Dear Bears Families,

Lots of activities focused on seeds and planting in the Bears Room! The Bears recently read “Seed to Plant” by Kristen Baird Kattini, then talked about the different parts of a plant and noted the similarities with our own bodies: stem = body, leaves = arms, roots = feet, and petals = hair. They also made plant drawings and labeled the parts themselves. You can see those drawings on the wall above the water table. And have you noticed that the water table is now a bean and dirt table? The Bears have been having a wonderful time scooping and measuring the dirt, examining, counting, and lining up the beans (lima beans, red kidney beans, and black-eyed peas), and splitting the beans open to look for embryos. They also recently planted onion bulbs using cups, rocks, and water, noting that it was different from planting with seeds and dirt. They also made predictions of what was going to happen to the bulbs – you can see those predictions listed above the sand table. And have you seen how tall the lima and kidney bean plants are now? Check them out on the windowsill.

The Bears have been having a great time with lots of open-ended art materials. Yesterday they took square pieces of burlap, needles, yarn, and buttons to sew designs and, for some, to make bags and purses. As they sewed, the teachers talked about the needle and yarn going “over and under” as well as how the children could “push and pull” the needle. The Bears were so excited to try this sewing that they waited with great patience for their turns. Another day the children used strips of colored construction paper, colored tape, and oil pastels to make their own creations, coming up with wallets, a remote control (to watch “Frozen” of course – and to fast forward to the really good parts), maps, bracelets, and headbands. And on another day the children put paper together with staples and tape, then proceeded to make books – writing in them themselves or dictating to their teachers. In a follow-up, the Bears then read “Arthur Writes a Story” by Marc Brown. It’s very exciting to see all the creative ways the Bears are using their skills and imagination.

This past Tuesday, as a change of pace, the Bears took a walk to the Mt. Prospect Playground and had a blast on the slides (especially the twisty slide) and the climber (shaped like the scales of a fish). It was a beautiful, warm day and the children so enjoyed trying out a new playground with different equipment. And, in case you are wondering, they handled the longer walk just fine! 🙂 We hope to enjoy many more similar outings.

Have a great weekend – and be sure to pick up your proof from Photo Day!