Dear Bears Families,

The Bears continued to be happily involved with their family curriculum this last week. They made new family and self drawings, this time with a different medium: multicultural-colored oil pastels (to match skin tone) on black paper – these are displayed in the circle area above the family album of photos. They also made a group family collage by gluing magazine pictures of families onto a large piece of paper, and they painted their homes at the easels with building-shaped paper. And for their family-play in the dramatic play area, the Bears made quilts for the baby dolls by taking felt pieces and gluing on satin ribbon and bits of cloth. These quilts help us take good care of our babies during the cold winter weather. Some new family books that the Bears read were “The Family Book” by Todd Parr and “Jonathan and His Mommy” by Irene Smalls, with the latter book-reading followed by the children re-enacting scenes of Jonathan and his mother doing a variety of walks through their neighborhood: giant steps, zigzag steps, etc.

Another book the Bears read was “Soup Day” by Melissa Iwai, about a girl and her mother who shop to buy ingredients for vegetable soup, return home and cook together, and then savor a family meal altogether. This reading was followed by a group discussion of ways the Bears help their families at home with such responses as helping to feed a baby sibling to helping cook dinner to helping make the beds. The Bears also read the classic “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey, then made their own delicious blueberry muffins for snack one day. And on one of our snowy days the Bears read the endearing “The Biggest, Best Snowman” by Margery Cuyler, about a little girl who, despite her small size, discovers she can make her own big snowman. A lovely message for our little Bears.

“Small Group” time – a late morning activity during which the Bears break up into 4 separate groups with a teacher in each – has been quite busy with the Bears working on “Plan, Do, Review” in the different areas of the classroom. The point of “Plan, Do, Review” is to ensure that children have opportunities to play in various classroom areas (i.e., blocks, art, dramatic play, and writing), plus to encourage children to begin to plan intentionally what they might do in them. Please take a moment to read the children’s “Review” thoughts that are posted on the walls of these classroom areas to help give you a sense of how “Plan, Do, Review” manifests for them.

That’s it for now – enjoy the week!