The Knowing Garden

From under our big tree…

14 October 2012
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Week 6 News & Information
Discoveries at TKG
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”
— Victor Frankl
Six Weeks Families! Thank you for your love, support and faith.  We are transitioning into the next stage of our evolution. We’ve learned so much about our sprouts and our community and there are so many wonderful things still to come.

Ask your sprout about “knee to knee, eye to eye, heart to heart” and “neighbor sharing.”  It was an inspiring moment.  Counting collections are a part of our day and evolving, what comes after 100?  is it 200?  is it 102?  is it 1001?  Imagine this: beautiful elephants from counting collection joined us for one of our days…all day!

A TKG Story: That’s the fair thing to do!
This week during deep learning, some students were thinking about being fair. A group of students made a plan to play with mini elephants they found in the manipulative area of our classroom. As they pulled out the materials they needed, a conversation about fairness arose:

Student 1: Hey guys, we should all count how many elephants we have. That way we can all have the same number. That’s the fair thing to do!
Student 2: Yeah because were friends right? and we have to be fair with each other.
Student 1:Yeah, we’re fair friends (starts laughing).
Student 3: Fair friends, fair friends (sings and laughs.)
The students then began counting their own pile of elephants.
Student 2: I have 8.
Student 1: I have 8 too!
Student 3: Ummm well I have 9. What should I do?
Student 1: Well maybe we can put one of the elephants in the middle. Then we can all have 8.
Student 2: Yeah, and he can be the elephant king of all our elephants. And we can all use him.
Being fair, by counting and dividing, continued throughout their play. They divided blue foam blocks among themselves. They also divided the mini elephants later in the day, by giving each student and teacher 2 mini elephants, so that everyone in the classroom had mini “pet elephants”.

Park Day was marvelous.  We did the Great Pumpkin Hunt at the Botanical Gardens.  Some of us went this way, some of us went that way but all of us had the opportunity to be heard and we were encouraged to find “our own” pumpkin.  We made maps, we strategized, we climbed into a storm drain and we sang songs:

Pumpkin-Nee Pumpkin
Pumpkin-Ne-eee Pumpkin
I just love a Pumpkin
For Halloween Night

We have opened a writing school:  we have made credit cards including phone numbers, so we can pay for our lessons and have the store’s phone number.  A Mail truck is part of this plan: we are writing letters – this helps us understand LETTER FORMAT (are you feeling like hand writing a letter to an old friend?).

We are still working with Illustration Study.  Currently, we are exploring how how mixed feelings are shown.

We are adding to the Garden, Sewing, and Art Clubs…Technology Electronic Club has arrived.  Imagine:

“it is electric…i got a phone, hello i’m calling the app store”

“i’m coloring in my apps for my ipad.  i have a scanner so I can see it…you push this and a light and it will scan, i’m protected with gloves.”

“if you touch the power line you get electrocuted.”

“iphones use batteries and if you don’t want to use the battery you can use the plugger. If it didn’t have battery or plug it would go black.”

“technology is like video games, uses electricity, like you are using technology. You know?”
“Not so much, i know that without technology if you pushed the button, nothing would happen.”

“batteries make it do technology”

“if you didn’t have technology you wouldn’t be able to walk on sidewalks, trucks are technology the gas is the electricity.  technology helps us walk and we couldn’t drink or eat.  machines keep food cold.  technology helps us eat sort of, it makes some food.”

“a walkie talkie is just like a phone.”

“my dad is really good at electronics and i started to make paper electronics, making all different kinds; 3 ds, ipod, iphone, macbook, macbook pro,
i know it’s electronic and wires to power it, if a wire isn’t connected the light saber will not turn on.  i have my own computer so i know a lot about technology.  it is connected with wires, when its connected it lights up”

“i know about paper star wars.  it’s origami.”

“i know that technology is powerful.  its powerful because it is electricity. electricity  is really really powerful. electricity is power.  you know how phones run all day so they are running hot.”

Our Book Sale has been postponed to November but we are talking about what we need to raise money for and we are thinking that lemonade and bookmarks will help us get there. Student were invited to create an “I wish” book about school this weekend (please do not make suggestions or alter students’ wishes) as well as gather needed items for book sale supplies. Parents are also welcome to make a wish book!  Feel free to send Michelle your wishes (try not add your wish to your student’s list).

Ask your sprout about clean up jobs…this has been very interesting and engaging.  It is engaging our sprouts in the process of clean up and develops executive function.

Thank you for making the time to come to our first Parent Meeting.  We value your ideas and encourage you to keep sending them!  Click here to download a printable version of the strategies we discussed in our meeting on Saturday morning.

Did you start a home-based counting collection?

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman

Tending the Garden

Classroom Supplies
We need painter’s tape (the blue kind) for next week’s projects.  Please bring some on Tuesday or as soon as possible!

October Park
Park Day is out our usual spot.  Please pack $1 per sprout for admission costs and don’t forget to sunscreen!  See you Monday!

Saturday Classroom Day
Please join us for our first Saturday Classroom Day on October 27th.  We will have parent “waiting area” in the play yard or nearby.  Please contact Trish with any questions related to Saturday Classroom Day.

Field Trip!
Our next field trip is scheduled for October 26th. Please make a note on your calendar. (That’s Ken Robinson day too!)

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
Our Flickr Stream features even more photos from this week!
4-Minute PLAY DOH Recipe, Right here

We love our Parent Teachers…


Monday – RD & MG
Tuesday – TV
Thursday – ME
Friday – NL

Focus for the coming week: Name the ouch!  …and make intention to connect with students, you will need it when you will set limits.

In support of Self-preservation: “Meditation isn’t just for hippies any more. And it’s not all about saying ommmm…”Click to read more.

Lesson/Project Leaders needed:
Business Plans


The Competing Views on Competition, NY Times.  Read the Article…

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:

RF.1.1a (first grade) Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., fi rst word, capitalization, ending punctuation).

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).

K.1c (first grade) Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.

K.4 Social Studies, map making and use of geographic tools using symbols

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

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


6.6 Attend to Precision. Communicate precisely to others. Give carefully formulated explanations to each other. Tachers focus on clarity and accuracy of process and outcome in problem solving.


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.

(grade 2) Tools and machines are used to apply pushes and pulls (forces) to make things move.

1.2 (first grade) Plants and Animals meet their needs in different ways.


Whenever ideas are shared, the result is always greater than the sum of the parts. – Rich Willis

From the TKG Office:

Tending the soil…

  • FUNdraiser Opportunity We will have another BOOK SALE on Saturday, November 10th beginning at 8:30am (Our Oct date has been postponed).  We will need table loading assistance, morning of loading/unloading and works shifts.  Please contact Seth Kaufman to volunteer.  All proceeds will be shared by all participating families.
  • Community Workshop Tuesday November 7th A New Parent Info Night + Blending ECHO Parenting and Hand In Hand with Kathy Gordon – sign up is available here.  This is not a required meeting for TKG families.  The first hour will be Info Night and the second hour will be workshop (hope this helps you plan!)

Thank you Families!

Please shop our Amazon store for dress up plans, school supplies and Holiday Gift Lists!  Access here…

Resource Of The Week

The Marshmallow Study Revisited: Delaying Gratification Depends as Much On Nurture as On Nature

For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: will a preschooler eat one of the fluffy white confections now or hold out for two later?

Now a new study demonstrates that being able to delay gratification is influenced as much by the environment as by innate ability.


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

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