Dear Branch Families,
What a marvelous month it has been! May brought us some rain and thunderstorms and then finally, some warm, sunny weather! The perfect weather to start growing our knowledge of plants and gardening!
We like to take a deep dive into gardening during May because as they say “April showers bring May flowers!” This is always such a fun and exciting study for both the teachers and the students. It allows us to see the growing process from start to finish and get our hands dirty! Plus the results at the end are always beautiful!
We started off our study by learning about seeds and looking at different types of seeds. We compared the size and color of seeds and talked about how some seeds we can even eat! Like the little white seeds in our watermelon at lunch or sunflower seeds. Then we worked together to gather supplies from the greenhouse to start planting. We filled the two big pots outside with potting soil and placed them in a safe, sunny spot. The Branchers got to have a turn placing either a green bean or a pea seed into the pot. After that, the Branchers did an excellent job watering our seeds and even singing songs to the seeds while we were outside to help our seeds grow big and strong. Finally, after waiting patiently for a few weeks we are starting to see some sprouts! We can’t wait to continue to watch them all summer and enjoy the fruits of our harvest.
During circle time we read Jack and the Beanstalk. All the Branchers loved the story but what they loved even more was a fun, story-telling song about Jack and the Beanstalk. After learning about Magic Beans we were able to get our hands on a few magic beans ourselves. What made our beans so magical is that they could grow WITHOUT soil! So we placed each bean into a ziplock baggie with a damp tissue and taped it to the window. After a week or so that bean began to sprout! Some of the beans grew so big they came out of their bags! It was interesting getting to see what their roots looked like and how a bean grows out of its shell.
When exploring the various parts of a flower, we put our lab coats on and got to work by performing our very own Radical Rainbow Blooms! We conducted a color test with white carnation flowers by placing each flower into the water with various food colors. As time went on, we watched as the flowers soaked up the water and began to turn the colors they were placed in. This gave us a great visual of how a flower’s stem can be used as a “straw” to soak up water and bring it up towards the pistol and petals of the flower.
No month would be complete without some beautiful art created by the Branchers! As for art this month, we enjoyed reading Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed. So we took to trying to create some of our own art inspired by Eric Carle. We loved the texture of his artwork so Branchers mixed paint colors together using texture rollers to create a beautiful print. After the paint had dried, the Branchers then practiced their cutting skills and cut out the different parts of the flower: a stem, leaves, a center, and petals. We assembled all the pieces together and created a beautiful wall of flowers! Next up- self portraits, this month we cut out white petals to form our self portraits in the shape of a Shasta Daisy. Each Brancher then drew themselves in the center of the daisy. They’re self portraits are always improving and becoming very detailed. We also needed to update our name flags for the month. This month Branchers selected their favorite fruit or veggie and then colored it in as their name flag. It is so fun to get to see a bit about their personality in each name flag. We had a lot of variety when it came to our favorite fruits and vegetables. Lastly, we practiced our cutting skills with a shape salad. We had a great time talking about how different fruit and vegetables grow: in the ground, on a tree or on the vine. We also saw Branchers excited to try new foods at the table and focus on eating good foods to help their bodies grow.
As this month nears an end, it is as always fun to reflect and discuss as a group some of the fun, hands-on, engaging, and informational things we have all enjoyed learning! Make sure you ask your Brancher what their favorite discovery was in May.
Can you believe June is upon us already? Bring on the summer weather, sunshine, and insects… That’s right, insects. Our upcoming study is Insects and Arachnids!
- Ms. Gracen and Ms. Heather