Planets Orbiting the Sun
“I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place”
― Howard Gardner
Please remember, no school on Monday in honor of Nobel Peace Laureate Martin Luther King Jr.  See you Tuesday.Did you hear about our math game?  We are learning about place values: ones, tens, hundreds, thousandsMake Your Own Place Holder Mats

Student B is counting on the dice, after he adds his sticks he has:
131 which at first glance looks like “thirteen oh one”
next time, when he rolls a 10 he takes out a 10 bundle instead of counting out ten single sticks
then he rolls an 11…he added 10 and 2 ones for 12, but after posing some questions and discussing he decides to put one back
one thing we adjusted this week? We devised a bigger roll space!
To play the game: You need place holder mats, craft sticks and dice.  1. Roll the dice 2. Use the craft sticks to represent your roll (what can you do to represent bundles of 10’s or 100’s?). 3. Record your results 4. Roll ‘to keep learning!

What did you learn about Science this week?

“sun and solar system fire for the rocket ship- what else would they move with?” Student C

“I bet it’s cold in space.” -Student D, looking at weather and space book

“I’m making a bee hive” Student E, using yellow hexagons

Did you know there is more ocean than land?”  Student D

Inside Deep Learning… 

Using: one small boat with a fireplace, comfortable beds, a skateboard, and a train

Our Roles:
Alexis is 10
Bennett is 10
Alex is the father
Emily is 2
Sara is (how many is my mom?) 40

Bennett thought Emily ran out of gas in the middle of the ocean, but she just stopped. There are sharks surrounding her boats and dolphins came because they are nice and protecting her. Dad has a bag of fishes. he thew fish at the sharks. pirates started coming. Sara shot bullets at the pirates but the captain was still there. There were people hiding in the boat so there was more crew, and ghost pirates! the gun when through the ghost pirates, you can get them with something pointy said the Father. “a nail!” said Sara. The ghost pirate went away because they are scared.

Then, there was a whirlpool and everyone was going around in a circle. father is surrounded by great white sharks. Sara got bit by a shark and she is stuck “Help mom help. Alexis called 911 and the life guard boats came, but her foot kept falling off so she couldn’t walk (some people don’t have feet). The big boat is in a round ball and is safe, the emergency boats are floating away.

Bennett killed the sharks. Bennett went away but has a walkie talkie and dad came with him. he got hit by a laser. he was in pain and sat by the campfire with his dog.

Alexis called Emily at 922. “Can you go to the store and get food, that would be amazing!” “i can’t because I have to work until night time.” “we still need food” Emily moved away because she had no leg. it was not high tide so she went to the land. the key was buried in the sand so nothing is going to happen with the trap.

sara called 922, emily, “hi mom what are you doing?” “I’m just doing bills.” “she got stuff we don’t need, like apples.”

Emily is going to college today and gave hugs and goodbyes.

Art/Writing/Reading/Science/Social/Health/Emotional/Math (say what?!)

Our fruit and vegetable salad was a feast of learning!

*We created our own dishes by decorating them with pens and then by baking, preserved the images on the plates.

*One student decided that she wanted to draw a panda on her plate…but, didn’t feel like she knew how to do it.  So, with the help of a Teacher, the student went over to the library to source an image of a panda.  While there, the student and teacher discovered letters, reading through descriptions of many animals.  They explored the index and discussed tens and one place values as they thumbed through the book to find the page of pandas.
*The plates had to be “cooked” in the oven so students explored St.Andrew’s as they waited.  They went ice skating, they walked into other classrooms, they thought about the pre-schoolers who share the space, they made group and individual decisions about where to go next.  While the dishes cooled, we prepared the food but first – we washed our hands.
*Our ingredients: raspberries, grapes, oranges, blueberries, kiwi, cucumbers, spinach, carrots, brocolli…we classified fruits and vegetables.  We graphed our results.  We chopped our own vegetables using a real knife.  We peeled some of them too.
*When we were choosing carrots…the distribution method worked for some of us but definitely not for all of us.  Student E wanted the smallest carrot but he did not get the smallest carrot and was really upset.  We offered trades, we talked about how we could have done it differently, and we talked about looking at the carrot differently too.  Could we shape the larger carrot into a smaller carrot and would that satisfy the need?
*All this, before we have even tasted the salad!***

Plant a squash seed (they are easy to grow!)
Refresh your language of Place Value, watch with your sprout
Plant a fruit tree.
Examine a honeycomb – taste test honey
Make Special Time

Is cucumber a fruit?
What would you take with you – if you were going to the middle of the ocean on a boat?
What is your favorite vegetable?
Who is Martin Luther King Jr?
Can you help me prepare dinner?

