March 2017 Newsletter

Growing Tree’s Newsletter


Director’s Message

Director’s Message
Dates to Remember:
March 6 – 10: Registration for all currently enrolled families
March 13 – 17: Registration for families on waitlist for current school year
March 20 – 24: Open registration for all new families
March 29: Summer camp info/registration forms emailed out
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!
June 20 – August 11: Summer Camp
REGISTRATION INFORMATION: No registration forms will be accepted prior to 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 6th. Registration is always a busy time. If you don’t hear from us, assume you got the days you requested. We suggest making a copy of your completed registration form for yourself so you remember what those days are! As the forms come in, we number them and that is the order used to fill the daily class rosters. While all currently enrolled children and their siblings are guaranteed space, if you want specific days, don’t wait until the end of the week to register. Please list a first and second choice schedule so that we can best accommodate you!
Registration for families on our current waiting list begins Monday, March 13.
Open registration for all new families begins Monday, March 20.
We can’t believe it’s already registration time for next Fall! It feels like this school year has just begun yet when we look at your children, it’s clear that a lot of growing has gone on since September! Our oldest classes look so crowded all of a sudden, not because there are more kids, but because they’ve all just gotten so big! Our three year olds are gaining confidence by leaps and bounds, always eager to jump into the next activity and we love how our youngest, our “babies”, are becoming so talkative – We finally get to find out what’s been going through those little heads! Even siblings that were in carriers in September can now wobble to the office to choose their daily sticker. We can’t wait until they’re all Growing Tree kids!




Wow! February was a fun filled, rain filled month for our little friends. So many memories made. From parties to learning about what it means to be a friend. Thinking about who you love and learning about the people in our community. And the rain…

Luckily for our class, the first week’s theme was weather. Perfect timing since all of our kids were born during the drought. They learned about rain gear, wet, windy, and cold. We sang songs about rain, It’s Raining, Its Pouring, and Mr. Sun. We made storm noises from gentle to raging. We also made raindrops and rainbows in art.

With all the indoor time we’ve had, we have introduced yoga to our little ones. Miss Erin leads the class in a series of poses, accompanied by soothing music. MILES’ favorite part was being a “warrior”. CLAIRE liked the “cat and cow too”. ADELINE said “we are good now”. AVERY liked “down dog”. They love it!

At circle time, the teacher read a book about love and asked the kids whom they loved. MACK: “Brown Bear, Brown Bear’. NATALIE: “Maddie, Lyla, Mommy and Daddy”. MILES: “Miles”. We also read a book called How Do Dinosaurs Make Friends? Then we asked them who your friends are? NATALIE: “Roman”. GWYNNIE: “Jack. Give hugs to your friend.” JACK: “Mommy and Daddy”. ADELINE: “Say sorry to your friend”. BRENDAN: “Yes, share your favorite toy with my friend”.

Our Community Helper Weeks were very special. The children read books about pilots, doctors, nurses, and firemen. The most fun was when the real community helpers came to visit. The kids learned so many new things.

MACK: “My Dada, a officer policeman”. ASHER wanted to get a band aid to cover his “ouchy’ right away. ELLA heard her heart beating through a stethoscope. All of the people in our community are helpers in their own way. Everyone protecting our communities’ greatest strength, our children.

More quotes heard and random acts of kindness observed. While listening to a CD of sounds ASHER said “I saw the fireworks at Disneyland”. BRENDAN said “It sounds like a carrot. DREW said “That’s a dolphin”. SONYA said “That’s the Little Mermaid”. JACK said  “This is a mess”. Then he cleaned the kitchen all by himself.  RHYS helped DREW into the swing and gently pushed him.  SARINA helped JAMESON and AVERY clean up blocks. MIYA gave a hug to a friend who fell.

Many thanks to all of the parents who made this a very caring month! The month of March is full of great themes. The kids will study dinosaurs, children in other countries, and learn about where they live. Once again, thank you for sharing your loving children with us. We look forward to watching their amazing growth every day.

