COMMUNITY Event: Film Screening, “The Mask You Live In”

TKG is pleased to host another great community screening of THE MASK YOU LIVE IN – continuing on our mission to be  source of empowerment through education, experience and exposure – for our southbay community.

JUST ADDED: Scott A. Bonnel, M.A., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, will be answering questions after the screening of the film.

Eventbrite - TKG Screening: THE MASK YOU LIVE IN

This film, recognized at over 10 film festivals around the country follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.

Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.

Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it.

The Mask You Live In, directed byJennifer Siebel Newsom, ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.

– See more at: http://therepresentationproject.org

“From Under Our Big Tree” Newsletter #13: The Acorns (5 to 7 Class)

Weekly Newsletter #13 – 5 to 7 Class
All Together - 5 to 7 Class
“Play flows out of friendship and friendship flows out of play.  The relationship works both ways and equally well, but the children are not convinced that this is so, a suspicion that grows stronger as they grow older.”
Vivian Gussin Paley

All You Need is Love

I’ve been carefully watching our children at play and reflecting on what I think they are learning or working toward. Part of that reflection is trying to understand how I can support them to expand their thinking and deepen their exploration.  In order to gain practice in stretching their thinking, we began our “intentional gatherings” during Personal Project Time.  Here is a glimpse of how a provocation (my idea/scaffold) is designed to spark their interests during Project Time:
  • Tuesday: finish painting the barn – for our play!
  • Wednesday: potion experiment plan where students measured and documented their plans in a new log book
  • Thursday: hermit crab floor time where students can see the hermit crabs we are pet sitting up close and have some “play” time with them
  • Friday: challenge the book making group to add words or details to their pages…
Coming up next week, we will add a scooter board plan where students can measure how far they go, and document important information like how they work, ways to create force and what makes them stop.
But still, there is something missing…This is a something big they are all working on and it is something that WE are all working on (and I say we here because it is not just the students or the adults, but society as a whole):

Young people may call it FRIENDSHIP, adults may say INCLUSION or SOCIAL JUSTICE.  Now this is nothing new to the 5-7 class, or children in general as many teachers and child experts will tell you that being left out or leaving someone out is natural and part of navigating social life, and we can support them along the way.  Yes and yes.  I’ve been reading books, playing co-operative team building games, supporting disagreements, and encouraging ways to find the yes.

However I’m feeling empowered to do something more this year.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been deeply reflecting on my personal values, our school values, and what is alive in the world today (refugees, racism, bullying, exclusion, fear, etc.) and I feel that it has to stop and it begins with our children.  We can lovingly support our young people in finding ways to include and be their kind, vibrant, loving selves with all people so they may feel empowered to create a socially just world as they move beyond the classroom walls.

Knowing that this is nothing new, and there are many resources on ways to support an inclusive classroom I chose to reread Vivian Gussin Paley’s You Can’t Say You Can’t Play this weekend and it’s resonating with me even more this time around. I am encouraged to go deeper in how I support.  Year after year Paley noticed the same social patterns and was compelled to find another way, just like me.

“We vote about nearly everything in our democratic classrooms, but we permit the children to empower bosses and reject classmates.” (p.22) and later “Thinking about unkindness always reminds me of the time-out chair.  It made the children sad and lonely to be removed from the group, which in turn made me feel inadequate and mean and – I became convinced- made everyone feel tentative and unsafe.  The emotions show up in a variety of unwholesome ways depending on whether one is a teacher or child.  We are all cut from the same cloth.  The time-out chair was my means of punishment.  “You can’t play” is the child’s way.  If it is wrong for me to exclude, then it is equally wrong for the children.  Another classroom trap has been eliminated.” (p. 95)

In TKG style, Paley does not implement this rule herself, she begins with discussions in her class as well as with the older grades and teachers.  She poses this question:
“Is it fair for children in school to keep another child out of play?  After all, this classroom belongs to all of us.  It is not a private place like our homes.” (p.16) and “Is it (the rule) fair? Will it work?” (chapter 2)

I am inspired to bring these questions to our class beginning this week and build on the student created  Bill of Rights of safety, being loved, having friends, and playing.   I look forward to this journey and supporting our people along the way.

Please join me in this research project on discovering how can we honor individual relationships while simultaneously upholding our value of inclusion? How do we, as adults, not use our power to force children to “include” but rather recognize that when there is a pattern of exclusion, children need our help?  I have some ideas:

  • connections over the break
  • inviting someone who hasn’t been over for a play date
  • a carpool ride
  • a face time call
  • supporting feelings and emotions
  • writing books and playing out scenariosI
I look forward to hearing your observations, wonderings, ideas, thoughts as we explore how we can support together.
In the end Paley is convinced her rule will help, “It will happen.  It is happening. Because the children are learning that it is far easier to open the doors than to keep people out.” (p.118)

I am convinced too.  We have the power to make the world a better place, a place where race, class, gender, age, and religious believes do not determine how you are treated…and it begins with “everyone can join.”

Hugs,
Michelle

CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, Lead Teacher 5 to 7 Classroom/Founding Teacher
Dawn Smith, Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Lena Garcia, School Builder/5-7 Class Mentor and Collaborator
Trish Valdez, School Business Manager
Monica Evangelist, Board President
Google Calendar: Official Events
Shutterfly: For Photos Only
Facebook Group: Private Forum for Parent Chatter
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube

TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Holiday Celebration – Fri Dec 18th 9-11 am: Join us for our latest learning presentations and then share community time at a Holiday Brunch (did you get the Sign Up Genius)! Check with James (room parent) for more information.

Parent Support Group – Wed 9:30am: Facilitated by Renee @ her studio. Take some time to reflect and restore as part of our unique school resources.

Holiday Break Meet Ups – Please post any holiday fun invites on our Private Facebook Page (contact Trish for access) and keep our TKG connections crackling!

TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents support relevant learning & creativity
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY: cognitive, physical and social/emotional health is valued – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE: we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice positive learning experiences
  • CAPACITY BUILDING: nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING: small groups, low ratios, mixed ages
Parent Teacher Info

Parent Teacher Toolbox

PTs This Week
FRIDAY – Jennifer Ceci

How to Talk to Children About LAUSD Developments: You may find some helpful tips from Ruth Beaglehole. Watch this video.

