Classroom Day!
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
WHO ARE WE?We are explorers and investigators.  On park day some sprouts noticed pollen fills the air when you throw big pinecones at the little pinecones on the pine trees.  They tested different sizes, sticks, and rocks to determine which would create the biggest “smoke”.  They worked together in collecting pine cones, throwing them on the count of three, and making sure the path was clear before launching.  Our exploration continued in the classroom where we took a closer look at what we collected.  We took turns walking around the neighborhood to observe how Hesse Park is similar or different.

We are curious.  Clay was requested and was set up for deep learning on Tuesday, which continued into Wednesday.  Nicole noticed how some were pounding dry clay into smaller pieces and talk about mixing it with other things.  Michelle knew a student had been making “slime” by adding glue, paint, water, and glitter.  She also recalled how much all students have shown interested in mixing paint, sidewalk chalk, and making snow globes.  Nicole set up a plan for mixing with vinegar, corn starch, water, glue, and color tablets.  We welcomed Erin (Hayden’s mom) as PT and she observed and noted students experimenting:

Hayden noticed you can hear it fizzle even if you can’t see it.

Bennett and Aiel observed that the bubbles come from the baking soda, baking soda and water, or maybe the color tabs?  Bennett thought the baking soda would make it bubble.  Aiel noticed the bubbles make a sound

Alex said “baking soda makes it fizzle, cornstarch makes it gooey.” And after adding vinegar he exclaimed, “It grows big!”  He also noticed the tabs “destroyed” the glue.

John (Otis) was interested in making goo and experiments with glue.

Madison voiced her thoughts while pouring, “I need to add just the right amount of vinegar to make it bubble like a scientist.

Orange and purple make bright pink. – Aiel

Mine is not making any color, just black. -Sydney

Who are we?  A conversation began in studio before meeting.
Madison:  Where did you get that sweater?
Nicole:  My grandmother gave it to me.  My family comes from Holland and their clothes are a little different there.  Where is your family from?
Madison:  I’m a little bit country, but mostly Irish.
Aiel: I’m mostly Californian.
Madison: I thought you were mostly Hanukkah!
Aiel:  I don’t know what I am.  I am beautiful curious, that’s what I am.  Like, my mom is Catholic and my dad is Jewish.

Who are you and where is YOUR family from?  (families: think about wedding or theatre traditions or stories that are in your family history, or are important to you.  This is an ongoing exploration that will probably continue through Spring Break)

We are persistent.  Michelle asked students not to begin new projects, but to revisit an ongoing one to edit and possibly finish.   Everyone set a goal and many shared at reflection time.  Next week we will continue to focus on unfinished projects and plans to wrap up before spring break.

Next Week

Writing: Students will review and edit their work with a peer or teacher before sharing with the class.  This will support each child’s individual need.  Does the story have a beginning, middle, and end?  Does each sentence begin with a capital letter, have spaced between words, and an end mark?  For others, does it have an apostrophe s to show ownership?  If interested they will read their story to the group and ask for questions and feedback for possible revisit and edit.

Creation Station/Math:  Students will continue digging into shapes.  Drawing shapes, building with shapes…what makes a shape, a shape? Polygon, Triangle, Square, Rhombus, Trapezoid, Pentagon, Hexagon, Heptagon, Octogon…did you hear the story about the Octopus?
How many sides does that one have?  How about corners?  How many ways can you make a hexagon?

A city is forming.  What shapes are in your city?

Theatre: We are Playwrights.  Students will continue planning the play.  We will research how plays came about and their evolution.  Who invented plays?  Why?  Are you inspired by this new information?  How could you implement that into this play?

Science:  Students will plant seeds for our bed at the Hermosa Community Garden.  They will journal the process as well as generate questions that will lead their investigation as the plants grow.  What do you notice about your seed?  What does this seed need to grow?  What questions do you have for this seed?

Paper World:  Students will continue to collaborate and make habitats for animals.  They will research their animals, decide what their animals need and how to incorporate them into the community. Teachers will support with primary resources and encouragement.

Studio:  Students will paint clay plans that have been drying for several days (testing their patience!).  Teachers will ask students to slow down, journal their plans and observations and carefully mix their colors.  How do artists know which color to use?  Do all artists use color?  What is color made of?

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

Park Day at TKG
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Spring Break is Next Week…

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

Echo Parenting Course: Renee’s Echo Parenting Class will begin on March 26th, this Tuesday.  It will be from 7 to 9, each meeting. We have connected with some care-givers who are interested in helping us, so stay tuned for more details.

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 Wednesday.

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 – Perseverance: Teaching children perseverance starts with setting the example and then finding common language to practice:

  • Taking One Step at a time
  • Prioritizing
  • Managing Your Energy
  • Being Creative
  • Following Your Passions

Read more…

Teacher Focus – Your Fruit and Veggies. So you’ve been trying to eat right, working to fit in your “5 a day” servings of fruit and vegetables. Well, the government has some news for you: Forget five a day. More is better. Here is a recipe for a raw Green Breakfast Drink:

2 C Spinach
1 1/2 C Grapes
2 Carrots
1/2 Cucumber
1/2″ piece of ginger
1 Stalk Celery
2 Dates
Handful Ice
1/2 to 1 C Water
Combine all ingredients in blender or vitamix. Start with 1/2 cup water and add more to desired thickness. Blend until smooth.

For your Toolbox – “We hinder the child when we acknowledge certain accomplishments in an exaggerated way…The effect is incalculable. The child’s attention to what he is attempting to do and his experimenting with his movement is being distracted. It is commonly known what toddlers are capable of doing to please their audience! As a result the child will not experiment with what is called for by his development….he will not try out what gives him pleasure, but that which he assumes will please adults. ” DR. EMMI PIKLER

Monday – BM/ME
Tuesday – RD
Thursday – LS/EL
Friday – Field Trip to Tanaka Farms
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.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.4 Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.5 Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.6 With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.

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.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.2 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.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).


CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.3 Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional (“solid”).

CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.4 Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).

CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.5 Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.6 Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”

CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.1 Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.2 Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.1

CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.3 Partition circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters, and use the phrases half of, fourth of, and quarter of. Describe the whole as two of, or four of the shares. Understand for these examples that decomposing into more equal shares creates smaller shares.

FEATURED WORKSHOP – TKG Echo Parenting Class
with Renee Dokmanovich
Beginning Tuesday, March 26th, 7 to 9 at TKG
The class will continue, every other week, until the end of June. There is no cost for this Workshop.

From the TKG Office:

  • 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. This is the last week to claim!
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”
― A.A. Milne

Resource Of The Week

From The Brilliant Report: How To Give Good Feedback
“When effectively administered, feedback is a powerful way to build knowledge and skills…”

When effectively administered, feedback is a powerful way to build knowledge and skills, increase motivation, and develop reflective habits of mind in students and employees. Too often, however, the feedback we give (and get) is ineffectual or even counterproductive. Here, four ways to offer feedback that really makes a difference, drawn from research in psychology and cognitive science:


Giving Feedback

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