Classroom Day!
“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

We are explorers. Many of our sprouts have ongoing projects.  As we reflect on our week, we observed that some students struggle to stay engaged.  Sometimes they persevere or maybe they struggle and then revisit later…or some change plans to avoid the struggle.  In support of all of our students, at various stages of project development, Michelle chose to read I Knew You Could by Craig Dorfman.  The book is full of metaphors (an intentional learning opportunity) relating to life situations — in our environment, we encourage our sprouts to practice the “non-cognitive” skills that as Paul Tough studies, “are more crucial than sheer brainpower to achieving success.” Being stuck in a tunnel really resonated with us and later in the week Madison was heard saying, “I’m stuck in a tunnel” when referring to her sewing plan.  Here is the story, maybe you can share it at home, too:

We are readers.  We are listeners.

I Knew You Could – by Craig Dorfman

I knew you could!  And you knew it, too —
That you’d come out on top after all you’ve been through.
And from here you’ll go farther and see brand-new sights.
You’ll face brand-new hills that rise to new heights.

I wish I could show you the stops that you’ll visit,
But that isn’t my choice to make for you, is it?
Instead, I can tell you some lessons and tales
That I’ve learned and relearned in my time on the rails.

First of all, you must find your own track,
So you can start right away and not be held back.
But which track is yours?  Well, that all depends
On which way it’s going and where it might end.

Different tracks wind around,
over, under, and through,
So pick out the one
that works best for you.
Though the track you start out on
will feel like “the one,”
You might take a few more before you are done.
And now, with your eyes on your new destination,
Start up your wheels and roll out of the station.

On your new trip, you’ll make plenty of stops,
In deep river valleys and on high mountaintops.
Some will surprise you and some will be planned,
And you’ll roll through each one saying, “I think I can!”

You’ll go through tunnels, surrounded by dark,
And you’ll wish for a light or even a spark.
You might get scared or a little bit sad,
Wondering if maybe your track has gone bad.

So here’s some advice to help ease your doubt;
The track you took in must also go out.
So steady yourself and just keep on going –
Before you know it, some light will be showing.
And then you’ll be out, heading to a new place.
You’ll be ready for the next tunnel you face.

Sometimes you’ll look up and see planes in the sky,
And you’ll think to yourself, “I wish I could fly.”
The cars on the roads will seem quick and free –
You’ll feel stuck on your track and think, “I wish that was me.”

But the plane might wish he could get out of the air,
Saying, “I wish I could travel like that train down there.”
The cars will watch as you speed right along,
And they’ll say to each other,
“Look how fast and how strong!”
Don’t worry about not being a car or a plane,
Just enjoy the trip you’ll take as a train.

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn,
If you need to be heard or there are people to warn.
Or if being yourself just makes you so proud,
That you want to share it and sing it out loud.

You’ll follow your track
through twists and through bends,
And stop at new stops and pick up new friends.
They’ll all come aboard with smiles and greetings.
You’ll have such great times
with the people you’re meeting.

On the days when you’re sad and feel you can’t go,
Speak up and ask a friend for a tow.
That’s what friends do, so don’t be afraid.
You’d do the same if your friend needed aid.

You might stop at some stops that you never have toured,
And look for new friends, but they won’t come aboard.
So you’ll have to head out with a creak and a groan,
Setting out once again on your track, all alone.

Try to remember that the world is so wide,
Full of all kinds of people with their own trains to ride.
Just stay true to yourself as you travel your track,
With no second-guessing and no looking back.

Once you’re on the right track, you’ll probably say,
“This one is mine – I’m here to stay.”
Try to enjoy the track that you choose –
Stop now and then to take in  the views.

If you rush forward, as a general rule,
Before you arrive, you could run out of fuel.
Don’t overwork, but save up some strength.
That way, every day, you can travel great lengths.

You’ll need all that strength on the days when you’re stuck,
Or tired, or sad, or just out of luck.
When your belief in yourself doesn’t feel quite so pure,
And your “I think I can” doesn’t sound quite so sure.

That’s when to push and to strive and to strain,
To show the world you’re not a giving-up train.
And you’re wise if you know that doing your best
Means that sometimes you should just slow down and rest.

Speeding through your whole trip will bring only sorrow,
So slow down today to be happy tomorrow.

There’s more about life that you’ll learn as you go,
Because figuring things out on your own helps you grow.
Just trust in yourself, and you’ll climb every hill.
Say, “I think I can!” and you know what?
You will!

We are Builders. Train tracks were placed out with intention on Thursday and then sought out on Friday.  One group was planning on building the tracks to the Cozy Corner (reading) and made it.  Friday they built tracks to Paper World.  “We did it!” Alex exclaimed as the last track was put into place.  “Everybody’s coming over to greet the new people” John said playfully and the frogs and train people met.  While observing Michelle couldn’t help but wonder if they were playing to understand their feelings about what the Saturday class may feel like.

We are Community. We were so happy to welcome 12 potential students to our group.  With our 8, we had an wonderful mix of students – connecting, colliding and collaborating.  Thank you to all the families who put in time, planning, lifting, supporting, documenting, teaching and learning.  Our school is growing and we thank you for your support and hard work.