Mindful Moment – Mon 4 Jan (time tbc): Facilitated by Lori, please enjoy this time to ground yourself and breathe deeply.

NEW PARK LOCATION (when we return on Jan 4th): Our new location (until further notice) will be Ernie Howlett Park, a 35 acre park boasting: handball courts, big athletic fields, basketball court, volleyball court 3/4-mile running track and a bike path! The address is: 25851 Hawthorne Boulevard between Palos Verdes Drive North and Rolling Hills Road.

PT RESOURCE: Being a PT Helps You Practice Mindfulness
So, how can you learn to have “an awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” as mindfulness pioneerJon Kabat-Zinn explains? Should you download an app? Take a class? Perhaps. Another option: spend time at TKG. Read more @HuffingtonPost

Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Admin Office Hours, Thrs 9:00am @ TKG: We are hosting a resource workshop on Relationship Building – come join for the first 30 minutes! After that, we’ll be giving a tour of our school to prospective families!

End of Year Appeal (Tax Donations): Please count us in for your tax deductions. Appeal forms are located on the Green Monster.
$20 covers one field day MEAPS kit.
$50 will help us add ride-ons to our outdoor classroom
$200 guarantees a co-teacher for one day

December Holiday (No School): Dec 21 – Jan 1

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 – Whole Child

THE ROLE OF RIGOR IN KINDERGARTEN

Rigor and Kindergarten. At TKG, we know that those two words go together when children (or an individual child) are asking for it. We will encourage our students to engage academic rigor, as their developmental capacity (ZPD) expands. Want to see how it works? Come visit the 9 to 11 Class sometime (contact Trish to make an appointment)!

*   *   *
by KATHLEEN COSTANZA/Fred Rogers Institute
It seems every week, there’s another story about the benefits of early education or how investing in high-quality early childhood programs pays off. And President Obama’s recent 2016 budget proposal included a 10-year, $75 billion universal preschool request.

But as a recent story in Education Week explained, there’s no real consensus on what a regular day in a kindergarten classroom should look like. Teachers face increasing pressure to focus on academic content in the early elementary grades, often at the expense of art, music, and time for free play. At the same time, researchers continue to find the brains of children of this age are wired to learn through the very types of activities being pushed further to the side.

Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, told Education Week that in the last 15 years, there’s been a revolution in how we understand young children’s minds. Read More @MrRogers Center

The Role of Rigor in Kindergarten

TKG LEARN: Capacity Building, A New Business Strategy

This article appeared in one of our weekly newsletters (learning documentation piece) to parents as a resource in understanding one of our school values: capacity building (the skills that enable our students to solve problems – their own, with each other and within community).

A New Business Strategy: Treating Employees Well

Like the traditional education model, some companies operate from a position of “drill” and grind to squeeze staff to increase profits but a growing number are testing the theory that they can have both profits and happy workers. Keep sharing your social experience at work and places where you volunteer – your effort in reimagining social context is good work!
*   *   *
by ALANA SEMUELS/The Atlantic

Call centers are not, typically, very happy places—especially around the holidays. Workers have quotas to make, and often sit in bleak cubicles, headsets on, plowing through calls from stressed shoppers, as they count down the minutes until lunch.

But the employees in this call center in Vermont are rosy-cheeked and—can it be?—smiling. They field calls about misplaced packages and gluten-free dough, while surrounded by orange and red Thanksgiving decorations and a wall lined with baking gear that they’re allowed to borrow. They still have quotas—10 calls per hour, per agent—but they know they won’t get fired if they spend 45 minutes talking to a woman with cancer about baking, as one agent recently did.

“People just really care about each other and look out for each other,” READ MORE @TheAtlantic

 

“From Under Our Big Tree” Newsletter #10: The Redwoods (9-11 Class)

All Together - 9 to 11 Class
“Be in beta. Do things badly. Abandon perfectionism. Following this advice can seem nearly impossible when pitted against our identity. But when we allow ourselves to go into the rapid iteration of trial and error, like a child learning to walk, the feel-good neurological response just may charm away the snake of a strangling ego.” 
― Whitney Johnson

Personal Projects to be Exhibited at Gratitude Feast – Our Trail-blazing Students Initiate an Analysis of Personal Learning

Our first personal project exhibition is coming up this week (please see TENDING THE GARDEN for details of Friday’s schedule)! This will be an opportunity for students to share what they have chosen to focus on during DEEP LEARNING – their open exploration time. My hope is that the students are encouraged to discover and dive deep into individual interests and then have a supportive audience to share their passions with. Our support of these passion projects fan the embers of their potential as problem-solvers and confident activists. This may even be an invitation point for other students in the school to think about sharing their passions with the community in a more formal format!

As a part of the students’ take home work this week is a reflection guide about the passion project they will be sharing with our school community of students and parents on Friday. Please take some time to discuss this sheet with your child to help them solidify their ideas and plans.
This self-reflection tool is designed to emphasize quality. It is a rating scale where the students get to self-define the characteristics that would make a quality project. This is our initial introduction into the students thinking about the characteristics of quality and how to achieve that. At TKG we purposely do not have grades assigned to projects and achievements for multiple reasons. A letter grade doesn’t give much information as to what was actually accomplished. Grades also promote an attitude of external motivation, which cuts short a student’s internal motivation to learn.

However, we all know that for every project we undertake and every product we create, there are either implicit or explicit expectations around quality . These expectations may be explicitly formed by the stakeholders of our project or these expectations may be determined by our own personal desires. However you slice it, striving for quality and success is an important part of our world and is a natural byproduct of realizing our goals. Its what letter grades try to embody, but fail to do so on a comprehensive level.

So, in thinking about how to bring the idea of criteria and quality to students, I referenced our motto of: “Listen. Learn. Know” for guidance on how to proceed with organically engaging students in this process of establishing criteria for success.

