Friday, January 28, 2011

A Sweet End to January

January has certainly been an eventful month for the students of Utopia. We ushered in the end of the month with a sweet surprise - making our very own sugar crystals!

The procedure was simple. First, in a glass jar, we dissolved some white sugar into hot water. Then, we dipped a paperclip on a string into the sugary mixture. We tied the other end of the string to a pencil, which rested on top of the mouth of the jar. Though the kids were ultra curious, we had to leave the experiment undisturbed for a few minutes.

As you can see, some groups even decided to color their sweet solutions.

Some kids were able to see the colored sugar re-crystallizing on the paperclip. What an thrill! We plan to repeat the experiment next week. In the meantime, if you and your kids would like to do this at home, please don't hesitate to ask us for details.

For Language Arts, we began identifying some common food and random items that begin with the letter "C". You can certainly try it at home with your kids - carrot, corn, cabbage, crayon, cotton ...

The Scholastic Book Fair will be on Monday, Jan. 31. Next week, we will be visiting the library, so expect a nice little wish list from your children. They may even see a giant red dog (Clifford) in costume to greet them.

One last reminder - the school will be closed on February 4, Friday. Enjoy the long weekend!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy 2011!

Welcome 2011!

As we start the New Year, we also welcome three new friends: Alessandro, Maia, and Santino to Utopia. If you see them or their parents at drop off or pick up, please introduce yourself.


We came back from the break well rested and very interested to learn about crystals. We’ve done several experiments including growing crystals from a kit. The outcome wasn’t what we expected, but we’ll try again. Hopefully, we figured out where went wrong, and the next time will be a success.

We were very fascinated with the effect of the ice cream salt rocks when placed on top of a huge block of ice. For a more dramatic effect, we added food color. We saw how the salt made the smooth surface of ice become rough really fast. We observed too that if we didn’t remove the salt, it made the spot where it laid melt faster. It was interesting to see how the salt “bore” holes into the ice.

Crystals don’t only grow from store-bought kits. Next week we’ll be making sugar crystals and experimenting with salt crystals.

If you have books on crystals or some curio items that can be brought to school for sharing, please label them and send them with your child. We promise to take care of them, but please don’t send anything precious.

Monday Journals

Next week we will start with our Monday Journal. This is a weekly project that would allow each child to record his/her weekend activities. The challenge here is for the child to remember what happened during the weekend and to actually draw something about it. We’ll keep you posted.