We are Investigators. Curious about what happened at school?  At student conferences I quickly learned to switch my questions into statements or more open questions.
– Tell me about.
– When do you feel…
– How is ______ working for you?

We are Re-Inventors. We have new names for our Open Flow Destinations.  Have you been updated?

Sewing Komichis
Listening Station

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:
CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton/310-383-1624
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman
Check Out Flickr!

Park Day at TKG
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Park Day – We are currently at HESS PARK!  Band-Aids, frisbees, baseball and snails!…don’t forget sunscreen and water.

Echo Parenting Course (we would like at least one member from each family to attend): Renee’s Echo Parenting Class will begin on March 26th and will meet every other week.  Please stay tuned for more details.  We would like to provide childcare, so please share your suggestions for care-givers with us.  Conditional parenting is all around us; parents either punish or reward children for their behavior. If children are good, they get approval and a reward. If they are bad, attention is withdrawn and they are punished. This conditional parenting undermines a child’s sense of self worth and self -dignity as a vital, alive, feeling human being.  Join us in studying this way of parenting that offers an optimal relationship and the conditions in which children can thrive and grow into healthy adults

Field Trip!  March 29th at Tanaka Farms: We are going to Irvine! Click here for a map. Please arrive by 10:00am. The tour will last an hour and 15 minutes. We will make stops to pull and taste various vegetables. At the end all paying $12 will get a container for picking strawberries. The fee is $12 per child. $6 per adult. If an adult wants to pick at the end then the fee is $12. There are picnic areas where we can have lunch afterwards.  Please pay Renee by the end of this week.

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 – Talking about Time (Math Station) Where do you want to go with the discussion of time?  Your personal relationship with time is a wonderful place to start!  Here are some things you can keep in mind to help guide conversation about time in the Math Station (or anywhere time comes up):

  • Clocks help us measure time (Writing opportunity:spell t-i-m-e, c-l-o-c-k, m-i-n-u-t-e)
  • Analog Clocks: Face, Hour Hand, Minute Hand (Writing opportunity: make a clock…wall? wrist? pocket?)
  • Digital Clocks: Face, Hours, Minutes (Science opportunity: make a digital clock…let the student dream this up but here is a cool knowledge base)
  • Language/Key Words: o’Clock…Half-Passed…Quarter After/To…AM/PM
  • Read a story about time: Research time from our primary sources (our “text” books) in the library.  Can’t find what you’re looking for?  Make a request for the Library Run

Teacher Focus – Mint: Mint has many health benefits…digestion, nausea, headache, respiratory, skin care…Make this quick refresher with fresh mint leaves (Preparation Time: 10 minutes):
Chilled Water 4 cups (1 per serving)
Honey 3 tablespoons
Chopped Mint Leaves ¼ cup
Black Pepper ½ teaspoon
Lemon Slice 4 slices (1 per serving) and a little juice
Salt to taste

In a blender add chilled water, black pepper, honey and chopped mint leaves.
Blend it well.
How to Serve: Serve the juice in glasses and garnish with one lemon slice per glass.

For your Toolbox – “Virgina Satir, determined that “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” HUG! andRead More here…

Monday – JS/RD
Tuesday – NL/TS
Wednesday – NL/TV
Thursday – TV (after 12.30)
Friday – ME/BM
Please contact Nicole if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule. 

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

English Language Arts Standards – Grade 1 Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

Measurement and data

Tell and write time (1st/2nd Grade).
3.  Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks plus CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.C.7 Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.

Represent and interpret data. (1st Grade)
4.  Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category

FEATURED WORKSHOP – TKG Echo Parenting Class
with Renee Dokmanovich
Beginning Tuesday, March 26th, 6 to 9 at TKG
The class will continue, every other week, until the end of June.  Please plan on joining us.  There is no cost for this Workshop.

From the TKG Office:

  • March Board Meeting-March 18, Regular business meeting begins at 7pm.  Guests are welcome to share praise or concerns at 7pm.  This month’s meeting will be at the TKG Classroom as Abrahm will be filming.
  • 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.
  • Spring Break is from April 1 through 5
  • Amazon-Feb Orders: Don’t forget to claim your orders for credit towards your Fundraiser Contribution.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
“Every negative emotion that exists–hear this–every negative emotion that exists is because there is some sense of loss of freedom somewhere in there.”
-Abraham Hicks

Resource Of The Week

Today in History (March 16): First liquid-fueled rocket

“The rocket traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reaching an altitude of 41 feet and landing 184 feet away.”

The first man to give hope to dreams of space travel is American Robert H. Goddard, who successfully launches the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket at Auburn, Massachusetts, on March 16, 1926. The rocket traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reaching an altitude of 41 feet and landing 184 feet away. The rocket was 10 feet tall, constructed out of thin pipes, and was fueled by liquid oxygen and gasoline.

The Chinese developed the first military rockets in the early 13th century using gunpowder and probably built firework rockets at an earlier date.


Liquid Fueled Rocket

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