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

TKG LEARN: An Ounce of Prevention – A S.E.A. Workshop Feb 17th

 JOIN US FOR A COMMUNITY RESOURCE WORKSHOP – Tuesday, February 17, 2015 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM (PST)

An Ounce of Prevention – A Safely Ever After Workshop with Pattie Fitzgerald
The Knowing Garden Community School
Redondo Beach, CA

Eventbrite - An Ounce of Prevention - A S.E.A. Workshop with Pattie Fitzgerald

 

Regular price tickets will be on-sale on January 14th.

Pattie Fitzgerald will be at The Knowing Garden to share one of her innovative and non-fearful safety programs, An Ounce Of Prevention.

This 90 minute comprehensive power point presentation designed to teach parents and caregivers vital strategies and skills designed to keep children safe from predators, including 10 Family Safety Rules, 10 Red Flags and Warning Signs, 20 Prevention Tips and Guidelines for teaching children.

Pattie Fitzgerald has been successfully teaching Child Predator Safety Awareness since 2001. She is the founder and creator of Safely Ever After, Inc. and provides effective, non-fearful safety workshops, seminars, and keynote speeches at schools, community organizations, churches, and corporations throughout the United States. She has trained many crime prevention educators and children’s advocacy groups with her specialized programs, curriculum, and educational materials.

For more information, please visit http://safelyeverafter.com, contact pattie@safelyeverafter.com or telephone 310-203-1330.  This event is for Parents and Caregivers only.

TKG LISTEN: Art is Vital to enabling voice and creativity

Art Is Vital

The best education enables artistic voice and creative habits of mind.
JAMES HAMBLIN/The Atlantic     JUN 28 2014

At TKG, we value art in the classroom – doing, observing, making, feeling…in order to develop multiple intelligences, we offer opportunities for physical, cognitive, and emotional experiences connected to art throughout the day.  Come visit and see it in action!  This resource is online at TheAtlantic.com

It has been three years since the spectacular video of Lil Buck dancing to Yo-Yo Ma brought jookin—which draws from hip-hop, ballet, jazz, and modern dance—into mainstream consciousness. Ma would later call Buck a genius; and, he is. According to the theory of multiple intelligences, which posits nine distinct dimensions, Buck is clearly off the charts in intelligences like spatial, musical/rhythmic, and bodily/kinesthetic.

The theory was developed in 1983 by Howard Gardner, who is now the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard. It defines intelligence expansively, as the ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture; a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life. It’s a broader definition than many curricula address, and some of the multiple intelligences regularly go unstimulated and underdeveloped in traditional schools.

Read the article at The Atlantic.

FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 4/Year 4 (5 to 7 Class)

Week 4 Documentation & Info – 5 to 7 Class

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
― Albert Einstein
Dear Community Member,

Looking forward to seeing you at the park tomorrow!  Don’t forget to put sunscreen on…forecast is Mostly Sunny with the high at 83°.  Dokmanovich’s are scheduled to bring community snack.

One of the practices we encourage in the 5-7 class is: Learning to Learn.  As collaborators and facilitators, Yvette and I trust that our students will come to the growth mindset and do the work to shift from the (natural) fixed mindset, which means…our emphasis is not on the final, finished, correct result, but rather, the stretching, challenging and gratifying –  process.  We are willing to hold space for each child to take that road.

Learning to learn means that our children practice varied and flexible different learning strategies.  We are also helping them learn that the adult is not necessarily the one with the answer, but that they in fact, are capable of arriving to the answer either by finding the information within them, by working with their peers, or by searching the resources in the room.  We ask students to document or verbalize their learning by asking “How did you do that?” questions.  We have reflective meetings where we may share something that was learned, a struggle they overcame, strategies they used, a thank you to their neighbor, and so much more.  This is one of the cornerstones of this classroom and we will continue to support students in seeing themselves as competent learners, and independent doers.

Language
Many students have picked out books that are “just right” or “medium” books, not too hard and not too easy, to put in their book boxes.  While some have picked chapter books, they are looking at each page and finding words they know and are always excited to be “reading” these longer books.  Your child is always welcome to bring a book from home that they are learning to read, or want to read to us.  Yvette and I were able to meet with most students to play sight word game and now the words they want to learn are in their book box as well.  Students continue to work on their “I am…” books and you may have even received the first TKG newspaper with details on who is done. Some of the specific skills we focused on this week from the English Language Arts Standards »

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.2.E Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.4.A Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Homeschool Opportunity: Ask to read your student’s I AM book.  Make more I AM books at home.

Math
We are into the Masloppy Family!  This big family, in a big big house, inspired us to count and label things in our classroom.  When entering our room you will find many items labeled, tray of counted and not counted items, and partners working together to discover how many.  I introduced the ten-frame as a tool, and we will continue to learn more and more math tools and strategies. Some of the specific skills we focused on this week from the Math Standards:

  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.NBT.B.2.A 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten.”
  • 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.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.1 Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.2 Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).Count to tell the number of objects.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.4 Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.4.A When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.4.C Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
    CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.5 Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects.Compare numbers.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.C.6
    Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.1
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.C.7
    Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.
Homeschool Opportunity: Ask your child about the Masloppy Family. Organize, label and count at home! 

