“From Under Our Big Tree” Newsletter: #12 – 7-9 Class (Dec 6 2015)


Weekly Newsletter #12 – 7 to 9 Class
All Together - Community
“You’ve got to know what you want. This is central to acting on your intentions. When you know what you want, you realize that all there is left then is time management. You’ll manage your time to achieve your goals because you clearly know what you’re trying to achieve in your life.”
-Patch Adams
Commitment & Perseverance

Saludos amigos y amigas! Can you believe it’s December? I must admit, I’m still struggling to accept that we only have a few weeks left of 2015. Naturally as this year ends, a new year approaches and I begin to look forward to my hopes and goals for 2016. This week sprouts have also been thinking about their own personal goals.As a class we talked about what it means to set goals for ourselves. Tillie said that “a goal is something that you want to do (accomplish).”

Aiel agreed and added that it is “important for a goal to be realistic so that you can actually meet your goal.” As we all chatted we realized that in order to set a goal we must first identify what we want, and then come up with a plan on how we can achieve it. With this in mind we challenged ourselves to set some personal classroom goals.

During writing workshop Lucas, Anna, Sydney, Aiel, Jaiden, and Tillie all set their mind to finishing their non-fiction book before our winter break. Their plan is to meet this big goal by setting smaller goals every day. For example Lucas said today “my goal will be to finish editing and publishing my “Caring for Pitbulls” page.” Anna’s goal for the day was to finish editing and publishing her “table of contents and the first page of my book on snow monkeys.” Alex, Maiya, and Mia have finished their non-fiction book, and set their goals to gather and organize their research for their biographies. Alex is researching Albert Einstein, Maiya is researching Abraham Lincoln and Mia is planning on interviewing her cousin for her biography.

Throughout the week some sprouts also set goals for math, journaling, reading and personal project time. When a goal was met, many students chose to celebrate their accomplishment by announcing it to the class, high five-ing friends, and/or by doing a little happy dance. Oh the beauty of planning, persevering and accomplishing!

Con amor,


Yvette Fenton, 7 to 9 Lead Teacher
Autum Fawn, 7 to 9 Co-Teacher
Lena Garcia, School Builder, 7-9 Class Mentor and Collaborator
Trish Valdez, School Business Manager
Monica Evangelist, Board President
Google Calendar: Official Events
Shutterfly: Photos only
Facebook Group: Private forum for parent chatter
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube
TKG Info
Tending the Garden

Classroom Needs to build working Heart Models:Stethoscope, human heart models, wide mouth jars, straws, balloons, anything you think we can safely experiment with (we’re exploring pumps and valves!)

Brain Function/Relationships Workshop – Thurs Dec 10 @ 9am: We built this community to facilitate relationships (and not just among children). This workshop will be a short time to action team/trust building with other parents and to get tools on how to nurture relationships in our busy lives.

Holiday Celebration – Fri Dec 18th @ 9am: Join us for our latest learning presentations and then share community time at a Holiday Brunch! Details to follow. Check with Lori (room parent) on any organizational questions.

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

PTs This Week
Michele, Lori
FRIDAY – Shannon

How to Make Family Life Awesome with Carrie Contey – Mon 14 Dec 7pm @ TKG: She’s coming to TKG for a FREE workshop! Contact Renee with any questions. Register, here.

Stay & Play! On tuesdays, we have created the opportunity for you to bond with all the sprouts in our PE time! It starts before 9am so that you can join before you have to leave for the day. Stay this Tuesday!

Parenting Support Group – Wed 16 Dec, 9:30am: Facilitated by Renee, this resource is available for you to take care of your self – heart and mind. RSVP to Renee.

PT RESOURCE: Why does TKG have an outdoor classroom day, again?
The research shows that exposing students to nature could yield extraordinary results. Environment-based education significantly raises motivation levels, improving ‘student achievement.’ Why do schools insist on taking outdoor time away?! Look up Richard Louv and the Children & Nature Network to support our outdoor curriculum. Read more about OUTDOOR LEARNING.
Admin Announcements
From the TKG Office

Admin Office Hours, Thrs 9:00am @ TKG: We are hosting a resource workshop on Relationship Building – come join for the first 30 minutes! After that, we’ll be giving a tour of our school to prospective families!

End of Year Appeal (Tax Donations): Please count us in for your tax deductions. Appeal forms are located on the Green Monster.
$20 covers one field day MEAPS kit.
$50 will help us add ride-ons to our outdoor classroom
$200 guarantees a co-teacher for one day

December Holiday (No School): Dec 21 – Jan 1

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 – Capacity Building

Why It’s Important to Teach America’s Flaws in History Class

One of TKG’s tenets is that education is not in the rote memorization of facts but instead the opportunity to practice (through the experience of success and failure) decision-making, to learn how to see the broad picture and to get practice honing the skills related to evaluation. The author in this article offers that we teach history so that we can understand motive and values and practice these skills outlined above. These skills can contribute to the overall betterment of civilization and evaluating the whole story will improve our outcomes.
*   *   *

…My dad isn’t alone in his hobby. Across America and certainly across the world, there are plenty of people whose enjoyment of history becomes enriched with the accumulation of facts. This is a good thing. It’s important for people to possess a foundational understanding of their forebearers and ideas of who did what when. To know these things is like memorizing verses of the neverending song of humanity. It also makes cleaning up in Trivial Pursuit a whole lot easier.

All that said, there’s a difference between history as a hobby and history as an academic study. For what seems like time immemorial various factions have squabbled over the purposes and goals of history curricula. Jacoba Urist covers many of these — including recent dust-ups in Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma — in a piece published this week in The Atlantic.

Urist makes several key points that ought to be expounded upon. First, it’s important to note that despite it being the loudest current battle, conflicts surrounding the role of history in schools cannot and should not be summarized in such base terms as patriotism vs. cynicism. READ MORE…

Veterans In the News
If you would like to unsubscribe please click here.


Comments are closed.