Dear Brancher families,

We can’t believe how fast this year is flying by! Another month has come and gone in the Branch classroom. We hope you had a lovely February! We sure felt the love in the Branch Classroom this month. We loved seeing all our friends pass out and share valentines. It is so sweet to watch their friendships grow. We LOVE our Branchers! 

Our Branchers had heART this month! From self-portraits to cut-out hearts and heart-shaped name flags. We love to create! This month, we started practicing our cutting skills by cutting hearts for our Valentine’s envelopes. The Branchers worked hard to cut out countless hearts to decorate their envelopes. They looked lovely! 

No month would be complete without self-portraits. This month, we made our self-portraits in the shape of a heart. Our Branchers continue to impress us with their attention to detail as they progress in fine motor skills. Lastly, we updated our name flags. The Branchers tried a new medium and used silky crayons to color their hearts. Then, they searched for the letters in their names from various magazines to cut out and glue onto their hearts. They turned out AMAZING, and our Branchers are getting so good at recognizing their letters! 

After love day had passed, our Branchers got busy learning about dental health!  We explored and studied how to take care of our teeth. Then, we learned about dentists and their tools. Lastly, we took a deeper dive and discussed what our teeth are made of, and we discussed healthy food choices to keep our smiles healthy! The Branchers got into this study. We had friends talking about how often they brushed their teeth, reporting back on what their teeth looked like, and even some friends took trips to the dentist during the month and told us about their experience.

We explored our teeth and learned what they do, how to keep them healthy, and why we brush them. In every study, the Branch kids expand their vocabulary. The new vocabulary we practiced this month was the names of our three types of teeth: Incisors, canines, and molars. We were so impressed by how quickly they picked up these words! Before we knew it, the kids used these words to talk with their friends about their mouths. At lunch, they proudly told us they used their incisors and canines to tear food and take bites. They also learned that their molars in the back helped them mash food. 

Next, we focused on the importance of dental care. BRUSH, BRUSH, BRUSH!  We practiced a catchy new song that talked about the different motions for brushing our teeth. Our Branchers then got to practice brushing on a teeth model. Next, they made paper toothbrushes, practicing their cutting and gluing skills. We learned about flossing and the importance of getting the spots between our teeth that the toothbrush can’t reach. We later used floss to practice our lacing skills. We cut out paper in the shape of a tooth, and the Branchers practiced with floss to lace around it.  

After learning the names of our teeth, what they are used for, and how to care for them, we focused on learning about what is inside them. The Branchers got to look at different teeth diagrams and learn about the complex, white substance called enamel that covers our teeth. The enamel of the tooth was seen as the armor of the tooth- it’s strong and protects the tooth. We then have dentin under the enamel, which protects the tooth by covering the pulp with a soft-squishy cushion. The pulp is essential to the tooth since it holds the blood vessels that keep it attached and thriving. Each Brancher then had a chance to create their tooth diagram. They cut out the three parts of the tooth. They then traced the words to label the different parts of the tooth.  

Each month, we try to find ways to incorporate hands-on activities for the children to participate in. This month in the Branch classroom, our learning got hands-on as we changed our home station into a dental office! Thanks to Dr. Reiher, who provided the realistic props for the school, the Branchers had the opportunity to take turns working in the dentist’s office. We provided clipboards and phones to make appointments. They had white coats, eye protection, and a light box to check the X-rays. They performed countless “check-ups” this month. Thankfully, there are no cavities in the Branch room!   

One of our favorite activities during this month was our “Egg-cellent” science experiment. During this experiment, we asked ourselves, “What would happen to our teeth if we drank or overate sugar?” To test it out, we used our imaginations to pretend an egg was a tooth. Next, we submerged one egg into water and another into sugary soda. After a few days, we could see that the egg soaked in soda had begun to change color! We concluded that if we drank too much soda and didn’t brush our teeth properly, our teeth could quickly change color and become unhealthy.

We had a wonderful time learning about all things dental health. We are sad to see February end but look forward to what March holds for us. Our March study is Radical Rainbows and Rhymes! We will be learning all about colors, rainbows, rhyming words, and, of course, digging into some Dr. Suess and some leprechaun magic. Stay tuned for a colorful and magical month!    

-Miss Gracen and Miss Heather

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