FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 25/Year 1 – 7 to 9 Class

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“In nature nothing exists alone.”
― Rachel Carson
What a busy, incredible week! We celebrated St. Patrick’s day at the park by eating lots of yummy, green fruits and vegetables and then we had a scavenger hunt with plastic eggs as our treasures. Students worked in teams to hide the eggs and wrote clues to help their friends find their treasures. It was teamwork and problem-solving, fun and challenging. We will try it again tomorrow! Parent conferences have been so rich and rewarding — Thank you for your time, your thoughts, your questions and your support. I love being a part of your child’s team.

Important Notes

  • We need a projector by Tuesday.  Our Info night projector (Michelle’s personal projector) has expired and while we source a new one…we’d like to borrow one, thank you!
  • More Science Fair details are in the Emerging Interests section! Please see below
  • WorkDay #3 is on Friday April 11th.  Please plan for an early pick up to help, with sprouts, collapse classroom and take home plants, etc.
Meeting discussions
We had an author visit this week…Kai! He came down to share a book that he has been working on with Yvette for a long time about a turtle’s adventure. I knew of this book and was inspired by his strategic use of materials-crayon, marker, colored pencil, highlighters, oil pastels, collage- to convey his visual images. I wondered if our class would be inspired to continue thinking strategically about what and how we communicate using materials. It was quite a special moment as he shared his book with us, and the students asked questions and noted his techniques as an illustrator. I am looking forward to inviting more students to take their work to a larger audience by finding audiences outside of our room to share the chapter books and comic strips they are writing.

At home, ask your child which art making material they have used for creating rich illustrations and why they chose that.

Language topics
With Jaclyn, students launched a study of illustration to help think about how we utilize images to convey messages to an audience. Encouraging students to be strategic with their illustrations and go deep will help them with their written descriptions. Some of the provocations Jaclyn offered students to inspire thinking:

  1. What do we notice published illustrators doing that inspire us and how can we try those techniques in our own writing?
  2. What questions can we ask ourselves before/during illustrating in order to guide our thinking and actions?
  3. At home, while you are reading picture books, talk about what you notice in the illustrations and why you think the illustrator chose to do it that way (for example, zooming in, zooming out, etc.)
English Language Arts Standards » Language » Grade 3, Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.5.B Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.5.C Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).

Emerging interests
We have a new offering happening soon. A Science Fair! Teddy and Isabella have introduced and planned this idea and have invited the upstairs to participate as well. The fair will happen April 2nd during deep learning  and another one will be held on the last days of school as well.  From what I understand, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an experiment. It can be a model of an interesting science concept. Next week we will be studying the scientific method so that students can think about a process for experimentation.

At home, talk with your child about what scientific concepts they are excited about and want to investigate. 

As a class, we have been exploring the following questions as we build our capacity for working as a team:

  • How much time do we want to spend in our transitions, specifically cleaning-up?
  • How can we support each other to be focused and efficient while restoring our learning spaces so that we can spend more time doing the other things that we really want to do?
We played a game where we cleaned up in a way that was focused and efficient and a way that was not. It was great fun to see just how unfocused we could be and then how we could switch to focused and efficient. Lots of learning!

At home, talk about how you utilize focus and efficiency to help you in your day and if there are times you struggle with it. 

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

***Field/Park Day – Park in TorrancePartly Cloudy
Forecast has shifted to a high of 63° and partly cloudy

***Supplies Needed

  1. Projector (we need one, borrowed?, by Tuesday)
  2. Clean tin cans, no labels please
  3. open-ended dress up fabrics and clothes

***Science Fair, April 2nd
Please pencil in 1:00pm, April 2nd for our student-led Science Fair. Experiments are being developed and we encourage you to refrain from getting too directive on the project development.

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 Toolbox

PT Schedule of the Week

MON Mar 24

THUR Mar 27

FRI Mar 28

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions related to PTs and scheduling.

PT RESOURCE: The high cost of acting happy

Surface acting is when front line service employees, the ones who interact directly with customers, have to appear cheerful and happy even when they’re not feeling it. This kind of faking is hard work—sociologists call it “emotional labor”—and research shows that it’s often experienced as stressful. It’s psychologically and even physically draining; it can lead to lowered motivation and engagement with work, and ultimately to job burnout.
READ more at the BrilliantReport…

Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • Parent Teacher Conferences Continue!  Please contact Lena if you have not confirmed an appointment
  • TKG OFFICE HOURS – Wednesday March 26th. We meet at the round table in the courtyard or at Green Roast Coffee (depending on the weather) – we’re at either spot.
  • Enrollment Info Night is this Thursday at 7:00pm.  Please like our event on Facebook and share with friends!

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 – Capacity Building

The Overprotected Kid

New research shows s/he’ll grow up to be more fearful and less creative
By Hanna Rosin/The Atlantic

A trio of boys tramps along the length of a wooden fence, back and forth, shouting like carnival barkers. “The Land! It opens in half an hour.” Down a path and across a grassy square, 5-year-old Dylan can hear them through the window of his nana’s front room. He tries to figure out what half an hour is and whether he can wait that long. When the heavy gate finally swings open, Dylan, the boys, and about a dozen other children race directly to their favorite spots, although it’s hard to see how they navigate so expertly amid the chaos. “Is this a junkyard?” asks my 5-year-old son, Gideon, who has come with me to visit. “Not exactly,” I tell him, although it’s inspired by one. The Land is a playground that takes up nearly an acre at the far end of a quiet housing development in North Wales. It’s only two years old but has no marks of newness and could just as well have been here for decades. The ground is muddy in spots and, at one end, slopes down steeply to a creek where a big, faded plastic boat that most people would have thrown away is wedged into the bank. The center of the playground is dominated by a high pile of tires that is growing ever smaller as a redheaded girl and her friend roll them down the hill and into the creek. “Why are you rolling tires into the water?” my son asks. “Because we are,” the girl replies. READ MORE

The Overprotected Kid - The Atlantic April 2014
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