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 structures and routines of the day. The teachers, in turn, have been working diligently to establish consistent classroom routines and structures as this consistency fosters a sense of security in our children, which in turn frees up their creativity and play. In other words, when a child doesn’t have to think/worry about what is coming next or negotiate an erratic environment, she/he can play freely and comfortably. And this play has been taking off! I love to pop into the Bears Room and watch the children building towers in the block area, pounding play dough and goop, painting at the easels, scooping and pouring at the sand table, and dressing up in jackets and hats as they “go off to work” in the dramatic play area. A very joyful room!
The Bears have been busy getting to know – and learning more and more about – each other through the Bears Room “All About Me” curriculum. The Bears have been reading several books with this focus, with follow-up discussions and charts. One book, “Marvelous Me – Inside and Out” by Lisa Bullard and illustrated by Brandon Reibling, celebrates the special and unique qualities of its protagonist and invites readers to do the same. The teachers did just that, following this book with a discussion of “I am _____,” with responses ranging from “I am fast. I can scoot all by myself,” to “I am special because I’m special.” (Of course!) Another book the teachers read is “I Can Do It Myself” by Diane Adams and illustrated by Nancy Hayashi, followed by a discussion of things our Bears can do themselves, including pour milk, do a hard puzzle, and zip zippers. Please check out these charts, which are displayed near the rug area. Another great Bears chart is the birthday graph by the front door. The children love to look at it, discovering who shares birthday months and counting and comparing the number of birthdays across all the months.
*Important – please send in your family photo if you have not done so already! The Bears love to look at one another’s photos on the family tree.
The Bears have also been engrossed with a Fall curriculum, talking together about ways we know it is autumn and observing for themselves the change of season during their daily walks to the playground with the leaves changing color and dropping from the trees. The children have also made paintings using fall colors including two large sheet panels (now displayed on the closet doors) that the children created by splattering red, yellow, and brown paint with their hands. They have also learned a new Fall song (sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”): “It is fall and it’s time to _______” with the children filling in the blank with fall activities (e.g., rake the leaves, put on coats).
And finally, last week marked the beginning of music with Greg and yoga with Jovan. Both classes went so well. Greg had the children shaking egg shakers and dancing away (even our shyer Bears!), and Jovan captivated the Bears with her playful and energetic approach to yoga. Please be sure to check with the teachers which day and time your child is slotted for yoga to ensure a punctual arrival for class.
Some final notes:
1) To keep families up to date with daily activities, the Bears teachers jot down a few highlights of the day on a white paper pinned to the bulletin 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.
2) Curriculum Night – Curriculum Night will be held Wednesday, October 23, at 6:00 PM. There will be no childcare that night as the teachers attend and present in all three rooms simultaneously. I’m sorry if this is inconvenient, but hope you can make arrangements to attend this informative event. Curriculum Night lasts about 1 hour or so.
3) The Collective will be closed on Monday, October 14, for Columbus Day.