“From Under Our Big Tree” Weekly Newsletter-Acorns: Week #21 (5 to 7 class)

All Together - 5 to 7 Class
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

We are Explorers

As mathematicians we have been working on “Rainbow to Ten” and finding all the number combinations that make ten.  Through art, games, and fun hands-on activities we are starting to see the patterns and memorize the combinations.  You can support by asking your child questions like “There are 6 apples, how many more to make 10?”

As engineers marble runs and cup stacking continue to excite and challenge us. Have you seen the creations?

As readers and writers we are digging into adjectives, specifically color words.  On Friday I brought in some honeycomb and we used our senses to describe this sticky, waxy, yummy experience.  Of course Charlotte’s Web and learning about nocturnal animals drive our language interests.  You can support by using descriptive words in everyday conversations as well as encourage richer vocabulary and challenge them to find other ways to describe their thinking.

As humans we recently shared our “growth edges” and will continue to discuss what we are working on as individuals and as a class, and how we can support each other in growing and learning together.  Because children often think adults can do everything, you can support by sharing your growth edges with your child and discuss how you can support each other.

As environmental stewards we are collecting items that can be used for building, art, and our innovation lab time.  Please continue to bring in small items like caps, lids, straws, etc.


Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, Lead Teacher “Acorn” Classroom/Founding Teacher
Dawn Smith, Co-Teacher, “Acorn” Classroom
Lena Garcia, School Builder/5-7 Class Mentor and Collaborator
Trish Valdez, School Business Manager
Monica Evangelist, Board President
Google Calendar: Official Events
Shutterfly: For Photos Only
Facebook Group: Private Forum for Parent Chatter
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pintrest/Youtube
TKG Info

Tending the Garden

100th Day CELEBRATION, 29 Feb 1:30pm (optional for parents)
We’re bringing back the PILLOW FIGHT – to celebrate our 100th day of school! Sprouts can bring their pillows in the morning if they want (regular sleeping pillows work best, avoid hard decorative pillows or cases with embellishments). Siblings welcome if they have an adult who is available to support.

Parent Teacher Conferences March 17 & March 18 – Sign Ups are now available for teacher conferences. Please contact Michelle with any questions.

Supplies Needed! Here are some items we could use in our classroom:

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

Mindful Moment -Mon 29 Feb, time TBD
Save the date for another self-care opportunity facilitated by L!

Community Movement – Tue 1 Mar @ Drop Off
Just like when we boogie, we invite you to stay and play with the sprouts during “open” P.E. with Coach Max. Thank you Max!

PT RESOURCE: How do Parents Around the World Support Education
Being ready for the real world means awareness that our village extends beyond TKG…beyond the SouthBay…beyond our borders. Try this interactive experience to see how you align with some of the parenting values around the world.

Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Admin Office Hours, Wed 1-3pm
Hey! We switched it up this week…stop by for a coffee chat (coffee not required) on Wed instead of Thurs this week.

Parent & Board Meetings – March 3rd and 4th
Please sign up at this link. We will distribute/discuss re-enrollment paperwork for the 2016-17 school year and check in on the business aspects of your experience at TKG.

Parent Social – Sat 5 Mar
You can still sign up. We really value this un-structured time with you!

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 – Social Justice

Segregation Now: The Resegregation of America’s Schools

This Tuesday, TKG is joining up with Artzone 4 Kids and Manhattan Beach Nursery School to launch an organization designed to help educators and community get a little more comfortable with conversations about social equality in the Southbay. It’s a small group, open to anyone, with its heart in discovery, openness and change. This article was chosen as a way to step in to a space where our personal experience is our compass.
*   *   *
by Nikole Hannah-Jones/ProPublica

In recent years, a new term, apartheid schools—meaning schools whose white population is 1 percent or less, has entered the scholarly lexicon. While most of these schools are in the Northeast and Midwest, some 12 percent of black students in the South and nearly a quarter in Alabama now attend such schools—a figure likely to rise as court oversight continues to wane. In 1972, due to strong federal enforcement, only about 25 percent of black students in the South attended intensely segregated schools in which at least nine out of 10 students were racial minorities. In districts released from desegregation orders between 1990 and 2011, 53 percent of black students now attend such schools, according to an analysis by ProPublica.

Read more of this article @ProPublica
Read more about TKG’s Social Equity Project
Explore equitable school experiences for our nation’s children

ProPublica: Segregation Now
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