“From the Beach” Summer Newsletter #3 – 9 to 11 Class

All Together - 9 to 11 Class
“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.”
― Rumi
 Hello Families!

We are looking forward to seeing you all very soon! Our community will once again be all together again- learning, growing, knowing.

I can’t wait to get this journey started with our 9 to 11 year old students! I have been thinking so much about who they are individually and who they are as a group. Can you even imagine the incredible-ness that is in store for us?! I can’t wait to hitch my wagon to these stars. Being with children with such creativity, heart and empowerment always expands who I am as a human. ¡Ándale!  Let’s do this!

What can you expect as this year begins?

This evening is for all parents (extended family and caregivers who are involved in supporting your student at TKG are welcome) in our adult community, both new and continuing, to come and kick off the school year. It is a night for us to connect, gather information about the school year to come and (re)establish your connection with your child’s teacher. We are stronger and more connected when the whole family is involved. This is a parent-participation event(required). 

BRING: a warm handshake or hug, a collaborative spirit and your unique self

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL (parents participate – it is a short day)
It is our TKG tradition to begin each year with whole community activities that inspire connection.  The intention is to get lots of oxytocin, the pro-social neuropeptide (hormone/neurotransmitter),flowing. This boost our togetherness right from the beginning!

We will meet together as a whole group in the courtyard, have a short group meeting, then head down to fellowship hall for our opening ceremony and pillowfight. Following that, children and families will tour classrooms and establish their relationship (we will start the work of dreaming up our space!) to all the learning spaces. There will be time for nourishing our bodies with food during our time together.

BRING: regular size pillows (with covers but without zippers or embellishments) for you and your child, snack for yourself and your child/ren

1ST FULL DAY OF SCHOOL (parents do not participate)
Courtyard will be open starting at 8:45 for student and parent connection. At 9:00, when you hear the chimes, parents and children will give good-bye hugs or high-fives and students will take their backpacks with them to their designated area. Teachers and co-teachers will take the students to their rooms and begin the first official day of school, with both Open Flow and Deep Learning parts of the day. We will talk more about what the specifics are of these times at Parent Orientation but for now:

Open Flow Time
Focused learning in Math, Reading, Writing, Science…
Plentiful outside movement time and snack

Deep Learning
Personal Project time-  a.k.a. Deep Learning. This is open exploration time in which students choose their own paths of engagement. Our outside and inside spaces are available for students to engage in.
Community Project Time- focused, project based experiences in science, social studies and art

At 3:00 teachers will walk students out to the courtyard to say good-bye…and for students to reconnect with you. The play yard is closed to support your transition.

If your child is needing more support in the morning with separating in these first few days, you are welcome to stay for a bit and then transition out when it feels right. Also, if your child is needing an earlier pick-up due to being tired with the long day (all of us will be transitioning to our school day schedule after a few months of summer!), we will call to see if it’s possible for you to pick-up. If you can’t pick up, we will offer soothing alternatives and spaces for your child.

BRING: A backpack filled with these goodies…

  • a snack (packed separately from the lunch)
  • a lunch with fresh options – avoid refined sugar and heavily processed foods
  • water bottle
  • sunscreen (if not using TKG brand)

Please remember to keep our environment commercial free: no merchandise or clothing with characters, brands or sports teams.

2ND FULL DAY OF SCHOOL & DANCE PARTY (parents welcome to participate from drop-off to 9am)
Courtyard will be open starting at 8:45 for our 1st dance party. Come groove with us to get the oxytocin flowing with some free-style dancing. You can also stay from 9:00-9:15 for our organized dance experience! At 9:15, you’ll hear the chimes, all will give last squeezes and students will make their way to their designated area. Teachers and co-teachers will lead the students to their indoor spaces for a day full of connection and settling.  Pick-up will be in the courtyard at 3:00.


