From Under Our Big Tree: Week 13 at TKG

The Knowing Garden

From under our big tree…

Sunday 11 December 2011
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Week 12: Ginger Explores Cultures

Discoveries at TKG
Week 12 began with designing and flying a kite on park day and evolved into lots of chair building.  Numbers, flags, pillows (big motor), slides (big motor), studios, and boxes were added to the building.  Bears and kitties traded spots as we moved workshops around to meet student’s planning.Ginger also left notes for us from around the globe.  We’ve learned a bit about Sinterklaas, Mummer’s Plays, Mother’s Day (Panama &Spain), Kwanza, and Hanukah.  Ginger is helping us figure out that all around the world families are spending time together, and that giving feels good.

Thursday was a great day for making connections.  Student’s had ways of including themselves in play;  “Can two people fit in your ship?”  “How about we are Star Wars characters who have kitties?”  Our day was very fluid and we were outside longer than normal as all students (including me,yay!) were engaged in a role playing game together.  But when it comes to tree climbing it can be challenging when everyone is trying to get to spots all at the same time.  We are figuring out that discussions helpus understand what is happening while we climb.Student 1: When can I go?
Student 2: When I get in my spot.
Student 1:  Where can I go?
Student 2:  How about we trade spots?
Student 1:  That could work.
Student 2:  This is comfortable.
Student 1: Yeah!But sometimes we need space.Student 1:  Why are you sleeping in my ship?
Student 2:  I go where Student 3 goes.
Student 1:  Student 3, can you go to your ship?
Student 3:  Sure.On Friday, Ginger erased our schedule so we got to write it from scratch – a bit different than changing the schedule.  We did Math Workshop, Kitty Workshop, learned and played the dreidel game Ginger brought us, played the piano and drum, and read lots of books.  (They didn’t want outside time on the schedule!)   We enjoyed the dreidel game so much it lasted fifteen minutes and bears were shared when I ran out of game pieces so I could continue playing.  My how the time flies when you make your own schedule!

Week 13

This week, we will meet at the park.  Rain is expected so dress warm.  We want to give our students the chance to experience nature as much as possible.  We will use the big awning as base camp and try out pitching a tent.  We’re not sure about how it will go so please keep your phones on and available in the event we have early pick ups.  The church hall is still available to us so depending on how things go tomorrow…we may want to explore that option in the future.

We love Ginger’s notes and surprises and will continue learning about holidays near and far that take place in December.  I don’t doubt that chair building will take place next week.  The legs are metal and I will introduce magnet experiments into their building for those interested.  We will also be getting into the spirit of giving by making cards for a local convalescent home.

Don’t forget…to check out the updated Parent Resource binder, dress in layers or pack warm clothes!

Happy Learning,
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson

Growth: Themes & Plans

Week 13 will focus on the following developmental concepts:



Journal Writing/Drawing

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

Multicultural Holidays and Traditions

Numbers 11-31 (December calendar, currently it is “silly so people will say, Whhuuut?)


Communicate using words, ideas, and suggestions

Understand that disagreements are ok


Honor Agreements

Check In with teacher


Large Motor Skills; climbing, running, jumping, throwing and catching, balancing, chair building, etc.

Fine Motor Skills; drawing, cutting, gluing, building, painting, opening snack, etc.


Like us, our children make mistakes. Are we constantly pointing them out? Do we confuse teaching them and raising them with nagging about the mistakes they make?

Garden Maintenance (from the TKG Office):

Friendly remindersfrom Admin:

  • Holiday Break/No School – December 19 through 30th.
  • 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)
  • Donations needed:gallon milk jugs and painters or masking tape

Thank you Families!

LAST Parent Information/Enrollment Night is on January 30th in our Classroom from 7 to 9. 

We love our Parent Volunteers!

Monday Volunteer: G Family

Please bring any comments or concerns related to a student to Michelle or his/her parent as soon as possible.  If you are needing to talk about an experience, please make every effort to include the child and/or parent involved.


The TKG school calendar is available here.

Resource Of The Week:

“In the spring of 2008, Lenore Skenazy, a resident of Queens in New York City, left her 9-year-old son off at Bloomingdale’s in midtown Manhattan, in the middle of a sunny Sunday, gave him a handful of quarters, $20 for emergencies, a map, a Metrocard, and a kiss (I assume) and said he could go home himself. To do so he would have to take the subway and a bus, on a route he had taken many times before with his mom. When he got home he was pleased as punch. He had been begging for this opportunity to prove that he could get home himself by public transportation, and now he had done it. He glowed with his new sense of maturity.

Lenore, who was then a columnist for the New York Sun, wrote a column about it. Within hours after the column appeared some in the media had labeled her as “America’s Worst Mom.”

How Children Learn Bravery in an Age of Overprotection

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