Over these last 8 weeks, I have been listening as students mentioned ratings multiple times in their conversations: “on a scale from 1-10…” or “I would give this 5 stars…” or “I got 4 out of 5 of those shots.” I learned that rating experiences or products is already a part of their experience. With this knowledge, I imagined that heading towards the idea of using rubrics for our work, starting with a self- created rating scale, would be a great way to start.

So the students are now practicing how they would rate their project on 3 different self-chosen criteria. A guiding question to help this process is: How will you know your project has been successful?

Since this is our first time formally stepping into this realm, I am excited to see what new discoveries we all have in making evaluation a personal, empowered experience that we step towards, not step away from.

Onward and upward!
Love,

Lena

CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
Lena Garcia, School Builder/9 to 11 Classroom Lead Teacher
Trish Valdez, School Business
Monica Evangelist, Board President
Google Calendar: Official Events
Shutterfly: For Photos Only
Facebook Group: Private Forum for Parent Chatter
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube

TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Grapes of Gratitude 2015 – THANK YOU
Thank you for all of your time, talent and energy! We had a wonderful event, loved seeing so many of you there and most importantly, we couldn’t have done it without you. Please contact our event chair, Jennifer Ceci with any follow up questions or donations.

Gratitude Feast + F.A.C.E. Time Demonstration – Fri 20 Nov, 1:15pm-3pm
Our Gratitude Feast is a special event for the entire community to come together to celebrate our school and our students. Here is our schedule:

1:00pm (optional) Help us set up chairs in the Youth Center!
1:15pm Please arrive to TKG so that we can begin promptly at 1:30pm
1:30pm F.A.C.E. Time demonstrations begin in the Youth Center
2:00pm Short Break – please help us restore the youth center before 9-11 Class Exhibition Opens/Movement in the CourtYard
2:15pm 9-11 Class Exhibitions – all are welcome to see our students’ Personal Projects

TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents support relevant learning & creativity
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY: cognitive, physical and social/emotional health is valued – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE: we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice positive learning experiences
  • CAPACITY BUILDING: nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING: small groups, low ratios, mixed ages
Parent Teacher Info

Parent Teacher Toolbox

PTs This Week
MONDAY –
LS (pm)
THURSDAY – AS (am)

Community Connection Time – Tue @ drop-off: come join P.E. fun and take the opportunity to connect with the community you learn with!

Self-Care Opportunity – Mindful Moment, Monday 30 November @ Drop-Off – take a few minutes to ground yourself and set some peaceful intentions before the Holiday busy sets in. Facilitated by Lori.

PT RESOURCE: You Can Train Your Brain to Become More Confident
By consciously taking specific actions — from seeking out role models to reevaluating how we think about failure — we can train our mind to behave more confidently. Recent discoveries in neuroscience suggest our brains have the quality of “neuroplasticity,” meaning the networks it uses to communicate information are malleable much later into life than previously thought.Read More @BigThink
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Admin Office Hours, Thrs 9:00am @ TKG: We’ll be wrapping up Gratitude Feast and getting ready for the end of 2015!

TKG Board Meeting – Thr 19 Nov 7pm: Guests are welcome to join the first section of the meeting, for open forum. Contact Monica.

End of Year Appeal (Tax Donations): Beginning December, we’ll be checking in with our end-of-year appeal. Please count us in for your tax deductions. You don’t have to wait until then if you already know what kind of deduction you need!

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 – Whole Child

Why You Hate Work

At TKG, we believe that the physical, emotional and cognitive parts of our body need to be in tune, in order for us to successfully experience a community of learners, listeners and seekers. Turns out, that’s what you need in the real world too. In this article, we get a read on what employees say they need in order to be satisfied and productive – and it involves:  physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness.

*   *   *
By TONY SCHWARTZ and CHRISTINE PORATH/NY Times

THE way we’re working isn’t working. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably not very excited to get to the office in the morning, you don’t feel much appreciated while you’re there, you find it difficult to get your most important work accomplished, amid all the distractions, and you don’t believe that what you’re doing makes much of a difference anyway. By the time you get home, you’re pretty much running on empty, and yet still answering emails until you fall asleep.

Increasingly, this experience is common not just to middle managers, but also to top executives.

Our company, The Energy Project, works with organizations and their leaders to improve employee engagement and more sustainable performance. A little over a year ago, Luke Kissam, the chief executive of Albemarle, a multibillion-dollar chemical company, sought out one of us, Tony, as a coach to help him deal with the sense that his life was increasingly overwhelming. “I just felt that no matter what I was doing, I was always getting pulled somewhere else,” he explained. “It seemed like I was always cheating someone — my company, my family, myself. I couldn’t truly focus on anything.” Read more @NYTimes

Do You Really Hate Work?

“From Under Our Big Tree” Newsletter #8 – School Wide

All Together - Community
“Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” 
― Brené Brown

 Dear Friend,

Happy Daylight Savings Day! Friendly reminder: childcare reservations are strongly recommended for this Thursday’s meeting.

This Thursday, we will have our parent meeting. I look forward to getting together with you to connect, reflect and share. You will get to experience highlights from the classroom as teachers share TKG awesomeness with you in the form of videos and photos.  There will be time to share as a community our appreciations and our wonderings as a way to continue solidifying our shared experience.  I look forward to seeing you there!

This week, we went on our 2nd fieldtrip of the year. We enjoy having a chance to experience environments beyond our own, learning from and with, the diverse communities we are graced to live around as Angelinos. We love getting a chance to explore the South Bay too, as we did with our first trip to our local tide pools as we focused on Environmental Stewardship.

This last field trip on Friday was an opportunity to engage our value of Social Justice, as seen through the lens of a cultural art experience.  The Fowler Museum at University of California at Los Angeles elevates art from around the world, encouraging us to think like archeologists, ethnographers, sociologists and art appreciators with works of art that might not always be a part of the historical canon of art seen at most major museums.

