Dear Branch families,

We have had an amazing, wonderful first month in the Branch Classroom. We are loving every second of getting to know each other and learning new things about our classroom. As teachers we are just astounded at how well everybody has transitioned to the new teachers,  new routines, and new classroom. 

For the first couple weeks in the Branch classroom we have been going over classroom safety, learning about new stations and exploring the big playground! Knowing and understanding their new environment is key to having fun but also keeping safe. “We have rules to keep us safe,” is one of our classroom mottos which we use rather frequently to ensure our new Branchers are not only having fun, but being mindful of safety as well. These Branchers have picked up the new expectations quickly and we are off to a fantastic start! 

As a new class, we had a group discussion about ourselves as individuals and what made us unique and special. “I like Me” is a book we incorporated into our morning circle time. This book provided many different ways each child is unique in their own way and to embrace our differences and qualities! We then had each child think about what made him/her unique and what they love about themselves. We had some pretty spectacular and well-thought-out answers! 

As an art activity, each student was asked to draw a picture of themselves…and the term “self-portrait” was introduced.  Using only a mirror, a pencil, a single piece of paper, and a little imagination, each Brancher was asked to draw what appeared as they saw their reflection in the mirror. They observed their face, ears, eyes, nose, hair, and even eyebrows and eyelashes…and with that, each Brancher became their very own artist! Watching them beam with great smiles and laugh at their facial expressions while peering into the mirror was priceless! Self-portraits are one of our favorite activities, so we will incorporate them into each passing month. You will truly be amazed by the progression and attention to facial detail throughout each month. 

As the month progressed and we moved into our first study, GERMS!  What better way to introduce germs, proper hand washing, and good hygiene than in the first month in a new classroom environment? We discussed and discovered that everyone has germs, both good ones, and bad ones. Some germs help us stay healthy, and some germs can make us quite sick and hand washing is key to preventing sickness and germ control. Each Bracnher learned a fun singing activity as they took their time washing their hands. “Wash, wash, wash your hands” Self explanatory song title, but excellent hand washing results! We also incorporated many fun whole group activities, including “Icky Sticky Sherm the Germ” which proved to be quite a hit! 

Visual germ science and education didn’t stop there, as we incorporated glitter into our next experiment.” Glitter Handshake” was next on our learning agenda! By sprinkling glitter into our hands, Ms. Heather and I began shaking hands with each Brancher. Each Brancher was then asked to shake hands with their circle time neighbor. When all the handshakes were given, they were then asked to look at their hands. The discovery of glitter all over their hands was a great way to simulate germs with the glitter and provided a different perspective on germs and sharing them with just a straightforward handshake. 

Another fun and hands-on activity we shared at circle time involved a clear liquid (Glo Germ) and a black light. Each Brancher was given a small amount of the liquid and asked to rub it into their hands, in between their fingers and on the tops of their hands. We then called each Brancher up to put their hands under the black light. The Branchers discovered that the clear liquid applied on their hands glowed in the dark with the black light set in place.  Each Brancher was then excused one by one to wash their hands with soap and water. After washing their hands each Brancher returned to the circle to see how well they scrubbed. With improper hand washing, such as not using soap or rushing through the process, they learned that their hands would glow in the dark because the liquid was still on their hands. With proper handwashing though, the Branchers observed that their hands did not glow. Although anything that glows is pretty awesome to the Branchers, dirty glowing hands are not. This activity helped to remind our Branchers of the importance of scrubbing in between fingers and the backs of their hands. 

As September came to an end, I think it is pretty safe to say that being a Brancher is pretty awesome! We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each and every one of our new students as well as their fun personalities. The transition into the Branch classroom has been almost flawless, and we are pleased with the eagerness to learn the classroom’s ins and outs. October is sure to bring more art, science, games, and circle time activities as we

 “Fall into Autumn…with our 5 senses”. Apple tasting, applesauce making, and pumpkin carving…oh my! With all the sights, smells, and tastes of Autumn, we’re sure to have a deliciously educational month!

Our Family board is starting to come together! We enjoy seeing all the beautiful faces and families. Keep the pictures coming in! 

Happy Fall! 

Miss Gracen and Miss Heather

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