FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 17 (7 to 9 Class)

All Together
“There are no facts, only interpretations.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Hope you are having a great weekend.  Please remember to register for the P.E.T. Workshop this Tuesday.  The facilitator, Meike, is highly recommended by our pal Jennifer Lehr. We are organizing child care (details below) this time!  Also, please review the Admin section for information about our upcoming work day.Language topics
This week we continued working on how to take the perspective of other people by using drama as a way to think deeply about the experience of people involved in the integration of schools in the 60s. We played a game called “Hot seat” in which each person got the opportunity to take the stage using an old TV screen shell as the prop while audience members asked the person questions about themselves. Students got to think beyond what they might feel and think and imagine how another person with a different perspective might feel.

A wonderful result of this theatrical experience was the shared language of “changing the channel.” This came about because the experience went from serious, to comedic, and then had trouble moving back into historical. We decided that we needed a break from the “history Channel” in order to spend a few moments exploring the “Comedy” channel. We activated our remotes, toggling between two modes of being. We will continue this type of game as it lays the foundation for our brains to be able to switch between the multiple ways of being that are available in our multi-dimensional learning environment. Fun is fabulous, and so is serious. At home, ponder with your child the questions: How do we help our brains make the switch from humor to serious or vise versa in order to further our learning?

Connecting with our work on taking perspective we continued focusing on our spatial ability and intelligence. “Spatial ability is a category of reasoning skills that refers to the capacity to think about objects in three dimensions and to draw conclusions about those objects from limited information.  A person who has an easy time picturing the world from an observer’s viewpoint — who perhaps even does it often without thinking — will likely have higher spatial intelligence than someone who finds it difficult to think about life this way.”

We worked on this intelligence by adding a new game, Fits, to our repertoire of spatial intelligence games that include Color Code and Swish. This new game has 4 levels of challenge that will prime our minds to think about the properties and adaptability of objects, concepts and perspectives. At home, explore what it means to flip and rotate objects by packing a box or the trunk (!) in the most efficient way possible. 

Multi-Cultural Studies
The students had an opportunity to explore good luck traditions for the year of the horse with Alice by experiencing Chinese calligraphy. With a progression  of tracing to free hand, students used authentic Chinese calligraphy brushes to work on control and spatial processing. Their ability to stick with the challenge offered them the opportunity to feel the accomplishment of moving from simple to complex characters. We look forward to more! At home: a connection to the art of Chinese calligraphy is the long lost art of cursive writing from our schooling past. Share your favorite cursive letter and practice the strokes, thinking about how we hold our writing utensil gently and poetically. 

Emerging interests
The class pet project continues as we figure out how to use PowerPoint to put together a proposal for making this interest a reality.  Rainbow looming is also a hot topic as students are creating the longest strands that they can, potentially as long as the school, or at least longer than their dad! At home, measure each family member and determine the equivalency of inches and feet.

Social Emotional
We continue to explore the question: What do you do when something you are working on gets really challenging? We experienced this while doing math as well as in a group problem solving moment where everyone wanted a private space to read behind the curtain. The solutions that have emerged: keep going no matter what, give up,  take a break to recharge and then come back to try again. We will continue to explore this crossroads each of us encounter when faced with challenge and how to build our muscle of resiliency as well as self-care.  At home, share stories with your child of how you have dealt with challenge.

High School (say what?!)

Have you thought about which schools (or other education approach) may be an option for your child/children after age 14?    TKG is thinking about it!

We want all TKG sprouts to have the foundation of knowledge they need to transition to their next school so, we are organizing a committee to start gathering our parent community’s thoughts and plans about “high school” and we are looking for people to join us.  Future action steps will include meeting with representatives from the ‘schools of interest’ to provide an introduction to our school and doing some in-depth information gathering about each school’s admissions requirements.

Our initial meeting will be Saturday March 8th right after the Student Visit ‘mock classroom day’.  Allow for 30 minutes to review the concept and schedule our first official meeting (approx 3-4 weeks following initial meeting)

Please let Monica know that you will attend.

Have a great weekend and remember, this Friday is Field Trip Day!  We will be exploring our class wondering: “What is the perfect city?”

Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Jaclyn Epstein-Calvert/Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***P.E.T. Workshop, Tuesday Jan 28th, 7:00pm @ TKG
We really want you to come.  Register HERE! Childcare will be available beginning at 6:50pm.  Cost will be $8 per sprout.  Our caregiver is Dawn Smith (we know her from when she was a teacher at Riviera Playschool).

