“From Under Our Big Tree” Weekly Newsletter-Redwoods: Week #20 (9 to 11 class)

All Together - 9 to 11 Class
“Healthy curiosity is a great key in innovation.” 
― Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

Innovation Adventures on the Horizon

We have been doing a lot of thinking about Social Justice, one of our school values, as it relates to the establishment of the United States, the Civil rights movement and in current events, with a focus on the upcoming election. As we head into spring, we are going to switch our lens towards Science and specifically, Innovation. Our guiding question, “How does our history affect our today and tomorrow?” continues to guide us on our journey and influence our learning.We have many adventures planned for our Redwood class to experience Innovation in real world settings in several industries. Please note your calendars:

  • Wed February 24th – AW, is going to bring his 3D printer in to help us visualize how this new technology is changing how we operate. In honor of S’mores, our guinea pig’s, birthday, he will be helping us create prototypes that will help us care for S’mores more efficiently.
  • Fri February 26th – The whole school will take a trip to the Columbia Space Center in Downey to explore rockets and robotics.
  • Fri March 25th – The whole school will take a field trip to explore the Port of Los Angeles. The ability to ship and import goods at one of the world’s busiest ports is a marvel of innovation in how we use machines to help us as well as our role as consumers in this vast system.
  • March date TBD – Our Redwood class will get a chance to have a private, guided tour of SpaceX. This tour will be in the evening, at 6:30. I will let you know when as soon as we lock down a date!
  • Wed April 13th – Our Redwood class will head back to The Columbia Space Center in Downey to participate in a simulated Moon Mission. The students will get to be a researcher, scientist or engineer on a simulated mission to the moon, complete with mission control and space craft. Navigating their way into Lunar Orbit, students will construct and launch a probe while analyzing a variety of data from the lunar surface to select a site for establishing a permanent base on the moon.
  • Late April/Early May – All of this exploration into innovation with machines and technology will culminate in TKG’s 3rd annual Thinker Fair. This event started out as a Science Fair, but we have extended it to include design and engineering challenges, as well as traditional science projects. Students will work at home on an exhibit to display for the school. They can work on a presentation and an interactive component for the audience.   These are completely student driven and any all types of projects and presentations are welcome. I will be helping the Redwoods to craft a rubric to help guide them in creating a deep, compelling project.
If you have any experience, exposure, connection and/or passion related to these and other innovation topics, please make an appointment visit our class or send along your ideas. We’d love to hear them!
With gratitude,
Lena Garcia, School Builder/9 to 11 Classroom Lead Teacher
Trish Valdez, School Business
Monica Evangelist, Board President
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TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Smores Weekends – We still have some open weekends for anyone wanting a little extra cuddle time with the GP. Pleasecontact Lena to volunteer.

Social Equity Project//Special Screening – Tue 23 Feb, 6:00pm @ TKG
We’re seeing CRACKING THE CODES and launching this collaborative (with MBNS and ArtZone 4 Kids) focused on empowering educators and community. Register & share this link!

Field Trip #4 – Fri 26 Feb, 9:45am
We’re visiting the Columbia Memorial Space Center to explore our school value of INNOVATION! Please pay your $3/person entrance fee to Trish by Thursday, February 18. Contact Jen Ceci with additional questions (click the link to email Jen).

TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents support relevant learning & creativity
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY: cognitive, physical and social/emotional health is valued – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE: we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice positive learning experiences
  • CAPACITY BUILDING: nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING: small groups, low ratios, mixed ages
Parent Teacher Info

Parent Teacher Toolbox

PTs This Week
– PM (pm)

Mindful Moment -Mon 29 Feb, time TBD
Save the date for another self-care opportunity facilitated by LS!

First Friday Dance Party – 4 Mar @ Drop-Off
So nice to see so many of you join the boogie…even for a few minutes. It means so much to all the sprouts and you get some good Qi flowing!

PT RESOURCE: Take Care of the Earth and get Educated About Toxins
Toxins are floating everywhere. We can’t hide so, how can we minimize exposure – not just for our own families – but for the communities that surround us? Read more @TheAtlantic
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Admin Office Hours, Thr 9:00am
Stop by for a coffee chat (coffee not required)!

Parent & Board Meetings – March 3rd and 4th
A meeting link with all the details will be sent out separately this week. 30 minutes meetings will be available between 9 and 3 on both days. These meetings (unlike the meetings in the Fall) are required.

Parent Social – Sat 5 Mar
We hope you can join us for this bounce-ful adventure!

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 – Environmental Stewardship

Finding Subirdia

Unfortunately, when many of us think about nature, we imagine a pristine preserve far from our neighborhood. This disconnection to nature is one of the main reasons for our Field Day – to empower us and our sprouts to connect with nature in our daily lives.
*   *   *

By John Marzluff/The Nature Conservancy
My research and that of other urban ecologists suggests that, despite the great loss of biodiversity caused by our actions, we also have a lot to celebrate. I’ve spent most of my spring and summer mornings counting birds in national parks, industrial parks and suburbs. It is not surprising that the most-heavily paved portions of the city hold few birds, but it is not the case that the least-disturbed places on Earth always hold the most birds. Wild reserves provide shelter for unique birds not found in the city, and they are absolutely essential. But the greatest variety of birds is often found in the suburbs.

With my graduate students I have counted birds from Seattle’s urban core to its fringing forests nearly every spring and summer morning for the past decade. We expected the suburbs between the city center and the forested reserves to support an intermediate number of species, but when we listened as these neighborhoods awoke each morning, we were astonished by the dawn chorus of thrushes, tanagers, wrens, towhees, finches, crows and woodpeckers. Read More @TheNatureConservancy

Finding SuBIRDia!
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