February 4, 2020: A Gift to Our School

An absolutely HUGE THANK-YOU to our fifth-grade families for their generous gift to our school: funds for new recess and PE equipment! Having just arrived, this gear will soon be in the hands of our students to enjoy daily. Yay!

November 2019: PEMDAS Partner Challenge

Would you believe that this whole equation equals one?

It’s true! This is an order of operations problem created by fifth graders, Maryn and Jack, who, along with their classmates, took part in the PEMDAS Partner Challenge. Students were given tiles with the digits 0-9 and all the operations symbols and parentheses they needed. Then it was up to them to use as many of those digits as they could to create a complex problem with a simple target answer (in this case, one!). In several problems, including the one above, students were able to use all of the digits and a variety of operations from addition to exponents. In completing the challenge, students exercised flexible thinking, cooperation, listening skills, creativity, and teamwork. Way to go, 5s!

September 6, 2019: Teamwork

Today the fifth graders practiced teamwork to set the stage for a year full of learning with and from each other in math class. They were given a challenge that required full participation from all and they rose to it!  Between rounds, groups had a chance to reflect on what was and wasn’t working and adjust their strategies accordingly. Upon reflection, students said that good group work looks like “everyone taking turns and working together” and “people standing up for their ideas and helping everyone with the problem”. Others noted that good group work can sound like “calm voices talking together about a problem” or “encouragement and laughing”. Finally, one student said that good group work is simply “spectacular”.   

September 5, 2019: Story Writing Begins!

If you know Tilden, you know the tradition of Thursday stories. Each week students gather together to brainstorm with Whitney before writing about the assigned topic in their classroom. The kids learn not only the mechanics of writing, but also that they have valuable ideas and that those ideas can be expressed on paper. The topic for the first week? Summer, of course! 

February 6, 2018: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch

Tilden students gathered to watch and celebrate the test launch of SpaceX‘s Falcon Heavy rocket.

We watched with bated breath as the engine ignited, joined the countdown, cheered at liftoff, watched the two side boosters’ balletic landing with awe–and giggled at Starman.

We hope the 5th graders’ rockets launch so successfully!

Poem in your Pocket Day 2017

Poem in your Pocket Day is a beloved tradition at Tilden.

Adults and children celebrate, bringing poems for sharing with each other.

Throughout the day, poems are pulled from pockets and shared in the hall, in classrooms, and on the playground.

Spring Concert 2017

Nearly eight months of hard work by Tilden faculty and students culminated in our spring choral concert at the Hall at Fauntleroy.

After a light-hearted family singalong, rounds, folk, and silly songs with Whitney, Tilden music teacher Lou Magor led the students in several classics, plus the world premiere of local composer Bob Kechley’s “Every Kind of Flower”, a choral piece commissioned by Tilden School.

Kids, teachers, and families alike left the Hall feeling pride and joy in these musical accomplishments.

Jacob Lawrence at the Seattle Art Museum–2nd and 3rd grade field trip

Tilden’s second and third grade art history classes recently enjoyed a trip to Seattle Art Museum to see the special exhibit Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. This series of 60 paintings was divided in half and sold to two separate museums: The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In celebration of the late Jacob Lawrence’s 100th birthday, The Migration Series was reunited for a special showing at SAM. In order to appreciate Lawrence’s masterwork fully, our students learned in class beforehand about the Harlem Renaissance, and the work of Jacob Lawrence and his artist wife Gwendolyn Knight. Our own staff member, Reeta Tollefson, a student of Jacob Lawrence’s at UW, shared her first-hand experience with our classes.

The series of sixty paintings hit a chord with our kids. In their own words:

I think Jacob Lawrence is an amazing artist. I really like how he told a story by his art. It was so amazing to see the real paintings at SAM.”–Maryn, 2nd grade

“My favorite picture that Jacob Lawrence painted is number 38; Pouring fire, in Chicago and other cities, they labored. I like it because I could feel what he was thinking when I saw that picture.”–Lewis, 2nd grade

“I like Jacob Lawrence’s painting because it comes alive.”–Pilar 2nd grade

What is Kindergarten?

by Tori Smith

Kindergarten is a complicated year for children and their families. It is a year when a group of individual spirits come together for an adventure unlike anything else they have ever experienced. There is a new physical terrain to explore and adapt to, new social complications and expectations, new emotional responses, and new behavioral demands.

In addition to these new trials to balance, each child is also asked to put aside some individuality to become part of a cohesive group tasked with building a learning community. It is a hard task. It is hard for the individual children, for their families making adjustments and turning over their babies to new caretakers, for the teachers and aids charged with guiding and coaxing the brood for much of the day, and for the larger established school community welcoming the new clutch of chicks into its fold.

Kindergarten is a year when all of this is sorted and squished about, massaged and nurtured. Each part – social, emotional, behavioral, and intellectual – pushes forward in fits and starts. In addition, a concentrated dose of academics is worked into the mix.

Throughout the year, the trajectory of growth is uneven and unique for each child, but typically always forward and higher. By the end of Kindergarten, most children, and the children as a group, reach a place where they are ready to take on the challenges and adventures of an academic school life, one that still involves emotional, social, and behavioral growth, but with a new and greater expectation of intellectual exercise and personal independence.

The trajectory of growth is also uneven and unique for each family. This is true for families who are experiencing Kindergarten for the first time, as well as for those who are experiencing it again with a second or third child. As those parents well know by now, each sibling is unique. While some parts of Kindergarten may feel familiar, it is important to honor each child’s experience as his or her own. We encourage you to share family experiences with other families and build relationships, to build a flotilla with your many separate boats.

Your journey begins. It will be an exciting one for sure. We are here to help you navigate when you need extra help. Just ask.