***Field Trip Friday, Jan 31st, 10:30am
The provocation of the day is HOW MANY WAYS CAN WE EXPLORE OUR CITY?

On this adventure, we will get our METRO, TRAIN, BUS and WALK on!  Our plan (this information is provided to help you plan. we encourage you to give every opportunity to your sprout(s) to figure out their environment, maps, purchasing fares/food and exploring!):

10:30 am – Meet at Union Station (easy parking and we can buy all our transport tickets in one place) THEN metro (purple or red line, fare $1.50) to Pershing Square (ride is about 11 minutes)
11:30 am – Take Angels Flight (the “train” part; fare .50) & Lunch at Grand Central Market (cost will vary)
1:00 pm – Bus to Chinatown (route 45 or 84/68, fare $1.50) about a 9 minute ride straight down Hill St)
3 or 4pm Day Ends (and still a good window to beat traffic) or Adventure continues?!
Chinatown is .5 mile to union station = a 10 minute walk or short metro ride back

9:30am departure from the South Bay will allow for less traffic and ample time to arrive Union Station.  Traffic is still heavy around 9:00am.  Costs for this trip are approximately $5 per person for public transportation
click for directions to Union Station from TKG

***Enrichment Classes
You can still enroll! Class schedule is (all begin right after school):
Tuesday – Theatre (pay Belasco Theatre Co. directly)
Wednesday – Yoga (pay Michelle Goldbach-Johnson directly)
Thursday – Japanese (pay TKG by check or online)
Friday – Drumming; begins Feb 7th (pay TKG by check or online)

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
Parent Teacher Info

Parent/Teacher Corner

Teacher wonderings for the week: Thinking flexibly: Look at some of the benefits of being able to change perspectives, generate alternatives, consider options.

MON Jan 27

Would you like to swap a park day here or there for your regular shift?  Please let John know asap so we can schedule it asap!

THUR Jan 30

FRI Jan 24
Field Trip Day!

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions.

PT TOOLBOX: How to become a SurprisologistThis TED Blog reminds us to appreciate the unexpected joys of daily life and to embrace uncertainty…READ IT! 

The Seeds

We are offering the opportunity to engage:

Geometry (2)
Reason with shapes and their attributes.
CCSS.Math.Content.2.G.A.1 Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.1 Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.

English Language Arts:
Writing (2)

Text Types and Purposes
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.3 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.

Production and Distribution of Writing
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Jan 28th at 7:00pm

Please Register!
Learn about P.E.T., highly recommended by Jennifer Lehr of “Good Job and Other Things.”  TKG is happy to announce that Meike Lemmens will facilitate this Intro Workshop and we hope to begin a workshop series for Teachers and Parents, soon after.  To learn more about P.E.T. and T.E.T, click here.

From the TKG Office

  • TKG Office Hours are this Wednesday from 9am. Monica and Trish are available (weekly) for business and conversation.
  • Work Day #2, Saturday Feb 1st That’s right, the workday we postponed in Dec is here!  Please arrive by 9:00am.  Stay as long as you can or until 12:00pm  This is a Parent Participation event, if needed please make alternative arrangements via John Schwartz.
  • TKG Echo Parenting SeriesTuesday Feb 4th. Renee Dokmanovich will be facilitating her next 8-Week Series.  Sign up page will be available soon!

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

3 Reasons to Explore DownTown Los Angeles

Surprise, surprise! DTLA has been listed at the tippy top of several travel lists for 2014.  GC magazine declared that “America’s Next Best City is inside LA” — declaring DTLA one of the coolest places in the country (!) and the New York Times listed DTLA as their #5 recommendation of 52 spots for the year.

The GC article is worth reading, not because of any significant cultural insights, but because it tracks the development of several chefs and restaurants that have made downtown’s food so exciting in recent years.  If you haven’t spent any time dining downtown in the past year, make that your New Year’s Resolution!

The New York Times article, as posted online, is a sumptuous display of photos and will have you drooling as you dial your travel agent, or while a few hours away on Kayak.

Nonetheless, DTLA is #5 world wide – here are a few of the reasons we think it’s worthy of exploration in 2014.CHECK IT OUT!

Are the Humanities dead?



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