FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 7 (7 to 9 Class)

All Together
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Can’t wait to have the crew all back together again on Monday.  Reminder: this Wednesday is our Fresh Bros. Fundraiser.  Order anytime after 11 to help raise money for TKG (you must show/mention flyer).

Meeting discussions/Social Emotional
How do we achieve balance in our schedule? What does it mean to us for our bodies, minds and hearts to feel safe in our classroom?  We have been processing these questions each day…during meeting and beyond.
Next week we will continue to explore the concept of safety, specifically as it relates to how we make this a safe environment to learn new things and make mistakes.

During math we intentionally worked on the following skills and habits:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Project Management
  • Feedback Loop
This week students finished their math games, with multiple opportunities for players to practice addition and subtraction.  Bennett’s game challenges players to choose the path to earning the most money. Starting on Thursday, students learned some new words to describe the process of product creation.  The designers of the new board games began beta testing their prototypes, hoping that their fellow designers could help them polish and refine.  Each student took turns receiving or giving feedback to support further development of the game. Next week, students will get another opportunity to beta test their prototype in order to make refinements to their games and get them ready to be “packaged” for use.  For more information on this process, you can visit this website that I shared with the students:

In addition, in small groups, students will be introduced to the math rack to support math fact proficiency.

During our Writing and Reading time we intentinonally worked on the following skills and habits:

  • Using the language of drawing to reveal the story of a 3-D structure
  • Slowing down in order to achieve depth
  • Planning, reflecting, revising
  • Making time for focus on self as well as time for social connections
The story of our perfect city continues to emerge. Students were ready to continue building their three-dimensional representation of an element of their perfect city, but in an effort to help them slow down and deepen their creative process, I posed the question: how do architects reflect, revise and plan?  We read about Frank Gehry’s reflection of his work designing Disney Hall (Los Angeles Times).  We looked through our ‘almanac’ of the world’s most interesting structures. This revealed an opportunity to go back to a 2 dimensional representation of their structure to draw it as it is currently and how it would change with the new materials offered for building. Once a plan was created, students eagerly jumped into their 3-D creations and found their visions transforming and deepening as a result of the planning, reflecting, revising process.  Next week, we will focus on drawing multiple viewpoints (aerial, interior, exterior) of our creations in order to push our thinking forward and reveal areas to enhance.

students followed a sequence that allows for multiple experiences. First students each find a special spot in the room to read to self for 10 minutes, then for the next 10 minutes they pair up with a person with whom they don’t normally read (I made the partners to ensure new experiences), and finally for the last 10 minutes, students pick anyone in the room to read with.  Next week, I will be holding reading conferences with students during each of those blocks in order to support their pursuit of their individual reading goals.

Our experience of the park has been enhanced by our very first Play in the Park! The students adapted the story, The 3 Billy Goats Gruff, to create an original work of theater in the idyllic setting of Hess Park.  We found the bridge way out in “the outback” and the sound as we crossed it reminded me of the story and I offered the idea to the students. After 2 weeks of practice, the students were ready to have an audience. Cast members: Isabella-troll, Zoe-biggest billy goat, Bennett-medium billy goat, Madison-medium small billy goat, Simone- tiniest billy goat.  I look forward to new ideas to bring to life in the many settings Hess park offers us!

Is your sprout having a hard time with the tree limit? Please take some time to process with them and do let us know if you have any questions.  See you soon!

Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Jaclyn Epstein-Calvert/Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***COMMUNITY FIELD TRIP – Friday Nov 1, 10:00am
Natural History Museum + Spider Pavilion
Driving Directions from TKG, here

Arrival time is 10:00am. Cost is $13.25 Adults and $5.25 per child. Optional museum-led tours available at 1:00 (Gallery Tour) & 2:00 (Highlights Tour).  Please pay Trish by Wednesday to confirm your participation.

Parking is available for $8 in the Museum’s Car Park on Exposition Blvd. and Bill Robertson Lane.

Any questions can be directed to our Field Trip Coordinator, Shannon Minor.

Park will be our haven this Monday.  Please remind your sprouts that they must check-in with a teacher before leaving the area. Also, remind students about the roughhouse/physical play area (check with teachers) Try to wear brightly colored clothes and don’t forget sunscreen! (Nov 4 park day will be at South)

Friendly reminder that we don’t wear costumes to school on Halloween. Feel free to encourage your sprout to develop a classroom costume plan in collaboration with peers and teachers.

TKG Principals
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN SCIENCE, students are sensory learners, we honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teacher wonderings for the week:
How can I provoke commitment to the selected task?

MON OCT 28 – Park

THUR Oct 31

FRI Nov 1 – Community Day Trip
MD (Field Trip Support)

*New parents: please submit a TB Test at your earliest convenience.

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions.

PT TOOLBOX: How Can Teachers Develop Students’ Motivation — and Success? (Carol Dweck)
“…teachers should teach students to relish a challenge…They should transmit the joy of confronting a challenge and of struggling to find strategies that work….. teachers should help students value effort. Too many students think effort is only for the inept. Yet sustained effort over time is the key to outstanding achievement… teachers can help students focus on and value learning. Too many students are hung up on grades and on proving their worth through grades. Grades are important, but learning is more important.”

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

Mathematics: Grade 2 Operations & Algebraic Thinking
Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.A.1 Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

Grade 1: Number & Operations in Base 10
Extend the counting sequence.
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1 Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.

English Language Arts: Anchor Standards » College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

Anchor Standards » College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Teaching for a Positive Future 1 – Institute for Humane Education
Feb. 17 – March 29, 2014

Teaching for a Positive Future 1 is our six-week online course for classroom teachers who want to inspire their students to become leaders and changemakers—for creating a healthy, peaceful, and sustainable world. LEARN MORE…

From the TKG Office

  • Office Hours, this week: Monica and Trish will be available on Wednesday (9am to 12pm) of this week, instead of the usual Friday time.
  • Tuition is due on November 1st.
  • Book Club #2, Nov 19th – mark your calendars!
  • Amazon Reports, Sept reports are now available on Trish’s clipboard.
  • Melody Elder, will be visiting TKG on Weds.  Please give her a warm welcome!  If you don’t know Melody yet, she is a TKG Social/Emotional staff and family resource.

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions.

The Four Agreements
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best

Resource Of The Week

Dia de los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos is one of Mexico’s traditional holidays reuniting and honoring beloved ancestors, family and friends. It is an ancient and enduring ritual when the living commune with the dead – a mystical night when the veil is lifted between their two realms and they may share a day together.

The historical roots of this celebration date back to the pre-Hispanic cultures of Meso-America of the indigenous people, especially the Nahua (Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, Tecpanec) and others native to Mexico more than 3,000 years. When the Spaniards conquered the country, this indigenous custom was rooted so deeply that, after five centuries of colonization, it has continued to survive and remain as celebrated as in its first days.

Throughout each period in Mexican culture, death seems to hold no terror. In Mexican art, legends, and religion, death has not been a mysterious and fearful presence but a realistic recognizable character as much a part of life as life itself. Dia De Los Muertos expresses this perspective: READ MORE…

Are the Humanities dead?


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