April 2017 Newsletter

Growing Tree’s Newsletter

 

Director’s Message

growingtreemoraga@gmail.com
gtlogogreen
Dates to Remember:
April 3 – 7: Spring Break – no school
April 10: Summer Camp registration begins
May 5: Last day to register for Summer Camp for guaranteed space.
May 18: School Picnic – Thursday, 5-7 p.m.
May 29: Memorial Day – no school
June 15: Redwoods Graduation 9:00 a.m. Sequoias Graduation 5:30 p.m. (both held at Veterans Hall in Lafayette)
June 16: Cedars Celebration at Growing Tree and LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!
ICE CREAM SOCIAL TO FOLLOW BOTH GRADUATIONS AND CEDARS WILL HAVE A POPSICLE PARTY IN THE PLAYGROUND! – IT’S OUR BRIBE TO KEEP THE KIDS SINGING AND SMILING!
June 20 – August 11: Summer Camp

Three more months…then lots of fun changes begin! Summer vacations, summer camps, swim team…lots of fun in the sun! Until then, there is still lots of fun and learning going on at Growing Tree. With the warmer (and drier!) days ahead, we’ll have more outside time and, hopefully, fewer coughs and colds!

We received a very positive response to our school photos this year. We loved looking at them – each and every one of them was absolutely adorable!

Our school is currently at licensing capacity Monday through Friday so, unfortunately, we are unable to reserve drop in days for your children. If you can wait until 9:45 a.m. on the day you want to drop in, we can do a head count and, at that point, determine if there is space for your child that day. You also have the option of coming at 12:30 p.m. for some afternoon drop in time. Just let us know if you’d like to use the afternoon option, so we can plan for your child.

Please note your classroom’s email address is posted under each newsletter’s heading. Remember, anything of immediate importance should be called into the office.

All the children will take “field trips” to the room they will be in next September. They meet the teachers and are welcomed by the current students who love to show them all the activities and toys in the classroom.

Registration for September classes is done. E-mail confirmations were sent out Thursday, March 23rd. Summer camp info/registration forms were emailed out on Wednesday, March 29th. We have several families on our waiting lists, so let us know if you’ve signed up for more days than you really want. If you are on our waiting list for more/different days, we’ll let you know as soon as we can accommodate you!

Now it’s time to think about summer camp! Summer camp is EIGHT WEEKS this year. Each week has its own theme, and families can register for any number of weeks and/or any number of days in each week. The cost is $45/day. Children must be two years old before their first day of camp. More details are on the registration forms which have been e-mailed to you. Additional registration forms are available in the office. Please register your child NO LATER THAN May 5th for guaranteed spaces.
Thank you for the feedback from families that are interested in summer camp extended care until 4:00 or 5:00. Currently, there are only a handful of families that need the late afternoon care on a regular basis. As new families come in next fall, we will continue to ask for your input and possibly make changes for Summer Camp 2018.

At this time of year, we are looking forward to our GT family picnic, Redwoods, and Sequoias graduations and our Cedars Celebration! Our family picnic is on Thursday, May 18th from 5:00 – 7:00. This is a time for the kids to run and play and the parents to relax and visit. A couple of parents BBQ and everyone brings salads or desserts to share. Hot dogs, sausages, drinks and chips are provided. We have the picnic on a Thursday hoping that the older siblings won’t have too many other activities going on!

GRADUATION SCHEDULE:
Redwoods (Vicki, Blake and Sandy) Thursday, June 15 @ 9:00 a.m.
(Graduates to arrive no later than 8:45!)
Sequoias (Laureen, Stephanie and Rachel) Thursday evening, June 15 @ 5:30 p.m.
(Graduates to arrive no later than 5:15!)
REDWOODS AND SEQUOIAS GRADUATIONS ARE HELD AT THE LAFAYETTE VETERANS HALL IN LAFAYETTE.
Cedars Celebration (Manal, Carrie and Shannon) Friday, June 16 @ 10:00 a.m
CEDARS CELEBRATION TAKES PLACE HERE AT GROWING TREE.
Invitations and reminders will be going home as the time gets closer!

