Discoveries at TKG
Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known.
– Loris Malaguzzi
We welcomed a new student this week…as one of our students said, “We are already friends.”

This week’s feature is reflection on our “Parent as Teacher” meeting in November.  How are your color collections going?  While we don’t have a deadline for your color items, consider it an ongoing contribution that starts now!

We get two park days in one when we do our Alta Vista/Wilderness combo!  “There’s a lot of cool things about this park.  My soccer park.”  We played Hug A Tree in both parks – we used our other senses to explore our parks.  We played drawing games with dirt and sticks.  What are tree branches anyway?  To our sprouts they are: shields, swords, machine guns, magic wands, lasers, sun dials…

This week we found: A giant bench! How to climb up? Help from friends, using backpack as a stool?  “I did it!” We also found a dead squirrel:  we compared it to the live ones.  There were bugs and flies on it, it wasn’t moving.  “A squirrel would have a puffier tail…is it a rat?”  We found Tadpoles!  and we found each other…“I took a shower yesterday.” “Let me smell…”

We explored new words:
“We are playing a game about shooting bombs and gun tag.”
“I see you both tagged each other simultaneously!”
“Yah, we did it at the same time.”

We started an ABC list of Wilderness Park: Baby bird…Evil king duck…Wildlife…Zip around the park

Later, at the top of the stream:
“Those cords in the air, they are called phone cords, they go to everything electric.  Some people think if you get inside it you get to spit electricity that’s how it goes.  but that’s not how it goes.”
“you know light bulbs?  electricity turns them on if there is enough electricity”
“there is gas in toys sometimes.  toys are like cars.”

Our open flow is evolving.  This week, students chose between activities and projects inspired by:
How are animals and humans alike and different? Science.
Holiday Show: sewing and production design and writing
Art: Self portraits and introspection in the Studio
Reading: personification

The flow we have been working towards (from our Nov Parent Meeting):
9-9:30              Connection/gathering/plan for the day
9:30-11:30       Open flow: Reading/Writing/Math/Science/Social Studies
11:30-12:00     Physical Education
12-12:30          Lunch
12:30-1:30       Deep learning/Projects
1:30                 Clean-up /jobs/ reflection
2:00                 Good-byes

Our Parent Teachers continue to grow into their roles in the Studio and as Supporters. Thank you for all that you do.

What do we do in the Studio? Help students explore big ideas and concepts detailed in our curriculum plan or emerging interests. Introduction to and support in using multiple art media.  We document conversations, questions, learning.

What does the Classroom supporter do? Focus on unsettled children, Guide students to select and stay with an activity, Keep track of who used which materials.

Some of our observations about ourselves (during studio time):
“I like drawing, making faces, masks, at home I like to draw and cut out and watch movies.  I like burritos and sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly on it.  Sometimes peanut butter and honey and bananas.”

“I am a kind person who likes to share.  I like butterflies.  I like to play.”

“I am a mine craft guy.  I am awesome.  I am an awesome kid.”

“Santa Claus”

“Is he imagining that, or is that imagining him?”

Another note from our Parent Teacher Meeting last month: “What are the rights of our students?”  Read on to learn more…


Can you tell me about a highlight or challenge you had today?
What is electricity?
Who was in the studio today?
Where do you like to read?
What do you think about having a video camera in the classroom?

Origami Boats (for floating down the Wilderness Park Creek)
Collect a shoe box size of specific color items for our studio (we picked colors at our last parent meeting, please check in with Michelle if you need a reminder)
Make an alphabet book of your house
Visit “No Strangers” at the Annenberg Space for Photography (indigenous cultures around the world)
Make a Pet Profile – what does your pet eat?  when does it sleep? when does it sleep? what sound does it make?

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

December Park Back to our superCombo of Park A drop-off and Park B pick-up on Monday! Prepare for rain with waterproof pants, galoshes, raincoats…

Picture Day: See Photos by Cory Johnson at http://tkgpictureday Enjoy and order in time for Holiday gifts. Thanks for the memories, Cory!

Share with Friends, Parent Information Night – Dec 12th.  Registration available at:

December 14th: We will have classtime on Friday December 14th.  No field trip this month so stay tuned for our next adventure in January!

The Rights of Students in our Classroom (from our Nov meeting): Physical Freedom/Safety, Cognitive stimulation, Emotional Support and Guidance, Social development

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


our ratio goal is 1:4 daily
Monday – NL/ME
Tuesday – RD
Wednesday – TV
Thursday – LS/TS
Friday – BW
Please contact Trish if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule

Focus for the coming week – Please have a look through our Parent Teacher Refresher (pp) from our recent Parent Meeting.  Your feedback is important.

In support of You – Want to dance? “For centuries, dance manuals and other writings have lauded the health benefits of dancing, usually as physical exercise.  More recently we’ve seen research on further health benefits of dancing, such as stress reduction and increased serotonin level, with its sense of well-being. Then most recently we’ve heard of another benefit:  Frequent dancing apparently makes us smarter.  A major study added to the growing evidence that stimulating one’s mind can ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia… Read more…

Parent Teacher as Researcher (from our Nov meeting): ™Listen, ™Observe, ™Record, ™Hypothesize

Awful King Duck by Madison Evangelist

King Duck bit my thumb!
They have teeth!
They have sharp teeth!
I was trying to feed him
but instead he bit me!
He is the meanest duck
in the whole entire world!

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:


CCMath  Grade 1 Measurement and Data:
2. Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units.
3. Tell and write time to the hour and half hour and a digital and analog clock.

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.


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.


CCLS Grade 1  4.a  Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or a phrase.
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).


CCLS Grade 1 Reading.   Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:  9. Compare and contrast the experiences and adventures of characters in stories.
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.

Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known.
– Loris Malaguzzi

From the TKG Office:

  • DEC Tuition is overdue!
  • December 10th, Community Board Meeting 7pm,
  • December Parent Meeting, Saturday the 15th 10am.  This meeting will be a playtime for the whole family plus Holiday Show by our sprouts!  Bring something delicious to share.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
WHAT is C6H2(NO2)3CH3?!  Can you make it at home? psst…TNT has been popping up at school!

Resource Of The Week

The Power of Play

Wendy Mogel poignantly examines a rising generation of otherwise ‘high achieving’ students who are “information rich, but experience poor” and who, as new employees and interns, “don’t take initiative [and] are uncomfortable taking on challenges.” She suggests that “what [students] need most of all is the opportunity to play.” Mogel confirms that “imaginative play increases executive functioning [and] causes you to grow in maturity… It is also hard work.”

Dr. Wendy Mogel is an internationally acclaimed clinical psychologist, and the bestselling author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus. She is frequently consulted by journalists, and publishes articles, on the dangers of overprotection, overindulgence and overscheduling of children.

You have to WATCH THIS…

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