Dear Brancher families,

The Branch room is so excited to welcome the New Year! We hope you have enjoyed your holiday season. As teachers, we felt the love and appreciation from our amazing Branch families…you are all simply the best! We ended this year with full hearts and hopeful eyes. Thank you for such an incredible year!

December has always been a busy month. It always is, isn’t it!? We actively celebrated the season, explored and created festive science experiments, and tested our taste buds with various delicious activities. The Branchers are experts at turning anything and everything into a learning experience. It is incredible how the simplest activities can have the most significant impact on our learning! For example, we created our very own Lava Lamp with just a few simple ingredients such as water, oil, food coloring (and glitter because glitter makes everything better). We added alka-seltzer tablets in our colorful bottle to add a scientific twist. Each Brancher could “hypothesize” what they thought would happen when adding the alka-seltzer. We heard a lot of creative and imaginative answers. The Branchers were amazed when the red bubble started to ‘dance’ inside the bottle. It was such a hit that we continued feeding the lava lamp throughout the month. 

Another festive science experiment the Branch Room participated in was a Candy Cane Stripe Test, yet another simple activity with a vast and astounding result! Add one candy cane to each cold, luke, and hot water cup and witness the magic. Slowly but surely, the stripes began to disappear, and the candy cane dissolved, leaving a red hue and a minty scent to the water. The Branchers observed that each temperature dissolved the canes in different time phases. 

To add some mathematics to our month, we did some Marshmallow Math! The Branchers were shown piles of marshmallows and asked to count them up. It was no surprise to us that the Branchers did this with ease! So, to add more of a challenge, the Branchers were given TWO piles of marshmallows and then asked to ADD them up! They were totally up for the challenge; needless to say, they aced it! What fun would marshmallows be without some tasty hot chocolate!? We celebrated a job well done as we sipped our sweet hot chocolate. 

It wouldn’t be a month in the Branch room without incorporating artwork! Our Branchers were busy creating various festive art, such as flocked trees, watercolor Holly leaves, glitter paper ornaments, and painted swatch triangle trees. The Brancher delicately painted tree cutouts when creating our flocked trees and finished them with salt sprinkles—the salt soaked up the wet paint to give it a ‘freshly flocked’ look. As you know, we get pretty resourceful in our classroom, and what better way to recycle some old paint swatches than to cut them up in various triangle sizes and create some very colorful and unique trees? No month would be complete without creating yet another self-portrait. With each passing month, we see the Branchers get more and more controlled and detailed with their beautiful portraits. We hope that you’re seeing the progression as well!

We also got crafty and made not one but two ornaments! We measured ourselves in ribbon to create our special Branch/GT ornament. We then filled the ornament with the ribbon and star cutouts. These ornaments are such a wonderful keepsake, and we hope they’ll remind you throughout the years of just how special this age is. The second ornament we made was created by hand. Mixing applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, and glue, each Brancher took turns mixing all the ingredients. The next step was to roll the mixture flat. Using a tree cookie cutter, we cut out a single tree for each Brancher, and after baking in the oven, the deliciously beautiful tree ornaments were ready to take home to hang on the tree. 

This month, we had the privilege of welcoming our very own Elf! None other than….Chippy Sparkle Rainbow! He was sent from the North Pole to help us learn, discover, and celebrate this fantastic holiday season! Throughout the month, Chippy would write us letters and provide fun and tasty activities. We never knew what fun stuff he had for us, but that didn’t stop the Branchers from being so excited to see him each day!

As you can imagine, we had a lot of fun this month! Moving forward, we will take a trip ‘Around the World.” This study will be full of art, music, culture, traditions, and taste testing! The Branchers will pack their passports and head to Mexico, England, France, Australia, and India! Get ready for a month of adventure and travel!

Cheers to a wonderful year we have ahead of us. Thank you for your continued support. Our Classroom is a very lucky one indeed! 

-Ms. Heather & Ms. Gracen

Similar Posts