FROM UNDER OUR BIG TREE: Week 11/Year 2 (7 to 9 Class)


All Together - 7 to 9 Class
“I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.”
― Chief Joseph
Happy Thanksgiving.We hope you have had fun, adventure, love and gratitude this holiday.  The season brings us much to be thankful for.  We are so thankful for you – our extended family.

Connections: Gratitude in Action
What a lovely week we had before vacation, getting us ready to be in the spirit of gratitude! Thank you to everyone who helped out, contributed or came to our first Gratitude Fest on Friday. In preparation, on Thursday, with the help of Saundi, Erin and Trish, students had an opportunity to create components of the meal for Friday. Children peeled, chopped, mixed, measured, stirred and cleaned. All of that resulted in corn bread muffins, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, fruit salad and Chex mix gifts for the church.  Then, on Friday, our feast started off with a celebration of student theater with 2 productions of “the duck song” and “the runaway pancake” and then the children reading their I Am books. As each child got up on a chair to read their creation, it was a powerful moment to honor growth, both in skill and confidence and celebrate the incredible humans that we call our TKG family.

Field day: Whose land is this anyways?
Before our Thanksgiving break, we spent the morning thinking about what native and non-native, invasive and non-invasive means as we thought about the “prickly plants” taking over the park. We used drawing as a means of thinking by drawing the observing the plants carefully and drawing how the landscape of Hess park has changed as a result of these new plants. Then, music was introduced as a way to capture an invasive species, from both the invaded and invader perspectives. We danced in the sand volleyball court of lower Hess park, what we call “the outback” as a way to feel with our bodies the relationship in that eco-system. Then, we did some graph making in an effort to track the different plant species we could find to actually see whether the diversity of the plant life at Hess is diminishing. Once back in the classroom, students continued thinking about native and non-native by writing poetry about the prickly plant, creating signs that might be posted in reference to the plant, thus stretching their ability to take multiple perspectives and think about an issue from multiple viewpoints. Next week, we will connect these concepts to the story of Thanksgiving that moves beyond a celebration that involves turkey and football to a question of, “whose land is this?”
TKG@home, talk about the meaning of native, non-native, invasive and non-invasive. How have you experienced these words personally?

Math: How do we learn about subtraction without “losing” anything of ourselves?

We worked diligently on our project-based unit revolving around the relationship of subtraction and addition. As a rigorous unity of study, there were multiple opportunities for students to work together to construct knowledge and opportunities for students to work with a teacher to scaffold their developing understandings. Every student was at a challenge point and students were supported to find ways to manage the inevitable frustrations that can accompany challenge. What tools were offered or sought out at these moments?  Water or snack breaks, flops on a pillow and finding laughter. Then, students were refreshed to continue on in pursuit of their goal of figuring out how subtraction works and how subtraction is related to addition. It was a great example of how at TKG we seek to support students’ cognitive growth through rigorous academics while also supporting their ability to care for their mind, body and heart. A way we do this is by encouraging the use of multiple tools to handle difficulties, building their repertoire of self-care, self-regulatory skills as well as the resiliency and “grit” that we all know is so important.

During Math we intentionally worked on the following skills and habits:

  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.OA.A.1 Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.B.5 Fluently add and subtract using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Next week, we are going to be thinking a lot about Smores. Now that we have had him for at least 6 months, it is time for us to do some intensive research about what he will need from us as he grows. How much food? Cage size? We are going to be doing some work in math about perimeter and area to determine adequate home sizes and do some price comparisons on which hay is the best.
TKG@home, you can begin searching the internet for information about the best care for guinea pigs so your child has some information to begin with. Also, talk about how you decide which information from the internet to listen to. Do you just take the advice of the first sight that pops up or do you do more research?Love,

Lena Garcia, School Builder/7 to 9 Classroom
Elle Schwarz, Co-Teacher, 7 to 9 Classroom
Erin Levin, 7 to 9 Room Parent
Shutterfly Info Site: photos, contact information, announcements
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

***First Friday Dance Party – 12/5 ’til 9.30
Join the fun!  Did you know that dancing blends cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception.’

***Monthly Parent Meeting – 12/11 7pm @ TKG
Please contact Lena with any questions.

***Field Trip #3 – 1/16
Please contact Jennifer Ceci with any questions.

TKG Principles
  • 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
THURSDAY – (EL/AM Breezeway)
FRIDAY (AS-project, ME-BW/Admin, RD-AM/PM, TV-Admin)

PRINT the most current PT Calendar, here!  Please check your Jan-Jun calendar and make any changes asap.

PT RESOURCE: Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain?
Dancing improves brain function on a variety of levels.Two recent studies show how different types of practice allow dancers to achieve peak performance by blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum. Through regular aerobic training that incorporates some type of dance at least once a week anyone can maximize his or her brain function.
  • Practicing a dance move like ‘spinning’ from childhood reshapes the cerebellum
  • A new study has found that dancing may help improve your balance and make you less dizzy.
  • Visualizing Movements can Improve Muscle Memory
  • Synchronizing the Cerebrum and Cerebellum Creates Superfluidity
Come to the dance party and get you body moving!  Read the post @PsychologyToday
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

  • Amazon Reports will be available next week.  Contact Lori with questions.
  • Parent & Board Meetings – Dec 4&5. This is an optional opportunity to chat about about any school-related questions or concerns, specifically: feedback on your experiences with and time requirements related to your parent job(s) and PT schedule year to date.
  • Office Hours 12/11.  Save the date for some tea with us!

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 – Whole Child & Family

Kids Get Enough Tech Outside of School—Shouldn’t the Classroom Offer Them Something Different?
Annie Murhpy Paul//The Brilliant Report

At TKG, we understand that technology has a place in the real-world but we are making every effort to nurture the value that technology enhances learning rather being the provider of learning.

One thousand hours: That’s approximately the number of instructional hours required of U.S. middle school and high school students each year.

Four thousand hours: That’s approximately the number of hours of digital media content U.S. youths aged 8 to 18 absorb each year. (If you doubt that’s possible, be sure you’re taking into account the near-universal practice of “media multitasking,” or consuming content on more than one platform at a time, as when a teenager listens to a song on his MP3 player while scrolling through Facebook on his smartphone while watching a video on his laptop.)

Parents, teachers, and education writers, myself included, think a lot about what our students are taught in school, the debate over the Common Core being just the latest example. But we think very little about what they’re taught in the blue glow of their screens. READ ON at TheBrilliantReport

Whole Family - Too much Tech

Comments are closed.