With warm regards,

Miss Jill, Miss Evelyn, and Miss Erin



February was such a fun month for the children! They loved our Valentine’s Day celebration and were all so excited to share their valentines with their friends. PAIGE and CAL were so excited to see their bags filling up with valentines. SUMMER giggled with excitement when she saw a Frozen valentine being placed in her bag. CAROLINE could hardly wait to remove her valentines and stickers from her bag. JULIO was excited to take his valentines home and wanted to make sure his mom didn’t forget them. We would like to thank all of our wonderful parents who volunteered to bring treats for the children. It was great to see so many families at the Valentine’s Day school celebration as well!
All of the children have come such a long way from the beginning of the year. They are all so excited to come to school and learn and have grown so much. Just six months ago, so many of them were unsure as they walked into the classroom and now they are more comfortable, confident and have made new friends. Art is a time that all of the children love. It is wonderful to watch as they express themselves while painting and creating. JUSTIN has become quite independent and likes to complete all of the art project steps himself. After completing most of her art projects, EMILY shouts out, “I made this for my mommy.” ELLA is always quite meticulous with her art projects and likes them to be just right. Sometimes she enjoys the project so much, she asks to make a second one. JACKSON completes his art project and says, “My mommy is going to love it.”
New friendships are blossoming in the classroom. SADIE and DALTON can often be found playing in the kitchen or with the dolls together. CYNTHIA likes to try to take her friend’s hands outside to invite them to play. BEN and COLBY like to throw balls in the basketball hoop on the playground together. BROOKS likes to be a big helper and asks his friends if they would like a push on the swing. OWEN and TOMMY can often be found side by side digging in the sand with a shovel.
As we finish up with community helpers, construction and transportation, we will be headed into Dinosaurs! Together we will dig for dinosaur bones, make our own fossils, hunt for dinosaur eggs and learn the names of various dinosaurs. The children already have a head start on our “Dinosaur Marching” song, as it has become one of their favorite songs to move to. If the children have any favorite dinosaur books or objects, feel free to bring them in to share during circle time.

Miss Sarah, Miss Cynthia, and Miss Liling 



Can you believe February is over? We can’t! The highlight of the month was definitely Valentine’s week. Not only did we have the Growing Tree school wide party, but we also had two days of festivities in our classroom. SORAYA enjoyed some of our decorations exclaiming “It’s a heart!” JAMES could hardly contain his excitement when he told us his valentines for his friends “have kitty cats on them!” At circle time, we discussed that this holiday is about the people you love. AMY raised her hand and said “I love B”, BRENNAN agreed that she loves Amy, too. NIKO said on the playground “Miss Tasha, I love MILLIE” and MARCO thoughtfully mentioned that along with his family “I love myself” and shouldn’t we all love ourselves a little more?

The children are really starting the get the hang of this letter business. We’ve completed P for pajama, BROOKLYN looked like a princess in her “nightgown” while we ate pancakes. Pancakes had the whole class asking for “more syrup!”. Q for quilt and q-tip allowed us to practice some of our fine motor skills while making some unique paintings. R for red roses fit in nicely with Valentine’s Day. But MARGOT wanted us to know that her favorite colors are “blue and yellow”, not red. For letter S we talked about the snow and sand, and KYLA let us know that “when I went to Tahoe I saw snow”. While working on her multicolored art projects for sand, AUDRYA sang the “rainbow song”, a great source of inspiration! Several of the children really enjoy getting our letter puzzles out for extra practice. HUDSON noted while helping KATIE with one that “there is a sun for the S” and she replied “and I found O is for Owen!” Speaking of OWEN, he found the letter S and said “That’s the letter we are talking about!”