Terri


SEEDLINGS NEWS FROM EVELYN,  ERIN, AND JILL’S TWOS

gtseedlings@gmail.com
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Can you hear those giant feet stomping the ground?   Can you see those sharp teeth?   Can you hear a very loud roar?  “Oh no! DINOSAURS!”  – yelled ALEXANDER with a big smile on his face.   This is one of the kids’ favorite themes.  We traveled back in time to learn everything about dinosaurs.  It was amazing to see the children trying to learn all those names that are hard to pronounce. Our favorite song of course was ” We are the dinosaur”. They loved to stomp their feet while marching around the class pretending to be dinosaurs .  “Again! Again!”- asked DREW, even when it was already the third time dancing it.

Circle time was a good opportunity to ask some questions.  What’s your favorite dinosaur?

 “The big one” -said ALEX   ” Stegosaurus” – said AUSTIN,   “I like the pink one, I like pink dinosaurs because pink is my favorite color” -added ELLA.  “I like the cool guy,  that one over there”(pointing to a Pterodactyl) – said ASHER and then he added, “My  mommy and my daddy like the cool dino, too.”  “T-Rex “-said JACKSON while showing us his fierce teeth and sharp claws.  Super fun to hear!  Do you know what dinosaurs used to eat?    “Plants and water” -replied ROMAN.  ” No, just raisins and goldfish”- DREW said.  “I went to the Zoo and saw lions, no dinosaurs”- NATALIE said.   ” No dinosaurs?” – asked BRODY, ” They are old, they are 5 years old .” 
We had a great time reading  “Sammy and the Dinosaurs”  and ” How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night”.    After discussing that dinosaurs are extinct, we went to our sand box looking for  fossils.  It was so cute to see their excitement while they found ‘dinsosaur bones’.

We also were busy packing our suitcases and flying to different countries.   Before departing, we talked about where we live.  ” I live in Califonia”- said NATALIE. We also practiced how to say Hello in different languages.  We went to Montana, and we learned that grizzly bears have a long  nose, “I know that” -said ASHER . From there we went to Japan where we learned to use chopsticks and roll some Sushi.  ” I like this ones”- said SARINA while trying to eat some rice with them.  “We don’t have Sushi at home, just pizza.”    We visited Thailand and learned how elephants spray water with their trunks. ” That’s so silly”-ELLA exclaimed.    Korea was our next stop.  It was fun to learn about their popular dish, ‘Bee Bim Bop’.    Learning and dancing The Itsy Bitsy Spider in Portuguese was the highlight of our trip to Brazil!      

Hawaii is one of BRODY’s favorite places.  “I went Maui, I see whales and sharks and Sea turtles in the ocean.” Our room was filled with Hawaiian music and leis.

Hola!  we said when we visited Bolivia.  Miya was so proud of helping to do the presentation.  We also visited Italy, India and…Michigan! 

 It is amazing how much our little ones can remember and we are so proud of them.  No wonder the first years of their lives are the foundation for their adult lives.  Thank you so much for trusting us and give us the opportunity to teach your little ones. 

Evelyn, Erin and Jill

 

