Dear Bears Families,

The Bears have been engaging in many exciting Spring activities. Having made their binoculars, the Bears spent a morning bird-watching in Prospect Park. They entered at Grand Army Plaza, then walked along the paths and in the more “wooded” area (which the children called a “jungle”) between the path and the wall along Prospect Park West. There they saw sparrows, a woodpecker, a cardinal, a robin, and starlings. Looking up, they even saw a hawk. Aside from watching birds, they also listened to birdsong and played in the meadow area of the park.

The Bears have begun some spring planting in the classroom. One day they walked down 7th Avenue to Tarzian Hardware to buy seeds and soil. They brought these items back to school, and a few days later they read “Miss Maple’s Seeds” by Eliza Wheeler, a beautifully-illustrated book about a magical woman who collects, cares for, and later disperses seeds to grow. Following the book, the children gathered in their small groups and planted grass seeds (from Tarzian) on wet sponges. They are continuing to keep their seeds moist and watching to see what will happen. The Bears also recently read “Seeds and How They Grow” by Harold Tannenbaum, a very clear book with lots of information about seeds. This book-reading was followed by a discussion of where we would like the wind to blow us if we were a seed – see the responses on a chart in the circle area.

Spring brings lots of rainy weather, and the Bears have embraced this springtime phenomenon. They read the book “Wet World” by Norma Simon (gently illustrated by Alexi Natchev), about a little girl and her adventures on a rainy day. Also, on one recent rainy day the Bears danced to a number of rainy-day songs, including “The Rain Song,” “Singing in the Rain,” and “Rain, Rain, Go Away.” And they have made rain clouds by cutting out cloud shapes from white paper (an excellent fine-motor activity), gluing on cotton balls, and then cutting out raindrop shapes from blue paper, gluing these raindrops to strips of yarn, and taping the yarn to their clouds. You can see these rain clouds hanging from the ceiling in the art area.

Some more springtime art activities include easel painting on flower-shaped paper and drawing spring pictures with oil pastels on sandpaper (check these out on the wall above the cubbies). The Bears have also been making kites by folding colored tissue paper around a wooden frame, then taping down the paper. Once the Bears add tails, we hope to get in some kite-flying.

IMPORTANT – Please remember that the Collective will be closed on Thursday, May 8th, for a Staff Development Day.

Stay warm and dry!

Martha