Our other classroom explorations besides all our letter work included sampling veggies and fruits and deciding what our favorites are. You can see one of the charts we made still up in the classroom. We also sorted pictures of food into piles of fruits, veggies, and protein! REAGAN remembered “Asparagus is a vegetable” and GRAYSON knew “bananas are fruits!” Along with our adventures in food, our favorite furry book character, Pete the Cat, took center stage for a few days, reminding us that “everything is cool!” BEN said at circle ” I love Pete the cat!” and TEO told us “Pete likes walking, he rides the bus and goes to school.” We will be continuing to talk about some of our other favorite books and characters for the first week of March. We will also be inching ever closer to the end of the alphabet! With T, U, and V coming up next. Seems like U for umbrella will come in handy with our wet weather for a little while longer. Hopefully by our spring break, the first week of April, the sun will be here to stay!

Looking forward to springtime adventures with all the children,
Miss Natasha, Miss Sharyn, and Miss Kristin


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We absolutely loved seeing so many of you and all of your wonderful families at our Growing Tree Valentine party! The children really enjoyed their class party, too. They were very excited to pass out their valentines. Passing out valentines is more than learning about being a good friend. The children also learn how to sit quietly and wait their turn, and we’re happy to say that they all did an excellent job, despite being so excited! A big thanks to those of you who donated our yummy treats to enjoy as well!

This past month, we learned about transportation, did some fun science experiments, and tried out some cool yoga moves! We were really impressed to see LUCY go right into the downward dog pose, clearly she’s been practicing! TORSTEN and OSKAR love showing us some of their own moves by seeing if they can fit into one of the toy shelves. Whenever something isn’t right, ETHAN comes over to announce “He’s the police”. COLBY has been so gentle and sweet pushing his friends on the swings…no police required there!

We are also very proud of how kind the children are to each other. Every day, we see the children sharing, taking turns, and helping each other. It’s so wonderful to see them growing into kind, caring individuals. SIENNA heading down the slide, yelled out “LOGAN, don’t forget to catch me!” and FINN loves leading his friends out safely to the playground, he says “line leader is a really fun job.” BLAIR wants to make sure the teachers are taken care of as well, “Miss Bev, did your mom make your lunch for you?” EVELYN wanted to make sure we didn’t waste any food at snack time “If you don’t like your apples, maybe I should eat them.”

We absolutely love watching their little imaginations at work. GREYSON on top of the play structure told us “I’m on a rocket, but don’t worry I won’t blast off.” TAYLOR held a hula hoop on each side of her and said “Look, I’m a butterfly.” MAE is insisting on having pink in her rainbow, so she sings “red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple…pink!” WELLS is practicing his personal hygiene by “taking a bath” in a bin of blocks. When ALEXA arrived in her unicorn jacket, LIZZIE made sure we knew “She’s not a unicorn, it’s just a unicorn jacket.” With the cold weather out there, DECLAN has shown us that we can also wear socks as mittens.. .genious! Then we just randomly have to be told what’s on their sweet minds at any given moment, IRIS announced “I’m just obsessed with Star Wars!”  While NATALIE made sure that we knew that cookies were her favorite thing in her lunch box.   And then ALY, always the cheerleader, “Campo is the best, just go Campo!”

Next month, we will be reading lots of Dr. Seuss stories during Dr. Seuss week, when we will introduce the idea that words can rhyme. Keep an eye out for Dr. Seuss-themed projects and a fun Green Eggs and Ham treat that we will make! We will end March by learning about where we live in our town, our community and our world. We’re looking forward to watching the children continue to grow. We love seeing them so silly and most importantly, happy!
Thank you for trusting them to our care!

Miss Bev, Miss Kelly, Miss Robin and Miss Carrie



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February was an adventurous and loving month! The kids are growing in many exciting ways. We’ve seen their ability to recognize letters and shapes improve, along with their comfort and ease in their developing cutting and drawing skills. The blossoming friendships have shown us their progressing social skills, their happiness is infectious! We continue to be very proud of their accomplishments and growth and enjoy every second with them.
We started February learning about friendships. We talked about the many different relationships in our lives: parents, siblings, grandparents, family and friends. We also talked about ways to be a friend and how to show people we love and care about them. We made a “friendship quilt” with all the handprints from our Cedars class. Valentines week was lots of fun! We made heart bracelets and bookmarks using our thumb-heart-print. The kids loved them! We asked the kids “who do you love” and this what some had to say:

Kate: I love eating pizza with mom and dad.
Johnny: I love painting.
Benjamin: I love my brother, we play together but sometimes we become rascals.
Ryder: I love hugging and kissing my mom.
Corinne: My papa and grandpa.
Cate: Playing the wrestle game with my brother.
Brendan: Wrestling with my dad.
Livvy: Hadley we always play together.

