The Knowing Garden

From under our big tree…

25 February 2012
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Week 22:Wacky Rhyme Week

Discoveries at TKG
Dear Family,Kitty Ride World Adventure Park building began this week.  Early in the week we brainstormed on what we want in our amusement park, as well as what kittens would like.  We drew our blue prints on Tuesday.  On Wednesday some of us “went on a trip to New York” while others began laying the foundation and building the amusement park.  Once the trip was over we all worked together to create a fun destination for our kitties:
“Whew, I’m tired, but I’m not giving up.”
“Michelle, do we have more sticks and these things?”
“I can help.”
“What should I do next?”
“Can I write right here?”
“Have you tried using a sticky sticker?”
“Look at what I did!”
and so much more could be overheard while we constructed our park.

As of Friday the park features a food court, a water slide, a pool, a water game, a firework launcher, and a penguin habitat. Hot dogs are $1, hamburgers are $1.50 and come with a side of fruit, and some games are free.  Many of us were interested in continuing the building over the weekend.  Those plans ranged from a ticket booth to bathrooms.

Speaking of bathrooms; we are working on keeping our bathrooms clean, as well as practicing good hygiene and washing our hands after each use.  Often we wish to get back to our plans quickly, so hand sanitizer is also an option.  I have an experiment in mind so we can gain a better understanding of germs.

Speaking of germs; this week students “read” an encyclopedia and we ran across a picture we were not sure about.  I could have read the text, but I opted for one of my favorite questions, “What do YOU think it is?”  Germs, space rocks, shells, rocks, snails, flowers, and pokey-pines were some answers.  Next week we will gather our knowledge and begin our own encyclopedia.

Speaking of next week; it is Read Across America Week in celebration of reading and Dr. Seuss’s Birthday.  We will write our own rhymes and read rhyming books while kitties expand the amusement park and other plans unfold.  In the spirit of Seuss’ wacky random adventures, as well as ours, I’m calling next week Wacky Rhyme Week.  (Feel free to bring in any of your favorite rhyming books, poems, songs, etc.)

Speaking of random adventures; on Friday students requested a nature walk around the block.  We went the opposite way, stayed together, wore capes, spotted a giant compost pile, and explored “secret passage ways.”  Along the way I heard “Look, Michelle! A space rock like the one in the book!” And “Hey, Michelle!  Look at these interesting roots!”  I love TKG!

Speaking of love; this week was full of it!  Animals hugged, gave high-fives, and kisses.  Plans were complimented, “I like yours. I want to copy it.  It looks complicated.  Can you help me?” We had an amazing conversation about friendship.  Sometimes we have different plans, ideas, and want to play with someone else.  In the end, we discovered we may not always agree, but we are all still friends and love each other.

Speaking of end; I should probably end this letter now.

We Park on Monday:  50% chance of rain…you know the drill by now!  Dress in warm water proof layers and pack light.

Click here for Alice Kuo Shippee’s upcoming workshop:AKSP Creative Camera Work for Everyone
Happy Learning,
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson

p.s. Check out even more photos on Flickr!

Growth: Themes & Plans

Week 22 will focus on the following developmental concepts:


Planning, drawing, and building an amusement park (divergent thinking, engineering, creativity)

Label rides, games, concessions, and other features (language arts: phonemic awareness, writing skills)

Determine prices of rides and other goods (math: number sense)

Use tools, resources, gravity, force, etc. to power rides (science)

Create safety rules for park (health and well-being)

Plan, describe, produce a show or parade (performing arts)

Map of Park (social studies)

Rhyming Words (language arts: phonemic awareness, writing skills)

Encyclopedia Publishing (cross curricular)

Germ Experiment (health and well-being)


Gain confidence in trial and error (confidence building)

Develop perseverance to complete a project


Building (fine motor skills)


Collaborate and cooperate with each other on building an amusement park (capacity building)

Alternative approaches to solving problems (co-operative learning)

Next Parent Meeting is scheduled for March 27th.  Guest speaker tbc.  Next TKG Field Trip is scheduled for March 30th.  Details coming soon!

Garden Maintenance:

Friendly reminders from the TKG Office:

  • Upcoming Booksale will be on March 24th.  Please bring your book donations to school and ask your friends and families to donate.
  • Tuition is due on March 1st.
  • 25% Fundraiser contribution can be paid in advance of end of school year
  • Don’t forget to sign-in and check out Parent Binder each morning at drop off.

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email t.valdez(at)knowinggarden(dot)org.


March Board Meeting will be on Monday March 12th.  All are welcome.

We love our Parent Volunteers!

JM will be our parent volunteer this week.  If you have some time, please check in with Michelle for any take-home projects.


Don’t forget to bring rhyming books to school!

Resource Of The Week:

“We are trained to be competitive from early in our lives. Some of us can see that there are many attributes that each person, each city, and each country has that can be appreciated, and that there’s always going to be something a person, city or country can learn from another. But many of us have grown to need to be on the “winning” side of every issue, in order to feelOK.”

Helping Super-Competitive Children Relax

Read More…

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