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, “I Can, Can You?” by Carol Adorjan with pictures by Miriam Nerlove, was followed by a discussion of “What can you do?”, with the teachers writing down the children’s recounting of their latest accomplishments. The Bears have also read “I’m Gonna Like Me” by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell, followed by a discussion about what we like about ourselves, and the delightful “I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont with pictures by David Catrow. This last book was followed by a discussion about being special and what makes each of us special. This week the children shared what they did over the long weekend – please take a look at the responses on the chart in the rug area.
The children have also been having a fun time experimenting with their names. One day they found, put together, and counted all the letters in their names on squares of construction paper, then compared the number of letters in their own names with their classmates’. Please check out the chart on the far wall to see the results. Another day they sorted through alphabet beads to find the letters in their names, then strung them together to make necklaces and bracelets (which they proudly displayed). Afterwards they read “Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes, about a little girl with an unusual name, and sang “We All Have Beautiful Names.”
The Bears have also been engrossed in 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. With their teachers they made handprints with autumn colors by tracing their hands, cutting them out, and taping them onto white paper, then painting the entire paper with red and yellow tempera paint. Then they untaped and removed the hand tracing to expose the handprint beneath. Please check these prints out on the far wall. The Bears also painted fall trees on black paper using yellow, orange, green, and brown powder paint. Please see these trees displayed in the hallway above the cubbies. And the Bears have also been learning a new fall song – “Autumn Leaves are Changing Colors” – sung to the tune of “London Bridge.”
And finally, the children have been so enjoying Music with Brian and Yoga with Jovan. Brian has been engaging the children with an array of children’s songs, and Jovan’s playful and energetic approach to yoga continues to captivate our Bears. She even had them “apple-picking” this week! 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) 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 Bear cave display.
2) 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.
3) Curriculum Night – Curriculum Night is next Thursday, October 22, 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.
Thanks for reading!
PS Exciting news – Ari’s baby brother has arrived!! More info to come but so far we know his name is Louis and he was born yesterday (October 14). Congrats to Ari, Alex, and Dan!!