“From Under Our Big Tree” Weekly Newsletter – Week #22 (Community-wide)

All Together - Community
“I guess you could call it a “failure”, but I prefer the term “learning experience”.” 
― Andy Weir, The Martian


Our fieldtrip to the Columbia Space Center in Downey was…mind blowing. There were so many times that students and adults could be heard murmuring, “Whoa!” “No way!” “I’ve learned more today about space than all the years I spent in school studying this stuff!”

We had a chance to watch an awesome movie called Journey to the Stars, interact with hands on exhibits and collaborate in mixed aged Robotics Lab to code a Lego robot to simulate a Mars mission. See our Orbital Basics experiment, here! 

Knowing that our Thinker Fair will be coming up in May (please note the date has changed), here are the topics that stood out to students when they were interviewed during the trip. These topics will make their way into whole community projects at the park and in the lower courtyard. Maybe in addition, they will be the spark for your Acorn, Nature Grower or Redwood to go deeper!

  • The stars are older than the universe
  • Inside of each of us, there is a teaspoon full of the elements that were around when the galaxy was formed
  • Millions of stars
  • Earth is part of a cosmic family
  • There is a stellar nursery
  • White dwarf
  • Aurora
  • Nebulous
  • Earth Will be gone one day
  • Spacesuits are painful
  • On Jupiter we weigh more
  • You can make your own solar system
  • You can learn about the stars
  • There are more stars than humans
  • Hard to land a space shuttle
  • Red spot when a star dies
  • When a star is born it’s in a birth cloud
  • There are tiny red stars
  • Stars are hot
  • Our sun is not the biggest or the brightest star
  • The sun will explode
  • The solar system has more things than originally thought
  • It takes patience to be an astronaut
  • A star can be born and a star can die
  • Paper airplanes are fun
  • The astronaut suit weighs a lot

There are some wonderful learning opportunities for your sprout to explore at the Space Center. Check out their upcoming events, including a free STEM fair in April!

Thank you parents for bringing your families to explore new things with us. We love our community days, like field trips, and we look forward to our next adventure. Some parents have asked if we could alternate field trip days (because Fridays don’t work for some families) so, when we plan for next year, we will consider your requests and opinions. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, please send an email, mention it at a green monster moment or stop by an office hours.

We love heading out into the community to learn more about our world – with you!

With Gratitude,
Team TKG

Lena Garcia, School Builder, 9-11 Teacher, Teacher Mentor and Collaborator
Michelle Goldbach-Johnson, 5-7 Lead Teacher, Founding Teacher
Yvette Fenton, 7 to 9 Lead Teacher
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

  • 100th Day Celebration, 1:30pm Mon 29 Feb – We’re having a TKG pillow bash for sprouts and parents (and siblngs who have a parent available to support). Sprouts can bring their pillows in the morning if they want. OPTIONAL for parents. Regular sleeping pillows work best (avoid hard decorative pillows or cases with embellishments).
  • Community Movement with Max, Drop-off Tue 1 MarJoin our brain boost and connect with your students!
  • Southbay Equity Project, 7pm Wed 9 Mar at MBNS. Join our on-going conversation and self-discovery around social justice and equality.
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

MONDAY – SW, MW (am), CL (pm)
FRIDAY – KW, SM, GB (cooking lesson)

Self-Care Opportunity – Mindful Moment, 1:00pm Mon 29 Feb(before pillow fight) Lori will facilitate a meditation starting with a grounding exercise then we will practice filling in our aura with a Golden Sun (read this resource).

More Self-Care! Riviera Nails Fundraiser, All Day Wed 2 MarEarn tuition credit and give yourself a little boost. All good things!

PT RESOURCE: Tell Our Sprouts Your Best Science Stories
Science doesn’t have to be heavy. Perhaps science, like food, tastes best when it’s homegrown. Not feeling the science bug? Read this inspiring story about when personal science stories make all the difference…@PBS.org
Admin Announcements

From the TKG Office

Parent & Board Meetings – Please be sure to sign up for a meeting time to discuss: business aspects of TKG, re-enrollment steps and anything on your mind. Please use this link!

Parent Social – Sat 5 Mar
We hope you can join us for this bounce-ful adventure!

Enrollment Information Night – Thr 10 Mar, 6:30pm – Please invite your friends and family to learn more about TKG! Register on our official website.

Visit Shutterfly and check out more of your class’ photos! You may need to be added, so just request permission and we will take care of it asap. Friends and family are also welcome on shutterfly and our weekly newsletters.

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

A view of the Milky Way like you’ve never seen before

The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope in Chile (APEX for short) captured this super-panoramic image of our home galaxy, mapping the full view of the galactic plane as seen from the Southern Hemisphere in unprecedented detail. Your sprout already has some information about Earth, our galaxy and our universe – this is a great time to help them build knowledge and interest in space and science!
*   *   *
by Sean Greene/Los Angeles Times

The 40-foot telescope views the sky in sub-millimeter wavelengths, which are between infrared light and radio waves and are invisible to the eye. That allows astronomers to observe the coldest regions of the universe, where gas and dust are only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero, as well as the regions where stars are born.

The European Southern Observatory released the map to celebrate the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy project. The image spans an area of sky 140 degrees long by 3 degrees wide — four times larger than the project’s first map. Read More@LATimes

The Milky Way!


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