Dear Branch Families,

We are grateful for another fun-filled month of learning, exploring, and adventures! Coming together for conferences was so refreshing. Ms. Heather and I enjoyed our great conversations and getting to know you all a bit more! What a wonderful month it has been celebrating the season of friendships and families! 

We discussed the importance of friends and friendships as we began the month. This month, the Branchers have been enjoying “The Compliment Game!” The directions for the game were quite simple. As we sat in our circle, each Brancher was asked to look at their neighbor and compliment that friend. We brainstormed just what we thought a compliment was. As a whole group, we concluded: A compliment means that you’re saying something kind to a friend. Each friend could give and receive praise as we went around the circle. At the end of each game, we could reflect individually and as a group on how our hearts felt after hearing such kind words from our peers. To sum up, we like to have ‘happy hearts,’ and giving/ receiving compliments achieves that feeling. We played this game numerous times throughout the month, with compliments becoming more detailed! We’re hearing compliments left and right from our Brancher friends throughout the day. Learning and feeling empathy is essential to being a Brancher and a friend!

Next on our list of things to do: Family Graphing! Because every family is different, we thought it would be a fantastic time to display each family member visually. By using differently colored Unifix cubes, each Brancher was asked to list their family members and find the  Unifix cubes accordingly. Dark blue (dad), red (mom), yellow (sister), and green (brother). Once the cubes were chosen, each Brancher stacked their cubes up. We then placed each stack side by side to compare and measure. Not only was this a fun, hands-on learning activity, but it also incorporated mathematical skills. We now hear our Branchers counting and comparing/measuring throughout the day! Using their unifix cube family to help, the Branchers drew a family portrait. They were thoughtful with all the details of their family members. How prominent each family member was and what their hair was like. It was so fun to watch and listen to them describe their families. 

Math is one of many things being enjoyed in our classroom, though. Beading has taken a pretty serious role in our Branchers, so incorporating ‘friendship beading bracelets’ seemed fitting for our next activity. Each friend was asked to draw a name from a bucket. With that name in hand, they were then asked to find letter beads that matched the name they had. Once those beads were chosen, the beading creations began! Each Brancher created a one-of-a-kind bracelet for their classroom friend—using letter recognition, fine motor skills, patterning, and friendship. We love how each bracelet turned out so beautifully different, and our Branchers wear them with pride.

“Friendship Stew” was yet another classroom hit! As we participated in morning circle time, we debated ‘what makes a good friend.’ At the end of our discussion, we came up with the ‘main ingredients’ to our stew: 3 cups of KINDNESS, 1 cup of SHARING, 2 1⁄2 cups of TEAMWORK, 2 cups of HAPPY HEARTS, and a dash of TAKING TURNS (potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions).

Speaking of deliciousness, November wouldn’t be the same without apple taste testing and baking! Did you know that there are nearly 7,500 different types of apples worldwide? It’s pretty amazing …so introducing a few extra apples at the morning circle was necessary. Pink Lady, Opal, Green Dragon, and Lucy Rose were the four types chosen for an ‘apple taste test.’ As the Branchers waited patiently, each apple was carefully sliced and ready to be eaten. Each apple was tested, tasted, and enjoyed as a whole group! Before circle time ended, we tallied up the likes and dislikes with each apple.

December is in the air; please remember that most of our gross motor development is outside play. Whether it’s snow, sleet, rain, or even sunshine in December, we are busy moving and playing outdoors. Proper clothing is encouraged. Below are a few items that might be a great idea to bring in: 

  • Snowsuit/ Snow Pants
  • Gloves
  • Beanie/Hat
  • Snow Boots

December will be filled with the SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SCENTS, and SCIENCE of the season and all the wonder it brings!

Miss Gracen & Miss Heather

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