FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 29 Year 1 (7 to 9 Class)

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“The lack of power to take joy in outdoor nature is as real a misfortune as the lack of power to take joy in books”
― Theodore Roosevelt
This week, upon returning from our 2 week holiday, we were greeted with weather that reminds us that another break is right around the corner! The week was full of wonder:

Notable Notes

  • Fundraiser Opportunity at Riviera Nails, this Wednesday
  • Check with Erin for classroom “project” for this week 😉
  • Parent/Board Meetings are this week (please contact Monica to schedule)
Park day at Hess was full of wildflowers, a fallen tree that served as the best climbing structure, an impromptu re-enactment of The 3 Billy Goats Gruff at the bridge and a closing meeting puppet show using sticks that looked like all sorts of magical sea creatures.

We started our mathematical problem solving this week as we “Discovered Digitopolis.” Students worked together as one mind to support each other to understand word problems about how many tons of sewage is created in our TKG city. Then, they shared their strategies with each other. Upon emerging from the experience, students commented, “that was a challenge!”,  “That was awesome!” Next week, we will have new, multi-step math stories for the students to dive into and discover their incredible mathematical abilities!
At home, talk about how much one of your utilities bills is per month (round to the nearest dollar). Could you figure out how much that is per week? Per day? (this is division, so it would be great to have objects to manipulate as your child tries to form equal groups.)

To get ready to begin thinking about Tree People’s mission of creating a Functioning Community Forest in every neighborhood, I introduced the word “sustainability” to the students and we brainstormed what that meant. One of the lenses I offered them is how a city creates sustainability around the services it provides. As I asked about the services in our city, somehow our conversation turned to water and sewage treatment. Hayden was quite sure that there is a “Poop Factory” that cleans the “dirty” water in our city. Everyone was in agreement that it goes from our bathrooms to the “poop factory” and then to the ocean. We wondered if there was another way. Maddie wondered if it could be used for fertilizer. We then watched a you tube video about a former architect in New Mexico, who is building completely sustainable homes around the world. As we watched the video not only were we looking at how the buildings worked with nature to be sustainable, but also the human ability to think beyond parameters, gaining a foundation in knowledge in order to push parameters and pursuing what you believe. Here is the link to the video we watched:
At home, discuss with your child the utilities your family utilizes (water, trash, sewage, power) and how you benefit from those services and if there are any alternatives to these traditional services.  

A Book club for parents on Tuesday night brought us together to think about our personal connections to the words grit and determination and what we want them to mean to us as parents.  A new book club calendar will be out soon!

The Yogurtland fund-raiser brought us together for an evening of connection and deliciousness. Thanks to all of you who came out or told others to come!

Our visit to Tree People on Friday was a wonderful opportunity to once again take our learning on the road. The students got to bring home an Italian Stone Pine seedling that could live up to 75 years! Oh, the stories that seedling might be able to tell one day!  Thanks to everyone who met us out there as we learned and roasted together in the incredible heat and the amazing setting!

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 – Hermosa Beach
Forecast is Partly Cloudy with a high of 62.  Put your sunscreen on and bring your water!  Scooters/bikes are legit – with helmets of course.

***Monthly Parent Meeting – Thur May 15th, 7:00pm
Thank you for making the time to come to meeting and offering your self and ideas.  If you have any topics that are top of mind, please share them with Lena at your earliest.

***High School Exploratory Committee – several meetings
Kick-starting this very important parent committee that will be responsible for researching, touring and building relationships with the schools our sprouts may attend for high school!  This is very important because we will be developing curriculum (for the older classrooms yet to come) to prepare our sprouts for the transition to high school.  Another key component is establishing connections with the schools and their administrations so they have a heads up that we are coming!Click here to sign up for the committee (there will be 2-3 meetings between now and over summer)

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

Parent Teacher Schedule

MON May 5

THUR May 8

FRI May 9

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions related to PTs and scheduling. We still need your help with PT support on Thursdays.  Please click here to sign up.

PT RESOURCE: 5 Simple Lessons for Social and Emotional Learning
The following tips can help you, help sprouts,  build emotional awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management:
  1. Practice Recognizing Emotions
  2. Notice Physical Responses
  3.  Get Curious
  4. Observe Your Emotions
  5. Notice the Impact of Your Emotions on Others

Read more details @Edutopia

Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • TKG OFFICE HOURS – Friday May 9th (board meetings are this week too!)
  • Child Care Roster Do you have a caregiver you’d recommend to your friends?  We’d love to start a list of people who are interested in working with us and with our families to support parent nights, regular work days and last minute care needs.  Please contact us or give our info(at)knowinggarden(dot)org address to anyone who is interested.
  • 60% Fundraiser Contributions are due in June.  Updated Accounting Reports will be available at Board/Parent meetings.

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions or to schedule meeting time.

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

Appreciate Teachers by Understanding What They Do

Just this week, I asked some of my non-educator Facebook friends to tell me what responses they get when they describe what they do for a living. Overall, the consensus fell into one of these categories:

People don’t really understand what the job is and ask exactly what it entails.
People already know what the job is and ask for advice or a favor, or start telling the person all about their experiences or opinion with that career or about their friend who is in the same field.

The Perception
When I tell people what I do, I rarely get asked for advice or a favor, and people never ask me what my job entails. However, I will get plenty of opinions or stories related to my career. Most of these involve stories of family members who are teachers and the crazy things they have to endure, strong opinions about what it must be like to be a teacher, or comments about some crazy news article they recently read.

Want to hear what Mary Beth Hertz says about The Reality? Read on here…

Protect Your Kids From Failure - The Atlantic Mar 2014
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