Discoveries at TKG
The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.
-Jean Piaget
Dear Families,

Please read about November Park Days (drop off and pick up are at different locations) and don’t forget about our Nov 7th Workshop and Parent Information Night.  Click here to register and for complete details.

What is the point of elementary school? Compulsory school attendance, as most of us know it, reached the State of Massachusetts in 1852, and spread to other states until, in 1917, Mississippi was the last state to enact a compulsory attendance law. Fines were imposed on parents who did not send their children to school and the government took the power to take children away from their parents and apprentice them to others if government officials decided that the parents were “unfit to have the children educated properly.”  This was the period of the industrial revolution and people like John Taylor Gatto write about how the birth of industrialization also solidified the purpose of public school – mass production of human resources.  Some may say we’ve come a long way since then…but we say, not so much.  What is the point of school at TKG? Developing the joy of learning reading, writing and math – on a framework of cognitive, physical and social/emotional learning guided by our teachers, with attention to learning styles and biological build, as part of a group that is encouraged to develop creatively.  Our school is the spot!

This week’s math focus will be on independent math games: Games that will promote an understanding of geometry, measurement, cardinality (being bird like?!), and patterns.

We had our last park day at the South Coast Botanical Gardens.  The administration let us know that our noise and play was distracting to some of the patrons – some of us didn’t like that so much.  We thought about writing a letter to the park and we also contemplated how it was our last visit…anyway.  Did you know that when TKG was first being created, we submitted a proposal to start our program at the Botanical Gardens.  After we did our research and met with the management…we decided we better keep looking.

Our library has been tended to by busy sprouts, a.k.a. librarians.  It has been organized and our reading focus will provoke us to look at our current books and choose books that we can read independently as well as books we want read to us.  Students will begin conferencing with Michelle and part of this meeting will include a student read/led book.  Personalized teaching points and interests will be discussed during conferences.  Stay tuned for a survey (via survey monkey) in advance of our next parent meeting, focused on curriculum and classroom plans.

We will begin adding personalized idea starters to our writing folder to encourage writing.  What do you like to write about?  Caterpillars? Frogs? Tigers? Rabbits? Hamsters?

We are working on classroom organization and clean up.  These are things that might seem boring but we are doing our best to make them fun and inclusive for all our sprouts.  Please share the clean-up strategies that work for you on our Facebook page.  We are listening!


Will new students be joining your classroom?
What rhymes with cardinality?
What do you know about Wilderness Park?
Tell me about your schedule of the day
How do you count by 10s?

Make up an impromptu skit or story – each member contributes a line to an ongoing story in succession.
Find the animal lover in you…do you paint about it?  write about it? take action?
Visit the library.
Write a letter about your time at the South Bay Botanic Gardens – mail it.
Write in your journal while your sprouts are watching.

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

Our Flickr Stream features even more photos from this week!

Tending the Garden

November Park: Beginning Monday, we will be at our new park!
FUNdraiser Opportunity: Our Book Sale is on November 10th beginning at 8:30am.  Thank you to families who have already volunteered to help and donate books.  All proceeds will be shared by all participating families. If you haven’t yet volunteered,email Seth Kaufman asap.

New Parent Info Night and Parenting Workshop Nov 7th, 6pm marks our first Parent Information Night of the year.  We have over 30 families signed up to come learn about TKG and hear Kathy Gordon talk about blending ECHO Parenting strategies with Hand in Hand Parenting strategies.  Please plan on coming – it helps to fill the parenting cup and your presence helps us grow our school.

The 5 Guiding Principals at TKG
  • 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

Parent/Teacher Corner


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

Focus for the coming week – Modeling Checking-In: We have been developing a “check-in” practice in our classroom – a pause, to see how our plan fits into the space.  Please make the intention to practice check-in with our sprouts at school and at home.  How does your plan fit into the space at this moment?

In support of You – Listening Partnership: Two parents take turns respectfully listening (10-15 minutes) to the thinking, efforts, and feelings of the other. No advice is given and no analysis is made by the listener. Listening Partnerships give parents the chance to learn from their own experience and honor their own thoughts, feelings and goals. A regular Listening Partnership promotes parent leadership at home and in the community.  Learn more…

“Eye contact, gentle touch, warmth in our voices, and caring words are balm for your child’s being. You need a gentle listener, as well!”
— Patty Wipfler

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:


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

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.


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


Life Cycles



CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3a Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.\

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.3c Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

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.


K.CC- Know number names and the count sequence.
1.  Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
2.  Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

1NBT Extend the counting sequence.
1.  Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.

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

From the TKG Office:

  • Daylight Savings! November 4th is change your clock day…sleeping in?
  • Veteran’s Day Holiday – There is no school on November 12th in observance of the national holiday.
  • Monthly Parent Meeting – Please pencil November 15th, evening for our next Parent Meeting

Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email


Edible SchoolYard Lesson Idea: FOOD AND SUSTAINABILITY
From the Soil: Eating offers us an intimate connection with the soil. Food journalist Michael Pollan describes the nutrient cycle that starts and ends with dirt.
• What’s the relationship between food and soil?
• Why should we care about the health of the soil?
• Describe the nutrient cycle in a healthy food system, from farm to table and back to the soil.
Resource Of The Week

What if you set a limit and your child ignores it?
by Dr. Laura Markham

…sometimes it’s not so easy to set an empathic limit. What if you state an expectation and your child ignores it?  It’s hard to stay empathic then.  Try…

Be sure your limit is reasonable.

If your limit is essential to you, stick with it.


Say it once.

Don’t give up.


Manage your own emotions so you can stay calm and kind.

Maintain a strong emotional bond and make sure your child knows you’re on her side.


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

Comments are closed.