With this in mind, we went back to the museum after having gone last year, to have a special behind-the-scenes tour.  This deeper experience included entering through the loading dock, through the secret back door entrance. We knocked on a giant metal door, wondering what was behind it, only to be welcomed into the collections room by a lively, engaging museum staff member. Once inside, we got a private tutorial on how unique curiosities come into the museum, are researched and archived. We were told entertaining stories about 3 pieces of art, piquing our own curiosities about objects. Then, we traveled to the studio classroom and put our research abilities to the test as we put on white gloves and investigated different objects. We measured and touched, described and drew, just like museum staff would. Our visit ended with a tour of one of the galleries where a visually stimulating exhibit called “The Empathics” thrilled our senses with music, computer graphics, sculpture and intriguing fashion.

Following our visit to the Fowler, we made our way towards the Bruin Bear, where a college student volunteer met us for a walking tour of the campus.  The students had so many questions ranging from- Is there homework here?… Who is the youngest student here?… Where do you live?…  Our guides answered all of our questions about the campus and student life in funny, sweet ways that helped our students see UCLA in a whole new light.

This was such an incredible opportunity to take our learning out into the field. And this was all after a week filled with learning and fun. Did you know that students we given the opportunity to eat bugs at park day on Monday? Dried, flavored worms and crickets made their way to the park, courtesy of one of our parent teachers Linda (Kian’s mom), for an optional snack. It seemed fitting that we would have a “creepy” snack on a “creepy” week and children were surprised at how they tasted! This connected to Nikki, our WilderSkills teacher’s lesson on wild edibles.

How much do we love to learn, experience and grow? So much!

With gratitude,
Lena
CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
Lena Garcia, School Builder, 7-9 Class Mentor and Collaborator
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, 5-7 Lead Teacher, Founding Teacher
Yvette Fenton, 7 to 9 Lead Teacher
Trish Valdez, School Business Manager
Monica Evangelist, Board President
Google Calendar: Official Events
Shutterfly: Photos only
Facebook Group: Private forum for parent chatter
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

  • Monthly Parent Meeting, This Thursday @ 7pm – Thank you for making the time to share our educational experience in the context of community and support. Please contact Lena with questions. Childcarereservations required.
  • First Friday Dance Party, Friday @ drop off
  • Community Day Trip, Sunday 8 Nov (activities from noon to 8pm!) – The Stickley family has invited us to join them at this science adventure at UCLA. Click here for more details and confirm your interest/coordinate directly with Gina.
TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents support relevant learning & creativity
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY: cognitive, physical and social/emotional health is valued – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE: we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice positive learning experiences
  • CAPACITY BUILDING: nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING: small groups, low ratios, mixed ages
Parent Teacher Info

Parent Teacher Toolbox

PTs This Week (to receive full tuition credit, download begins at 8:30am and includes 30 minutes post work day debrief)

MONDAY – J, M, K
TUESDAY – L
WEDNESDAY – R
THURSDAY – S
FRIDAY – J, S

Student Connection Opportunity – Tue @ drop-off: join students for some community PE time and connect with students that you work with!

Self-Care Opportunity – Wed, All Day: Visit Riviera Nails (or purchase a gift certificate to go another day) and get some quiet, alone time for your body, heart and brain (and earn a % of the day’s earnings to apply to tuition).

PT RESOURCE: JoAnn Deak-When the window opens, sculpt your brain!
If you’re up on the latest neurological research, you know that experiencing challenge is what educator and psychologist JoAnn Deak, PhD, might say is a fine time for some brain sculpting. A developing PC (the decision making/social relating prefrontal cortex), along with an anterior cingulate cortex (tasked with error detection and emotional regulation) need to work together in order for things to ‘click’ thereby brain sculpting! “If I never get a wrong answer, or make a mess of things or struggle, it doesn’t change my brain,” says Deak. But how does that work? READ MORE…
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Admin Office Hours, this Thursday from 9 to 11am – Catch up on any pending school business, offer your compliments or work on your committee questions.

Handyman Day – Sat Nov 7, 8am – Some parents are on our handy committee and anyone wanting to offer a helping hand is welcome.

School Holiday (No School) – Mon 9 Nov – in observance ofVeterans’ Day.

Visit Shutterfly and check out more of your class’ photos! You may need to be added, so just request permission and we will take care of it asap.

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 – Capacity Building

A New Business Strategy: Treating Employees Well

Like the traditional education model, some companies operate from a position of “drill” and grind to squeeze staff to make more money but a growing number are testing the theory that they can have both profits and happy workers. Keep sharing your social experience at work and places where you volunteer – your effort in reimagining social context is good work!
*   *   *
by ALANA SEMUELS/The Atlantic

Call centers are not, typically, very happy places—especially around the holidays. Workers have quotas to make, and often sit in bleak cubicles, headsets on, plowing through calls from stressed shoppers, as they count down the minutes until lunch.

But the employees in this call center in Vermont are rosy-cheeked and—can it be?—smiling. They field calls about misplaced packages and gluten-free dough, while surrounded by orange and red Thanksgiving decorations and a wall lined with baking gear that they’re allowed to borrow. They still have quotas—10 calls per hour, per agent—but they know they won’t get fired if they spend 45 minutes talking to a woman with cancer about baking, as one agent recently did.

“People just really care about each other and look out for each other,” READ MORE @TheAtlantic

Capacity Building - Future Business Models

“From Under Our Big Tree” Weekly Newsletter #7 – 9 to 11 Class (25 Oct 2015)

All Together - 9 to 11 Class
“Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.” 
― Deepak Chopra
Don’t forget! We have a field trip to UCLA’s Fowler Museum this Friday. Also, we have our monthly parent meeting on Nov 5 – this is a parent participation event. Special note! Grapes of Gratitude tickets are now on sale, purchase asap!

What does it mean to be a critical thinking mathematician? Does it mean you can crank out the answer to computation after computation? Not anymore. We have computers that can do that for us. What we need to be able to do, what our students need to be able to do, is ascertain whether an answer that our electronic device gives us actually makes sense given the context. We don’t need any more human calculators. We need people who can “feel” the numbers and have a sense about how to use them in various contexts.

