Dear Bears Families,

The Winter curriculum continues in the Bears Room! This past week the Bears read another Jan Brett book, “The Hat,” about a hedgehog that accidentally ends up with a woolen stocking on his head and the animals who follow with their own unusual attire. The teachers followed this story with the question “If you were one of the animals, what clothes would you wear and why?” The Bears really pondered and came up with an array of responses from “a sweater because it keeps me warm” to “snow pants because I like to.” You can see the children’s responses posted in the circle area. Another winter activity was the making of a winter tree. First the children took a large piece of paper and roller-painted it blue, then the teachers outlined a tree on the painted paper. Next the children used black paint and paint brushes to fill out the tree, then created snow by spraying watered-down white paint onto the tree with a spray bottle. Finally the children sprinkled glitter onto the wet paint to make the snow sparkly. Please check out the winter tree on the wall next to the cozy closet. And did you see the children’s mittens? The Bears made these by tracing their hands on a piece of felt, cutting out the “mitten” shapes, then sewing the pieces together with plastic needles and yarn through holes that the teachers punched out with a hole-punch. A really fun small-motor activity!

Last Monday the Bears teachers introduced a new area to the Bears Room – the writing table. Each Bear now has his/her own blank notebook to use whenever they choose to do writing, and what a popular choice this has been! Many Bears are in the beginning stages of writing, making “shorthand-style” marks on the pages to signify the written word. Several others are working on writing their letters and stringing them together, while some are copying and writing words, especially their classmates’ names. All these stages of writing are to be expected – and applauded – as they all show a child’s growing development with written expression and the use and understanding of letters and words. It’s also wonderful to see groups of children at the writing table together, working and conversing together and helping each other out with their writing.

Another new choice in the Bears Room is the new workbench. This workbench has been a favorite in the room from the very first day of its arrival. Several children volunteered to help put it together, which they did by following the diagram with its parts labelled “A,” “B,” etc. It was really exciting to see that letter recognition at work. And now the children are having such fun using it with its child-safe wrench, hammer, saw, and screwdriver, plus nuts, bolts, nails, screws, hubs, and wheels. ¬†Another great area for the children to focus, create, and enjoy.

See you tomorrow!

Martha