22 September 2012

Week 3 News & Information

Discoveries at TKG
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”
— Karl Menninger

We are artists, needle workers, re-creators, scientists, musicians, mathematicians, and movie makers!  We are listeners, talkers, sharers of ideas, and learners! We are thinking about how different perspectives can be viewed like kaleidoscopes. As friendship and trust blooms, we have seen students begin to listen and learn from one another. Together as a classroom community and as individuals, students are listening to one another. We are discussing things like: what name we like to be called and which ones we don’t, what we want our movie audience to do (listen, clap, not talk, etc).  These are conversations that are helping us form ideas on what our class environment should be like — setting the foundation for our Bill of Rights.

As a group we gathered for reflection meetings; here students shared their ideas, as well as listen to each other. Gardeners have also found their own ways to connect with one another during deep learning time. During these key moments  we see Gardeners build their confidence and friendships:

Student B: “Oh, yeah! That’s a great idea, Friend!”
Student C: “Ugghh, I need help”
Student D: “I can help you. I’m pretty good at using the paint brush”
Student C: “Yeah, thanks”

Student E: “Hey how did you do that?”
Student F: “See I just put the tube on the rope and hooked it together like this (unties his rope and shows how he put it together), than you can carry it like this (puts  it over his shoulder).”
Student B: “Awesome!”

We are putting an emphasis on Flexible (Divergent) Thinking.  Some examples of how this came to life this week:
The Snail house!
Movie Production & Exhibition Plan: Taking on different roles, Collaborating
Supporting one another in times of disconnect: “we are your friends and we can help you”
Working with new and different partners in counting collections

Teacher/Student conferences are on the horizon.  This will be an opportunity for one on one time with teachers as well as focusing on conferencing and inter-personal skills.  Stay tuned for more information!

Next Week:
Ask your student about: “keep your hands inside the ride at all times”  (student created phrase for ‘checking in’)Encourage Students to collect items for Counting Collections.  This week’s Resource includes research, philosophy and collection ideas.Personal Goals:
  • Listening during Reflection/Share Time
  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

Encouraging Flexible thinking at home: When reading stories at home, discuss what it is like to be each character.  Or, do some role reversals and let your child play who they want to be.Upcoming Cognitive Focus: Illustration Study; it covers a wide array of techniques and standards in reading and writing and will support our current movie making unit.  Click here for more information…SEE YOU AT the Park on Monday and please sunscreen before you arrive!

Our first FIELD TRIP is coming up.  Please scroll down for details.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

If you have any questions, please reach us as follows:

CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman

Tending the Garden
(Important Info)

Classroom Supplies
We would like the following supplies for next week…thank you for your consideration:

  • Transparency Paper (@ our Amazon Store) – for movie making
  • Wood Scraps – for building
  • Socks – for puppet making

Sept Field Trip
Where: Marine Mammal Care Center, 360 South Gaffey Street, San Pedro 90731
When: 9.30am (should be done by 1pm)
Cost: $10 per family (this will cover our tour + Items from theMMCC Wishlist)
Please pack a Lunch!

The 5 Guiding Principals

  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will expand their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN FUNCTION & DEVELOPMENT, students are sensory learners, we will honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, supporting the development of creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems
  • CO-OPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations
Check out our Flickr Stream!
Shop Our Amazon Store!  We earn a percentage on most purchases but you must purchase via our store.

We love our Gardeners!
(Parent Teachers)


Monday – ME and MG
Tuesday – RD
Wednesday – NL
Thursday – TV

Focus for the coming week: Be objective reporters, unattached to outcome or judgement.

Phrase for the Toolbox: “I will stay close to you and help keep you safe.”

Click here for “Tackling Distress Tantrums with Brain Research.”

If you have not yet provided TB test results or taken your LiveScan appointment, please get to it at your earliest convenience.
“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”
― David Augsburger

The Seeds (Core Standards)

Some of the “standards” we will engage in Illustration Studies:


K.7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

1.7. Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

2.7. Use information gained from the illustrations and words in print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.


K. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

1.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.


Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

b. Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges

5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.


October Parent Meeting: Saturday the 13th at 9am
Our meeting will be at TKG. Additional details to follow!

Soil Maintenance (Admin stuff)

From the TKG Business Office:

  • Community Workshop Tuesday October 30th: Blending ECHO Parenting and Hand In Hand with Kathy Gordon – sign up is available here.
  • Board Positions: Please return your applications by October 5th.

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email


SIR KEN ROBINSON comes to the South Bay – October 26th, hosted by Fusion.  Register here…

Resource Of The Week

Research shows that although counting is one of the best ways we know to help children develop number sense and other important mathematical ideas, we don’t do nearly enough of it in elementary schools.

By Julie Kern Schwerdtfeger and Angela Chan

Lakeisha has lined up paintbrushes across a table and is rolling them one by one to the side. Tyler and Auveen are wrapping pencils into bundles. Maya is organizing toy kangaroos, and her partner Cody is drawing a picture of how she is doing it. What is going on in this classroom?




The Knowing Garden · 4733 Torrance Blvd · Box 324 · Torrance, CA 90503


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