So, how do you achieve that? You must experience, through various modes, deciphering the clues and missing information, building number sense and developing an ability to explain your reasoning. This is why we have started the year with number sense games like Damault and Spin & Add. Damault helps to reinforce multiplication facts but my emphasis is not on rote memorization of the facts. That will come with repeated experience, of this game for example. My goal is for students to utilize strategies to learn the multiplication facts, drawing upon patterns within the numbers. For example, 8 x 7 can be thought about as double the 7, then double the 14, then double the 28 (visual learners, click here). A strong understanding of numbers helps this make sense and it provides a strategy that can be used while memorization is taking place. Enough interaction with a concept and memorization will happen.

We have started thinking about estimation and how we can use “getting close by using clues” to our advantage to feeling out the answer to a problem. It is important, before we launch into double digit multiplication and division, for students to be able to get a sense of the direction they are heading in, so when they arrive at an answer, they can self-check to see if they ended up where they thought they should have. For instance, if I am multiplying 37x 57, I could estimate first that the answer is probably going to be close to 1500 because 30 x 50= 1500. So then,  if I get a very different answer when I go in for precision, then I can back-up because that just doesn’t make sense. We don’t just compute for computation sake. We are dealing with real-world problems that require real-world, make sense solutions. Gone are the days of page after page of computation problems. If a student can do 4 problems correctly, they can do 100. But can they apply their understanding across situations and take into consideration all the clues that a situation may have? We will all be observing as this skill develops.

This week, we have started with visual estimation, where the students look at a container of items and without actually getting to count them all, make an initial estimation as to how many are in the container. This week, it was small, beautifully painted wooden elephants. The goal was not to just throw out a random number for how many elephants were there, but to use clues to come up with a reasonable estimate. Some students came up to the container and counted a visible “section” and then multiplied that by how many “sections” they thought there were. Other students remembered an activity we had used the elephants for where each person got a certain amount of elephants, so they multiplied the number of elephants by the number of people and arrived at their answer. All of the answers were within the ballpark, none were outlandish. It was a great start!

Then, we proceeded to close the circle in on how precise our estimations could become by counting the elephants. As we counted, we would stop to revise the predictions, making sure everyone got a chance to explain their reasoning for why they were changing their estimate or sticking with it. In the end, it was a powerful lesson in visual estimation that reinforced the students’ ability to utilize clues and reasoning to arrive at an answer that makes sense within a context. Now, for their Home Project work, they get to go onto the computer to play some computer games around estimation to continue to hone this valuable skill. To support their budding capabilities, please review the website with them because it has helpful information about what estimation is and how to do it. You can also share your experiences with estimation in your life: http://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/estimation.html 

Happy estimating!

Love,
Lena

CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
Lena Garcia, School Builder/9 to 11 Classroom Lead Teacher
Trish Valdez, School Business
Monica Evangelist, Board President
Google Calendar: Official Events
Shutterfly: For Photos Only
Facebook Group: Private Forum for Parent Chatter
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube

TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Fall Picture Day – Monday Oct 26th (Alice had some kit issues and the rental time frame has created some scheduling delays.) Thanks for your patience! Contact Alice.

Field Trip #2, Fri 30 Oct 9:30am – The focus of this field trip is on the value of Social Justice, seen through the lens of a cultural art experience.  We are pleased that we will be able to go on a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Fowler Museum at University of California at Los Angeles. What to Bring (we’ll be doing a lot of walking): snack, water, lunch and sunscreen. Contact Jen Ceci.

11/6 Admin Note – Lena will be out of town on Friday Nov 6th and our dear Elle will be covering the classroom that day. Please contact Lena with any questions.

TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents support relevant learning & creativity
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY: cognitive, physical and social/emotional health is valued – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE: we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice positive learning experiences
  • CAPACITY BUILDING: nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING: small groups, low ratios, mixed ages
Parent Teacher Info

Parent Teacher Toolbox

Community Connection Time – Tue @ drop-off: come join P.E. fun and take the opportunity to connect with the community you learn with!

10/28 – Mindful Moment facilitated by Lori. Please check out this short guided meditation and give yourself a few minutes to exhale. Contact Lori

Daylight Savings Change is coming! Nov 1st; we fall back.

PT RESOURCE: How Girls Are Developing Earlier In An Age Of ‘New Puberty’
Many girls are beginning puberty at an early age, developing breasts sooner than girls of previous generations. But the physical changes don’t mean the modern girls’ emotional and intellectual development is keeping pace. Whether you are a parent to girls or boys, as a PT you’ll support them both and should start reading up on the science. This article is about the  book called The New Puberty that looks at the percentage of girls who are going through early puberty, the environmental, biological and socioeconomic factors that influence when puberty begins, and whether early puberty is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. @ NPR Health Shots
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Admin Office Hours, Thrs 9:00am @ TKG: stop by with any operational, PT, bookkeeping, etc questions!

Tuition Credit Opportunity, Wed Nov 4th all day: visit Riviera Nails in the Village and raise money for TKG, apply a tuition credit and pamper yourself for all the PT work you do!

Grapes of Gratitude, Sat 14 Nov Join us for our second annual TKG fundraiser – to support expanding our offerings at Field Day through native skills enrichment! Tickets, here.

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 – Capacity Building

14 Last Minute Halloween Costumes and Props

We love the MAKER movement and encourage our students to experiment, fail and re-configure…so, if you like to make things and dress up, here are some fun things to make with your sprouts!
*   *   *

By Sophia Smith/Make:

Some people spend countless hours making intricately detailed costumes. Maybe you don’t have time for that, but you’re not exactly willing to shill out $60 for a cheaply made, mass-produced costume, either.

So what’s a Maker to do? Check out these quick and easy costumes, props, and accessories for some spooky inspiration. Visit @Makezine

Make A Costume!

