FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 5/Year 2 (7 to 9 Class)

Week 5 Documentation & Info – 7 to 9 Class

All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“The most interesting information come from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.”
― Mark Twain
Going in to Week 6, it is clear that students and teachers are immersing themselves in the 5 tenets that guide our environment and planning:
  • Brain Function & Development – teachers participated in two staff development workshops this week; one with Alice Shippee on Tuesday and another with Kathy Gordon on Saturday. This time immediately influences how we implement our understanding of the brain in the tools we use in the classroom.
  • Whole Child & Family – Our monthly parent meeting focused on getting to know each other and supporting students’ independence and community building.  Our families are in our classroom everyday!  Don’t forget to map your heritage.
  • Constructivism – our MEAPs offerings at park day are coming in to the classroom for deeper learning and extension.  We’re not on a timeline but we are on a mission.
  • Cooperative Learning – Smores, our class pet, brings us together for collaboration and real-world experience.  We have submitted a sustaining grant proposal to receive money for Smores’ care!
  • Capacity Building – Perseverance, grit, resilience. We have created the opportunity to work through students’ personal and group challenges in our morning meeting – and throughout the day. Students feel safe enough to share their celebrations and hurts and others are responding with their support, experiences and perspectives.  This is a life skill that will serve our students beyond their time here.
See you at the Park tomorrow!  Forecast is Partly Cloudy with a high of 80°.   Don’t forget sunscreen! Here’s a snapshot of the week:
We continue our Contexts for Learning curriculum as it leads us towards using a number line as a model for addition. Along the way, we are building our capacity to use 10 as a friendly number by adding 10 to any number and then seeing if a pattern emerges as we continue adding 10. During Math we intentionally worked on the following skills and habits:
  • Measuring} Grade 2 » Measurement & Data CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.B.6
    Represent whole numbers as lengths from 0 on a number line diagram with equally spaced points corresponding to the numbers 0, 1, 2, …, and represent whole-number sums and differences within 100 on a number line diagram. Grade 3 » Measurement & Data CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.C.5.A A square with side length 1 unit, called “a unit square,” is said to have “one square unit” of area, and can be used to measure area.
  • Adding 10s} Grade 2 » Number & Operations in Base Ten CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.A.1.A
    100 can be thought of as a bundle of ten tens — called a “hundred.” CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.A.1.B The numbers 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine hundreds (and 0 tens and 0 ones).CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.A.2 Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.
TKG at Home Opportunity: play around the circle, a game we play in class to work on place value-start with a number, say 29, and then keep adding 10. What is the pattern? A special place to focus is the crossover into the hundred, 99…109.
We focused on an emerging student interest- a class newspaper. Zoe, Hayden, Bennett, Maddie and Ted are interested in developing this plan so this week, we talked about the standard parts of a newspaper, the roles people play in creating a newspaper,  and  the conventions of newspaper articles. Each student decided what role they will play: Bennett, Zoe and Hayden will be reporters and Ted and Maddie will be editors. The whole downstairs class owns the paper. Next week, we will begin to write some articles focusing on the lead paragraph of an article that details the who, what, where, when, why of the noteworthy news. During our Writing time, we intentionally worked on the following skills and habits:
  • Publishing}English Language Arts Standards » Writing » Grade 3 Production and Distribution of Writing:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
    With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • Editing}English Language Arts Standards » Writing » Grade 2 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. 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.
This week also highlighted our authors-at-work, Sydney, Aiel and Anna who are working on publishing their I Am books. The students are so excited to think deeply about the presentation of their ideas and how they want to convey their messages to their readers. They are stretching their independent learning with the support of their older peers. We can’t wait to see their work!
TKG At Home Opportunity: Make sure your sprouts see you reading and read the paper with your sprouts. Talk about some of the terminology used in ad sales!Artful Learning (contribution by Elle)
Drawing inspiration from their desire to start a weekly newspaper, this week we studied fonts and logo design. They learned what style of font would make a good headline versus typeface for an article. They discovered how different fonts influence the way a reader understands what they are seeing; that some attract more attention, others make us feel like we are being invited to a fancy party, while others have a more casual tone. After studying fonts and being inspired by modern and ancient designs, we worked on creating fonts, each for a different section of the newspaper, for example “Comics,” “Weather” or even the main title, “TKG Weekly.”Some students were interested in their doll making business and were busy creating a logo that captures their vision, as well as incorporates the names of the craftsmen. We are all excited for next week, as I will introduce the printmaking process and we will be creating a stamp of their design.