SPROUTS NEWS FROM CYNTHIA, SARAH, AND LILING’S TWOS

gtsprouts@gmail.com
sprouts

It is so hard to believe with all of this rain that spring is already here! It seems like just yesterday the children were entering the classroom unsure of what to expect. They have blossomed like flowers these past months and as we glance back at pictures taken earlier in the year it is obvious how much they have grown physically as well as mentally. All of the children showed so much confidence and were were excited to take their school pictures with Sarah. Of course it was no surprise how great they all turned out. Our class picture is proudly displayed in our room on our front door!
More and more the children are branching out and developing new friendships with friends they weren’t quite sure of before. RYAN and CAL have become quite fond of each other and often greet one another in the morning by the cars ready to play. JILLIAN is our classroom greeter and happily greets all the children and parents by name at the door. She is even great at introducing herself to any family that visits us during  a school tour!  ELLIOT enters the room on Fridays with a big smile and always greets his teachers by name. He is also a great hugger which we teachers just LOVE. EMILIE quickly finds her favorite bear book for one of us to read to her every morning as Mom leaves. She is always so excited to show us her new outfits, especially her shoes. JACK is our dinosaur expert since last month’s dinosaur lesson as he loves to talk about dinosaurs. One morning in circle after singing the dinosaur song, he announced, “ I love T-Rex! He eats other dinosaurs!” KEIRA was happy to bring one of her own dinosaurs from home. She asked me what it was called and after I told her she introduced her Parasaralophus to all of the other kids. EMERY and CECELIA enjoy riding on the bike-o-round with their other friends while we are outdoors which is quite the accomplishment as we remember back to the beginning of the year when the children couldn’t even reach the pedals. NELLIE and SADIE love riding around in the cars. They are so polite as they pass eachother on the playground waving out their windows.
Dinosaurs and Ocean were two of our most successful topics thus far. The children all enjoyed learning the different names and behavior patterns of various dinosaurs as well as fun facts about ocean life. As we played ‘What’s Missing’ with the dinosaurs during circle, ELLA excitedly shouted, “Brontosaurus is missing because he has a long neck.” One of the funniest ocean facts for the children was that the daddy seahorse carries the babies in his belly, not the mommy.
The children have mastered all of the dance moves and love to act out their favorite dinosaur as they dance. The ‘Dinosaur Marching’ song is such a favorite – it is going to be hard to let it go since all the kids ask to dance to it. Their favorite part of the dance, of course, is when we all ROAR at the end!
We have been enjoying some of the beautiful weather that has come our way and I think I can speak for all of us when I say  we are DONE with the rain! In the coming month, we look forward to introducing fun facts and projects about rain forests, bugs, and farm life.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind our parents that we will be closed for Spring Break the week of April 3rd through April 7th. Upon returning from Spring Break, we will be posting a sign up list for parents to join our afternoon circle and read one of your child’s favorite books to the children. This is always a fun and engaging activity for both the children and the parents!
Thank you for sharing your children with us. They constantly bring smiles to our faces and we truly cherish all of the moments shared with them.

Ms Cynthia, Ms Sarah, and Ms Liling

 

MAPLES NEWS FROM  SHARYN, NATASHA, AND KRISTIN’S THREES

gtmaples3@gmail.com

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What? Spring is here. Hooray! We started off March with our Spring Planting theme. The children really liked planting and watering their sunflower seeds and wild flowers. Some of the plants in our classroom are starting to sprout! We made umbrellas with glitter glue and put ABC foam shapes on them.

Then we started talking about Baby Animals and the letter V for Vegetable and Veterinarian. Thank You to Ian and  Janel Kidd for coming in and bringing Doggy Russell. We had so much fun learning about what a veterinarian does. We made baby chicks out of paper plates that now hang in our classroom. MELODY enjoyed painting the chicks. We also did animal puzzles and looked at books about baby animals. They enjoyed doing a counting page with animal stamps. We had fun singing “Five Little Ducks” with our little hand puppet Quack Quack. MAGGIE said “Ducks say Quack Quack.”

Early in the morning on St. Patrick’s day, those little rascal leprechauns left our toilet water green,  left sparkles on the rugs, and left green foot prints around our classroom. They turned our chairs upside down, played with our toys and made a big mess. Those silly leprechauns left us lucky charms and green lemonade water. JACE said, “I like green!” JACOB said, “They turn the lemonade green.” We read a story about an old lady who swallowed a clover. Inside the book there was a letter from the Leprechauns. The children were very excited about going on a treasure hunt to find leprechaun gold.

The children are building strong friendships. We have been working every day on sharing, taking turns, and helping each other. COLE said, “I love to play with my friends!” It’s exciting to see how much each child has grown.

We started talking about farm animals and the letter W. W is for wheels, whales and watermelon. TIMMY announced, “Cars drive!”  DREW said, “Whales live in the ocean.”  TRISTAN made sure to tell us that wheels move. LUKE added that wheels spin. AMY made sure to say that watermelon is a fruit. We had a good time feeding the cows some hay and painting the pig “in mud” with brown paint. COLTEN told us cows go moo. SAGE mentioned she likes ducks. They have been having fun singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Wheels on the Bus. We glued wagon wheel pasta on the letter W. We tried milk products like yogurt, cheese and milk. ALLISON said, “Cows are big.” JAY said that he likes cows because they give us milk. SAMMY said, “Big kids like cheese.”  CASE said, “Cows make milk.” DYLAN announced that cheese is for mommies. Afterwards, we made a graph of our favorite milk products. Most of the children picked Yogurt as their favorite.