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman

Our Flickr Stream features even more photos from this week! To share photos you have taken: email the file (the subject becomes the caption) to

Closing Meeting
Holiday Show Seating

Tending the Garden

Park Day – No Park Day this week.  We have a school holiday.MLK Events here…

TKG Special Guest: “Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children” with Dr. Laura Markham – The Knowing Garden Community School is happy to welcome trusted advocate for children and parents, Dr. Laura Markham to our community on Tuesday Jan 22.  Please register…

Classroom Supplies – needed this week:
Paper Towel Rolls
Classroom Thermometer

Parent Info Night #3 is on February 21st.  Please share!

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

Teaching Focus: Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. (exercise)

Teacher Focus: Becoming Your Own Massage Therapist (NYTimes)

For your Toolbox/Solution Starter: “When Children Can’t Work Out A Problem by Themselves” (from Faber & Mazllish)

  1. Call a meeting between parties (the heat of the moment doesn’t usually work).  Explain the purpose of the meeting
  2. Write down each child’s feelings and concerns, read them aloud
  3. Allow time for rebuttal
  4. Invite solutions from all.  Write down ideas without evaluating
  5. Decide on the solutions that will work for all
  6. Circle back
PT SCHEDULE, WEEK OF JAN 21…Monday – No school
Tuesday – RD (Dr.Laura Night)
Wednesday – BM/TV (tour)
Thursday – LS/NL
Friday – ME/TV & TS (pm)

Please contact Trish if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule.  FEBRUARY SCHEDULE IS NOW UP – PLEASE CHECK FOR YOUR DATES!

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:

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.

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.

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.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of concepts time (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening, today,yesterday, tomorrow, week, year) and tools that measure time (e.g., clock, calendar). (CAStandard MG 1.2)
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.

ARTS: Music
Listen to, Analyze, and Describe Music
1.2 Identify and describe basic elements in music (e.g., high/low, fast/slow, loud/soft, beat).

Derive Meaning
4.1 Create movements that correspond to specific music.

Earth Sciences
3.  Weather can be observed, measured, and described. As a basis for understanding this concept: a. Students know how to use simple tools (e.g., thermometer, wind vane) to measure weather conditions and record changes from day to day and across the seasons. b. Students know that the weather changes from day to day but that trends in temperature or of rain (or snow) tend to be predictable during a season.
c. Students know the sun warms the land, air, and water.
Physical Sciences
1.  Materials come in different forms (states), including solids, liquids, and gases. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know solids, liquids, and gases have different properties.
b. Students know the properties of substances can change when the substances are mixed, cooled, or heated.

Grade 1: 4.Describe how location, weather, and physical environment affect the way people live, including the effects on their food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and recreation

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).

FEATURED WORKSHOP(s): ECHO PARENTING,especially for the South Bay Community

Renee Dokmanovich is currently working toward an ECHO educator certification and the Schwartz’ are enrolled in the 6 week course.  Please check in with them for updates and support!

From the TKG Office:

  • Parent Information Nights: Please invite your friends to our next General Info Night on February 21st.   Registration is available, here.  We will be touring a prospective family this Wednesday.
  • School Holiday, There is no school on Monday, January 21 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Shop Amazon! Bookmark this link!
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
“Everything you can imagine is real.”

― Pablo Picasso
Resource Of The WeekFrom Teaching Tolerance Blog//
Dr. King Opened Doors, Obama Walked Through

by  Lisa Ann Williamson

A couple years ago, my then 3-year-old daughter announced her intentions to draw a picture for President Barack Obama.

“Because he’s my brother,” she said and sat down with an array of crayons, markers and paper.

She didn’t fully comprehend the significance of a black man as president in the United States; could not define her racial group identity; had not yet learned about racial injustices, oppression and the history of the Jim Crow South; but she instantly connected with Obama on a deeper, familial level.

She was inspired.


Dr. King Opened Doors


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