Our learning opportunities included:

  • Note-taking} English Language Arts Standards » Writing » Grade 3 CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • Using key, content specific vocabulary} English Language Arts Standards » Writing » Grade 1 Distribution of Writing: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.8
    With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • Presenting information) English Language Arts Standards » Anchor Standards » College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening Comprehension and Collaboration:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1
    Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. 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.
  • Synthesizing information} English Language Arts Standards » Anchor Standards » College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading Key Ideas and Details: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Complexity:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
  • Collaboration} English Language Arts Standards » Speaking & Listening » Grade 2 Comprehension and Collaboration:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1
    Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about relevant topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1.A
    Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • Creative thinking} There is no Common Core standard for Creative Thinking but supporters say that there is much opportunity for students and teachers to be creative within the standards.  At TKG, we work to create opportunities for students where they can choose to explore their stories and ideas in a safe place.
This week we solidified our anatomy learning about our sense organs-eyes, ears and mouth with two rich, interactive experiences. On Tuesday, the students got to teach each other all about the body part that they have been researching. Students shared the notes they have been collecting and the clay model they created as a way to teach their peers all they know about the ear, eye or mouth. It was so cool to see the “teachers” educating each other, using specific vocabulary, and to see the “students” excitedly writing notes so they could internalize the knowledge. Then, on Wednesday, the whole class worked together to bring the different body parts to life using fabric and their bodies. They had a few minutes to plan together who would act out which part of the eye, ear or mouth and then they had a few minutes of working in silence to arrange themselves in the anatomically correct positions. IT was amazing to see students finding ways to communicate non-verbally and then re-arrange themselves. The leaders shifted each time we acted out a new part, because the experts became the people who had done the most research on that part.
TKG At Home Opportunity: Ask your child to tell you what they remember about the eye, ear or mouth…Some friendly reminders:
  • Tuesday is Picture Day!  Students and Community will be photographed.  Contact Alice
  • Parent Check-In Conferences are this Friday.  Sign Up, here.
  • Mindful Moment with Lisette will be available on Thr Oct 23rd.
Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Elle Schwartz, Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
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TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***School Picture Day – Tues Oct 14th
We encourage dress and attitude that is natural and true!

***TKG Book Club – Wed Oct 29th, 7.00pm
We are reading: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Chapter: Whole-hearted Parenting.  Buy the book at the TKG Marketplace(click Reading List tab).  This is also an early pick up day (12noon)

***Classroom Materials Needed
Please donate clean tin cans for our outdoor classroom.  Drop off to Erin or Trish.

TKG Principals
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents provide the trellis on which students will build on their existing knowledge
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY, cognitive, physical and social/emotional capacities are connected – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE,we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice new learning
  • 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

PT Schedule for the week*
*Names in parentheses are working on-campus, outside the classroom on that day.

We have some openings week of Oct 27 – if you can make some time, please volunteer to cover. thank you!

Please contact Trish with any questions related to PT/PT experience and scheduling. PRINT the most current PT calendar here.

PT RESOURCE: Make Room for “What Ifs”
“What if” thinking can open the door to a world of opportunities, but what are the questions that lead to more authentic experiences: What if we invite students to solve real problems? What if the classroom doesn’t have walls? What if learning activities don’t always end with letter grades?”As PTs, we’re very comfortable with asking: “What is your plan?”  The next step is to remember to ask: “What are you going to do next?”  We have put a lot of effort in to creating a space where we are not bound to answers that garner an arbitrary reward or grades that put the learning outside of the student.  We will continue to work hard at finding the balance, between the developmental capacity of our students and scaffolding that helps them grow their knowledge.  So, please keep asking them and us, “What If…and what’s next…” Read about what happens when you make room for the what ifs…
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • November PT Schedule – Please check your November dates and arrange for subs or changes as needed.
  • Office Hours 10/21 @ 1pm @ GRC
  • Fundraiser Opportunity Week of Oct 27th @ The Counter

Thank you Families!  Contact Trish or Monica with any questions or to schedule meeting time.  The most updated calendar is online. PRINT the latest Official Calendar, here. 

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 – Constructivist Learning

Art Is Vital

The best education enables artistic voice and creative habits of mind.

It has been three years since the spectacular video of Lil Buck dancing to Yo-Yo Ma brought jookin—which draws from hip-hop, ballet, jazz, and modern dance—into mainstream consciousness. Ma would later call Buck a genius; and, he is. According to the theory of multiple intelligences, which posits nine distinct dimensions, Buck is clearly off the charts in intelligences like spatial, musical/rhythmic, and bodily/kinesthetic.

The theory was developed in 1983 by Howard Gardner, who is now the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard. It defines intelligence expansively, as the ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture; a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life. It’s a broader definition than many curricula address, and some of the multiple intelligences regularly go unstimulated and underdeveloped in traditional schools.

Read the article at The Atlantic.

Math Nerd or Bookworm?


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