We ended the month discussing London and Safari Animals. They had so much fun making king and queen crowns and having a tea party. We enjoyed learning about London, Double Decker buses and Peppa Pig because she is from England.  For letter X, we talked about X-ray and Xylophone.

When we get back from spring break, we are going to start the month off with a Luau Theme. YAY! Hawaii is one of Miss Kristin’s favorite places to visit! We also will talk about Origami & Tortillas, Earth Day Joy and the remainder of the alphabet letters, Y and Z.

Friendly Reminders: Please remember to check your child’s art file. Toys are only to come to school on your child’s sharing day.

Save the date in honor of Earth Day! We are having a special celebration on Wednesday April 19th and Thursday April 20th from 12:15pm-12:30pm. We hope all of our families can join us on one of those days. The children are having a great time practicing for the celebration.
See you all after spring break.

Ms. Natasha, Ms. Kristin and Ms. Sharyn

 

MULBERRIES NEWS FROM KELLY, BEV, ROBIN AND CARRIE’S THREES

gtmulberries@gmail.com
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Spring has well and truly sprung in the Mulberries class! The children have been having so much fun looking for signs of spring. We are enjoying the warmer weather, too. March went by so fast! If you came to school on St. Patrick’s Day, you saw the excitement that was happening in our class. We had so much fun seeing what the Leprechauns did on their visit to our classroom. The children were so excited to see the green footprints and green water in the bathroom. BLAIR exclaimed, “They made a mess!” CHASE added, “The leprechauns took all of our toys out.” SAHANA and EVERETT F. thought it was hilarious that “The leprechauns peed in our potties!” LOGAN and FINN both loved this holiday because green is their favorite color.

The Mulberries class has continued to play wonderfully together. They have built such strong bonds and all of us teachers are continually impressed with how kind and inclusive the children are in our class. SHEILA and REESE love to play family together: They inform us that one is the mommy and one is the baby! Outside on the playground, JOANNA and NICHOLAS take turns on the swing. When all of the bikes were taken, OLIVER offered his to a friend, saying “She can use mine”. We have seen your children grow in so many ways the last few months, showing us how they share and care about one another.

This past month we enjoyed reading Dr. Seuss books. Reading all those crazy tongue twisters was lots of fun and those silly words made us all laugh. ELLA let us know “Those books are so funny!” Our week of movement and music was a big hit learning about different musical instruments and doing some yoga! ABBY loved showing off her best yoga moves. We spent the last 2 weeks of March learning about being healthy and ocean/beaches. We planted grass seeds and the children loved checking every day and watching them grow! CALLAN said “Mine is getting bigger!” EVERETT J said, “My feet tickle!” when we did an art project that involved painting our feet and making footprints. JONAH excitedly told us that he “loves going to the beach with his family.” We are so proud of the children and how much they are learning this year.

Next week, we will begin our month talking about springtime. We should be seeing a lot of seasonal changes in the weather! We will then learn about different countries of the world, as well as where we live. The children are really going to enjoy the interactive projects we have planned-lots of cooking and games! Spring break is April 3rd-7th so we won’t have school that week!

The children have been hard at work this year, each week they have been learning a new letter in the alphabet. We have put together a fun performance just for you. We hope that you can please join us in our classroom at 10am on either Wednesday May 10th or Thursday May 11th for our Alphabet Party! We will post a reminder a week prior to the event.

We have a lot of birthdays coming up. If you would like to bring a treat for snack or come in and read a story, let us know in advance! We have a list of nut free treats in our classroom if you would like to see it. Thank you again for all your support, we are so lucky to have such wonderful families in our class.

Kelly, Bev, Robin and Carrie

 

CEDARS NEWS FROM MANAL, CARRIE, AND SHANNON’S PRE-K

gtcedars@gmail.com

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Well, it’s official! Spring has sprung all around and the Cedar kids have been very busy little bees!

