Friday, March 19, 2010

Easter egg hunt: on April 1st we would like to invite all parents and children to join us and participate in an Easter Egg Hunt! We are inviting everyone to join us at 11:00 am to hide the eggs in our garden. Then all the children will go on an egg hunt with our hand-made baskets (if you haven’t yet please bring in a milk / juice carton or strawberry basket). After the egg hunt we will have an early dismissal at 12:30 and start spring break! School resumes on April 12th.

Donations for interest area: in order to enhance our dramatic play area we would like all our parents to donate items! These items do not need to be store bought – we would more than love old clothes as well as items from parents who work in the medical, dental, fire, safety, postal, and science fields! We really appreciate all donations!

Student volunteers: over the past few months Utopia has been fortunate enough to benefit from the assistance of two students from the upper grades, Elliott, an eighth grader, and Jonathan, a seventh grader. These students come to our classroom about three times a week for a couple of hours and help around the classroom and work with the students. Elliott and Jonathan help the teachers with the classroom, including washing dishes, cleaning the art area, and organizing the outside play area. The boys also interact with the children. Jonathan has helped the students put together many puzzles and form the plastic marble tubes into a structure that the students had never seen before! Elliott reads multiple books a day to the students and everyday is asked to read the book “Bright Stanley and the Dark Cave Monster” by request of the students. Both boys have been extremely kind and helpful and the students look forward to their daily visits.

Prekindergarten: we have started to divide the children into two smaller groups based on their ages and stages, allowing the teachers to enhance our program by working in smaller groups which allows us to provide more challenging activities and projects.

Our garden: our garden is starting to really come together. The weather this week has been excellent and many of our plants have started to bloom and flower. The children had many opportunities this week to help plant new vegetables, water the plants, and watch the new flowers emerge. So far, our garden consists of: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peas, zucchini, squash, purple and yellow pansies, marigolds, strawberries, garlic, carrots, blueberries, jasmine, tulips, potatoes, nemesia deep blue imp., cauliflower, lemon balm, chervil, oregano, two baby avocado trees, rosemary, hydrangea, blue wild flowers, mint, spearmint, cucumber, watermelon, corn, artichoke, and dwarf periwinkles.

Many of our plants started from seed so they are just beginning to emerge. Don’t forget about our garden-giving tree! We placed it next to the sign-in area. Our garden wish list consists of: planter boxes (preferably wooden), fruit trees, any kind of vegetables or fruit, soil, lavender, and hardy colorful flowers. We strongly encourage donating something that you already have but may not need. An easy and inexpensive idea is to donate a transplant of something you already have growing in your garden. We want to represent the different family backgrounds in our class – bringing a plant from your home is a lovely way to represent your culture.