Dear Bears Families,It has been a wonderful start to the new school year.  The Bears have been busily engaged in the classroom, forging relationships with teachers and classmates, and learning the routines of the day.  It is such a lively and warm classroom, and the children are very welcoming of my visits.  I was recently enlisted to help make a play dough banquet of cookies, chicken, and cakes, plus I was invited last week to join a spirited rendition of the Hokey Pokey (a childhood favorite).  It’s a real treat to spend time with the Bears.

The Bears teachers have been busy with a Fall curriculum, observing the change of seasons during their daily walks to the playground.  Just the other day, almost as if on cue, a gust of wind blew down a flurry of colored leaves as the children were observing and discussing the beginning of fall.  The children have also made paintings using fall colors – some are marble paintings (putting paper in a sided container, applying paint, and then rolling marbles through the paint) and some are magnet paintings (similar set-up but moving a magnet on the underside to drag a metal ball through the paint).  The children were intrigued by the process of creating these paintings – check the display on the closet doors.  Next week the Bears plan to have their first walk to Prospect Park, where they will observe more signs of autumn and inevitably return with a collection of leaves, seeds, and nuts to examine more closely in the classroom.  At the park, they will also choose their “Watching Tree,” which they will observe (and visually record) at different points across the school year to observe its seasonal changes.

On Monday the Bears had their first Enrichment Class: Stomp and Clap with Greg.  Greg is a very special and engaging teacher who works at the Collective on Monday afternoons.  His first day with the Bears was a hit – the children sang a delightful name song with lots of dancing and movement.  He also introduced a favorite Collective song, “This Land is Your Land.”  Our second Enrichment Class, Yoga with Jovan, will begin next week.

Some final notes:

To keep families up to date with daily activities, the Bears teachers will be jotting down a few highlights of the day on the white board inside the classroom.  Be sure to check it out when you pick up your child – or ask your sitter to check and pass the news on to you.

We have some regular visitors in the Bears room who have been incredibly helpful with the children.  They are Cecilia Luna (a City-As-School high-school student), Belinda Kochle (a cousin of alumni Collective parents Stefan and Shanta, visiting from Switzerland), and Andrew Ferrera (our floater teacher on Tuesdays and Thursdays).  Be sure to say hi when you see them.

Wendy Newman, Lirit’s mom and a fabulous art teacher, is working on an art project with the Bears on Wednesday afternoons.  More details to follow!

Don’t forget to bring in your family photograph!  The Bears will be launching their “All About Me” and “Family” curricula later this month.

And finally we hope to see you on Wednesday, October 24, at 6:00 PM, for Curriculum Night.

Enjoy the long weekend!