All Together
“When I take my expectations out of the equation, every experience is valuable and unique.”
~ Shannon Minor

Wow! This week flew by…just like the rest of 2013! The counting caterpillar shows that we have been in school 45 days, and my how we have grown. Students are finding their way in our environment, knowing where to locate supplies and resources, how we care for our classroom and each other, and how to “keep the flow” in our choice filled environment. Teachers have noticed this growth and are slowly offering more “independent” areas where there may not be a teacher anchored. I enjoyed spending time connecting with our community on Saturday. I look forward to continuing digging into perspectives and lenses!Meeting Discussions

UPSTAIRS(5 to 7)//Tours are beginning and students have created a list of what they want visiting families and their children to know about our classroom: At TKG we learn, we like not mean words but nice words, we model “keeping the flow” (we may not acknowledge the tour if we are engaged in a plan), we like to be called by our names or sometimes animal names. When the topic of order surfaced, Delaney offered, “Well, if you go last you will have more time to think about it.”DOWNSTAIRS(7 to 9)//This week students began to explore the idea of their dream school day schedule. We got to execute Hayden’s plan on Friday, which began with Deep Learning first thing in the morning! Then, we got to explore the far parking lot and just how wonderful it is to kick a ball as hard as you can and make the teachers run and run and run. So much fun!  Throughout the year, each student will have the opportunity to plan their dream schedule and then we will work together to pick a day to make that happen.

UPSTAIRS//Our interests ranged from skip counting by 5s or 2s, word problems, place value, subitizing, matching games, and book making. On Thursday Kai and Delaney started bundling (regrouping) sticks to make tens and then hundreds with the goal to make a bundle of one thousand. Anna and Jaiden joined in on Friday and now we have 6 bundles of 100. Tillie recalled a game that involves flying like a bee to collect pollen (beads) to make a 100 string and set it up for us in the hall. Making math books and thinking about shapes seemed to be big sparks so we will dig into these more next week, as well as continue making a bundle of one thousand. With the reminder of kinesthetic learning, teachers will be finding ways to offer whole body or movement with math learning.

DOWNSTAIRS//During Math we intentionally worked on the following skills and habits:
Problem solving

We worked on the idea that we are mathematical problem solvers.  We all have so many strategies to solving mathematical problems. Our goal this week was to show on paper what our thinking was in solving multi-step problems so we could share our thinking and teach others our strategies. This happened both in context by playing a new game (Spider Web) and meeting with me in small groups to explore how our knowledge of 10’s and 5’s can guide us in creating our own mathematical strategies.

Language Topics
UPSTAIRS//Persistence in completing books before beginning new ones. Kai created “Book Making Book” which is filled with backgrounds/settings for students to use in telling stories. Sydney and Aiel are in the final stretch of publishing their book, currently they are working on “about the authors”. Lucas and Alex started stories separately, and ended up working together; first starting in block area, and then refining their story in the habitat area. Early in the week Zara, Maiya, and Anna worked on a letter to the downstairs class in preparation of giving them the 100 bead strings we’ve worked so hard on making for them. The gift giving will happen next week.

DOWNSTAIRS//During our Writing time, we intentionally worked on the following skills and habits:

This week we explored the wonders of adjectives! How many words can you think of to describe a scar you have, your pet, a character in a book, yourself?  Our books continue to be a source of great pride. If you are inspired to know about the following books, come in, pull up a seat and enjoy!
Teddy- Stick Figure Puzzles
Zoe- Zombies Steal Thanksgiving
Isabella- Auggie Doggie
Maddie- Froggie Buys a Car
Hayden- Birds and Pigs
Simone- How to describe a beta fish and Ozzy the cat
Bennett- Mouse Ball

Social Emotional
UPSTAIRS//Our person of the week was Zara and we enjoyed getting to know her. We asked her questions to get to know her better. Did you know she loves apples, and lived in Taiwan? Her favorite drink is water. Her favorite animal is a cat. Her favorite thing is TKG and she enjoys smashing bugs with her own hands. She loves to draw and brought in lots of art work to share. We noticed many mediums, ranging from paint and pastels, to collage and chalk. Our next person of the week is Delaney.Science
DOWNSTAIRS//We continue to add layers of information to our exploration of cartography.  We added some new words to our working knowledge of topography by thinking about the different types of water form present on Earth.  We then took this information to the creation of our perfect cities by imagining what land and water features we would have in our perfect city using collage materials and clay. The creations were inspired and the thinking deepened with the opportunity to speak through different materials.