One of our favorite month long journeys is the one that we take around the world. The first week of March took us to Louisiana and Hawaii – two of Ms. Carrie’s favorite places! To begin the week, we were whisked away to the Hawaiian Islands where we talked about Hawaiian traditions, practiced our hula dance to Hawaiian music, made tissue paper pineapple art and mini volcanoes. We then headed to New Orleans and after talking about the festivities and colorful costumes of Mardi Gras, we had our very own parade to celebrate the holiday (better late than never!). The children had so much fun wearing the masks they made, dancing to traditional New Orleans music, wearing their green, purple and gold bead necklaces and parading throughout other classrooms! The kids had fun repeating all kinds of French words heard around New Orleans like “gumbo”, “etouffee” and “beignet” and were especially tickled to learn that Mardi Gras literally translates to “Fat Tuesday”!

Next, we stayed a bit closer to home and explored our very own state of California with Ms. Manal. We talked about the different regions of California as well as the United States. The kids loved making their very own U.S. passports, complete with “stamps” of the places they were visiting and a hand-drawn picture of themselves. They had a lot of fun coloring the California flag and a map of our state. The hand-print U.S. inspired flags turned out to be a favorite patriotic project!

The third week in March proved to be an exciting one as we spent the whole week in Ireland led by Ms. Shannon. We talked about the different parts of Ireland and castles, painted shamrocks and made leprechauns! Much to the kids’ surprise, the Cedars class was visited by some sneaky, mischievous leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day! They turned our classroom upside down and left little green footprints all over! AIDAN H.: “They sneaked in the door and messed up everything!” JACK: “Nobody locked the door so they opened the door, ate a snack and took everything out.” After cleaning up after those crazy leprechauns, we celebrated the Irish holiday with green cookies and some very nice surprises left by those same tricky leprechauns! When asked where the kids would hide their gold if they were leprechauns, here are some answers we got: WHITNEY: “In space! Nobody will reach it!”, KOKO: “Under my car in the garage!”, LILA: “In my bathroom!”, EMME: “Behind the leaves in my garden!”, SAM SEITZ: “In my closet!”, NILS: “In the attic!”, and ALI: “In the pantry!” We also asked if the kids were visited at home by leprechauns and it seems that a few indeed were! ANDREW: “They built a plane out of Legos”, CODY: “He drinked A LOT of water. We put out pennies and water on cardboard. He left the pennies.” DASH: “They messed up everything that my brother made and then he had to fix them. But they didn’t find what I built.” GEORGIA: “They made green milk. I thought they made it the same way you make green eggs and ham. They made my toilet green and wasted all my toilet paper and hung it around my bath.” SAM STODDARD: “They moved my bed over to my brother, Calvin’s bed. And when I waked up, they were gone, They runned away!” MADDIE: “I heard a noise outside and when I went outside, he tip-toed and then knocked over the tree.”
It seems like those leprechauns were awfully busy this year!

Next, we traveled to places very dear to Ms. Manal – Egypt and England. It was so exciting to hear about Egypt and see the authentic and interesting artifacts that Ms. Manal shared with us. The kids will be enjoying some authentic hummus (Ms. Manal’s recipe is the best!) and enjoying things like Egyptian bookmarks and a very cool pharaoh project. Oh, and they absolutely loved learning about the mummies! When visiting England, the kids were able to make regal King and Queen crowns and we have learned that it is a proven fact that preschoolers love sparkly decorations!

When we return from Spring Break, April will take us to even farther away places as we talk about Earth and Space. More fun in April will be spent exploring Springtime, the Ocean and Farms! Though it seems impossible that the end of the year is nearing, we would like you to save the save the date for the Cedars class celebration! Mark your calendars for Friday, June 16th at 10:00am. Details and formal invitation to follow.

We would like to extend a big Cedars  ‘thank you’ to Melissa Griffiths, (Benjamin’s mom), for coming to talk to us about England! A ‘thank you’ also to our guest readers this month; Lena Cooper, (Cody’s mom), Shannon Collins (Johnny’s mom), Lindsay Wagner, (Kate’s mom), Annie Browne, (Whitney’s mom), Amy Johnson, (Nils’ mom) and Bill DeMar, (Andrew’s dad). The children absolutely love having guests in our classroom, whether new or familiar faces!

As always, thank you for sharing your children with us – they continue to grow each day and we are so honored to be a part of it!

Happy spring!

