FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 27/Year 1 (7 to 9 Class)

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…”
― Isaac Asimov
Wishing you a wonderful week in preparation for a spring break!

Notable Notes

  • This is a week of trying new things! Beginning Wednesday, upstairs students will be visiting downstairs students. Read below for more details.
  • Friday is WorkDay #3 – if you are not able to attend (starts at 12.30pm), please contact John Schwartz to make alternative arrangements.  This is a parent participation event.
  • This Wed is Riviera Nails Day (don’t forget to check the Amazon reports this week)
Field/Park Day
We spent our last day at the park on Monday. It was a lovely day as we said good-bye and thank you to an amazing tree perfect for hammocks, a twirly slide perfect for the use of speed (waxed) paper, a dusty baseball field perfect for hitting home runs and a wild outback perfect for adventuring. We will meet at the Park next week to take a peek at our garden and scooter together.  We look forward to heading back to the park after the break to see how the seasons have changed it.
At home, draw a map of the park together as a memory of our time!

Emerging interests
Wednesday was our first- ever, student-run science fair! Thank you Teddy and Isabella for inspiring the idea and working with Hayden, Bennett, Zoe and Maddie to help coordinate the day by making medals, setting up tables and welcoming participants.  All of the projects got me thinking about science and experimentation. Our class is reflecting on the experience and working on planning the next one!
At home, talk about what your child saw and heard at the science fair. Do they have a plan to do it again? What would they do the same or different?

Meeting discussions
Throughout the year, many students from the upstairs class have been wondering what life is like in the downstairs room. So, next week, we will be holding an open house of the downstairs class for our upstairs friends and siblings! Starting Wednesday, we will have 4 students from the upstairs class come and spend the day with us to experience our environment and our schedule.  The olders will guide their friends through the day and get a chance to learn with new people.
At home, ask your child what they will share about the classroom with the visitors.

This week was full of mathematical experiences! First, I had noted that during Deep Learning the students were doing a lot of imaginative play in the city with their characters going to Disneyland. I wondered if they wanted to create an amusement park in their city? “Of course! ” was the joyful response. So this week the provocation was to collaboratively create one of the rides. The steps were to create a blueprint, fill out a building permit and then build. For the blueprint, groups of students had graph-paper and measuring tapes and drew to scale what the size of each part of their ride would be. Each box on the graph paper equaled 1 inch. Some people kept their measurements in inches and some also translated to feet. Then, on their building permits they needed to state what materials they would need to build and the quantities and measurements of each- that way the store could be stocked for them.  On Friday, students then brought their blueprints to life by measuring and cutting and building. Teamwork and deep thinking!

The second intentional experience thinking mathematically happened as the students worked on the project of the class pet. We are at the stage of sending a survey out to families to see who can host the pet during the rest of the school year and during the summer. Students engaged in problem solving using calendars to figure out how many times each family would host with certain variables changing (how many students, teachers included or not). Be on the lookout next week for a survey from the class asking about your family’s willingness to host.
At home, talk about what you think bringing a pet home would be like and if there is special information you need from us in order to make that as smooth as possible.

Social Emotional
The science fair brought up lots of feelings about the word “best.” The original idea brought forth by the students was to have people vote for their favorite projects and everyone would get a red ribbon but the best one would get a blue ribbon. This didn’t sit well with everyone and yet there was also the desire to be recognized as having done an outstanding job. On the day of the science fair, there were feelings about how many people visited each project, or not, and that made it feel like certain projects were “better”  than others. So, the desire to be voted best still remained desirable to some, but the actuality of not receiving the feedback they wanted was hard. We will continue to have discussions about how we can structure the next science fair so that everyone feels like they got to share their project and get recognized by their peers, as well as the broader idea of competition and recognition.
At home, talk about your experiences with science fairs. Does it have to be a competition to be “real”?

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

***Field/Park Day – That Park
Scootering and Community garden plan is back!  The forecast is Sunny with a high of 72.  Please apply sunscreen at home.

***Supplies Needed

  1. open-ended dress up fabrics and clothes
  2. Tracing/Graph Paper, chipboard/cardboard, stencils/architect templates
  3. squeegees, white vinegar, sponges, buckets

***Community Field Trip – May 2nd
Please save the Date!

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 Toolbox

Parent Teacher Schedule

MON Apr 7

Please volunteer to cover a shift on Monday!  Thank you,click here to volunteer.

THUR Apr 10

FRI Apr 11

Please contact John Schwartz with any questions related to PTs and scheduling. We need your help with PT support on Thursdays.  Please click here to sign up.

PT RESOURCE: Phys Ed – Strength Training For kids
What are the benefits of strength training? via Mayo Clinic
Done properly, strength training can:
  • Increase your child’s muscle strength and endurance
  • Help protect your child’s muscles and joints from sports-related injuries
  • Improve your child’s performance in nearly any sport, from dancing and figure skating to football and soccer
Keep in mind that strength training isn’t only for athletes. Even if your child isn’t interested in sports, strength training can:
  • Strengthen your child’s bones
  • Help promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Help your child maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve your child’s confidence and self-esteem
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • APRIL TUITION is past Due – thank you!
  • TKG OFFICE HOURS – Friday Apr 11, confirm you attendance for location info
  • FUNDRAISER/CONTRIBUTION OPPORTUNITY Riviera Nails Day is this Wed.  Earn towards your contribution!

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 – Brain Function & Development

Eight Ways Of Looking At Intelligence
by Annie Murphy Paul/The Brilliant Blog

In “Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird,” poet Wallace Stevens takes something familiar—an ordinary black bird—and by looking at it from many different perspectives, makes us think about it in new ways.

With apologies to Stevens, I’d like to present eight ways of looking at intelligence—eight perspectives provided by the science of learning. A few words, first, about that term: The science of learning is a relatively new discipline born of an agglomeration of fields: cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience. Its project is to apply the methods of science to human endeavors—teaching and learning—that have for centuries been mostly treated as an art.

As with anything to do with our idiosyncratic and unpredictable species, there is still a lot of art involved in teaching and learning. But the science of learning can offer some surprising and useful perspectives on how we educate young people and how we guide our own learning. And so: Eight Ways Of Looking At Intelligence.  The First Way is here…

The Overprotected Kid - The Atlantic April 2014


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