FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 14 Plans and Information

From under our big tree…

Sunday 1 January 2012
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Week 14: Winter Shadows
Discoveries at TKG
Welcome back and Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful winter break and warm holiday season to cap off 2011.  I don’t know about you, but I love reflecting on the previous year and contemplating what the new year will bring.  New goals, resolutions, and explorations are on the horizon.I missed the “Summer in December” while in Iowa and apparently we brought back the cold weather.  As much as I loved down time and an endless supply of sugar, wine, and home cooking I am excited to head back to school!This week at TKG we will be learning about winter and shadows.  We will do some experiments with water and ice.  Flashlights, lanterns, and various items will be in the science area for students to explore.  We will observe and collect data in our journals about our own shadows as well as shadows around us. We will write and tell stories.   During math workshop we will put together our January calendar and count how many days we have been in school and add to our 100s chart.  I am excited to see where we go on our winter shadow exploration!  (

As it is a new year we will also discuss resolutions and goals and how they apply to our class as well as the world around us.  One of my goals is to model our class agreements and update you on new agreements via weekly email and parent folder.

TKG Agreements
·Checking In:  We check in with each other, the teacher and volunteers, and the schedule.  (very broad and applies to many of our daily activities)
·Disagreements are okay and we can use our words to express our opinion, but physical fighting or “battling” are
not safe and don’t feel good.
·Stay Together
·Walk inside and inside voices (safety as well as respecting our surroundings and other’s ears J)
·Respect everyone’s project or work
·Not judge, rank, or order each other’s projects or work

To help ease the transition back into school mode feel free to discuss some of these agreements with your child, but don’t overwhelm them all at once with “don’ts” and “can’t dos”.  Focus on the positives and why each agreement works or feels good at school.   And an extra special request; get back into your regular routine as soon as possible.  I know it may be tough, but your child and I thank you for that refreshing Tuesday morning in Room 321 Blastoff.  See you then!

Happy Learning,
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson

p.s. Check out our Flickr photostream here!

Growth: Themes & Plans

Week 14 will focus on the following developmental concepts:


Learn positive ways to release tension


Numbers 1-31: January calendar

Water properties


What makes a shadow?


Respect the rights of others and accept behavioral limits

Consider and listen to different perspectives


Continue to establish a sense of trust and safety

Responsibility for self and actions


TKG Fundraising: Buy from our Amazon store and help us raise money for future parent workshops.  Thank you!

Garden Maintenance (from the TKG Office):

Friendly reminders from Admin:

  • Tuition is now due.  THANK YOU!
  • School resumes on Tuesday January 3rd.
  • 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

Thank you Families!


LAST Parent Information/Enrollment Night is on January 30th in our Classroom from 7 to 9.  Please invite your friends!

We love our Parent Volunteers!

There is no classroom volunteer this week but, some parents are working on ‘home’ projects.  Please check with Michelle for any home project deadlines and needs.  Park day volunteer schedule will resume next week.


Alfie Kohn‘s talk at the Willows school is coming up.  Please let us know if you are interested in attending.  The TKG school calendar is available here.

Resource Of The Week:

Why reflect feelings?Instead of dismissing feelings:

“Dump her.  Good riddance.”

(which keeps your child stuck)

You can help your child work through feelings and come up with better solutions when you reflect:

“Having your friend diss you could really hurt.”

Social Intelligence for Elementary Schoolers

by Dr. Laura Markham


© 2012 This information is intended for the families and students of TKG. We love our families!

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