Park Day at TKG
“For this feeling of wonder shows that you are a philosopher, since wonder is the only beginning of philosophy.”
― Plato, Theaetetus
WONDER.  As parents and teachers – the scaffolding for our sprouts – we are evolving in to co-wonderers.  Re-imagining our role in learning…

While exploring park day we wondered about other perspectives:
I wonder what it is like to be a moth here?  I wonder if a moth like to be buried?
I wonder what a news reporter say?
I wonder what Pine Cone World is like for babies?
I wonder who else uses this bathroom?
I wonder what is it like to be a rock?
I wonder if an artist knows what they are going to create?
I wonder how height changes the view of the person on the swing?
I wonder what is it like to be a black widow?
Shift your perspective from solving the problem, or giving the answer, to I wonder…

Our sprouts are genius when it comes to creative thinking:
“An artist doesn’t need to know what it is going to be.”
“Love is warm.”
“All of my books in my book box are about nature.  I feel like I’m into nature.  I want to learn more about nature.”
“The Indians used to be animals.”
“We excavated it.”
“If you are lower it is bigger, if you are taller it looks smaller.  Does that make sense?”
“We are scientists!”

In celebration of our 100th day, we reflected on our school year:

Alex- seal at Marine Mammal Center
Bennett- Jack before it wasn’t a good fit, and the tree B planted last year
James- school with everyone in it
Aiel- holiday show, otis jack aiel at the botanic garden
Michelle – holiday show  – our first big project where we all worked together at some capacity
Madison- circle time and the caterpillar
Otis- me and jack at the park by a sapling tree, jack and him at McDonalds-a yesterday memory
Anna- yesterday, PE girls exercise group
Sydney- yesterday- heater smell we investigated where the smoke smell was coming from, Christmas book, presents, park in different groups
Yvette- book making, trees, presents, butterfly, hoola hoop, airplanes, fruit salad, counting collections

We played Roll to 100
We wondered about how we would look when turning 100…
We assesed our school experience:
“Our teacher is nice, well most of the time, yeah sometimes she gets steamy.” 
(a whole back story behind that!  I’m transparent about my feelings and we problem solve when I’m starting to get steamy)
We talked about other schools and time outs?
We acknowledged our Bill of Rights

Question of the week:
What happens when your amygdala is flooded? The amygdala processes events that are related to what a person cares about at the moment.

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

Please CHECK out Our Flickr Stream

TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Park Day – We will be staying at this park through the rest of the month.  Please check in with Michelle if you have any questions and don’t forget to pack light.

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

February Field Trip is scheduled for Friday February 15th at 10 AM.  We will visit the Western Museum of Flight @ 3315 Airport Drive in Torrance. The museum is located in the first hanger west of the control tower. Prices for $5 for guests over 12 years.

Valentines Day please don’t bring pre-made/printed valentines to class.  We would like to discuss any plans and ideas, if they come up, as a group in class.  Whole fruit and vegetable snacks are welcome.

Pinterest Michelle has started a Pinterest with TKG in mind – if you follow, check out

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 Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teaching Focus – How to support listening (through the lens of a Socratic classroom):
In a Socratic classroom, democracy consists of everyone listening intently, not in “equal time”. Like a well-coached basketball team, its players don’t snatch the ball from each other, but support the player who has it, who in turn passes it to a team mate whenever a pass is called for by the common purpose of the team. In a Socratic classroom, the opposing team “is” the difficulties all people face, as they search for the truth. It does not matter whose mouth gets used in overcoming this ‘antagonist’, provided that all are attending carefully and interrupting with questions when they do not understand.

Teacher Focus – Create Meaningful Conversations by Asking:…questions that are pure curiosity – whimsical questions that introduce a new perspective – Difference questions – Questions that prompt positive memories – questions that address personal needs – questions that invite others to participate…READ MORE

For your Toolbox – In Order To Learn Well, Our Children Need To Feel Safe and Wanted: Children can learn only when this bottom line condition of feeling welcome and appreciated is met. At school, they need to know that their teachers like them and think they’re special. They need to know that they won’t be bullied or made fun of on the playground or in the hallways. They need encouragement, high expectations, and a good deal of fun.READ MORE

Going forward, please arrive 30 minutes before the start of your day.  For park day, please arrive 15 minutes early. Michelle will offer a briefing on plans and strategies for the day.  Thank you.
Monday – 
Tuesday – RD
Thursday – LS/T&T
Please contact Trish if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule.  

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.

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

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.

FEATURED WORKSHOP: Echo Parenting Class
with Renee Dokmanovich

Renee will be teaching the 6-week Echo Parenting Class beginning in March, at TKG.  TKG families will have first priority to enroll.  Stay tuned for details.

From the TKG Office:

  • February Tuition is past due!
  • February Board Meeting, scheduled for Monday February 11th at 7pm.  Guests are welcome between 7 and 8.
  • School Holiday!  There will be no school on February 18th, in honor of President’s Day.
  • Saturday ClassTime will be on March 16th (no longer on the 9th), 9 to noon.  We will welcome prospective students to a classroom day.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.”
― Richard Wright, Native Son
Resource Of The Week
Visit The Opal School in Portland
Michelle and Lena have so much to share with us!

Opal School of the Portland Children’s Museum is a private preschool (ages 3-6) and public charter elementary school (grades K-5).  Opal School serves as a resource for teacher-research by supporting and provoking fresh thinking about learning environments that inspire playful inquiry, creativity, imagination and the wonder of learning in children and adults.

The mission of Opal School is to strengthen public education by provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where creativity, imagination and the wonder of learning thrive. Stay connected to the Opal School Community by subscribing to the Opal School Blog.

This video was created for the Welcome to Interactivity 2012, the annual convention of the Association for Children’s Museums.  WATCH HERE!

The Opal School in Portland


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