Archive for November, 2016

The Beauty of Partner Reading

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At every moment of the school day, one will observe that every child embodies the KMS values – The child being a competent citizen of the world; the child showing awareness of the environment; the child displaying sincere care for his/her relationships; and the child learning through hands-on exploration.

One of many ways that we incorporate academics into these values is through partner reading and story-telling. The Upper Elementary students have taken leadership in reading their “Just Right” books to the Kindergarteners. Not only does this relationship-building process foster confidence in the older students, it also reinforces the reading skills they are practicing as they aspire toward fluency. By the same token, the Kindergarteners get to build important reading skills through active listening, asking questions, and making inferences.


Tallulah reads to Hazel and Presley.


Niko proudly displays her competency as she reads to Lorenzo.


Abril explores one of Esther’s Just Right books from her book bin while Adelia listens to Esther read.


Ruby and Eva share the bean bag while Ruby reads aloud from her book.


Billie shares one of her favorite non-fiction books with Cyrus.

“A Building So High it Reaches to the Moon”

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“A Building So High it

Reaches to the Moon”Kiran

Engineering, Building and Design in Pumpkin Land (Preschool)

by Carlota Arteaga and Alden Fletcher


This Summer, a group of Pumpkins (Preschoolers) were immersed in a building investigation.  It started with a simple but intentional question, “What is the tallest building in San Francisco?” That one question led them to an collaborative months-long investigation into the language of building, a process that touches on a multitude of disciplines.  The intensive documentation of this process is a nine page PDF, found here

Sharing in Peach Palace

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Pallavi: “Pallavi holding Josephine’s hand” (smiles)


Pallavi: “There you go, cereal”

Josephine: “Thank you!”

Pallavi: “Pallavi sharing cereal. Give Josephine cereal.”

Pre-K Trip to La Victoria Panaderia

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Last week the Pre-K Students went on a fieldtrip to make Pan de Muerto at La Victoria Panaderia in honor of Dia de los Muertos! We followed up making our delicious bread with lunch and playing in a local park. We love our neighborhood, the Mission!

Zooming in on the “Language” of Art

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Alden and I have been having a lot of fun working together – with the children – to investigate how the concepts of Language Arts relate to the concepts of Visual Arts. For example, during Writer’s Workshop, I teach and encourage the children to zoom in on just one small moment from their lives and to write a story about it. Alden teaches the same group of students how the concept of zooming in can be a applied to creating self-portraits. Moreover, just as the students are given various “tools” to write stories, Alden provides tools for the children to do what many visual artists do: make a study of something that interests them. In this case, the study focuses on drawing one’s self-portrait:


In Writer’s Workshop, Billie would normally zoom in on one small moment and write about it. Below, Billie zooms in on one feature of her face – the eye – and carefully draws the details accordingly:



In Writer’s Workshop, after the young writers have spent up to an hour writing, they come together to share, comment, and reflect on each another’s stories. In the Atelier with Alden, the young artists do the same with their illustrations:



In Writer’s Workshop, we always find time to kick back and enjoy light hearted conversations about each other’s stories. In the Atelier, we love to do the same!


Why do you love San Francisco?

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A beautiful discussion about our beloved city in the Pumpkins (Preschool):

Rylan: Why do you have the San Francisco map?

Torben: Why? Oh, well, because I love San Francisco so much.

Rylan: I love San Francisco too. Why do you love San Francisco?

Torben: Because we moved here with my parents.

Rylan: I live here in San Francisco. You know that KMS is also in San Francisco.

Torben: I don’t know. I need to ask my parents.

Torben: You know that I am going to special trip with my family very, very soon.

Rylan: Are you going to miss San Francisco?

Torben: YES!!!! That’s why I will be back very soon.

Rylan: I will miss you! How about let’s study, read and draw San Francisco before you go on vacation.

Torben: Okay… okay.. okay..