Special Event & Fundraiser – Grapes of Gratitude on Sat 14 Nov 2015

GrapesOfGratitudeHorizontal
A Holiday Kick-Off & Fundraiser
Saturday 14 November 2015, 6-8pm
@ Barsha Wine & Spirits in Manhattan Beach
********Eventbrite - Grapes of Gratitude - Holiday Kick-Off & Fundraiser********
The Knowing Garden, now in its 5th year, is thrilled to host our 2nd Annual Holiday Kick-Off Party – raising money to support the expansion of our balanced and enriching academic program as well giving voice to diverse resources we bring to the greater community.
Our Grapes of Gratitude event will include 20 different varieties of sparkling, white and red wines for you to taste as well as an appetizer buffet, a silent auction and high stakes raffle. Wines by the glass will be available for purchase. Like some of the wines you tasted? Barsha will discount any wine purchases by 15%.
PURCHASE TICKETS – SUPPORT TKG
$80 per couple (two entry tickets & one raffle ticket)
$45 per individual (one entry ticket & one raffle ticket)
 
Can’t attend but want to join the festivities?  DONATE here.
FOR INFORMATION ON SPONSORSHIP OR DONATION
CONTACT Fundraising Chair: Jennifer Ceci (j.ceci@knowinggarden.org)
GRATITUDE FOR OUR DONORS
 Canvas & Clay – Ceci Family – Dokmanovich Family – Evangelist Family – Corey Johnson – Garcia Kaufman Family – Shippee Family – Valdez Family – Williams Family
$30 per ticket is tax-deductible.

9 to 11 Class Opening This Fall – TKG Begins Year Five in September

The Knowing Garden is proud to announce that we will open our third classroom, for students ages 9 to 11, this Fall.  Our founding students, along with some new colleagues, are set to break ice and sail on toward extending their academic endeavors and community involvement.  Magdalena Garcia, will walk along side our students, to build the foundation.  You already know Lena because she has been leading the development of TKG’s collaborative and interactive learning environment since 2011. She is a graduate of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, where her deeply rooted commitment to social justice was strengthened.

Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, our founding teacher, continues her amazing work with helping students develop a love a learning with emphasis on social-emotional growth in the 5 to 7 Classroom. Dawn Smith is our dedicated co-teacher in the 5 to 7 Class and she continues her commitment to meeting our youngest sprouts where they are.

We are incredibly lucky to be adding Yvette Fenton, an experienced TKG teacher, as our Lead Teacher in the 7 to 9 Class.  Her passion for primary education with her extensive experience in Reggio-Emilia education is a wonderful match to Elle Schwartz’s art curriculum.  Elle, co-teacher in our 7 to 9 Class, is a key contributor to the TKG arts program and we are thrilled to continue our collaboration.

Things are growing and changing at The Knowing Garden!  Thank you for your continued support. Enrollment is currently open to students ages 5 through 9 – Applications are available, here. TKG plans to open an 11-13 Class in 2017.

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 13, Year 2 – 7 to 9 Class

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
This was a week full of learning and connection! Thank you for coming to the parent meeting. I appreciate getting the chance to fill you in on what has been going on behind the scenes to support the growth of the whole child and TKG and your presence at the meeting also supports the growth of the whole family.

Hayden and the Levin Family are Park Day Snack contributors this week!

Last week, I detailed the story of how emergent curriculum comes to life at The Knowing Garden. As a way to continue diving deep in order to help you visualize your child’s experience and provide conversation connection points for your family, I will highlight our experience this week in the subject of writing. This is a time in the day that we call Writing Workshop because it is when we play with ideas and words in order to build stories and understandings. Our time begins with a warm-up, in which students see how much they can write in 5 minutes. I choose the topic which is related to a topic they are already talking a lot about, in this case- Christmas. I offer ideas on how to start for those who might need it because I want them to have the opportunity to stretch their muscles of imagination while working on feeling confident in their ability to keep their pencil moving. If someone doesn’t know how to spell something, they underline and move on, so the activity stays independent and focused on moving forward. Once they are done with this initial 5 minutes, they share what they wrote with a partner in order to spark any other ideas. The students have been really enjoying this process!

Once our warm-up is over, we move onto a mini-lesson and then the project of the day. This week, our goal was to write a newspaper article.  There was progress each day, leading up to Thursday.
Another goal this week was for students to work on their ability to think about multiple points of view. Because this week’s topic was about Point of View, I have included the documentation pieces that parent teachers created from their experience with us. They took notes and pictures during writing workshop and then during deep learning got to synthesize what they saw and experienced.

Tuesday: WATER LAB INCIDENT WRITING 
Gathering Data from Multiple Perspectives: P.O.V. & Small Group Work in Pre-Writing
By Parent Teacher, Alice Kuo Shippee

Recently, the downstairs classroom had an exciting encounter with a neighborhood woman and a police officer. The experience is a perfect opportunity to explore the concept of point of view. The students expressed interest in writing a piece about the incident for the school newspaper, so in an effort to build upon this emergent curriculum talked about in last week’s newsletter, Lena launched the writing process by discussing multiple perspectives or angles as a way to recount the event.

On a social level, the ability to empathize is essential to achieving understanding among people with differing points of view. Asking students to step into the minds of people or creatures other than themselves is an engaging way to exercise empathy skills–whether that be pretending to be the three little pigs or the wolf, the princess or the frog, an ant or an elephant–all of which was explored.

The POV activity involved three small groups of 2-3 students taking turns at  three stations that each focused on a perspective that was present during the Water Lab Incident–that of The Downstairs Class, The Neighbor, and The Police Officer. The groups collaborated to fill in a graphic organizer that helps with categorizing information, called a Tree Map. Each student  wrote in a different color, which was a simple way to encourage participation, accountability, and ownership. It was interesting to see the different methods they used to make sure each student’s ideas were included and had a chance to write. I saw at least two groups have their members alternate writing every other word, even in the same sentence!

Students helped each other a lot with how to spell words. They discussed the questions of

who, where, and when. With some encouragement from teachers, they explored how specific they could be. They referred back to their clipboard schedules and to the calendar to see exactly what day the event took place on. I did notice that the amount of information produced was highly dependent on the writing fluency of each student. But even if one might be writing very slowly, there was not much frustration.

After the first segment spent on filling in the facts based on the P.O.V. of The Downstairs Class, The Neighbor, and The Police Officer, each group rotated to the next poster and first looked at what the group before them wrote–and considered additions they wanted to add. This was an interesting stage to observe, because it was an additional layer of perspective added into an activity that already had multiple points of view.