-Ms. Carrie, Ms. Manal & Ms. Shannon

 

REDWOODS NEWS FROM VICKI, BLAKE AND SANDY’S PRE-K

gtredwoods@gmail.com
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This month in the the Redwoods class we took a trip around the world learning about and exploring some fun new places. We started right here at home learning about where we live. ISAAC said, I live in the town of Moraga and CHARLIE R said, I live in California -that’s my state. We liked learning that not only does each country have its own flag but each state does too. JAMES told us that there is a brown bear on the California flag. TESSA was excited to learn that California is known for its big Redwood trees just like us, and our state flower is the poppy. WYATT liked learning that our state bird is the quail, he said a boy quail has blue feathers. While we were learning all about the United States- Mardi Gras celebrations were also happening at the same time. We were eager to learn more about this fun celebration. JESSICA said, Mardi Gras happens in New Orleans. BRODY told us that Mardi Gras colors are gold, green, and purple. CARIS especially liked learning about the parades – there is a big parade and kids and adults get to be on floats and wear costumes. We finished off the week with our own Growing Tree Mardi Gras parade around the school wearing the colorful masks we made. VAUGHN said, We got to wear masks and beads and ring bells and no one knows who we are. 
Next Ms. Vicki introduced us to Norway where her family is from. With each country we really liked learning that each place has a specific flag. The Redwoods really enjoyed looking at all the different flags. REAGAN said that our flag has stars but the Norway flag doesn’t. The Redwoods favorite part about Norway was learning about the Vikings and the trolls. MORGAN S said the Norway Vikings made giant boats to explore. COULTER said the Vikings wear big headbands with horns to look scary. RYLAN remembered learning that viking ships don’t have motors so people have to paddle fast so the ship can go. The Redwoods all thought it was so funny that trolls come from Norway. LYLA C said trolls are kinda tricky and have fuzzy sticking straight up hair and GIGI said that she hadn’t ever seen a troll but she thinks they have white hair and a blue body. 
The Redwoods had so much fun getting ready for St Patrick’s Day and hoped they would get a chance to meet the Leprechauns from Ireland. BEN said you have to watch out because the leprechauns might try to take your pot of gold, and CHARLIE E told us that leprechauns like to hide from people. We also had lots of ideas about what leprechauns might look like. JULIETTE said they are all green and kind of tricky. ISABELLA said they are really small- too small to have a beard. We all agreed that leprechauns have a pot of gold hidden somewhere. TYLER thought they might hide their pots of gold at the end of a rainbow or maybe a sparkly bush in Ireland. To get ready for St Patrick’s Day we made lots of decorations and especially liked making Lucky Leprechaun play-doh and shamrocks. When we arrived at school on St Patrick’s day we were excited to find the leprechauns had come for a visit. JOHNNY said the leprechauns used their magic to get in the front door and they made a huge mess in our classroom. AJ said he knew it was a leprechaun because he saw lots of green footprints. ALLISON said that the leprechauns made a huge mess and drew on our project tables and left green glitter everywhere. We know our classroom wasn’t the only place the leprechauns visited. JR told us about the leprechauns that came to his house and left some green pee-pee in the potty. SEQUOIA said she found some glitter shamrocks at the park- She thought the leprechauns were playing there, too. RYAN even tried to catch a leprechaun, he made a leprechaun trap at his house but  didn’t catch any – not even one. 
With all our busy exploring we still had time to celebrate some very special VIPS. LYLA P loved bringing in Oreo treats for all her friends and CARTER told us his favorite job is being the line leader. POPPY was excited to show her Poppa everything in the classroom and MOMO was excited to have her whole family visit. LYLA ROSE was most excited to do all the jobs.  
We hope you all have a fun filled Spring Break together. When we come back in April we’re excited to jump right into all things spring and celebrate Earth week. 
 