Our class Valentine’s Day party was so much fun! Many thanks to all the families who donated treats for our celebration: Tucker, Butler, Balt, Wagner, DeMar, and Shesgreen. The children were so sweet and thoughtful while passing out their cards. It is refreshing to see that a simple princess or Star Wars card can make us feel good!
This month we also had so much fun with Dr. Seuss. We read The Cat in the Hat and decorated big paper hats. Ms. Carrie cooked green eggs and ham for the children and made a chart of who likes green eggs and ham and who doesn’t. We also enjoyed painting lorax masks and read about them, too. We also read “If I ran the Zoo” and asked the kids what they would do if they ran the zoo:

Charlie: I would have an elephant who could use his trunk to make music.
Elena: I would have all the animals live in a house, they will be good friends!
Emma: I would let all the animals live in my zoo, but I would also want lots of butterflies!
Hadley: I would have a family of giraffes that will be in a house all together, they’re all going to love each other!
Aidan B: I would have a tall green giraffe who would eat all the trees. He is hungry!

In March, we will begin our unit called “Around the World.” The children will get to make their own passports and suitcases to explore a different country and culture every day of the month of March. Some countries we will visit include: USA, Ireland, England and Egypt. In the USA, we’re going to Hawaii and New Orleans! If you or a relative have traveled to another country or are from another country we would love to have you come to the class and share some of that culture with us.  Just let us know!  We would also love to have more guest readers. Readers can pick a book from home or our library and read to our class at 12:20. The children love to have their parents read to our class. Thank you, Gwen Llewellyn, Melissa Griffiths and Audrey Balt  for coming in and reading to the class and to Corinne’s grandpa for his upcoming visit. Also, if you haven’t done so, please sign up on the calendar for your VIP day. The children are getting very excited about their turn! Once again, we wanted to thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us each day! They touch our lives in a special way everyday as we hope we touch theirs.