As a way to keep all students engaged, I suggested that they create a diagram of what happened–show the who and where through drawing. They stayed connected to the central activity and topic and came up with some new ways to contribute to the conversation via their drawing.

I loved how this activity launched the social exercise of empathy and the academic exercise of journalistic angle. It will also foster lots of interesting questions about non-fiction, such as, “What version of the story is true?” Can we know it, and how?

Wednesday: WATER LAB INCIDENT WRITING
Exploring Multiple Perspectives: P.O.V. & Dramatic play as a method of Playful Inquiry
By Parent Teacher, Monica Evangelist

Writing workshop began with a collective reviewing of the work the students did Tuesday on the tree maps. As a result of this review, the question emerged, “Can you learn while playing?” this was sparked by the words used by the students that the neighbor probably perceived our actions in the alley as “messing around”, the students perceived  it as “playing” and “experimenting” and Lena perceived  it as “learning“. 

Taking the idea that different words used to describe the same activity can reflect your point of view, students were placed in groups and then within each group, they were assigned a role- either interviewer, interviewee, or observer.   The interviewer was to ask questions of the interviewee (who would either pretend to be the police officer, Neighbor or a member of the TKG downstairs class) and the observer was asked to think about what they believe the interviewee needs, thinks or wants.

Once they had a chance to rehearse this in their small groups, the students were asked to perform it in front of the class so everyone could stretch their thinking. Sydney (as a reporter) interviews Bennett, who took the perspective of someone from the “downstairs class”. Anna (as a reporter) interviewed Aiel, who took the perspective of the police officer. Zoe (as reporter) interviewed Hayden, who took the perspective of the neighbor and Maddie interviewed Teddy who played himself as he processed the collective fear of being threatened with the police and then actually having a police officer show up.

What emerged was a beginning understanding that every person, based on their perspective was viewing the same situation in a very different way. The neighbor values safety so she felt that was more important than connection in that moment. The police officer believes he is a safe person and hopes for connection with people. The downstairs class viewed an interaction with the police as a scary situation with possible outcomes that included a bigger fight with the neighbor, going to jail or even being killed. 

This activity made me wonder where the conversations will go from here? How can students be supported with some of their fears about law enforcement and the conflict with our neighbor so they are comfortable owning their right to “play”, “experiment” and “learn?”

***

Thank you, Alice and Monica for trying this out and offering your Point of View! We will continue to use this space to offer a deeper exploration of how learning happens at TKG.

Love,
Lena
CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Elle Schwarz, Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***Park Day Weather Forecast
There is a 30% chance of rain on Monday! Yay!  As you know, we support outdoor learning in the rain. It’s natural, when the weather turns really nasty, for parents to want to keep children inside. But, children are far more adaptable, resilient and hearty than we modern parents give them credit for. Rain can sometimes be blamed for causing children to catch colds or flu. The fact is, rain cannot make you sick. While getting wet may be inconvenient for you, kids love to be outdoors – no matter the weather. Dressing children in waterproof clothing can protect kids from getting too soggy.  Have some warm towels and hot chocolate ready for their return and enjoy their outdoor adventures!

***Holiday Celebration 12/19, 12noon @Fellowship Hall
We will begin the Holiday Celebration with student performances. Afterwards, we will gather to have lunch.  Please pack a lunch for your children, for yourselves, and for any others who will be joining us.  Snacks will be provided by the students.  If inclined, bring a snack to share – the intention is to bring something that your child(ren) look forward to eating during the holidays. There will also be some creative crafts and entertaining games!  We will then end with a community clean up. Any questions you may have can be directed to Erin or Saundi.

TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY, cognitive, physical and social/emotional capacities are connected – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE,we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice new learning
  • 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 Erin, Max (AM), Monica
TUESDAY Lori (Erin-AM set up)
WEDNESDAY – Renee (Erin-AM breezeway)
THURSDAY – (Erin-PM clean up)
FRIDAY (Alice-Project, Erin-clean up, Lori-breezeway, Monica-set up/Admin, Trish-Admin)

PRINT the most current PT Calendar, here!  Please check your Jan-Jun calendar and make any changes asap.

PT RESOURCE: Motivating Students
As a PT, you are a partner in helping us create a culture that nurtures extension and cognitive risk-taking. A body of research on conceptions of ability has shown two orientations toward ability: Students with an Incremental orientation believe ability (intelligence) to be malleable, a quality that increases with effort. Students with an Entity orientation believe ability to be nonmalleable, a fixed quality of self that does not increase with effort. How to help support a student’s high view of their capacity? Help them see that you can always greatly change how intelligent you are.  Help them move through those moments when they feel that you have a certain amount of intelligence, and you really can’t do much to change it.  Read the I’m Bad At Math Article @TheAtlantic for more…
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • Office Hours 12/19, 10am
  • Amazon Reports – they were misplaced for a couple of days so we will have more time to review.  Please check your report by Wednesday
  • Holiday Break begins 12/22.  Return to Hess Park on Monday Jan 5th.

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions or to schedule meeting time.  The most updated calendar is online. PRINT the latest Official Calendar, here. 

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 – Whole Child & Family

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent
By NICK BILTON

At TKG, we encourage students to create from original ideas.  Sometimes you might need to scaffold for your sprout to extend their horizons and explore new fields. Sometimes that might mean refreshing their environment in a big way!

When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong. I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.

“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

I’m sure I responded with a gasp and dumbfounded silence. I had imagined the Jobs’s household was like a nerd’s paradise: that the walls were giant touch screens, the dining table was made from tiles of iPads and that iPods were handed out to guests like chocolates on a pillow.

Nope, Mr. Jobs told me, not even close.  READ ON@NYTimes

Whole Family - Slow Down!

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 11/Year 2 (7 to 9 Class)

 

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.”
― Chief Joseph
Happy Thanksgiving.We hope you have had fun, adventure, love and gratitude this holiday.  The season brings us much to be thankful for.  We are so thankful for you – our extended family.