Lena Garcia, School Builder/9 to 11 Classroom Lead Teacher
Trish Valdez, School Business
Monica Evangelist, Board President
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TKG Info

Tending the Garden

Green Folders – Green folders are way to continue the learning at home.  We offer information, tools and worksheets to help students practice discreet skills.  Students will be taking them home, bringing them back to class and are welcome to add their own resources.  We hope you enjoy the offerings and remember, the work is not graded or reviewed for assessment.  Folders will be made available at Orientation night, at cost.

Weekly Newsletters – You’ll start receiving our weekly newsletter soon!  Please make time to be present when you read about learning experiences in our class, support or materials we may need and business items. You can access previous and other class newsletters, here.

Community Resources – Still a work in progress but look here for supplies list, TKG Calendar, etc.

TKG Principles
  • CONSTRUCTIVISM: teachers and parents support relevant learning & creativity
  • WHOLE CHILD + FAMILY: cognitive, physical and social/emotional health is valued – families & caregivers are our partners
  • BRAIN SCIENCE: we are sensory learners with existing neural pathways and we can help develop and practice positive learning experiences
  • CAPACITY BUILDING: nurturing creative thinkers who are encouraged to solve problems that serve our community
  • COOPERATIVE LEARNING: small groups, low ratios, mixed ages
Parent Teacher Info

Parent Teacher Toolbox

PT Schedules – Begin Sept 28th
You should have your classroom schedule by now – please contract Trish if you have not received your schedule or need more information.

PT Retreat 2015 – September 26th (for all planning to work in the classroom or park day)
9:00am to 1:00pm.  You must attend, the entire day, in order to start your PT schedule.  Contact Lena with questions.

Health & Safety – Background Checks/TB
Please begin the process for your background check if needed (new PTs only). You’ll need to take this application with you.   Google “live scan + your city/location” to locate where to go. Even if you have done it for another organization, TKG needs their own report. Also, please update your TB. Contact Trish with questions.

PT RESOURCE: Helping Students Transition Back To School
Are there blow-outs or big feelings happening? Don’t worry, it’s not unusual for kids to need a little extra help adjusting to the start of school. Here are some things to remember:
1. Reach out and make a special effort to connect playfully.
2. Facilitate bonding with the other kids.
3. Remind students to visit their family pictures.
4. Invite students to find calm at the peace table.
5. Encourage laughter. It will help release anxiety in a safe way (but never by tickling because it activates the brain differently and could possibly induce stress).

Read the Aha!Parenting tool that inspired this resource.

Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

OFFICIAL CALENDAR Change – the following dates are now early pick up days: Sep 30 (was Oct 1), Dec 2 (was the 4th), Jan 13 (from the 15th).

Board 2015-2016 – The process for selecting new board members to open positions will begin in September. Being on the Board means that you are willing to dedicate time and resources toward growing enrollment, raising money and making governance decisions. If you are interested in learning more, contact Monica.

September Invoices – Please check your email for September invoices at the beginning of next week.

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 – Constructivism

A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D.

There is an increasingly stark contrast between the regimented and demanding environment of the traditional classroom and the highly stimulating digital world. Technology is part of our world and it is up to us to help our children understand it and use it well. The vivid and exciting video world provides instant gratification making traditional school seem even more dull. This is one of the many reasons why our classrooms are hands-on: we believe an interactive classroom powered by an emerging curriculum develops students who are ready to enter the real world with relevant skills like collaboration, perseverance and adaptability.
*   *   *

ATTENTION deficit hyperactivity disorder is now the most prevalent psychiatric illness of young people in America, affecting 11 percent of them at some point between the ages of 4 and 17. The rates of both diagnosis and treatment have increased so much in the past decade that you may wonder whether something that affects so many people can really be a disease.

And for a good reason. Recent neuroscience research shows that people with A.D.H.D. are actually hard-wired for novelty-seeking — a trait that had, until relatively recently, a distinct evolutionary advantage. Read the article @TheNewYorkTimes

Constructivism - Classrooms for the Real World

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