From Under Our Big Tree: Week 9


All Together
“A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected.”
― Reif Larsen, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

A new month brings new wonderings, new plans, and new explorations.  Teachers have been focusing on gratitude and mindfulness, students have been playing “school” so a new area has been added, and we continue to learn more about each other as the days go by.Field/Park Day
Kai requested a game where teachers tie red sting to the trees and the students tear them down.   We began the day playfully, with teachers taking the less powerful role.  Tillie got “stuck” in the tree several times and many friends were eager to help.

Meeting Discussions

UPSTAIRS(5 to 7)//Focusing on gratitude we have been sharing what we are thankful for and how we can show our appreciation.  Alexander shared he has a gratitude journal at home and we began our own in the classroom the following day.  We had many reasons to be grateful or thankful!DOWNSTAIRS(7 to 9)//How do we honor our diverse opinions without having to create divisions or hierarchies? This week, we thought about the difference between facts and opinions and how each person can have their own opinion about the world around them. We also began to explore the idea of assumptions and how making them can either help or hinder our relationships with others.

UPSTAIRS//Many of us made our own game pieces for more personalized games.  We learned a new game called “rolling to 100”.  When playing we practiced subitizing and counting on to find out how many spaces to move.  We practiced counting and number sense all while taking turns, practicing patience, and verbal skills to explain your reasoning to your partner. What IS math, anyway?

Aiel- leaning, experimenting, and trying stuff

Maiya- learning about numbers, everyday you get a new number

Anna- play games and count

Tillie- learning anything, a seed growing to a plant, like anything

Sydney- you learn a lot of stuff (Michelle asked “what do you think of when I say math?”) I think of my old school and Maddie.  Also, I think about numbers.

Alex- focused on his number book and didn’t want to be interrupted

DOWNSTAIRS//In order to support students to begin to think about the topography that would be present in our ideal city, we had an incredible sensory experience making our own “playdough mud” that we used to create different land features. As part of the process, students measured out the ingredients needed to make the mud. To stretch their thinking and apply what we have been learning about fractions, students worked in groups to visually represent their mathematical thinking in figuring out equivalencies. For example, 3 cups of flour equals how many ¼, 1/3, or ½ cups? It was a fabulous first foray into problem solving and proving our thinking that ended in gooey incredible-ness

Language Topics
UPSTAIRS//This week’s word of the week is IS, next week’s is TO.  Many students have showed an interest in learning letters, sounds, and reading.  After lunch you can usually spot Aiel reading to Lucas.  We have added a word wall with our words of the week and commonly used words or phrases will begin to appear.

DOWNSTAIRS//Tuesday we found our way into our first spelling lesson. It was a rich experience where each of us identified the words that continually stump us- an opportunity to capitalize on the expertise offered in our multi-age community as we identified how we might spell words (which usually makes much more sense!) and then the conventional (often weird!) ways of writing those words. That prompted a desire to create a resource in our room for those tricky words we want to write. Come in and check out our developing word wall, gracing our window panes, luxuriously inviting us to fear no more.

Science: Geography/ Cartography /Topography
DOWNSTAIRS//Our guest artist, Meriel Stern, came in to support the development of our essential questions: What is our ideal city? Meriel led our exploration of the different types, functions and features of maps. The students explored the difference between creating a map that is from a bird’s eye view- in which you would see an overview of an entire area or a street level (elevational) view- in which you would see many more details. Students were asked to be strategic as they started the process of sketching their map with a pencil, checking their spelling and then outlining with sharpie, which will then be ready to watercolor. That process will continue next week as students will be encouraged to revise and edit their original creation to make room for the new thinking that time can afford.

Social Emotional
UPSTAIRS//While creating his counting book, Alexander was not sure what to use: “Butterflies? Whales!” Sydney exclaimed, “Butterflies! Thanks, you think of ideas so quickly.” Students have been supporting each other with ideas, encouragement, and reminders of our Bill of Rights.DOWNSTAIRS//As we all come to this learning space to create our culture of thinking, the students and I continually experience moments where what is said and what is assumed based on that comment can lead us into conflict or connection. In those moments, the willingness to stop for a check-in will make all the difference.

Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, Founding Teacher/5 to 7 Classroom
Yvette Fenton/Co-Teacher, 5 to 7 Classroom
Jaclyn Epstein-Calvert/Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Saundi Williams, 5 to 7 Room Parent
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

scrapbooking paper scraps for collage
glass jars (washed & labels removed)
indoor plants, small or large
Small glue gun glue sticks
Hand sanitizer

No school this Monday. Enjoy our neighborhoods, it is going to be Mostly Sunny with a high of 75°F and a low of 59°F! Visit the Redondo Beach Veteran’s Memorial.  Write a letter to a Soldier via Operation Gratitude.  Send a Care package to our troops.

Next community meeting is on Saturday Nov 16 at 9am.  Look forward to seeing you! This is a Parent Participation event.

Bulletin Board Design – students are interested in designing the board outside 321 and we would like a parent to help lead the project.  Please contact Michelle to confirm your interest.

“To put a city in a book, to put the world on one sheet of paper — maps are the most condensed humanized spaces of all…They make the landscape fit indoors, make us masters of sights we can’t see and spaces we can’t cover.”
― Robert Harbison, Eccentric Spaces

TKG Principals
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM, as teachers and parents, we provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD, cognitive, physical and social/emotional are inseparable
  • BRAIN SCIENCE, students are sensory learners, we honor each student’s unique developmental map
  • CAPACITY BUILDING, nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING, small groups, low ratios, mixed ages and generations

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

Overview of Operations and Algebraic Thinking (K)

Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from.

Measurement & Data: Describe and compare measurable attributes
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.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter

English Language Arts: Anchor Standards
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Grade 4 » Number & Operations—Fractions

CCSS.Math.Content.4.NF.A.1 Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (n × a)/(n × b) by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size of the parts differ even though the two fractions themselves are the same size. Use this principle to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.

Grade 3 Overview
Measurement and Data

Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.

English Language Arts
Grade 2 Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).

Grade 3 Reading: Literature
Key Ideas and Details

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 from 7:00 PM
Our Book club is open to the community!  We gather around a book, every other month, to deepen our understanding of our selves, our families and our school. This month, we are reading chapters 3 and 4 of CHOICE WORDS by Peter Johnston (buy it from the Amazon link on our home page and a percentage will be donated to the school).  Share this registration link with your friends who are interested in TKG!

From the TKG Office

  • Parent Enrollment Information Nights kick off on December 5th.  Share this REGISTRATION link with friends and family.
  • Tuition is past DUE and Spanish Class, November tuition is now DUE
  • Drum Circle, is on for this Friday.  Please give $15 to Trish by Thursday morning to confirm you attendance.
  • TKG Office Hours are this Friday from 9 to 12.  Monica and Trish are available (weekly) for business and conversation.
Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions.
The Four Agreements
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best

Resource Of The Week

Teaching Children How to “Make Their World”
Fairy Dust Teaching Blog

These days, much of their education, from a very early age is focused on teaching them to read, write, do math & figure out how to “be” in the modern world.  But there’s often a missing piece in their lives… true creativity.

How often is a child expected to finish something that someone else started for them?  Filling in a colouring book page, completing a work-sheet, playing a video game, watching a TV show.   Of course, academic subjects are necessary for a child’s lifelong success but the art of making things should be what balances the learning scales.

Those who can  think for themselves, easily solve problems & create beautiful things from the simplest of materials will be able to  bravely shape their future. READ MORE…

Are the Humanities dead?

Comments are closed.