Reminder that we have a school holiday next week.  Wishing you a restful and safe holiday!

Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, Founding Teacher/5 to 7 Classroom
Yvette Fenton/Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Jaclyn Epstein-Calvert/Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Saundi Williams, 5 to 7 Room Parent
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

We will be at Hess Park this week! Forecast calls for Partly cloudy. High 69F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Please pack layers for so your sprout stays warm and remind them to stay hydrated and listen to their tummies.

Bulletin Board Design – students are interested in designing the board outside 321 and we would like a parent to help lead the project.  Please contact Michelle to confirm your interest.

scrapbooking paper scraps for collage
glass jars (washed & labels removed)
Canvas Tipis
old sheets (bedding)
Ogo Sports Disks

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

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

Counting & Cardinality (K)
Know number names and the count sequence.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.1 Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).

Number & Operations in Base Ten (1)
Understand place value.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2 Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases:
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2a 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten.”
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2b The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.
CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2c The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).

English Language Arts: Language
Conventions of Standard English (K)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.1a Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.1b Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.1c Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.1e Use the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).

Knowledge of Language
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use (1)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.4a Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately (e.g., knowing duck is a bird and learning the verb to duck).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5 With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5a Sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5c Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful)

Grade 4 » Number & Operations—Fractions

CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.1 Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (n × a)/(n × b) by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size of the parts differ even though the two fractions themselves are the same size. Use this principle to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.

Grade 3 Overview
Measurement and Data

Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.

English Language Arts
Grade 2 Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).

Grade 3 Reading: Literature
Key Ideas and Details

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

FEATURED WORKSHOP Council I:  An Introduction to The Way of Council
December 13, 4:00 pm thru December 15, 4:00 pm

Experience the age-old practice of Council and learn ways to use it to enrich all your relationships: couples, families, schools, businesses, communities … REGISTER HERE

From the TKG Office

  • Parent Enrollment Information Nights kick off on December 5th.  Share this REGISTRATION link with friends and family.
  • Drum Circle, is on for this Friday.  Please give $15 to Trish by Thursday morning to confirm you attendance.
  • School Holiday – No school next week.  Safe travels and refreshing rest to you!
  • TKG Office Hours are this Tuesday from 9 to 12.  Monica and Trish are available (weekly) for business and conversation.
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

In Education News

The Case Against High-School Sports
In The Atlantic by AMANDA RIPLEY

Every year, thousands of teenagers move to the United States from all over the world, for all kinds of reasons. They observe everything in their new country with fresh eyes, including basic features of American life that most of us never stop to consider.

One element of our education system consistently surprises them: “Sports are a big deal here,” says Jenny, who moved to America from South Korea with her family in 2011. Shawnee High, her public school in southern New Jersey, fields teams in 18 sports over the course of the school year, including golf and bowling. Its campus has lush grass fields, six tennis courts, and an athletic Hall of Fame. “They have days when teams dress up in Hawaiian clothes or pajamas just because—‘We’re the soccer team!,’ ” Jenny says. (To protect the privacy of Jenny and other students in this story, only their first names are used.)

By contrast, in South Korea, whose 15-year-olds rank fourth in the world (behind Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong) on a test of critical thinking in math, Jenny’s classmates played pickup soccer on a dirt field at lunchtime. They brought badminton rackets from home and pretended there was a net. If they made it into the newspaper, it was usually for their academic accomplishments.

Sports are embedded in American schools in a way they are not almost anywhere else. Yet this difference hardly ever comes up in domestic debates about America’s international mediocrity in education. READ MORE…

Are the Humanities dead?

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