Happy Spring!
Shannon, Manal, and Carrie 


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March is here and with it comes spring. The grass is green, the flowers are blooming and the Redwoods class is filled with happy smiles and cheerful voices. We see so much more confidence and ability in the children from our start in September until now and we continue to see growth in so many areas. Teachers and children are having a great year.
February was such a fun month with Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year to celebrate, and celebrate we did! We spent a week learning about Chinese New Year, decorating our room for Chinese New Year, making dragon masks and having a dragon parade through the school at the end of the week. “I am the year of the dragon and there’s different animals for different years like monkeys and roosters,” ALLISON told us. “We colored envelopes red and the Chinese dragon came and put chocolate coins in it,” enthused COULTER. “We made dragons and I love dragons,” added JOHNNY. “They have oranges ‘cause it’s a lucky color,” remembered RYAN. “And we colored dragons to go in the parade,” shared LYLA ROSE. “You put out dragons for a parade,” agreed VAUGHN. “They have a big parade and they eat long noodles to have a long life,” added MORGAN. “I went to a dragon parade when I was little and we made red envelopes because red is happy,” LYLA C. told us.
We decorated for Valentine’s Day and got ready for our parties. “I like making Valentine cards,” A. J. told us. “My cousins, they love me and I love them, and valentines is loving somebody,” shared CHARLIE E. “You love each other because you do and you give gifts and valentines because you love them,” explained GIANNA. “I love my family,” added BEN. “I’m going to go to the Growing Tree party for valentines and I send cards to my Grandma and Grandpa because they’re special in my heart,” MOMO told us. (Grandma and Grandpa are going to love that quote!) “I send cards to my friends because we love them and I make valentines for Mommy and Daddy and Grandpa,” WYATT shared. “I make cookies with my Mom for valentines and we put sprinkles on them,” JESSICA told us. “My Grammie is coming today for Valentine’s Day, and Grammie and Dallas are sleeping in the same room and Dallas is my cousin’s dog,” explained CARIS. A big “Thank you!” to the Mommies who brought treats for our parties. We had a very fun time!
We also learned about bears and thought about how we decide which bears are alive and which bears are stuffed. “Real bears can live in the forest and in a cave and stuffed bears live in your bedroom and you can sleep with them, but a real bear would try to eat you,” explained BRODY. “Polar bears and brown bears, they can walk by themselves and we bring our animals and they aren’t real so they can’t walk,” continued JULIETTE. “Bears roar, but stuffies can’t roar because they’re a toy,” added TESSA. “There’s polar bears and brown bears and black bears and stuffed bears. Stuffed bears have stuffing in and real bears have claws,” shared LYLA P. “They’re in the woods and I bringed a bear from home because stuffed animals don’t live in the woods and real bears hunt for food, but stuffed animals have pretend food,” explained TYLER “Bears like to eat honey and they like to eat fish. Stuffed bears eat toy food. Real bears move by themselves and eat honey and stuffed bears aren’t real,” RYLAN told us. “Bears hide in caves and they eat fish,” said J.R.,” and I have two bears and they sleep on my bed ‘cause that’s all they can do.”  “Sometimes bears hibernate and my bear has a little stuffed cave so he can hibernate.” ISABELLA told us. “They come out of their cave at spring, but my bear likes to play outside in the snow with his friends,” POPPY explained.
Now that we are turning five, we are big enough to learn how to be healthy and help take care of ourselves. ”Eat good and eat vegetables and eat healthy food and beans and kiwi,” ISAAC told us. “Eat food like veggies and if you eat too much of candy your stomach will hurt,” shared SEQUOIA. “Eat good food and wash hands with soap and water and in your fingernails and the sides and in your fingers,” CARTER explained. “Brush your teeth because you’ll get cavities and sugar bugs,” JAMES told us. “And flossing so you don’t get sugar bugs and put the floss in between your teeth,” continued CHARLIE R. “I brush my teeth so the sugar bugs get out and I brush twenty days”, said REAGAN.
Just a reminder that registration for any of you thinking about Sequoias is March 6-10. If you need specific days, register early in the week. Growing Tree will be closed from April 3 to April 7 for spring break. We hope your spring break is filled with fun.
As we travel along this fun filled road from September to June, we want you to know how much we enjoy our time with your children. Each one is so special and we have such fun getting to know each one and spending time with them. The road continues and we are all loving it.

Miss Vicki, Miss Blake, and Miss Sandy

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February was a busy, fun filled month in Sequoias! The first big event was the field trip to see Goodnight Moon at Saint Mary’s. Thank you to all our wonderful parent drivers. Without you, these trips would not be possible! Your kids love having you along and they were exceptionally excited after this year’s play. BELLA loved when the tooth fairy found the tooth under the pillow. BEN liked the cat’s ears and the tooth fairy’s dress. KEIRA loved the tooth fairy. ZANE loved when the cow finally jumped over the moon. EMI loved the tooth fairy because she took the tooth. NAOMI liked the tooth fairy’s clothes. CLAIRE loved Clarabelle the cow because she had a beautiful dress. It was a successful, fun trip!