Vicki, Blake and Sandy

 

SEQUOIA NEWS FROM STEPHANIE, LAUREEN AND RACHEL’S PRE-K+

gtsequoias@gmail.com
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March was a busy and fun-filled month in Sequoias. The first week of the month was Dr. Seuss week. We celebrated Dr. Seuss’ 113th Birthday. One of our activities was to taste green eggs. Here is what we wrote in our journal about that experience….
KEIRA: “UMV” (yummy)
NAOMI: “I Lid” (I liked)
MARY KATE: “UCE” (yucky)
BENNY: “Froce” (frockie)
COLIN: “Yume” (yummy)
MAGGIE: “GLD” (good)
NIKO: “Yukee” (yucky)
During Dr. Seuss week we made our own Horton Hears a Who glyph and created oil pastel paintings of what we imagined our Lorax village would look like. We practiced rhyming words. We made patterns with red, fish, blue fish. We especially loved reading a variety of Dr. Seuss books during the week.

Here are a few of our favorite Dr. Seuss stories…
ZANE: Put Me in the Zoo
CAMMY: Horton Hears a Who
JAMES: The Grinch
TRIPP: The Lorax
VIVIAN: Hop on Pop
CAROLINE: The Lorax
CLAIRE: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
LUKAS: Hop on Pop
LUCI: Put Me in the Zoo
The next week’s theme was Chicks and Eggs. Using paper and feathers we created birds. For science we experimented with eggs and were able to turn a regular egg into a rubber egg, so cool to touch. We found that many animals hatch from eggs and brainstormed animals that lay eggs. In our journals, we drew a picture and wrote our favorite hatched animal. See if you can figure them out!….
A. BELLA: “Brd”
B. BEN: “Octupost”
C. EMI: “Snek”
D. ZOEY: “Burfi”
E. ANDREY: “Jikn”
F. CHLOE: “PDES”
G. AUGUST: “Pltis”
Answers: A. Bird, B. Octopus, C. Snake, D. Butterfly, E. Chicken, F. Platypus, G. Platypus

In the middle of the month, we were able to go on a field trip to the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. There our class was dazzled by the Percussion Discussion. I’m sure your Sequoias came home telling you all about their favorite instruments. Perhaps they even tried to make percussion music of their own on chairs, books, and countertops or asked for a new drum. A huge thanks to the parents who were our drivers to make this field trip possible: Sarah Dell’Aquila, Kristen Hoover, Rebecca Eirich, Echo Aoki, Andi O’Toole, Anna Nestler, Jill Paganelli, and Melissa Crawford.

During the middle of the month, we came to school one morning to discover some little green men had been causing mischief in our room. They had messed up our calendar and left clues around our room. We used our Leprechaun Catchers and a hunt began. One of our favorite parts of St. Patrick’s week was learning the skit, “Six Little Leprechauns.” If you ask your Sequoia, I’m sure they’d love to sing the song from that skit. Also during the week we made stainglass shamrocks, graphed Lucky Charms, and answered the question in our journals “What would you do if you caught a Leprechaun?”

As the first day of spring approached we began discussing all things spring. We painted beautiful landscapes of spring flowers, talked about baby animals, and spotted “popcorn” trees blossoming. We read “The Carrot Seed” book and made our own carrot seed growers. We did the Thirsty Celery experiment to see how plants drink water, it was fun to see the celery turn colors. We completed a class graph finding out which flower Sequoia friends liked more Tulips or Roses.

At circle time, we have become proficient at identifying written first names. Many Sequoia friends have gotten so good at first names they can pick out most of their Sequoia friends’ names. It is time to move on to our last names. During circle, students will now work on identifying their last name and spelling it.

We had many fun Superstars this month and we learned so much about our friends. We learned that MARY KATE is good at sneaking up on people and wants to be a ninja when she grows up. LUKAS loves to visit Grandpa’s cabin and caught his first fish there. BEN wants to grow up to be an actor and wishes he had a rocket ship to fly to Saturn.

We want to thank all of you awesome parents for how much you do….field trip drivers, guest readers, making Superstars so special, and giving giant smiles to teachers as you drop off and pick up each day. We hope your children appreciate you as much as we do.

