The Knowing Garden

From under our big tree…

11 March 2012
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Week 24:Springing Forward

Discoveries at TKG
Dear Families,It’s only March, but spring is in the air.  (Don’t forget to spring forward.)  Monday we spent some quality time with ladybugs, spotted monarchs, tasted sour flowers, and observed a giant bird.  Students thought the bird was so big that it may have been an aliconda.  I learned an aliconda was a giant bird that died out.  It ate fish, meat, and bugs.  I wondered if it died out, how could that be an aliconda?  Students suggested maybe that one didn’t die out, or it was in the aliconda family.   We followed a stream to a pond and watched water flow down hill with the help of gravity.  We bent pine needles.  Dry pine needles snap but wet ones bend.  A student compared the needles to spaghetti.  Snippets of another conversation included:  Mud is slippery and it can harden.  The sun makes it harden.  And without the sun there would be no sour flowers!  Time sure flies when you’re exploring nature.Back in the classroom we are working on managing our schedule.  I can see why students want a longer day!  After chair building, game (meeting), and math workshop we run low on project and kitty workshop time.  This week the math workshop bears helped us out.  They became builder bears and went to work on our amusement park project.  They built a force field to protect the park from future tornado damage, as well as added maps so kittens can find their way around the park.  We were able to accomplish everything on our schedule!  One of my goals for us next week is to make checking in with our schedule a natural occurrence as I want to add Dance Party to the mix.We’ve also been working on “saying what you mean” and “saying what, not who”. For example, a student might say “I hate you” when what they are really trying to say is, “Clean up is hard, I want more time to finish my plan”.   Or “I want to go home” really means “I want a turn now!”. We are discovering when we say what we mean it is easier for all of us to understand what you are feeling and needing so we can help.

Next week we will be doing some gardening.  We will be planting edible flowers as well as tasting some.  We will also be growing an “agreement tree”.  Throughout this lesson our agreements will come alive.  We will discuss why we have each one, as well as what self-regulation tools we can use when we need them.

Park day will begin at the park and we will make our way to a second Park for pick up.

Happy Learning,
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson

p.s. Check out even more photos on Flickr!

Growth: Themes & Plans

Week 24 will focus on the following developmental concepts:


Language: say what you mean, mean what you say (finding words to express feelings/needs)

Co-operation:  hearing when others are speaking (finding tools to help all students be heard)

Free play:  open ended play (offering tools to aid non scripted/branded play)


Planting a garden: life science, fine motor skills

Documenting our garden: language arts, science observations

Parts of a plant:  science, language, art

Dance Party:  music and large motor skills, releasing tension in a positive way

Edible flower tasting:  health and science (senses)

How do plants help us?  (social studies, science, environmental studies)

Ongoing project:  Encyclopedia Publishing (cross curricular)

Ongoing project:  March Calendar (math, number sense, sequencing)

Ongoing project: Amusement Park (divergent thinking, cross-curricular, problem solving)


Responsibility for self and actions (agreement tree)

Develop self-control and patience (squeeze and pass game, meetings, conversations, etc.)


Learn positive ways to release tension (finding recourses to meet needs in a positive way)


Our next Parent Meeting is scheduled for March 27th and our next TKG Field Trip is scheduled for March 30th.  Details will arrive soon!

Garden Maintenance:

Friendly reminders from the TKG Office:

  • Upcoming Booksale will be on March 24th.  Please bring your book donations to school and ask your friends and families to donate.
  • 25% Fundraiser contribution can be paid in advance of end of school year
  • Don’t forget to sign-in and check out Parent Binder each morning at drop off!

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez(at)knowinggarden(dot)org.


March Board Meeting will be on Monday March 12th.  We will be meeting by phone this month.

We love our Parent Volunteers!

Thank you for sharing your time with us.  Our parent volunteers this week:

MONDAY – MJG (park day)





Don’t forget to bring rhyming books to school!  Feel free to help us build on our Edible Plant projects…please check in with Michelle with ideas.

Resource Of The Week:

“…we also teach directly, by how we respond to hurts in our house.  If your child has been supported to notice relationship ruptures and repair them, rather than being forced into grudging apologies, he probably does it automatically by now. If not, it’s time to start.”

Setting Limits: Teaching Responsibility

Read More…

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