Connections: Gratitude in Action
What a lovely week we had before vacation, getting us ready to be in the spirit of gratitude! Thank you to everyone who helped out, contributed or came to our first Gratitude Fest on Friday. In preparation, on Thursday, with the help of Saundi, Erin and Trish, students had an opportunity to create components of the meal for Friday. Children peeled, chopped, mixed, measured, stirred and cleaned. All of that resulted in corn bread muffins, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, fruit salad and Chex mix gifts for the church.  Then, on Friday, our feast started off with a celebration of student theater with 2 productions of “the duck song” and “the runaway pancake” and then the children reading their I Am books. As each child got up on a chair to read their creation, it was a powerful moment to honor growth, both in skill and confidence and celebrate the incredible humans that we call our TKG family.

Field day: Whose land is this anyways?
Before our Thanksgiving break, we spent the morning thinking about what native and non-native, invasive and non-invasive means as we thought about the “prickly plants” taking over the park. We used drawing as a means of thinking by drawing the observing the plants carefully and drawing how the landscape of Hess park has changed as a result of these new plants. Then, music was introduced as a way to capture an invasive species, from both the invaded and invader perspectives. We danced in the sand volleyball court of lower Hess park, what we call “the outback” as a way to feel with our bodies the relationship in that eco-system. Then, we did some graph making in an effort to track the different plant species we could find to actually see whether the diversity of the plant life at Hess is diminishing. Once back in the classroom, students continued thinking about native and non-native by writing poetry about the prickly plant, creating signs that might be posted in reference to the plant, thus stretching their ability to take multiple perspectives and think about an issue from multiple viewpoints. Next week, we will connect these concepts to the story of Thanksgiving that moves beyond a celebration that involves turkey and football to a question of, “whose land is this?”
TKG@home, talk about the meaning of native, non-native, invasive and non-invasive. How have you experienced these words personally?

Math: How do we learn about subtraction without “losing” anything of ourselves?

We worked diligently on our project-based unit revolving around the relationship of subtraction and addition. As a rigorous unity of study, there were multiple opportunities for students to work together to construct knowledge and opportunities for students to work with a teacher to scaffold their developing understandings. Every student was at a challenge point and students were supported to find ways to manage the inevitable frustrations that can accompany challenge. What tools were offered or sought out at these moments?  Water or snack breaks, flops on a pillow and finding laughter. Then, students were refreshed to continue on in pursuit of their goal of figuring out how subtraction works and how subtraction is related to addition. It was a great example of how at TKG we seek to support students’ cognitive growth through rigorous academics while also supporting their ability to care for their mind, body and heart. A way we do this is by encouraging the use of multiple tools to handle difficulties, building their repertoire of self-care, self-regulatory skills as well as the resiliency and “grit” that we all know is so important.

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

  • 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.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.B.5 Fluently add and subtract using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Next week, we are going to be thinking a lot about Smores. Now that we have had him for at least 6 months, it is time for us to do some intensive research about what he will need from us as he grows. How much food? Cage size? We are going to be doing some work in math about perimeter and area to determine adequate home sizes and do some price comparisons on which hay is the best.
TKG@home, you can begin searching the internet for information about the best care for guinea pigs so your child has some information to begin with. Also, talk about how you decide which information from the internet to listen to. Do you just take the advice of the first sight that pops up or do you do more research?Love,
Lena

CONNECTION LINKS
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Elle Schwarz, Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***First Friday Dance Party – 12/5 ’til 9.30
Join the fun!  Did you know that dancing blends cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception.’

***Monthly Parent Meeting – 12/11 7pm @ TKG
Please contact Lena with any questions.

***Field Trip #3 – 1/16
Please contact Jennifer Ceci with any questions.

TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY, cognitive, physical and social/emotional capacities are connected – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE,we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice new learning
  • 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, JS, MS
TUESDAY LS (EL-setup)
WEDNESDAY – RD (EL-BW)
THURSDAY – (EL/AM Breezeway)
FRIDAY (AS-project, ME-BW/Admin, RD-AM/PM, TV-Admin)

PRINT the most current PT Calendar, here!  Please check your Jan-Jun calendar and make any changes asap.

PT RESOURCE: Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain?
Dancing improves brain function on a variety of levels.Two recent studies show how different types of practice allow dancers to achieve peak performance by blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum. Through regular aerobic training that incorporates some type of dance at least once a week anyone can maximize his or her brain function.
  • Practicing a dance move like ‘spinning’ from childhood reshapes the cerebellum
  • A new study has found that dancing may help improve your balance and make you less dizzy.
  • Visualizing Movements can Improve Muscle Memory
  • Synchronizing the Cerebrum and Cerebellum Creates Superfluidity
Come to the dance party and get you body moving!  Read the post @PsychologyToday
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • Amazon Reports will be available next week.  Contact Lori with questions.
  • Parent & Board Meetings – Dec 4&5. This is an optional opportunity to chat about about any school-related questions or concerns, specifically: feedback on your experiences with and time requirements related to your parent job(s) and PT schedule year to date.
  • Office Hours 12/11.  Save the date for some tea with us!

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions or to schedule meeting time.  The most updated calendar is online. PRINT the latest Official Calendar, here. 

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 – Whole Child & Family

Kids Get Enough Tech Outside of School—Shouldn’t the Classroom Offer Them Something Different?
Annie Murhpy Paul//The Brilliant Report

At TKG, we understand that technology has a place in the real-world but we are making every effort to nurture the value that technology enhances learning rather being the provider of learning.

One thousand hours: That’s approximately the number of instructional hours required of U.S. middle school and high school students each year.

Four thousand hours: That’s approximately the number of hours of digital media content U.S. youths aged 8 to 18 absorb each year. (If you doubt that’s possible, be sure you’re taking into account the near-universal practice of “media multitasking,” or consuming content on more than one platform at a time, as when a teenager listens to a song on his MP3 player while scrolling through Facebook on his smartphone while watching a video on his laptop.)

Parents, teachers, and education writers, myself included, think a lot about what our students are taught in school, the debate over the Common Core being just the latest example. But we think very little about what they’re taught in the blue glow of their screens. READ ON at TheBrilliantReport

Whole Family - Too much Tech
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