Closing Meeting at TKG
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
― Maya Angelou

We are a community. Last week we held student teacher conferences and they were a hit!  Madison enjoyed it so much she wanted them to happen every week.  She added it to our Class Meeting Notebook and at our meeting on Friday the majority of students agreed they would like it as well.  So beginning next week I will have a sign in sheet for students to book appointments. In our meetings, we talked about feelings we have at school or about school.  I’m looking forward to sharing your child’s thoughts at our parent teacher conferences and I can’t wait to hear from you.  Here’s a glimpse as to how our sprouts are feeling about TKG:

I feel loved at school because people care about other people.

I want my dad to come and be a parent teacher.

First I’m shy when I meet new people, and then I like making friends.

I’m happy because I get to play.

Mad when sometimes you don’t let us run (in the classroom).

Helpful, when I make books.

I like park day you get to smell the fresh air when the morning rises.  You get to see the birds.

I’m happy I’m at this school.  I get to draw a lot of and don’t have to sit a desk for 3 hours.

I want to go back to the old schedule, but still come to gathering and lunch and PE with everyone.

I feel shy when I’m scared.

I like arts and crafts, and math.

I’m an author and illustrator. 

Thank you to Alex for letting us borrow the Komochi dolls, they helped us have conversations that were 10-25 minutes long!  Some of us call them feeling fuzzies, and we will be making our own class set soon as they have supported us in so many ways.

We are challenged. Class Meetings are evolving. Our Class Meeting Notebook has been a great addition to our meetings.  This week we discussed some important topics:

  • Bennett asked if we could do a ride on plan for park day.  We decided that we could bring our bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. this Monday as long as we wear helmets.  But what if they have a character on them?  Well, safety is more important.  (Parents please check in with Michelle if you have any questions)
  • Aiel and Madison have been thinking about a groom for the play (that is emerging).  Their problem had been alive for a few days and after various discussions, they agreed that they didn’t want a wedding: between a girl and girl, using a stand-in (cardboard) groom, like “old plays” where boys dressed like girls (kabuki), or where a girl dress like a groom…so they decided to write it in our book.  After a few “no”s from the boys who didn’t have roles yet, James said, “I can if you want.”
  • Anna asked for a play-dough plan.  We made play dough from scratch!
  • Otis wanted to add a topic to the binder…in an attempt to resolve an impasse but after listening to the discussion, decided it wasn’t necessary
  • Madison asked if we could do teacher conferences more and we will start next week.
  • Aiel wondered if students would be interested in ordering National Geographic Magazine Little Kids. We may have enough from our book mark sale to subscribe.  The current plan is to check our budget and follow up with a student who wasn’t interested.

We are writers:


The Unbeatable Dragons
by Kai, Alex, and Monica

We use all the elements.  They are ice, chili pepper, string, and fire.
The dragons of all are NEVER beatable!
We are good dragons.

We are citizens. The idea of good and bad has surfaced in many of our conversations and play.  When I was asked to be the bad guy I took the opportunity to give some perspective on “bad guys”.  I stole some lunch boxes and waters.  When I was caught by the spies, who came out of nowhere, I explained that I didn’t have a job, or money and was hungry and didn’t know what else to do.  Madison told me about a homeless shelter.  Sydney asked if I was really rich.  Bennett brought me the toy vegetables.  I ate until I was full and then was asked to be bad again.  I snuck into their spy office to sleep on a beanbag.  When I was caught I explained that I didn’t have a home and I sleep in my car and it’s really small so I was hoping to sleep in their office over night and leave by morning.  After more questions I explained that I was laid off and then hurt my leg and all my money I had went to paying the hospital bills.  After many questions about how I got my car, what my keys were to, and how I have a phone.  I didn’t think I was being bad, I just didn’t know what else to do.  Then I had an idea.  I asked them for a job!  After some debate I was hired.  Currently I’m in the process of passing the test of coding five games and then they will tell me their secret.  Sydney helped me build my computer and set up my office.  Madison sent me emails about game ideas and so did Bennett.  Mr. John is the boss, but not bossy, he lets us make whatever games we want.  I even asked to leave a couple minutes early as I told James I would check in with him right before clean up.  A bold move on my first day at my new job, but John was understanding and Mr. Bennett told me goodbye as I left.
(Typically I try and observe during deep learning or have the sprouts lead fully, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity open up the “bad guy” conversation a bit.)

We are builders.  Otis, James and Alexander built ComfyWorld.  Where you could relax and read to your heart’s content.  There were some requirements: no shoes and comfort.  What does GPS mean?

