Hi Bears Families,

The Bears have been having a great time together as we make our transition from winter to spring.  Can you believe it was actually snowing on Friday?  The Bears teachers took full advantage of the snowfall, taking the Bears outside to look at their footprints in the snow and to catch snowflakes on black construction paper (and on their tongues).  The Bears shared their observations with me when they returned, commenting that snowflakes look like squares and rectangles.  Some other final winter-related activities have included making banana-raisin muffins and eating them for snack with cups of hot chocolate on a particularly cold day, as well as reading the book “Lemonade in Winter” (by Emily Jenkins) and making a response chart to the question: “What Would You Sell in Winter?”  FYI – “Lemonade in Winter” was purchased by the Bears during a recent visit to the Community Bookstore.  (Did you know that the store’s co-owner, Ezra Goldstein, is a Collective parent from way back when??)
The Bears have also been having a wonderful time acting out different children’s books during free play.  They started with “Sitting in My Box” by Dee Lillegard, with the Bears teachers setting up big cardboard boxes in the circle area, then having one teacher read the story aloud as the children took turns acting it out.  (If you don’t know the book, it’s a delightful story with various wild animals squeezing into a box until a flea steps in.)  Their next book to act out was the classic “Mr. Gumpy’s Outing” by John Burningham, with the children having great fun crowding into their boat box, toppling over, “swimming” in the circle area, and having tea.  Check out the photo displays on the easels.
As usual, there have been many art activities and explorations in the Bears.  The children made thread paintings by dipping long pieces of thread in paint and dabbing/draping them across paper.  They have also really enjoyed working with clay (natural clay), pounding, rolling, and shaping with popsicle sticks.  The Bears culminated their family study by making portraits of their families with multicultural cray-pas – be sure to take a look at the display in the hallway above the cubbies.  And be sure to check out the incredible Bears artwork for the benefit auction this Saturday night.  Each Bear made an art square by blowing black ink through a straw and then painting with water colors.  The teachers mounted all the squares next to each other to make one cohesive (and stunning) piece, all framed and ready to go!  Should be a very popular item at the auction.  Take a look: http://psccc.org/auction/bears_art.jpg
And finally, if you haven’t already, please let me know asap if your child will be taking off school for a family vacation so we can keep track of upcoming absences.  Thanks!
Enjoy your week!
PS  And stay tuned to the upcoming Bears curricula of the five senses and spring.