Community WaterColors on Silk
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn
There are some very important discussions going on in meetings lately!  Voices are being tested, heard…we are deep in negotiations about caterpillar’s name and the daily offerings and navigating our own choices…While it may seem insignificant in other school settings, our sprouts have the time and space to practice the “non cognitive skills, like persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness”  which some experts argue, “are more crucial than sheer brainpower to achieving success.”1 (check out our resource of the week for more on this topic).

Congratulations to Michelle for being awarded 1 of 2 CAEYC‘s The Beth A. Lake Award.  She will be presented with $500 at the upcoming CAEYC Convention to be used for training, attending a conference, purchasing materials for the classroom or programming at TKG.

This week, we are exploring avocados and transformation through: procedural writing (how-to books), sustainable agriculture (seed saving and growing your own food), reading and art.

When choosing a jar for sprouting an avocado seed:
“i choosed the jar because it’s more room for the veins”
“Easier to put the avocado out and put the seed inside.”
“nice and big so it will have a lot of space. the small jar you would have to fill up all the time. It is juicy inside. does it float?”
“2 days to grow”
“do you think it will ever grow? no, it needs dirt. i think the seed will sink.” 
“avocado seeds have to have toothpicks, they would sink, then they would drown”
“look at how good I am at lower case e’s”

We have started exploring airplanes (click here to see one of our airplane presentations)!  Stay tuned for more air/fly/build projects here and we want to hear your ideas on bringing airplanes to life for your sprout…a favorite book?  a special trip?  Ever wonder about the Forces on an Airplane?

Our Math Game has also transformed.  The thousands bundle exploded and that means some of us weren’t able to play our game.  Will the game return next week?  How will our thousand pile be repaired?  Some sprouts have started bundling and their determination will be tested.

Persistence and curiosity emerge during Open Flow.  Some sprouts get immersed in their project and want to see them through.  In addition to our science plan (avocado/seed project), our enthusiasm for clay and watercolors have bloomed.

Persistence and creativity keeps our sprouts engaged in the writing of books, descriptions, math notes, and flower designs?  Our space exploration has transformed into a dazzling display of light and patterns that look like flowers.  Sprouts are spotted working alone and sometimes in small groups.

Persistence and self-control meet during Deep Learning.  Designing a dress, negotiating materials, waiting a turn, not getting a turn…”Character is created by encountering and overcoming failure.” 2  We will continue to encourage our sprouts to meet their challenges and build up the muscles of persistence and creativity; knowing it will help them push through to ultimately build their capacity to grow into the creative and capable problem-solvers that will change the world!

Was Dr. Laura Markham’s visit helpful to you?  We were so happy to share this with our community. We’d love to hear your feedback!

February Parent Teacher Schedule is NOW UP ON THE TKG CALENDAR.  Please check your dates (contact Trish with any changes)!


Make and fly Paper Airplanes
Sprout a Pineapple
Do some salty Watercolors!

What is Transformation?
What time is it?
Did you have the opportunity to work through your open flow goals today?

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

You must check out Our Flickr Stream

Making Paper Airplanes
Holiday Show Seating

Tending the Garden

Park Day – Back to South Park next week! Please check in with Michelle if you have any questions.  If there is rain…we encourage play in the rain (of course!) and the sprouts are quite comfortable in water proof gear…could be nice weather for a walk along the green belt.  Pack light! Also, stay close in case your sprout wants to be picked up early.

FIELD TRIP! We will visit The Star EcoStation in Culver City on Thursday January 31st.  Click here, for more information.  Here is a map.  The cost will be $15 per family.  Please arrive by 9:45am and we should be done by noon.  Kenneth Hahn Park is nearby if we want to lunch/play after the visit.  Please contact Renee with any questions.

Documentary/Filming – You may be seeing our filmmaker around as early as next week!  He will be shooting footage for a short reel.  The waivers you signed (back when Larry visited) are on file and if you did not complete one, Trish will provide forms on Monday.

Classroom Supplies – needed this week:
Paper Towel Rolls
Teacher Corner snacks: biscuits, veggies, teas

Parent Info Night #3 is on February 21st.  Please tell a friend!

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: In children with math anxiety, seeing numbers on a page stimulates the same part of the brain that would respond if they spotted a slithering snake or a creeping spider…Brain scans of these children also show that when they’re in the grip of math anxiety, activity is reduced in the information-processing and reasoning areas of their brains—exactly the regions that should be working hard to figure out the problems in front of them.  Read More…

Teacher Focus: Fearlessness. Most of us experience a life full of wonderful moments and difficult moments. But for many of us, even when we are most joyful, there is fear behind our joy. We fear that this moment will end, that we won’t get what we need, that we will lose what we love, or that we will not be safe. Often, our biggest fear is the knowledge that one day our bodies will cease functioning. So even when we are surrounded by all the conditions for happiness, our joy is not complete.  Read More…

For your Toolbox: Don’t Say More Than You Need To.  Ask yourself, does the “given situation carry a high risk of physical or emotional harm; or whether it is a bump – figuratively or literally – that is part of the invaluable life lessons that come from the  pain of hitting the ground hard, and the thrill of getting back up.”

Monday – TS/JS
Tuesday – RD
Wednesday – TV
Thursday – FIELD TRIP
Friday – ME/BW

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 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.

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.

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.

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).

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

WORKSHOP AROUND TOWN: “Setting Limits with Love”//WEDNESDAY, JAN 30TH  5:30 pm   $10 pp
Milestones Preschool Program (310)677-5807
limited childcare available in advance

From the TKG Office:

  • Michelle, Out of Town – Michelle not be in the classroom on Jan 30 and Feb 1.  Class will meet with Yvette and Parent Teachers.  Michelle and Lena will be in Portland for a professional development at the Opal School Visitation Days.
  • Parent Information Nights: Please invite your friends to our next General Info Night on February 21st.   Registration is available, here.  We will be touring another prospective family this Wednesday.
  • Saturday ClassTime, Mark your calendars for March 9th, 9 to noon.  We will welcome prospective students to a classroom day.
  • Tuition,  is due on February 1st!  Invoices should be available by the middle of next week.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

― Robert Frost
Resource Of The Week

School of Hard Knocks
‘How Children Succeed,’ by Paul Tough


Most readers of The New York Times probably subscribe to what Paul Tough calls “the cognitive hypothesis”: the belief “that success today depends primarily on cognitive skills — the kind of intelligence that gets measured on I.Q. tests, including the abilities to recognize letters and words, to calculate, to detect patterns — and that the best way to develop these skills is to practice them as much as possible, beginning as early as possible.” In his new book, “How Children Succeed,” Tough sets out to replace this assumption with what might be called the character hypothesis: the notion that noncognitive skills, like persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence, are more crucial than sheer brainpower to achieving success.


How Children Succeed


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