Sciences
Thank you to Erin for the outdoor plans.  The geology lab and geometry art were big hits!  With this crazy hot weather we will dig into graphing the temperature each day and continue to explore items at the investigation station.  M.E.A.P.S. groups on Field Day will be switching and will either be exploring geology or measurement.

Listening Area
We now have 2 listening areas, one supports a child who may need some grounding time or wants time alone, the other is for small group learning.  We will be learning how to use our classroom equipment this week.
Homeschool Opportunity: Use your CD player together.  Learn how to use it and talk about your family values around books on tape, music and electronic equipment.

Project time
This week we focused on our Bill of Rights (social/emotional) and thought about the right to be and feel safe, to have friends, and the responsibility of Keep the Flow.  Each time we met, students drew a picture or wrote words for what each word means to them.  We will turn these into mini-books and use them to support our Bill of Rights.
Homeschool Opportunity: Schedule playtimes with new friends. These outside interactions help support flexibility in forming new friendships, comfort in others joining plans, and sparks the understanding we are more similar than different.  How about YOU?  Have you made any new friends this school year? 

Social/Emotional
Listening with your whole body.  We read The Dream Tree and noticed how the little caterpillar was listening with her whole body.  We practiced listening with our whole body, and teachers cued students into looking at body language to help them notice that when a teacher or friend is not facing or looking at them, they may not be ready to hear what you are saying.
Homeschool Opportunity: Model listening to hear instead of listening to respond.

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

Tending the Garden

***Classroom Request – Music Education
We are opening a listening station and need some hands-on tools. Please donate percussion instrument (drop off to Trish at drop off/pick up)

***Oct Monthly Parent Meeting – Thursday 10/9, 7pm @TKG

***TKG BookClub- Wed Oct 29th, 7.00pm
Get started on reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Our focus will be the chapter titled: Whole-hearted Parenting.  Buy the book at the TKG Marketplace (click Reading List tab)

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

Parent/Teacher Toolbox

PT Schedule for the week*
MONDAY – EL, MS, SW
TUESDAY – LB (JC, EL)
WEDNESDAY – EC (LS, SW)
THURSDAY – RD,TV (JC,SW)
FRIDAY – GS, SM (LS, SW,TV)

*Names in parentheses are working on-campus, outside the classroom on that day.

Please contact Trish Valdez with any questions related to PTs and scheduling.  Download the most current PT Calendar.

PT RESOURCE-When It’s Done With Adults, The Gender Stereotyping We Do With Kids Looks As Ridiculous As It Is
As teachers, we want to stay out of the way of our students as much as possible.  One way to do that is to avoid judgement or evaluation like “good job” or “I like your dress” or “your mom would be so proud.”  What we are looking for are phrases that acknowledge process and personal accomplishment “you kept going even when…”  or “you like that color!”  Another is by not making conclusions about a student’s capacity or stereotyping them as “smart,” “cute,” or “a handful.”

Stereotyping It’s a ridiculous thing to do, and this video makes it very apparent with good old humor.

Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • TUITION IS DUE – please pay your Oct invoice as soon as possible.
  • TKG OFFICE HOURS – Fri 10/10 After drop off @ Green Roast Coffee
  • Fundraiser Opportunity This Thursday – visit Fresh Brothers and earn deferred tuition credit.  Fundraiser team will circulate flyers soon.

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions or to schedule meeting time. PRINT the official Calendar here.  This is a handy tool, the google calendar, online, is the most up to date calendar.

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 – Cooperative Learning

This Land Was Their Land: Native American Culture
from RedTricycle

While Native American Heritage Month isn’t until November, lots of the events and activities celebrating this rich culture take place all fall long. Los Angeles was once home to the Tongva, Chumash and many other tribes, so we have loads of museums and cultural centers that teach history, awareness and arts. Take your tots to see and experience how native California peoples lived and worked long ago.

See more at Red Tricycle…

Cooperative Learning - Native American Culture in LA

 

COMMUNITY EVENT: Oh What Fun! Holiday Party and Fundraiser – Nov 15th

Cheers to the Holidays
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 15TH 6-8pm
BARSHA WINE in MANHATTAN BEACH

The Knowing Garden, now in its 4th year, is happy to host our 1st Annual Holiday Party & Fundraiser. Your donations and purchases will help us meet the operational costs of our start-up school.If you trust that creativity and exploration have a place in education, click here to purchase tickets.
$75 per couple (two entry tickets & one raffle ticket)
$40 per individual (one entry ticket & one raffle ticket)Can’t attend but want to join the festivities?  DONATE here.
Your ticket to our holiday event will include wine (2 pours), an appetizer buffet, silent auction and high stakes opportunity drawing.Like some of the wines you tasted?  Barsha will discount any wine purchases by 10%.

Thank you to our donors and sponsors:
BARSHA WINES – EVANGELIST FAMILY – MURAD SPA – SCHWARTZ FAMILY – WILLIAMS FAMILY – More To Be Announced!
FOR INFORMATION ON SPONSORSHIP OR DONATION
CONTACT Fundraising Chair: Lori Schwartz at 310-612-0270
$20 per ticket is tax-deductible. Buy your tickets, now.Learn more about enrolling at The Knowing Garden, here.
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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