FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 13 (5 to 7 Students)


All Together
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
If you were in the room this past week you probably noticed that our group energy is higher than usual! Knowing that the winter break is on our minds we will spend the next week sharing our holiday traditions, telling stories, connecting socially, and making each other gifts. Tuesday will be regular schedule, Wednesday will be a craft day (Maiya’s idea), Thursday we will have double deep learning (South Park race), and Friday will have a morning drum celebration followed by deep learning.

Meeting Discussions
We started our Metacognition Journals and thought about “What helps you think?” I requested everyone visit Studio this week for an introduction meeting. We explored some materials, tools, and supplies. We played a game called “Studio Way, Not Studio Way” where we were playful and discuss/acted out how we move our bodies and care for the space. Here are the words students used to describe each way of being Studio Way:

  • careful, walk- so you don’t trip and fall
  • it’s almost like they (the felt) are your babies
  • you have to concentrate, focus on what you are doing
  • not just playing a game
  • not mixing up colors (markers)
  • not shouting
  • check in and walk around (not lean into the table to see neighbors’ work)
  • cleaning up after and so much more!
and Not Studio Way:
  • running- or “spill, splatter, fall”
  • putting scissors in our mouths or pointing them when walking
  • running with scissors
  • putting things back in a different place, and so much more!
We explored math through many experiences this week. Offerings included calculating the age of two logs and determining which tree was older, using lava rocks to think about size, shape, and weight, and finding how many inches the inch worm in “Inch by Inch” by Leo Leoni traveled in the book. Shapes/blocks, math games, and creating math books were “independent areas”.

Language topics
Looking closer at illustrations some wondered why Leo Leoni outlined the worm in red, when inch worms aren’t red. We noticed how lines can show motion or shine. The “school” area has been thinking about letters, sounds, and words.  On Thursday, we built letters and words with stamps, fabric, worms and paper.

Books and conversations
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman: anyone can be anything, it doesn’t matter what you look like, if you are a boy or girl, or the color of your skin. The book reminded us of Pebble, and Oliver Button is a Sissy. Jaiden brought in Pete the Cat books and we heard audio versions from Shannon’s phone. We loved the repetition and songs. We also had the added excitement of her little sister joining us!

Social Emotional
Jaiden was our person of the week. She brought in pictures of her family, we saw who her grandparents, uncle, and dad were. We also wondered how it looks like she is riding a whale from her Sea World visit. Here’s a list of her favorites:

  • number-6, thing to play-jump rope
  • type of bug- butterfly
  • drink-milk
  • season-summer
  • do not like: go to heaven
  • fav place-Disneyland
  • movie-Sound of Music
  • stuffed animal-Brownie
  • book-The Actual Size
  • animal-giraffe
Next week will not have a person of the week, but will focus on us as a community and sharing our winter traditions. Some students were interested in playing the pop game for deep learning: While they were moving around I gave them things to act out: animals, nature, snow, babies, teenagers, adults (they immediately pretended to have a phone, scheduling meetings and ordering pizza).
We had our first applying student visit for the year. Our sprouts were welcoming, helpful, connected, and continue to ask if he is joining TKG!  Enjoy this week – and enjoy the Holiday season as it unfolds.
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, Founding Teacher/5 to 7 Classroom
Yvette Fenton/Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Saundi Williams, 5 to 7 Room Parent
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***Monthly Parent Meeting
We will meet at 7:00pm this Wednesday at TKG (DOWNSTAIRS).  All parents are welcome.  This is a Parent Participation event and one parent must attend.

***Dec 20th Holiday Celebration (not Clean Up)
All parents are welcome to join us for a holiday celebration on Friday 12/20 from 9-11 in fellowship hall as we drum, dance, play and eat together. Sabina, our drumming instructor, will be here to lead our students, parents and teachers in rhythmic connection. Please bring a snack to share for brunch.  Sprouts are welcome to stay/leave as convenient for families.

We are at Hess Park tomorrow…Don’t forget sunscreen! Forecast calls for Partly Cloudy with a high of 80°

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


MON Dec 16
TUE Dec 17
LS (am)/AS (11:30-1:30pm)

WED Dec 18
Monthly Parent Meeting is tonight – Downstairs

THUR Dec 19

FRI Dec 20

STILL Need a LiveScan?  Please download this form (this link has been updated) and visit a local livescan provider (a google search will provide offices in your area).

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions.

PT TOOLBOX: Using the Upstairs Brain

Can giving toddlers a short lesson in neurology help curb tantrums? Dr. Dan Siegel’s advice for helping kids understand how their brains work.WATCH THIS…

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

Geometry (K) Identify and describe shapes.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.1 Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
K.G.A.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.

Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.
Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.

Measurement & Data (1)
Measure lengths indirectly and by iterating length units.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.A.1 Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.
MD.A.2 Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps.

English Language Arts: Reading
Foundational Skills – K
Print Concepts
Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
RF.K.1d Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

Phonological Awareness
Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
RF.K.2b Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.

Foundational Skills – 1
Phonics and Word Recognition

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
RF.1.3a Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.4a Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
RF.1.4c Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

P.E.T. Workshop at TKG
Jan 28th at 7:00pm
Learn about P.E.T., highly recommended by Jennifer Lehr of “Good Job and Other Things.”  TKG is happy to announce that Meike Lemmens will facilitate this Intro Workshop and we hope to begin a workshop series for Teachers and Parents, soon after.  To learn more aboutP.E.T. and T.E.T, click here.

From the TKG Office

  • Nov Fundraising Contribution: Please reference your contracts for the % of your contribution that is now due.  We appreciate you paying the full amount at this time.  For those of you who are awaiting contribution adjustments, you will be receiving at the beginning of next week.  Contribution is now due or due upon receipt of adjustment amount.  Thank you.
  • Drum Circle, switches up to Community Circle this week: All parents are welcome to join us for a holiday celebration on Friday 12/20 from 9-11 in fellowship hall as we drum, dance, play and eat together. Sabina, our drumming instructor, will be here to lead our students, parents and teachers in rhythmic connection. Please bring a snack to share for brunch
  • TKG Office Hours are this Friday after Drum circle. Monica and Trish are available (weekly) for business and conversation.
  • TKG Holiday Break, begins Nov 23 through Jan 3.  See you again on Jan 6th at South Park!

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 Emotional Intelligence News

How Emotionally Intelligent Are You? Here’s How To Tell

What makes some people more successful in work and life than others? IQ and work ethic are important, but they don’t tell the whole story. Our emotional intelligence — the way we manage emotions, both our own and those of others — can play a critical role in determining our happiness and success.

Plato said that all learning has some emotional basis, and he may be right. The way we interact with and regulate our emotions has repercussions in nearly every aspect of our lives. To put it in colloquial terms, emotional intelligence (EQ) is like “street smarts,” as opposed to “book smarts,” and it’s what accounts for a great deal of one’s ability to navigate life effectively.

“What having emotional intelligence looks like is…READ MORE

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