Classroom Day!
“What matters most in a child’s development, they say, is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence.”
― Paul Tough, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
This week at TKG:

Studio with Michelle:  We introduced the new studio through counting collections.  Students chose a material and determined the quantity.  Bennett counted 63 stamps.  Alexander counted 59 pastels.   Kai counted 6 scissors and represented it in many ways.  Anna counted 30 paint brushes. Madison counted 17 paint brushes. Hayden counted 33 paint brushes.  (“I wonder how many paint brushes that is all together?”)  James counted 6 craft scissors. John counted 30 golden butter squares. Sydney counted 15.

We played “Studio Way, Not Studio Way, Studio Way” to open the discussion on how we should handle materials as well as how we should use our bodies and words.  Some decided snatching and throwing would make everything flip over and make a mess.  Others determined that is a chair was out or if we ran somebody could trip.  We also do not like words like “stupid, boring, or funny” used to describe our work.  Students described studio as fun, awesome to be in, lots of materials to use, careful, walking feet, regular voices, studio sitting, and beady.  (A big thank you to Nicole for spending several days setting up studio as well as the rest of our classroom over spring break!!!!)

Writing with Yvette – using Super Senses: Teachers were discussing how many students use senses in exploring, researching and playing, and a senses plan was in the works.  At park day many students noticed how fuzzy and soft many leaves were and teachers knew they were headed in the right direction.  This week sprouts have been thinking about their five senses – especially TOUCH. We played a guessing game where they were blindfolded and were asked to use adjectives to describe what they felt:

Anna – It’s sticky!
Hayden- It feels kind of soft.
Madi – Yeah sticky.
Aiel – And kind of gooey.
Hayden – It’s just like Kai’s slime.
Aiel- Oh yeah.
Hayden- Could we eat it? could we taste it?
Hayden – It’s kind of like syrup
Madi- Agave! yeah Agave.
Hayden- Oh, I love Agave. Can we take our blindfold off?
(describing honey)

J- I don’t know what it is. What is it? It’s little hard.
K -It feels like dried up rice.
M- Is it sand? It feels rough like sand.
(describing sea salt)

J-They’re sticky!
K- It smells like cranberry, it’s small and little.
J – They feel bumpy.
K – I already know what it is. They’re raisins. Yup definitely raisins. Raisins are not bumpy they are wrinkly.
J- Can we eat them?

After describing the objects, sprouts were given index cards. Some of the index cards had adjectives on them and some were blank. Sprouts placed the adjective cards next to the item they felt it described and on the blank cards they wrote their own adjectives.

B- I’m going to write gross because the clay stuff feels kind of gross.
Alex- This one is fragile. See it can break really easily (taps the dry leaf). Can you help me write fragile?
Aiel- I’m writing soft. oooooh soft feather (rubs feather on her cheek).

Bridges and Math with Parent Teachers:  Students were using their bodies to build bridges and tunnels on park day…the conversations, planning, and building continued in the classroom.  We were engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and collaborators all at the same time!  Thank you PTs for all your hard work and your communication with each other in this area.  Ideas to build on in BRIDGES – please click!

Animal research & Science:  Thank you Madison and Hayden for bringing in your fire belly toads!  Students used their senses to research these fascinating creatures.  We thought about their sensory organs: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin, hands, and feet.

What do you think a cricket tastes like to a frog?  A cupcake, crunchy, juicy, food, sour.  Hungry?

Adjectives that describe a fire belly toad: scary, fat, orange, Cheeto orange, camoflauge…

Deep Learning goes deeper:  Writing books, drawing, restaurant (worked with dimes and pennies), and origami were all big hits for students this week.

Things to collect this today and tomorrow: menus from restaurants, natural materials for studio, baskets

Park Day, back to EL RETIRO, folks and don’t forget your library cards if you’d like to check out books.

Your feedback and questions are encouraged:

CLASSROOM – Yvette Fenton
CURRICULUM – Lena Garcia Kaufman

Check Out Flickr!

TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Classroom Items – Things to collect for Tuesday: menus from restaurants, natural materials for studio and baskets

Park Day – We are back to EL RETIRO de Torrance! Please sunscreen up at home and don’t forget your library card. Here’s another Retiro

TKG Monthly Parent Meeting: Thank you for attending.  We hope you feel good about how things are evolving and the direction we are going.  If you did not attend or you have something you would like to continue discussing, please schedule some time to talk/meet with Trish and/or Lena.

ECHO Parenting Meeting: The next meeting will be this Tuesday at TKG.  Samantha will be available for Child care.  Please let Trish know if you plan to use the child care, our maximum is 6 and it is BYOE (entertainment).

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 – Distracted Mind: Dr. Adam Gazzaley, shares his research and experience of how inter­fer­ence, both dis­trac­tion and mul­ti­task­ing, impact our minds and our lives. He shares his per­spec­tive on how fun­da­men­tal lim­i­ta­tions in our brain’s abil­ity to process infor­ma­tion result in a con­stant source of inter­fer­ence in us accom­plish­ing our goals and the possibility that the mod­ern tech­no­log­i­cal world is inten­si­fy­ing inter­fer­ence and this has a broad impact on safety, edu­ca­tion, work and rela­tion­ships. READ or WATCH

Teacher Focus – Are You Monostic? “…where you stand depends on what sits on you, the people you have to support and please, the people whose weight of opinion rests on you. If your boss, colleagues, partner, parents, children, friends, neighbors will give you a hard time if you disagree with them, you are very unlikely to disagree with them. If you’re after success, you’ll embrace the beliefs that will please the gatekeepers at whatever gates your trying to pass through.” Read more by Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D, an evolutionary epistemologist studying the natural history and practical realities of decision making.

For your Toolbox – Increasing Group IQ: What makes a group intelligent? You might think a group’s IQ would be simply the average intelligence of the group’s members, or perhaps the intelligence of the team’s smartest participant. But researchers who study groups have found that this isn’t so.  The Brilliant Report offers tools to increase group IQ:
1. Choose team members carefully.
2. Share the floor.
3. Talk about the “how.”.
4. Make sure members spend time face-to-face.
5. Foster informal social connections among members.
6. “Modularize” the work to be done.
7. Make contingency plans.

Monday – RD & TV (pm)
Tuesday – TS& JS
Wednesday – NL & TV(pm)
Thursday – LS& EL(am)
Friday – ME & BS
Please contact Nicole if you have any concerns about this week’s schedule. 

The Seeds (Core Standards)

We are creating intention around these standards:


Production and Distribution of Writing

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.5 With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.5 With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

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).


Measurement and Data

CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.A.1 Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.

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

CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.A.2 Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps.


Phonics and Word Recognition

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).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3b Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.1a Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).

FEATURED WORKSHOP – TKG Echo Parenting Class
with Renee Dokmanovich
NEXT MEETING: April 16, 7pm @ TKG

From the TKG Office:

  • 2013 ENROLLMENT Contracts are due
  • Fundraiser Contributions are due on May 1st. Your balances have been sent in a separate email, today.
  • Amazon/Scrip Orders: Any credits earned through June will be credited to 2013-2014 Tuition unless otherwise arranged.  Please contact Trish if you have any questions about credits.
Thank you Families!  Admin Questions, please email
“Where you stand depends on where you sit, in other words, your perspective is a function of your context.”
― Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D. from an  ‘Old Saying’

Resource Of The Week

Strict or Permissive?by Dr. Laura Markham

(ED Note: We do not support labels.  This article recaps one of Dr.Laura’s TKG Talk points and gives additional context for the grid we used to describe capacities and supports on Saturday.)

Most parents seem to struggle with questions about whether they’re being too strict or too permissive.  We don’t want to be mean, of course, and we want to take our child’s desires into account. So we compromise all the time on what we’d really like (straight A’s, for instance, or daily music practice, or more help around the house.)  But then we wonder, what if we had higher expectations, not as bad as Amy Chua, of course, but definitely more demanding than we’ve been, maybe our child would take academics more seriously, or be more helpful…..Where’s that sweet spot between permissive and strict?

It’s easier to find than you might think.

We’ve been confused because we’re missing half the picture.  Stay with me here, I promise this is worth taking a minute to understand.  It completely sorts out the question about how “strict” to be.


Baumrind's Model


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