parent Meeting: Saturday the 13th at 9am
Michelle and Lena will facilitate our first meeting as a check in and focus on the resources you may be needing.  Location will be confirmed.

Soil Maintenance

(Admin stuff)

Friendly reminders from the TKG Business Office:

  • September Board Meeting: Monday the 17th at 7pm.
  • Community Workshop (OPEN TO INTERESTED FAMILIES), Tuesday October 30th: Blending ECHO Parenting and Hand In Hand with Kathy Gordon – sign up is available here.
  • Board Positions: we are collecting applications for community members interested in serving on the TKG Board.  Please contact Trish for a form.

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez(at)knowinggarden(dot)org.

 

Reminder: First Field Trip is scheduled for Friday September 28th.  Details to be announced!

Resource Of The Week

THE PEDAGOGY  OF LISTENING:
The Listening Perspective from Reggio Emilia

By Carlina Rinaldi

The meanings of listening:
• Listening should be open and sensitive to the need to listen and be listened to, and the need to listen with all our senses…
• Listening should recognize the many languages, symbols and codes that people use
• listening to ourselves, encourages us to listen to others
• Listening is generated by curiosity, desire, doubt and uncertainty.
• Listening produces questions, not answers
• Listening  is emotion.
• Listening should welcome and be open to differences
• Listening  is not easy. It requires  a deep awareness and a suspension of our judgements and prejudices.
• Listening removes the individual from anonymity (and children cannot bear to be anonymous).
• Listening is the basis for any learning relation­ship.

READ MORE…

 

 

GET TO KNOW TKG: Lena Garcia Kaufman

Welcome to a spotlight on one of the educators involved in developing our program and leading us in the Education Revolution!  More available, here.

Lena Garcia Kaufman is a UC Santa Cruz alum with a bachelors in Psychology as well as a UCLA graduate with a masters degree in education. She has been an elementary school teacher for the last 11 years. In addition to being a classroom teacher, she has also been a teacher coach and mentor teacher. She has served as an educational consultant for the Natural history museum helping to create project-based, art infused resources to support museum exhibits.  Lena says,

“When I was studying to be a teacher I took sociology, human development and child psychology.When I became a teacher I referenced the theories of social justice, transformative pedagogy and constructivism. When I was pregnant, I studied how to attach, respect, listen and play. But now that our daughter is 5, all of the theories I studied and tried to implement are no longer theories. Watching a human grow in front of my eyes makes all the ideas real. I knew that she needed a school where she could develop, thrive and connect. A place where theories become real. The Knowing Garden is this place for our family and I am so excited to be a part of its growth.”

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Our next Community Workshop (open to the public) will be on Tuesday October 30th.  Please LIKE us on Facebook or follow our Tweets to stay updated.  Information will also be posted here!  Come meet Lena.