The 100th day of school quickly came and we had a blast celebrating in class. One of our activities was to brainstorm and draw what we wish we had one hundred of, or what we would buy if we had $100 to spend. We were even brave enough to sound out our responses using inventive spelling! See if you can figure them out. (See the end of the newsletter for answers):



“I wish I had 100…”

JAMES – Biled A Bear
BENNY – Pokeon
CAMMY – ldbz
TRIPP – dolrs
COLIN – lgo
NIKO – mobuls
“I would buy ____ with $100…”

ANDREY – a nobot
ZOEY – buk
After celebrating 100 days of school, we jumped right into Valentines Day! We decorated cookies and exchanged special valentines. Everyone loved delivering their special cards to their friends in class. We made a special “Love Potion” that would make you fall in love with the first person you look at after taking your first sip. After our first sips…

NIKO – I love Maggie

CHLOE – I looked at Cammy

AUGUST – I love James

LUCI – I love nobody, well I love a ghost

VIVIAN – I love unicorns

MAGGIE – I saw Niko, I love Niko

After all the love, we moved on to discussions about Presidents’ Washington and Lincoln, talking about Washington cutting down the cherry tree and reminding them that it’s definitely better to tell the truth! Hope that helps at home!

We wrapped up February with a Dr. Seuss week – talking about and having fun with rhyming words and reading our favorite Dr. Seuss stories, “Horton Hears a Who”, “Green Eggs and Ham”, and of course “The Lorax.”

Our March themes include Rain and Rainbows, Chicks & Eggs and Springtime. We have our final field trip to Percussion Discussion at the Lesher Theater in Walnut Creek on March 15th. If you have not driven on a previous field trip we would love to have you join us. Please see Miss Stephanie to sign up.

Answers to our “sounding out”

JAMES – Build a Bears
BENNY – Pokemon
CAMMY – ladybugs
LUKAS – panda bears
TRIPP – dollars
COLIN – legos
NIKO – marbles
ANDREY – a black robot
ZOEY – bike

Miss Stephanie, Miss Laureen and Miss Rachel


activity center adventuresOur month of celebrating love and friendship allowed the children to create lots of art to share with friends and family! TESSA, TIMMY, REESE AND LOGAN enjoyed painting hearts together. KEIRA made a heart collage and told her friends “This is for my mommy!” LUCY wanted to make three love bugs so that she could bring one home to each of her siblings-so thoughtful! NELLIE wanted to use “all the pink hearts” on her collage. JACK J, ISAAC AND DASH had fun making hearts out of play dough. While baking Valentine cookies, ELENA reminded her younger friends “We don’t eat the cookie dough!” BELLA explained, “We have to wait for them to bake in the oven first.”
We always love seeing your children’s imagination at work when we act out our favorite stories. “Going on a Bear Hunt”, “The Three Polar Bears” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” are some of our favorites! LUCY always wants to be  Goldilocks in our story, while RYLAN and GRAYSON love pretending to be big scary bears. BRENNAN has been so excited for the rain to stop so we can play outside again; every day she asks “Do we get to go out today?!” FINN has been astounded by how much rain we’ve had recently: “Why is it raining again??” Since it’s still chilly outside, ALLISON likes to remind her friends to “wear your jacket!” CHLOE likes to claim “I don’t need a jacket because I have long sleeves!”
Near the end of the month, we learned about winter animals and the arctic. VIVIAN let us know that “The North Pole is in the arctic” and SISI said “That’s where Santa lives!” SUMMER, BEN, TAYLOR AND DREW had a blast playing with animal figurines and identifying each winter animal. We had penguins, seals, polar bears and more! DECLAN taught us that “Penguins slide on their tummies.” ADELINE observed “The polar bear is white!”
In March, we will be learning about St. Patrick’s day! MARGOT remembered from last year that we “have to wear green.” MACK added “I like green.” The kids are excited for lots of green painting, glitter, shamrocks and more. We are also looking forward to some Leprechaun surprises and silly games!
As we look forward to the Spring season, we will enjoy learning more about planting and what makes flowers and trees grow. We will explore the Growing Tree gardens and take advantage of any warm weather to go outside on nature walks! We will also learn more about the baby animals we will start seeing in Spring.
Thank you again for sharing your wonderful children with us in the afternoons! We love the extra time we get to spend with them each day. Looking forward to another month of activities and fun!
Kelly and Sandy