Dear Bears Families,

Well, the weather certainly cooperated with the Bears and their Winter Curriculum last week!! On Tuesday the Bears teachers read “Big Snow” by Jonathan Bean, about a boy anticipating a snowstorm. They followed this book by going outside on St. Johns Place, where the children had so much fun laughing and running through the snow, having a “snowball fight,” catching snowflakes on their tongues, and even lying down and making snow angels. They also looked for tracks in the snow, noticing both boot prints and dog paw prints. On Wednesday the Bears teachers brought snow inside and placed it in the water table for the children to observe and play with. That evening, the Bears put 4 buckets of water outside on the fire escape, then the next day they brought the buckets back inside. First the children observed the ice that had formed and discussed together what had happened to the water and why. Next the teachers asked, “How do we melt ice, like the ice we see on the sidewalks?” with many children responding that they had seen salt sprinkled on sidewalks. Thereupon, the Bears split into their Small Groups, with each group taking a block of ice from a bucket and placing it on a tray. The Bears then sprinkled salt on the ice block and watched and listened as the ice began to crack and melt. The Bears then dropped blue, red, yellow, and green food coloring – using their fine motor skills with the droppers – onto the ice and observed as it penetrated through the cracks developing in the melting ice, while their teachers asked them what they saw and why they thought it was happening. A very interesting and exciting science activity!

Some other winter books read by the Bears this week were the fun counting book “Ten on the Sled” written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Liza Woodruff and the whimsical “Is That You, Winter?” written and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The Bears have also been singing a new song, “If All the Snowflakes…” and made their own snowflakes by gluing craft sticks together in snowflake shapes, painting them blue, and sprinkling them with glitter. Each Bear’s snowflake came out unique, just as the Bears have learned that no two snowflakes are exactly alike. The Bears also made circle paintings by dipping the rims of plastic cups into black paint, then pressing the cup rims onto a piece of white paper to make a multiple circle design. Once the circles dried, the Bears painted inside the circles – and their intersecting segments – with water colors. Please check out these paintings on the wall above the cubbies.

That’s it for now – hope you’ve all had a great weekend!