Rachel, Stephanie and Laureen

ACTIVITY CENTER ADVENTURES WITH SANDY AND KELLY

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activity center adventures  As springtime shares the beauty of nature, our little adventurers are blossoming and growing. The children dance amongst each other, smiling as they share their imaginations and express through their creative play together. Reese, Sienna, Isaac and Cecelia were in happy unison as they created a flower and leaf stew outside, ISAAC explained, “We all have to do our part! Me and Sienna collect all the leaves and flower petals!” SIENNA reminded, “We have a lot of leaves, look!” REESE glanced up, “Miss Sandy, we are stirring with the rain drops.” CECE shared her beautiful brown eyes, as she blinked at all of her pals sweetly! Mackie and Adeline joined us as we began to sup on the stew, MACKIE told us, “No, no, we can’t eat it, ok?” ADELINE giggled, “Icky!” MORGAN laughed with a dear smile assured all, “They are just pretending!” Thank goodness!
The clouds have been formidable to some, but for the children they are an inspiration! As we walked outside during a sunny break in the stormy weather, we did some cloud gazing! TIMMY shared, “I see a dragon up there!” DREW smiled, “I see a big ship for the dragon!” MELODY offered, “I see a piggy!” GREYSON called out, “I see a barn for the piggy!” RYLAN agreed, “And cows, too!” FINN, MARGOT and ALLISON were certain as they all exclaimed, “We see frogs!” We all had to laugh! We marched inside to paint some fluffy clouds!
A bit of magic, mischief, treasure, and tiny green footprints transformed our adventurers on St. Patrick’s Day. Miss Kelly had the children share their stories of leprechaun mischief… she was all ears as the children regaled tales of mischief performed by silly leprechauns who held a shindig at Growing Tree. According to the tales, JR and DREW shared, “They are really nice and they bring treasures to kids!” DASH had a different view, “They really like to make a big mess!” POPPY and TOMMY smiling in glee, “They are super secret!”
JONAH smiled, “I like rainbows and they do, too!” REAGAN C. whispered, “I like the rainbow sparkles they have!” Logan and Finn were over the moon as they told all what they had seen. LOGAN said, “Leprechauns are good because they really like dark green like I do!” FINN shared with a look of astonishment, “Leprechauns are so cool and really fast runners when they left out the treasure!” WELLS laughed and was out of breath as he implored, “They have to go fast, they have a lot of treasure to hide!” Apparently all held a bit of magical memory and that is the best treasure one could keep!
Always encouraged by nature, the children have been doing a bit of planting, we are trying to discover what is the best way to help our seeds to grow. Here are a few of the kiddos hypotheses. EMILY shares, “Say nice words!” SUMMER suggests, “Lots and lots of water!” BRENNAN teaches, “We have to have a lot of seeds to grow a lot of flowers!” MARGOT, ALLISON and TEO tell us, “They need sunshine!” EVELYN and ELLA who seem to have green thumbs whisper their guidance, “Tell them to grow, grow, and grow more!” DECLAN who has experience from working with his grandpa exclaims, “Plants need earth, dirt, water and sun!” We are enjoying giving our experts a chance to discover, hands on and smiles on, how to help plants grow!
Our discovery and science fun has included learning about how ladybugs, butterflies, grasshoppers, and bumblebees live and help us and our earth. We all felt a sense of fascination as we released ladybugs all over the Growing Tree gardens. The children held them with care as they let them find a new home. Georgia and Jack were so adorable, Jack was singing and screaming as he held his ladybugs, GEORGIA as the helpful sis whispered, “They won’t hurt you. They like to be able to go fly!” JACK took a breath and said, “Bye ladybugs!” LUCY caringly told the other children, “Ladybugs are good and they take care of their little babies!” BEN listened, “They are so tickly to me!”
We created artful butterflies and flowers for the butterflies to eat from and rest upon. Alexa and Maggie were immersed in the painting and collage work! ALEXA shared, “I have a rainbow butterfly!” Maggie and the kiddos looked up to admire her art! MAGGIE shared, “My sister knows about butterflies, one flew onto her!” ALEXA grinned and shared, “ It was soft!” We enjoyed dancing and flying with our butterfly wings floating as we explored the garden! CLAIRE and BRENDAN laughed together as we danced! We were on our way back, when BRODY and NATALIE hands held shared, “Our wings are tired!” MAGGIE shared, “Butterflies work a lot to fly, I think !”
In April ,we will enjoy discovering and exploring more of the magical happenings in our Growing tree gardens! We will be cooking and tasting spring veggies and fruits! We will explore the music, games, and food that children from Asia, Africa, and Europe enjoy.
Sandy & Kelly