From Under Our Big Tree: Week 12 at TKG

The Knowing Garden

From under our big tree…

Sunday 4 December 2011
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Week 12: Ginger Travels the World

Discoveries at TKG
Dear Parent,After a long week off we have all been finding ways of reconnecting.  As always, park day is a great environment for that.  The students played as a whole as well as paired off and took on different roles in imaginary play, explored and tested a ball made of twine, rolled down a hill, climbed a tree together, and observed a piece of petrified wood I brought back from my trip.The rest of the week was spent reading different versions of The Gingerbread Man, baking and decorating gingerbread cookies, and searching for clues to find the gingerbread person that is visiting our classroom.  So far he has made our classroom cold, left crumbs behind, and wanted us to read a book on homes around the world.  I wonder what clues he or she will leave for us next week.We have begun to explore Holiday traditions focusing on our own families traditions and cultures.  Don’t have a tree yet?  Check out  Next week we will look at other Holiday traditions from around the world in different cultures.  I suspect the gingerbread person is traveling this weekend and may have clues and messages from across the globe for us on Monday.The students have thoughts on how Santa gets around the world.  It was concluded that reindeer do not fly.  But he needs to cross oceans!  So, it was determined, reindeer can swim.  Maybe they swim across the ocean and the sleigh floats.  Or perhaps penguins help cross the ocean and the reindeer float behind the sleigh in another boat.  Could it be that the sleigh has the ability to fly and it keeps the reindeer in the sky and they just pull?  We all loved hearing and even building on everyone’s ideas.

On Friday we played the piano (which we checked out as ok because there were no meetings or toddlers in the building that may have been disrupted).  We made a sign so we know when the piano is available.  If it says COW it is not available, WOW means it is available.  We peeked inside and pressed keys to see what happens.  When we see WOW again we will explore the piano more and try and figure out how it works…and maybe we can tour St. Andrews and compare the grand piano and organ.Chair building has played a BIG role in our daily activities.  As a class we have figured out how to continue the chair plan while maintaining our daily schedule.  We have such a blast planning, building, balancing, altering, collaborating, eating gingerbread men and reading books in them, giving tours of our chair ships that it has been challenging to close the activity and clean up.  Next week we will discuss why it is hard to clean up and what ideas we have to ensure clean up happens before pick up time.  Big thanks to families for helping clean up our classroom this week!

Don’t forget…our monthly parent meeting will be on December 6th, check out our updated Parent Resource binder and dress in layers or pack warm clothes!

Happy Learning,
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson

310 528 3769

Growth: Themes & Plans

Week 12 will focus on the following developmental concepts:


Being clear about who you are communicating with

Communicate using words, ideas, and suggestions

Understand that disagreements are ok


Honor Agreements

Use individual self regulation tools, develop executive function


Large Motor Skills: climbing, running, jumping, throwing and catching…

Fine Motor Skills; drawing, cutting, building, painting, opening snack…


Compare and Contrast – focus on various Gingerbread books

Identify characters, settings, and important events in literature and play

Multicultural Holidays and Traditions

Numbers 1-31 (December calendar)

Dec 6th is our monthly Parent Ed meeting with Melody.  This month’s meeting will focus on our school, our students and our needs.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Garden Maintenance (from the TKG Office):

Friendly reminders from Admin:

  • Dec 6th: Parent Night Melody Elder will facilitate
  • Please Return Outstanding Forms: physician’s report, Emergency Form, etc.
  • Please bring your family picture (a small 3×5 photo in a simple frame or cover)
  • Your cartons, rolls, tape and “trash” donations are much appreciated, please bring them to classroom days

Thank you Families!

NEXT Parent Information/Enrollment Night is on December 13th in our Classroom from 7 to 9.  See you there!

We love our Parent Volunteers!

Parent Volunteer Schedule for Week 12:

Monday (park day) – Garcia

Thursday – Mayotte

:…the extent to which a child, for example, cleans up independently after a free-choice period in preschool,” Berk says. “We find that children who are most effective at complex make-believe play take on that responsibility with… greater willingness, and even will assist others in doing so without teacher prompting.” READ MORE…

Resource Of The Week:

“Indeed, research indicates that a gradual disengagement of parents from involvement in young children’s play with peers is beneficial. While toddlers need an adult supervisor present most of the time, and, in fact, often play in more sophisticated ways when an adult is present to facilitate their interaction, as children get older, they benefit from trying to work things out during play on their own. A parent’s presence and involvement does not benefit older preschoolers, and may actually interfere with children’s development of social skills.

Encouraging Social Skills in Young Children


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