We are adventurers. Having a difficult time with clean up at home?  Try giving “missions.”  You assign simple tasks and they come back to you for the next mission.  Still struggling?  Empower them and let them give you a mission or knock you down between missions!  (I use the ‘mission’ adventures when the majority of us are roaming and need some focus.)

Thank you parent teachers for meeting early.  I have gotten some great feedback from you as to how helpful this is for you, and I can feel it in our day as well.

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman
Check Out Flickr!

QuickSand with my Friends
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Park Day – We decided that we could bring our bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. this coming Monday as long as we bring and wear helmets.  But what if they have a character on them?  Well, safety is more important.  (Parents please check in with Michelle if you have any questions)

Classroom Supplies Needed: Big, soft, mobile materials to build with…

Parent/Student Conferences Parent Conferences are scheduled for Monday February 25th. Don’t forget your reflection pages.  Please sign up for your meeting time.

March Monthly Parent Meeting: March 7th, Thursday evening.  We are looking for childcare…please send in your request or recommendations!

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 Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teaching Focus – Your Image of the Child: There are hundreds of different images of the child. Each one of you has inside yourself an image of the child that directs you as you begin to relate to a child. This theory within you pushes you to behave in certain ways; it orients you as you talk to the child, listen to the child, observe the child. It is very difficult for you to act contrary to this internal image. For example, if your image is that boys and girls are very different from one another, you will behave differently in your interactions with each of them.READ MORE…

Teacher Focus – Perspective on Buddhists’ Delight (NYT): “The fundamental insight of the Buddha (the Awakened One) is this: life consists of suffering, and suffering is caused by attachment to the self, which is in turn attached to the things of this world. Only by liberating ourselves from the tyranny of perpetual wanting can we be truly free.” READ MORE…

For your Toolbox – Building Resilience: “So how do we build resilience? Studies have shown that if just one person in a child’s life is consistently supportive, a child is much more likely to overcome difficult circumstances. Just one person who is enthusiastic about the child. Just one person who lights up when the child walks into the room.” READ MORE…

Monday – 
Tuesday – ME
Wednesday – TV
Thursday – LS & TV
Friday – BM
Please contact Trish if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule.  March calendar is now up

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:

CCLS Grade 1 4.a Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or a phrase.
a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

Earth Sciences
3.  Weather can be observed, measured, and described. As a basis for understanding this concept: a. Students know how to use simple tools (e.g., thermometer, wind vane) to measure weather conditions and record changes from day to day and across the seasons. b. Students know that the weather changes from day to day but that trends in temperature or of rain (or snow) tend to be predictable during a season.
c. Students know the sun warms the land, air, and water.
Physical Sciences
1.  Materials come in different forms (states), including solids, liquids, and gases. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know solids, liquids, and gases have different properties.

Grade 1: 4.Describe how location, weather, and physical environment affect the way people live, including the effects on their food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and recreation

Number and Operations in Base Ten 
K.NBT Work with numbers 11–19 to gain foundations for place value.
1. Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 18= 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, or nine.
1. Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as abovebelowbesidein front ofbehind, and next to.

Work with addition and subtraction equations.
7. Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and
subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are
false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.

Grade 1, 2. Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
Grade 2, 2. Identify the main topic of a multi paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
Kinder, 3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words both in isolation and in text.
a. Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or many of the most frequent sound for each consonant.

Grade 2 Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
Grade 1: b. Use end punctuation for sentences.

FEATURED WORKSHOP – Bruce Perry/Born to Love 

Wednesday, March 6th 7-9 PM
at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Dr. Bruce Perry, an internationally known expert on the impact of trauma on children, will explain how empathy develops, why it is essential for our happiness and the functioning of society, and how it is threatened in the modern world. REGISTER…

From the TKG Office:

  • Tours: We have an interested family touring this coming Wednesday.
  • Fundraiser Contributions are due on May 1st. Shop with Scrip order placed between March 9th and March 15th will enter TKG into a drawing for free shipping for an entire year.  Please contact Lori with any questions.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
― Rumi, Essential Rumi

Resource Of The Week

Standardized Test Boycotts, Protests Gain Momentum Around U.S.
Huffington Post

High school students and teachers in cities around the U.S. have decided they hate standardized tests so much, they’re just not going to take them, according to news reports.

At Garfield High School — the Seattle, Wash., alma mater of Jimi Hendrix, rapper Macklemore and Quincy Jones — teachers voted unanimously to “refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP, test on ethical and professional grounds.” In an op-ed explaining the decision, history teacher Jesse Hagopian made the case that students already face enough standardized tests, and his pupils view the MAP test less seriously because “their scores don’t factor into their grades or graduation status.” READ MORE…



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