“From Under Our Big Tree” Weekly Newsletter – Nature Growers Week #23 (7 to 9 Class)

All Together - Community
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” 
― Albert Einstein

What Have We Been Learning, Anyway?

Hola y bienvenidos a Marzo! This week I wanted to share with you a broader view of our overall classroom experiences. I hope this summary helps you to see the over arching concepts we are working on and helps you to support your nature grower’s learning at home.

Tending the Garden:Sign Up for Parent Conference by Wednesday & Meet Yvonne Buckley on Thurs
Parent Teacher Corner: Parent Support Group this Wed & Thinker Fair and Scientific Inquiry Resource
TKG Business: Re-Enrollment Contract due by Friday & last Enrollment Info Night Info
– Ed News Resource: What does it mean to raise “successful” children?
Parenting Pearl: Daylight Savings (forward) is this Sunday morning. Start inching morning/evening routines so the change is hardly noticed!

Word Wizard – We are exploring short fictional stories called fables. We have focused on identifying, within the story:

  • characters
  • setting
  • plot (problem & solution)

We have also discussed the authors purpose of a fable. Through reflective conversations about the “lesson” the author is portraying in their story, we are building our reading comprehension skills.
Word Wizard happens every day from approximately 10 to 11am within Open Flow. It is TKG’s way of teaching and experiencing: spelling, phonics and discreet grammar skills.

Writing Workshop – Students are continuing to work on their biographies. Like most long term projects, student are working at their own pace, and are at various phases. Some students are researching and collecting their data; Others are creating a representation of their research (diorama, poster, slideshow, etc.). A few students are at the final stage where they will be writing a summative speech about their biography project, which they will share with their peers. Following are their biography subjects:

  • Maiya – Abraham Lincoln
  • Zara – Alan B. Shepard
  • Alex – Albert Einstein
  • Anna – Amelia Earhart
  • Zack – Bo Jackson
  • Aiel – Carrie Fisher
  • Sydney – Jennifer Gardner
  • Sophia – Kristi Yamaguchi
  • Mia – Mia Wilkoff
  • Lucas – Mike Trout
  • TiIlie – Samantha Peszek
  • Jaiden – Shannon Minor

Writing Workshop is a regular open flow time that puts the focus on a whole language approach to literacy.

Math Lab – In our differentiated math groups we have been learning:

  • double & triple digit addition and subtraction
  • place value
  • multiplication
  • money

We have enjoyed using our imagination to create our own stores, merchandise, and prices. We then use these stores to “shop” and create math problems.
TKG draws inspiration from the Contexts for Learning Math tools in developing projects to meet the interests and needs of our mathematicians. This is also an Open Flow component that sees students joining highly personalized groups that closely match their academic and social/emotional readiness.

Deep Learning/Innovation Lab – For the last couple of weeks we have been learning about the circulatory system, and have worked with partners to create a heart model out of recycled materials. Two groups were able to complete their heart models this week, and shouts of joy and congratulations were heard throughout our classroom!

This week, the nature growers also enjoyed:

  • Welcoming Zack (and his family) to our community and classroom
  • Learning to bake delicious madeleines with Gabi (Rafa’s mom)
  • Listening and discussing 3-D printing with the Redwoods
  • Writing birthday notes, singing happy birthday and celebrating Jaiden, Mia, Ami, and Bennet’s birthday (yes, all in one week!)
  • Face time –  Spanish (practicing common greetings and phrases) or theater with Autumn

A favorite time of the day, deep learning is where all of our knowledge, expert through novice comes together to help us refine our creative thinking, adaptability and grit – all the while practicing authenticity and getting to know our growth edges and our talents a little more.

Con Amor,

Yvette Fenton, “Nature Growers” Lead Teacher
Autum Fawn, “Nature Growers” Co-Teacher
Lena Garcia, School Builder, 7-9 Class Mentor and Collaborator
Trish Valdez, School Business Manager
Monica Evangelist, Board President
Google Calendar: Official Events
Shutterfly: Photos only
Facebook Group: Private forum for parent chatter
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Community Movement with Sprouts and Coach Max – Tues @ Drop-off Don’t forget, you can join the heart-healthy fun with us on Tuesday’s morning. Why do you think we set up in the courtyard?!

Parent Teacher Conferences March 17 & March 18 – Sign Ups are now available for teacher conferences. Click here to sign up! Please contact Yvette with any questions.

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
MONDAY – LS, MW(am). A pm spot is available if anyone would like to earn tuition credits. Contact Trish.

Southbay Equity Project – Wed 9 Mar, 7pm @ MBNS Come continue your personal journey on the road of life. This meeting is a follow up to our CRACKING THE CODES screening. Open to our extended community, too!

Parent Support Group – Wed 9 Mar, 9:30am @ Renee’s Studio Get your self-care time with a little boost from conversation and camaraderie.

PT RESOURCE: What is Science For?
“In this bewildering world we have to decide what to believe and how to act on that. In principle that’s what science is for. “Science is not a body of facts,” says geophysicist Marcia McNutt, who once headed the U.S. Geological Survey and is now editor of Science, the prestigious journal. “Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.” But that method doesn’t come naturally to most of us.” Learn about how to support scientific inquiry from a big picture approach @NatGeo…
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Re-Enrollment Paperwork and last month’s Tuition – dueFriday, March 11th. Thank you! We look forward to building with you. E-mailed documents are appreciated and we can generate invoices if you’d like to pay via bank transfer.

Admin Office Hours, Thr 9:30-11.30am Thanks for all your authentic feedback at Parent Meetings last week. We’ll be working on implementing some of your great ideas – come dig a little deeper with us!

Enrollment Information Night – Thr 6:30pm. This is our final enrollment night for the “season.” If you know anyone who is slightly considering us, encourage them to register and attend, at this link. THANK YOU for all of your referrals!

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 – Whole Child

Raising Your Successful 35-Year-Old

“Because while we want to protect our children from harm, what we too often end up doing is protecting them from learning.”  Children gain experience and knowledge by experiencing not by being told what to do. At TKG, our teachers approach learning through the lens of experience and relationship. We know that to support this over the long term, we may need little reminders now and then…
*   *   *
What do we mean when we say we want to raise “successful” children? Too often, especially around this time of year, that conversation centers on college or the kinds of academics and activities that lead to college. “Success” is hard to measure, and those external markers make for comforting milestones along the way.

Comforting, but dangerous. Because when checking off the achievement box is what defines success, it’s too easy to forget that it’s the qualities in our children that might lead to those accomplishments that matter — not the goals themselves.

Achievements, from the A on the science project to the letter of acceptance from Big U, can be the gold stars for parents. Read more @NYTimes

Raising "Successful" People...


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