Weekly Newsletter #11: Gratitude Feels Good (Evergreens Class)

Evergreens Togetherness

Gratitude Feels Good


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In Education News – Why wrong answers are so good
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“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

With Thanksgiving here, I’ve been reflecting a lot about gratitude and the big changes that I have made this year. Moving to a new state, community, and school has been a struggle. I feel so fortunate that I have moved into such a welcoming environment. My experience with teaching The Evergreens has been just as heart warming. It’s a unique thing to find smart, socially conscious, and kind children. I look forward to teaching them everyday and they continue to surprise me with their knowledge and articulation.

In fact, they have also surprised The National Guard as well. In September we spoke about heroes. With all of the natural disasters our country was facing it was a topic that came up a lot. We decided to write “thank you” notes to some modern day heroes that we saw on the news, in the papers, and heard about on the radio. Milo wrote to The National Guard and thanked them for their courageous efforts. They responded:

“Thank you so much Natalie.  The Knowing Garden is evidently an amazing place.  Milo is proof. We truly appreciate his letter as it made us all smile!  We did have a very tough hurricane season so Milo’s letter put all we do in perspective.”

I am grateful for being a part of such an amazing place and thank you for welcoming me and continuing to make my days here feel special.

With gratitude always,

Natalie Stone

The Evergreens recently finished a unit of study in math on Volume. The progression of this concept began with simply understanding the concept of volume and then quickly moved on to calculating volume by counting unit squares that would fit inside a shape, and finally to using formulas to calculate the volume of rectangular prisms (boxes).

Going back to our room renovation project, I invited the students to use their new knowledge to figure out how much space the old furniture would take up in a moving van. The box-shaped pieces of furniture were quickly calculated, which left just the two large sofas. But what to do when they aren’t shaped like a pure box? One group decided to imagine that the sofa was put in a large box and then subtracted out the space above the seat that wouldn’t “count”. The other group imagined breaking the sofa into several different boxes and then added those amounts together. Then they compared notes to see if they got similar answers.  It’s fascinating to see the creative problem solving of our budding mathematicians in action!

In gratitude,
Jen Ceci

Natalie Stone, Evergreens Teacher
Jen Ceci, Evergreens Teacher
Lena Garcia, Head of Education – Teacher Mentor
Trish Valdez, School Business Manager
Shannon Minor, Board President
Facebook (private group), Community Forum
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Why does water expand when it freezes- naked science scrapbook
Illustrated and animated:  molecular level water


  • Celebration of Learning (Passion Project Expos/FACEtime demos), Sat 9 Dec 9am. You won’t want to miss this first quarter expo on all the fabulous learning we have been doing!
  • TKG/SBKC Playgroup. Starts Monday! Every Monday and Wednesday beginning November 27 through February 7, after school. Click here for more details and to register.
  • Book Club, Friday 3.15-4.15pm. We are covering chapters 5 & 6 of “Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children.” You are always welcome to join!
Passion Project Studio


PT Schedule – Nov 6-10
MON – Rossfeld, Bottura, Assad, Sclafani, LaCharite, Tuccinardi, Correia, Wardwell
TUE – Barsha, King, Metzger
WED – Dokmanovich
THR – Williams, Metzger
FRI – Bottura

  • Make Up Hours. We are looking for 3 PTs to cover: full day and am (shifts can be split)
  • Facilities Team (Handy people) Meeting. Sat 2 Dec. Contact Alice with any questions. We still need someone to drive a large easle to Venice.
When Al Marutsuchi came to visit!
Socially Responsible Thanksgiving Practices


  • ADMIN Requirement. Please complete student permission to participate in Google Classrooms. Please review and complete this form immediately. Contact Trish with any questions.
  • School Fundraiser. Wed 6 Dec, all day. Join us at Riviera Nails to get some self-care and support TKG. Invites your friends too!
  • A Night of Science & Literacy. Dec 8. A local fundraiser featuring Andy Weir, the best-selling author of The Martian. Click here for more information (not a TKG event).
Working at Westside Food Bank
SIGN UP: After-School Care


In Education News: Capacity Building

Why Teachers (and parents) Need To Know The Wrong Answers

*   *   *
By Anya Kamenetz/NPREd

Think about our planet for a second. Earth has an elliptical — oval-shaped — orbit. That means we’re closer to the sun for one part of the year and farther away another part of the year.
Does that fact explain why it’s hotter in the summer and colder in the winter?
Lots of kids think it does. Lots of adults think so too. And they’re wrong.*

Philip Sadler is both a professor of astronomy and the director of the science education department at Harvard University, and he is obsessed with wrong answers like these.

“Students are not empty vessels,” he says. “Students are full of all kinds of knowledge, and they have explanations for everything.” From birth, human beings are working hard to figure out…

Click here for the *

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